A couple of questions

  1. Where can I purchase either xanthan gum or cellulose gum to thicken up my protein shakes (I use custom blends that are straight protein, therefore very thin)?

  2. What’s an easy way to alleviate the burning in my shins when I run?

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  1. I did a search on google.com for xanthan gum and it brought up many potential sources to buy from…I’ll let you search and choose a source yourself.

  2. Shin splints is a very common condition for runners. Try looking into shin splints and the symptoms of it. If you haven’t already, try taking some time off from running. (Rest is always a good idea for pain, and rest is also how you treat shin splints)

On question #2

To slightly disagree with an earlier poster, shins splints are not a common problem of runners, but rather a common problem of beginning runners, especially those who run too much, too soon.

Possible solutions include decreasing your mileage for a little whlie, increasing flexibility in your calves, finding a decent running shoe (i.e. go to a running store and have them analyze your foot strike- it is free, quick and easy- and suggest a shoe for you), and running on more forgiving surfaces (trails, not sidewalks or roads).

agh, shin splints. i never got them over 2 years of rugby and indoor soccer (at the same time), until i ran on concrete for a week or two. then i never felt better than when i quit running completely.
rest. run only on soft surfaces - grass… if you have to run.
shinsplints are exacerbated by strong inflexible calves and weak shins. try dorsiflexing anterior tibialis - shin flexion as in lifting toes toward knees - for 100+ reps a day, maybe slowly work in weighted tibialis dorsiflexion exercises. stretch calves constantly.
hope that helps; best of luck to you.

What kind of protein are you using and what do you mix it with?

I use milk isolate so I can get the benefits of whey and casein and the low price. It gets pretty thick in water or milk. Some things I add to the water mix for better mouth feel (not so grainy) are pasteurized egg whites and/or flax oil.

The Kid, shin splints can occur for different reasons. It could be just that the muscles above your ankles on are underdeloped (or even other muscles in the legs are underdeveloped and the shins are compensating). It could also be bone splints, which an x-ray would determine. Or, like me, it could be from extremely high arches. Probably more causes, but just a few thoughts for you to keep in mind. As it’s already been recommended, rest them and see if that takes care of it.

Shin splints. I got them a time or two. I reduced my distance and since I was on a treadmill I increased the angle from 0 to 2% or a bit more. For me it gave me a better foot strike with less shock and felt better. It also increased the work load so I got more out of less miles.

I was bothered by shin splints until I went to an orthopedic equipment retailer and had custom orthotics made. My arches were “the highest I have ever seen” per the store owner, after analyzing them on his nifty device that mapped the underside of my foot.


Don’t internet-diagnose him. he may have shin-splints and he may only have lactic acid buildup in his shins that he’s not used to.
the thing about the calf muscles - unlike any other region in the body, the are enclosed in four compartments - sheaths of connective tissue (front compartment, posterior(rear) deep, posterior shallow, and lateral. each encompasing sheath is made out of tissue that is not that elastic, and when exercising, the blood overflow in the muscle (especialy in strength endurance events) elevates the inner pressure inside the compartment and causes unusualy slow celular waste products removal.

it’s not uncommon for endurance-untrained athlete to feel unusualy burning sensations in their calves/shins because of that(strangely enough, severe cases of that can causes tissue loss…, buts only occuring at marathon or other ultra long event)
I’ve found that trainees supplementing with creatine reported higher shin disscomfort, and I will attribute that to creatine’s cell volumizing effect increasing compartment inner pressure.


just build up your training slowly, try to cycle aerobic activities (e.g type, surface and intensity/volume) and listen to your body.

regarding protein shakes:
I would add some wheat bran and grounded flax. healthy, available and accomodating - bran post workout would hasten gastric emptying and blood stream arival time, and flax on non-w.o shakes (pre-workout) would provide soluble fiber and omega3’s

hope this helps



My sister says she never gets shin splints when running with her custom-made orthotics. And she always gets them when neglecting to wear those orthotics.

But if shin splints are caused by what glute-spanker described, could they be alleviated with fascial stretching?

bigsnuff, you have had little or no pain after the orthodics? I have had orthodics custom-made for me, but they haven’t helped at all. Can you post/pm more information on exactly what you got? Thanks…

Good place to order xantham gum and guar gum for a good price is www.bobsredmill.com.

Good oat meal and all types of other stuff.


I’ve always had cases of shin splints every couple of months or so during bball season. They would come on and I’d have to sit for a few weeks. My gym has a hardwood floor and a thin concrete base directly below it, no cushioning. Two years ago I bought a pair of Nike Shox and they went away almost instantly. The splints would be so bad I couldn’t squat down without feeling like my shins were gonna explode. This year I tried regular sneakers again and within 2 weeks I got shin splints. Next day I went out and bought a new pair of Shox and I haven’t had a problem since. Nike has a few different pairs of Shox out there. There are some specifically for running and cross training. Go to eastbay.com they have the best prices.

Anyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong:

Provided you do have shin splints. The intense pain associated with shin splints is caused by the inflexible anterior muscles of the calf tearing away from the bone. Soft surfaces and orthopedics can help alleviate the problem, but the real issue is anterior calf strength and flexibility. Try a couple things.

  1. Get a therapy band and loop it around something heavy. Sit on the floor, loop the other end around your toes and do reps of dorsiflexion as described by use2ruck. I would say at first don’t go as high as 100 reps a day. Start out with doing maybe 3 sets of 20 reps for each leg. If you don’t have access to a therapy band, this exercise can be done with a partner and a towel. Loop it around your foot and have your partner provide slight resistance.

  2. As much as you can, walk around with your anterior tibialis dorsiflexed. Or in other words, walk around on your heels with your toes up. Depending on your comfort level with your masculinity, you may want to do this in the comfort of your own home. I can assure you, you will look ridiculous and it may compromise your ability to get dates.

  3. The same disclaimer from above applies to this movement. As much as you can, try to climb stairs backwards and with your anterior tibialis dorsiflexed. (on your heels).

If you must do these in public, you will be confronted by your boss, co-workers, friends, teachers, or whathaveyou. These confrontations will range from “Why the hell are you doing that?” to “Cut that out, you’re scaring away the customers.” I recommend the following response: “I know this might look silly… unfortunately due to the weight imbalance caused by my massive eleven inch penis, if I walked or climbed stairs the way you do, I would fall over. These exercises simply train my muscles to handle the weight between my thighs.”

RIT I was always under the impression that they still do not know what causes shin splints. They don’t know if its a slight tearing of tendons or if its the beginning of a hairline fracture. I’ve read about both hypothesis on the subject.

Shin splints many times are the fault of your shoes. Doing distance running in cross-trainers will surely cause it. Also, not replacing your shoes frequently enough will also cause it. You’d be surprised at how few miles a shoe can actually take. Its not like when we were kids and wore shoes until they fell apart.