Is Beef Jerky Good for a Workout Routine?


What is Beef Jerky? It is a cured or dried and trimmed beef item and it does not necessarily need refrigeration. It is convenient to carry, which makes it an ideal food product to be taken for camping, hitch hiking and all your road trips.

Good nutrition is crucial for a workout routine. A good workout food should contain the essential minerals, proteins etc. Other important aspects of good workout food are; it should be easily available and also easy to eat. Beef jerky meets all these criteria.

During the workouts and pre or post workouts the muscles should be allowed to grow, for which they need to be fed properly. Otherwise any amount of workouts will not help. By life is so hectic and carrying the perfect pre and post workout food in the gym bag gets a little difficult.  Also picking any pre and post workout snack does not help. It is vital to read the nutrition label to know whether the particular snack is ideal and fit for the diet and in tandem with the workout routine. In place of panicking a suitable alternative like beef jerky works.

Ready availability and inexpensive

If one is low on low budget or has limited access to various nutrition shops, beef jerky is the perfect option especially if one is on a regular workout routine. According to beef jerky is one such product which is readily available at convenience stores and even at gas stations. Also it is not a very expensive beef product.

Let us consider the nutrient values of the beef jerky.

Calories and nutrients

When considering a healthy workout routine, the calories always count. The beef jerky is a high protein meat but low on calories and the fat content. A 28gram serving of beef jerky gives around 17grams of protein, one gram of saturated fat and very little carbohydrates. One portion of beef jerky gives approximately 5 grams of carbohydrates. This gives us a fair amount of protein, fat and carbohydrate intake.

Regular workouts need low carbohydrates and high proteins and beef jerky lives up as the ideal snack.

In place of beef sticks always pick lean beef jerky.


Beef jerky is protein rich thus qualifies as a snack which can be eaten upon before as well as after the workouts. It gives around 17 to 18grams of protein in a 28 to 30 gram portion.


Taking a look at the iron constitution, beef jerky gives around 1.8 mg per 28 gram portion. It provides the daily recommended allowance of iron, which is an important nutrient aiding, and increasing the health of the blood and improving the aerobic capacity. The iron form present in this beef product is the easiest iron form to be absorbed by the human body.

More women have been found with iron deficiency and thus women especially can go in for this snack pre as well as post workouts.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is important in the formation of blood cells. Workouts require regular supply of healthy blood in the body. Beef jerky provide around 1 microgram of B12 vitamin per 100gm serving.

Sodium Content

This nutrient is the only concern when eating beef jerky. This beef product is high on sodium content. Care should be taken when eating beef jerky as a post or pre workout snack. One ounce can provide up to one third of the recommended daily intake of sodium. It should be eaten in correct quantities. High sodium can lead to health problems like high blood pressure and coronary diseases.


It is advised to eat frequently and in small portions for a high metabolic rate. This fuels the muscles after a workout. As discussed earlier, beef jerky is a handy food item and can be carried easily and is portable. It can be bought in larger quantities without getting worried about it being spoiled, as it does not require refrigeration. It can be munched upon whenever required.

Making Beef Jerky

It is simple to make one’s own beef jerky depending on the food dehydrator available. It can be made in bulk at one time and the salt, spice flavouring can be controlled. The plus point of making one’s own beef jerky is that the original source of the meat is known.

There is also a flipside of consuming beef jerky post regular workouts and that is its sodium content. Beef jerky are high on salt and salt can dehydrate and because of dehydration, water intake increases causing dizziness during workouts.

Beef jerky competes with the protein bar because of the portability, easy availability and high protein content.

Parameters Protein Bar Beef Jerky
Convenience + +
Taste +
Calories +
Cost +
Effective +

If the bar is just a sweet treat it is not effective and only tastes good.

Beef jerky has more of plus points as compared to the negatives and can be said to be a good snack for workout routines if eaten with proper care and over eating avoided.

Author bio: The post is shared by Jason Phillips. He is a diet and nutrition expert. He is passionate about adventure sports. He is also a freelance writer and writes for various websites offering wagyu beef for sale.


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