If you love eating chicken, you might be aware that chicken is a complete source of protein and contains all 22 amino acids that your body needs to build protein-based structures such as; muscle, skin, hair, and other connective tissues. Chicken also contains an essential non-amino acid called creatine. Creatine in chicken helps to produce energy for stronger contractions. Let’s find out what creatine is and how much creatine is present in a chicken breast.
As mentioned, creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid used by the body for muscle contraction. This chemical is naturally present in the body. More than 90% of creatine is in the skeletal muscle. Along with that, creatine is also present in red meat and seafood. This chemical improves exercise performance and muscle mass. It is primarily involved in making energy for the muscles. Also, creatine is helpful for muscle cramps, fatigue, and depression.
Our body is capable of making creatine and manufactures nearly half of the creatine we need. Creatine is manufactured in the body from amino acids in the liver, kidney, and pancreas.
All animal-based protein sources contain some creatine; however, muscle tissue and organ meats are the best sources. Most creatine resides in these sources, i.e., organ meats and muscle tissue. However, dietary sources are more important for normal muscle growth and strength.
The flesh and organs of lamb, fish, cows, and chicken are rich sources of natural creatine. Similarly, lean red meat, chicken breast, and fish (especially salmon and tuna) are excellent sources of creatine.
You might be wondering, does breast chicken have creatine? The answer is yes, it does. The amount of chicken in creatine is constant and varies between 4 to 5 grams of creatine per kg of flesh. Similarly, chicken breast contains the same amount of creatine as cuts of beef and rabbit meat. Furthermore, the muscle tissue of animals contains more creatine than the organs.
It is worth mentioning that certain factors drastically affect natural creatine levels in chicken and other meats, such as; the type of feed, cooking method, and muscular development of the animal.
Generally, free-ranging active chickens are likely to contain more creatine in their muscles compared to the ones raised in cages and depend on low-quality food.
Also, cooking chicken and other meats reduce the creatine content because, as a result of cooking, the protein becomes badly denatured and unusable.
It is common for weightlifters and competitive athletes to take creatine supplements as it helps increase lean muscle mass and improve performance.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) suggests that creatine supplements are most effective at enhancing performance and improving lean body mass. Furthermore, creatine supplements can also treat high triglycerides, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, exercise fatigue in heart patients, and muscular dystrophy. However, creatine supplements must only be taken on the advice of a physician.
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