If you grew up in the 90's like myself, you probably remember the incredible amount of commercials touting the benefits of Sports Drinks like Gatorade and Powerade to replenish the electrolytes lost during exercise. These drinks became synonymous with winning.. and now 2 decades later they are probably the most reviled products in the Whole Foods movement. new science is out on electrolytes and food. It turns out that for the casual exerciser like you and me, we are better off relying on our nutrition to prepare our bodies before training and replenish ourselves after a clang and bang session. Here are 10 Foods that are easy solutions for electrolyte replacement.
But wait.... stop right there. You know me, I have to give you some context so that when you are drinking coconut water after a workout, your friends won't be like... 'BRO, Why dont you want to smash some of my colored sugar water?"
Electrolytes are essentially salts. And essential they are. Electrolytes control the positive and negative ions that pass through the membrane of the cell, thereby keeping the cell properly fueled and hydrated through osmosis. Secondly, Electrolytes control the message efficiency between your neurons. If you have ever felt super shaky after a intense workout or a long run, chances are you are suffering form a form of electrolyte deficiency. Electrolytes include;
Each has a unique purpose to help control hydration, activate muscle firing, activate muscle relaxing, regulate heart rate, regulate lung function, and cognitive ability . Without the spectrum of electrolytes you can expect all the fun stuff like vomiting, diarrhea, fainting, hyponatremia, fever and dehydration. I meant it when is said they were essential!
So now, on with the food....
1)Almonds. Almonds are high in Potassium and most store bought Almond Butters have a bit of sodium for taste so it makes this my #1 choice for electrolyte replacement. As a post workout snack, it is high in fats so the slow digestion can help keep metabolism high for some time.
2)Spinach. This leafy green was recently bumped off the top veggie list by Kale but that doesnt mean that its out. This veggie is packed with the trifecta; Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium. So much in fact that if you were to eat 2-3 heaping handfuls of the stuff every day you would be getting over 50% of your daily allotment of Electrolytes! I put this also at the top because you can get bulk size at Costco and it can bemused in every frickin meal and shake you have during the day.
3)Bananas. Ok I know many of you Low Carb folks are hating me right now but these suckers work. Banana are good sources of Potassium, Magnesium and Phosphorus which make them perfect for recovery. Plus, there placement on the Glycemic index makes them a perfect recovery food. Try and not eat the over ripe ones, that shit is nasty.
4) Coconut Water. This one nearly made my top 3 but its a close 4th. The reason is that I dont want to give the impression that WATER is still my #1 choice for rehydration beverage!. Coconut water is literally Gods gift to us as humans. With a chemical composition that closely resembles that of our own blood its hard to deny that baby Jesus probably was nursed on the stuff. It contains high sodium, magnesium and Potassium but biases towards the latter 2. Too much sodium in the tropics is not so good but of course Mother Nature knows that and therefore the nutritional numbers are spot on.
5)Pickles and Sauerkraut. Sodium packed fermented foods are essential in the endurance world because they provide depleted runners, climbers, sailors, etc. with cellular nutrients to keep the body running smoothly and the nervous system firing like it should. Not to mention the beneficial bacteria that is present in many brands of pickles and Kraut. GUT health is essential for maintaining optimal digestion and flow of nutrients passing through the lining of your intestinal walls so there ya go, Sodium and Bacteria all day baby!
6) Greek Yogurt. Making the list, about half way down is Yogurt. I put it here because it is obviously not the first choice for those stating away from dairy but the Electrolyte benefits are hard to ignore. Phosphorus and Calcium are obviously high in all dairy products, so much in fact that by consuming only 1-2 servings after a workout you can get 50% of your calcium for the day!. Yogurt is low in fiber so it is a great recovery food as it digests quickly. If you dont want to go with the cow try Goat or even Coconut Yogurt.
7) Dark Chocolate. Recovery food......eh its close I guess. I have put dark chocolate in with my post workout Goats Whey to funk it up but it may not be your first choice. Why I include in my top 10 list is for the Magnesium. Magnesium for cognitive health and muscle recovery is essential. If you are one who trains and then has to get back on the go, I recommend putting some dark chocolate into your recovery plan. Additionally, if you like a snack before bed, choose this food because magnesium has also been linked to beneficial sleep ! SO Netflix, chill and have some chocolate y'all.
8)Butternut Squash. I have to throw in a starchy carbohydrate into he list and since Sweet Potato is always the go to for all the baggers on the nutrition blogs, I will go with my favorite.. Squash. Yes you have to peel it, but you can roast it, steam it, mash it. The flavors you can pull out of a squash are much more diverse than the sweet potato anyways. Across the board it has Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sodium and calcium which make it not only an essential carb but also a great electrolyte recover food. GET ON BOARD AND PICK UP A GORD!
9) Smoked Salmon. Probably my favorite breakfast food has to make the top 10 list. Touting 139g of phosphorous and 149g of Potassium per serving, this food delivers a good amount of protein and fat to an athlete. Not to mention the sodium. The smoking process usually involves salting the fish so it solves for that electrolyte as well. Mix it up with your eggs, throw it on your salad for lunch, eat it as a snack... Its all good baby. The Inuit literally live off this, why cant you?
10) Beet Greens, Mustard Greens, Kale, Okra, and all the other leafy good ness that I can fit in the last spot! Calcium is so important for cellular health, brain function, muscle and bone growth, and the nervous system. Every time you stuff your face with food PLEASE include leafy greens! Veggies are high in fiber, lower bad cholesterol, promote GOOD GUT bacteria, and will help you recover from training.
Take this list as essential foods you can be incorporating for recovery and replenishment. Electrolytes keep the wheels on the bus so that you can keep on, keeping on. Stay conscious about what makes its way into your refrigerator and of course your mouth. I challenge you to create your own top 10, do some research and ask me if you need. Im here to help you become the best possible version of yourself.
Programming Notes 4/9-4/13
200m Med Ball Run
20 Med Ball Overhead Lunges
20 Med Ball Side Lunges (held in Front Rack)
20 Single Arm Ring Rows
20 Med Ball Russian Twist
20 Med Ball Single Leg Deadlift
200m Med Ball Run
-Single Leg Romanian Deadlift W/ DB’s
-Bent Over Row W/ Double Dumbbells
-Spend 5 Minutes Building to Deadlift weight
A- 12X Deadlift 245/145
B- 20/15 X Wall Ball Shots
C- 16 X Dumbbell Renegade Rows
Roll Back Out for 3-5 minutes
Pre Class: Roll out upper back and sub scapula
10 Squat Therapy
10 Deadbug Ipsalateral Extensions
10 Jumping Pull Ups
Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Hip Bridge, Ankle Roll Outs, Boot Straps, PNF, Squat W/ T Spine Rotation
*spend 5 minutes building to Thruster Weight
Rope Climb Prep:
-Perform 3-5 Reps of a Hip Bridge Rope Lower
-Perform 5-7 Reps of a Rope Pull Up (practice alternating grip positions)
*May use a band on the rope for assistance
-Perform Leg Lock offs while sitting on a box for competancy
“Dae Han “
800m Run W/ 45# plate
3 Rope Climbs
12 Thrusters 135/95
Pre Class: Roll Out Calves
:30 Jump Rope (singles, high singles, cadence Drills)
:30 Divebomber Push Up + Calf March
:30 Hollow Hold
:30 Mountain Climbers
Lat band Mobility
2 Rounds For Time
50 Double Unders
15 Toes To bar
10 Ring Push Ups
*Rest 3 Minutes and Repeat
20 Dumbbell Side bends (Each Side)
10 Dumbbell Windmills (Each Side)
1:00 Handstand Hold
5 Minutes Easy Rowing
25’ Lateral Banded Walk
12 Banded Press and Rip
12 Scapula Pull Ups
12 Single Leg Glute Bridges
12 Piked Push Ups (handstand push Up Scale)
-Elbow to Instep + Reach
-Lunging Good Mornings
Snatch Warm Up:
-Hang Power Snatch
-Snatch + 2 Second hold at the bottom
5 Rounds *building
2X Snatch Lift Off
1X Hang Squat Snatch
2X Overhead Squat
12 Min AMRAP
100m Farmer Carry
12 KB Swing
12 Chest to bar Pull Up
W/ Partner for 7 Minutes
P2- 5 Push Ups/ 10 Squats/ 15 Sit Ups
25m High Skip
25m High Knees
25m Butt Kickers
25m Lateral Bounding
25m Sprint + Backpedal
Against a 20 Min Clock W/ Partner:
Begin with a 1 mile Run Together,
P1- Bikes for Cals
8 Overhead Lunges W/ 45#
6 Ring Dips