Supplements

Dipotassium Phosphate | Benefits, Side Effects & Uses

What Is Dipotassium Phosphate?

Dipotassium phosphate (DKP), goes by many names, including dibasic potassium phosphate, potassium phosphate dibasic, dipotassium hydrogen orthophosphate and dipotassium hydrogen phosphate. Dipotassium phosphate is a water-soluble salt that commonly comes in the form of a colourless, white substance. Commercially it is known as a food additive, fertiliser, and buffering agent.

For health and fitness, it is sought for the part it plays in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is a high-energy molecule that your body requires for energy.

It is a top source of potassium and phosphorus. This is where the ‘phosphate’ part comes in. Phosphate is a charged particle that contains the mineral phosphorus. Your body needs phosphorus to be able to maintain, repair and rebuild your healthy teeth and bones. Not only this, but phosphate makes your muscles contract and function as they should.

Dipotassium Phosphate Uses

Dipotassium phosphate is commonly used for the properties that make it effective as an emulsifier, stabiliser and texturiser. Though it’s considered safe, some are convinced it has potentially dangerous health effects.

In the food industry, it is considered an effective a buffering agent and chelating agent, which may also be used for yeast food, emulsifying salt, and a synergistic agent of antioxidation. Further to this dipotassium phosphate can be found on many a jar and packet label due to its use as a food additive. Its role here is to lower the acid levels in processed foods, along with lowering the sodium levels in low-sodium cheeses. It is also used as a stabiliser in non-dairy creamers to prevent coagulation.

It is also edible and used for health benefits as a nutrient supplement and as a protein stabiliser in weight training drinks and powder mixes.

Dipotassium Phosphate Benefits

At a quick glance, the primary benefit of dipotassium phosphate is that it is a convenient source of potassium, which contributes to your normal muscle function. For weightlifters, bodybuilders and athletes, dipotassium phosphate is a useful supplement for several reasons.

First of all, it is essentially an energy supplement that is ideally suited to anyone whose training session will involve no rests for 30 minutes. Long distance runners, team sports, high-intensity interval training and endurance-style weightlifting sessions, this is where dipotassium phosphate may work for you. It does this by supporting the recovery of your muscles, which means a better recovery rate and the ability to get in more lifts.

It, therefore, improves your body’s endurance. It also does this by creating energy due to its role assisting the process of oxygen delivery throughout your body to your muscles. This is particularly effective for high intensity and particularly strenuous exercises such as heavy lifting and sprints.

Potassium is one of the seven essential macro minerals, of which your body requires at least 100 milligrams on a daily basis in order to sufficiently support its key processes. A healthy intake of potassium decreases your risk of stroke, lowers your blood pressure, protects you against the loss of muscle mass, preserves your bone mineral density, and reduces the risk of kidney stones.

Dipotassium Phosphate Side Effects

Dipotassium phosphate is declared “generally recognized as safe (GRAS)” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some, however, still suggest that the supplement should be approached with caution, particularly for people with pre-existing health conditions. Conditions of concern include kidney disease, severe heart and lung disease, thyroid problems, liver disease and Addison’s disease.

Further to this, an article published in “Deutsches Arzteblatt International” in January 2012 raises the issue that phosphate additives in dietary sources are potentially problematic for people who have conditions that require them to limit their phosphorus levels.

The type of phosphorus found in disodium phosphate and other food additives is more easily absorbed than the kind that is naturally found in food sources, so it can potentially rapidly increase phosphorus levels too much in people who eat a lot of processed foods containing these additives.

Though dipotassium phosphate is regarded as a safe supplement, there are some known side effects, which are mostly associated with prolonged use. This is because using the supplement over a longer period can cause an imbalance to the phosphates in your body, resulting in the following side effects:

  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Arterial stiffening
  • Confusion
  • Heart disease
  • Hyperphosphatemia
  • Kidney disease
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Phosphorus overload

You should always check with a medical professional if you have any reservations about a supplement you are considering. If you are taking dipotassium phosphate for its health benefits, including energy production and endurance then you should check whether it is the right option for you and whether an alternative may be available.

For example, if you are already getting sufficient potassium from food and think that the dipotassium phosphate may have a detrimental effect on your performance, it is a good idea to draw up a list of your objectives. If it is increased energy and muscular function for short bursts of activity and power that you are looking at, try creatine, BCAAs or our pre-workout blend.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile organisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.


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