Even if you don’t feel like working out, when you overcome all your excuses and hit the trails, bike, free weights, court, pool, or field, there’s nothing that feels better than a good sweat. Your breathing is fast and hard, your heart is pumping, and your endorphins are flowing. As you recover, a sense of accomplishment and calm comes over you. It’s incredible – so don’t let your post-exercise snack erase all your hard work! Eating beef jerky after a workout is an excellent (and delicious) way to maximize your results.
Ditch the Protein Shake: Eating Beef Jerky After a Workout
Growing athletes and those in training need about 0.6 – 0.9 grams of protein per day for each pound of muscle mass. For most people, this means about 10 – 20 grams of protein for a post-workout snack. The amount of protein in beef jerky makes it an ideal choice. In fact, according to University of Iowa Director of Sports Nutrition Nicole White, it took 2,120 pounds of beef jerky to feed Iowa athletes over the last year. But that’s not the only reason to go with a tasty meat snack like jerky:
- It’s packed with protein. Protein is a macronutrient that is essential for optimal health and performance. It is often called the “building block of the body.” Among its superpowers: helping grow and repair muscles. Yes, it can actually help you develop muscle and recover more quickly from workouts! This is why beef jerky is a favorite in the weightlifting community. But even if you do not want to build muscle bulk/mass, you can use this snack to boost your efforts to build lean muscle.
- Beef jerky delivers a “complete” protein: that is, it contains all the amino acids your body cannot produce itself.
- Typically, meat snacks are low in fat. (If you are doing keto, just pair them with healthy fats to get the protein benefits with the fat content you need).
- They are also low in calories. A pouch of Sweetwood’s Original Flavor Beef Jerky, for instance, has 140 calories per package. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain healthy weight, or replace calories after a light workout (depending on your individual goals), it fits the bill.
- When you choose quality meat snacks, they are low in carbs (no added syrups or sauces that add empty carbs). For example, our Original and Jalapeno Flavor FATTY smoked meat sticks have 6 grams of net carbs or fewer.
- Jerky has a lot of zinc and iron – essential minerals for your health.
- This food will not raise your insulin levels, so your body will not begin to store fat.
- Meat snacks are convenient for on-the-go snacking. Feel like preparing an omelet after you change in the locker room? Making yourself a turkey sandwich on wheat? We don’t either. We’d rather grab an Original Flavor Turkey FATTY smoked meat stick and go about our day with no mess, fuss, or hassle.
- Sweetwood Smokehouse’s small-batch meat snacks are made with American-sourced ingredients, including high-quality cuts of meat and all-natural herbs and spices. There are no added nitrites, nitrates, or MSG, and no artificial junk.
- Eating beef jerky after a workout is preferable to drinking a protein shake. Why? Remember we said the recommended protein intake was about 10 – 20 grams after a workout? Some whey protein products have as much as 52 grams. When it comes to protein, it’s not a “more is better” situation. Too much can lead to weight gain, constipation, and kidney strain. The protein in beef jerky is, as Goldilocks says, “just right.”
- Furthermore, protein shakes do not typically contain healthy fats, iron, vitamins, or minerals. What they lack in nutrition, they make up for in fructose, artificial ingredients, and mono- and diglycerides. Beef jerky is real food, and Sweetwood uses real ingredients.
Reward Your Hard Work!
The protein in beef jerky makes it the perfect post-workout snack. The flavor… well, that makes the perfect post-workout snack even better! Aim to eat 20 grams within 30 minutes of your workout. And congratulate yourself for a job well done.