Monday, January 11, 2010

Potassium and Water Soluble Vitamins

When one is loosing weight and/or exercising, one must drink a goodly amount of water. In fact, we should drink about 64oz a day, and that's if we're not sweating. In fact, new recommendations say that we should drink more. Divide your weight by 2 and that's the number of water ounces you should drink in a day. I'm 243, so that's 121.5 ounces of water. Eeeks! Well, I guess it helps that I've also been drinking some mild teas along with my water, so that I'm probably drinking around 80-90 fluid oz per day.

However, with all this water drinking, the water soluble vitamins C and the B-complexes can be leached from the body very quickly, as can mineral salts like Potassium.

Replacement of these nutrients by eating the right consistent balance of fruits, vegetables and nuts throughout the day is essential. Some supplementation can help, but be careful. Not only are there Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for vitamins and a minimum, but there are also Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) where excessive intake can be harmful.


Nutrient
EAR
RDA/AI
UL
Unit
Vitamin A
625
900
3000
µg
Vitamin C
75
90
2000
mg
Vitamin D[3]
NE
200
2000
IU
Vitamin K
NE
120
ND
µg
Vitamin B6
1.1
1.3
100
mg
α-tocopherol (Vitamin E)
12
15
1000
IU
Biotin
NE
30
ND
µg
Boron
NE
-
20
mg
Calcium[3]
NE
1000
2500
mg
Chloride
NE
2300
3600
mg
Chromium
NE
35
ND
µg
Choline
NE
550
3500
mg
Copper
700
900
10000
µg
Cyanocobalamin (B12)
2.0
2.4
ND
µg
Fluoride
NE
4
10
mg
Folate (B9)
320
400
1000
µg
Iodine
95
150
1100
µg
Iron
6
8
45
mg
Magnesium
330
400
350a
mg
Manganese
NE
2.3
11
mg
Molybdenum
34
45
2000
µg
Niacin (B3)
12
16
35
mg
Nickel
NE
-
1.0
mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
NE
5
ND
mg
Phosphorus
580
700
4000
mg
Potassium
NE
4700
ND
mg
Riboflavin (B2)
1.1
1.3
ND
mg
Selenium
45
55
400
µg
Sodium
NE
1500
2300
mg
Sulfate
NE
-
ND
-
Thiamin (B1)
1.0
1.2
ND
mg
Zinc
9.4
11
40
mg

 (from Wikipedia.com)

I've been attempting to track my intake of these nutrients on www.fitday.com and have been successful for the most part - they do not track Folic Acid/Folate.

Keeping my Potassium levels up has been difficult; I cannot seem to get my daily intake up to the RDA standard. I've been conscious of the potassium levels in all my food choices, and have been eating around 2 pieces of fruit a day. As my multivitamin does not contain Potassium, I've added Potassium supplements to my regimen, but the 2 tablets I take only add 6% of what I need to reach the RDA levels.

Spring and Summer will be easier, as there will be plenty of fresh tomatoes available at the store, as they seem to offer high levels. Food sources of Potassium include white meats, dairy (and I'm lactose intolerant), root vegetables, and fresh fruit. Potatoes with the skins have upwards of 700 milligrams each.

Here is a list of High sources of Potassium, more than 225 milligrams per 1/2 cup serving:

  • All meats, poultry and fish are high in potassium.
  • Apricots (fresh more so than canned)
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Lima beans
  • Milk
  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Potatoes (with the skins)
  • Prunes
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Vegetable juice
  • Winter squash

As for Vitamin C and the B-Complexes, I'm good on almost all but Niacin, Folate and Pantothenic Acid, but I'm getting better at adjusting my food choices as I go.

Becoming more aware of my nutrient intake levels has helped me to better understand how detrimental the fast-food culture has become. I wonder how many are walking around with major nutrient deficiencies and simply do not know why they feel unwell. Thinking back, I'm fairly certain that I've been extremely low on Potassium on a number of occasions. This new level of awareness will definitely assist in improving my overall Health, which is a big part of why I'm on this 365 day endeavor.

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