Written by Michael J. Rudolph Ph.D.
20 May 2020

 Total Beast Nutriton  Slider


‘Total Beast’ Nutrition Plan

Improve Recovery and Build More Muscle


By Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D.


Building beast-like muscle mass requires a comprehensive nutrition plan that combines the best anabolic micronutrients with the right muscle-building macronutrients. While the hypertrophic response within muscle is heavily influenced by the three macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fat – “total beast” nutritional plans go well beyond macronutrients, incorporating a plethora of muscle-building compounds that complement macronutrient intake, particularly when consumed at the right time relative to training. This beastly milieu provides peak energy during your workout as well as optimal recovery and muscle growth.


Ramp Up Pre-workout Energy


The first critical element of any “total beast” nutrition plan involves pre-workout supplement use. Optimal pre-workout supplementation should pack the muscle with energy while invigorating the central nervous system (CNS), providing greater motivation to get into the gym and pound the weights with the utmost intensity.


Caffeine use is a great place to start for any pre-workout supplementation protocol. That is because caffeine triggers several mechanisms that enhance exercise performance, including greater muscular contraction force, increased cellular energy production within muscle tissue and stimulation of the central nervous system (CNS). While increased contractile forces and energy production within muscle from caffeine can improve muscular strength and endurance, caffeine’s ability to stimulate the CNS improves exercise performance in multiple ways. Caffeine activates the CNS by directly inhibiting the adenosine receptor in the brain, triggering the release of two neurotransmitters, dopamine and adrenaline.1 This surge of dopamine and adrenaline amps up the neurochemical environment within the brain, reducing fatigue and sluggishness for greater concentration and intensity while training in the gym2, while improving overall energy and mood3, making it an ideal pre-workout supplement.


Stacking caffeine with the protoalkaloid p-synephrine will give rise to even greater energy levels within the muscle cell, delivering superior muscular endurance, as p-synephrine also converts glucose and fat into energy4 within the muscle cell, just like caffeine. In fact, a study by Ratamess et al.5 found that 100 milligrams of p-synephrine significantly increased the total number of repetitions completed by each test subject during the study, clearly exhibiting an improvement in muscle endurance. For best results, take 400 milligrams of caffeine one hour before your workout, and 100 milligrams of p-synephrine immediately before hitting the weights!


Optimal Protein Intake for Massive Size


The accumulation of muscle protein is another essential factor in any nutritional plan, where the goal is to drive beast-like muscle growth. Muscle protein synthesis can be increased while muscle protein breakdown can be reduced after consuming the right type of protein at the best time, highlighting the need to ingest high-quality protein for maximum muscle growth.6


Protein consumption causes muscle protein accretion, primarily by activating the nutrient-sensing molecule mTOR which directly cranks up muscle protein synthesis in response to protein intake, particularly after exercise. Several scientific studies highlight the activation of mTOR due to protein intake, especially protein laden with the branched-chain amino (BCAA) acid leucine. One study by Walker et al.7 found that consumption of protein high in leucine content shortly after working out increased mTOR activity for several hours post-workout, leading to greater muscle protein synthesis relative to an exercised group that was not fed leucine-rich protein.


While the investigation by Walker et al. showed that protein consumption drove muscle protein synthesis, another study by Moore et al. looked for the optimal amount of protein for greatest anabolic effect on muscle protein. This study confirmed that protein intake of 20 grams immediately after lifting weights induces optimal muscle protein synthesis in novice weightlifters, with anything greater than 20 grams increasing protein oxidation with no additional muscle-building effect.8 Since this study used novice athletes, the optimal protein consumption for more advanced athletes should be slightly lower than recommended in this study, as another study by Kim et al.9 showed that muscle protein synthesis in experienced strength athletes is more precise after resistance exercise, supporting lower protein requirements for optimal muscle growth. Taken together, adding high-quality protein at the correct time to your diet optimizes the anabolic process in muscle tissue, causing considerable gains in lean body mass.


Consume Carbs During and After Training to Prevent Muscle Loss


Like protein, carbohydrate intake can also increase muscle protein levels, supporting greater muscle growth. Carbohydrate intake likely accomplishes this by minimizing the degradation of muscle protein, both during and after weight training, as carbohydrates can be converted within the muscle cell into energy, turning off the cell’s main energy gauge – the enzyme AMPK. When AMPK is activated by low energy levels, this triggers the breakdown of muscle protein into amino acids so the amino acids can be converted into energy to replenish cellular energy. Naturally, the reduction in protein degradation from carbohydrate intake increases muscle protein levels, boosting muscle growth.10


Consume Fat for Muscle


While it may seem counterintuitive, fat consumption like carbohydrates and protein can also improve muscle mass. That is, assuming you don’t consume too much fat and that you consume the right kind of fat that stimulates production of certain anabolic hormones, imparting greater muscle mass.


Fats, or fatty acids, are carboxylic acids with long chains of carbon atoms bonded together. They come in three main forms: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Saturated fatty acids contain no double bonds within their carbon chain, while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids contain either one or more than one double bond, respectively. The double bonds within the monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids significantly alter their chemical structure.


Fatty acids can be incorporated into cell membranes, including the cell membrane of testicular cells where testosterone is produced. When different fatty acids are incorporated into the cell membrane, the difference in their respective chemical structures changes the behavior of the cell membrane. For example, previous reports have described the stimulating effect of certain fatty acids on cholesterol transport into testicular cells. Since cholesterol is converted into testosterone in testicular cells, greater levels of cholesterol within testicular cells generates greater testosterone production. A recent study by Hurtado de Catalfo et al.11showed that consuming canola and olive oil, which primarily consist of monounsaturated fatty acids, altered the fatty acid composition within the testicular cell membranes and this change in fatty acid composition within the cell membrane markedly stimulated cholesterol transport into the testicular cells, producing greater testosterone levels. This investigation also showed that diets supplemented with certain polyunsaturated fatty acids inhibited the activity of two crucial enzymes involved in testosterone biosynthesis, when compared with saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. This decreased enzyme activity correlated nicely with an inhibition in testosterone production. Overall, this study indicates that a diet enriched in monounsaturated fatty acids stimulates testosterone production, whereas certain polyunsaturated fatty acids appear to depress testosterone production.


Post-workout Supplement Stack for Beast-like Growth


The simultaneous ingestion, or “stacking” of certain compounds immediately after weight training, can further enhance muscle growth – especially when combined with the right macronutrient use, as previously described. In fact, taking the most potent muscle-building compounds together – leucine and phosphatidic acid – immediately after working out, with a good protein source, will enhance muscular growth to remarkably high levels.


By itself, leucine has been shown to directly stimulate muscle protein synthesis12 and inhibit muscle protein breakdown13, ultimately promoting muscle growth, by directly activating the nutrient-sensing molecule mTOR utilizing an insulin-dependent mechanism. To the contrary, phosphatidic acid (PA) is a phospholipid found in the cell membrane involved in many different cell-signaling cascades – including one signaling pathway that stimulates muscle growth by activating mTOR signaling in response to resistance exercise, without the need for insulin signaling.14 Consequently, stacking leucine with PA should synchronously activate mTOR function, providing exceptional gains in muscle mass.


For most of Michael Rudolph’s career he has been engrossed in the exercise world as either an athlete (he played college football at Hofstra University), personal trainer or as a research scientist (he earned a B.Sc. in Exercise Science at Hofstra University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Stony Brook University). After earning his Ph.D., Michael investigated the molecular biology of exercise as a fellow at Harvard Medical School and Columbia University for over eight years. That research contributed seminally to understanding the function of the incredibly important cellular energy sensor AMPK— leading to numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals including the journal Nature. Michael is currently a scientist working at the New York Structural Biology Center doing contract work for the Department of Defense on a project involving national security. 




1. Zheng X, Takatsu S, et al. Acute intraperitoneal injection of caffeine improves endurance exercise performance in association with increasing brain dopamine release during exercise. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2014;122, 136-143.


2. Einother SJ and Giesbrecht T. Caffeine as an attention enhancer: reviewing existing assumptions. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2013;225, 251-274.


3. Nehlig A. Is caffeine a cognitive enhancer? J Alzheimers Dis 2010;20 Suppl 1, S85-94.


4. Hong NY, Cui ZG, et al. p-Synephrine stimulates glucose consumption via AMPK in L6 skeletal muscle cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2012;418, 720-724.


5. Ratamess NA, Bush JA, et al. The effects of supplementation with P-Synephrine alone and in combination with caffeine on resistance exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2015;12, 35.


6. Manders RJ, Koopman R, et al. The muscle protein synthetic response to carbohydrate and protein ingestion is not impaired in men with longstanding type 2 diabetes. J Nutr 2008;138, 1079-1085.


7. Walker DK, Dickinson JM, et al. Exercise, amino acids, and aging in the control of human muscle protein synthesis. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011;43, 2249-2258.


8. Moore DR, Robinson MJ, et al. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89, 161-168.


9. Kim PL, Staron RS and Phillips SM. Fasted-state skeletal muscle protein synthesis after resistance exercise is altered with training. J Physiol 2005;568, 283-290.



11. Hurtado de Catalfo GE, de Alaniz MJ and Marra CA. Influence of commercial dietary oils on lipid composition and testosterone production in interstitial cells isolated from rat testis. Lipids 2009;44, 345-357.







FACEBOOK: MuscularDevelopment Magazine

TWITTER: @MuscularDevelop

INSTAGRAM: @MuscularDevelopment

YOUTUBE: http://bit.ly/2fvHgnZ