The Nutrition Benefits of Eating Turkey

The Nutrition Benefits of Eating Turkey
Presented by Spartan Training®

As early as 1000AD the Native Americans hunted wild Turkey for its tender, juicy meat.

In 2012, the average American ate 16 pounds of turkey and the United States produced 253,500,000 turkeys. (Source: University of Illinois Extension)

Turkey is an excellent source of a complete protein. Protein plays a role in maintaining and building lean muscle mass, repairing muscle tissue, maintaining fluid balance, regulating hormones and energy, and maintaining immune strength. Other sources include meat, plants, dairy, beans, legumes, and grains. Worried you’re not getting enough protein? Find the answer to that question here.

Safely Storing Leftover Turkey

Plan ahead, clean out the refrigerator and make room for leftovers several days before the holiday feast.  Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator within 2 hours after cooking is completed. Why just 2 hours? Because bacteria that cause food poisoning can multiply to undesirable levels on perishable foods left at room temperature for longer than that.

Large quantities should be divided into smaller portions and stored in several shallow containers. Food in small amounts will chill faster keeping it safer and fresher.

If a large amount of turkey is left, consider freezing some for later use. Do not wait until the turkey has been in the refrigerator for 4 days to freeze it. Freezing will not improve the quality of the turkey. If the turkey is frozen while it is fresh the quality will be better upon defrosting. Source: University of Illinois Extension


A 3 1/2-ounce portion of turkey is about the size of a deck of cards. Fat and calorie content vary based on the choice of white vs dark meat and whether or not the skin is on (not recommended). One gram of fat contains 9 calories and one gram of protein contains 4 calories. Turkey is naturally not a primary contributor of carbs in the diet.

Why Turkey Is Important for Spartans

Turkey is an excellent source of a complete protein due to the essential amino acids that it provides. The amino acid profile is beneficial for all, but is especially significant for those looking to maintain or increase lean muscle mass and support recovery from strength training.

Knowledgeable athletes know that the true results from our workouts don’t occur while we are training (since that is when muscle is being broken down), but rather during recovery (when muscle tissue is being repaired). This process is strongest when our body is in full repair mode: when we are sleeping. According to experts, consuming protein in the evening can help repair, maintain, and build new tissue in muscles that have been stressed by physical activity.

During the deep REM sleep stage, your body sends out its biggest blast of growth hormone. Consuming protein before crashing for the night helps feed the furnace to optimize workout gains. Eating a protein-rich snack can also help to stabilize blood sugar, keep you from waking up starving, increase metabolism, and promote weight management because more muscle burns more calories. Want to know more? Read the full article on the benefits of protein before bed here.

Athlete Highlight: Zero in on protein benefits.

  • Protein builds, maintains and repairs all the cells in your body.
  • It plays a vital role in keeping your immune system healthy.
  • Protein is used to make enzymes, hormones and other compounds you need for health.
  • Protein is also used to fuel your body, especially when you don’t get enough calories from carbohydrates or fat.

Spartan approved Chomps guarantee these benefits in an easy on-the-go option that using nothing but quality turkey that is free range, antibiotic free, 100% non GMO Project Verified, and did we mention juicy and delicious? Check them out here.

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