3 Interesting Facts About Beef Protein

interesting facts about beef protein health benefit steak creatine amino acids

By Paul Jenkins CEO and founder of DNA Lean 

More often than not, beef is a collateral victim of health campaigns trying to get people to eat healthier. Largely due to its cholesterol and saturated fat contents, beef is taken together with other types of processed animal products, as well as meats that come from other animals. While it is true that eating foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol will likely have a negative impact on your health, lean beef is not your average meat. As we shall see, there’s plenty of evidence to call beef a superfood in and of itself. 

Many people believe that the Western diet contains too much protein. This couldn’t be further from the truth as, more often than not, we eat too many calories in the form of sugar and simple carbohydrates [1]. When we do eat meat, we tend to favour highly processed products, such as hamburgers and sausages, rather than high-quality lean cuts from the butcher’s. These are the true culprits of high-cholesterol, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, and overall poor health. 

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Beef 

1. It’s Rich In Nutrients And Creatine 

Aside from wild game, such as venison and elk, which tends to be quite rare and expensive, lean beef is the type of meat that contains the most creatine, followed closely by tuna and salmon. Despite the popularity of chicken, poultry contains very little creatine overall. From increased energy levels, to increased strength and recovery, creatine is known to have a number of beneficial effects on our physiology [2]. This is the reason why CM (creatine monohydrate) is one of the most popular supplements within the nutrition industry. 

Aside from vital protein, there are 9 other essential nutrients that beef delivers to our bodies with each bite. 3.5Oz. or 100g of lean beef cut can help you get half of your daily protein requirements and a similar amount of vitamin B12 [3]. The latter is a particularly important vitamin for our brain, nervous system, and blood formation, which is why vegetarians and vegans are forced to either supplement or eat foods fortified with B12 in order to maintain proper health. 

Beef is also abundant in zinc, which is essential for muscle growth and testosterone, whereas the heme iron present in these cuts is highly compatible with that of our own physiology. This pretty much guarantees the complete absorption of the iron in beef cuts. Given its impact on our immune system, muscle tissue, and hormonal regulation, this meat is regularly referred to as nature’s multi-vitamin superfood. 

2. “Natural” And “Grass Fed” Don’t Mean Anything 

In your efforts to improve the quality of the food you eat, you might be tempted to go for labels that say “natural,” and “grass fed.” The latter shouldn’t have any more bearing on you than any other buzzwords. Such terms have absolutely no meaning within the EU or the US markets, as they are not regulated by the food authorities. What is important, however, is to know where the beef comes from and understand what each individual farmer views as natural or other such concepts [4]. 

On the other hand, “organic” beef is a certified term both by the USDA and the European Commission. There are very strict regulations in what concerns the definition of organic food production, which is why you’ll find that these goods are significantly more expensive than their non-organic counterparts. The problem is that not all of the details and regulations surrounding organic crops and livestock are affordable operation changes for smaller farms, which is why knowing the provenance of what you buy can help you get affordable, healthy cuts at below- the-market rates. 

3. It Helps With Muscle Mass Maintenance And Physical Performance 

You can go ahead and crown lean beef as the champion of meats in terms of protein content. Since it delivers each and every one of the 9 essential amino acids we cannot produce, beef is considered an excellent source of complete, high-quality protein. No other type of readily available meat comes close to the combination of nutrients and protein that it conveys. Eating enough beef can help fend off sarcopenia, or age-related muscle wasting, since the two major catalysts for the latter disease are inadequate protein consumption and a sedentary, physically inactive lifestyle [5]. 

Related: https://www.dna-lean.co.uk/products/amino-xs-bcaa-intraworkout 

Through carosine, which our bodies obtain from beta-alanine, beef can readily improve your workout [6], and especially our high-intensity exercise capacity and performance. Aside from taking beta-alanine supplements, eating lean beef regularly will ensure you can get that additional boost to muscle function. If nothing else, beef is one of the best examples as to the importance of adequate nutrition for performance and results. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how hard you lift or train if you’re not paying enough attention to what’s on your plate. 

The Beef Bias 

There are too many myths surrounding beef, most of them courtesy of the re-evaluation of the potential benefits and drawbacks that meat poses for human health. Despite certain incontestable evidence, beef is the target of a host of misinformation, including the fact that it is high in cholesterol or saturated fat. Lean cuts are incredibly easy to find in the grocery store, so much so that the majority of the market’s favourite cuts are also the ones that contain the smallest amounts of fat. What is difficult is to break the vicious cycle of eating processed meat products that contain beef, and associate the negative effects of the latter with the meat itself. 

Many of the people I know are intimidated by raw beef, believing that it takes just too much time and skill to prepare. However, from my own experience, this couldn’t be further from the truth. And I am no master-chef. Whether medium, rare, or well-done, there’s an appropriate method to get an optimal cook on any cut you like. You just have to do a bit of research and find it. Where's the beef in your diet?

List Of References: 

[1] Surprising Facts about Lean Beef – http://www.ncbeef.org/CMDocs/NorthCarolina/Nutrition/Surprising_Facts_about_Lean_Beef_FINAL_APPROVED%28print%29.pdf 

[2] Creatine Supplementation and Exercise Performance: A Brief Review – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3963244/ 

[3] Red Meat Is Nature’s Multi-Vitamin, Says Study – https://www.beefmagazine.com/blog/red-meat-nature-s-multi-vitamin-says-study 

[4] 19 Facts About Beef – http://www.clovermeadowsbeef.com/19-facts-about-beef/ 

[5] Role of dietary protein in the sarcopenia of aging – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18469288 

[6] Effects of beta-alanine supplementation on the onset of neuromuscular fatigue and ventilatory threshold in women – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17136505

I hope you enjoyed this blog post on interesting facts about beef protein including red meat like steak, and with why it's an excellent source of amino acids and creatine and other health benefits.

Interested in more articles about protein, amino acids, and creatine? 

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