Protein has long been associated with body builders and weightlifters because it is required to build and maintain muscle. Runners take note: It is important to include the proper amount of protein in your diet if you want to speed recovery and improve your performance. Lack of protein can result in fatigue, weakness and possibly injury.

The amount of protein required varies by runner. Your body weight and your training regimen will dictate your protein requirements. Here’s a simple rule of thumb for the endurance athlete:

For muscle recovery during endurance training, 1.2 to 1.7 g of protein per kg of body weight is optimal. If you fail to consume enough protein when training hard, your body will break down muscle to fuel your body on training runs. The goal with running is to build and maintain lean muscle mass, not break it down for fuel. –Abby Housefield

Many of us aren’t getting the protein we need from our regular diets. Luckily, there are many supplements, shakes and snack bars on the market. Remember, the most important time for refueling is immediately after your workout.

Core Power is the real-milk based sports recovery drink and contains natural whey and casein proteins found in milk – never removed from their original liquid state. The brand features simple ingredients and great taste, without a chalky texture. My favorite flavor is banana.

Now available nationally, Core Power was recently named the “Official Protein Drink of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

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