Monday, October 24, 2011

Shortage of Potassium

I've known since before my race that potassium is an important nutrient to keep stored in my body to avoid muscle cramps and to keep my body energized. I ran, literally, into a problem of not having enough potassium during the second run loop of my race and my legs were starting to cramp just out of the transition area. My sister asked me if I had enough electrolytes and I thought the food I had been eating had electrolytes and it didn't! She encouraged me to keep going until we got to the first mile mark to get some Gatorade. It took a while but definitely helped. I need to consume foods that have a high amount of potassium to help me with my electrolytes. I discovered a couple of years ago an allergy to bananas which is disappointing because I love bananas. So I need to find an alternative.

When I ask people about what foods are high in potassium, the only thing that pops in their heads are bananas. Well, like I said, that wasn't going to work for me. So I finally looked it up today.  Here are the top ten foods for Potassium:

Dried Apricots
  1. Dried Herbs (Dried Chervil contains the most potassium with 4.7g (135% RDA) per 100g serving)
  2. Avocados (100 grams will provide 485mg of potassium or 14% of the RDA)
  3. Paprika and Dried Chili Powder (Paprika provides the most potassium with 2.3g (67% RDA) per 100 gram serving)
  4. Cocoa Powder and Chocolate (Pure cocoa powder without any fat, milk, or sugar, provides the most potassium with 1.5 grams (44% RDA) in a 100g serving)
  5. Dried Apricots ( apricots provide 1.9g (53%RDA) of potassium per 100g serving (about 20 dried apricots)
  6. Pistachios (100 grams (~3/4cup) will provide 1g (30% RDA) of potassium)
  7. Seeds (pumpkin and squash seeds contain about 919mg (26% RDA) of potassium per 100g serving)
  8. Fish (Salmon provides 534mg (15% RDA) per 3 ounce serving)
  9. Beans (White beans provide the most potassium with 561mg (16% RDA) per 100 gram serving
  10. Dates (dates provide 696mg (20% RDA) per 100 gram)
Some of these foods I already like and already knew I needed to incorporate more of them into my diet because of the other health benefits. I think the easiest things for me to eat would be the apricots for a snack a few hours before a run and eat more fish. Dried herbs are definitely a plus because they do made food taste that much better. And who doesn't like chocolate but I've never had pure chocolate!


  1. Wow, I didn't know about all of those potassium-laden foods!!! Good job with tracking and congrats on the weight loss. :)

  2. Alton brown suggests sandwiches with avocado and sardines - sounds gross, tastes great, and high in potassium!

  3. I am always lacking potassium, I generally have a case of powerade zero or something similar in the house because I go through phases where I am getting unbelieveable cramps that I just cant shake even with pumping tons of foods into me.

    Keep up the good work Amy! I am so proud of you!