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Which protein shake is right for you?

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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

After writing last week's article about supplements, the subject of protein powder came up. I have been asked many times, which is the best protein powder. Many people, especially those who are aspiring runners, think they are only for muscle heads. The truth is is that they really help people with busy lifestyles to get the nutrition they need to get to their goal. Here are a few extra guidelines on choosing your go-to protein shake.

Whey protein

Whey protein is known for its fast absorption making it ideal for weight and strength training. It makes a quick meal on the go or right before a workout. It provides enough energy to get you through a hard workout. It is great for after your workout. It will give you energy to get you to the next meal without the shakes. Most powders are comprised of 85% lean protein that is derived from milk with low fat content and carbs.

Hint: Do not take right before a run. Running and strength training are different workouts. It will wreck your run. If you must, wait 1 hour before running. A light protein bar like a Lara Bar is best for a quick run.

Casein protein

Casein protein, also derived from milk, is best known for slow absorption making it a great option before a long run. It will not make you nauseous and will get you through the workout. Another benefit to casein protein is because it absorbs slowly (about 3-4 hours for your body to absorb it), it is great for a before bedtime snack. In fact, it will ensure that your muscles are getting fed continually. You will not wake up famished and you will not wake up with bloating.

Hint: To make sure your are staying faithful to your diet, schedule 1 scoop with a small apple for your midday snack and 1 scoop around 9pm after dinner to curb your munchies.

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Plant protein

With the studies being done on animal protein causing cancer and other health issues, society is moving away from animal proteins. For people who are vegetarian and vegan, many types of protein powders that have been proven as just as affective as protein powders derived from milk. Vegan protein powders can be derived from brown rice, pea, nuts, hemp, and chia. After using one brand, I found that it was great to have before a run and did not make me nauseous and it also tasted great. These are a great option for anyone even if you are a carnivore.

Hint: Choose a protein powder that combines different sources of protein for the complete package of amino acids.

The conversation about protein powder is a long one. Finding out which one is best for you is really up to you. Even with best of guidance, you still must decide for yourself. I suggest you get to trying some brands to find your favorite. It would be best to get a trial size or the smallest size just in case you do not like it. Make sure that you try it before your different types of workouts to see how you fare. Happy tasting!


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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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