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Staying on top of your potassium needs and how they factor into your diet are important aspects of managing hyperkalemia.
But managing your potassium intake and level also requires proper hydration and regularly taking medications and other over-the-counter drugs that help support things like kidney and heart health.
To help you keep track of all the moving parts, you may want to consider incorporating a few tech tools or gadgets into your daily routine. These include diet apps, medication reminders, and water bottles that let you know when it’s time to drink up.
But before going over the ins and outs of what’s available, let’s begin with a look at potassium, including what it is, what it does, and how much you need each day.
The primary role of potassium is to help maintain normal cellular function, making this essential mineral a critical player in how your body works.
For example, adequate potassium levels contribute to proper heart and kidney function, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and support normal blood pressure.
Potassium is often discussed alongside sodium, which is responsible for maintaining fluid levels outside of the cells. It’s essential to address the relationship between the two minerals because our bodies need more potassium than sodium to work properly.
However, the average American diet is just the opposite, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
A potassium deficiency can increase blood pressure, salt sensitivity, kidney stone risk, bone turnover, urinary calcium excretion, and in some cases cause hypokalemia, according to the
Too much potassium is generally not a risk to people with healthy kidneys. But if you have kidney disease or are using certain medications that cause impaired urinary potassium excretion, then you may be at risk of developing hyperkalemia.
Potassium is naturally present in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, and certain dairy products. It’s also available as a dietary supplement.
If you have a health condition that requires a different potassium intake, make sure to follow the recommendations set by your physician.
Now that we’ve covered why it’s important to keep tabs on your potassium intake, it’s time to go over some tools to help you track potassium while also supporting your overall health.
If you want a comprehensive food tracking and fitness app that also logs biometrics and health data, then give Cronometer a try.
This app tracks up to 82 micronutrients, logs meals, exercise, and biometrics, provides diet support, and displays valuable charts and reports that show you how nutrients like potassium and biometrics correlate over time.
Plus, it syncs with Apple Health and Samsung Health, allowing you to keep all your medical and health data in one place.
What sets Cronometer apart from its competitors is the ability to set minimums and maximums for certain nutrients, like potassium. With the premium (paid) version, you also get a nutrition score that gives you a sense of your nutrition in certain categories.
For potassium, you can review your data from the electrolyte nutrition score, which also shows calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
Cronometer is available for iOS and Android.
The DecideDiet is a smartphone app that allows you to scan a barcode or enter a food you plan on eating.
The app will evaluate the sodium and potassium content and then rate the food item by color: green, yellow, or red. In general, users are advised to eat at least 75 percent of their foods in the green category and stay away from items that earn a red rating.
The app was designed by a nephrologist and assistant professor in the UConn School of Medicine to help people with chronic conditions like kidney or heart disease manage their diet in accordance with medical recommendations.
DecideDiet is available for iOS and Android.
3. HidrateSpark PRO water bottle
We could all use a little help when it comes to drinking enough water throughout the day. With a HidrateSpark PRO water bottle, you get a water bottle that not only keeps your H2O cold for up to 24 hours but also reminds you when it’s time to drink up.
Here’s how it works: The bottle has an LED smart sensor “puck” around the bottom of the container that glows when it’s time to take a drink. This smart water bottle connects the sensor on the bottle via Bluetooth to an app on your smartphone that keeps track of how much water you drink. The app tracks every sip to keep your daily goal updated throughout the day.
The HidrateSpark PRO is available in stainless steel or Tritan plastic. In addition to the PRO, HidrateSpark also has the TAP, which updates your water intake on the app when you tap your smartphone to the tag on the bottle.
The Medisafe medication reminder app is like a virtual pillbox that allows you to store information about all of your medications and dosage details.
Plus, it reminds you when it’s time to take one of your meds and sends notifications when your prescriptions are running low. You’ll also get an alert whenever any of your medications should not be used together.
While not specifically a tool for tracking potassium, a medication reminder can help you manage prescriptions for all health conditions.
Medisafe is available for iOS and Android.
The MyNetDiary app is a complete diet solution for tracking calories, food, exercise, and water. Plus, it comes equipped with the ability to set targets and goals related to nutrients and health. You can also set reminders and notifications and search for hundreds of recipes.
With the premium membership, you can customize and set nutrient targets for things like potassium and sodium. You can log into the app throughout the day and view a customized diet dashboard that allows you to quickly monitor your intake and compare it to your target.
The premium version also has tools to support tracking medications, symptoms, test results, and more.
MyNetDiary is available for iOS and Android.
6. Potassium Tracker
The Potassium Tracker from the American Kidney Fund is a weekly log that allows you to record how much potassium from food goes into your body every day. It also has a place to log when you take a potassium binder if your doctor or healthcare team recommends taking one.
The Potassium Tracker is a form you can download and fill out on your computer or print out and record throughout the day. While it’s a little less technologically advanced than some of the other options, this is a nice tool for people looking for a hard copy tracker.
Using tech tools like apps, water bottles, and medication reminders are just a few ways to track your potassium intake and stay on top of your nutrient needs.
That said, if you have any questions about your overall health or concerns related to a specific condition, make sure to talk with your doctor or another healthcare professional.