5. Beef

Red meat is usually higher in cholesterol and saturated fat than poultry, so many athletes take it off the menu, but it’s also high in iron, protein, and creatine.

Iron is particularly important for women, who typically need 18mg of iron a day, as opposed to the 8mg men need – low Iron levels can result in fatigue.

Creatine is often taken as a supplement by body builders and athletes, as it is an amino acid which helps to build explosive muscle (useful for sprinters particularly). Beef is also high in leucine, another amino acid responsible for helping put protein to good use in the muscles.

It is worth noting that red meats, such as steak, are slower to digest. This means they keep you feeling full for longer, so paired with salad, they’re great if you’re trying to lose weight. However, they won’t deliver repairing nutrients to your muscles quickly, so are best not used as a post-workout meal.

An average steak (just over 100g) contains 207 calories, 6.5g of fat, and 34.5g of protein, and around 22% of your daily cholesterol recommendation.

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