Momentum in the Mountains 2024


Potassium Sodium Ratios

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/24/2024

While most people understand that the body needs sodium and potassium to operate, not many understand the intricate relationship between the two.

Learn about how sodium and potassium interact in the body, how to assess potassium levels, and support your overall health.

Understanding Potassium and Its Role in the Body

Potassium, a critical mineral for our body, is essential in various bodily functions. Men consume about 3,000 milligrams of potassium daily, while women take slightly more than 2,000 daily. But this is not enough.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for potassium is a whopping 4,700 milligrams.

In contrast with modern consumption levels of potassium, though, our prehistoric ancestors had diets rich in it. They consumed between 7,000 and 15,000 milligrams daily – quite a bit compared to today's standards.

The Sodium-Potassium Pump and Energy Production

Every cell within us houses the sodium-potassium pump that uses these minerals to create energy and facilitate movement.

We'll explore how current dietary habits affect our intake level next time. Stay tuned.

The Impact of Diet on Potassium Levels

What we eat significantly affects our body's potassium levels. But how? It's all about the equilibrium between sodium and potassium.

Foods That Deplete Potassium Levels

Pesky culprits like refined carbohydrates and sugars have been linked with lower potassium levels. Stress doesn't help either - it can deplete your body’s reserves. Think about that next time you reach for a sugary soda.

Health Risks Associated with Potassium Deficiency

Your body is like a finely tuned machine. But what happens when an essential cog, potassium, isn't at the proper level? Let's dig into that.

Potassium Deficiency and Cardiovascular Health

If you've ever had your heart race after a good fright or during intense exercise, imagine having that feeling all the time. Insufficient potassium can cause this by leading to elevated blood pressure & even a stroke.

The beat doesn't stop there either; deficiency in this mineral might cause cardiac hypertrophy, also known as an enlarged heart.

The Role of Potassium in Blood Sugar Regulation

Without enough potassium, insulin struggles to regulate your blood sugar levels effectively.

Luckily, though, increasing your intake could help improve insulin resistance.

Assessing Potassium Levels Accurately

Only about 2% of your body's total potassium reserves are found outside the cell, so blood tests for potassium are often ineffective at gaging actual levels.

We need intracellular testing to get around this problem and accurately measure our body’s supply of this essential mineral. This method checks our cells where most of our stored potassium lives.

Research shows that relying on regular blood tests alone can miss out on identifying people with low levels but appear normal due to their minimal extracellular concentrations.

Factors That Increase the Need for Potassium

Your body's demand for potassium can rise in certain situations. Stress is a primary culprit. When you're under pressure, your body needs more energy, requiring additional potassium.

Injury or shock are other triggers. They cause cellular damage, increasing the need for this essential mineral in the repair process.

Surgery also raises your requirements because healing from surgical wounds demands extra nutrients like potassium. 

Keto Friendly High in Potassium Food

In ketogenic diets, finding foods high in potassium that are also keto-friendly can be a bit challenging. However, some options exist to help you maintain your potassium levels while staying in ketosis.

Avocado, for example, is a fantastic choice as it is rich in healthy fats and packed with potassium. Spinach and other leafy greens can also be included in your keto diet to boost potassium intake.

These foods high in potassium play a vital role in maintaining proper muscle function, heart health, and overall electrolyte balance, making them valuable additions to your ketogenic lifestyle.


Potassium is a crucial mineral for various bodily functions, yet many fall short of the recommended intake.

Understanding how diet, stress, and other factors affect potassium levels is essential for maintaining optimal health.

Addressing potassium deficiency is vital to prevent cardiovascular issues and blood sugar dysregulation. By prioritizing potassium-rich foods and managing factors that increase potassium needs, we can support overall well-being and promote better health for ourselves and future generations.

Supporting Data




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