About those muscles

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

This post will be all about the muscles. I have an interesting article on some muscle research I’ve been holding on to and another one just popped up yesterday that I think has some interesting results for those of you who might deal with seasonal allergies.

How much protein do you need?

First, how much protein do you need as a runner? Many runners underestimate what we need. After all, we’re runners, not bodybuilders.

The problem with that is that, while we’re not be bodybuilders, running causes a lot of muscle damage and the damaged muscles need to be repaired. In addition, we burn some protein while running, especially when our glycogen levels get depleted such as late in long runs or longer races.

How much protein do we need? Well, the good news is that, if you eat a typical American diet but a little more because you’re burning more calories, you’re probably fine overall.

However, you may want to think about when you’re getting your protein. As pointed out, your body can only absorb and put to use a certain amount of protein at one time. The rest gets converted to fat and stored in that form. So try to spread out your intake more. For most Americans, this means more protein at breakfast and lunch, some in snacks, and less at dinner.

Antihistamines and our muscles

What do we know about how antihistamines and our muscles? It turns out not much.

What we do know is taking antihistamines appears to reduce muscle soreness.

Sounds good, right? Well, there’s a catch. It appears less soreness come with the side effect of more muscle damage. It seems that the same system that blocks the feeling of soreness may also block the signals to the body that the muscle is damaged and needs to be repaired.

So, in the short term, you gain the advantage of less sore muscles but the tradeoff is more muscle damage in the long term.

As a side note, a few years ago I attempted to take some Claritin when spring allergies were hitting me fairly hard. Within a day or two, the allergy symptoms cleared. However, within a week, my running took a complete dive. I stopped taking the Claritin and was back to normal within a few days. I don’t think the what I felt was due to the effects noted in this study but just beware, if you consider taking antihistamines during allergy season, make sure you give yourself time before any important race to ensure they won’t negatively affect you.

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