Potassium and Sodium are known as electrolytes - mineral salts that conduct electricity when dissolved in water. They are involved with the balance of fluid within the body. Every cell contains a 'sodium pump', which ensures that potassium remains within the cell and sodium stays predominantly in the fluids outside of the cell. The pump also helps maintain the electrical charge within the cell. This is very important to muscle and nerve cells, and explains why a potassium deficiency affects muscle and nerves first. The proper potassium and sodium balance in food is important. One of the most common problems is too much sodium in the diet, thus disrupting the balance. To ensure that enough potassium is being consumed, a natural diet rich in fruits and vegetables high in potassium is recommended.
Potassium can also be found in unprocessed meats and fish. A potassium intake sufficient to support life can generally be guaranteed by eating a variety of foods, especially plant foods. Clear cases of potassium deficiency (as defined by symptoms, signs and a below-normal blood level of the element) are rare in healthy individuals eating a balanced diet. Foods rich in potassium include orange juice, potatoes, bananas, avocados, tomatoes, broccoli, soybeans, brown rice, garlic and apricots, although it is also abundant in most fruits, vegetables and meats.Supplements of potassium in medicine are most widely used in conjunction with loop diuretics and thiazides, classes of diuretics which rid the body of sodium and water, but have the side effect of also causing potassium loss in urine. A variety of medical and non-medical supplements are available.
Potassium salts such as potassium chloride may be dissolved in water, but the salty/bitter taste of high concentrations of potassium ion make palatable high concentration liquid supplements difficult to formulate. Potassium tablets can then be a useful alternative.Solgar offers several different potassium supplement products either as a single potassium supplement, or supplements that combine potassium with magnesium, which may be useful, depending on your need, or suspected potassium deficiency. Solgar also has so called amino acid complex potassium supplement products, which are known for their superior absorption.