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Potassium and Hydration

Potassium and Hydration

To answer your questions about how Hydrant works, we dove deep into the science of each of our ingredients. We’ve simplified all that science here, in a quick discussion on how Potassium is involved in fast, effective rehydration.

What is Potassium?

Potassium is a metal found, like Sodium, in the leftmost column of the Periodic Table. It exists in Hydrant in its salt form, Potassium Citrate.

Potassium Citrate is a salt that dissolves in water. When you mix Hydrant into a glass of water, Potassium ions pop off from the Citric Acid base molecule, freeing Potassium to help in hydration. It’s in this ionic, electrolyte form that Potassium works in your cells.

And don’t worry, Citric Acid is not an “acid” in the dangerous caustic- or corrosive- sense. It’s a molecule naturally found in the body—and an important one at that. It’s part of the Krebs Cycle, a process essential to keeping our cells healthy. This means Citric Acid salts have great, non-toxic bioavailability. Plus, they lend a slight tart taste that complements the lime flavor.

Where is Potassium Found?

Bananas! Bananas contain about 450mg of Potassium each, but 0 mg of Sodium. For comparison, a single Hydrant pack contains 200 mg of Potassium (providing 6% of your recommended daily intake, based on a 2,000 calorie diet) and 260 mg of Sodium (providing 11%). Bananas are very tasty, but need to be digested (which takes time). For more effective rehydration, it’s quicker for your body to absorb Potassium in its dissolved solution form, like in Hydrant.

Bananas

Photo by Eiliv Aceron on Unsplash

Coconut water contains a lot of Potassium in it, about 600 mg in an 8oz serving. (Hydrant, by comparison has 200 mg of Potassium in the same serving size). While the Potassium content in coconut water is impressive, this beverage typically only contains 25 mg Sodium.*

Many other fruits and vegetables are also great sources of Potassium in your diet.

*The FDA does not have a standard Sodium value for coconut water, so we looked at the nutrition facts of our favorite brands. Check your own for reference!

Is Potassium Healthy?

The short answer: yes and no. Like most things, there’s a sweet spot of how much Potassium your body needs. Too much or too little Potassium can lead to sickness. But how do you find that sweet spot? We suggest following the FDA’s guidelines for recommended daily intake.

What is Potassium used for in our bodies?

Potassium is used in many of the same processes as Sodium. Once absorbed, Potassium helps to:

  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure through interactions with Sodium and water
  • Transmit electric nerve signals around the body through “action potentials”
  • Keep metabolic processes smoothly running

To put it simply, Potassium is everywhere, and for good reason. Generally speaking, it is essential to maintaining normal body function.


How is Potassium Involved in Hydration?

When you lose water from your body, you lose some essential minerals and electrolytes along with it. (The exception is breathing, when you only lose water, not minerals and electrolytes, to the air around you.) To keep you healthy, you need to replace the Potassium you’ve naturally lost, just as you would the water.

chugging water

Photo by henri meilhac on Unsplash

 In addition, Potassium plays a key role in maintaining ideal osmotic pressure inside and out of your cells. As discussed in our deep dive into Sodium, by changing osmotic pressure, you change the ability of water to enter cells, and waste to exit. Potassium plays a central role in making sure your cells can take in the precise amount of water they need.

Ultimately, we rehydrate to keep our bodies running at 100%. Anything less, and we feel lousy. By ensuring that Potassium is present, we ensure that rehydration is as effective as possible. You’d never guess it, but Potassium helps you feel your healthiest!


Summary

Although this a “deep dive” into the science of Potassium, it barely scratches the surface of this electrolytes role in our health and hydration. As with everything, moderation is key!

For further reading, we’ve pulled together a few resources for you:

MedlinePlus.Gov on Potassium

This systematic review and meta analysis from 2017 on Potassium supplementation and blood pressure.

Important Research 🍌 by Mythbusters on the slipperiness of banana peels 🍌

Want to try out our hydration drink with Potassium? Click here.

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This piece was written up by chemistry guru Lizzy Trelstad of Beaker.