Benefits of Adding Protein after Running

Benefits of Adding Protein after Running

I have read many articles about the importance of adding protein after running.  However, during many other training cycles, I let life get in the way.  I packed runs in before work or events. Getting the proper nutrition, stretching and “the little things,” fell through the cracks.  Half of the time, I was lucky to make it to where I needed to go on time.

This particular training cycle (what I’m actually training for is TBD), I have made an effort to do the little things like having protein after a run or core work.  Am I perfect?  No, but in the past few weeks, I’ve been more consistent.

As most people know by now, Quest Bars are my favorite protein bars. Recently they released three new bars called Hero Bars.  The Hero Quest Bars are different from their regular protein bars and cereal bars.


How so?

Every Quest Hero Protein Bar features a sweet, chocolatey coating, and a gooey filling and with a protein core.  They resemble candy bars versus the typical protein bars.

I tried each one:

quest hero bars

My favorite is the Chocolate Caramel Pecan.  It resembles a candy bar!

quest hero bar chocolate caramel pecan

So how have I been incorporating protein after my diet?

Thinking out loud, it’s actually obvious and I’ve been having a protein bar after each run (no matter the distance) and I seem to be coming back well.  I’m nowhere near PRing shape, but I’ve gone from struggling during 4 mile runs to running 6 miles like no big deal (well, I’ll leave it at running 6 miles).

What are benefits of consuming protein directly after a run?

Protein helps speed muscle repair after hard workouts (right now that is every run) which lead to faster recovery.

It also reduces the response from cortisol.  Cortisol is the stress hormone.  While I have another post about this soon, I recently got blood work done again, and my cortisol is lower than it’s been in a very long time!

Thanks to Quest for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own and I find the Quest Hero bars to be my favorite way to consume protein after a run.  They are easy to carry in a bag (when I don’t run from home) and easy to digest.  Since originally trying them, I have bought several boxes and continue to have a bar after each run.

Questions for you:

Do you consume protein after runs?

What are little things you find that help your running?


Protein and Running

Protein and Running

As runners, it’s important to get enough protein while training.  Protein allows us to recover quicker and stay healthy.

As someone who doesn’t always run from home and is constantly on the go, I’m always looking for portable sources of protein.  It’s impossible to just bring a steak around in my pocket.

That’s why when I was contacted to work with two companies I purchase from frequently: Quest Protein and Vitamin Shoppe, I jumped at the opportunity.  I shop with both routinely and have for years.

Thinking out loud, finding a portable protein bar can be tough but finding one that actually tastes good can be tougher!  I’ve pretty much tried every protein bar on the market and some taste like glorified cardboard.

A couple of years ago when staying with good friends Danielle and Amelia, I had several Quest bars in my backpack.  We all went out for dinner.  While we were away, their cats got into my bag and ate several of them.  What can I say, who doesn’t like Quest bars?

Quest cereal bars are just as good as their regular protein bars. The Quest ‘Beyond Cereal’ Bar has all the sweet crunch of a junk food cereal bar, but with the incredible nutritional profile you know you can expect from Quest.  When I’m training, I like to make the most of calories.  While I don’t stress about it, I would rather have a more healthy protein bar versus one with empty calories.

Each bar contains the following:

  • 110 calories and 12g protein
  • 2-3g net carbs
  • 6-7g fiber
  • 8g of Allulose a new naturally occurring sweetener found in figs, raisins & dates.runners and protein

Why do Runners Need Protein?

Protein is made up of essential amino acids.  It does more than help repair muscles after a hard workout. Protein isn’t stored for later use which means unlike fat and carbohydrates, there is a limit your body can use at one time. That’s why it’s important to spread out the amount of protein you get daily, versus having it all in one sitting.

runners and protein

What Does Protein Do?

  • Plays a role in cell repair and production
  • blood clotting
  • fluid balance

How Much Protein Should You Have During Training?

While training, it’s important to have between .55 grams/pound-.75 grams/pound.  Will you hit that every single day?  No.  Should you stress about it? No.  It’s just a guideline.

For comparison, I’m 130 pounds try and get about 70-100 grams of protein daily but I don’t track it everyday.

Personally, I like Quest Cereal Bars because they are quick and taste good. The new cereal bars are chocolate, waffle, and cinnamon.  All three are delicious, but given a choice, my favorite bar is the waffle. I don’t have to worry about storage, and I can pull one out while at work as well.

Questions for you:
Where do you get your protein from?
Do you snack often or are you a three meal a day type of person?

Random Thoughts

Random Thursday Thoughts:

It’s been a long time since I did a completely random thinking out loud post.  By long I mean probably a few weeks…to be honest I have a lot going on.  I go to work, I blog, I wedding plan and I come home.  There is not much room for a lot of extra stuff right now I guess.


It’s the first Thursday off I’ve had in a while…normally I have Tuesday and Wednesday off but this week I have Thursday and Friday!  I needed the day off I think this week is catching up to me.  Hopefully sleep will do me well the next couple of days!

Instead of doing wedding related things I’ve been buying honeymoon related things like dresses and bathing suits.  I’m not sure where I think this money tree is coming from…between ART (not covered by insurance), wedding and honeymoon costs…I better plant one quick.  So long dreams of buying a new car soon.

Some random products I’ve been enjoying lately:

The Roll8 rollar.  I bought this roller from work last week and have no regrets.  I don’t think its magically fixing my butt pain but it is massaging everything else.  It’s honestly the best foam roller type of device I’ve had.  The biggest setback is the 120 dollar price point but to me it’s worth it.  Hashtag Roll8>New Car


Protein powder:

I was lucky enough to receive some free samples of this protein powder.  I’ve been searching for a good protein powder for the last year.  For me I like try to incorporate extra protein when I’m working out and running more.  I’m not fancy with my protein powder but have often had a problem with certain powders making me bloated.  I’ve never fallen in love with a protein powder but this pure whey was good.  It wasn’t overly sweet or chalky.  I would buy it. Protein Powder

I just mix it in a cup of milk and blend with ice.

Random Thoughts:

I’ve  spent more this month on life than the last 3 months combined.  Some months are like that I guess.

Do I need (a 300 dollar) sack of potatoes dress?

sack of potatos dress

Wedding planning takes up all my free time right now.

I’m all over the place lately.  To be honest I need to write a post about where I see my blog going the next month or so…maybe I will get on that soon.

Questions for you:

Do you foam roll?  What do you use?

What is a random fun fact about your week? 

Sponsored Post: GNC PurEdge

Today I start something new with my blog.  I start my first “real blogger” sponsored content.  Does that mean I’ve made it?  I don’t know…

Am I bluntly supposed to post that it’s sponsored? (well yes that is legal terms).   I’ve decided that since I plan to do a few sponsored posts (of products I like), I’m not going to hide that fact.  I’m not going to be try to be secretive with hidden links.  I’m also not going to spam my posts with multiple links of the same thing “for the clicks”.  Either you are interested in the product or you aren’t.  I’ll leave it up to you if you want to click the link and look. It’s just going to be there because honestly I don’t do sponsored posts of products I don’t like, so why hide, or spam links?

If companies care that I’m straight and to the point that a post is sponsored…that is shady on their part.  If I don’t tell you the post is sponsored…that is shady on my part.  I think it’s obvious when a post is sponsored anyways so it just makes sense to say it bluntly.  Why try and hide it?  I made the decision to take this product for free, so there isn’t a point to hide it.


So now after all of that time to talk about the product I’m posting about.

GNC has created a new product called PurEdge.  It is a high protein supplement.  They make protein powder, amino acid powder, daily energy performance enhancer, and protein bars.  As you can see, it’s very protein orientated.  As a distance runner, I am using the protein after I run.  I waited until I tried everything a few times before actually posting about it.

GNC PurEdge 1

The Protein Powder: 

They sent me natural chocolate protein powder.  It has 190 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 20 grams of protein.  I have been looking for a protein powder for a while (I never found one that I fell in love with.  This one is pretty good.  It doesn’t taste chalky and it mixes well.  I added it to yogurt, made a smoothie with milk (on the one day in the last 2 weeks it’s been warm) and also made a recipe with it.

Apart from their most known protein powder they sent me they sent:

2 bars

Peanut butter cookie and banana nut muffin. 

GNC PurEdge

I enjoyed both at work.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m working in retail in the Holiday season…this means we are on the go for work the entire time.  We don’t have time to stand around and eat.  The bar kept me from not being starving for a few hours and took minimum effort to eat.  The flavor was also good and it didn’t taste like I was eating cardboard or flavored crap.  Plus the nutrition profile is good with 200 calories and 15-20 grams of protein.

I plan to buy more of these for work.  I was really impressed with the actually chunks of chocolate in the peanut butter cookie bar.  I would recommend these (right now) over any other bar  I’ve tried.

Complete Amino Acids: 

I’ve started taking these regularly but in all honesty, I think I’ll have to go through the entire container to see results.  I have never taken amino acids before so I’m just going to go through the entire container and I’ll check back in a month.

Finally, they sent Daily Energy Performance Enhancer.

It is recommended to replace coffee and drink one of these instead.  I don’t drink coffee before I run (only after).  I tried the cherry limeade on last week on my rest day to see how I would feel.  I replaced my coffee and had one scoop.  Throughout the day I didn’t notice a difference (energy wise) between the coffee and the daily energy enhancer.  For someone who doesn’t care for coffee, this is something I would recommend.

Last but not least, 

I was asked to make a recipe using one of the products.  As most people know I’m not that great at cooking.  As a blogger who likes to eat relatively healthy, you assume I can cook…this is false.  A long time ago, my blog was more known for making pancake recipes so I was hoping the protein powder they sent me would translate into that.  Pancakes are easy to make so I went that route.

If the recipe hadn’t worked I was going to add it to yogurt and ice and make a smoothie.

PurEdge Protein Pancakes

Protein pancake cooking on the griddle

Protein pancake cooking on the griddle

1 scoop PurEdge protein powder

½ cup flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

½ cup milk

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

Mix and add to the griddle.  I cook my pancakes at 350 degrees.  I hadn’t had protein pancakes in a while and I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed them again.  This particular protein powder mixes well into the pancakes and them dense.  There have been powders I’ve tried that have simply fallen apart or created thin “crepelike” pancakes.  These were good and I would recommend it.

Protein Pancake with Syrup

Protein Pancake with Syrup

So that’s a wrap.  I am really glad to have been able to try the GNC PurEdge.  My protein bars and protein powder were my favorite and I’ll check back in after going through the rest of the amino acids and let you know how I feel.  If you are interested in any of the products, it’s all online here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever tried amino acids?

What is your favorite bar right now? 

I go through phases with bars.  Sometimes I eat a lot and sometimes I don’t.  Right now since work has been so busy, they have been getting me through the day.

Carbohydrate Depletion and Loading

I have gotten quite a few questions about my diet plan for the week before the marathon.  First, I’m limiting sugar and sweets until after the marathon.  Then in my two week rest period I plan to not care how much weight I gain and eat whatever I want. (That is just real talk).  Since I’m writing it the week before the marathon only time will tell if I completely bonk out or if it works.  When I trained for half marathons I payed attention to nutrition but didn’t obsess over it.  I didn’t  carb load the night before and I often found myself eating ice cream or drinking a Guinness the night before.  You can bet that is what I did the night before my half PR at the Nike Women’s half.  I guess this is the most attention I’ve payed to nutrition and running for a while.  It’s funny because you think as someone who took so many more nutrition courses in college I would be more interested but that is clearly not the case.

While obviously a marathon is twice the distance of a half marathon, it’s not double the amount of damage you are doing to your muscles.  I can bounce from a half in a week or so but I’m assuming it will take me a solid month from my first full.  This blog isn’t about my recovery, it’s about my plan for the week as far as nutrition.

I am not a nutrionist.  I am not a dietician (they are different and not interchangeable).  Most of the articles here are not peer reviewed.  Don’t think I’m telling you to do this too…These are just interesting articles I’ve found. (peer reviewed articles are not that interesting…and lengthy) 

Carbohydrate loading

The Science of Carb loading

How to Carb load


I am going into carbohydrate depletion mode.  I’m not cutting out every single carbohydrate as that isn’t possible but I am going to attempt to eat less.  I’m hoping around 20-30% and I think that is more realistic then the 10% some studies recommend!

Where do my carbohydrates mostly come from?  Pancakes, waffles, bread, coffee creamer, fruit, starchy vegetables, bagels (this is the hardest) and that is all I can think of off the top of my head.   I am not a pasta fan.  I don’t like the consistency and I’ve just never been that big into it…so giving up pasta is not a big deal (since in reality I don’t even have it more than once a month if that…I do like lasagna and raviolis though).

I could eat big steaks, fish and protein sources all day long.  My favorite sources of protein are steak, eggs, fish, cheese (yes this is fat too) and whatever meat is in the house.  So from Sunday-Wednesday I will be living my personal dream of eating steak and eggs all day long.

Wednesday is the pivotal day for me.  I will be starting to integrate carbohydrates back into my diet while eating protein and fat too.  Wednesday will just look like a pretty normal day for me.

Thursday through Saturday

80% of my calories will come from carbohydrates.  This is actually harder for me then carbohydrate depletion because I enjoy protein sources so much.  It’s a necessary evil though and I’ll probably just go to every diner in my sights and order pancakes.  I’ll be home on Thursday so I’ll end up eating bagels, bread and probably pasta too.  (Maybe I can convince mom to take me out for pasta…are you reading this mom?).  Then Friday and Saturday I’ll continue to eat carbohydrates and grains.

Then Sunday I race! 

I can’t tell you if this will work for me or make me more bloated.  Only time will tell and I’ll be sure to write my thoughts about it post race.  I’ve never done a full carbohydrate depletion (as I’m attempting here) as I’ve never run a marathon nor tapered for a race. 

Questions for you:

Favorite macro?

Have you ever done a full carbohydrate depletion or carb loading? 

Eating on High Mileage

A lot of people question how I eat enough to withstand 100 mile weeks.  It couldn’t be possible to ever gain weight while running 100 mile weeks and you couldn’t possibly eat enough to withstand that activity…ect. 

First and foremost, I only ran 100 mile week.  I didn’t run 52 but rather just 1.  That was my peak week and most of my other weeks were between 60-80.  Most not all.  As much as I want to credit myself to running multiple 100 mile weeks, I know I would just get injured running several in a row.  (or more then 1).

I’ve rambled about this a few times but blogging nutrition and real life nutrition is not the same thing.  I feel bad for certified dieticians and nutritionists that also blog.  They get mixed in with other bloggers whose research involves personal research and study which is not the same as being certified.  Point blank: it’s not.  I’ve taken plenty of nutrition classes but don’t know nearly enough as someone who has studied and has their undergraduate, masters, or even PhD.  I can tell you what has worked for me but that is no way telling what will work for you or that is right or wrong.

The majority of healthy living blogs focus on getting enough vegetables, fiber and more vegetables into their diet.  If I ate half the amount of vegetables that some people do, I would be able to run 1 mile…maybe 2 with deciding it was time to go home.

When you run high mileage and exercise you must learn that you have to eat a lot of foods that aren’t high in fiber.  You must eat food that is still healthy but you can’t eat 3000 calories worth of broccoli.  You also can’t eat 3000 calories worth of ice cream.  Both will result in you not feeling great for a run.

A typical day for me looks something like this right now:

Breakfast: 400-500 calories

Coffee+cream (100-200 calories…my vice).

Some of my breakfast choices lately have been: Bagel and peanut butter, egg sandwich, eggs and toast, waffle with Greek yogurt or peanut butter.

A standard waffle with peanut butter and yogurt has been my go to before races right now and I think I’ll stay to that before the marathon (as well as a bagel with peanut butter while waiting around beforehand).  My standard race day nutrition used to be a bagel with peanut butter and yogurt but I had stomach cramps a few races back and it was enough to change my mind.

Raspberry pancakes make me happy

Raspberry pancakes make me happy

Bagel+peanut butter+yogurt also make me happy

Bagel+peanut butter+yogurt also make me happy


French toast bagels are my favorite (panera or wegmans FYI)

French toast bagels are my favorite (panera or wegmans FYI)


Lunch (within an hour of running) 500-800 calories

I’ve been having a lot egg sandwiches lately.  Eggs, avocado and cheddar cheese on a bagel.  I really just have whatever is in the fridge.  It could be a sandwich, soup or salad.  I don’t have a standard post run meal or lunch. I normally just like to eat what is in the fridge.

Sometimes I’ll go to the gym in between, sometimes I won’t.   (now that I’m tapering, I don’t).

egg and ham sandwich

egg and ham sandwich

lentil soup (this cold has got me craving it)

lentil soup (this cold has got me craving it)

Soup with parm cheese so good

Soup with parm cheese so good

Random salad I attempted to make restaurant worthy...they never are as to why I try and eat salads at restaurants more.

Random salad I attempted to make restaurant worthy…they never are as to why I try and eat salads at restaurants more.


Snack: 200-300 calories

I consume a lot of yogurt

I consume a lot of yogurt

No really...

No really…’

Baked apples are good (especially in the cold)

Baked apples are good (especially in the cold)

I also eat bars on the go...snickers marathon bars are really good

I also eat bars on the go…snickers marathon bars are really good

I normally have a snack sometime in the middle of the day.   I’ve been enjoying apples and peanut butter lately but that is only because apples have been so cheap at stores.   I also have left overs if they are in the fridge.

Dinner: 800-1200

As if anything else is planned, my dinner is the least planned and changes daily.  I am such a meat and potatoes kind of person.  I’ll have a serving of meat (steak and fish being my favorite), some sort of vegetables (cooked kale, brussel sprouts and spaghetti squash are my current favorites) and some sort of grain.  I’ve been better about eating a carbohydrate such as bread or race.  I’m actually not a big pasta fan (I don’t like the consistency) so I tend to eat more rice and bread.

steak and potatoes

steak and potatoes

ham and potatoes (and apples)

ham and potatoes (and apples)

Sweet Potato+Salmon+mushrooms (I'm so different)

Sweet Potato+Salmon+mushrooms (I’m so different)

I normally like to make a smoothie at night with a cup of milk and protein powder.  I have a big sweet tooth so often times I’ll just have ice cream.  I don’t really schedule a treat at night but if I’m craving something I’ll have something.   Whatever I’m craving I generally have at night.  I go to bed around 9-10 personally.

ice cream

ice cream

ice cream, cherries and whip cream

ice cream, cherries and whip cream

Protein shake

Protein shake

hot cocoa and whip cream

hot cocoa and whip cream


I know this is very vague but it’s how I eat.  I don’t worry or stress about food or getting my vegetables daily.  As much as I say I want to meal plan, I don’t. If I eat too many vegetables then I don’t feel good running.  I don’t know how people eat so many vegetables (honestly).  I do strive to get vegetables but not overboard.  I try and get enough protein, carbohydrates and fat but I don’t track it and it doesn’t ruin my day.  I found the less I stress about food the easier it is.  I’ve never had a problem getting enough food and have never lost weight during a training cycle.

I will say I’m hoping to do a carbohydrate deplete and then carb load during my final week of taper.

Questions for you:

What does a typical day for you look like?

Do you plan your food weekly or eat when you are hungry? 

Best Price Nutrition Product Reviews

It’s not often times I get products to review on my blog.  It might because I’m blunt, I use vulgar or if I don’t really feel like something helped me I won’t make up stories just because I got it for free.  It’s a companies choice to send me a product and if I feel like it didn’t help me I’m not going to lie and say it did.  But I digress so to get this out of the way: yes I got all the products for free but I was not payed to review them.

I know protein powders are not everyone’s thing.  For me, I have been looking for a protein powder that I can add to my daily diet.  When asked what sort of samples I would like to try, I immediately said protein powder and then whatever you felt like sending me.  The protein powder they send me is called Garden of Life “Raw Protein”.  It’s a whey that is vegan.  I’ve never tried a vegan powder before but honestly it was pretty good.  I just added it with a cup of milk, ice and some coffee (yes coffee) and mixed it in my magic bullet.


Half way through drinking, I decided I should take a photo for proof.  Anyways-I really like this protein powder.  Though I’m going to try a few more before making a decision (commitment is hard…), this is certainly in the realm of possibilities.

They also sent me some multi-vitamins.  I take a multi-vitamin every single day.  I don’t have much to say about these.  I took them, they only have 2% calcium (what I most look for in my multi-vitamin) and I didn’t get sick or feel bad afterwords.  They have almost everything else though so combined with a calcium supplement or more milk, I’d be fine with them.

Finally the last product I received was this: ProSupps Hyde Preworkout Amplifier.  I won’t lie and say I had ever tried one of these or been remotely interested in them.  Yes, I’ve heard of preworkout stuff but never really felt the need to try it.  I tried it before a run that I did a week or so ago.  I must say (and it could be due to the caffeine) that I did have a pretty kick butt run that morning.  Normally I hold around 8:30 pace but that morning it was more towards 8:00 mins.  Who knows if that was the sole reason but I did feel good.

The products they sent me were all great. I don’t think I’d buy the Preworkout Amplifier because I’m personally on the fence about that sort of the thing.  I’m not sure about the multi-vitamin just because I like the calcium component but it wasn’t bad by any means.  The protein powder, however, I do really like.   I think Best Price Nutrition’s Claim (Should link to the main website I guess…lots of links for you) to fame is in their  title though as they do have some of the best prices on the internet (and that much I cannot complain about).

Questions for you:

Do you review a lot of products?

Do you use any of these products (whether it’s this brand or not)? 

%d bloggers like this: