Potassium (K), not to be confused with vitamin K, is one of the essential minerals that the human body needs. Your physician will help you decide whether you need potassium vitamins, or a multivitamin that contains potassium. He can also advise you on the amount of potassium that should be included in the supplement that you take. Potassium vitamins and supplements are also available in a few different forms, including pill and liquid forms.
There are several benefits of potassium. This essential mineral can help maintain blood sugar levels, and is necessary for the brain and muscles to function properly. Most of an individual's potassium is usually obtained from a balanced diet. Some foods that are rich in potassium include bananas and potatoes.
It is not advisable to start taking potassium vitamins without the supervision of a physician. You doctor can run tests to help determine if you need more potassium to treat a condition known as hypokalemia. Symptoms of hypokalemia, or a potassium deficiency, may include fatigue, irregular heartbeat, and muscle weakness.
Depending on your needs, your doctor may recommend potassium vitamins that contain other vitamins as well. These are commonly referred to as multivitamins, and they contain several vitamins and minerals. These types of supplements are especially good for individuals who are lacking other essential nutrients, like calcium or iron.
On average, adults typically require about 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day. Humans in most parts of the world are typically able to obtain the proper amount of potassium from a balanced diet. Most potassium vitamins typically contain just a small percentage of this amount. If you suffer from hypokalemia, however, your doctor may recommend or prescribe potassium vitamins with a higher percentage of potassium.
When choosing potassium vitamins, you will also most likely notice that they come in a few forms. They may come in traditional pill form, for instance, but these may be somewhat difficult to swallow. Your body may also have a problem absorbing the nutrients in pills. Liquid potassium vitamins, on the other hand, are typically much easier to swallow, and they can often be mixed in with food. Some studies also show that the nutrients in these liquid supplements are more easily absorbed.
Potassium vitamins can cause a few mild side effects when taken. An upset stomach is a common problem when taking potassium vitamins. Taking these type of supplements with food can help alleviate these side effects.