I remember one such competition where one man was almost at the finish line and he totally seized up.
He couldn't even crawl to the finish line because his body was being controlled by spasms.
I used to wonder why these competitors couldn't cross the finish line. After some digging around and finding some information on potassium, I have found out that one of the major reasons for theses very severe muscle cramps, with potentially deadly consequences, is the lack of electrolytes. In particular, potassium. Low potassium levels can mean a drastic decrease in physical performance and in some extreme cases, deadly side effects.
Potassium is that wonderful electrolyte that helps control fluid balance in the bodies cells.
Potassium comes in several different varieties - it's most common form is potassium chloride. Potassium is an essential mineral whose primary job is to help maintain fluid balance on either side of cells. Potassium is the predominant positive electrolyte in the bodies cells. An enzyme called adenosine triphosphate controls the flow of potassium and sodium into and out of cells to maintain normal function of the heart, brain, muscles and kidneys.
By maintaining fluid balance within cells, this electrolyte works together with sodium in order to transmit messages on behalf of the nervous system. These messages are called nerve impulses which among other things, help to regulate the contraction of muscles.
As an active weight trainer, you can see the importance of having enough potassium in your system. Let's face it, we need optimal muscle contraction in order to keep lifting heavier and heavier weights. In order for that to happen, we need plenty of water and enough electrolytes (sodium and potassium) to help carry out optimal muscle contraction.
I remember when I was younger, I was always getting bad muscle cramps in my calves and lower back. It wasn't until I talked with one of the gym owners that he suggested that I was really low in potassium. He simply suggested I eat one banana a day.
Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I had started eating bananas, the cramps went away immediately. As you know, bananas have very high concentrations of potassium. I remember vividly the way he explained it to me..."Take a look a gorillas, bananas is all they eat and their 500 friggin' pounds! - Fat Free!...Take in one banana a day and you'll stop with the cramps and start to gain
By eating one banana a day, my cramps went away almost immediately and my muscles felt better. So, potassium is a very important mineral that you should be getting enough of. If your muscles are always cramping up or they feel tired all the time, try taking in a little more potassium. Some important information on potassium.
One banana contains anywhere between 450 to 470 mg of potassium. The recommended daily allowance for potassium is about 3,500 mg. So, one banana takes care of about 13 percent of your recommended daily intake of potassium.
Now, you don't have to go to your nearest drug store and buy a bunch of potassium tablets. I suggest you try and get your daily potassium requirements from your diet. Try eating a variety of foods that contain potassium, this way, you get the added benefit of food synergy. Food synergy is what you want and that's where the magic happens.
There are plenty of benefits to having the optimal amount of potassium in your diet. Of the main benefits, potassium helps maintain fluid balance at the cellular level. With the help of other electrolytes, potassium helps nerve impulses which transmits messages at the cellular level. This means muscle contraction.
Remember my dilemma with the lack of potassium in my diet? Well, I was lacking certain electrolytes which helps to maintain muscle contraction. Without these electrolytes, my muscles werent really working right. By simply adding a little more potassium do my diet, I was able to correct my muscle cramps.
Potassium also assists in the conversion of glucose to glycogen and the synthesis of muscle protein from amino acids. Potassium has a very important role in helping the body convert macro nutrients into muscle building material and muscle fuel.
I think everyone can benefit from taking in additional potassium. In particular, some people such as athletes may benefit from additional potassium intake. Click here to see who may benefit from additional potassium.
Now, low potassium levels can be potentially dangerous - Even deadly. There are some negative effects to having too little potassium in your system, however, if you are following a healthy diet, you shouldnt be too concerned about not getting enough potassium. However, if you are concerned with low potassium levels, click here to find out the symptoms of low potassium.
Potassium is a very important mineral in the body so it should not be neglected. Potassium is available from natural sources as well as a synthetic compound.
All the best,
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