H-Town Run Tourists

4 supplements that will help you drop weight before race season.

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @TourismGymHtx. Facebook @TourismGymHtx

"Supplements" is almost like a dirty word. Most people steer clear of this topic. There are 3 main reasons why people are hesitant to use them.

Reason #1: Supplementation gets a bad wrap for not having the purest products.

Reason #2: They can be very expensive. Is it really necessary to take on a new expense?

Reason #3: There are too many products from too many sources. You can get them online. That is over whelming. You may feel that the salesperson at the vitamin store may just be trying to sell you anything. For these reasons, It is hard to know who to trust. It is important to find a brand you trust from a trusted source.

Why I recommend them and think they are something to consider.

Back in 2005, I began running after I had already lost weight and was on supplements. Runners, myself included, often think that we can lose weight by our running program alone. I had not come to the full appreciation that often times runners are misguided to this fact. As mileage racks up, we often times rationalize a burger and beer diet thinking that we earned it. Then, we have not lost our weight and wonder why. Supplements are a great way to get kick started. They give you the much needed energy to handle workouts. Here are the ones that I use and why. You decide if supplements are right for you.

Multivitamin

With any new training plan, I 100% suggest getting on a multi-vitamin. You are repeatedly putting your body under stress that it is not used to. This can cause havoc on your immune system. A multi-vitamin can help by filling in the gaps of much needed nutrients. You should be on a meal plan that supports your goals which gives you the macronutrients your body needs to perform. A multi-vitamin provides your body with the micronutrients it needs to perform. Just to be clear. Macronutrients means the food you eat that has the nutrients in it. Micronutients means the straight shot pill form of those nutrients.

Added Benefits

Multi-vitamins Increase your collagen production (AKA joint lube), a necessity for runners.

The B Vitamins provide energy, increased metabolism, and red blood cell production.

For ladies, multivitamins often contain folic acid, which are great for hair, skin, and nails.

Fish oil

Good old omega 3 fatty acids is the next go-to supplement. If you can't eat the macronutrient in wild caught salmon and other fatty fish, you can take the pill form. Your Omegas are essential for your brain function, your metabolism, and provide more good lube for your joints. This means more calories burned and less injuries.

Protein shake

Protein is vital to lose fat and build lean muscle. These muscles help you go the distance and give you speed. The thing is, to get all the protein that you need, you will be literally shoving food in your mouth all day. To help get you all the protein you need, definitely start drinking protein shakes. You are going to have to trial and error which are best for you and your performance and body. There are many types of protein. The most common are whey, plant based, casein, and egg white. Personally, with running, plant based is best on the stomach and won't slow you down. Casein, which is what I am using now, is optimal for late night use. It is slow absorption which means it will not make you bloated and cause discomfort while you are sleep. Try some and see which is best for you.

Fat Burner

If you are like me, you want to see results quickly. It is totally optional, but try a fat burner to speed things up. There are a few types so stay with me while I try to explain them in simple terms.

L-Carnitine: an amino acid that is a key ingredient in many fat burners. It is already in your body and simply put helps with the formation of mitochondria (which causes your cells to burn energy). Before I scare you, next…….

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA):

An amino acid that is naturally occurring in proteins such as milk, beef, lamb, and others. it assists with building lean protein while reducing body fat. Next.

Calcium Pyruvate:

I could give you the long explanation, but basically it sends out any unnecessary glucose before your body adsorbs it. It also transports protein to your muscles to promote growth. Remember going the distance.

We have now built a solid supplementation program for you. Funny enough, the fish oil and the multi-vitamin act as mild fat burners too. Begin taking these, you will see your gains increase exponentially…..or is that losses?

Remember, supplements are called supplements because they assist a healthy diet. People, who do badly on supplements usually abuse them through ignorance or bad habits. If you experience nausea or any other bad side effects is is probably because you did not eat enough as many supplements are to be taken with food.

I get my supplements online at Bodybuilding.com. They have a huge selection, but they offer spot on reviews from customers that use them. Look for the supplements that have hundreds and thousands of reviews as opposed to the ones that do not. Stick with the high scoring brands. They offer many articles about supplemenation. They are written by bodybuilders who can be quite technical, but they know their stuff.

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and blogger. Check out her new blog, HTown Run Tourist. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @HTownRunTourist. Facebook @jovanabernathy. Join her facebook group: H-Town Run Tourist

Six years ago, I got this great idea to become a tourist of Houston on foot. I had no idea what I was doing or where it was going. All I knew was to put on my running shoes, walk out the door, and just go. Go learn, go talk, go ask without judgements. What I found is that Houston was full of diversity. We all knew that. However, let yourself be immersed in it. Look and listen to the sounds of different languages being spoken around you. Smell the scents of the different cuisines. You would think you were in a foreign country. This made me more curious.

As I explored the emotion of curiosity, it led me to change my behavior. Where I might have rushed to this place and to the next, I took it slower. Where, usually, I would have just assumed that I already knew, I found myself asking more questions. When I asked more questions, I had to acknowledge that I did not already know, so I practiced listening. As I listened more, I felt compelled to show more appreciation to the person who interrupted their busy day to educate me. This made me feel grateful.

I took that gratitude and wanted to share with others. It blew my mind when people would say that they hated Houston. It was boring. The people are mean and it was ugly. And even more shocking was Houston is not walkable. Instead of getting offended, I decided to do my part in brightening up the day of the Houstonians who were stuck in a rut. Who saw and did the same things day after day. I didn't judge because I knew they could get out of that rut by simply deciding that today they do something different. I braced myself for rejection, but put myself out there to share the wonderful things that I had learned about Houston. Given the chance, the vast majority, was ready to learn a different way. This made me proud.

It is true that 2020 has been full of disasters. These are opportunities if we choose to see them that way. If anything that COVID-19 taught me the answer was not MORE, but it is LESS. We have the tendency to take on too much, we had the unique opportunity to take on less. Thus, instead of going to exhaustion, we had the opportunity to rest.

Then, the tragedy of the death of Houston's own George Floyd happened. It could not have happened at a worse time. My heart goes out to his family. Some might use it as an opportunity to work out their own frustrations by causing more problems with violence and looting. My hope is that whatever happens will be an expression of appropriate sadness, but with Houston's best attributes; curiosity, gratitude, and pride. Instead of LESS it is time for MORE. MORE curiosity. To see if Houston's law enforcement cares about the well-being of Houston's black community and make changes in protocols. MORE gratitude. For the opportunity to express the frustration in a peaceful way. MORE pride. To not destroy this city and give it over to violence possibly doing more damage to the economics of business owners. We can see this as the opportunity to take time to heal.

Houston has changed. As I restart my exploration, I'm not looking for LESS. I'm looking for MORE this time. I'm looking with MORE curiosity. Because I know that we have even MORE to show each other. I'm looking with MORE gratitude because we have endured so much already and there are better times ahead. And, I'm looking with MORE pride because just as we did it before, we still have it in us to do it again. I have one request: if you see me in the streets, promise me that you will say hello.

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