There is widespread potassium deficiency, and it is common knowledge that an increased potassiumintake lowers the risk of hypertension, which is the leading cause of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and early death. However, not many people know that potassium has a vital impact on blood sugar levels and the prevention of diabetes, just as it counteracts side effects of diuretics. The question is how much potassium do we need – and how does the balance between potassium and sodium (salt) affect our health?
- getting too little fluids may be fatal
Fluid depletion (or volume depletion) lowers your performance and may be life-threatening in worst case. However, it can be every bit as dangerous to drink too much water. In fact, there have been several deaths as a result of this among athletes. Another thing is that one should not just focus on water. When engaging in strenuous sport, there is a very delicate balance between fluids and minerals. Many sports beverages contain too much sugar and caffeine that often do more harm than good, so the question is how much liquid you need when engaging in the different types of sport. Read more about the subject in the following.
An adult contains around 100 grams of sodium. The lion's share of our sodium works in synergy with potassium and chloride as electrically charged particles called ions. Sodium and chloride are mainly found in the tissue fluids outside the cells, while potassium is mainly found on the inside of the cells. This distribution is vital for the cells and their so-called electrolyte balance that controls cellular uptake of nutrients, waste product excretion, nerve impulses, and the maintenance of essential fluid balances. The kidneys regulate the sodium levels, and it is vital that they are in balance with the body's potassium levels. A major sodium source is table salt (sodium chloride). If we ingest too much sodium it may cause a potassium deficiency and subsequent health problems.