Eating meat, seafood and other foods rich in Creatine is a cheaper option than consuming Creatine supplements. But how much Creatine is in meat? Will it be enough for your needs? This article explores this option in detail.
Creatine is an incredibly popular supplement these days. However, not many people know that creatine is a compound that is naturally found in our muscles.
Then, why is there a need to take it as a supplement, you may ask? The answer is that creatine is needed to improve one’s workout routine, especially if you are doing incredibly intense exercises or are an athlete trying to improve your strength and stamina.
But many athletes might be worried about taking any supplements out of fear of getting banned. Even though Creatine supplements are perfectly legal, you might want to use natural sources such as meat instead.
So how much creatine is in meat? Is it enough that you don’t need to buy supplements? Let us look at the answers to such questions in more detail.
Why Do I Need Creatine?
Before we go on a hunt for creatine sources, is there is any value in taking this supplement at all? The answer is yes, Creatine is a very safe and effective way to support athletes and bodybuilders.
Creatine is perhaps the most popular pre and post-workout supplement in the market. More than 1000 scientific studies and research show that creatine supplementation increases the intramuscular concentration of creatine.
In simple English, this means that creatine improves physical performance during strength training that athletes and weight-lifters usually undertake.
Several studies have also shown that creatine reduces the risk of injury and provides pain relief from a strenuous workout.
Creatine also helps in increasing glycogen synthesis, helps in increasing muscle mass, enhances the muscle’s capacity to lift more without struggling, and increases the anaerobic threshold of the body, which is needed to perform better strength training.
Is Creatine A Natural Substance?
It is completely natural and already exists in your body.
Creatine is a natural compound found in your muscles, kidneys, and brain. About 95% of creatine is present in your muscles, and 5% is distributed between your brain and kidneys.
The origin of the term Creatine is the Greek word, “Kreas”, meaning flesh. Creatine gives instant energy to your cells, letting us work through our everyday tasks.
Creatine is an amino-acid derivative whose primary function is to keep us energetic and charged throughout the day. As the origin of its name suggests, creatine, apart from supplements, can be found in a diet rich in fish, meat, dairy products, and meat of other animals.
If you are taking a diet that includes 50% meat, you are taking enough creatine that is required throughout the day. The studies say that the rest, 50%, is already being made inside our bodies.
How Much Creatine Do I Need in a Day?
A person needs 1 to 3 gm of creatine a day, and most of it can be acquired via a good diet. An athlete may need to take upto 25gms a day at the beginning of the Creatine loading stage, and then 5-10gms daily.
How Much Creatine Is in a Steak?
According to Quinnipiac University, beef has about 1 gram of creatine for every 1 to 2 pounds of meat, and the same amount can be found in pork as well.
However, they lose about 5 percent of their total creatine when cooked unless they are boiled. So, you have to be aware of the cooking part as well.
One pound of salmon or tuna also provides about 1 to 2 gm of creatine. If you plan your diet around these foods, your daily intake of creatine shall be covered without relying on supplements.
As mentioned already, meat is a natural food source for creatine intake, and steak particularly has a high amount. About 5g of creatine is present in per kg uncooked beef, the rabbit has about 3.5g of creatine per kg, and chicken carries about 3.4g of creatine per kg.
Venison or deer meat has around 4 to 5gm creatine in every 100g, and it has an advantage over beef – it is lower in fat and higher in protein than beef and other forms of steak.
In the case of mutton, you can have 5gm of creatine per every kg of uncooked meat. Mutton also has many other minerals and vitamins, including zinc, B12 vitamin, iron, and more.
According to the experts, a person with an average-built should take about 5g of creatine via diet to maintain the energy level in his muscles – this means that you need to take two pounds of beef and three pounds of chicken a day to keep your creatine levels.
You might like to read: What Does Creatine Taste Like?
How Much Creatine Is in Red Meat?
Every one pound of red meat contains at least 4 to 5gm of creatine, which is enough to take daily. However, it is not advised to the athletes and those who practice intense workouts regularly to have so much red meat. Instead, they can find their creatine source from salmon, chicken, eggs, and herring.
How Much Creatine Is in a Serving of Meat?
One pound of meat contains 1 to 2 gm of creatine, and typically, there is 350 mg of creatine in 100g of red meat. Thus, based on this calculation, you can learn how much creatine is in a serving of meat.
The best thing about having creatine via meat is that it is a natural way to increase the intake of the muscle-increasing compound. If you take about 5gm of creatine through beef, you do not have to rely on supplements available in the market that may come with specific side effects.
Is There Creatine in Chicken?
Yes, there is a good quantity of creatine in chicken. Every kilogram of chicken is said to contain about 3.4gm of creatine. The good thing is that chicken is readily available to the masses since it is the most common type of poultry, and also, it is pretty rich in protein (23g per kg approximately).
Chicken is also considered a highly healthy and active alternative to red meat. The athletes and performers who cannot have red meat regularly can surely rely on chicken to fulfill their daily creatine intake.
Active chickens are expected to have more creatine than those raised in cages. Also, the chicken loses about 5% of creatine content after it is cooked. Thus, if you are specifically looking for creatine in your diet, you should have chicken stew for yourself.
What Meat Is the Highest in Creatine?
Beef has a high creatine content, specifically steak, with 5g creatine per kg of uncooked meat.
Beef is one of the richest sources of creatine and contains an impressive amount of protein and several other vitamins and minerals. Thus, eating beef provides you with creatine for the supply of energy in your muscles and protein, which actively contributes to the body’s muscle growth.
However, it would be best to be reminded that you lose 5% of creatine right away when you cook beef or steak unless it is boiled or stewed, so keep that in mind.
However, if you are a person who doesn’t eat meat, we have an alternate option – herring, a forage fish, which contains the highest amount of creatine amongst fishes – about 4.5g of creatine is present per pound of this salt fish. It is mainly known for its omega-three content and creatine. However, the fish is also rich in protein, selenium, Vitamin E, and other minerals.
What Are the Other Food Sources To Take Creatine?
Apart from steak, you can find creatine in dairy products, such as fish, cheese, milk, and eggs. If you take this food regularly, the chances are that your creatine level is balanced.
However, it can be pretty difficult for vegetarian and vegan people to maintain a good level of creatine in their bodies since not many plant-based or vegetarian food has the necessary amount of creatine in their bodies.
Amongst vegetarian food, cranberries are a good source. Still, one has to have an intake of about five hundred pounds of cranberries to maintain the 5gm of creatine in their bodies daily – a feat that seems challenging to follow regularly.
Apart from cranberries, you can also find creatine in sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, white beans, almonds, and watercress. If you are a vegetarian and still want to increase creatine intake in your body, you should perhaps meet a dietician or a professional in the field to truly understand what will work best for you.
A Few Final Words
The best option if you want to take up creatine from a natural source is beef. Almost all types of meat have a good quantity of Creatine for an average person, though an athlete or bodybuilder may require more.
All of us want to perform better during our workouts. We love to lift heavy weights, run faster than the last time, and overall improve the quality of our exercise routine. For this reason, it is essential to take specific diets or supplements that increase our muscle mass and energy.
When we talk about power, nothing can build it like creatine, and thus, it is essential to keep up with our meat diet to take at least 4 to 5gm of creatine anyway. We would suggest you stick to a diet that is heavy in creatine than go for supplements since you may suffer from specific side effects, such as feeling dizzy, sick or nauseous after taking them. However, it is you who has to decide what works for you best, so go ahead and make a choice!