Most individuals who maintain a healthy and balanced diet should have no trouble with their potassium levels. However, with the hectic schedules that most are forced to endure, proper nutrition can often take a back seat at times. Potassium is a vital mineral that is integral to the proper functioning of organs, according to WebMD, "low potassium is associated with a risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, digestive disorders, and infertility." Low potassium can also be associated with muscle fatigue and weakness. The good news is that getting those potassium levels back up to healthy levels is as easy as changing things up a bit in your diet.
One of the biggest indicators of potassium deficiency is the sudden appearance of muscle cramps or weakness. Potassium is crucial to the healthy functioning of muscles, especially if you're active. For athletes, or those who live a pretty active lifestyle, muscles are constantly broken down and need adequate nutrients, minerals, and time to recover. After all, your muscles don't grow when you're exercising, they grow when you're recovering!
A deficiency in potassium could ultimately make this progress of recovery a lot more difficult, resulting in longer recovery time periods or in some cases, even injuries. If you notice that your muscles are either not recovering as well as they once did, or if they tend to spasm or cramp suddenly, it could be a sign that your potassium levels are low.
Nutrition is integral to maintaining proper levels of potassium. Foods including bananas, avocados, citrus fruits, and almonds, are excellent sources of potassium. By simply making these foods a staple in your diet, you can ensure that your potassium levels remain at healthy levels.
If you are particularly active (which you should be!), you'll notice the difference in terms of recovery in no time. By reducing the amount of time your muscles take to recover, you can maximize your output. So, if you're a runner, you'll be able to go longer distances a lot faster. Whether you're an elite leveled athlete or just someone looking to drop a few pounds, recovery is crucial and is where your goals will be met.
All you need to get you on your way is a banana or two!
Photo Credit: Fernando Stankuns