The Importance of Potassium When You're Exercising

Physically the results of a potassium deficiency can be damning, even life-threatening. Excessive exercise is the leading cause of low potassium levels.  Just a simple apple or orange before and after a workout will keep you on your feet. Signs of a potassium deficiency include, confusion, weak muscles and heart disturbance-which can prevent oxygen from getting to the brain.



You've been working up a sweat on your new treadmill, then you're going to be "sweating to the oldies" with Richard Simmons, and you plan to follow that up with a twenty or thirty minutes of stomach crunches. Wow, that's determination. But when you've got two pounds that just won't get off of your tushy, what other choice do you have?

Potassium and Exercise

Somewhere in between Richard's sweating jeri curl and your twenty jumping jacks, be sure that you've been properly saturated with the Nutrition Board of the Academy of Sciences recommended 2,000 milligrams a day of potassium.

Potassium hydration goes hand and hand with exercising, just like those greasy potato chips that you chomp on while running on the treadmill. Potassium is a mineral that has a role in muscle contraction, and in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in body cells. Now this is important when it comes to exercising.

What do you do the most of while exercising-besides eat potato chips? Right, you sweat. With the loss of those fluids comes the loss of electrolytes. That increases the need for potassium. Without it, you'll tire more quickly, since your muscles are weakened without potassium.

Physically the results of a potassium deficiency can be damning, even life-threatening. Excessive exercise is the leading cause of low potassium levels.  Just a simple apple or orange before and after a workout will keep you on your feet. Signs of a potassium deficiency include confusion, weak muscles and heart disturbance-which can prevent oxygen from getting to the brain.

Getting the Needed Amounts of Potassium

Maybe apples and oranges aren't your thing. There are lots of foods with potassium:

  • Chard
  • Mushrooms
  • Yams
  • Beans
  • Soybeans
  • Avocado: These will give you an excuse to keep the fridge stocked with lots of avocados, and you'll get to use some as a part of your skin care regime.
  • Cantaloupe
  • Lots of greens: Collard, Kale
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Baked fish: Snapper, for instance.
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet potato
Potassium is also important in sending nerve impulses as well as releasing energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates during metabolism.
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