Abstract

Potassium is a key electrolyte important for maintaining tissue osmotic pressure and acid base equilibrium, and playing a key role in nerve function and muscle contraction.  Potassium is found within all cells and its levels are primarily controlled by the kidneys.  Potassium losses can cause dramatic drop in race performance and may lead to premature muscle fatigue and mental irritability.  Blood Potassium levels below 3.5mmol/L can affect the ability of your horse to win.

Potassium PLUS

Potassium is a key electrolyte important for maintaining tissue osmotic pressure and acid base equilibrium, and playing a key role in nerve function and muscle contraction.  Potassium is found within all cells and its levels are primarily controlled by the kidneys.  Potassium losses can cause dramatic drop in race performance and may lead to premature muscle fatigue and mental irritability.  Blood Potassium levels below 3.5mmol/L can affect the ability of your horse to win.

For horses in training

Stabled horses in training have an increased requirement for Potassium due to substantial sweating (horse sweat is hypertonic, high in electrolytes; sodium, chloride and potassium), stress and degeneration of muscle.  The best source of Potassium is fresh pasture with cereals grain deficient in Potassium.  Given limited access to fresh pasture and a higher requirement for Potassium during training, racehorses are therefore generally prone to Potassium deficiency.

Horses which have a tendency of showing high muscle enzymes frequently show low potassium.

Horses under stress, produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.  Cortisol increases the retention of sodium and increases the excretion of potassium in the urine, adding to the drain on Potassium in the racehorse.

In 1986, a ground breaking study on the precise effects of work and climate on the body chemistry of the racehorse was conducted at Randwick racecourse by Ranvet founder Dr Percy Sykes.  A total of 1379 horses were involved in the study, one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted in Australia.

A summary of the findings regarding cortisol are outlined below;

cortisol

The highest secretion of cortisol was during hot, humid Summer months, followed by the wet, Winter months then Autumn/Spring.  Climate and track conditions play a key role in the production of cortisol via the stress response.

In order to combat the affects of training and higher excretion of Potassium during stress/training, particularly during Summer/Winter, it is highly beneficial to administer 45ml of Potassium PLUS morning and afternoon.

Blood Potassium levels below 3.5mmol/L can affect the ability of your horse to win

Routine blood analyses are a critical tool in determining response to stress and training.  Blood Potassium levels below 3.5mmol/L can affect the ability of your horse to perform at optimal levels.  Oral supplementation with Potassium PLUS has been shown to increase the horses Potassium content which can be verified via blood analysis.  Adequate levels of potassium within  the body particularly muscles is essential to a winning performance.

Potassium PLUS also contains high levels of Vitamin E which is a powerful anti-oxidant which has been shown to aid post work muscle soreness and recovery.  High levels of zinc have been included in Potassium PLUS to support over 500 enzymatic reactions which zinc is involved with in the body.

For further information regarding Potassium and evaluating your horses’ blood analysis contact Ranvet.

Ranvet Recommendations

Under heavy training

45ml of Potassium PLUS morning and night

Blood Potassium below 3.2mmol/L

90mL of Potasium PLUS twice daily for 7 days