Potassium for Weight Management and Fitness

One of the key components that make the BGC Weight Loss Diet much more effective and faster than all other weight loss products and crash diet programs out there is the potassium you get from bananas and barley grass powder.

If you ask us on the phone to explain how the program works (you won’t have to anymore after reading this), you’ll find us yapping about potassium. But since we usually don’t have enough time to discuss everything in detail over the phone and we don’t want to bore you – we just give you the big picture: sodium makes you fat, potassium helps you lose weight.

While yes, the general idea is correct, what we really want (and what you should also want for yourself) is to impart knowledge to our readers so they can make better decisions for themselves instead of taking everything that is said by professionals and marketers at face value. No, we don’t recommend doing that even if it’s us you’re talking to. You can read about our ethos here.

POTASSIUM IS A NECESSITY

Potassium and sodium are two essential balancing electrolytes. Your body needs BOTH of them, but the tendency for nearly everyone is to overindulge in sodium which leads to unpleasant side effects such as weight gain, kidney stones, hypertension, and a few other conditions which may lead to death.

You have to give your body potassium not as a bonus or a booster, but rather as a necessity. Your body requires it for muscle function and integrity, maintenance of the nervous system, regulation of blood pressure, fluid balance, bone growth, kidney stone prevention, and the release of insulin from the pancreas to help control blood sugar.

HOW POTASSIUM AFFECTS THE WAY YOU LOOK

Humans are vain beings. We care way too much about what is visible. Good thing God created us in such a way that our physical appearance, more often than not, has a direct correlation with our nutrition and lifestyle. Which means that No, you can’t have the same body as that actor/commercial model if you drink as much beer and as often as the commercial encourages you to.

Sodium, as we have said, is also an extremely important mineral as one of its functions is fluid MAINTENANCE within the human body. Without it, we’d dry up.

But too much of it causes the body to retain excessive amounts of water and it tends to store it subcutaneously – meaning it stores water right between muscle and skin. This makes you look fat and it hides the muscle definition that you work so hard to develop.

Some people think that it’s okay to eat lots of salty food as long they sweat a lot because of the heat or through exercise. Wrong. Sweating eliminates the water, but not much of the sodium that causes the body to store it.

This is why you need potassium – not just to flush out the excess fluid through urination, but also the excess sodium. Those same beer commercial models? Weeks before they have to pose shirtless for a magazine shoot, they won’t drink beer. They eat bananas and cut back on sodium and carbs. Hell, if you don’t see love-handles in the commercial, that’s probably apple juice in the beer bottles they’re holding.

Note: We’re not anti-beer. We love beer just a bit less than the average guy. We’re just trying to make a point. Hehe.

POTASSIUM AND FITNESS

If you exercise at least semi-regularly, you’d know that working out is not so much a matter of physical capacity as it is a matter of willpower – which is a function of the brain.

Potassium improves overall performance by helping you think more clearly (through some of its benefits which lead to it) and by maintaining optimum connection between the brain and the body – which is a necessity in coordination.

Equally more interesting, potassium also helps the body in digesting food and in the extraction and utilization of nutrients. It has also been linked particularly in the improvement of protein synthesis in muscles and cellular growth.

RECOMMENDED DOSAGES AND OVERDOSE

This article was written mainly to enlighten you about potassium but we did it by also talking about its salty counterpart, sodium. So now that you know what they do, let’s talk about how much you should have every day and how much is too much.

The recommended intake of potassium is 3500mg per day which is equivalent to about 7.5 average size bananas (probably the ones around 8 inches in length). Potassium overdose is called hyperkalemia. Yes, just like sodium, too much of it could be fatal. But to get that from bananas, you’d have to eat about 400 bananas per day, equivalent to 180,000mg .

Sodium on the other hand, has a recommended daily intake of 1500mg per day. A teaspoon of table salt weighing 6 grams already has 2300mg of sodium. So you do the math.

Trivial fact: The average American consumes about 3400mg per day and doctors have already recommended an upper safe limit (which means Safe but still too high) of 2300mg per day. 1 in 3 American adults have hypertension which often results in heart disease and stroke – two leading causes of death in the country.

We don’t know the figures for the Philippines but we think we also eat quite a bit of sodium. Our genetics and other lifestyle elements just prevent us from getting as big as them.

SEEK BALANCE, NOT ELIMINATION

After reading this article, we hope that you now understand that you don’t need to eliminate sodium from your diet. You just have to keep intake at a minimum.

Seek balance. Balance doesn’t mean equal amounts of both either. Balance between the two means 3500mg of potassium vs 1500mg of sodium per day.

It shouldn’t be complicated for most of us because majority of Filipinos are currently engaged in overconsumption of sodium and underconsumption of potassium. It just means eating less salt and eating more potassium-rich foods.

Another subtle message here is that you may want to consider the benefits of getting your minerals from real food as opposed to taking supplements.

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