Potassium Replacement

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by charlesmc2, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    What do you use to keep potassium levels up while backpacking. I've always been subject to cramps, probably because I sweat a lot. Even in winter. Sports drinks don't do it for me, just not enough minerals. I've really helped myself while home by supplementing the mandatory bananas with potatoes, both Irish and sweet. Most veggies are pretty high in potassium, but heavy.

    There's nothing like crawling out of sleeping bag to answer a nature call only to be skewered by a leg cramp.
     
  2. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter

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    Buy or make banana chips, plus you can buy electrolyte pills that you can take once a day if you really have problems, but you need to consume lots of water with their use. I had to take such pills on an extended trek in the sub tropics due to extreme exertion on an almost daily basis. I think I only got one cramp in a month's time during that trip.
     
  3. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    Leg cramps at night are often caused by a magnesium deficiency.

    You need all three: Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium.
     
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  4. Wasp

    Wasp Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter

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    You can have to high vitamin and electrolytes too which is not good.
     
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  5. jeremyctry

    jeremyctry Outdoorsman Supporter Bushclass I

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    Orange juice is fairly high in Potassium, when I started drinking 3 of the recommended size servings every morning my cramps went away.
     
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  6. EternalLove

    EternalLove Scout

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    Leg cramps may also have to do with being in bad shape and not just nutrition alone.

    In other words, exericise will help over time. Most people have noticed that when you they finally go to the gym or do a heavy day of hiking after months of low activity, they get cramps and later soreness.
     
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  7. Fishrarr

    Fishrarr Tracker

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    For me it's water. If I don't drink 2.5 to 3 liters of water every day I get leg cramps. The body needs a certain amount of water to operate, if it doesn't get it it pulls the water from the outer parts of the body to keep the center parts going. When I say water I mean water: not coffee, tea, juice, or pop. I also find that if I put just a little lemon juice in the water, it seems to help. It took me a while to figure out the right amount to drink, I had to measure the amount I drank every day, now I have a large cup that holds about 2.5 cups of water, so if I drink 4 of the large cups in 24 hours, I know I'm in the ball park and my world is good to go.
     
  8. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    You know you're a bushcrafter when you misread "potassium" as "Possum"...

    I only worry about this in the heat of summer, when I seldom go out anymore... IF I go out, I will go through anywhere from 6-8 quarts of water, roughly 1 per hour... I used to keep a jar of Gatorade mix in the kitchen, and I'd toss half a scoop in every other quart of water... don't like it much full strength.
     
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  9. XMP

    XMP Mountain Man

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    I think your best bet is something like Nuun tablets. You'll get a full profile of minerals and electrolytes (with or without caffeine) and is a nice way to flavor your water.
     
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  10. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    When I get headaches I toss in a Propel Powder Electrolyte mix into my water and the headache is gone.
    210Mg Sodium, 65Mg Potassium, 0 calories.
    Works simple enough for me.
    https://www.propelwater.com/products#powder
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  11. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic Supporter

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    Get a dry electrolyte solutions. Nuun has some tasty ones. I keep a product called Trioral. I like it, but it isn't the tastiest. There are a TON of different ones on the market. Pick up an ultra marathon or triathlon magazine (or go to one of their magazine websites) - they have tons of information on replenishing electrolytes.

    I'll say this though - you don't want to focus on one particular micronutrient. Micronutrients absorb in a balance, and they need a certain amount of sugar and water to be absorbed, and it also depends on whether you're active or sedentary when you're drinking it.
     
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  12. bosque bob

    bosque bob Scout

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    As others have noted focusing on a single essential element can be counterproductive. K is an intracellular element that operates in conjunction with Na, an extra cellular component of our systems. Is the solution to cramping the result of adding K or adequate hydration? What role are Mg and Ca balance playing? In general, anytime we pay attention to our health we benefit. But answers to specific conditions can be more complex than first appearance suggests. If I understand the OP, the best course is being followed - paying attention to focusing on adequate nutrition and exercising. At least that how it looks to me.
     
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  13. Unistat76

    Unistat76 Nerd Supporter Bushclass I

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    Sports Beans by Jelly Belly.

    jelly-belly-extreme-beans.jpg
     
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  14. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter

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    I read it the same way and way going to recommend sewer rats.
     
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  15. Turtle Creek

    Turtle Creek Scout

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  16. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    I'd say balancing minerals is one of the advantages of going for bananas, OJ, potatoes, sweet potatoes etc.

    Most veggies have a good bit of potassium, particularly things you eat in bulk like potatoes.
     
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  17. Cascadian

    Cascadian Scout

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    Blackstrap molasses.

    I have two tablespoons on my oatmeal every morning. Yum!

    And on long rides I carry a 4oz Nalgene bottle with half maple syrup and half blackstrap molasses. I take a swig every half hour, then swish my mouth clean with water. I feel fresh, eager, and happy at the end of hard 3 hour rides -- ready to go again.

    I am a total genius.
     
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  18. Jim L.

    Jim L. Scout

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    Get a bag of trail mix and bag of banana chips and mix thoroughly. Divvy it into portion sizes and zip lock'em.

    I've been known to have leg/foot cramps that had me thinking of self amputation. Let's say they can be bad.

    One of my Drs. recommended drinking tonic water. Problem with that is that it's hellishly bitter. I found if you mixed in enough Tang orange drink (figure x3) you could make it taste like grapefruit juice.

    I understand gin is a good mixer with tonic water
     
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  19. basher1981

    basher1981 Supporter Supporter

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    I carry Guacamole for garnish to kick up some meals in the backcountry. Avocados I have been told are high in potassium and goods fats. I either get a squeeze bottle full of it or single serve wholly guacamole servings.
     
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  20. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    Potassium rich foods: spinach, avocados, acorn squash, white beans, lima beans, bananas, kiwi, guavas, passion fruits, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, and sweet corn.
    Dominick......
     
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  21. petey091

    petey091 Scout

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    Eat salty snacks while on the trail. Sunflower seeds , jerky , nuts , pretzels , chips , trail mix are my go to snacks for the trail. I also carry in my first aid kit some SaltSticks. If I know it's going to be a long hot day I will take one in the morning and before crawling into my bag.
     
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  22. hicountry

    hicountry Blue Granite Bushcraft Vendor

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    1 - As quoted above, food is always your best medicine.

    2 - Juicing the above and bring it in a thermos or some way to keep it from spoiling would be my first choice.

    3 - These Thermotabs go wherever I go in any season, they don't upset the stomach.

    4 - GNC makes "L-Glutamine 1000" for post workout recovery.


    512vdMZ0CBL.jpg
     
  23. tamalpias

    tamalpias Tracker

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    Have you had a blood test to see where all your levels are at? My dad eats 2 bonanza a day and his doctor told him it is not good because it affects other minerals in his body. To much juice can lead to high blood sugar. Best to get a baseline on your blood work and with a doctor add minor tweaks to your diet. Excercise a month at least before any trips will also help.
     
  24. charlesmc2

    charlesmc2 Scout

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    Lots of good advice here. I keep a heating pad around, ironically more in summer, for cramp prevention. If worst comes to worst a protracted hot shower does the trick.

    I thought I had mentioned here, but I didn't see it--reduced sodium V8 has a good dose of potassium. They replace part of the salt with potassium chloride. I know several have made note it is all minerals, but potassium seems to work for me. Few if any minerals are as water soluble as is potassium. I am generally not necessarily low in potassium at least at time of blood test, but borderline. Take that outside for a hot summer's day in the humid side of Texas and you go through a lot of water pretty fast.
     
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