Meat, especially red meat, often gets a bad rap. One of the greatest concerns is the fact that red meat has saturated fat, and we’ll talk more about that. The real answer is simple. Balance, grasshopper!
I don’t want this post to be solely about red meat. Let’s talk about meat in general. More importantly, we’re going to discuss the muscle building benefits of eating meat. We’ll cover 3 reasons why you should eat meat.
I’m assuming you already workout, or you’re at least interesting in getting started (hence TheMuscleProgram). So I’m going to give you the direct correlations between eating meat and building muscle.
#1 – Quality Protein for Muscle
We all know that protein is necessary for building muscle. This is true whether you want to gain sheer size or get ripped and shredded. With that latter, you want to maintain muscle mass. Of course that may mean leaner cuts of meat, but none the less, meat will help you hold onto hard earned muscle.
Meat is a natural way to get essential nutrients such as vitamins, zinc, and iron. The nutrients will help your body and muscles recovery from your workouts. This in turn leads to muscle growth. In relation to building muscle, the quality protein is the first reason you should eat meat.
#2 – Meat for Energy
Have you ever eaten a huge meal only to be sluggish an hour later? This is an effect of eating and abundance of carbohydrates and sugar. What if you had cut the carbs and had only meat? You’d have energy from the protein and fat that eating meat provides.
The amino acids in meat can promote having more energy. And the human body uses fat as a source of high-octane fuel for your body. However, this is only true when carbohydrates are minimized. Also, the natural source of vitamin B12 will give you a boost.
#3 Meat Can Boost Testosterone
Did you know that consuming some saturated fat can boost testosterone levels? Red meat will be the dominant source here. Obviously there’s a balance that’s needed.
We know that increased testosterone is directly linked to building muscle. It’s also beneficial to your overall health. On the contrast, if you have low testosterone, your estrogen levels are probably high. This means you may have low drive, low energy, very little lean muscle, more body fat, lethargic mood, and potential health problems.
There’s no greater hormone responsible for building lean muscle than testosterone. Eating more meat can help give you that kick you need. To do this, you’ll need to watch your carb intake. I’m not a fan of low carb diets, but try reducing the amount of carbs and eating more meat instead.
There are several sources of meat and these can all be lean cuts or have more fat. You’ll want to carefully monitor your consumption of cuts high in fat. Again, balance is key.
Beef/Steak – This is my personal favorite source of meat. I love a good NY Strip or sirloin (I’m not a fan of fatty meats; just my preference). I feel great after eating a steak and it provides energy for hardcore workouts. My side if often a sweet potato. I also prefer lean ground beef. To me, this is the perfect balance of high quality protein with just enough fat to be beneficial for energy and boosting testosterone.
Chicken – The typical bodybuilding diet often includes chicken breasts. This is one of the leanest cuts of meat and works well if you’re wanting to gain lean muscle, or if you’re dieting and want to preserve muscle. Chicken can get really dry so try different seasonings and marinades. The crockpot is your friend here.
Turkey – Like chicken, you can get lean cuts of turkey. And many prefer turkey over chicken as they prefer the flavor of turkey. Some frown at turkey lunch meat because of the sodium, but I like turkey sandwiches (yes I know, bread…).
Pork – Pork is generally on the fattier side of meat sources. However, it’s filled with nutrients and properties that help build muscle.
Fish – There are types of fish that some consider to be the perfect source of protein. Salmon is one of these as it has a decent amount of healthy fats. Tilapia is a popular source of lean fish. I’m not a huge fan of fish, but I do enjoy Mahi Mahi.
Meat for Muscle
There are some other sources of meat. I just wanted to list the most common. And you can cater what types of meat you eat around your fitness goals. If you’re training for muscle mass or strength, red meat and pork are good sources. Chicken breasts and fish will be beneficial if you’re goal is to get lean and shredded.
Train with Passion,