Photo by Brian McCord/Farm Flavor Media

It’s no secret that athletes need protein – after all, the macronutrient helps build and maintain lean body mass and plays a role in muscle recovery.

That’s why organizations like the Ohio Beef Council (OBC) and the Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) are pairing up with athletic events across the state, serving as sponsors and sharing their message. For example, the OBC is a title sponsor for the 2017 Ohio State Four-Miler that takes place in October and is open to 15,000 runners and walkers.

“Exercise is more effective when it’s paired with a high-quality protein like beef,” says Elizabeth Harsh, executive director of the OBC. “Sponsoring the Ohio State Four-Miler is a great opportunity for us to showcase the nutritional punch that beef packs.”

The OBC also sponsored the Ohio State Four-Miler in 2016, and it promotes a 30-day protein challenge each May during Ohio Beef Month, and in the weeks leading up to the race. Participants are encouraged to consume 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal for 30 days.

“If consumers go to, they can sign up for the challenge and get a newsletter, recipes and tips for incorporating more protein into their diets,” Harsh says.

The OPA is also promoting protein intake, and was a bronze sponsor for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon in May 2017. According to Jim Chakeres, the OPA’s executive vice president, the organization promoted egg consumption during the sponsorship as part of the Ohio Egg Marketing Program.

“We wanted to bring the message that high-quality protein is great for all athletes, especially those who participated in the marathon,” Chakeres says. “Eggs have the highest-quality protein for the most affordable price, and the OPA wanted to convey that message to all the attendees.”