Many know Red meat has a reputation for being superior for building muscle, and has for thousands of years, but is it true? I attempt to cover that issue in this vid!

Health Concerns over red meat? See: Red Meat and Health – have we been blaming the wrong thing?

Study mentioned in this vid:
Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;70(6):1032-9.
Effects of an omnivorous diet compared with a lactoovovegetarian diet on resistance-training-induced changes in body composition and skeletal muscle in older men.

Campbell WW1, Barton ML Jr, Cyr-Campbell D, Davey SL, Beard JL, Parise G, Evans WJ.

Very limited data suggest that meat consumption by older people may promote skeletal muscle hypertrophy in response to resistance training (RT).


The objective of this study was to assess whether the consumption of an omnivorous (meat-containing) diet would influence RT-induced changes in whole-body composition and skeletal muscle size in older men compared with a lactoovovegetarian (LOV) (meat-free) diet.


Nineteen men aged 51-69 y participated in the study. During a 12-wk period of RT, 9 men consumed their habitual omnivorous diets, which provided approximately 50% of total dietary protein from meat sources (beef, poultry, pork, and fish) (mixed-diet group). Another 10 men were counseled to self-select an LOV diet (LOV-diet group).


Maximal strength of the upper- and lower-body muscle groups that were exercised during RT increased by 10-38% (P < 0.001), independent of diet. The RT-induced changes in whole-body composition and skeletal muscle size differed significantly between the mixed- and LOV-diet groups (time-by-group interactions, P < 0. 05). With RT, whole-body density, fat-free mass, and whole-body muscle mass increased in the mixed diet group but decreased in the LOV- diet group. Type II muscle fiber area of the vastus lateralis muscle increased with RT for all men combined (P < 0.01), and the increase tended to be greater in the mixed-diet group (16.2 +/- 4.4 %) than in the LOV diet group (7.3 +/- 5.1%). Type I fiber area was unchanged with RT in both diet groups. CONCLUSION: Consumption of a meat-containing diet contributed to greater gains in fat-free mass and skeletal muscle mass with RT in older men than did an LOV diet.

  1. Kenroy Grant 8 years ago

    You know Will that really is funny with the rise of Bodybuilding and even the Olympics since the 60s that there hasn’t any conclusive research on the effects of red meat on muscle mass. I mean, if anything it would prove so much, all I can go on is obvious improvement in certain athletes.

    • Author
      Will Brink 8 years ago

      It would make for a very interesting study and needs to be done, agreed.

  2. Dan Przyojski 8 years ago

    Will, excellent. I personally find that quality red meat has always been an extra strength and overall feeling of well being for myself and my clients. Great post! Dan.

  3. Jeff 8 years ago

    Good video. Just out of curiosity, when you were training athletes and recommended the addition of red meat, how much did you recommend? A serving a day?

    • Author
      Will Brink 8 years ago

      6-8 ounces per day was fairly standard depending on athletes goals, weight, etc.

  4. Barrett 8 years ago

    Took a step back recently regarding fast and slow proteins etc etc and many are going the Casein route for the slow protein overnight soooo why not a nice steak for some great “slow” protein eh ?
    Just made a sirloin this morning simmered on low heat in coconut oil and then plated with a pat of kerry gold grass fed butter . ( Did have baby Kale shake ground up witth some chlorella and stuff too ) Sometimes doing up more real food vs the blender and powders is good change of pace.
    Anecdotal experience way way way back I do remember adding some ground beef to my diet felt a positive change on strength mass and recovery – you know that feeling you just can’t quantify it.

  5. AlphaXT 8 years ago

    I don’t feel good entire had no energy the kids are starving to death because they restricted this source in energy that you need to function well and then start in we have to agree upon a few things I know this summer you who don’t like my approach don’t like my style and certainly don’t like my message but that’s okay I’m not here when a popularity contest one thing that almost agree on in this room is we must eat the second thing I think we can agree ones the reason we eat for energy you know you don’t eat for protein you have no desire for prod you have no desire for beta carotene or any other phytonutrient X Adaro what you eat for his energy you have three potential sources of energy from your food you can get energy from protein which the body only does under duress he do something bizarre like eat the Atkins.

  6. Doug 7 years ago

    Hi Will, great article confirming what many already thought was true from experience. Have you done any research on beef based protein suppliments? Are they any different from good old Whey? or are they just another gimmicky fad?
    I always respect your thoughts on these subjects.

    • Author
      Will Brink 7 years ago

      Benefits of red meat, eat red meat. Beef powder is a waste of $$$.

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