Medium avatar
0

What's the latest on sodium/potassium?

by (598)
Updated about 20 hours ago
Created April 30, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Here's a flurry of questions, comments, and concerns... Feel free to pick any bit to answer from. I hate to intimidate people with so many pointed questions so just speak your mind on any point. Looking for opinions as much as facts, but prefer the latter.

  • What's the relative importance of absolute quantity vs ratio
  • That is: is it more important to maintain a balance between the two or worry about the actual mass consumed of each?
  • Wanna start throwing Potassium(K) : Sodium(Na) ratios around? I've read anything from 1:1 to like 16:1 for K:Na so a little science could go a long way here...
  • What about absolute values?

My targets are set to 4700mg (K) and 2500mg (Na) but I rarely meet both any given day.

My daily extreme allowance is set for up to 10500mg (K) and 5000 mg (Na), which I sometimes approach, but my average lands very close to target despite wild swings in favor of one mineral or the other.

  • Our bodies regulate serum levels and cytoplasm/interstitial fluid concentrations right?
  • So, are these swings and extremes safe?

I get a little 'frothy' on salty days but I'm talking long term.

  • What's a dangerous upper dosage per day for each? (call it toxicity if you will)
  • What's a dangerous lower level (weekly average) to avoid deficiency?
  • What's optimal for health and longevity?
  • Does that differ from performance optimum?

Based on daily tracking, in the past week I average 4500mg (K) and 2500 mg (Na), so not quite 2:1 K:Na... My intake in the past year has been a bit lower for both but approximately 2:1... This is what I get without worrying much about it (except actively seeking potassium most days).

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · May 07, 2014 at 4:46 AM

i have no idea either. which is why i threw out the query.

the current recommendations for chloride intakes are calculated from the recommendations for salt/sodium. ie. Chloride DRI = Salt DRI - Sodium DRI

B82f2515ba5a800bed018c9536f9108d
1137 · May 07, 2014 at 1:02 AM

I do not know. Surely the K intake is low, because they eat mostly animals.

E24390f6d880f9144cdf7ab13220a84a
15 · May 07, 2014 at 12:25 AM

Yes, they cook in seawater so I suspect they have very large sodium intakes. But has anyone documented the numbers.

Medium avatar
598 · May 07, 2014 at 12:21 AM

This is a great question and considering their reliance on the sea I suspect they got a lot of salt.

Medium avatar
598 · May 07, 2014 at 12:15 AM

Nothing wrong with rational orthorexia. Not that I could convince you of this. Looking for science... our at least experience as the science on this topic seems strangely sparse.

Medium avatar
598 · May 07, 2014 at 12:08 AM

Good question. I have no idea... should I take chloride consumption very seriously? If so, why?

Medium avatar
598 · May 07, 2014 at 12:07 AM

Lately I've been experimenting with high carb paleo ranging daily form 150 to 300 grams. I coil give more exact ratios but top of head if say 30 to 55% day to day.

E24390f6d880f9144cdf7ab13220a84a
15 · May 05, 2014 at 8:26 PM

glib, do you happen to know what is the K/Na ratio for the Inuit? That's an ultra low carb culture, so presumably they get the sodium excretion issues that low carb induces, and it would be interesting to see what kind of electrolyte inputs they have in a daily diet.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9
245 · May 05, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Not sure how I would ever get to 10-1!

B82f2515ba5a800bed018c9536f9108d
1137 · May 05, 2014 at 7:44 PM

1) a citation is not a recommendation. A citation shows typical levels of intake in truly paleo communities

2) Virtually everywhere hunter gatherers have K/Na ratios of order 10 or higher. For them, intakes of several grams of K are common.

You want to suggest that paleo principles completely blow up when it comes to Na? Go ahead, and I think you will have a point, since Nature made it so tasty for us for a reason (it did the same for sweet fruits, too).

Medium avatar
598 · May 05, 2014 at 4:46 PM

I would certainly appreciate that. FWIW I dropped the low carb thing a few months ago. Might experiment again in the winter... but yep I'm skinny and low carb seems to cause digestive and metabolic issues, among other things I probably don't fully understand. This electrolyte thing might be a part of that and I'd love to learn more from your other threads.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · May 05, 2014 at 2:50 AM

cont...

3. you get a reasonable dose with the bicarb form, not the usual 99 mg (0.099 grams) dose from the chloride form, which is a complete waste of time. One small banana gives you ~362 mg #1. & the 99 mg potass chloride limit on pills has been put there for a reason (i presume), so i would avoid this form myself.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · May 05, 2014 at 2:49 AM

"Can anyone suggest a reason the bicarb form would be better?"

just some thoughts (no refs to back anything up),

1. i always think of bicarbonate to be pretty benign (in small doses), just makes drinks go bubbly...

2. taking the bicarb form avoids adding to your daily intake of chloride, the rda for which is ~2.3 grams (adult), the chloride rec is just calculated off the salt/sodium rda. i don't think it has been looked at on its own?

cont...

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57
1005 · May 05, 2014 at 1:16 AM

J to the ERF.

E24390f6d880f9144cdf7ab13220a84a
15 · May 04, 2014 at 11:54 PM

Can anyone suggest a reason the bicarb form would be better?

01f49b2c56fcbd16b030f36340f0487a
-1 · May 04, 2014 at 11:48 PM

you can get potassium bicarb supps, which i am guessing (but just guessing) would be better than potass chloride.

iherb has some here which look like they have 526.5 mg potassium per capsule (or it could be 526.5 mg potass bicarb per capsule if their labeling is misleading?).

01f49b2c56fcbd16b030f36340f0487a
-1 · May 04, 2014 at 11:46 PM

you can get potassium bicarb supps, which i am guessing (but just guessing) would be better than potass chloride.

iherb has some here which look like they have 1053 mg potassium per capsule (or it could be 1053 mg potass bicarb per capsule if their labeling is misleading?).

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57
1005 · May 04, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Probably better to post here, as others likely know more than I do.

In the beginning, I had some cramping, as I accidentally switched from a salty processed food diet to not sprinkling salt on anything (+ ~0 TDS water), and suddenly the intake dropped to the human minimum. I can now eat the correct amount easily by taste. (The saltier food tastes, the less I need, where the right amount tastes great.)

Potassium I try to maximize (jerf+seafood+veg soup.) And Mg keeps my recovery time short - if the soil / drinking & bathing water had more, I wouldn't need it.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57
1005 · May 04, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Potassium supplementation is a tricky subject to avoid harm, and micro-encapsulated KCl isn't much of a paleolithic food. None that I can recommend.

A few plates of fruit / veg / starches with avocados and chicken / beef / fish stock / coconut water / tomato sauce is a much tastier approach.

E24390f6d880f9144cdf7ab13220a84a
15 · May 04, 2014 at 8:25 PM

This is an interesting reference. It makes the point that microencapsulated potassium does not show the mucosal damage. Do you know of any potassium supplement we can buy that is microencapsulated?

E24390f6d880f9144cdf7ab13220a84a
15 · May 04, 2014 at 6:45 PM

paleot, I don't see a private messaging function on this site. Could you contact me by email at persistentone AT spamarrest.com ? I have some general questions on electrolytes, which seems to be an area where you have read widely.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57
1005 · May 04, 2014 at 7:12 AM

Erosive damage to GI mucosa / ulcers.

http://multimedia.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/evm_potassium.pdf

Better to just eat real food than to eat supplemental crystalline KCl.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57
1005 · May 04, 2014 at 6:40 AM

100 milligrams? That's ridiculously (dangerously) low at 1/5th the minimum.

https://www.google.com/search?q=minimum+sodium+intake

If you ate WAPS suggested 3g of Na (8 grams of salt) at a 4:1 ratio, that would be in the 30 banana/d zone, possibly bordering on hyperkalemia and likely over 400-500 grams of carbohydrates in a day.

http://www.westonaprice.org/vitamins-and-minerals/salt-and-our-health

http://www.amazon.com/Salt-World-History-Mark-Kurlansky/dp/0142001619

http://eathropology.com/2013/05/21/the-nacl-debacle-part-2-we-dont-need-no-stinkin-science-2/

E24390f6d880f9144cdf7ab13220a84a
15 · May 04, 2014 at 12:45 AM

Unfortunately, many people implement Paleo in combination with low carb, and research clearly shows that low carb diets force the kidneys to excrete large amounts of sodium. Research studies suggest supplementation of up to five grams of sodium per day.

E24390f6d880f9144cdf7ab13220a84a
15 · May 03, 2014 at 8:46 PM

paleot: what are the risks with chloride form of potassium?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · May 03, 2014 at 5:58 AM

what about chloride...does not get mentioned much...just seems to be along for the ride with sodium...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41432 · May 03, 2014 at 12:47 AM

I've stopped feeding your orthorexic tendencies.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57
1005 · May 03, 2014 at 12:35 AM

For context, I'm curious what your average carb intake in grams / % of macros are looking like for the 4.5g K : 2.5g Na ratio. (I'm thinking 250g+?)

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57
1005 · May 03, 2014 at 12:21 AM

I have sort of the opposite approach, where I eat more sodium than potassium and supplement Mg to spare K. In the 100g+ range of carbs, I eat 2+:1, but in the 40-100g range, it's closer to 1:1, and under 40g, it's closer to 1:2. Not sure if this is optimal, but it's about what is realistic from whole foods without taking chelated potassium or taking chances with the chloride form.

I operate under the idea that Na shouldn't be limited in my diet, as it is a vital electrolyte lost during exercise / sweat and not reabsorbed in the kidneys without insulin spikes.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9
245 · May 03, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Sadly no one here is smart. :(

As far as I know since it's IMO hard to get potassium and very easy to get sodium, the answer in my mind is - Limit sodium as much as possible and eat as much potassium as possible. (This probably barely brings me to 2-1...I hope.)

Total Views
1.4K

Recent Activity
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

Last Activity
168D AGO

Followers
3

Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly

3 Answers

B82f2515ba5a800bed018c9536f9108d
0
1137 · May 03, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Paleo principles suggest that moderni diets have low K, including some paleo diets themselves. We possibly have high Na, since Weston Price's book suggests good health in tropical populations with intakes of 100 mg Na/day. Modern research also suggest optimal ratios of order K/Na 4/1. You want to decouple this problem from the iodine problem, which is not entirely trivial since modern salt is a major iodine contributor.

B82f2515ba5a800bed018c9536f9108d
1137 · May 05, 2014 at 7:44 PM

1) a citation is not a recommendation. A citation shows typical levels of intake in truly paleo communities

2) Virtually everywhere hunter gatherers have K/Na ratios of order 10 or higher. For them, intakes of several grams of K are common.

You want to suggest that paleo principles completely blow up when it comes to Na? Go ahead, and I think you will have a point, since Nature made it so tasty for us for a reason (it did the same for sweet fruits, too).

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57
1005 · May 04, 2014 at 6:40 AM

100 milligrams? That's ridiculously (dangerously) low at 1/5th the minimum.

https://www.google.com/search?q=minimum+sodium+intake

If you ate WAPS suggested 3g of Na (8 grams of salt) at a 4:1 ratio, that would be in the 30 banana/d zone, possibly bordering on hyperkalemia and likely over 400-500 grams of carbohydrates in a day.

http://www.westonaprice.org/vitamins-and-minerals/salt-and-our-health

http://www.amazon.com/Salt-World-History-Mark-Kurlansky/dp/0142001619

http://eathropology.com/2013/05/21/the-nacl-debacle-part-2-we-dont-need-no-stinkin-science-2/

E24390f6d880f9144cdf7ab13220a84a
15 · May 04, 2014 at 12:45 AM

Unfortunately, many people implement Paleo in combination with low carb, and research clearly shows that low carb diets force the kidneys to excrete large amounts of sodium. Research studies suggest supplementation of up to five grams of sodium per day.

E24390f6d880f9144cdf7ab13220a84a
0
15 · May 03, 2014 at 2:08 AM

I think part of the problem here is establishing importance of the question, and maybe giving some context as well.

Low carb diets (under 50 grams, but for some people even under 80 grams) tend to cause the kidneys to shed sodium rapidly. These diets have a diuretic effect. If you are very overweight, and you retain a lot of fluid in body tissues, the diuretic effects of these diets are a blessing. If you are skinny, or do not retain excess fluid, the diuretic effects of these diets will leave you flat on your back without energy, and with various severe symptoms associated with electrolyte imbalances. It's not widely publicized that low carb diets require sodium and electrolyte supplementation.

In that context, anyone on a low carb diet needs to pay attention to electrolyte issues, and for that group of people your questions become important.

I am going to post a few threads here by the weekend, documenting my own (extremely horrible) experience with low electrolytes on low-carb Paleo, and separately asking for some formulations for good electrolyte replacements. I'll try to link to those threads here when the threads exist.

Medium avatar
598 · May 05, 2014 at 4:46 PM

I would certainly appreciate that. FWIW I dropped the low carb thing a few months ago. Might experiment again in the winter... but yep I'm skinny and low carb seems to cause digestive and metabolic issues, among other things I probably don't fully understand. This electrolyte thing might be a part of that and I'd love to learn more from your other threads.

Medium avatar
0
598 · May 02, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Guess this one was a little overwhelming....

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41432 · May 03, 2014 at 12:47 AM

I've stopped feeding your orthorexic tendencies.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9
245 · May 03, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Sadly no one here is smart. :(

As far as I know since it's IMO hard to get potassium and very easy to get sodium, the answer in my mind is - Limit sodium as much as possible and eat as much potassium as possible. (This probably barely brings me to 2-1...I hope.)

Answer Question

Login to Your PaleoHacks Account

Get Free Paleo Recipes