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Protein from nutrition is the starting point for muscle building - Learn about the importance of protein and amino acids right here! Start building more muscle now by following these simple steps.

The Importance Of Protein

An important point that will make everyone understand the importance of protein and good nutrition first and supplements and/or steroids second.

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dot Biochemical Actions dot

    It is sometimes hard to explain biochemical actions in the body in a palatable way. Yet this next point is such an important tool, that everyone needs to grasp it, that I will attempt to put it into an easy to understand format.

    I thank my old biology teacher for this explanation of how muscles are built, although Mr. Chips will obviously forgive me for adding to it myself, as Mr. Chips was not talking about bodybuilding on those occasions. This explanation can make sense of the bodybuilding process, supplements, diet and more.


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    Now let us imagine a muscle cell. It is round and looks like a single frogs spawn. That is a jelly like surrounding with a black dot in the middle. This is a muscle cell, the outside is the cell membrane, the inside is the factory of the cell which instructs the body to use the nutrients that surround the cell to make, in this case, muscles.

    It is surrounded by liquid. That liquid is called the lymph and it is where the food you eat ends up around the muscle cells. It is also where toxic waste from the cells reactions are dumped and this is why, every three hours, your lymph is drained and you loose not just the toxic waste, but any amino acids and other nutrients from around the cell. This is why we must eat every three hours.

    Now in order for the nutrients to end up in the lymph, you must get it into the blood stream. You get it into the blood stream by eating it. This is the basis of muscle building. You must eat nutrition, this goes into the blood, into the lymph and then the muscle cell instructs and uses it to build muscle. You cannot build muscle unless you provide the raw materials, which is nutrition.

dot Nutrition dot

    Nutrition therefore is the starting point for muscle building. It is no use to add products that increase how much nutrition we can use (i.e. steroids or supplements) unless you have put in the nutrition in the first place.

    So if you use this biological example you can do two things. One you can see if it actually aids the muscle building process (eating, protein supplements does for example) and secondly if the supplement or method you are using does not, in some way, enhance this process, it can be discarded.

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Protein Aids The Muscle
Building Process.

    Certain supplements for example increase the amount of protein (nutrition) you can use and is therefore useful so you can use it but only after you have actually supplied the protein in the first place for it to work with.

    Now I could go on and on about nutrition and protein and make it sound real fancy and complicated so I come across as some smart @ss. But I also note that second word - @ss.

Green Tea As Good As Its Hyped Up To Be?
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Good Protein Food
Guys, I was wondering if anyone could link me to a site or post a list of foods that's high in protein.
Started By:

    We don't need to complicate things. Nutrition is actually pretty simple and after this section everyone's going to have a plan and understand basically what to do. The Manifesto of Mass goes into a little more detail, but this section will stand on its own.

Protein - A Bodybuilder's Best Friend

Remember that biological example I gave at the beginning of this article? About the cells? Well lets recap. If you are trying to build a brick wall what do you need? Bricks. Now if I gave you ten bricklayers and no bricks what would happen? No wall will be built. But if I give you two bricklayers and lots of bricks, we will get the wall built without a problem.

Now your diet is the bricks, what we need to build the wall with. The bricklayers are products that allow this to take place or speed up the process. Things such as supplements, steroids and so on.


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Now many people have this the wrong way around. They supply all the bricklayers by taking supplements and steroids but fail to give the bricklayers anything to work with. So nothing gets built no matter how much products you take. You have to grab this and reverse it so first and foremost you are supplying the bricks. Then these products have something to work with.

Everyone and their pet beaver will know that the first and most important nutritional point for bodybuilders is protein. This is the building bricks of life and what makes everything you want from bodybuilding happen. If training breaks down the muscle, protein is what builds it up and stored protein is what keeps muscle because muscle is stored protein.

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Protein Is The Most Important
Nutritional Point For Bodybuilders.

Everything is built from protein and the body will want to repair all of this before it starts building bigger muscles because on a survival basis bigger muscles are not a priority.

dot Muscle Building dot

    In nature when humans first appeared we were thin and wiry, not massive. Look at Red Indians and other such groups of people who are pretty much as they were in times gone by. They are not massive. They are lean, maybe, but not bodybuilders by any extent.

    Having big muscles is not a natural state of being. It isn't. Your body is actually so keen to keep you smaller because again, in a survival point of view, the smaller you are the less you need to eat and so the easier it is to keep you alive.


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    Bigger people need more food and energy and big muscles require more food and energy than a fat person or thin person. When you understand this, it makes sense of why it is so hard for many to get bigger.

dot High Protein Diets dot

    What steroids do is actually make you super human in the sense that they put the balance against being small and allow for an unnatural state of being massive to take place. But even steroids will not do a bit of difference if you do not consume enough protein, because it is the protein in your diet that makes the difference. That is why I gave you that example at the beginning of this article.

    If you are natural you have to have pay even more attention to your diet and protein needs and have to be smart when using supplements.

    That is why you don't grow eating 100 grams of protein a day. It is almost not possible because that protein will be used for a 101 different biological processes before muscle building. So to grow massive, to grow fast, you need to eat quality protein and lots of it.

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To Grow, You Need
Protein And Lots Of It.

    But aren't high protein diets dangerous? Not for the healthy person. If you have stomach or kidney problems then yes, high protein diets are not going to be your best friend. This is because such conditions does not allow protein to be broken down and used properly.

    Otherwise eat lots of protein, make this a priority over carbohydrates which are useful for bodybuilders but basically make almost everyone, but the very lucky (with high metabolisms), gain fat. For energy it is better to have more good fats than carbs.

Protein And Volume.
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Protein And Volume.
I have seen some posts where they claim whole food sources are superior and others that claim that the better absorption of supps like micronized whey is better.
Started By:

    Fat is stored energy and carbs are basically just energy. Muscle is not stored carbs, fat is. So this should clear up any misconceptions of high carb diets for massive muscles. Bulk, yes, but lean gains, not really. So should we burn carbs at the stake? No, they are needed and can actually act as a natural anti-catabolic (anti-muscle breakdown) so lets not burn them, well not yet anyway.

    Excess protein will be either used as energy (so protein is like an excellent slow release carb) or it will be stored as - give that man a trophy - stored muscle.

dot Amino Acids dot

    Now protein is made up of amino acids. We have all heard of them as well. Your body takes the protein, chops it up into amino acids and then strings them together in chains. One chain to make blood, one to make eyes, skin, hair and so on.

    The chain used to build human muscle is made up of 22 amino acids. No need to know them all, pretty boring really. If one of these amino acids is missing then you cannot make the chain in the structure needed to build muscle.

    In plain terms you stop the muscle building process. Now the body can other amino acids to make up those lacking but we are discussing optimum nutrition here and so it makes sense to provide all 22 amino acids in the first place.

    1. Alanine
    2. Arginine
    3. Asparagine
    4. Aspartic Acid
    5. Cysteine
    6. Cystine
    7. Glutamic Acid
    8. Glutamine
    9. Glycine
    10. Histidine
    11. Isoleucine
    12. Leucine
    13. Lysine
    14. Methionine
    15. Ornithine
    16. Phenylalanine
    17. Proline
    18. Serine
    19. Threonine
    20. Tryptophan
    21. Tyrosine
    22. Valine

    Now the only food source that contains all 22 amino acids is, in fact, two protein sources in one neat little package - the egg. Nothing else contains 22 amino acids. Complete proteins are anything but and are not like many people believe proteins that contain all 22 amino acids. They do not but they contain the amino acids needed to provide 22 amino acids if these amino acids are missing. This is not optimum nutrition.


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    Now there is no need to start panicking saying this is getting complicated, I just want to eat a tin of tuna and grow. Well with just tuna, you won't grow super-fast, Tuna is great for other Tuna, but not for bodybuilders, but the solution is really simple.

Combine Protein Sources

This is one of the best pieces of advice you will ever follow in terms of nutrition and many people do not do it. It's not even a new idea, I first read about it in 1980s, but it's not as simple, I guess, as eating 1 tin of tuna but all you need to do is add this to say, a bean source and bingo - you have 22 amino acids.

If you eat steak and chicken throughout the day, have half the steak with half the chicken one meal and the rest in another meal - yes it's that simple but who hand on heart knowing this actually does it day in day out?

Real solid results can be seen by doing just this. It is not a small difference. The difference between providing all 22 amino acids at the point of entry (eating) is mind blowing compared to eating a substandard protein source (i.e. one protein source) day in day out.

Green Tea As Good As Its Hyped Up To Be?
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High Protein Foods?
I eat chicken everyday and I know turkey also has high protein and carbs. Any other foods I can add to my diet with high protein/high carbs?
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If you cannot get down two sources of protein then simply have an amino acid supplement that contains all 22 amino acids. If you cannot find that then have this blend, which you can make yourself for less than the cost of a Big Mac and chips, and contains HMB, Glutamine and all 22 amino acids needed for monster growth.

Take this blend or amino acid supplement with each single protein meal to make it a complete meal.

Other than that have a protein powder that contains all 22 amino acids. This must be a blend of proteins because no single source of protein contains all 22 amino acids. Throwing in free form amino acids to make up the difference is not the answer.

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Have A Protein Shake
That Has All 22 Amino Acids.

Even the mighty whey is missing one amino acid - taurine - which is needed for muscle growth. So whey taken on its own has its uses but for maximum growth on its own leaves one of the amino acids missing and therefore cannot build muscle tissue at the maximum rate.

So with each meal just think - does this contain all 22 amino acids? If not do the suggestions above. It is that simple folks, don't let anyone confuse the issue. If you want to build muscle you eat protein. If you want to eat optimum protein you must get down all 22 amino acids. This done, that's protein sorted.

A Magic Time For Protein

Directly after training a unique event occurs which can make everyone reading this article gain 1 stone in a year if you follow just this one tip.

The stone is a unit of weight. It is part of the Imperial system of weights and measures used in the British Isles, and formerly used in most Commonwealth countries. It is equal to 14 pounds and to 6.35 kilograms.

After training independent studies show you can absorb 1 gram of protein, per 1kg of lean bodyweight, when normally you can absorb far less than this per meal. So if you weight 100KG you can get down 100 grams of protein and the body will use almost every gram of it. This never happens at any other time.


So directly after training get down a big protein shake and you have taken a huge step towards your maximum potential. Add around 20 grams of simple sugars (at this time it is needed) to replenish muscle glycogen.

Again many, many people will simply not do this and miss out on such a dramatic opportunity to progress to their ultimate potential. They wait a few hours and then have a protein shake. It must be downed within 45 minutes of your last set in the gym, or the biochemical event is missed.

What Is The Importance Of Post-Workout Nutrition?

Do it, you will never regret it. If you can only use one serving of protein powder a day, make it at this time on training days. You will be getting double the benefit by doing so. I have more magic to teach you in my other publications see my site for details.

So what should you eat before training? I would say keep it sensible, keep it light. I would have 1 gram of carbs per 1KG of bodyweight before training. Maltodextrin is ideal for this purpose but get the brand that does not contain lots of lactose and sugar. This boost of carbs gives you energy for the workout but it also opens up that post workout meal window.


I would have 1 hour clear before training, so one hour before training have a light meal of chicken and rice with some amino acid blend. Throughout the work simply have water. As much as you can get down.

That is protein in a nutshell. No need for any confusion. Do these simple steps, read the important bit first and do the protein steps and you will grow faster than you ever imagined.

    This article is copyright J. Stettler 2008 and is a re-worked section from my current best seller Operation Morpheus the updated version is out this year and can be purchased from the above sites.