When you think potassium, you probably think bananas, you might not think potatoes. You would be correct though to think of both, as there are many different sources of this nutrient. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps your muscles to function properly. This begs the question then, should you eat a whole banana as soon as your next workout is over?
Potassium is an electrolyte which is essential for the human body to function properly. It helps the muscles to contract and can also help to counteract the effects that sodium has on the body. This means that it can help prevent a lot of different blood disorders as well as kidney stones.
This essential mineral is especially important to the muscles, which means that especially for those who exercise regularly maintaining adequate amounts is extremely important. When levels drop too low it can lead to cramping, fatigue, and a variety of other issues.
Not only is potassium essential for muscle function, it can help prevent cramps as well as assist in increasing muscle strength. Potassium helps in the contraction and relaxation of the muscles in the body. If you maintain a healthy level of the mineral you can avoid cramps during exercise as well as increase performance.
This mineral works to counteract the often negative effects that sodium can have on blood pressure. For those who suffer from high blood pressure potassium can help rebalance the blood.
One of the side effects of low levels of potassium is anxiety. It is very common for Americans to consume a diet that is very high in sodium, which leads to very low levels of potassium. This may explain the increase in those suffering from anxiety. Something as simple as eating a banana or avocado every day can help to balance these levels and reduce anxiety and stress.
In order for your heart to function properly one must have balanced levels of potassium, if your intake is too high or too low it can lead to serious complications.
If the idea of having to eat a banana every day doesn’t sound particularly appetizing there are plenty of foods that actually contain much more. Such as:
If you’re looking for an easy way to get extra potassium in your diet, look no further than this simple recipe. Salmon and potatoes are both extremely healthy foods, that also aren’t that difficult to make. This recipe is from Real Simple so follow the link for the original!
What you’ll need:
Recommended potassium intake varies based on age. According to WebMD, this is the general amount of potassium a person should be ingesting.
Those with digestive tract disorders or who are allergic to aspirin should be careful when taking potassium supplements. Also, those who are being medicated for high blood pressure should be cautious when taking potassium supplements, as there can be interactions. Follow the link to WebMD for more information.
Whether you’re an athlete or not, potassium is an essential mineral to proper health. If you want to improve heart health, reduce your anxiety, and increase muscle strength, a piece of avocado toast in the morning might be the best thing for you.