Friday, October 1, 2010

Grass-fed for the Long Run

It's fall in New York City, and that means one thing... Well, actually, it means lots of things, but if you’re a long distance runner, fall is dominated by a certain 26.2-mile road race:  the New York City marathon.  With the cruel heat of summer now a thing of the past, runners are making the final push in their training, paying close attention to their diets, getting in their grueling, endurance-building long runs, and also holding down regular maintenance with regular shorter runs.

From the Third Avenue brgr, we see these intrepid runners pass by all the time on their way to the Park.  They’re not hard to spot with their comfortable paces, the cleverly-rigged water-delivery systems, their little packs of energy-giving goo, and, by the time they’ve finished, by their utter exhaustion.  The fact is that running takes a serious toll on the body, and while most runners I know are more than happy to take advantage of their extra burned (earned?) calories for a little indulgence, they’re also more aware than most of the importance of what they put in their bodies.  In a nutshell, athletes, more than most, really understand that food isn’t just about pleasure or hunger or whatever, it’s actually fuel.

As it happens,  grass-fed beef is pretty great fuel for the working body.  Olympic and NYC marathoner Deena Kastor is one example of a tried-and-true fan of grass-fed beef—she’s been eating it for years to fuel her intense running regimen—and there are plenty of other greats who know its value too.  I have yet to meet an endurance athlete who doesn’t eat meat in some form—quite simply, the human body needs it for nutrients, for replenishment, for energy stores, and more.  And no one is more conscious about eating the good stuff than athletes, which is why they opt for grass-fed over grain-fed.

What’s in grass-fed beef that makes it so great for athletes?

Omega 3s.
Branch-chain amino acids.
Vitamins A and E.
Digestive enzymes.
Lower in calories and fat than grain-fed beef.

So all you runners out there, have your brgr and eat it too.  Enjoy a juicy, tasty brgr, and get all the good things that your hard-working body needs, and while you're at it, splurge on a milkshake, too.  You’ve earned it!


  1. I agree that athletes are conscious of what they put into their bodies. If you're going to eat meat, and like you said, most athletes do, eating animals that are well cared for and who are allowed to eat their natural diet is ideal. I work for La Cense in Montana, so I know that Grassfed beef is the healthy "alternative" first hand. Thanks for promoting the benefits here on BRGR.

  2. I've been enjoying grass-fed beef for a few years, and I am impressed to see there are restaurants like brgr that can serve only grass-fed beef and be a success! I'm also an athlete and many of my friends are vegetarians.
    I read your blog and thought it's not completely accurate to say that endurance athletes need meat protein. There is one ultraman, who eats only plant-based diet.

    I have gone back and forth between vegetarian and meat diets, and it comes down to preference
    and convenience. It takes a lot more time to prepare high protein vegetarian or vegan meals.
    Not to mention, I really like the taste of grass-fed steaks and burgers.. Thank you for providing wonderful option in an urban environment!