With the flu season looming, many are suffering from the symptoms including a runny nose and diarrhea.  Health Canada actually has a page about flu and cold.  The symptoms often get worse and worse, and then, one starts to have muscle aches, severe headache and a general sense of tiredness.  Eventually, one may feel like there is a constant need to drink water, but it seems like no water is being absorbed, no matter how many glasses you have continuously been drinking throughout the day.

What’s wrong with your body? Do you know what actually causes the problem? 

With the loss of appetite and also the increased discharges (a runny nose, diarrhea among others), you are likely dehydrated.  The relative sodium level in the body is high because of the dehydration, so you feel like you need to drink water.  Somehow, this is not helping?  This is because our body is trying to reduce the relative sodium level, so it tells you that you need to pee.  But why the more you pee, the more you need to drink, and while you go through this futile cycle, your headache and muscle ache gets worse and worse?

You are very low on potassium!  A disorder called hypokalemia is caused by various kinds of discharges: Diarrhea, vomiting, peeing, sweat.  The symptoms often include weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps and constipation.  Don’t be alarmed.  Usually, if you know the problem early, it’s an easy fix.  Just don’t let that level go so low that it causes more severe like hypertension and heart palpitation. By then, you’ll need to see a doctor if you suspect those more severe symptoms.

What can you do? Is there a quick fix?

In the beginning stage, it’s simple. You just need to replenish your potassium.   It’s a water-soluble mineral, so it can get into your body very quickly, and you should get instant partial relieve.

Where can you get potassium?

The easiest answer is a sports drink.  It’s easy to remember it because all the ads are telling you that the sports drink gives you electrolytes.  Also, it’s available and easily accessible.  You can find it anywhere.  This is the quickest answer when you are not feeling well and perhaps not thinking straight.

So now you are relieved, and maybe it’s time to start to think healthier?

There are many good sources of potassium:

1. Fruits that have low water content

There are many online tips out there that give you a lot of options.  But how can you remember all of them?  If it makes sense to you, you are going to remember it well.  Fruits are good sources of many vitamins and minerals, but you want a kind of salt – potassium, so you don’t want something with high water content.  Fruits like avocado and banana naturally give you a good source of potassium.  Another idea?  Dried fruits also give you the potassium that you need too.

2. POTAssium…POTAto!

A regular serving of a staple food for a meal, giving around 250 calories (1 potato, medium to large), can give you 1000 mg potassium! That is already 25% of the recommended daily intake.  Just make sure you eat the skin as well.

3. Protein and Potassium

Many high protein foods, such as milk, nuts, and meat, have high potassium.  When you are sick, it is recommended that you eat a healthy amount of protein.  This ensures that you have enough materials to create defence cells in your body.  So just remember, protein and potassium come together, hands in hands.


With love,

Cecilia Or

Always Remember Why Inc.

Always Remember W.H.Y.

Be Well, Be Happy, Be You