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For over 50 years, the US military has recognized that potassium deficiency results in a soldier’s reduced performance and recovery.  From new recruits to highly trained Special Operations’ personnel, reduced body potassium is a key missing link to a decrease in performance during training and missions.

Despite the recognized need by the US military, a dietary source to offset this deficiency has eluded the military for years, until now.  Krampade offers several families of products that provide rapid, dietary replacement of potassium to keep muscle performance and endurance high, while also enhancing muscle recovery.

Why is potassium so critically important?  For muscles to function properly, potassium is used during exertion to increase blood flow to the muscle necessary for optimal performance.  This also increases muscle endurance.

Potassium also liberates glucose from muscle and liver energy stores. It increases the ability of the body to rebuild these stores after exercise, keeping them replenished to enhance endurance.

In potassium deficiency, there is less energy, less performance, less endurance.  Clearly potassium intake and adequate body potassium is absolutely required to keep muscle performance and endurance high.

For years, increased sodium intake was thought to be the answer for muscle performance.  Remember salt tablets?  Yet, increased sodium intake further exacerbates the impact of potassium deficiency.  High sodium leads to even greater fatigue and reduced muscle performance.

From muscle function to muscle cramping, the scientific literature identifies that potassium deficiency is the key electrolyte gap limiting optimal muscle performance.  Krampade fills this gap.

The bulk of the scientific literature that has defined the critical role of potassium in muscle function and performance has come from US Military researchers.  Other military research has demonstrated a pivotal role for potassium in the desire to consume water and in tolerance to heat stress.

As the demands on Special Operations are increasing, so are the demands for Special Operations personnel to undertake missions in climates that range from hot and humid to hot and arid.  Under these conditions, potassium deficiency provides for less than optimal performance and potentially hinders successful completion of the mission.  This immense problem has not been adequately addressed…until now.

Krampade is the first and only product that provides a rapidly absorbable form of potassium to address the long-known problem identified by the US Military nearly 50 years ago.  Krampade is special and uses a process that eluded others in the “sports drink” space.  The potassium level in our 2K family of products is 30 times that in the average sports drinks.

Repeated muscle contractions result in increased potassium (K+) loss from muscle.  Four key points should be noted.  First, as sodium (Na+) goes into the muscle and K+ goes out, muscle contraction occurs.  Second, most of the K+ goes back into the cell, but repeated contractions from vigorous exercise or repeated contractions reduce K+ in the muscle.  Third, as K+ is depleted, cramping occurs.  Fourth, consuming Krampade shifts the equilibrium of K+ in plasma, replacing K+ in the muscle, uncramping it.  Figure from Krampade, copyright 2019.

 

We did what the US Army couldn’t do.  We did something that our competitors couldn’t do.  We invented a product that rapidly delivers dietary potassium in a highly absorbable form without the metallic taste associated with potassium.

Let us help your Special Operations personnel have better muscle performance, more endurance, faster recovery, and more efficient hydration.

Why potassium deficiency leads to critically impaired performance

Nearly 50 years ago, US Army researchers determined that potassium depletion is the core cause of reduced muscle performance associated with basic training in summer months.  They found that recruits lost on average, 20% of their body potassium.  More importantly, levels in their plasma did not change, meaning routine measures of potassium in the blood will not document this large loss in body potassium.

In this study, the potassium supplemented group consumed 30% more potassium than recommended by the military today (3200 mg per day).  Despite this amount, these recruits had reduced muscle performance and potassium deficiency.  This study determined that these recruits needed to consume about 5700 mg of potassium per day or nearly double what is found in US military rations.

Surprisingly, these recruits had indications of muscle injury consistent with rhabdomyolysis, hypothesized to be due to a major reduction in muscle blood flow.

Potassium (K+) is mainly found within cells comprising tissues like muscles, brain, heart, and GI tract, which have lots of K+ in them.  The blood/plasma has lots of sodium (Na+) in it.  The interstitial space, which is outside of the cells, is in rapid equilibrium with the blood/plasma compartment. This means some K+ will enter the plasma with each contraction of the muscle (See Figure 1).  Adapted from Adams, Holland, and Urban in Pharmacology for Nursing:  A Pathophysiological Approach, 5th Edition.

 

Similar study conditions in a dog model confirmed this suspicion.  In dogs with normal tissue potassium levels, muscle blood flow is increased 400% upon exercise, delivering needed oxygen and nutrients for optimal muscle performance.  In potassium deficient dogs, blood flow is increased only 30%, resulting in muscle damage and poor muscle performance.

This study and others indicate that increasing blood potassium will correct this muscle potassium deficiency-induced reduction in muscle blood flow.  These outcomes confirm the suspicion that the recruits suffered from profound muscle damage when undertaking basic training in the heat.  What is the impact on elite Special Operations personnel during their intense training?

Krampade is the only existing product that will quickly replenish potassium to keep muscle performance and endurance high.

Why potassium deficiency leads to decreases in muscle endurance

In potassium deficiency, the body has the inability to utilize glycogen (stored energy in the form of glucose) when training.  The normal response of a muscle in recovery is to synthesize more glycogen for future needs.  Under potassium deficient conditions this does not occur.

Normally, repeated cycles of exertion and then recovery results in synthesis of more glycogen stores that can be used to keep muscle endurance high during subsequent exertion.  Hence, training helps prolong the time to fatigue and enhances endurance.  This process is called supercompensation and does not occur in potassium deficient muscle.

Typically, exercising to exhaustion will induce this supercompensation effect, which over a period of a few days, increases muscle glycogen content to a level at least 4-times as much as it was prior to the exhaustive exercise.  This in turn means that the soldier can perform much longer in subsequent bouts of exercise becoming fitter over time.

In potassium deficient dogs there is no glycogen utilization during exercise and no glycogen creation after exercise, e.g. no supercompensation.  Although the muscle can generate the same force, it has only half the endurance.  Increasing potassium reversed these effects.

Collectively, these studies indicate that for optimal muscle performance and endurance, Special Operations personnel require more dietary potassium than provided by their rations.  In addition, consuming a highly absorbable form of potassium can rapidly restore muscle function, even if the individual is potassium deficient.

Krampade is the ideal source of dietary potassium and when consumed regularly provides potassium to keep muscle performance and endurance high to maximize training for Special Forces personnel.  During missions, it provides rapidly absorbable potassium to keep muscle performance and endurance high, while also preventing cramping and enhancing recovery.

Krampade is the only product available that offers mission critical electrolyte replacement.

Why potassium deficiency leads to increased incidence of heat injury

Because potassium increases blood flow, it also increases the blood flow to the skin.  This translates to increased dissipation of heat, hence making sweating more efficient in cooling the body.  Furthermore, potassium deficiency leads to critically impaired kidney function and other behavior problems, such as insatiable thirst, that only exasperate heat injury and critically impairs performance.

If you’re thirsty, drink more water, right?  Well, no.  Drinking more water under potassium deficient conditions results in more thirst, reduced appetite, and increases urine output.  In fact, more urine output equates to more potassium loss and the inability of the kidney to concentrate urine.  Addition of more dietary potassium reduces thirst and urine output.  This means that consuming Krampade will help the body to optimize hydration, which means water goes further.

Potassium deficiency cuts endurance in half and heat gain is increased by 140 percent during exercise.  Even when relaxing under hot conditions, the time needed to see a rise in internal body temperature is reduced nearly in half and the individuals have greater heat gain.

Krampade is the only product that has the potassium needed to help combat heat injury and optimize hydration.  Krampade gives your body the potassium that it craves in the heat and during training in all conditions allowing your body and water to take you further than ever before.

How much potassium is needed per day and how much is consumed?

The military currently recommends personnel consume 3200 mg of potassium per day or about 8 bananas.  Although the FDA recommends that individuals consume 4700 mg of dietary potassium per day, the average American consumes only about 2640 mg per day.  Interestingly, while the general population does not typically use a potassium supplement, surveys indicate that 12% of the military community uses a potassium-specific supplement.  Typically, these potassium supplements provide only 99 mg of potassium per tablet, a grossly insufficient amount to offset the poor consumption.

Krampade is reliable and easily obtainable source of dietary potassium.  One serving of our 2K family of products provides 2000 milligrams of rapidly absorbable dietary potassium.  This is equivalent to the amount found in about 5 bananas or nearly half of the FDA’s recommended daily intake.

The FDA recommends individuals consume at least 4700 mg of potassium per day.  Using the standard sports drink, an individual would consume about 70 servings comprising 8400 calories.  Alternatively, an individual could consume 11 medium bananas comprising 1155 calories.  The best option is to drink 2.35 servings of Krampade comprising just 282 calories.  Figure from Krampade, copyright 2020.

 

Special Operations personnel may need to consume much more potassium than the 4700 mg recommended by the FDA, because for every hour of strenuous exercise, 200-300 mg of additional potassium must be consumed.  On a mission, this means for every 10 hours of strenuous work, minimally, another 2K should be consumed.

Our 4K product line offers 4000 mg of potassium per serving.  This product is designed to rapidly restore muscle function and to mitigate muscle cramping.  The effectiveness of this product has been repeatedly demonstrated from elite athletes to average Joe’s.

Why is so much potassium required by the body

So why is so much potassium needed?  The human body is designed to retain sodium and lose potassium.  The body is very good at conserving sodium.  In fact, when given a low salt diet, men do not lose sodium in their body even when living in a chamber at 104°F for 16 days.  The only difference between high salt and low salt groups is the rate of sodium loss in sweat and urine.  In fact, regardless of the amount of salt consumed, both groups had more total body sodium at the end of the study than at the beginning.

In 1993, the Institute of Medicine Committee on Military Nutrition Research published a report on fluid replacement and heat stress, while also considering viable options to prevent potassium loss.  The committee concluded that “…we should consider either reducing the intensity of training, or conducting such exercises in geographic areas that would not impose such levels of heat stress.”  Thus, there has been no solution to the problem of potassium deficiency in the military, until Krampade.

The primary solution to cramping, fatigue, and heat injury is potassium.  This long-ignored electrolyte is critical for peak performance and it is often insufficiently consumed to meet the body’s demand.  This leads to potassium deficiency.  This limitation may be particularly pronounced in those performing the toughest job on Earth, a Special Operations warrior.

Krampade is the affordable solution to a problem that has been known for over 50 years and fills a much-needed gap in US military nutrition.

The Krampade story

Based in Grand Forks, N.D., Krampade was born out of a lifetime of frustration with no solution in sight.  Dr. Eric Murphy, CEO of Krampade, had progressively worse cramps his whole life, which greatly impacted his work, activity, and daily life.  Experimenting with various amounts of potassium chloride, he discovered the amount needed to make cramps go away.  The result was a 2000 mg formulation as a preventative product and a 4000 mg formulation to stop active cramps in under a minute.

The next step was to make potassium taste good, a hurdle that even some of the largest companies in America could not overcome despite decades of research.

Dr. Cameron Murphy, Vice President of Operations and Product Development, succeeded at making the high potassium solution taste good, a minor miracle in the food industry.  At Krampade, we are always innovating around our core high-potassium technology.

Our recent introduction of Krampade 2.0 with less sodium and added magnesium, tastes even better than the original.  This product may reduce blood pressure and incidence of stroke.  Our newest product from the Krampade pipeline is Krampade Fiber.  This product contains 9 grams of soluble fiber per serving, adding yet another nutrient commonly lacking in the diet.  For those worried about sugar, new zero sugar products are on the horizon.

At Krampade, we take pride in the American worker and farmer.  From the raw ingredients to the water bottles to the packaging, we go out of our way to source the finest US-produced ingredients and other materials for every aspect of our business.

We have the highest standards of honor and integrity as we apply the ethics of science to our business.

Krampade simply works by giving the body the potassium that it craves.  Potassium depletion is the primary driver of fatigue during exercise.  Once enough potassium is lost, a cramp occurs.  Consuming Krampade increases the level of potassium in the blood, forcing more potassium back into the muscle tissue, keeping blood flow and keeping muscle performance high.  This slows fatigue and enhances recovery.

All this occurs while Krampade also relaxes blood vessels to get more nutrients to the muscle and helps the body dissipate heat faster by enhancing blood flow to the skin.  This translates to more efficient sweating to cool the body, allowing the water you carry to take you farther than ever before.

Two key concepts.  First, as we use our muscles, potassium (K+) enters the blood and the adrenal gland sense this change, releasing the hormone aldosterone causing the kidney to put more K+ into the urine.  This controls K+ levels in the blood/plasma.  Second, as we sweat, sodium (Na+) from the plasma compartment in the blood via sweat formation.  The adrenal gland releases aldosterone to have the kidney retain Na+, causing an increase in K+ in the urine.  Adapted from Adams, Holland, and Urban in Pharmacology for Nursing:  A Pathophysiological Approach, 5th Edition.

 

Krampade was put to the test with elite hockey players suffering from cramps and excessive water loss.  Before launching our product to the public, we beta-tested it under the most extreme conditions where no other product had worked. We passed with flying colors.

Krampade let these players play cramp-free and some had up to an 80 percent drop in water loss during practices and games.  Players also began seeing the benefits of high potassium with faster recovery between shifts and better overall performance.

In fact, after our success, measured by helping a team win a NCAA DI championship in men’s ice hockey, even the head of sports medicine at this institution told us he didn’t expect Krampade to work.  Nothing else had worked to alleviate the issues of water loss and cramping experienced in this elite collegiate hockey program.  So why should Krampade?

Summary

At Krampade, we threw the book away and did it our way.  This radically different approach taken by Krampade produced a product that simply works!  Others couldn’t do what our patent pending products do.  In the end, we’re just radically different from every other sports drink on the planet.

Simply put, Krampade:

  • Prevents and/or stops cramps
  • Enhances performance
  • Enhances endurance
  • Slows onset of fatigue
  • Speeds recovery
  • Optimizes hydration
  • Combats heat injury

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Article original published on Defense Media Network.

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