Staying on top of your potassium needs and incorporating them into your diet are important aspects of managing hyperkalemia.
But managing your potassium intake and level also requires staying hydrated and regularly taking medications and other over-the-counter medications that help support things like kidney and heart health.
To help you keep track of all the moving parts, you might 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.
But before we go over the ins and outs of what’s available, let’s start by looking at potassium, including what it is, what it does, and how much you need each day.
Potassium’s primary role is to help maintain normal cell function, making this essential mineral a vital player in your body’s functioning.
For example, adequate levels of potassium contribute to the proper functioning of the heart and kidneys, muscle contraction, nerve transmission and the maintenance of normal blood pressure.
Potassium is often discussed with sodium, which is responsible for maintaining fluid levels outside of cells. It is essential to address the relationship between the two minerals because our body needs more potassium than sodium to function properly.
However, the average American diet is quite the opposite, according to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Too much potassium is generally not a risk for people with healthy kidneys. But if you have kidney disease or use certain medications that cause impaired urinary potassium excretion, you are at risk of developing hyperkalemia.
Potassium is naturally present in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and some dairy products. It is also available as a dietary supplement.
If you have a health condition that requires a different potassium intake, be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations.
Now that we’ve covered why it’s important to keep tabs on your potassium intake, it’s time to review some tools to help you track potassium while supporting your overall health.
If you want a complete food and fitness tracking app that also records biometrics and health data, give Stopwatch to try.
This app tracks up to 82 micronutrients, logs meals, exercise, and biometrics, provides dietary support, and displays valuable graphs and reports that show you how nutrients like potassium and biometrics correlate over time .
Plus, it syncs with Apple Health and Samsung Health, letting you keep all your health and medical data in one place.
What sets Cronometer apart from its competitors is the ability to set minimums and maximums for certain nutrients, such as potassium. With the premium (paid) version, you also get a nutrition score that gives you an idea of your nutrition in certain categories.
For potassium, you can look up your data from the Electrolyte Nutrition Score, which also shows calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
The stopwatch is available for iOS and Android.
The DecideDiet is a smartphone app that lets you scan a barcode or enter a food item you plan to eat.
The app will rate the sodium and potassium content, then rate the food by color: green, yellow, or red. In general, users are advised to eat at least 75% of their food in the green category and stay away from items that get a red rating.
The app was designed by a nephrologist and assistant professor at the UConn School of Medicine to help people with chronic conditions like kidney or heart disease manage their diet according to medical recommendations.
DecideDiet is available for iOS and Android.
3. HidrateSpark PRO Water Bottle
We could all use a little help 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.
Here’s how it works: The bottle has an LED smart sensor “puck” around the bottom of the container that lights up when it’s time for a drink. This smart water bottle connects the bottle sensor 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 up to date throughout the day.
The HidrateSpark PRO is available in stainless steel or Tritan plastic. In addition to PRO, HidrateSpark also has TAP, which updates your water intake on the app when you tap your smartphone on the bottle label.
The Medisafe Medication Reminder app is like a virtual pill organizer that allows you to store information about all your medications and dosage details.
Plus, it reminds you when it’s time to take any of your medications and sends notifications when your prescriptions are running low. You will also receive an alert whenever any of your medications should not be used together.
Although not specifically a potassium tracker, a medication reminder can help you manage prescriptions for any health condition.
Medisafe is available for iOS and Android.
the The MyNetDiary app is a complete diet solution for tracking calories, food, exercise, and water. Additionally, it is equipped with the ability to set targets and goals related to nutrients and health. You can also set reminders and notifications and search hundreds of recipes.
With the premium subscription, you can customize and set nutrition goals for things like potassium and sodium. You can log into the app throughout the day and view a personalized diet dashboard that lets you quickly monitor your intake and compare it to your goal.
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 American Kidney Fund’s Potassium Tracker is a weekly diary that allows you to record how much potassium from food enters your body each day. It also has a place to record 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 and save throughout the day. Although it’s a little less technologically advanced than some of the other options, it’s a nice tool for people looking for a paper-based 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 general health or concerns related to a specific condition, be sure to speak with your doctor or other healthcare professional.