Foods high in potassium provide your body with components necessary to provide energy for physical activity. However, potassium does not directly give you energy. The average adult should consume 2000 mg of potassium each day to prevent hypertension, kidney disease and stroke. There are some health conditions in which potassium is not recommended. However, for the average, healthy adult, potassium is an essential nutrient necessary for energy and health.
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Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body. As a mineral, potassium promotes normal body growth and maintenance by supporting the functions of organs on a cellular level. As an electrolyte, potassium promotes normal heart, digestive and muscular system function. Consuming a diet that includes a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is the best way to obtain your daily potassium needs. While potassium supplements are available, speak with your doctor before using them.
Benefits of Potassium
Without potassium, you will experience weakness that could prevent you from physical activity. High potassium diets promote healthy bones and strong, well-developed muscle, which are necessary for physical fitness. Potassium also plays an essential role in nerve signal transmission and muscle contraction, both of which are required for physical activity.
Foods that Contain Potassium
A wide variety of fruits, vegetables and fish contain potassium. The higher the level of potassium, the more quickly potassium enters your bloodstream, providing your body with energy for physical activity, notes Krispin Sullivan, clinical nutrition researcher and educator. Bananas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, avocados, lima beans and oranges contain high levels of potassium. Tomato and prune juice and molasses also contain potassium. Salmon, cod and chicken are high protein sources of potassium. Potassium is available in supplement form, usually under the name of potassium bicarbonate, potassium citrate or potassium chloride. Supplements come in tablet, power or liquid form. Potassium is also an ingredient in many daily multivitamins. Consult with your doctor before taking potassium supplements.
Potassium's role in promoting muscular fitness has led some researchers to believe it speeds up repair from muscle fatigue incurred after a long workout. Therefore, body builders and athletes consume high levels of potassium before and after workouts. Colorado State University states that athletes may require a diet full of potassium-rich foods.