Understanding the Importance Of Potassium for Athletic Performance
We all know that potassium is important for keeping your body healthy, especially while working out. You’ve probably even heard the advice to go eat a banana to get more potassium but do you really understand why this critical electrolyte is really important? Let’s take a look at how potassium can help your body with fitness and workout performance.
Good Sources of Potassium
Despite its reputation, bananas at 422 mg aren’t the best source of potassium. Fruits and vegetables including baked potatoes (941 mg), tomato sauce (728 mg), and watermelon (641 mg) all have more potassium per cup. However, for quick hydration an ice cold beverage like BODYARMOR Sports Drink (one of our go-to favorites) is going to be a great choice too. Along with 350 mg of potassium per 8 oz serving (700 mg per 16 oz bottle), you have a full daily serving of Vitamin A, E, B6, B12, C, Niacin, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid per 16 oz bottle.
What Does Potassium Do For Your Muscles?
Potassium plays a critical role in your muscles since it allows your muscles and nerves to function properly. As an electrolyte, it exists in the cells of your body and when dissolved in fluids such as your blood, allows electric current to flow across muscles, nerves and other tissues.
Simply put, without potassium, your nerves and muscles wouldn’t be able to work together to contract and move your body properly.
How Does Potassium Help With Blood Pressure?
Studies have shown that in people consuming high levels of sodium and low potassium risk developing ailments related to high blood pressure. In addition, since the heart is a muscle itself making sure that it is functioning properly helps to regulate blood pressure.
Potassium Helps Maintain Bone Strength by Offsetting Calcium Loss
High-salt diets can lead to loss of calcium in bones but a potassium-rich diet can help offset that pattern and help the body maintain a proper bone density.
What are Signs of Potassium Deficiency?
Signs of potassium deficiency include muscle weakness and spasms, irregular heartbeat, disorientation, fatigue, irritability and generally a lack of mental functioning that may include discoordination, loss of memory, and inability to comprehend instructions.
The body stores potassium in cells but it can be lost through sweat and urine so that’s why it’s critical that when you workout that you consume foods and beverages that not only replace the water you lost but also the important electrolytes like potassium that are excreted too.
- Written by James Hills
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