T Nation

Very High Potassium Levels


Hi folks ! FNG here. I have question regarding the Supps I am taking? I am 52 years old in excellent heath andhave started working out again. 3x week, full body workout with free weights at home( can't stand the "foofy" gyms. I am making pretty good gains considering my age! I started at 172#, dropped 12# at first, then regained 20# lean mass, in 32 -34 weeks, with approx. 10% BF. My question is in regard to my potassium level. I went to the VA hospital for a routine check up , the blood work revealed a " very high potassium level"!!! I believe it may be due to the supps I am taking?

I am taking(am) my thyroid med 1.38mg, L-arginine, 1000mg, CLA, 1000mg, (pm) L-arginine 1000mg, CLA 500MG, Carnitine500mg, Glutamine 500mg, magnesium,500mg, B12 complex,500mg. I am using Body Fortress 'Super Advanced' HP2 Creatine(pre and post workout) and Inner Armour Peak BCCA 12:1:1 Leucine Loaded(intra-workout) along with whey protein am/ pm. The creatine and the Peak BCCA have potassium phosphate and acesulfame potassium respectively as "additional ingredients" . Could one or both of these be the culprits? ..or am I just overloading my 52 year old metabolism with too many supps? Thanks!


In someone with normal renal function, dietary intake has little impact on serum potassium levels. For such individuals, pseudohyperkalemia secondary to a hemolyzed blood draw is the usual culprit.

That said, only your doc knows you and your labs well enough to determine the significance of this result. So no matter what anyone here says, you need to discuss this potentially serious lab result with him/her.


The lab called and said my renal function is normal revealed by urinalysis. In the interim , I read on the Mayo clinic website that sometimes the manner in which the blood is drawn may cause the red blood cells to burst releasing potassium into the specimen and increasing the level?

Anyway, the doctor called later in the day and said to cease all supps and come back in 2 days for a retest? When the tech drew the sample he couldn't get any blood at first and was fishing around a bit? Time will tell? At least it's not kidney failure, for sure! I did look at the other ingredients in the Whey protein that too contains300mg of potassium per scoop!

I see you said that the supps would not have any effect. Also in the article it said that breakdown of muscle tissue can do the same thing in alcoholics and severe drug abusers, neither which apply in my case. Could the breakdown of muscle tissue from working out do the same thing I wonder? I did do a pretty strenuous work out the previous day?I feel better than I have in my life, no other problems or symptoms?


Thanks Eyedentist! Thinking back to the draw , the tech never had me release the squeeze ball, when it came out , it came out with pretty good pressure which may have cause the bogus results. Urinalysis confirms normal renal function and ALL OTHER NUMBERS are within normal parameters


I had to look up hemolyzed? Thanks for increasing my word power too!


You're welcome. Here's hoping everything turns out well (I'm sure it will).


Yeah just switch up to similar supps without potassium, especially as both those brands are being sued for using junk ingredients...