KEARNEY, Neb. — The Nebraska Beef Council recently partnered with the Campbell University football program, the North Carolina Beef Council, and Crystal Zabka-Belsky, registered sports dietitian from Omaha, to bring a taste of the Beef State to the Tar Heel State. The collaboration focused on beef as a premier protein for fueling and performance, coupled with skill development and hands-on meal preparation to implement effective nutrition habits for athletes throughout the training season and beyond.
“Beef is truly a performance protein,” said Mitch Rippe, director of nutrition and education for the Nebraska Beef Council. “Our goal was to provide student athletes with practical and easy-to-use nutrition strategies that they can implement in their daily lives. These strategies, coupled with the high-quality protein beef provides allows these athletes to train hard and recover effectively.”
During the event, players were tasked with building balanced performance meals featuring beef. In a pre-session survey, one-third of the athletes indicated that their lack of knowledge when it came to preparing beef, along with their perception that beef is an expensive protein, led them to seek alternative meal options. The Beef Checkoff helped offer education sessions to over 100 student athletes on the Campbell football team focusing on the nutrient availability and cost-per-serving analysis of various beef dishes. As a result, over 95% of players stated they now consume beef at least two to three times per week with 93% of players indicating they are now very likely to incorporate more beef into their weekly meals.
While the program took place in North Carolina, Campbell’s head coach, Mike Minter, is a former Husker and two-time national champion (’94 & ’95) who played 10 years in the NFL and understands the benefit beef plays in fueling, performance, and recovery.
“It was great to partner with the two states that were instrumental in my football career,” said Minter. “Our Campbell Football program takes pride in community collaboration and providing opportunities for not only enhancing performance but also building essential life skills. This experience did both. We look forward to continued collaborations aimed at bringing cutting-edge sports science opportunities to our players.”
Based on the success of this program and benefit to student athletes, the Nebraska Beef Council is working on additional sports nutrition programming opportunities with colleges, universities, and high school athletic programs across the state to feature beef as a premier protein for athletic performance and fueling.
— Nebraska Beef Council
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