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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

While I was training for the Honolulu Marathon in 2009, I learned something very important. I was running late for training, but I needed something in my stomach. I had run out of bananas and did not have time to make some eggs and toast. I opened my refrigerator and grabbed the first thing that was close enough: a plum. It was juicy and delicious. I forgot one thing: that a plum is an unripe prune. Everything was great until about mile 15. I started to get that call. You know the one that says get to the bathroom fast. All I could see is a port-o-let. I didn't want to, but I had too. Of course, there was no toilet paper or soap or sanitizer. Gross! If you think that is bad, read on for the grossest things about running a marathon.

Snotty nose.

As you can imagine, running against the wind and in the cold can cause your nose to run. This is always a gross thing because most of the time, you do not have tissue. Most runners just let it fly off with the wind. It is really fun to talk to someone after their run when they have an "eagle" in the sky. This time, it is okay to refuse the handshake.

Bloody nipples.

This disgusting aspect of running typically only plagues men. Thanks to the sports bra, ladies usually don't deal with this. Bloody nipples happen when the runner's shirt chafes his nipples. After 26.2 miles, his chest looks like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. If this happens to you, you are not alone. There is a wonderful product called Body Glide to help prevent the carnage.

Urinating on the course.

Maybe you had a time goal and stopping to use the port-o-potty would slow you down or you just could not hold it. There is a reason at the expo that they sell bladder pads for the ladies. Elite runner, Paula Radcliffe, professional marathoner from England has had her instances. In the 2005 marathon, she had to relieve herself in the street on course in front of cameras and reporters. She quickly recovered from the embarrassment because she won.

Pooping on yourself.

Urinating is one thing, but pooping is quite another. I was able to find a port-o-potty in time, but what if you can't? Many runners have had to do the doo on course. This marathon olympian could not wait until he crossed the finish line. Good news for him. He did take the lead and won the race.

Please take heed to my warnings, but don't let that keep your from trying and running a marathon. Invest in Body Glide, bladder pads for the active, and a small bag of keener. As far as the pooping, I always pack Imodium AD. It really works!

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