Difference Between Red and White Muscle

red muscle and white muscle exampleBoth red and white muscles are skeletal muscles that perform various functions in the body.

Red muscles are thicker with blood vessels, with more myoglobin and mitochondria – giving the red signal On the other hand, white muscles have very few mitochondria and are very poor in myoglobin, giving the muscles a “white” appearance. Read on to learn more differences between red and white muscle.

Difference Between Red and White Muscle

Red Muscle Fibers

White Muscle Fibers


Red muscles are a type of skeletal muscle which are dense with capillaries and is rich in myoglobin and mitochondria White muscles are also a type of skeletal muscle, but contains lower amounts of mitochondria and are myoglobin poor


More in number Comparatively less in number

Sarcoplasmic Reticulum

Red muscles have reduced quantities of SR White muscles have more SR


Can perform aerobic oxidation without accumulating much lactic acid – hence, can contract for long periods of time Performs anaerobic oxidation and accumulates lactic acid much quicker than red muscles – hence, gets fatigued after short bursts of contraction

Rate of Contractions

Slow rate of contraction Fast rate of contraction


Extensor muscle Muscles of the eye ball
  • They have a very rich blood supply.
  • They have a very poor blood supply.
  • e.g. extensor muscles of the back in mane.
  • Extra-ocular muscles

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