So the question for today is this . . . are you a summer "heat" lover or hater?
Well . . . yesterday we spoke of the importance of "potassium".
And today . . . we'll discover "potassium's" function in the summer heat.
So let's break it down to better understand . . .
The body's temperature gauge is supported by 2 systems . . .
The hypothalamus . . . which is a small portion of the brain that serves as the "command" center for numerous bodily functions like body temperature.
The skin . . . offers us "sweat glands" and "blood vessels" that are the body's venting, condensing and heat duct system, which controls the body's heating and cooling ability.
Now . . . as we've spoken in previous Health tips . . . sweating is a "good" thing.
Sweating is a natural and essential body process designed to help the body stay cool.
And as the body's temperature rises . . . it will automatically perspire to release salty liquid from the sweat glands to help cool us down.
Okay . . . so that's the good part . . . but . . . when we do sweat . . . we also lose water and electrolytes from the body, which must be replenished . . . or our temperature gauge will not function properly and we will become overheated.
So what are some of the minerals that help keep our temperature gauge regulated correctly???
Well . . . that would be . . . "electrolytes", "magnesium" and "potassium".
You see . . . as we know, electrolytes help the body sweat and when we sweat out these electrolytes . . . which by the way carry an electric charge . . . the body's blood becomes too acidic for muscle function and other important processes.
And as we know . . . too much acidity in the body causes too much inflammation and now we're in trouble.
So why is this important???
Well . . . magnesium helps with body temperature regulation by activating the body's heat defenses and inactivating cold defenses. So replacing this electrolytes is very important to keeping cool in the summer heat.
Now . . . I'm sure you've all heard before . . . that when you sweat a lot . . . drinking water with a little salt in it can lower body temperature more than drinking just plain water by itself. With this having the ability to reduce heat cramps and restore electrolytes lost through sweating.
But . . . where does potassium fit into all of this???
Well . . . potassium helps to "offset" some of salt's (sodium's) harmful effects on blood pressure
You see . . . in the heat of the summer it can become a vicious cycle . . . the more you sweat . . . the more magnesium and potassium the body loses. And potassium is vital for cardiovascular health.
So if you're over heated and therefore depleted in potassium . . . there's a greater chance that the body will have heart palpitations or even a heart attack.
And unfortunately . . . this Western diet that we all love so much and its love of soda and other sugary drinks such as lemonade, sweet tea, etc. on a hot summer day . . . "depletes" the body's potassium even more.
So we must get potassium "every" single day in the food we eat in order to meet the needs for optimal health.
So if you spend a lot of time in the heat of the sun this summer, but want to stay cool . . . make sure you're replenishing the body with electrolytes magnesium and potassium.
Eat a banana and stay cool.
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