Beef Bruschetta with Roasted Garlic-Feta Spread

Emphasizing the Benefits of Beef in Sports Nutrition

Mitch Rippe - Nebraska Beef Council | April 15, 2022

Kearney, NE –  As part of the expanded emphasis on sports nutrition, the Nebraska Beef Council recently partnered with the North Dakota Beef Commission to host outreach programs with athletes at North Dakota State University as part of their Powered by Beef program. With the goal of taking a real foods first approach to sports nutrition with a balanced diet built on the foundation of protein, athletes were educated on the multiple benefits beef provides for training, competition, and recovery.  

“For athletes, protein is a key component of a balanced strength promoting diet by providing the building blocks for growth and maintenance of tissues like lean muscle mass,” said Mitch Rippe, Director of Nutrition and Education with the Nebraska Beef Council.  “It’s especially important for athletes to get the most out of what they eat, and beef is a great example of a food that provides them with multiple benefits in an efficient calorie package.  While we often focus on the high-quality protein, beef also provides iron, zinc, B-vitamins and selenium—all of which have athletic impact beyond building muscle,” Rippe added.  

As teams completed their practice and weightlifting sessions, they visited the facility’s Refueling Station to build their own beef jerky trail mix and later in the day athletes from a variety of sports attended a cooking demonstration where they made beef burrito bowls.  Additionally, groups of football players were guided through the preparation of high-protein performance options as they prepared beef meals for their teammates.   With the overall goal of emphasizing “performance through protein,” athletes were shown practical ways to include 30 grams of protein, specifically beef, at each meal to keep them fueled for any activity and recover quickly. 

“Athletes benefit from consistently focusing on eating moderate amounts of protein at each of their meals and beef is a great performance protein,” said Rippe.  “Not only does beef taste great, but it provides greater than ten-percent of ten key nutrients in every three-ounce serving, which is something a lot of protein sources can’t do.”       


The Powered By Beef; Performance Through Protein program takes a real food first approach to sports nutrition. The focus of the high school and collegiate program is a balanced diet built on top of foundation of protein, specifically beef.  The overall goal of this program is to educate athletes on how to pre-fuel and refuel while they train before, during and after their sporting season. The NDBC is committed to education of student athletes through the “POWERED BY BEEF” program.

The Nebraska Beef Council is a non-profit organization served by a nine-member board of directors. The volunteers oversee the beef checkoff in Nebraska and checkoff-funded programs. Programs for marketing and promotion are funded by the $1/head beef checkoff.