10 Best Sources of Potassium Reviewed

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Potassium is an important nutrient in every runner’s diet. Potassium is an electrolyte that is essential for proper heart function and muscle contraction. Most Americans eat diets that are too high in sodium and not high enough in potassium. But what are some good sources of potassium? Basically anything that grows out of the ground and isn’t packaged or processed will have potassium. Here is a list of the 10 best sources of potassium.

Sweet Potato
  • Sweet Potato
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 950mg of Potassium Per Cup
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Avocado
  • Avocado
  • 4.8 out of 5
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  • 690mg of Potassium
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Banana
  • Banana
  • 4.6 out of 5
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  • 422mg of Potassium
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10 Best Sources of Potassium

 

Sweet Potato

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Sweet Potato’s are a particularly good “running” food. With plenty of energy metabolizing B vitamins potassium and complex carbohydrates, they are a great addition to a preface dinner. Ditch the spaghetti and have a couple sweet potatoes.
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Nutritional Content
A great source of vitamin A and B vitamins, the 950 mg of potassium per cup is almost just a nice bonus. Another great energy providing food that may lead you to ditch your granola bars in favor of whole foods.

Taste and Practicality
They are called sweet potatoes for a reason. They can be made into fries, put in a stir fry or just eaten whole. They are easy to prepare and taste great.

Value
A bit pricier then other varieties of potatoes, they also contain many nutrients that make the price difference reasonable. If you are on a tight budget though consider russet potatoes as an alternative.
Pros
  • Contain many hard to find nutrients
  • Many different ways to prepare them
Cons
  • Require preparation
  • not as practical as an on the go option

Avocado

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An excellent source of healthy fat and many nutrients, avocados are like high octane fuel for distance runners.
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Nutrient Content
Avocados are full of monounsaturated fat which help you feel satisfied and provide lasting energy. They also offer an impressive 690mg of potassium.

Taste/practicality
Avocados are easily eaten by themselves or turned into guacamole. Eat them with eggs in the morning or enjoy them alone with a pinch of salt.

Cost or Value
A bit pricy, avocados are still a great value because of their nutrient density and great flavor.
Pros
  • Taste great
  • Highest source of potassium on this list
  • Full of healthy monounsaturated fat
Cons
  • It takes a bit of experience to know when avocados are ready to eat

Salmon

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Salmon is in my opinion the tastiest food on this list. It is also the best source of protein discussed and is full of some of the hardest to find nutrients like omega 3’s.
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Nutrient Content
Just half of one filet provides 485mg of potassium. Salmon is also one of the best sources of protein and one of the only ways to get essential omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.

Taste/Practicality
Obviously you can’t throw a filet of salmon in your bag as easily as a banana, but including salmon in your diet is a great way to get plenty of hard to find nutrients.

Cost or Value
Salmon isn’t the cheapest food that you will find but it is certainly one of the healthiest.
Pros
  • Delicious!
  • Great source of protein and essential fatty acids
Cons
  • A bit pricy
  • Requires a bit of knowledge to cook 

Spinach

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Popeye’s favorite, it is hard to go wrong with dark leafy greens. Well known for their iron content, spinach is also a great way to get more potassium.
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Nutritional Content
With 465mg of potassium and many other vitamins and minerals, spinach is a low calorie food that has a place in everyone’s diet.

Taste/Practicality
Not everyone will like spinach but throw it in a smoothie with some banana and you will forget it is there and still get the benefit of the added minerals and phytochemicals.

Cost or Value
Buying an extra bag of spinach every week isn’t going to send anyone to the poor house and is extremely nutrient dense.
Pros
  • Many ways to include it in your diet
  • Excellent source of just about everything
Cons
  • Make sure to buy fresh Spinach, it can go south pretty quickly

Beets

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Beets are a runner’s best friend. Besides being a great source of potassium, recent studies have shown that they have the potential to directly improve performance in endurance racing events.
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Nutritional content
One cup of beets is 442mg of potassium is nice but the beets real advantage for runners are the presence of nitrates which improve blood flow in the body and can directly improve cardiovascular endurance. Consider adding beets to your pre-race meal.

Taste and Practicality
Personally, beets are one of my favorite foods. They can be a bit of a mess in the kitchen, but you can even microwave beets. Just don’t drop them. My kitchen looked like a crime scene with beet juice splattered on the walls.

Value
Not the cheapest food on this list, but if the nitrate performance enhancing benefits beets offer is worth it to you, then they are worth trying.
Pros
  • Strong evidence supports idea that nitrates in beets improve cardiovascular endurance
  • Unique flavor profile many recipe possibilities
Cons
  • Can be very messy to prepare
  • Will turn your urine red (Consider yourself warned!)

Banana

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No list of potassium rich foods is complete without bananas. The classic “runner's food” bananas are nature’s energy bars.
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Nutritional content
Just one banana has 422mg of potassium. It is an excellent source of quickly digesting carbohydrates that will give you the energy you need to train.

Taste and Practicality
Nothing is more practical than a banana. Throw one in your gym bag and enjoy the sweet wholesome taste instead of the candy bar you have been taking to work

Value
Sometimes referred to as the "poor man’s fruit", bananas are an unbeatable value
Pros
  • Great source of potassium
  • Extremely practical and inexpensive
  • Provides plenty of healthy energy
Cons
  • Spoil quickly

Skim Milk

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All milk has potassium but low fat milk is more nutrient dense then regular milk, or in other words it gives you more potassium per calorie.
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Nutritional content
One cup of skim milk has 382mg of potassium. It also contains calcium and plenty of protein.

Taste and Practicality
There’s a reason milk is a basic grocery staple that disappears when blizzards roll into town. It is an extremely practical and basic food that is extremely practical. Some may complain about the taste of skim milk higher fat milks are also good sources of potassium.

Value
Also available on Amazon, milk is inexpensive and easy to get a hold of.
Pros
  • Zero preparation or cooking knowledge needed
Cons
  • Individuals with lactose intolerance can’t drink it
  • May cause GI distress if consumed right before exercise

Broccoli

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Broccoli is one of the healthiest, most nutrient dense foods you can include in your diet. With a little know how and patience in the kitchen, it can also be an enjoyable addition to any meal.
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Nutritional content
288mg of potassium per cup is nothing to scoff at, but remember broccoli is also a great source of vitamin c, fiber, and many b vitamins that are important for energy metabolism.

Taste and Practicality
When eaten raw, broccoli isn’t very palatable and is very bitter, but when it is properly cooked or included in a stir fry, it can be delicious. It does require more preparation then a banana, but it is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.

Value
Brocolli is very inexpensive and like everything on this list, you can even order it on Amazon and have it shipped directly to you.
Pros

Very low in calories and high in many important nutrients

Cons

Broccoli requires some cooking experience in order to prepare properly


Greek Yogurt

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Greek Yogurt is a surprising source of potassium that is easy to include in your diet. Although it doesn’t have the most potassium, it is extremely versatile and is also a great source of protein.
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Nutritional content
With 240 mg of potassium and 17 grams of protein, Greek Yogurt isn’t the most potassium rich food on this list, but it is the only one that has probiotics which support digestive health.

Taste and Practicality
Greek Yogurt requires no preparation and and is very easily digested by your body. It is a great option for runners who want to include it in their smoothie before their morning run. Some people may not like the taste but to others it can be as enjoyable as eating ice cream!

Value
Although more expensive than regular yogurt, Greek Yogurt is a very nutrient dense and practical way to get more potassium in your diet.
Pros
  • No preparation is needed
  • Tastes great
  • Includes probiotics
Cons
  • Not the highest source of potassium

Kale

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Kale is spinach’s tougher more serious big brother with more potassium and a slightly more bitter taste.
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Nutrient Content
One cup of kale has 79mg of potassium and a much better source of calcium then spinach. There is a reason kale has become such a trendy health food.

Taste/Practicality
Just like Spinach, kale can be eaten raw cooked or in a smoothie. It is easy to include in your diet and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Cost or Value
Kale is an excellent cost efficient source of many different nutrients including potassium.
Pros
  • The calcium in kale is more readily absorbed then calcium from other sources
  • Easy to find and prepare
Cons
  • Bitter taste when eaten raw

For runners. These foods are rated based on their potassium content and how practical they are to incorporate into your diet. Keep in mind that high potassium diets are not for everyone and you should consult with a dietitian or a doctor before making any drastic changes in your diet.

No matter what foods you choose to include in your diet, be sure to include a variety of foods. Potassium is important for everyone’s health and not just runners. There are many more sources that are not on this list. Just remember, if it grew out of the ground and isn’t packaged or processed, then it will have potassium.

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