Why Does Beef Help Build More Muscle Than Chicken?

Have you ever wondered why beef builds more muscle than chicken? Beef is an excellent source of protein, the building block of muscle growth!

It contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs to develop muscles. Most important, beef’s high level of creatine increases muscle growth and helps build lean body mass. Protein is often called “nature’s performance booster” because it improves endurance, strength, and speed; and beef has it all!

The amount of fat in beef varies depending on where it comes from (i.e., grass-fed or grain-fed).

Beef Help Build More Muscle

Grass-Fed Cows

Grass-fed cows are healthier for humans due to their higher omega 3 content and lower levels of saturated fat. However, if you purchase beef from a typical grocery store you’re likely getting meat that comes from grain-fed cows.

Grain-Fed Cows

The levels of omega-6 in grain-fed beef are higher than the recommended daily amount (~10:1 omegas 3:6). This can create an inflammatory environment when ingested and result in poor muscle development and injury recovery.

Why Does Chicken Build Less Muscle than Beef?

Although chicken is also an excellent source of protein it does not contain creatine and other amino acids which help lean muscles develop so much as beef does. As we learned, meat contains all essential 9 amino acids which allow muscles to grow and recover from exercise so the absence of these in chicken is a definite drawback.

Nutritional Values: Chicken VS Beef

There are many differences in the nutritional values of chicken and beef.


One cup (140 grams) of cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast provides:

    • 180 calories
    • 26 grams of protein (53 percent DV)
    • 2-gram fat (0 percent DV)
    • 0 cholesterol

Chicken is also a good source of vitamins A and B6 which help with red blood cell production and aid enzymes in metabolism functions.


One three-ounce serving (85 grams) of grilled top sirloin contains

    • 172 calories
    • 27 grams of protein (54 percent DV)
    • 8 grams fat (.5g saturated/1g unsaturated)
    • 2 milligrams cholesterol
    • Beef is also an excellent source of iron (~32 percent DV)

Inadequate iron in the diet can lead to anemia, fatigue, and weight loss. Additionally, beef contains B12 which helps build red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body.

Points Of Difference

The differences between chicken and beef are interesting when you consider how similar they are in nutrition content. It seems one is not better than the other but rather different in the nutrients they provide.

Chicken’s high levels of Vitamin A help reduce inflammation while beef’s high levels of creatine increase muscle growth. Both have adequate amounts of protein so it really depends on what you plan to use them for i.e., chicken in salads or grilled for lean meats vs in stews with potatoes for more calorically dense sources of protein.

Is Eating Beef Beneficial For Health?

Eating red meat is beneficial in many ways. It contains creatine, an essential amino acid that helps build muscle, and all nine essential amino acids. This can lead to better weight loss, muscle development, etc.

Beef also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which helps you lose fat while maintaining muscles. There is also a diminished risk of heart disease. It can protect you against cancer and reduces inflammation and pain in arthritis sufferers.

Eating beef also increases your body’s ability to absorb and utilize nutrients in the foods you eat with it. Eating red meat with vegetables is a very healthy way to delight in both protein and essential nutrients at once.

Which Types Of Beef Are Best For Muscle Building?

There are many types of beef that are best for muscle building.

Some examples include ground beef, sirloin steak, round steak, skirt steak, and flank steak. However, beef is not as lean as chicken but still healthy for you. More protein than an equivalent serving size of chicken breast.

Ground Beef

Ground beef will be your cheapest option for your protein needs. The more you cook it the higher the fat content. If you cook it until no pink is left then the fat content will be at least 72%. Ground beef is also great if you have a large family to feed or just want a quick meal like burgers or tacos.

Sirloin Steak

Sirloin steaks come from the back and rear legs of the cow and they usually weigh less than 10 pounds. They can make a great meal if cooked properly with high-temperature cooking methods like grilling. They are usually considered the best choice in red meat because they provide high levels of both creatine and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). This part will also be best in a  dry aged steak process.

Round Steak

The round steak is also known as the rump. It comes from above the sirloin on the cow’s body. It can be prepared in a number of ways like frying, grilling, broiling, sautéing, or braising. This type of beef has less fat than other types but still contains ample amounts of vitamins B6 and B12 which help with metabolism processes along with iron to rebuild blood cells.

Flank Steak

The flank steak comes from below the loin cut off at about 6 ribs down-portion. The flavor is strong so it’s best when marinated in an acidic liquid like vinegar, lemon juice, or wine for 1 to 24 hours before cooking.

Skirt Steak

Skirt steak comes from between the flank and the plate up next to the belly. It’s popular with US consumers because of its wonderful flavor and low price. It can be used in many dishes such as stews or grilled on a barbecue/hob. Also known as “The King Of Beef” because it is rich in creatine which increases your muscles. Skirt steak also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which helps you lose fat while maintaining muscle mass.


Of course, there are many types of meat out there but the ones listed here are great choices for muscle building and health benefits all around. If you want lean protein choose chicken (not fried) or fish (salmon is also great). If you want more calories then beef will be your choice. It can help with inflammation, strengthen bones, decrease cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure too!

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