Top meats to boost performance

If you’re looking to improve any aspect of your fitness, meat can play an important role providing you with great quality protein and minerals to fuel your muscles, and your mind. We’ve listed the best types of meat to help you reach your fitness and wellbeing goals.

Steak mince
‘It has a wide range of uses,’ says sports scientistEmil Hodzovic. ‘It can be mixed with a huge variety of vegetables – tomatoes, peppers,kidney beans, onion, mushrooms – to form the basis of dishes including chilli, bolognaise or burgers.’ Go grass-fed (and lean) if you can.
Organic Beef Lean Mince 10% Fat,
£4 for 500g, Sainsburys

Turkey steak
As well as being protein-rich, there’s evidence turkey can help to keep post-meal insulin levelsin check. It’s also high in selenium, protein and vitamins B3 and 6. Flatten with a mallet and pan-fry with olive oil and capers.
British Turkey Quick Cook Breast Steaks,
£3 for 380g, Tesco
Chicken
Breast or leg man jokes: so ’90s. Today’s gent cooks a whole bird in one –spatchcocking will have it done in under an hour – then harvest the meat as necessary. Breast is better for pure protein, though thighs are (arguably) tastier if you’re cooking them bone-in.
Finest British Cornfed Free Range Whole Chicken, £4.25/kg, Tesco

Tuna

You’ve heard about the mercury risk, but there’s some evidence that it might be less of a problem than advertised: research suggests that an unusual form of selenium found in the fish mitigates the risk. It’s also high in vits B3, 6 and 12. Add it to your lunchtime spud. Princes Tuna Chunks in Spring Water, four x 160g for £3.50, Sainsburys
Cod
There’s a reason it’s a three-times-a-day staple for Dwayne ‘Always Bulking’ Johnson: it’s low calorie, high protein, and one serving has more than your daily quota of B12. You don’t even need to cook it bland: brush on a teaspoon of miso paste, bake for 30 mins, and serve with sweet potato wedges. Cod Fillets, Boneless & Skinless, £3.30 for 250g, Sainsburys

Salmon
University of Amsterdam research suggests it might be as effective as pills for curbing depression, thanks to the DHA and EPA that are key components of its omega-3 content. Wild-caught, which has higher levels of omega-3, is worth the investment. Taste the Difference Wild Salmon Fillets, £5.50 for 230g, sainsburys.co.uk pure protein, though thighs are (arguably) tastier if you’re cooking them bone-in.
Finest British Cornfed Free Range Whole Chicken, £4.25/kg, Tesco

Bacon
Good with avocado, even better cooked crispy and sprinkled on salad, and loaded with heart-healthy oleic acid. Get the good stuff: commercially fed pigs raised on a diet of soy and corn can be high enough in omega-6 fatty acids to negate their beneficial effects. There’s some evidence that you shouldn’t go smoked – it’s higher in preservatives. Unsmoked Streaky Bacon,
Taste the Difference, £2.50 for 220g, Sainsbury

Oysters
‘Along with other shellfish, they provide a good source of zinc, which is important for testosterone production,’ says nutritional therapist Nicola Moore. They’re also packed with protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C. And you can even keep your PETA membership card: oysters have minimal impact on the ecosystem, don’t have the nervous system to sense pain, and thrive in factory-farmed conditions.
Oysters – Fresh Live, £1.15 each, The Cornish Fishmonger

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