At my last Art and Science of Biochemical Individuality class in the UK, I taught a segment on the influence of sodium and potassium on balanced appearance and muscle groups. This concept was originally taught to me by my mentor, the late John Kitkoski. The idea that you can determine electrolyte balance based on appearance has wide implications and can help find out why some individuals may have problems building certain muscle groups.
The first step in determining imbalances in sodium and potassium is to look a t a persons face. The left side is influenced by sodium and the right side by potassium. If the persons left side is drooping, consider a sodium deficiency (not as rare as you may think). Conversely, if the right side is droopy, then consider a potassium deficiency (very common). One of the best ways to practice this is to watch news anchors and reporters as they typically stare straight into the camera..
The next idea is understand how sodium and potassium affect muscles. Some of you might remember the frog leg experiment from junior high school. When a sodium solution is poured on the frog’s leg, it contracts. When a potassium solution is poured on it, it relaxes. Hence, sodium is important in muscle contraction and potassium is important in muscle relaxation. Bear this in mind when you look at which muscle group sodium and potassium control.
Sodium is important in the both the bicep and hamstring while potassium is important in the tricep and quadricep. Sometimes, when someone has a problem developing one of these muscle groups, their electrolyte balance is off. One caveat is that working on specific electrolytes can easily cause an imbalance which is why I always recommend a balanced electrolyte solution. This is why I developed the Synerplex electrolyte series as I believe that electrolyte balance is key to optimal health and performance.
Next blog, I will talk about the importance of electrolyte balance in adrenal function as well as the reason why humans developed a mechanism to retain sodium but not potassium.