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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 09-03-09, 03:36 PM   #1
AcornMan
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Potassium supplement: Is it worth it?

One common piece of advice to combat cramping is to increase potassium intake. But when I looked at potassium supplements at the store today I noticed that one pill is a mere 2% of the recommended daily allowance. I can't imagine that increasing my potassium intake by such a tiny percentage is really going to make a difference. It seems like a waste of money when I can get so much more potassium in a wide variety of readily available food. Thoughts?
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Old 09-03-09, 04:17 PM   #2
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A banana has 11% of RDA. I'd eat that instead.

But it'll only help if your cramping is due to low potassium. In my experience on the bike cramping is more likely to be caused by dehydration, low sodium (on a long hot ride/race) or most commonly, overuse.
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Old 09-03-09, 04:20 PM   #3
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I used to get potassium tablet. I still have some around, but mostly use Endurolytes now. Both seemed to help on a hot day. With the potassium, you have to take them regularly.
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Old 09-03-09, 10:01 PM   #4
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eat a banana or 2 every day and put down the supplements.
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Old 09-04-09, 04:33 AM   #5
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Your point is correct- supplements are useless IMHO. Also check the label, they are probably potassium chloride, and you probably need natural fruit potassium (which is potassium citrate, potassium phosphate and others). The natural potassium is plentiful in black beans and other similar beans, fruits, vegetables (avoid peas and corn and green beans though, in my opinion). If you are on any medication you should check with your doctor first, because some drugs affect your potassium excretion. Also chronic kidney disease can do the same thing and cause potentially dangerously high potassium levels in the blood. If you are manipulating your potassium, it's probably wise to get blood tested periodically. Good luck.
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Old 09-05-09, 07:53 PM   #6
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potassium supplements can be dangerous; stick to natural sources: bananas, skim milk; oranges; raisans; celery (the mother lode)

i used to cramp and thought K deficiency was the cause; it wasn't as far as i could tell; i think it was more likely dehydration and need for more training and a better fit on the bike; cramps gone now except for very long hard efforts where cramping is expected
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Old 09-05-09, 07:57 PM   #7
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bananas, orange juice, tomato juice, v-8 juice... all good natural sources. If you use salt, start using Mortons Lite Salt, a mixture of sodium chloride and potassium chloride.
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Old 09-05-09, 08:05 PM   #8
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Endurolytes work great. Potassium tablets are handy on a hot day.
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Old 09-05-09, 08:22 PM   #9
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Potassium Chloride (KCl) is used as part of the drug mix for lethal injections....hence the supplements are very low in KCl for safety reaseons. Adding bannans to your diet makes a lot more sense
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Old 09-06-09, 09:05 AM   #10
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dont take ONLY potassium
take something with potassium and sodium in it
that way you dont have too much of one

supplements arent useless dumbass
i guarantee you dont get everything you need from your diet
if you want to take something to help you with endurance, make sure it has a fast acting complex carb, like maltodextrin or wazy maize, protein, and an electrolyte mix (usually K and Na, but maybe calcium which is directly involved with muscle flexion)
the mix should be about 4g of carbs for every 1g of protein

endurance nutrition is relatively simple
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