How Much Protein In 4 oz Chicken Breast?

A chicken breast is arguably the ultimate high protein food. And it’s a staple in just about any fat loss or muscle gain meal plan.

But just how much protein is in a 4 oz chicken breast? The answer depends on how you purchase the chicken and when you weigh it.

So read on to find out how much protein is in every kind of chicken breast. Plus, see how that compares to other high-protein foods.

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein

First, it’s essential to realize that 4 ounces of chicken can have different nutritional values depending on whether you weigh it raw or cooked.

In addition, a chicken breast can come with or without skin and bones. And protein content can vary between brands due to other factors such as water content.

Factors That Affect Chicken Breast Protein Content:

  • Raw vs. Cooked
  • Bone-In vs. Bone-Out
  • Skin-On vs. Skinless
  • Retained Water %

Now let’s look at some different types of chicken breasts to see how much protein is in a 4 oz portion.

 
 
 
 
 
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4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein (Raw)

The boneless and skinless variety is the most common form of chicken breast you’ll find in most supermarkets. And it’s the first choice of athletes and bodybuilders due to the high protein to calorie ratio.

According to various listings in a nutrition database, a 4 oz raw skinless chicken breast has 26 grams of protein. With no carbs and just 1.5 grams of fat, that comes to about 120 calories.

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein Boneless Skinless Raw

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein (Cooked)

After cooking, a chicken breast loses about 25% of its weight. So if you start with 4 oz of chicken, it only weighs 3 oz after cooking. But that weight loss is due to water and not degradation of the protein.

In other words, cooked chicken breast contains about 25% more protein than the same weight of raw chicken breast. So, a 4 oz cooked chicken breast has roughly 33 grams of protein (26g*1.25).

Knowing the protein content of cooked chicken breast is beneficial when you meal prep large quantities of meat to divide up later. But keep in mind that the protein amount can vary depending on cooking method, temperature, and duration.

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein Cooked

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein (Skin-On)

Another factor to consider is whether the chicken breast has skin. The reason is that the skin contains more fat and less protein than the meat itself.

According to multiple database listings, a 4 oz chicken breast with skin has about 21 grams of protein. And, with upwards of 12 grams of fat, the skin-on breast has 190 calories.

Of course, you can reduce the amount of fat and calories by draining off the excess oil after cooking the chicken. But a chicken breast with skin will generally have more fat than a skinless breast.

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein Boneless Skin On

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein (Bone-In)

Chicken breasts with skin often come with the bone still in them. And the bone displaces the amount of meat.

On average, the breastbone accounts for about half of the bone-in chicken breast weight. So a 4 oz chicken breast with the bone would only contain about 2 ounces of meat.

Therefore, a 4 oz bone-in, skin-on chicken breast has roughly 11 grams of protein.

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein Bone In Skin On

In case you’re wondering, yes, it is possible to remove the skin from a bone-in chicken breast. And you can also weigh a skin-on chicken breast after cooking.

So here is a table showing all the different combinations of chicken breast types with their corresponding protein, fat, and calorie content.

Table 1. 4 oz Chicken Breast Protein By Type

Chicken Breast Type Weight Protein Fat Calories
Raw, Boneless, Skinless 4 oz 26 g 1.5 g 120
Cooked, Boneless, Skinless 4 oz 33 g 2 g 150
Raw, Bone-In, Skin-On 4 oz 11 g 6 g 95
Raw, Bone-In, Skinless 4 oz 13 g 1 g 60
Raw, Skin-On, Bone Removed 4 oz 21 g 12 g 190
Cooked, Skin-On, Bone Removed 4 oz 28 g 16 g 250

Bear in mind these are numbers are approximations based on averages from a nutrition database. You should still check the label on your chicken breast to verify the macros and calories.

With this table, it’s easy to see why the boneless, skinless chicken breast is the best option for getting the most protein with the fewest calories.

What Does 4 Oz of Chicken Breast Look Like?

In general, an uncooked boneless chicken breast weighs between 6 and 10 oz. That means a 4 oz breast is uncommon and more than likely you’ll be using a portion of a whole breast.

The suggested serving size for chicken breast is 3 to 4 oz. So a 4 oz portion is about what most people consume in one sitting.

As a reference, an 8 oz chicken breast is about the size of an average person’s hand. So 4 ounces of chicken breast is about the size of your palm.

8 oz Chicken Breast Compared to Fork

Here’s an 8 oz chicken breast next to a fork for size comparison. A 4 oz chicken breast is 1/2 the size of the one pictured here.

Easy Chicken Breast Recipe

When most people think of chicken breast, they picture a bland meal with white rice. But a bodybuilding meal plan doesn’t have to be so boring!

Click here to try my 20-minute chicken, broccoli, and rice recipe.

How To Measure 4 oz Chicken Breast

Of course, most chicken breasts don’t weigh 4 oz. So how do you measure a 4 oz serving of chicken? I have a few different ways to do it – with or without a scale.

With No Scale

First, you could try to buy packages of chicken breasts in 4 oz increments such as 12, 16, 20, 24, etc. Most of the time, chicken is sold by the pound, which would be 0.75, 1.00, 1.25, and 1.50 lbs.

Next, cook all the chicken and divide it into equal portions. For example, if you bought 1.00 lb (16 oz) of chicken breasts, you would divide it into four equal portions after cooking (16oz / 4oz = 4 servings).

Don’t worry about being perfect. If one portion is 3.5 oz and another is 4.5 oz, that’s okay! Because, over a few days, it all evens out.

Chicken Breast Package

As you can see, with a bit of math, you never have to weigh anything!

With Scale

I understand most people aren’t as fond of math as I am. So you can also skip the math and measure chicken with a kitchen scale before or after cooking.

Before cooking, weigh a multiple of 4 oz of chicken breast on your scale (12, 16, 20, etc.)

Or wait until after cooking to weigh the chicken so you don’t have to mess with raw meat. Remember that chicken loses about 25% of its weight during cooking.

After cooking, you should weigh 3 oz portions to get the same protein content as 4 oz of raw chicken breast.

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Protein Equivalents To 4 Oz Chicken Breast

While chicken breast is one of the best protein sources, you may not feel like eating it every day. So below are serving sizes of other high-protein foods that equal the same amount of protein as 4 oz of chicken breast.

Table 2. Food Amounts w/ Protein Equivalent of 4 oz Chicken Breast

Protein Source Weight Protein Fat Carbs Calories
Chicken Breast 4 oz 26 g 1.5 g 0 g 120
Lean Ground Turkey 5 oz 26 g 10 g 0 g 195
Salmon 6 oz 25 g 14 g 0 g 230
Sirloin Steak 4.5 oz 26 g 14  g 0 g 235
Tofu 11 oz 25 g 15 g  7 g 260

I’ve sorted the table from lowest to highest calories to show which foods are the most efficient sources of protein. As you can see, it’s hard to compete with the protein to calorie ratio of the boneless, skinless chicken breast.

Just for fun, I included tofu, one of the highest protein vegan foods. This example illustrates how hard it is to have a high protein plant-based diet without eating way too many calories.

How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day?

Now you know that a 4 oz boneless skinless chicken breast contains right around 25 grams of protein. But how much protein do you need in a day?

Well, your ideal daily protein intake depends on your body size, exercise habits, and fitness goals. Try my free Protein Intake Calculator to find out how much protein you need.

Protein Intake Calculator
Protein Intake Calculator

With this information, you’re on your way to being a meal prep master! But why stop learning now? Check out some of my other informative content below.

Recommended Daily Calorie Intake

Despite trendy diet advice, calories are still king. Learn how to find your recommended daily calorie intake for weight loss or weight gain.

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