Boost Your Performance With Red Meat
Whether you are a higher level athlete in training or you’re simply a recreational athlete who likes to participate in a men or women’s league team sport, one thing that you must be making sure you have in your diet is red meat.
Many athletes choose to avoid red meat entirely. Often, the reason is because they believe that red meat will cause fat gain.
Which will then obviously impact their performance, causing them to see less than optimal results from all their hard work. Only this isn’t necessarily the case.
In fact, there are plenty of terrific red meat options that are just about as lean, if not leaner, than your typical chicken or turkey breast meat.
Let’s go over some of the key reasons why athletes should be eating red meat and then introduce some of the best red meat options to consume.
Slow Digesting Source Of Quality Protein
The first reason to indulge in red meat from time to time is the fact that it is a high quality source of slow digesting protein.
Red meat tends to stick with you longer than other poultry or fish protein sources, so will be great for giving your body the amino acids it needs throughout the day.
Eating red meat for dinner for instance can help keep you from moving into a catabolic state during the nightly fasting period.
Red meat is also a complete source of protein, meaning you’ll get all the important amino acids you need to build and repair muscle tissue.
Rich Source Of Iron
The next critical reason to eat red meat is because it’s one of the best sources of iron that you can take in.
While you can find iron in other foods such as spinach or beans, this form of iron is non-heme iron and isn’t absorbed and used as readily by the body as iron found from red meat.
Iron is important as it’s responsible for helping to transport oxygen in the red blood cells to the working muscle tissues.
Without enough of it in your diet, you might find that you run out of gas partway through a training session or game.
Those who are iron deficient, typically referred to as anemic, will find they have far lower endurance levels, making it much harder to reach peak performance.
Women especially need to be taking in red meat as they’ll need more iron than their male counterparts thanks to the fact they lose some iron each month with their menstrual cycle.
Great Source Of Zinc
Moving along, red meat is also a perfect source of zinc. One serving will provide 32% of your total needs of this mineral, which is important for optimal athletic performance and recovery purposes.
Zinc is one nutrient that is especially important for men in particular as it plays a role in the development of testosterone in the body, which is required for optimal sports performance and muscle building.
Men who are low in zinc often find that their strength starts to plummet and this is, in part due to the fact they aren’t manufacturing sufficient testosterone levels.
High In Vitamin B12
Another important nutrient that red meat is high in is vitamin B12.
This is important because it’s required for proper metabolism and energy generation purposes and is primarily only found in meat as it’s not found in plant foods.
If you aren’t eating red meat, there’s a good chance you may be deficient.
Again, athletes who suffer a vitamin B12 deficiency may start to notice high levels of fatigue during their athletic training.
Source Of CLA And Omega-3 Fat
Finally, the last reason that you should be focusing on including red meat in your diet is because when you choose grass fed varieties, it’s a rich source of CLA and omega-3 fatty acids.
Both of these are healthy fats that can actually improve your body composition, boost heart health, and increase your overall well-being.
Omega-3 fatty acids in particular are also important for warding off disease and are something that most people simply don’t get enough of in today’s diets.
So as you can see, there are plenty of reasons not to shun red meat. Which varieties should you be choosing?
The leanest varieties include grass fed beef along with wild game meat such as Kangaroo and Venison.
While these protein sources are harder to find, if you can, go for them. They’re just as lean as chicken and are loaded with all the nutrients that we spoke about above.
Take note that because they are so lean, they can become dry while cooking, so adjust your cooking times accordingly.
Whatever you do, don’t avoid red meat any longer. It’s an important food you need to have in any athlete’s diet.