Chicken versus turkey: which is best?

We deliver the 220 verdict on which one's better for a triathlete's dinner

Chicken vs. turkey

They’re both white, lean and chock full of protein, but which meat is better for triathletes – chicken or turkey?

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Christmas fave turkey has become a recommended meat for athletes since scientists uncovered several interesting nutritional qualities. It’s high in protein for starters (up to 52g per 150g portion), and has a very low fat content – the leanest cut of skinless, boneless breast contains just 2-3g.

Beyond basic macro-nutrient content, turkey also has high levels of a compound called beta alanine, which acts as an antioxidant and potentially allows athletes to train at a higher intensity for longer.

Christmas turkey

Punchy poultry

Skinless chicken breast contains similar levels of calories as turkey, but lower levels of protein (48g per 150g portion), and more fat per serving (3-4g). The macronutrient content of chicken, when compared to turkey, isn’t vastly different.

Both chicken and turkey are good sources of B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, nutrients of which are crucial to efficient energy metabolism. Incidentally, the darker leg meat of chicken, and particularly turkey, is iron and B12-enriched.

Chilli chocolate chicken with quinoa

And the winner is….

For the athlete looking to optimise their functional nutrition intake, turkey pips chicken to the winning post thanks to its slightly higher protein level and lower fat content.

However, both are lean meats that provide athletes with all-important proteins for muscle growth, and good levels of B vitamins and minerals for energy production.

(Images: Ewelina Karbowiak /  Yathin S Krishnappa / Timophey Tkachik)

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Which do you favour for post-workout meals? Let us know in the comments!