Potassium is a key nutrient that our bodies need to maintain the balance of sodium and calcium. It also plays a vital role in helping lessen muscle cramping, building a faster metabolism, limiting muscle cramps and regulating blood pressure.
As important as potassium is to our body, about 98% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of 4,700 mg per day. Not getting enough potassium can lead to kidney problems as well as diarrhea, nausea, and muscle cramping.
How to Increase Your Potassium
One way to increase your potassium is through your diet. Eating the right foods that are high in potassium will help you reach your daily intake goal.
Certain foods have extremely high potassium levels, like baked potatoes that have about 926 mg of potassium and avocados that have around 900 mg.
Fortunately, those foods are also healthy for other reasons like good fats and vitamins. Additionally, they are filling and pretty inexpensive.
Other foods like bananas, spinach, and salmon will also help you increase your potassium and give you vital nutrients and fiber. These foods are easily combined with other foods to make great snacks or meals.
Another way to increase your potassium is through vitamin supplements. Most of these vitamins are relatively cheap and are useful if you have allergies to foods high in potassium or if you just want a quick solution.
Generally, they will come in a pill form and are swallowed. Some products will also come as different forms of potassium, like potassium gluconate. Don’t worry, they are all effective and serve the same purpose.
Increase Your Potassium After Exercise
However, make sure to follow the directions on the product. Consuming too much potassium can have as many negative effects as not getting enough.
After exercising, it is important to eat foods that replace the nutrients, like potassium, and energy you used to complete your workout. Getting proper nutrition in after a workout will help you recover faster and help you build muscle.
Drinks like Gatorade are great for a heavy, post-workout beverage because it replaces calories burned as well as sodium and potassium–or electrolytes. It’s an easy way to increase your potassium and rehydrate after a good sweat.
Be careful to not recreationally drink Gatorade, Powerade, or other sports drinks because they are high in sugar and calories as a casual drink. Use them as they are suggested–after a workout.
Getting enough potassium, as well as all other vitamins and nutrients, through a balanced diet will help your body stay balanced and work as it needs to. Try new delicious recipes and foods to make it less like a chore and more like a new experience.
Risks of high blood pressure and heart disease will decrease, which can help you rest easier about your heart health.