How to Stay Hydrated / Add Potassium to Your Diet

Being sufficiently hydrated is essential for healthy weight loss and optimal health all year long; however, if your goal during the holiday season is to continue to lose weight or even simply to maintain your current weight, hydration becomes even more important.

 

Holidays mean indulging. Sugar, flour, processed foods which are high in sodium, and alcohol, not to mention caffeine including caffeine in chocolate, all impact how much water the body absorbs by depleting its mineral supply. Minerals in adequate amounts are needed so the body can absorb the water consumed. Therefore, hydration includes drinking 2-3 L of clean, filtered water per day and supplementing with minerals so that water can be absorbed properly.

 

Whenever I study vitamins and minerals individually, I always, think, “Wow…I need more of that!” All vitamins and minerals are important. We need them all in the correct balance. However, when we are considering hydration, the potassium/sodium balance is particularly important.

 

Potassium/Sodium Balance

If you can achieve a potassium balance of 2:1, you are doing very well. That would be approximately 3,000 mg potassium to 1,500 mg sodium. Ideally though for optimal health, our total daily potassium intake should be between 4,000 and 8,000 mg. Potassium is primarily found in fresh, raw, fruits and vegetables as well as in lean meats. If we are consuming a lot of processed foods that are higher in sodium and very few fresh fruits and vegetables, our potassium/sodium balance can easily get thrown off balance.

 

What Potassium Does in the Body

Potassium is alkaline forming. When the body is more alkaline, it is less likely to develop disease as disease flourishes in an acidic environment.

Potassium helps dispose of body wastes, reduces blood pressure, aids in clear thinking by sending oxygen to the brain and helps in the treatment of allergies. It is important in muscle contraction and nerve transmission and involved in glycogen storage (Glycogen is the stored form of glucose in the body. When our glycogen stores are full, we have more endurance/energy.)

 

How to Increase Potassium Intake

Although potassium is required in higher amounts, I do not like supplementing with a potassium supplement as it is too easy to throw off the potassium/sodium balance. Changing the diet is the best way to increase potassium plus there are several electrolyte powders that are designed to help with hydration that can also help to increase our potassium intake.

 

  1. Potassium (Mineral) Broth

I have used this recipe for years. It is posted on the Member’s Portal. Although a little time consuming to make, it is a great way to get easily absorbed nutrients into the body quickly. I like to have a batch ready and on hand when I am feeling run down, under a great deal of stress or at times like during the holidays when I know I will be indulging a little more than I usually do.

 

 

  1. Vega Sport Hydrator

This is an electrolyte powder designed to be used by athletes to stay properly hydrated during exercise. One serving contains 400 mg of potassium and 100 mg of sodium along with other minerals. If you are specifically looking to increase your potassium intake, you may want to consider this product. The potassium/sodium balance in this product is excellent because the potassium balance is significantly higher than the sodium.

 

  1. Ener-C Sport

This is an electrolyte powder made by the same company as Ener-C intended to be used pre- and post-workout to maintain hydration. One serving contains 110 mg of potassium and 125 mg sodium along with other minerals. The potassium/sodium balance is almost equal which is the next best option. Preferred is more potassium than sodium. The next best thing is having an equal amount of both minerals. This is not sweet tasting at all, so if you find other products too sweet, this can be a good option.

 

  1. Biosteel

Another sports hydration drink. The potassium/sodium balance in this product is not the best – 30 mg potassium to 140 mg sodium. What this product does contain is a multi-B vitamin and BCAAs (Branched Amino Acids), both of which help with energy, so I do like to use this product during the day if I am feeling low on energy. If you tend to have low blood pressure, you will likely find that a little bit of extra sodium gives you more energy as well.

 

  1. Ultima Replenisher

Another hydration powder that many of you are familiar with. It contains 250 mg of potassium to 55 mg sodium, so a very good potassium/sodium balance. I do know of people who have used this to reduce a hangover.

 

  1. Kale, Celery, Apple Drink

I’m currently working on a drink that is great for overall health and another option if your digestive system is feeling taxed or you feel you need to detoxify or just simply need more energy. Once I have the right balance, I will post the recipe. So far, I have 4 cups chopped kale (I like to use the dinosaur kale), 5 stalks of celery, 1 Macintosh apple, juice from ½ lemon, 2 cups water. Blend it all up and drink. If you wait to drink it, you may have to eat it with a spoon or add more water. If the taste of kale is too strong for you, start with 1 cup of kale and slowly build up. This drink contains approximately 1900 mg of potassium (not a typo) and 10g of fibre. This is why it is best to change the food you eat.

 

The above ideas not only get more potassium and minerals into you, but they also encourage you to drink more water during the day. Other ways to increase your total water consumption is to drink non-caffeinated herbal teas and have a protein shake mid-morning or mid-afternoon. This helps you consume enough protein to maintain your lean muscle mass plus get more water at the same time.

 

If you want to sail through the holidays and not let the sugar drag you down, staying on top of your water and consuming electrolytes and foods high in potassium is a good start!

 

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