Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rest, Potassium and a Race?

Good Morning!
So, Today is my rest day. Time to stretch, take it easy, and let my muscles heal. So I'm reading up on proper hydration (also a good thing to be mindful of) and I see that while water is important, so to is the amount of salt and potassium in our bodies when we exercise.(3) Apparently Salt and potassium work to balance each other out. So if your a big salt fan your probably going to want to pay closer attention to how much potassium your getting. So what does potassium do anyway, "Potassium is especially important in regulating the activity of muscles and nerves. The frequency and degree to which our muscles contract, and the degree to which our nerves become excitable, both depend heavily on the presence of potassium in the right amount." (1) Not only that but, "Potassium is involved in the storage of carbohydrates for use by muscles as fuel." (1) So wow, potassium does play an important role in my running. I've tracked my food before (not a fan of tracking food) and I have noticed that I don't get very much potassium at all from my diet...well anyway my diet as of a month ago. " .... most American women 31 to 50 years old consume no more than half of the recommended amount of potassium."(2) My diet a month ago contained a lot of pre-packaged foods, meats, and occasional fast food. All high in Salt. But, since reading the Veganist, I've been vegetarian. Which sadly means making more of my own food and not relying on so much pre-packaged stuff. But, now I'm looking at my diet and my seeing that wow I bet I am getting enough potassium. I should track my food for a week and see how I'm doing. UGH, but I hate, hate, hate, measuring and writing stuff down and looking up calories and all that. I track at sparkpeople from time to time, but it's just such a chore for me.
I'm looking over the list of high potassium foods and surprised to see bananas down that list a ways... I would have figured that to be #1 or darn close. But, surprisingly Spinach beats it out...who knew. That's great coz I love baby leaf spinach in salads and wraps...and in my green smoothie's!
A few great food sources of potassium are:
"Chard, crimini mushrooms, and spinach, fennel, kale, mustard greens, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, winter squash, blackstrap molasses, eggplant, cantaloupe, and tomatoes.
Good sources of potassium include parsley, cucumber, bell pepper, turmeric, apricots, ginger root, strawberries, avocado, banana, tuna, halibut, cauliflower and cabbage."(1)
To see the rest of the list you can visit #1 in the links below. I love the World's Healthiest Foods website there is a TON of great info there about all sorts of foods. I have this page bookmarked in my browser for easy reference.

Today, in my random net surfing, I found a new blog to follow RunwithJess and signed up for a virtual 5K to be completed Anytime during Easter week (April 18-24)hurry up and go there now if you wanna sign up!!


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