Why potassium is the important nutrient for Autumn
When we think about our health we tend to ask ourselves a few common questions: Am I doing enough exercise? Am I eating well? Am I getting enough sleep? Crucially, Am I healthy?
What is potassium?
Potassium is a mineral that is found in the food that you eat. Crucially, potassium is not synthesised naturally within the human body so that means that we have to eat it, drink it or supplement it!
It is also an important electrolyte. While this is a word that everybody knows, it isn’t often that anyone really explains what an electrolyte is and why we need them. Essentially, electrolytes are responsible for conducting the constant electrical impulses that flow throughout your body.
They have a number of essential applications for everyday body functions including:
- ensuring a healthy blood pressure
- maintaining normal water balance
- helping muscle contractions
- facilitating healthy nerve impulses
- maintaining heart rhythm
- balancing pH balance (acidity and alkalinity)
Since our bodies do not naturally produce potassium, it is absolutely imperative to consume the right balance of potassium-rich foods and drinks or to take it as a supplement.
Why Potassium, and what if we don't get enough?
Potassium is a vital nutrient in our body. You probably know that foods such as the humble banana have long since been lauded for their potassium rich nutritional qualities and as such, they can make a great post work out snack for that instant energy boost.
But did you know that potassium is responsible for so much more, including the creation of proteins and building muscle fibres in the body. Many people are unaware of the crucial impact that potassium has on building strength and fitness.
What if we don’t get enough?
If your diet doesn’t include enough potassium you may suffer health complications from potassium deficiency. These sympoms range in severity from a more general nausea or weakness and fatigue to palpitation, fainting and depressive behaviour.
The reason for this is that Potassium is a key nutrient that regulates how effectively a persons muscles work, and this, of course, includes the heart.
However, taking in too much can also be problematic. As always you should always consult a medical professional before supplementing potassium. Especially if you have a history of kidney problems as it is the kidneys which maintain normal levels of potassium in the body.
What can you do?
The more you work out, the more you need. But the more you work out, the more you sweat.
Potassium is extremely soluble. That means it dissolves quickly and easily into your bloodstream and that’s why potassium rich foods give you such a boost. But it also means that it is one of the easiest minerals to lose from your body and when your workout kicks in potassium can be easily lost through excess sweat, especially in the summer months.
So if you get too hot, you lose your potassium and the same rule applies to your food. While meats can be high in potassium. Applying high heat for a continued period in your cooking can break up the proteins.
At Vegavero our superfood powders include a mix of plant-based potassium rich solutions which are perfect for smoothies, detox drinks and post work-out boosters that will help keep up your energy levels balanced this autumn.