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Muscle Building Nutrition

Scroll down until you find the information you are seeking on muscle nutrition.  This page may be very helpful for you to understand the basic information regarding many muscle building supplements as well as helping you gain a good knowledge of nutrition.  This information may also assist in determining what you want to include in your muscle building stack.
Carbohydrates are needed for providing the body with energy and are important for the metabolism functions. Somewhere between 50-55% of your total daily calorie intake should be from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can be divided into two categories - Complex Carbohydrates and Simple Carbohydrates. 

Complex Carbs are needed for a more sustained energy. We get the majority of our carbohydrates from complex carbs like pasta, potatoes, vegetables, grains, cereals,  rice, and oatmeal. Complex carbohydrates pass through our digestive systems slower than simple carbs do and therefore won´t give you those energy "highs" and "lows".

Simple Carbs like honey, fruit, fruit juice, some deserts and table sugar pass through our digestive system quickly. They are a great energy source after a workout when your body may need a quick muscle recovery.


Protein is considered the most important macronutrient to rebuild and repair the body's cells.  As protein is broken down through the digestive process, it is converted into different types of amino acids.  This is done  for several purposes like muscle tissue-building, vitamin & mineral transport, hormone creation.

Protein is needed for the edification of the body's tissue (muscle and blood).  Proteins can replace worn out cells and can be used to process and create hormones and enzymes.

Protein contains about 23  amino acids. Eight (8) of these are essential and must be provided through our food intake. Another eight (8) are conditionally-essential amino acids  and this means the body may be capable or may not be capable of creating them through a diet.  Seven (7) are non-essential that the body creates through the essential amino acids.

Essential amino acids:
  • Isoleucine
  • Lysine
  • Leucine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine
  • Threonine
Conditionally essential amino acids:
  • Glutamine
  • Taurine
  • Tyrosine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Histidine
  • Arginine
  • Cystine
Non essential amino acids:
  • Glycine
  • Citrulline
  • Asparagine
  • Alanine
  • Aspartic Acid
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Ornithine
Good forms of protein include eggs, cheese, milk, whey, lean beef, pork, fish, beans, nuts, and peas.

So, how much protein should you consume? 
Our daily protein need varies depending on our variables such as age, health, bodyweight, activity and also the quality and combinations of the proteins we eat.
An average person who doesn't do any form of sports activity needs about 0.8 grams of protein for each kilogram of his/her bodyweight. The daily protein amount should be much higher when sports are performed, because the metabolism is higher and the protein breakdown is larger through exercise.  For individuals seeking to put on mass, about 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of individual's weight could be consumed.

Protein powder is the most essential supplement for all athletes who wish to put on muscle and strength and maximize recovery. When choosing a good powder try to make sure it contains the best and most advanced protein powder, ionic whey concentrate isolate. Ionic whey contains the highest biological value (159) and is easily absorbed digested and utilized by the body for muscle building.

Good weight gainers and meal replacement blends are excellent if you are looking for a quick and healthy snack or if you find it hard putting on weight and need extra calories.
The ideal weight gainer/meal replacement should contain 50% protein and 50% carbohydrates. Maximum carbs really should be no more than 75% to 25% protein. The carbohydrates must be complex carbohydrates -  maltodextrin is one of the best. This is mainly because it is less likely to raise blood sugar levels. This also keeps insulin release low. High insulin release stores calories as fat in the body. Weight gainers should also contain quality protein such as ionic whey. Avoid products that contain filling agents such as pectin, guar gum and/or locust bean gum. These can hinder your digestion and cause wind or bloating.  Consume about 300-600 calories per serving.  Weight gainers and meal replacements can both be taken regularly. Avoid weight gainers if your on a diet and stick to meal replacements instead.



Contradictory to what you may believe, fats are a necessary part of a healthy diet and are in fact our body's greatest source of stored energy. Fat also protects our vital organs, strengthens our joints, assists in hormone production and performs many other important bodily functions. During long-duration, moderate -intensity training such as walking and cycling, the body uses fat as its most efficient source of muscle fuel. Fat also assists in  the transport of fat soluble vitamins and conduction of nerve impulses as well as improves cell structure integrity. These functions are necessary for efficient growth and a healthy immune system in your body.

However, too much fat in our diet may be bad for us for two main reasons; Too much of the wrong kind of fat (saturated fat) can be a cause of heart disease and/or stroke as it raises our blood cholesterol and causes arteriosclerosis - hardening of the arteries. All fats and oils are very high in calories and do contain twice as many calories as carbohydrates or protein .Consuming large amounts of fatty foods on a regular basis  also can increase the risk of overweight, heart attacks, high blood pressure, stroke, gallbladder disease, diabetes, certain cancers and many other diseases.

There are two other kinds of fat.  They are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Polyunsaturated fats do not raise blood cholesterol in the same way as saturated fats, and are generally better for our health. They are found in many vegetable oil margarine's and in sunflower, corn and soy oils.   Monounsaturated fats are also better than saturated fats. The most common source of monounsaturated fats are olive oil and rapeseed oil.

The RDA for fats states that consumption should not exceed 35% of total diet.  However, ideally, the intake should be somewhere between 15% - 20%.  Healthy fat sources include salmon, mackerel, tuna, canola/olive/sesame oils, and nuts. 





Function in the body

Food Sources

A 5000 IU

Antioxidant, Maintenance of cornea and bone, skin and tooth- growth, reproduction, immunity, vision.

Cheese, butter, eggs, liver, broccoli, deep orange fruit and vegetables.

B1 (Thiamine) 1,4 mg

Co-enzyme in energy metabolism, normal appetite, nervous system.

Beef, liver, pork, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

B2 (Riboflavin) 1,6 mg

Co-enzyme in energy metabolism good vision, healthy skin.

Yoghurt, cottage cheese, enriched grains, milk and liver.
B6 2 mg Co-enzyme in energy metabolism, helps make red blod cells,  converts tryptophan to niacin. Meats, fish, leafy & green vegetables, poultry, shellfish, whole grains, nuts and legumes.
B12 1µg New cell synthesis, maintain nerve cells, helps to breakdown some fatty acids & amino acids. Fish, meat, shellfish, milk, eggs, cheese, poultry.
Biotin 25-30 mg Energy metabolism, fat sythesis, amino acid metabolism,  glycogen synthesis. Widely spread in foods.
Niacin 18 mg Co-enzyme in energy metabolism, helps utilize carbohydrates for energy, supports health of skin, nervous system and digestive system. Eggs, milk, poultry, fish, meat, whole grains, nuts, cereals.
Folate 200µg Important for new cell synthesis/development Leafy, green vegetables, legumes, liver, seeds
Pantothenic Acid 6 mg Energy metabolism Widely spread in foods
C 60 mg Antioxidant, collagen synthesis, thyroxin synthesis,  amino acid metabolism,  immune system,  absorption of iron. Citrus fruits, dark-green vegetables, berries, peppers, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes.
D 200-400 IU Mineralization of bone tissue, bone growth,  absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Fatty fish, egg yolk,  liver,   fortified milk & margarine.
E 10 mg Antioxidant, stabilization of cell membranes,  protection of vitamin A. Green and leafy vegetables,   wheat germ,  whole grains,  polyunsaturated plant oils.
K 60-80 mcg Synthesis of blood clotting proteins   and proteins that regulate blood calcium. Green and leafy vegetables,  milk, liver.
* RDA= recommended daily dosage in the EEC   
Adapted from : RDA & National Academy of Sciences.


Minerals RDA* Function in the body Food Sources
Maintain fluid and support cell integrity, muscle contractions, nerve impulse transmission.
Milk, fruit, grains, vegetables, meat.
800 mg
Bone formation, maintenance of healthy bones,  muscular contraction and relaxation, nerve functioning, blood pressure, immune defenses and blood clotting.
Dairy products, tofu, greens, fish.
800 mg
Energy transfer, bone formation,   part of each cell,  acid balance, part of RNA, DNA and phospholipids.
Meat, fish, milk, eggs, poultry.
300 mg
Bone mineralization, building of protein, enzyme action, nerve impulse transmission,  muscle contraction, immunesystem.
Whole grains, nuts,  dark green vegetables, cocoa,  legumes.
14 mg
Major component of protein hemoglobin( carries oxygen)  and myoglobin(aids in muscle contraction)
Fish, poultry, red meat, eggs, shellfish, dried fruit.
Release of energy from glucose.
Fats, vegetable oils, meat.
15 mg
Making RNA & DNA, immune function, wound healing, taste perception, transport of vitamin A, fetus devolopment,  insulin production.
Poultry, fish, meat, whole grains, vegetables.
Regulates growth, development and metabolism.
Iodized salt, seafood, dairy products, bread.
55-70 mcg
Works with vitamin E as an antioxidant.
Seafood, grains, meat.
* RDA= recommended daily dosage in the EEC   
Adapted from : RDA & National Academy of Sciences.
There is much information needed to understand about this ingredient.  Please click this to view the extensive information from a very informative web page.
f you are concerned about intestinal health, you should know about glutamine. This amino acid plays a key role in the metabolism, structure, and function of the entire gastro-intestinal (GI) tract, and its extensive immune system. Glutamine is a major energy source for intestinal cells, and under conditions of physiological stress, the GI tract benefits greatly from extra dietary glutamine.

An Amino Acid With Many Functions. Sir Hans Krebs, a pioneer in glutamine research, stated once that "most amino acids have multiple functions, but glutamine appears to be the most versatile."

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in blood, and is a vehicle for nitrogen transport. It is formed in the body when glutamic acid binds to ammonia. This reaction is catalyzed by the enzyme glutamine synthetase which is abundant in muscle, lung, and many other tissues. Glutamine-consuming tissues, such as the GI tract, the liver, and the immune system, use glutamine to make nucleotides, proteins, and amino sugars. Glutamine carries potentially toxic ammonia to the kidneys for excretion, and participates in maintaining normal acid-base balance by providing the ammonia that is necessary to counterbalance acidic compounds. During metabolic acidosis, the kidneys can siphon off large amounts of glutamine.

The liver assumes a central role in regulating glutamine metabolism for all other organs in the body. The liver synthesizes extra glutamine when needed by other tissues, and breaks down glutamine when there is excess.

The Gut-Glutamine Connection. Rapidly replicating cells, such as intestinal mucosal cells, pancreatic cells, immune cells and endothelial cells, tend to be avid glutamine consumers. In fact, the human intestinal tract removes as much as 12-13% of the circulating blood glutamine in addition to the glutamine absorbed from dietary origin. Intestinal mucosal cells need glutamine as a nitrogen donor for the biosynthesis of a number of important compounds, including nucleotides needed for cell division, amino sugars for building the glycosaminoglycans of intestinal mucous, amino acids that are crucial for protein synthesis, as well as for an energy source. In fact, mucosal cells actually use more glutamine than glucose for energy production.

Stress Puts Glutamine in High Demand. During starvation, the liver and intestine cooperate in balancing glutamine needs. The gut uses the extra glutamine generated by the liver during starvation and converts it to alanine which is then used by the liver to form glucose. This mechanism provides energy for both organs and also helps prevent the loss of muscle during starvation.

In conditions of physical trauma, surgical stress, or inflammatory bowel disease, the intestinal tract uses very large amounts of glutamine and very little glucose for energy. This results in a fall of blood glutamine, and skeletal muscle is broken down to supply more glutamine. This is why trauma victims or surgery patients often lose substantial amounts of lean body mass.

Glutamine And Intestinal Immune Function. Most people are not aware that the GI tract is probably the most important part of their immune system. It constantly protects us from the harmful effects of ingested pathogenic bacteria.

The intestinal immune system has three lines of defense. First, immune cells interspersed within the mucosa help prevent pathogenic organisms from entering the circulatory system. Second are the mesenteric lymph nodes which are rich in immune cells. They intercept any pathogens that made it through the mucosa. The immune cells of the liver are the third line of defense which kicks in only in severe intestinal infections.

When the intestinal immune barrier is weakened, as in "leaky gut syndrome," pathogens may have to be intercepted at the mesenteric lymph nodes or the liver. In more severe cases, such as sepsis or endotoxemia, the liver's immune system is overwhelmed, and pathogens can enter the systemic circulation causing fever and other infectious disease symptoms.

The immune cells of mucosa, liver and mesentery depend on glutamine as a key nitrogen donor and energy source. During infections of intestinal origin, immune cells need more glutamine, and the liver's glutamine consumption can rise about ten-fold. Just as in trauma or surgery, intestinal infections can result in lower blood glutamine levels and muscle wasting.

Glutamine: A Conditionally-Essential Amino Acid. These and other observations have led scientists to suggest that glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid, that is, it may have to be supplied by the diet to maintain normal gut, liver, immune and muscle function during critical illness and other physiological stress.

Many clinical studies support the fact that dietary glutamine is crucial in maintaining normal function of the entire gastrointestinal tract, including the liver and pancreas. Glutamine helps maintain normal intestinal permeability, mucosal cell regeneration and structure, especially during periods of physiological stress.

Glutamine is also importent for maintaining lean body (muscle) mass. It helps preserve normal muscle mass during conditions of physiological stress. In addition, glutamine is necessary to regulate protein synthesis.

How Much Glutamine Does it Take? A healthy intestinal tract is usually able to obtain adequate amounts of glutamine supplied by blood and dietary sources. Typical diets provide 3.5 to 7 grams of glutamine per day. More glutamine is often needed to maintain normal glutamine levels and gut function at times when the intestine is subjected to stress, such as from infections, trauma, inflammation, food allergy or other irritations. Under these conditions, an extra 10 to 40 grams of glutamine per day may be needed just to maintain normal intestinal structure and function.

Glutamine is virtually non-toxic even in very large quantities. It is rapidly metabolized and does not increase blood glutamine or ammonia above their normal levels.

REFERENCES - This info was based on info from a web page with the following references.  The web page to this info is

Auricchio S, De Ritis G, De Vincenzi M, et al. Mannan and oligomers of N-acetylglucosamine protect intestinal mucosa of celiac patients with active disease from in vitro toxicity of gliadin peptides. Gastroenterology 1990;99:973-978.

Burton AF, Anderson FH. Decreased incorporation of 14C-glucosamine relative to 3H-N-acetyl glucosamine in the intestinal mucosa of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Am J Gastroenterol 1983;78:19-22.

Evans MA, Shronts EP. Intestinal fuels: glutamine, short-chain fatty acids, and dietary fiber. J Am Diet Assoc 1992;92:1239-46, 1249.

Gibson GR, Beatty ER, Wang X, Cummings JH. Selective stimulation of bifidobacteria in the human colon by oligofructose and inulin. Gastroenterology 1995;108:975-982.

Gibson GR, Roberfroid MB. Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: Introducing the concept of prebiotics. J Nutr 1995;125:1401-1412.

Goodman MJ, Kent PW, Truelove SC. Glucosamine synthetase activity of the colonic mucosa in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Gut 1977;18:219-228.

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