Potassium:Sodium Ratios. My Experience And Theory

Discussion in 'Minerals' started by Jon, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. Jon

    Jon Member

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    The potassium to sodium ratio is something I've seen a couple people on the forum ask about. The general consensus seems to be sodium requirements tend to be a more important focus since potassium levels are maintained more closely by the body and sodium ingestion than by exogenous potassium intake. And while this all has made sense to me, my experience with eating a high potassium diet says there's most certainly a ratio to keep in mind and that like most things too much exogenous potassium ingestion even from whole natural food can be a bad thing.

    According to Cronometer for the last 3 weeks I've gotten an average of 7-8grams of potassium that's right, grams. My diet consists of potatoes, milk, orange juice, mangoes, papayas, apples, watermelon, white rice, eggs, beef, lamb liver, spinach, pork tenderloin, gelatin, Celtic salt, small amounts of organic ketchup, mushrooms, carrots, Gerolsteiner mineral water, vitaminE, calcium carbonate, Zinc picolinate, k2(mk4), occasional coconut oil tortilla chips, about 6 shots of espresso a day, Hydrogenated coconut oil, maple syrup, blueberries, and grassfed butter....I mentioned everything I eat and supplement so you know the parameters in which I've experienced things lol.

    I also had been getting in about 15-1800mg of sodium a day total. Over the last couple weeks I've gotten multiple dizzy spells. It started during a workout and persisted until I realized I had signs of low bp so I quickly put a pinch of Celtic salt in my mouth and let it dissolve and just like that the dizziness disappeared. It happened a couple more times after that followed by a slight case of diarrhea in the evening and each time I would grab some salt and knock it back only to have the symptoms disappear. I started to realize I was waking up in the morning craving salt, normally I crave sugary items like orange juice or an apple. I started salting my orange juice and my hands would go cold immediately. "Too much adrenaline" I thought. But why? I eat plenty of carbs, more than most could handle without compromising other macros or gaining weight. Potassium knocking down my sodium? I had never heard of potassium actually interfering with sodium (I'm still new to biochem lol) but I figured it was plausible since I was having signs of hypotension and the only thing that had changed was adding an extra 8oz of oj to my daily intake.

    I've now lowered my potassium intake to 5-6g a day through diet and during the dizzy spells getting in a daily total of 3-4g of sodium seemed to quell the dizziness and sporadic diarrhea. So I believe a 1:2 ratio of sodium:potassium is optimal. Anything under half the amount of potassium for sodium intake could give you hypotension and diarrhea like I experienced and anything over 21mg/lb of bodyweight in potassium per day may be harmful since on one of those days of 8g of potassium (24.5mg/lb of bodyweight for me) I ingested 4g of sodium over the course of the day to try to stop the bad effects (which it did) but I also got a high pitched tennitus which signifies high bp. That tells me there a diminishing point of return for potassium ingestion and sodium in relation to one another.

    Hope this helps others have more of a grasp on the elusive potassium:sodium ratio!
     
  2. X3CyO

    X3CyO Member

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    Ive noticed a loss in strength when my potassium is high in comparison to sodium. Especially when eating a lot of bananas.
     
  3. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    In what way did you notice a loss in strength? Did you mean you have high serum potassium in comparison to serum sodium?

    Would you feel the same way if you took in potassium chloride in the amount equivalent to the potassium in banana? What if your loss of strength was related to the response to sugar in bananas?
     
  4. X3CyO

    X3CyO Member

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    Ive tried potassium chloride instead of salt and noticed similar effects to eating lots of bananas. Although I've had losses in strength before due to sugar, where my nervous system just didn't feel like firing, the potassium i'm guessing causes a weaker effect similar to that, but mainly causes my muscles to just not contract as hard as they normally would. Even if accompanied with cooked starches. Adding sodium fixes the problem though. Starch is definitely superior to sugar in regards to strength training to me.
     
  5. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    I wonder why potassium would have that effect on you, and why sodium would counter that effect. Are you urinating more with potassium intake? If so, the increased urination rate would also cause thiamine to be excreted. I've experienced that effect before from increased urination, and I felt muscle weakness, enough to make me easily pushed from behind without standing my ground. It wasn't from increased potassium intake though. It was from taking a large amount of garlic. The large amount of sulfites I was taking caused an increase in acidity in blood, and a lot of urine had to pass to deal with the acid blood.

    I'm guessing that with the increase in potassium intake, much of it can't be absorbed and had to be excreted because your body is deficient in magnesium stores. A deficiency in magnesium stores keeps the body from absorbing potassium. With that, an increased urination rate would probably cause sodium also to be lost along with the potassium being excreted. By taking in more sodium, you were able to compensate for the loss of sodium.
     
  6. ImprovingDaily

    ImprovingDaily Member

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    Interesting. I've been noticing very good results with Magnesium for my dizziness and weakness. Would this possibly be a reason why potassium levels were high on my last blood test? Lack of Magnesium to help store the potassium?
     
  7. OP
    Jon

    Jon Member

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    salt is imperative for blood flow and muscular contraction. Another possibility is supplemental potassium is lowering your blood sugar ( insulin carries potassium AND glucose into cells) by activating insulin secretion.
     
  8. sugarbabe

    sugarbabe Member

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    I do food with a s:p of 1:1.2 roughly. I know everyone says more potassium more potassium but I never felt like it help me feel strong. I rarely get over 3 grams.
     
  9. Travis

    Travis Member

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    Well, most other land mammals besides humans consume a Na⁺/K⁺ratios between 1∶7 and 1∶20 and appear quite strong. Carnivores do as well, in general, as beef has a 1∶5 ratio and they occasionally eat plants.
     
  10. OP
    Jon

    Jon Member

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    This makes a lot of sense. I am actually now thinking that my problem was depleted ferritin (dizziness) and too much k2 (diarrhea). Didn't think of those things first when I wrote this but now they seem the likely culprits.

    The animal models you gave seem right for humans too, as I've never done very well with high sodium (tinnitus).
     
  11. sugarbabe

    sugarbabe Member

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    We aren't animals though. If given the choice animals will consume salt. Farmers give their animals salt blocks for a reason. Humans can tolerate a pretty high amount of sodium. But over consuming ANY mineral can stress the kidneys and that includes potassium. I found when I used to consume a lot of milk which was like 3-4 grams of potassium with little salt I would pee all day long... A sign my kidneys wanted to keep the sodium content higher in my blood. I'm not against potassium but I'm also not about the praise of any mineral over another.
     
  12. OP
    Jon

    Jon Member

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    I just notice I don't crave salt much. Even with a higher potassium intake. I think your taste buds usually lead you right.
     
  13. Travis

    Travis Member

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    I think that fluctuations in the Na⁺/K⁺ intake could be a concern. Aldosterone is produced by the adrenals as a function of perceived Na⁺/K⁺ ratio, and [Na⁺] always seems inversely-proportional to plasma aldosterone concentration. Aldosterone is the most powerful endogenous ligand of the cytosolic/nuclear mineralocorticoid receptor, a transcription factor, and a few classic studies report discoveries of an 'aldosterone membrane receptor' that respond to quick changes. Aldosterone is also known to effect the genetic expression of Na⁺/K⁺-ATPase, a membrane pore that regulates the intra∶extra cellular balance Na⁺ and K⁺ ions. Since the classic 'inhibitors' of Na⁺/K⁺-ATPase all strongly resemble aldosterone and spironolactone—i.e. oubain, digitoxin—I am nearly certain that Na⁺/K⁺-ATPase is synonymous with the 'aldosterone membrane receptor.'

    A person having a consistent Na⁺/K⁺ intake ratio should have a corresponding concentration of Na⁺/K⁺-ATPase to match and a proportional aldosterone concentration to help 'gate' it. Since the velocity of aldosterone synthesis in the adrenals and the genetic expression Na⁺/K⁺-ATPase—perhaps corresponding to the membrane surface area of the 'aldosterone pore'—do not follow the Na⁺/K⁺ ratio in real time, but after a lag period, I think it's reasonable to infer that any abrupt change in the Na⁺/K⁺ intake could be a concern.
     
  14. Travis

    Travis Member

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    I said 'mammals' Janelle—not 'animals.'
     
  15. Travis

    Travis Member

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    I don't see how consuming a Na⁺/K⁺ ratio more similar to what 99% of other mammals consume can be rightly interpreted as 'prais[ing] one mineral over another.' Does this imply that pandas, elk, and giraffes praise potassium?
     
  16. OP
    Jon

    Jon Member

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    I have experienced symptoms like described above from too much exogenous potassium (diarrhea) and so I figured that's what was going on after this most recent occurrence of symptoms I made dietary changes which seemed to help but now I believe this was just placebo because the same things happened again.

    I now think my dizziness was more to do with depleting ferritin levels (specifically through too much vitamin E) and the bathroom issues were because of too much k2.

    I so think large acute fluctuations of Na:K are an issue hence my tinnitus but for the most part my big issues were from something else.
     
  17. Regina

    Regina Member

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    Hi Jon,

    Has your tinnitus completely resolved? And do you think upping sodium helps keep it at bay? Did you try magnesium during tinnitus conditions?
     
  18. OP
    Jon

    Jon Member

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    Yes tinnitus is resolved but sodium is what was causing it, not lack thereof. I did not try magnesium, I just ceased loading sodium, drank some water, and tried to relax. Since I believe the sodium usually raises my blood pressure too high, doing these things made it go away.
     
  19. Regina

    Regina Member

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    Thanks. I'm not sure what the best ratio for us is. But I think Ray considers low-salt a contributor to hypertension. (?)
    Salt, energy, metabolic rate, and longevity
     
  20. OP
    Jon

    Jon Member

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    I think ray is eluding to chronic sodium consumption being better for cardiovascular health. I think it has to do with what Travis what talking about in how sodium levels are correlated with aldosterone status.

    I think acutely raised sodium loads cause a dysfunction in the bodies ability to balance aldosterone with the sudden influx and so things like blood pressure spiking and edema occur. Slowly increasing your sodium intake most likely would not have such reactions as it would (hypothetically) give the body more time to lower aldosterone and keep electrolyte balance all the while. Just my thoughts though lol I could be wrong.
     
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