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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 08-03-07, 11:25 AM   #1
fueledbymetal
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Who here honestly gets 100% or more of the daily recommended amount of potassium

Now that I'm getting serious about cycling (and that it's been 90+ my last few rides) I'm starting to take my elctrolyte levels seriously. I always try to eat foods that are as natural as possible with no additives or preservatives. I find I can get most of the daily recommended vitamins & minerals through a balanced diet, but potassium has proven to be tough. Bannans only have about 8%, OJ 6% and everything else I've found even less. Now that I ride 30+ miles per workout I'm sure my body needs at least the daily minimum of K if not more, but I just can't see how it's possible without supplements (I can't handle 13 bananas a day ). Even then, sport drinks only have like 10% in a bottle.

So, what are you guys doing to get 100% of K?
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Old 08-03-07, 11:37 AM   #2
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I don't have a problem. I avoid bananas as they are insufficiently nutrient-dense for my taste. If you get plenty of servings of fruits and vegatables, it should be relatively easy. Do a google search for nutrition tables that include potassium.

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Old 08-03-07, 11:40 AM   #3
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huh, maybe not afterall. i thought i was good with my 2 banana a day habit...
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Old 08-03-07, 01:12 PM   #4
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You're probably getting more potassium than you think. When I started cycling again & got serious about getting back in shape, I was also worried about my nutrient intake and potassium in particular. When I started keeping a diet log and checking my nutrient balance, I found I was getting a lot more than I expected, anywhere from 3600mg-4500mg. And this was even on days where I didn't ride and only consumed about 1800 calories. There are plenty of foods besides bananas that have calcium in large amounts, for example:

A 10oz block of frozen spinach has a little over 1000mg of potassium.
4 ounces of dried figs have almost 800mg.
A cup of spaghetti sauce has close to 1000mg.
A medium potato has a surprisingly large amount: about 900mg.

In fact, there's a simple Spinach and Lentil dish that I make with chopped baked potatoes (just add a little garlic and cumin and it practically makes itself) which has around 2000mg for about 500 calories! So, as long as you cook your own meals and try to include fruits and vegetables, it's not that hard. You might try using a program with a food journal, such as fitday or something, to keep track of it. They all work pretty well. Best of luck!

Last edited by Krazy Koz; 08-03-07 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 08-03-07, 05:58 PM   #5
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pistachioes (sp) yum. sodium + potassium
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Old 08-03-07, 06:04 PM   #6
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http://nhnh.essortment.com/potassiumfoodh_rkyn.htm
http://www.weightlossforall.com/potassium-rich-food.htm


There is potassium in LOTS of things. And incidentally, bananas aren't very high on the list. So yep, I probably get 100% of my RDA of potassium.
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Old 08-03-07, 07:35 PM   #7
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If keeping your electrolytes is a big issue, you can consider some of the tablets, like Nuun.. Drop them in a bottle wait 2 minutes and drink.. I like to drink a bottle with Nuun before a ride when the weather gets over 80+ degrees.. It seems to help quite a bit..

http://nuun.com/
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Old 08-04-07, 11:32 AM   #8
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The recommendation for potassium is 4700 mg / day. That's quite a lot, and pretty hard for most folks to achieve without supplements. Unfortunately, in the US you can't buy potassium pills that contain more than 99 mg.

I use "No Salt" on my food as a way of supplementing potassium - it's straight potassium chloride, and contains over 600 mg per 1/4 tsp.
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Old 08-05-07, 12:21 PM   #9
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What happens if we run low on potassium? None of the sports drinks have enough it seems.

I know too much will stop your heart.
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Old 08-05-07, 12:32 PM   #10
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I keep a bottle of potassium pills in my panniers. On a hot day I take on at the start of a ride, and then about one an hour after that. Sport drinks and Gu will also have some.

You want to avoid running on empty, that's all.
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Old 08-05-07, 12:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSP View Post
I use "No Salt" on my food as a way of supplementing potassium - it's straight potassium chloride, and contains over 600 mg per 1/4 tsp.
Or if you dislike the taste of potassium chloride, you can do mix it with varying proportions of sodium chloride. I can fool myself at 50/50.
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Old 08-05-07, 05:50 PM   #12
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This topic is extremely important for those of us on blood pressure meds, especially diuretics. I do my best, but I know two things my diet lacks are protien and potassium. I've been mixing sports drink powder with some of the water I drink and try to always have the water with me at all times. I eat Post Raisin bran every day and try to supplement my potassium without taking pills. Potassium supplements can be dangerous if you aren't careful. So far I've been able to avoid them, but I haven't had bloodwork done in a while.
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Old 08-05-07, 06:45 PM   #13
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Great! An excuse to eat potato chips. Ranked number 8 on the above linked list.

Bring on the UTZ.
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Old 08-05-07, 06:46 PM   #14
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I just ran through my diet from yesterday out of curiosity. Note that I rode for 5 hours and consumed 5479 calories for the day. But not including most of my "ride food" like powerbars and fruit snacks, I took in 3100ish mg of potassium. The web site Machka listed says 3500 is the RDA. That seems exceedingly high based on the food intake I had yesterday and probably just scraped by 3600-3700 mg after including the ride food.
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Old 08-05-07, 07:36 PM   #15
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First of all, I think you guys should consult a doctor. You way overestimate the importance of reaching a certain amount of potassium a day. Potassium is rarely a problem unless you don't eat anything. If you lose more potassium on any given day, your body has plenty of reserves of it that it can either release or withhold from your blood circulation as needed. Your serum potassium level may actually increase from prolonged exercise rather than diminish. Potassium supplements are a medicine. They are dangerous to use, which is why the amount in over-the-counter supplements is deliberately kept so low. Potassium chloride in the form of salt substitute gives you a lot, but it's extremely corrosive to the digestive system. Use that in the way you say and you are bound to end up causing some damage in there.. not to mention that you could overdose on potassium and drop dead suddenly from heart stoppage. Nobody needs potassium supplements unless they have some kind of medical problem.
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