Bananas are considered the energy bar of nature. They are even thought of as superior to sports drinks. Athletes and those who are into fitness activities know that bananas contain high amounts of potassium. In fact, this yellow fruit gives you 11% of your daily potassium requirement (422mg vs. 4,700mg). One study discovered that bananas can give you more endurance than drinking a sports drink.
Potassium is one of the most important types of electrolytes for the body. This mineral can help move electrical impulses throughout the body, allowing cells to communicate and function well. But despite its importance, there are people who lack in potassium and this can result to some problems, such as:
- Muscle cramps
- Dizzy spells
- Heart palpitations
Although bananas are known to be potassium-rich, this fruit is not the only source for the mineral. You can actually find potassium in many other foods. In fact, the following beat banana when it comes to potassium content:
1. Avocado: This fruit, also known as alligator pear, is truly rich in potassium, even higher than that of the banana fruit. It easily beats bananas: half of the fruit is equivalent to 487mg and 708mg of potassium if you eat one cup of sliced avocado. Make sure though that you don’t eat this fruit every time you finish working out because it does contain high calories.
2. Sweet Potato: Although not a lot of people weigh their sweet potatoes, one spud that is 130g heavy (usually five inches long) can give you as much as 438mg potassium. What’s even better is that this root crop has high amounts of carbohydrates, which helps potassium rev up your glycogen use.
3. Plain Nonfat Yogurt: One serving that is equivalent to eight ounces already packs 579 grams of potassium. Also, this healthy snack provides you with a lot of protein, which is also a necessary ingredient if you are trying to build muscles.
4. Coconut Water: After working out, you will surely need to rehydrate yourself. Although there’s water as well as sports drinks, coconut water is the best in post-workout hydration. Just one glass can score you about 480mg of potassium – that’s even more than the amount of electrolytes sports drinks offer.
5. Spinach: One cup of spinach can easily give you 839mg of potassium. This green veggie is quite flexible as you can add it to your salad or burger. You can even add it to your protein smoothie.
Add these potassium-rich foods in your diet, especially if you’re working out. While bananas do offer ample amounts of potassium, it does not hurt to add the foods above to easily replace the lost electrolytes after a long and exhausting workout session.