Women's Running

Prep Your Protein Like a Pro

Runners can’t thrive on carbs alone. Protein helps build and preserve lean body mass (a key factor in injury prevention and nailing PRs), reduces runinduced muscle damage, and supports your immune system. The supermarket is full of protein choices—and so many options can feel overwhelming. The dizzying array of beef cuts alone is enough to leave you feeling more anxious than on a marathon starting line.

If you’re ready to take your repertoire beyond the Mrs. Dash’s–dusted chicken breast in your weekly meal plan, this guide will get you bett er acquainted with six protein-packed foods that score big for flavor, cost, and nutrition. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know for each one, from how to buy the best to how to cook it like a top chef, be it for a quick weeknight dinner or special date night.

POULTRY

WHOLE CHICKEN

A whole chicken is a better deal pound-for-pound than buying in pieces. It requires a little more planning than purchasing the breast, drumstick, and thigh meat separately, but roasting a whole bird gives you a bounty of ready-to-go, juicy meat that can serve as the backbone for several meals to come. Consider this your chance to no longer be cooped up with ho-hum breast meat.

Beyond a payload of protein, chicken is a notable source of niacin, a B vitamin used in hundreds of enzyme reactions in the body, including those involved in metabolism. And there’s no reason

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