The benefits of sweet potatoes span from being a good source of fiber (AKA why they keep you full so long) to being packed with vitamin C, but did you know they also contain electrolytes? (Another Q: Is there anything sweet potatoes can't do?)
"Electrolytes help regulate nerve and muscle function and maintain acid-base balance and water balance," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It—Taking You from Label to Table. According to Taub-Dix, sweet potatoes are a source of potassium and naturally occurring sodium, which—you guessed it—are both electrolytes.
If you normally associate electrolytes with brightly colored sports drinks, you're probably as pleasantly surprised as we were to learn you can get them from your fave orange tuber. But, if sweet potatoes were to have any flaw, it’d be that they’re not the quickest veg to prep. Roasting, baking, or boiling can take upwards of 30 minutes, and if you want to add 'em to a salad or smoothie, you’ll need to allow ample cooling time.
"Electrolytes help regulate nerve and muscle function and maintain acid-base balance and water balance."
Luckily, there’s an easier way to get some of the electrolyte benefits of sweet potatoes without guzzling any sugary, artificially colored sports drinks: V8 +HYDRATE®. The veggie-powered drink provides plant-based electrolytes from sweet potato juice, along with natural glucose (again, thanks to sweet potatoes and some added fruit juice) to give you a hydration boost.
But isn't sugar from fruit basically the same as added sugar, you ask? Taub-Dix recommends fruit-sourced sugar (over, say, a super sugary snack) every time. "Fruit provides valuable nutrients including vitamins and minerals, whereas added sugar is void of any value, and just provides calories," she says.
V8 +HYDRATE is also isotonic, which, despite sounding like it'll give you superhuman powers, actually means that it can be absorbed by your body more efficiently. "'Iso' means 'the same,' so an isotonic beverage means that it has a similar concentration to human blood," Taub-Dix says.
Besides its zero-added-sugar claim to fame, the drink comes in several thirst-quenching fruity flavors, such as blueberry acai and strawberry cucumber, and it clocks in at just 45 calories with a full serving of vegetables per can.
It's great for anyone who could benefit from extra hydration (like when water is the last thing you want to drink), and is an ideal post-exercise bev for your extra sweaty workouts.
"It’s important to hydrate and replenish electrolytes before, during, and after exercise—particularly after exercise if you perspire a lot and in warm weather," Taub-Dix says. "Without replenishment, you could feel weak, listless, lightheaded and, in some cases, experience nausea and feeling faint. Dehydration could also cause your body temperature to rise, causing you to lose even more water and cause an irregular heart rate."
All that to say, the next time you're trying to work out in 90 degree weather, or feel like you're less than hydrated, grab a refreshing V8 +HYDRATE, and remember: Sweet potatoes really can do it all.
Sponsored by V8
Photo: Getty Images/ladi59
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