Nationwide, sports teams have been showcasing beef as part of a healthy and active lifestyle, and recent observations have even shown the benefits of strong sources of protein in medicine and muscle recovery. Recently, the Nebraska Beef Council teamed up with Campbell University’s soccer program, North Carolina Beef Council, and registered sports dietitian Crystal Zabka-Belsky to focus on beef as a premium protein for fuel and performance.
The partnership between those in Beef State and those in Tar Heel State is also linked to skill development and practical meal preparation to implement effective eating habits for athletes during the training season and beyond.
This doesn’t come long after the Build Your Base with Beef program announced its continued efforts for a fourth year to prepare young athletes all the way up to Olympic athletes for a successful sports season. Build Your Base with Beef is a nutrition initiative that provides a toolkit that includes ready-to-use materials and resources created through a collaborative partnership between the South Dakota Beef Industry Council, Sanford Health, and the Sanford Sports Science Institute.
“Beef really is a performance protein,” said Mitch Rippe, director of nutrition and education for the Nebraska Beef Council. “Our goal was to provide the student athletes with practical and easy-to-use nutritional strategies that they can implement in their daily lives. These strategies, coupled with the high quality protein beef, enable these athletes to train hard and recover effectively. “
During the Campbell University event, soccer players were tasked with preparing balanced performance meals using beef. In a pre-workout survey, a third of athletes said their lack of knowledge about how to prepare beef, as well as their perception that beef is an expensive protein, led them to look for alternative meals.
Beef advocates then spent time with the 100+ North Carolina Campbell players, and as a result, over 95 percent of players said they now consume beef at least two to three times a week, with 93 percent of players saying that they are now very likely to include more beef in their weekly meals.
While the program was in North Carolina, Campbell’s head coach Mike Minter is a former University of Nebraska player and two-time national champion (’94 and ’95) who played in the NFL for 10 years.
According to Amelia Breinig of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, based on the success of this program and the benefits for the student athletes, the Nebraska Beef Council is working on additional sports nutrition programs with colleges, universities, and high school sports programs to fuel beef as a premium protein for athletic performance and energy .
The hammer thrower with world gold medals and US record holder Deanna Price said: “As a professional athlete, you need the highest quality fuel. Beef is an extremely nutrient-dense protein. It not only provides high-quality protein, but also contains numerous vitamins and minerals that are essential not only for performance, but also for daily life. “
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