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[The Gym Bag, #3] Is Walking A Viable Alternative To Running; Post-Workout Protein Drink Options


The Gym Bag is Lean It UP’s weekly reader Q&A. Every Friday we’ll pick a few of YOUR questions from TwitterFacebook, and around the site, and weigh-in with our (concise) PoV. Curious about ANYTHING at all (everything goes)? Tweet @LeanItUP with the #LeanItUP hashtag, ask us on Facebook, or send in your questions here.


Q Novella — 

Walking and running…is one better than the other? Or, if you aren’t physically able to run, is walking and adequate substitute?


A Running is more effective than walking for a number of reasons, but the chief of which is efficiency. Think of it as if you were reading Game of Thrones. Running = 100 words per minute; walking = 33 words per minute — you’ll finish the books MUCH faster using the more efficient technique. Running burns more calories per minute than walking does — approximately 3x the calorie-burn — therefore it contributes to quicker weight-loss. For a 175 LB person, 1 hour of running burns roughly 1071 calories; walking burns 346 calories.

Secondary, running is more intense and gets your heart rate up higher than walking can, which helps shift the energy systems that your body uses. This contributes to greater FAT loss, improved cardiovascular fitness, and overall health. 

Intense running — in particularly HIIT — can significantly increase power, fat oxidation, and V02 Max — the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during exercise, which is essentially a measure of all-around cardiovascular fitness; improves cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglyceride profiles, two measures of heart health; and enhances insulin sensitivity, a major determinant of diabetes.1234

HIIT also creates something known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption — explained in-depth here), which boosts base metabolism, calorie burn, and the rate of fat loss for up to 48 hours post-workout.56

While you won’t conjure any juicy EPOC through walking, it all adds up — a study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology found that walking and running may have a similar impact on diabetes/cholesterol/blood pressure when the same amount of calories are burned.7 Walk as much as possible on top of your routine workouts, and if you’re physically unable to run, walking can be a legitimate alternative (especially if you add an incline or go hiking — it’ll double the calorie burn).8 The stationary bike, elliptical, rower are also great options.



strong woman 

Q Mel, @justplainspeak 

It’s complicated, and no. First and foremost, quality and quantity of protein are the primary requirements for any post-workout meal — that knocks out all of Naked’s regular flavors. Naked’s protein zone varieties, however, pack over 30 grams of protein per bottle. Check.

That said, the 60-ish grams of sugar for a full bottle is a bit absurd, albeit from fruit and all-natural ingredients. If you’re in a bind, go for it — a moderate amount of sugar can actually galvanize recovery after an intense workout — just don’t habitually guzzle Naked as your post-wo meal.

Muscle Milk is a big no-no across the board, due to elevated heavy metal content, high fat content, and a laundry-list of artificial ingredients.

Your best option is ALWAYS to buy protein powder in bulk, stick a scoop in a Blender Bottle, and fill it with water later. It literally takes 8 seconds to do all of that and you’ll save gobs of money — Optimum Nutrition Whey comes out to ~$.73/shake; most RTDs range anywhere from $3-$6. If 1/8 of the potential cost weren’t enough, powders generally contain higher quality protein and less artificial junk. 

As for RTD shakes, I like/recommend Pure Protein and ABB Pure Pro 50. If you’re ever cornered in a 711 in dire need of a quick protein IV, they’re pure, concentrated options to combat the threat of impending catabolism.


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Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  1. Long-term Lifestyle Intervention with Optimized High-Intensity Interval Training Improves Body Composition, Cardiometabolic Risk, and Exercise Parameters in Patients with Abdominal Obesity. Gremeaux V, Drigny J, Nigam A, Juneau M, Guilbeault V, Latour E, Gayda M. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Jul 30. []
  2. High intensity interval exercise training in overweight young women. Sijie T, Hainai Y, Fengying Y, W. Jianxiong. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2012 Jun;52(3):255-62. []
  3. High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle. Perry CG, Heigenhauser GJ, Bonen A, Spriet LL. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008 Dec;33(6):1112-23. []
  4. Effect of 2 weeks of sprint interval training on health-related outcomes in sedentary overweight/obese men. Whyte LJ, Gill JM, Cathcart AJ. Metabolism. 2010 Oct;59(10):1421-8. Epub 2010 Feb 12. []
  5. Effect of acute resistance exercise on postexercise energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate. Melby C, Scholl C, Edwards G, Bullough R. J Appl Physiol. 1993 Oct;75(4):1847-53. []
  6. Effect of acute resistance exercise on postexercise oxygen consumption and resting metabolic rate in young women. Osterberg KL, Melby CL. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2000 Mar;10(1):71-81. Erratum in: Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2000 Sep;10(3):360. []
  7. Prevention — The Easiest Workout Ever []
  8. []
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