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8 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Potassium

by DailyHealthPost Editorial

potassium deficiency

3. Muscle Weakness, Spasms, or Cramps

Muscles use potassium when they move. Of course, we’re using muscles somewhere every nanosecond of every day. The greater the exertion, the more potassium is lost from muscle fibers. This is why it’s recommended that you take in electrolytes before, during, and after vigorous exercise: to maintain potassium and other muscle mineral levels, preventing muscles from going into spasm.

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A “significant loss of K+ [potassium] occurs following prolonged dynamic exercise, and…complete recovery of muscle K+ is slow,” writes a study on potassium loss during exercise (7).

Without enough potassium, muscles can get weak, spasm, or cramp.

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4. Heart Arrhythmia

The heart is a very powerful muscle and it doesn’t get to rest until, well, it will eventually give out. Potassium is critical for its function no less than any other muscle. Because potassium conducts electricity upon which the heartbeat relies, too little potassium can affect the rhythm of the heart, causing arrhythmia or palpitations.

Potassium is critical for its function no less than any other muscle. Because potassium conducts electricity upon which the heartbeat relies, too little potassium can affect the rhythm of the heart, causing arrhythmia or palpitations.

Cells in the heart expand and contract in accordance with the flow of potassium and sodium in and out, respectively. Without potassium, the heart won’t contract and it can go into cardiac arrest (heart attack). Also, low levels of potassium can make the heart beat inefficiently, inducing intermittent blood flow, which has the potential to cause heart failure and/or blood clotting. (8)

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