Protein is the body’s building block, making up a large portion of your bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood, as well as playing a crucial role in almost all biological processes. Your hair and nails are made mostly from protein, and your body uses it to build and repair tissue, and produce enzymes and hormones. Protein is built from amino acids, and the body is able to synthesise around half of the amino acids that it needs, with the remainder coming from food and sometimes supplements.

Protein and fitness

It has been well-documented that protein can play a vital role in weight loss and fitness, and many athletes tend to follow a high protein diet during training as it helps to improve muscle mass and promotes weight loss, making them stronger and leaner and improving their game.

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from protein, however. In the 30 to 45 minutes after a workout your muscles are like sponges, absorbing and using any protein that you give them to repair the micro-tears in the muscle tissue.

Many people reach for a protein shake or bar after a workout, but these are usually packed with protein supplements such as whey protein, milk, soy, egg, or rice powders. These shakes and bars may be an easy option when you’re on the go, but they’re certainly not the healthiest option.

The benefits of grass fed meat

Grass fed lean red meat like beef, lamb, and pork is a much better option if you want to put the best possible protein into your body. These meats have a high nutrient density, meaning they contain a wide variety of nutrients in a relatively small amount of food. As well as giving the body the protein it needs, grass fed red meat also contributes minerals and trace elements to the diet, particularly zinc, iron, and B vitamins.

Here are some of the key benefits of a diet rich in grass fed red meats:

  • Protein – the protein in red meat plays an important role in aiding weight loss and helping to maintain a stable weight as it helps to improve satiety and keeps you feeling full for longer, meaning that you snack less and take in fewer calories.
  • Iron – iron is a vital mineral in the formation of red blood cells, which are responsible for transporting oxygen around the body to your muscles and organs.
  • Zinc – red meat is a good source of readily absorbable zinc, which is essential in the function of the immune system and the body’s healing ability.
  • Vitamins – red meat is one of the best sources of a number of B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and B12. B12 is essential for healthy red blood cells and is not found in any plant-based foods.
  • Fat – thanks to modern breeding and farming techniques red meat is much lower in saturated fat than people think, with fully trimmed lean raw beef containing just 5% fat.
  • Omega 3 – red meat contains small amounts of omega 3 fats which have been proven to keep the heart healthy. Oily fish is still the best source, but if you don’t like fish then grass fed red meat is a good second choice.
  • Post-workout meat

If you usually reach for a protein shake after a workout, try having a stir fry instead using grass fed beef or lamb. You’ll be getting the same nutrients as you would from the shake but they’re coming straight from the source without being artificially processed. Cooking clean, healthy protein-based food and avoiding processed sugars and carbohydrates is the best way to fuel your body for exercise and just life in general. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of a cleaner, less processed diet then check out our blog on the benefits of the Paleo diet.