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Lean Protein and Body Composition


If you’re like me, you love eating meat.  Lean meat is a great source of protein and it helps your muscles rebuild after a hard workout.  What I have noticed when I eat protein is it fills you up and this can help you lose weight and feel great.  For some of you who may not enjoy eating meat and are not seeing results in your training, this study can help you reach your goals. When I work with people who are vegans or vegetarians, they have to get their protein sources from other types of food.  Having a plan to increase their protein intake can be beneficial for their goals.

Protein Supplementation with Low Fat Meat after Resistance Training

Negro (2014) examined if beef supplementation had a positive effect on strength and body composition. Twenty-six young healthy adults were given a resistance-training program of eight weeks; they used machines and free weights at moderate effort. Subjects were placed into two groups, food group and control group. The food group after resistance training consumed a 135 g serving of lean beef (tinned meat), providing 20 g of protein and 1.7 g of fat. Nothing was provided to the control group. Fat mass, fat free mass, lean mass, was assessed by a scale, and muscle strength, assessed by one repetition maximum test, were evaluated in all subjects both at the beginning (week 0) and at the end (week 8) of the study. During the eight weeks of training, the food group and control group performed their workout session late in the afternoon or early evening. After a warm-up all subjects performed, in a randomized order, three circuits (Legs Circuit: leg extension, leg press, leg curl; Chest Circuit: pectoral machine, bench press, triceps machine; Back Circuit: vertical row, lat machine, biceps curl). Every exercise included 8 repetitions at 75% of their maximum; four sets of each circuit were completed in about 1.5 h of training, with 4 min of recovery between the three circuits.

Does a Beef Supplementation have an effect on Strength and Body Composition?

The results showed that the beef supplementation group  lost fat mass (week 0: 15 kg and by week 8: 13.1 kg).  This group also had an increase in muscle (week 0: 52.8 kg and week 8: 55.1). A reason why someone’s muscle mass may not improve is that they weren’t getting the recommended daily protein intake.  Studies have suggested that suggested that to build lean muscle, it is recommended to ingest 1.0-2.0 per/kg.  That may seem high but if you can get to 1-1.5 g, you may still see positive results. Muscle strength improved a lot in both groups. If you’re lifting weights consistently for 8 weeks you’re going to see positive gains in strength.

What can we learn from this?

The use of protein plays a huge role in our lives especially when changing body composition.  For those who don’t eat meat or have a hard time eating enough protein, protein shakes from beef help improve body composition.  What is great about protein shakes is that you can ingest 20+ g of protein without eating. This can help get you to your daily protein intake, but DON’T overdo it. Just remember, exercise is also needed for making the most radical body composition improvements!


Negro M, Vandoni M, Ottobrini S, Codrons E, Correale L, Buonocore D, Marzatico F. Protein supplementation with low fat meat after resistance training: effects on body composition and strength. Nutrients. 2014 Aug 4;6(8):3040-9.

Written by Chris Barber, CPT