AW promotion: What is red meat and which types are good for you? All that, we discuss in this article about the five reasons why red meat is good for athletes

With the recent popularity of clean-eating and plant-based diets, many have come to believe that eating red meat is simply bad for your health. A huge proponent of this concept is lifestyle and fitness gurus who share endless amounts of stories online about their no-red meat journeys. 

If you’re an athlete, you’ll be surprised to know that giving up this essential source of nutrients can actually do you more harm than good. 

So, drop that boiled chicken breast and blanched beans! 

Here are five reasons why red meat is good for athletes. 

What Exactly Is Considered “Red Meat?” 

Meats are separated into categories of either white or red depending on the amount of myoglobin found in the animal’s muscles. 

Red meat has high amounts of myoglobin and is harvested from mammals from the livestock category, including lamb, veal, beef, and pork. 

What’s the Healthiest Red Meat? 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, anytime you choose red meat, it should be the “leanest cut you can find.” You also have to limit the amount that you consume. 

Three to four servings of red meat per week should be enough to meet an athlete’s dietary needs. 

Note: If you have high cholesterol or heart disease, the recommendation is to limit your consumption to less than 3 ounces per week. 

If you want to learn more about how to choose the best red meats, you can find more information on this page

Five Reasons Why Athletes Should Eat Red Meat

Nutrition trends come and go. 

Red meat’s popularity has definitely catapulted from one extreme to another over the years. 

Below, we discuss five reasons why red meat is essential to athletes. 

Let’s dive in! 

Good Source of High-Quality Protein 

Protein is an essential nutrient for all athletes. 

It’s responsible for the maintenance and development of various muscle groups, bones, and other organs. 

It has all nine essential amino acids that athletes need to repair muscle tissue and achieve optimum performance. Not to mention it plays an important role in keeping our immune system running.

Protein also helps transport and store other nutrients to different parts of the body. 


Do you often find yourself hungry after eating a full plate of steak and mash? No, probably not. 

Because red meat is rich in protein and amino acids, it takes the body longer to metabolize all its contents, keeping you feeling full for longer. 

If you’re an athlete trying to lose a few pounds, red meat can help you manage your weight and stay on top of your goals. 

Great Source of Nutrients and Minerals

Aside from protein, red meat is also a great source of other important minerals, such as zinc, vitamin B12, B3, and B6, iron, phosphorus, and more.

Beef tallow, for example, is an exceptional natural source of nutrients like choline, vitamin D, vitamin E, and selenium. 

If you’re an athlete and you want to learn more about beef tallow, you can visit

Healthy Fats

Despite what popular belief says, red meat also contains healthy fat. 

Studies conducted on Australian beef and lamb have found that red meat does in fact have omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. It might not be as prominent as omega-3 from fish, but meat isn’t all bad fat. 

Besides, most red meats nowadays contain lesser fats because of selective breeding. 

Red Meat is Packed with Iron

Recent research shows that athletes need 30% more iron than non-athletes.

An estimated 30% of male athletes and 80% of female athletes may be iron deficient.

Red meat is packed with iron, which is essential in the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin aids in the production of red blood cells, which help transport oxygen to different parts of the body. Oxygen is important in an athlete’s recovery process during games, drills, and workouts. 

The Bottom Line

Although there certainly is danger in consuming too much red meat, eating just the right amount of it can help an athlete’s progress and improve performance. 

Different people require different things. 

To make sure you’re getting the best out of your food, ask your physician or a licensed dietician for advice on what type of diet you should consume.