Why eating potassium is important

As runners, we should be eating enough potassium for better performance.

Potassium is a mineral that goes well with sodium to maintain electrolyte and fluid balance in our bodies. There is a reason why water and bananas go well according to Runners World and that is to make sure that we are properly hydrated until the end.

Also potassium is the energy that runners need to function properly during the long runs.

Eating potassium is important for muscle function as without it our muscles cannot function properly. I tried going for long runs without potassium but it does not work. In the end, my runs got slower. Also, my skin felt really clammy and dried up during the summer runs in my first year. For the serious runners, it would mean lots of cramping and gas.

Recovery without much potassium is really hard as potassium is one of the building blocks for muscle and energy

Now I have learned better and my skin is not so clammy during my runs.

We run in the hot weather and lose a lot of potassium due to sweat. This leads to muscle cramps and diarrhea. Running Brina sums up the need for potassium well. Having enough potassium can regulate the heartbeat as well.

As runners, we get tired or fatigued. So we need a lot more potassium than the average joe. We would need somewhere between 3500-4000 mg a day. Most people don’t get that much. But Runners World says that we need about 4700 mg of potassium and 2300 mg of sodium a day.

Is it possible to be potassium deficient?

Most likely not but if you are running and eating a lot of junk food it may be wise to change your diet to include more veg and fruit.

Potassium deficiency according to Healthyliving can be difficult to measure as it is not your usual muscle cramps, but there are dizziness and lightheadedness in there after your run

If we eat too low in potassium we may have some digestive issues.

But luckily in our diet, we have enough potassium so we don’t really need supplementation.

So what foods have potassium in them?

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Dried Apricots
  • Red Kidney beans
  • Most seafood
  • Leafy greens
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Prunes
  • Soybeans
  • Cheese- but too much of it can be bad for you. One slice a day is enough.
  • Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium as well as carbohydrates. You can choose from sweet to the normal potatoes.

For endurance runners, a sports drink is recommended to replace the potassium lost throughout the run. But for me, I like to stick with real food and none of that sweet sugary stuff.

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