Primiparous Santa Gertrudis heifers were used to evaluate the effects of gestational dietary protein content on meat quality traits of 20 month old bull progeny (n = 40). At -. 60 d before AI, heifers were randomly allocated to HIGH or LOW protein diet (HPERI and LPERI). From 24 dpc, half of each treatment group changed to an alternative post-conception HIGH or LOW protein diet (HPOST and LPOST). LPERI and LPOST diets resulted in higher shear force of the semitendinosus muscle than HPERI (P = 0.053) and HPOST (P = 0.003), respectively. Heat-soluble collagen in the semitendinosus muscle was lower (P = 0.019) for LPERI than HPERI. Collagen and tenderness of the longissimus muscle were not affected by dam nutrition (P > 0.05). Color, pH, sarcomere length, cooking loss, compression values, desmin and troponin-T degradation, fiber type, intramuscular fat and polyunsaturated fatty acid content were not affected by dam nutrition during the peri-conception and first trimester gestational period (P > 0.05).