Whether you want more endurance, bulk, or speed, you’ve no doubt heard about the benefits of creatine. Supplements abound, and they can help boost your body’s natural supply (creatine is produced naturally in the body). Of course, it is important to stick to recommended doses so as not to tax your kidneys or start retaining water (water is part of the structure of creatine, so when your body stores it you can bloat a little). The question is: How can you get more creatine in your diet? Here are some of the best foods to boost your natural creatine levels.
Creatine supplements suggest starting out with 20g per day (5mg at a time) for 5 days to boost your body’s store of the substance. Then all you need is an extra 3-5 grams per day. How do various meats shape up against supplements?
Let’s start with chicken breast. Every gram of chicken breast has about 3.5mg of creatine. That may not sound like much until you find out that one ounce of chicken is a little over 28 grams. That means that an ounce of chicken breast has over 100mgs of creatine. If you eat 8 ounces of chicken breast in a meal (not unlikely for a guy who exercises) that’s nearly a full gram. Keep in mind that some of the natural creatine cooks out, so you actually get a little less than that.
Let’s take this up to the next level. If you eat a porkchop, now you are getting 5mg per gram of meat. You can do your own math here. The fact is that if you are having some meat, poultry, or fish with every meal, then once you have your stores filled with creatine, you should be able to maintain the levels just with your diet.
The big winner is cod. With 7mg of creatine per gram, cod has twice as much natural creatine as chicken breast. Other major contenders are top round steak, turkey breast, and chicken thighs.
If you are a sprinter, maintaining your natural creatine level is necessary so that you can keep pushing after the first few seconds of the sprint. If you are a weight trainer then you need creatine to add additional reps so that you can stimulate additional muscle growth. If you are an endurance athlete then creatine won’t really help during your workout, but it will help you to recover quicker after it is over. Thus, you need to eat accordingly.