ISS's 5 Rules Of Protein Economics!

We believe many athletes are still confused about many aspects of protein intake. So, we decided to create this ISS Special Report, ‘The 5 Rules of Protein Economics.’ Get in-depth advice on protein intake and enhance mass gain and fat loss now!

An Athlete's Guide For Incredible Results
5 Rules Of Protein Economics!


There have been many sports nutrition advancements in the last several years, but none of them has made more of an impact on helping successful bodybuilders, elite athletes and fitness enthusiasts achieve leaner and more muscular bodies than the quality and availability of protein supplements.

In fact, if you're serious about getting results, protein intake is such an important part of an athlete's nutrition program that it should be on top of your supplement list. Now, this isn't exactly "cutting edge" news, especially if you're an experienced athlete; however, at ISS®, we're constantly looking for ways to improve tried-and-true nutritional products, as well as techniques we know will bring our consumers the best results.

Since we get tons of questions about protein, we believe many athletes are still confused about many aspects of this important topic. So, we decided to create this ISS® Special Report, "The 5 Rules of Protein Economics," which provides clear-cut and straightforward advice regarding protein intake for gaining size, reducing body fat and enhancing recovery.

dot Rule #1. Focus On Proteins Designed To Work With Your Muscle-Building Machinery dot

When reviewing the different types of protein supplements on the market in comparison to how the human body utilizes protein, one thing becomes crystal clear; the human body makes the best use of the protein it gets when it must "tear it apart" and the amino acids are released into the blood in a time-released fashion. Why? Well, for one, "tissue" protein (intact animal proteins like beef and chicken are "tissue" i.e., FOOD) has been a prime source of amino acids in humans since time began.

The main benefit of tissue protein in human nutrition is that it is a near-perfect match for our bodies processing hardware; therefore, by design, it is very efficient.

Everything About Protein!
I will break down the science of proteins into easy to understand analogies to help you get a grasp on what it is, where it should come from, and how it can fit into your diet.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Humans utilize several "chemical" reactions to breakdown tissue protein; from the mouth and through the digestive tract, which ultimately allows the body to get a steady stream of amino acids that can be properly processed for maximum utilization.

You see, when it comes to amino acid absorption, flooding the bloodstream can cause protein to be wasted--because the human processing hardware cannot keep up. Think of it like a muscle-building assembly line that is turned on too fast, whereas amino acids (or building blocks) are moving so fast down the assembly line (bloodstream) that a "complete muscle protein" cannot be created.

Unfortunately, when you ingest large amounts of fast-acting proteins, your muscle-building assembly line cannot be sped up to accommodate the rapid influx of amino acids. This can cause your body to convert amino acids to make energy, which is not cost effective.

Armed with these facts, the product designers at ISS® set out to formulate a protein supplement that closely resembled the physiological aspects of tissue protein in humans. The protein that met these criteria is micellar casein, the major protein component in Micellar MatrixTM.

Micellar Matrix ISS Research Presents:
Micellar Matrix

Micellar Matrix deliver a slow, sustained release of amino acids into the blood stream dispersing over a seven hour period. This slow dispersion increases total protein synthesis and has been shown to decrease muscle breakdown by 34%.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

In several studies, micellar casein has proven to maximize net nitrogen retention, absorption efficiency, and protein synthesis 1,2,3,4,5.

Protein Synthesis
The process by which nitrogen from amino acids is linearly arranged into structural proteins through the involvement of RNA and various enzymes. Protein synthesis is muscle growth. The more efficient you can make this process the more efficiently you can build muscle.

To further enhance the effectiveness of Micellar Matrix, ISS® has added whey protein concentrates (WPC), whey protein isolates (WPI) and Egg Albumen, all of which have been shown to be absorbed faster than micellar casein, and serve to stimulate protein synthesis until the amino acids from the micellar casein enter the bloodstream.

Due to a delicate processing technique, the native micellar casein, whey protein concentrates and isolates used in this product will not cause the cramping and bloating that is often associated with inferior proteins that are highly processed via "Ion Exchange", which uses destructive chemicals to separate the different milk protein components.

Proteins Help Muscle Growth?
In terms of muscle growth, is it the same eating more or less carbs? Will it be useless to eat, for example, a cup of rice, cereals, or some food which has more carbs than proteins? I'm asking this because it's hard getting high protein foods all day long and I don't know if eating carbs will help muscle growth or it is completly useless? - narkerbyt.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

The proteins in this product are truly unique because they are only exposed to a low-temperature process that isolates the native proteins at its biologically natural pH, carefully preserving its biological activity.

In that respect, this product behaves like whole food and delivers a slow, sustained release of amino acids into the blood stream, dispersing over a seven-hour period. This slow dispersion increases total protein synthesis and has been shown to decrease muscle breakdown by 34%6.

Finally, this versatile formula contains two forms of glutamine from glutamine peptides and L-glutamine to further protect your muscles from breakdown. In sum this combination of ingredients help Micellar Matrix deliver a formula that not only increases new muscle growth, but preserves your existing muscle as well.

dot Rule #2. Take Protein Before Training dot

In the previous section, we discussed that when it comes to protein absorption, flooding the bloodstream can cause protein to be wasted.

On the other hand, athletes who train intensely create a metabolic environment before, during and after training that can benefit from faster-acting proteins. New research suggests eating protein before you work out can optimize muscle development. Pre-exercise protein digests into amino acids that are then ready and waiting to be taken up by the muscles after a strength workout.

Protein: How Much To Take? Protein provides the building blocks for tissue, hormones, enzymes and accounts for 15% of the body. Learn more from this very descriptive list of what it is, what it does, requirements, and more.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

arrow The Benefits Of Protein Intake Before Training

    Research has shown that the delivery of amino acids is significantly greater during the exercise session when consumed pre-workout than after exercise 7. In addition, taking a pre-exercise protein drink provides a significant increase in amino-acid delivery in the first hour after exercise.

    In short, by ingesting a pre-workout protein drink, you can increase your net amino-acid uptake across the working muscles twice as much as if you took protein only after exercise. This is believed to be caused by the increased blood flow to working muscles, and the simultaneous amino-acid availability from pre-workout protein intake.

RELATED PRODUCT Shaker Bottle Presents: Shaker Bottle

Quickly and easily prepare delicious mixes, shakes, drinks and more! This is the perfect companion for: travel, home, office, school, gym, or even the car! The cup and lid were designed so that you will get a tight, snug, leak-free fit every time you put the lid on. We have also made the bottom part of the cup narrower, so that you can conveniently put it in your car cup holders.
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dot Rule #3. Double Down On Protein Post-Workout dot

One of the easiest ways to maximize your protein investment is to take advantage of the metabolic processes that are in high gear post-exercise. If you've done your job during your training session, you not only damaged the contractile proteins of your muscles, but also severely depleted valuable energy stores in the muscles trained. It is at this time that your body is depleted of essential nutrients.

In addition, training at high intensities can leave you in a catabolic (muscle-wasting) state. This is what you want, because, by damaging and depleting muscle cells, you prime them to "hyper-absorb" key nutrients through a series of training-induced hormonal events that starts in motion once exercise is done.

Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Training At High Intensities Can
Leave You In A Catabolic State.

At this time, necessary muscle-building blocks of protein from amino acids are directed to repair, while cellular energy components are sent to the depleted muscles to replace depleted muscle fuels. But this training-induced catabolic state must be quickly reversed; therefore, it is of paramount importance to structure post-workout meals with the right combination of nutrients to maximize this metabolic environment.

Best Protein Blend For Post Workout?
Just wondering what advantages of taking a protein blend for post workout has over just a protein isolate. If any of you guys have tried a great blend please post it up and your experiences with it. And which blends look good. Had a look at ON pro complex, but have heard it only has a sprinkle of different proteins. - RUF-VK.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Remember during exercise, muscles use metabolic fuels at an accelerated rate, and, in order for physical work to remain constant; the body mobilizes stored fuels to make fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids available for oxidation. This is a catabolic process and cannot occur simultaneous to anabolic processes such as protein synthesis and glycogen formation.

arrow The Fast Track to Getting Anabolic

    In order for the body to recover from exercise, the catabolic environment must be quickly changed to an anabolic environment. Athletes can cause this metabolic shift to take place simply by choosing the right combination of foods they consume right after training.

    Research in strength athletes has shown that protein and carbohydrates taken post-workout stimulate muscle protein synthesis to a greater extent, than taking just protein or carbohydrates (carbs) alone8.

    By stacking protein and carbs after training, the increased anabolic effects also last longer, which can positively enhance metabolic rate and body composition.

    To further enhance recovery and protein synthesis on training days, ISS® recommends that athletes "stack" the two meals immediately after training with additional proteins and carbs. This simple technique is accomplished by "borrowing" some proteins and carbs from other meals to maximize the anabolic processes that are available right after training.

    This method allows athletes to drive over 40% of your daily intake of protein, plus 60% of your carbohydrate intake into the critical post-workout window of opportunity. Here's how:

Maximum Recovery Fat Loss Diet Protein Carbs Fat
Meal 1 40 25 10
Meal 2 40 25 10
Meal 3 40 25 10
Meal 4 (1 Hour After Training) 65 60 3
Meal 5 (4 Hours After Training) 60 60 8
Meal 6 25 2 7
Total Grams Per Micronutrient 270 197 48
Calories Per Micronutrient 1080 788 432
% Calories Per Micronutrient 47% 34% 19%
Total Calories 2300    
Post Exercise Meal % 46% 61% 21%

Lean Muscle Building Diet Protein Carbs Fat
Meal 1 35 40 9
Meal 2 35 40 9
Meal 3 35 40 9
Meal 4 35 40 9
Meal 5 35 40 9
Meal 6 (post exercise) 35 40 9
Total Grams Per Micronutrient 210 240 54
Calories Per Micronutrient 840 960 486
% Calories Per Micronutrient 37% 42% 21%
Total Calories 2286    
Post Exercise Meal % 16.67%    

Exercise Recovery Planner Protein Carbs Fat
Meal 1 30 35 15
Meal 2 30 35 15
Meal 3 (pre-exercise) 30 10 2
Meal 4 (1 hour after training) 45 80 2
Meal 5 (4 hours after training) 45 75 10
Meal 6 (bedtime) 30 5 10
Total Grams Per Micronutrient 210 240 54
Calories Per Micronutrient 840 960 486
% Calories Per Micronutrient 37% 42% 21%
Total Calories 2286    
Post Exercise Meal % 43% 65% 22%

arrow ISS Protein and Training Meal Planning Chart

    As you can see in the Lean Muscle Building (LMB) Meal Planner shown above, you would get about 17% of your total daily intake of protein, carbs and fat in your post-exercise meal (see meal 6). This is fine for overall meal planning, especially on non-training days.

    The ISS Exercise Recovery Planner (second chart above) allows you to maximize protein and carb intake in the four hours following you training, without resorting to adding additional calories to your overall diet. This is done by "borrowing" some proteins and carbs from other meals.

    This "borrowing" becomes a simple way to gear your daily diet toward higher levels of protein and carbs in the meals following training to maximize net protein utilization and speed post-exercise recovery.

dot Rule #4. Preserve Lean Muscle For Permanent Gains dot

If you've been training for more than just a few months, you know that building additional muscle is often EASIER than maintaining any lean muscle you've built. This is because your body is in a constant state of change, and, for the most part, maintaining a high degree of muscle mass is not your body's only priority.

As your training progresses, your body will experience periods of time where muscle tissue is accrued (anabolic state), and others where muscle tissue is broken down or lost (catabolic state). This breakdown or loss of muscle is often referred to by athletes as the "training paradox," in which their training program seems to take on a "three steps forward, two steps backwards" scenario that leaves them frustrated and disappointed by limited muscle growth.

Muscle Mass Factors!
The principles behind the regulation of protein metabolism are worth knowing about… Learn more about these factors if you want to know how important protein and exercise are.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Several factors can contribute to the breakdown of lean muscle, including low-calorie diets, low-carb diets, overtraining, erratic supply of amino acids, and more from protein intake.

The key to avoiding the overtraining spiral and accessing lasting gains in lean muscle and performance is, in fact, closely tied to how well your nutrition program can minimize these catabolic processes. Understanding how nutrition interacts with these catabolic events will allow you to hold on to the muscle you've built, and lead to long-term, lasting gains.

arrow Protein With Anti-Catabolic Mechanisms

    When it comes to protein intake, researchers have shown that micellar casein delivers a steady supply of amino acids that provides important anti-catabolic effects 9.

    Micellar casein, in its undenatured molecular structure, congeals in the stomach upon digestion, acting like a nitrogen shuttle system to precisely regulate the release of amino acids into the bloodstream at a steady pace.

    This regulated release of amino acids is critical for proper protein digestion, the synthesis of new tissue and, most importantly, decreasing the breakdown of existing muscle. This process is controlled by a group of peptides called "Casomorphins," which are released from casein upon digestion.

arrow Glutamine & Muscle Protection

    Glutamine status is an essential factor when it comes to limiting protein breakdown in muscle. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in muscle cells. It is released from the muscle during times of hard weight-training workouts and dieting.

    Glutamine concentrations in muscle fall noticeably after an intense training session and remain low until complete recovery. The loss of glutamine and nitrogen from muscle tissue is greater as your training sessions become longer and more intense. This fall in glutamine is catabolic to muscle tissue, and becomes the overriding principal of the "Training Paradox."

L-Glutamine ISS Research Presents:

Glutamine, the most abundant single amino acid in muscle tissue, is becoming more prominant as research reveals its effects on: Prevention of muscle breakdown, Protein synthesis, increased GH levels and support of healthy immune system function.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    This amino acid has been shown to be a great anti-catabolic agent; to be a contributor to muscle cell volume; and to have immune-system-enhancing properties 10.

    Glutamine has become more prominent as additional studies reveal its unique contribution to protein synthesis (muscle growth), and minimizing muscle tissue breakdown11. In fact, glutamine is solely responsible for over 35% of the nitrogen that enters muscle. Glutamine literally drives muscle-building nitrogen into the muscle cell where it is synthesized for growth and repair.

Glutamine A Muscle Saving Tool?
When wrestling season starts our coach doesn't let us weight train and makes us do all cardio. By the time you get home you're too tired to work out. so I was wondering if I started supplementing with glutimine would it stop catabolism on my muscles? - eltorro.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    For maximum anti-catabolic effects, ISS ® has this great product (mentioned above) that contains two forms of glutamine to further protect your muscles from breakdown: glutamine peptides and L-glutamine.

dot Rule #5. Tune-Up Your Muscle-Building Machinery With Protein Cycling dot

For years athletes have been advised to eat more protein per day than sedentary folks, and for good reason. That's because athletes routinely use strategies to improve their body composition and performance that require additional dietary protein, including intense training, and reducing overall calories for "dieting," to name a few.

At ISS®, we believe that the athletes "gold standard" for protein intake (1-gram per pound of bodyweight) is very effective at supporting the needs initiated by hard training. However, you may get even better results from cycling your protein consumption. The following cycling program can be followed for two weeks at a time to help further increase your body's protein efficiency.

The Protein Commandments!
With all the press that protein receives in the fitness world it is amazing how often people make basic mistakes in their nutritional plan in regards to protein consumption.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

arrow Protein Cylcing Phase I & II

    Phase One

      In the first phase of the cycle, you will eat less protein than usual for five days. Don't be alarmed - the recommendation in this phase is to lower your daily protein intake slightly to .7-grams per pound of bodyweight.


      When adjusted for a short period of time, this level of protein will not cause an athlete to lose muscle mass. In fact, the body initially responds by shifting its metabolism to slow the loss of protein. In essence, when you eat less protein (for a short time), your body quickly adapts and slows the rate at which protein is broken down.

      Reducing protein breakdown provides a major anti-catabolic effect. When you initiate an anti-catabolic response or promote "muscle protection," the results can be remarkable, because it represents at least half of the muscle-building equation (see Rule #4).

      In theory, if you could induce an around-the-clock anti-catabolic state, you'd make unprecedented gains in lean muscle. Temporarily decreasing your protein intake encourages just that -- a strong muscle-preservation state.

    Phase Two

      In phase one, eating less protein caused a release of enzymes to ramp up anti-catabolism. Now, after five days in that lower-protein state, you'll switch gears and increase protein intake. The additional protein, in the presence of enzymes that are slowing the breakdown of protein, can result in the "hyper-storage" of protein in muscles. Also, a change in protein intake from less to more triggers a strong increase in protein synthesis, a build-up of new muscle tissue.

      In phase two, you will consume 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight each day. This increased level of protein intake is continued for nine days during the two-week protein cycle. This time frame allows the body to benefit from the enzymatic environment that is favorable to rebuilding (hyper-anabolic) without reaching the point where protein is being wasted.


arrow Protein Cycling In Practice

    To put protein cycling into your own nutrition program, simply follow the ranges of daily protein consumption as follows:

Bodyweight Days 1-5 Days 6-14 Standard
150 105g 225g 150g
175 123g 263g 175g
200 140g 300g 200g
225 158g 338g 225g

    Using protein cycling periodically should give your body the change it needs to assure protein is being used efficiently. When not using the cycling pattern, make sure you stay close to the ISS ® standard protein recommendation of 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. This will ensure that you're feeding your muscles all they need for continued growth.

    For best results, divide your total daily protein needs among equal servings for each of your six meals on non-training days, and use the ISS® Exercise Recovery Planner (Rule #3) to split your protein on training days. Continue with two-week protein cycling as long as you are making muscle-building progress.

Putting it All Together

Now that we've discussed main elements of "protein economics" let's organize this information in a workable program that you can begin using right away.

 arrow STEP 1

 arrow STEP 2

    Gain control of your protein intake by calculating your individual protein needs. As a rule hard training athletes should consume 1-gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 200-lbs, your "baseline" protein needs are 200-grams per day.

 arrow STEP 3

    Spread out your protein consumption over 5-6 meals. For basic meal planning take your "baseline" protein needs calculated in Step Two (above), and divide that number by five or six. So for the same 200-lb athlete your protein per meal goal would be 33-40-grams.


 arrow STEP 4

    Re-arrange your protein consumption to accommodate training days. By calculating protein consumption for each day, and then dividing this number to account for five to six meals (Steps Three and Four), you have essentially created your protein planner for non-training days.

    Now, for training days you can "stack the deck" in favor of protein synthesis by consuming protein before training, and consuming extra protein in the two meals post-workout. This strategy is illustrated in the ISS® Protein and Training Meal Planning Chart shown in Rule #3 above.

 arrow STEP 5

    Utilize protein cycling throughout the year to increase the digestion and absorption of any protein you eat. Our body is constantly trying to find "equilibrium", and that can mean conserving, or wasting the proteins you consume each day.

    By periodically cycling your protein consumption you can take advantage of your bodies "evolutionary" survival mechanisms, and ultimately get more amino acid synthesis out of the protein you consume.


For years, athletes and bodybuilders have instinctively known that protein intake can have a direct effect on muscle growth, body composition and exercise recovery. However, many athletes have not fully understood how to get the best results from the protein they consume--until now.

We believe any serious athlete who wants to improve their muscle size; exercise recovery and/or body composition can use the knowledge in this article to get the best results possible.


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  2. Kimball SR, Jefferson LS. Control of protein synthesis by amino acid availability. Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
  3. Bos C, Metges CC, Gaudichon C, Petzke KJ, Pueyo ME, Morens C, Everwand J, Benamouzig R, Tomé D Postprandial kinetics of dietary amino acids are the main determinant of their metabolism after soy or milk protein ingestion in humans. J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5):1308-15.
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  5. Lacroix M, Bos C, Léonil J, Airinei G, Luengo C, Daré S, Benamouzig R, Fouillet H, Fauquant J, Tomé D, Gaudichon C. Compared with casein or total milk protein, digestion of milk soluble proteins is too rapid to sustain the anabolic postprandial amino acid requirement. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Nov;84(5):1070-9.
  6. Boire Y, Dangin M, Gachon P, et al. Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1997; 94:14930±14935.
  7. Tipton KD, Rasmussen BB, Miller SL, Wolf SE, Owens-Stovall SK, Petrini BE, Wolfe RR. Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise.
  8. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Aug;281(2):E197-206.
  9. Borsheim E, Aarsland A, Wolfe RR Effect of an amino acid, protein, and carbohydrate mixture on net muscle protein balance after resistance exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Jun;14(3):255-71.
  10. Boire Y, Dangin M, Gachon P, et al. Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1997; 94:14930±14935.
  11. Häussinger D. Control of protein turnover by the cellular hydratation state. Ital J Gastroenterol. 1993 Jan;25(1):42-8.
  12. Wagenmakers AJ. Protein and amino acid metabolism in human muscle. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1998;441:307-19.