Don’t point that Banana at me!!!
There is an epidemic I’m not sure if you’ve noticed. All these primates chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys all dying of Potassium poisoning. Ok maybe not however as a Vegan Runner and a fan of bananas I have heard on numerous occasions that too many bananas will give you potassium poisoning.
So lets break this down to facts and do a wee bit of Maths According to Food Standards Scotland the RDA for Potassium is 3500mg a day. An average 100gram Banana contains around 422mg of Potassium. So at an RDA of 3500mg you need to eat 8.2 bananas a day just to hit your RDA. So what about toxicity I hear you ask? Well the scary bit is that Potassium Chloride is one of the substances used in lethal injections for executions. Too much Potassium can cause cardiac arrest and problems with the nervous system, but how much is too much? Potassium Chloride is around 50% potassium the lethal dose is listed as around 2600mg per kilo of bodyweight. So a 80kg man would need 208,000mg for a lethal dose of Potassium Chloride, half that and that’s 104,000mg of Potassium is a toxic dose which is around 246 bananas!! So 246 bananas is a dangerous amount for an 80 kg man.
Now hold your horses it’s still not that simple. What about the amount of time it takes the Human body takes to process Potassium? Lets say it takes 30 seconds to eat a banana it would take over 2 hours to eat that amount of bananas so in all likelihood your body processes would keep pace with your intake or you’d just vomit or have bowel issues before then anyway. In reality the only way you’ll get Potassium poisoning is if you have some medical condition and you’d have symptoms way before your banana addiction caused issues
Potassium is an important mineral it aids in heart function and fluid balance. Bananas are a great food and my 3 or 4 a day habit is not going to kill me.
Image courtesy of nixxphotography @ digitalphotos.net