How Much Protein in Chicken? Breast, Thigh and More

Chicken thigh vs. Chicken Breast

People who are into bodybuilding often look for food items that offer good amounts of proteins, fat, and calories, and animal protein is an amazing source of the same. And when it comes to animal protein, chicken is the most popular. 

Food rich in protein ensures that the goal of bodybuilding can be achieved while maintaining muscle and losing fat. 

If you love chicken and wonder what’s better between chicken thigh vs. breast, the article will give you a detailed insight into the same. 

Chicken Thigh vs. Chicken Breast

chicken thigh vs breast

The popular cuts of meat include chicken thighs, breasts, drumsticks, and wings. Among these, let’s find out how much chicken thighs and chicken breasts offer to the body.

Chicken Thigh

The presence of active and more myoglobin content in chicken thighs makes it darker than chicken breasts. Myoglobin provides more oxygen to the muscles, making them redder than other cuts of the chicken. Often, people prefer chicken thighs, believing that being red makes them juicer and tastier. 

Below is the protein and calorie content of skinless, boneless, and cooked chicken thigh, weighing around 52 grams-

  • Protein- 13.5 gm
  • Calories- 109 per thigh

The calories in chicken thighs come from protein (around 53%) and fat (around 47%).  

Chicken Breast

Another popular cut of chicken is chicken breast, which offers nutrition in abundance. It is extremely popular with bodybuilders as well as those who are looking for weight management, mainly because it offers fewer calories. 

Below is the protein and calorie content in chicken breast weighing around 172 grams-

  • Protein- 54 gm
  • Calories- 165 

Even though the calories are higher in chicken breast, 80% of the calories come from protein, while 20% is from fat. Since fewer calories are coming from fat, it won’t contribute to weight but muscle building.  

Besides the nutritional content, chicken thigh and chicken breast can be differentiated under the following heads-

CharacteristicChicken ThighChicken Breast
LocationFound on the lower part of the chicken’s bodyLocated on the upper part of the chicken’s body
SizeGenerally smaller and more compactLarger and more elongated in shape
FlavorDarker meat with a richer, slightly fattier flavorLighter meat with a milder taste
TextureJuicier and more tenderLeaner and can be dryer if overcooked
Cooking MethodsSuitable for slow cooking, grilling, and fryingVersatile, suitable for grilling, baking, and sautéing
NutritionContains slightly more fat and caloriesLower in fat and calories, higher in protein
Protein ContentContains slightly less protein compared to breastHigher protein content compared to thigh
Cooking RecommendationsOften better for recipes requiring moist, flavorful meatSuitable for those preferring leaner cuts of meat

Which Cut Is More Beneficial- Chicken Thigh Vs. Chicken Breast?

Regardless of cut, chicken is a great source of nutrients, especially proteins. While some cuts offer leaner protein, others can hinder your goal of weight management.  

When it comes to selecting between different chicken cuts, the choice goes down to individual preferences. While some people prefer chicken thigh for its luscious taste, others prefer chicken breast for its deliciousness.

However, when it comes to health and fitness goals, chicken breast, being the leanest part, is considered better when your motto is to reduce weight and build body. It has fewer calories, and thus, your body will get all the nutritious protein present in it and, at the same time, have low body fat. 

On the contrary, those who want to gain weight and build muscles can choose fattier cuts of chicken as it contains more calories. 

Chicken breast will be a great cut for those who want to maintain their muscles and improve recovery. Since the body requires more protein during recovery, chicken breast will be the best. 


Bodybuilders look forward to healthy protein options to build their muscles and refrain from the extra calories. Chicken, being one of the richest sources of animal protein, is highly preferred by those who are into muscle building.  

Out of different cuts, chicken breast offers 31 grams of protein in 100 grams, and chicken thighs offers 26 grams in 100 grams. Thus, being lean and having more protein content, chicken breast will be the best for bodybuilders as well as those looking for weight management. 

It will also maintain muscle mass and improve recovery, which is often experienced by bodybuilders during their workout sessions.  

If you want to gain weight or build muscle, prefer fattier cuts such as chicken thighs as they offer the benefits of protein as well as calories. 

Image Source – Canva

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