Potassium in the human body

The role of potassium in the body is enormous. Not only the normal functioning of the excretory, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and nervous systems, but also other processes in the body depend on this chemical element. Despite the fact that it is perfectly absorbed, coming from food and the list of products containing potassium is quite extensive, it is quickly excreted from the body. For this reason, it is important to maintain the balance of this element and eliminate the likelihood of its deficiency.


  • 1 Role for the body
  • 2 Potassium deficiency: symptoms, causes
  • 3 Excess potassium: symptoms, causes
  • 4 Potassium for Athletes
  • 5 How much potassium should be consumed daily "> 6 Potassium-containing foods
  • 7 Vitamins
  • 8 What is the danger of potassium deficiency? - Video

Role for the body

In the body, potassium is involved in many processes and performs a number of functions, including:

  • Maintaining optimal intracellular pressure due to the sodium-potassium balance, which is ensured by this element together with sodium.
  • Thanks to the first point, as well as the participation of potassium in the formation of “fuel” from glucose, the correct contraction of muscle fibers, including cardiac, is ensured.
  • Supports fluid composition within cells.
  • Maintains acid-base balance in the liquid media of the human body (included in their composition).
  • It is a catalyst in a number of organic reactions, including those that promote stamina and saturate the brain with oxygen.
  • Participates in the normal functionality of the kidneys, helps prevent swelling, slagging.
  • Conduction of impulses and nervous excitability are also provided by potassium.

Potassium deficiency: symptoms, causes

Deficiency of this chemical element in the body has its own name - hypokalemia. If a person develops the symptoms listed below, consult a doctor immediately. So, a high probability of hypokalemia, if observed:

  • heart rhythm disturbances;
  • irritability;
  • tremor of hands and feet;
  • impaired coordination;
  • muscle weakness, frequent cramps, pain;
  • constant drowsiness;
  • fast fatiguability.

Among the reasons that could provoke a deficiency of potassium in the body, physical overload with excessive sweating, as well as:

  • this element does not enter the body with food in sufficient quantities or foods high in sodium predominate in the diet;
  • stressful condition;
  • the use of diuretic, hormonal or laxative drugs, resulting in excessive fluid loss.

Excess potassium: symptoms, causes

In medicine, it is better known as hyperkalemia and can occur for the following reasons:

  • violation of potassium metabolism;
  • insulin deficiency conditions;
  • renal failure;
  • taking drugs for a long time in the absence of the need for their intake.

An excess of this chemical element in the body is accompanied by characteristic symptoms, including:

  • frequent urination
  • colic
  • arrhythmia;
  • increased irritability;
  • sweating
  • muscle paralysis.

It should be noted that an untimely solution to this problem in the future can lead to diabetes mellitus, therefore it is extremely important to reduce the level of potassium to the norm in time and maintain its correct balance.

Potassium for Athletes

Due to intense training and high energy losses, the athlete’s body is especially in need of a sufficient amount of potassium. This element is involved in the work of the neuromuscular system, and with intense loads, potassium is excreted from the body along with sweat. Potassium helps to restore strength after training, so it is always contained in drinks for athletes, which must be consumed after class. According to experts, the food that is crushed after training should be as saturated as possible with potassium.

How much potassium should be consumed daily "> Potassium-containing foods

The list of products containing this element is headed by green tea, cocoa and dried apricots. They contain 2.5 and 1.7 grams of potassium per 100 grams of product, respectively. Next come the cheeses and milk. Also this element is found in mushrooms, dried fruits, spinach, nuts, potatoes, bananas, avocados, peaches, tomatoes, beets, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, oatmeal, buckwheat.

It is important to know that a large amount of potassium remains in the water, so it is not recommended to soak the products and steam them if possible. In addition, many products can be consumed raw.


The potassium balance in the body can be easily maintained by including in the diet a sufficient number of products containing this element. For this reason, potassium-containing dietary supplements are prescribed only in cases where hypokalemia is diagnosed.

There are drugs that are prescribed as part of the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Take a tool that contains magnesium and potassium should only be prescribed by a doctor.

Vitamin complexes also contain potassium - about 2% of the norm per day. Special quality complexes for athletes always contain this element along with magnesium and pyroxidine. It is better to choose products from global manufacturers. You can also restore potassium balance with the help of sports drinks, which are taken at the end of the workout.

In fact, if you seriously approach the issue of nutrition and ensure the daily intake of this element in the body, you do not need any additional drugs, except fortifying vitamins. And when symptoms appear that indicate a potassium imbalance, you must first contact a medical institution where the doctor will prescribe treatment.

The danger of potassium deficiency - Video