Supplemental Protein for Increased Muscle Mass

OK, so has anyone else noticed the ridiculous cost of protein powder lately? Absolutely absurd, and it's a tough call between saving money and spending enough to actually get a decent protein supplement!

I’ve tried a ton of different brands of protein powder throughout the past 25 years I’ve trained. I think the worst one is that shit Body-tech brand Walmart sells.

The best protein powder is Dymatize Elite in my opinion!

Muscle Milk is one of the worst, it's loaded in saturated fat (and you wondered why it tastes so good, LOL). You won't be getting that lean while using Muscle Milk, enjoy that nice baby smooth layer you’ll have! Sure, it tastes good, but it simple has too much saturated fat for me!

I always looked smoother using it as well. MHP “up your mass” not bad for someone trying to pack on some bulk, if time is an issue and money is not, it's a good protein supplement to use!! It's a decent amount of calories per shake and it'll help increase your overall caloric intake and nutrients.

MET-Rx has some halfway decent bars but definitely check the sugar on them. They have a couple of them that have about as much sugar as a soda, stay away from that. But some of them are a pretty good meal replacement substitute, just watch the sugar in a few of them.

MET-Rx RTD (ready to drink) protein shakes in the can are awesome! They are super low in carbs, about 50 grams of protein and taste pretty good. If you are looking for a RTD I would go for this one first.

OK, if you're serious about training and you can get in most of your meals on a daily basis then I’d opt for no protein powder at all, go for liver tabs.

Also, don't buy into this bullshit about 1-2 grams/lb of body weight to grow.

That has never been scientifically proven and you guys are worrying over nothing. I find .6-.8 grams per lb. to be very sufficient. If you doubt me I urge you to try an experiment.

Drop all of your protein shakes, and just use liver tabs. Take your meals down to 3-4 meals/day instead of your usual 6 meals/day plan. I want you to do this for 4 weeks, you’d be shocked that with a clean diet and 100 grams/day less protein with no protein powder, you're going to look better!!

You will be dryer, leaner, tighter, more vascular, and you’ll probably see your abs better. Now go get on the scale, I’m guessing you didn’t lose much weight, you just re-compositioned your body. You held most, if not all of your muscle. And yes, all with no BS protein shakes, no 6 meals everyday, and no counting grams of protein!

One thing that is constantly a challenge for most people trying to look good is balancing work, diet and training together in a manageable way. It's tough when it takes work and money to maintain expensive grocery shopping and supplementation when time is tight.

Therefore, don't always consider yourself a failure if you need to supplement a meal with something. If you are just lazy that's a different story, but many of us have things in life going on and supplementing a diet with protein powders and/or meal replacements is a hell of a lot better than eating garbage!



27 thoughts on “Supplemental Protein for Increased Muscle Mass”

  1. This is awesome. Loving your articles.

    Right now I take NOW protein isolate unflavoured as a 50gram shake with 2 bananas after every workout. I just bought Uni-liver tabs and I’m going to start taking them next monday when my bit competition starts. I don’t want to start experimenting with no protein powder right now because I want to be getting as much fast acting protein after my workout until my competition is over(3 months) but I might consider dropping it out the last month of the competiiton to get a more ripped/vascular look for my after pics. Can’t wait to start taking the Uni-liver tablets.

    • Good plan. You have to do what you can reasonably live with, and going without protein powder means more cooking, more eating, and more time. I understand completely, dieting for competition is stressful enough. But I’d take that last 4 weeks and go without it, you will be dryer and harder. The best protein I’ve found is Dymatize Elite, it doesn’t bloat me a bit and I digest it well. But I’d still try to drop it a month out

  2. Hi John, great post. I have been using Liver Tabs now for a couple of years and do not consume protein powder at all. I do a cross between strongman style training and pure bodybuilding I am a family man with 4 kids and am 2 months shy of 38 years old. and personally have found that all of the main stream advice is complete bullshit, I am always improving just eating good food and popping liver tabs and i use round about 26 a day.

    I continue to improve and have a nice lean vascular physique and suprise a lot of people when it tell them my age. I have found that most people would be better of turning of their TV and not even getting on the net ( except to read this blog and a few others i could mention) and stop comparing themselves to what they see on a daily basis, our ancestors did not give a fuck about what some one else looked like, every sword swinging heathen new there real woth in the real world and that it is how i see it.

  3. John,

    Please elaborate on your use of liver tabs. Sounds to me like you believe they have more use than just detoxification of the liver…



    • You may be confusing liver PROTECTANTS with LIVER TABS. Liver tabs are actual desiccated ground liver put in a tablet form, a simple form of amino acids taken throughout the day to build muscle. They also provide something called cytochrome-p450, which is an enzyme that is involved in steroid production and to some effect, detoxification of the body. So you are partially correct as a detox deal as well. I was speaking more in terms of taking them for growth though.

    • I think they’re not good. Artificial sweeteners was a hard habit for me to kick, but I have recently ditched them and I’ve noticed huge benefits. I don’t feel brain fog like I used to and I sleep better. I’m not a big fan of protein bars unless I’m in a jam, go for real food unless you’re stuck. I just wouldn’t make it a daily habit

  4. I just had an argument with a kid at work who weighs in the 220s claiming he has to eat around 330 grams of protein a day. I told him I’m making great gains eating food, to which he claimed they’d be better if I added protein shakes. These people are wasting money and causing stress on their digestion for extra protein their body won’t use. I don’t even count (I do estimate), just eat plenty of complete protein every time I eat. Also, oatmega bars, epic bars and the perfect cookie are great protein snacks with solid all around nutrition.

    • It’s never been scientifically proven that the body uses more than .8 grams/lb of bodyweight in terms of protein consumption. You are pissing the rest out!!

    • I think those are all good, but definitely limit the pre-workouts. Too many guys are relying on those things now, and a lot of them are loaded with way too much garbage. You also become immune to them fast, and quite frankly I think they’re overpriced. Most are just a bunch of caffeine and Arginine or Agmatine, possibly with some Niacin. Often times these pre-workouts can fuck up your breathing rate and actually halter a workout rather than enhance it. I usually just do some black coffee myself.

  5. I don’t doubt that muscle milk is pure trash, however it is not simply because it has saturated fat. Saturated fat is a fucking nutrient, not poison. But the processed fats they have in that product likely aren’t as good as the nutritional kind I consume from grass-fed butter.

    • Point taken, all I’m saying is take 2 guys who use protein powder and are leaning into single digit bodyfat. Put one guy on muscle milk and the other guy on whey isolate, and I’ll tell you who is going to look smoother

  6. Sup john, so even if I weigh 160 now should I take less of this uni-liver tabs. maybe about 3 every high protein meal? should this be a staple supplement?

    thanks in advance


  7. Just saw that there is a lot of amino products in Universal products line. Would u recommend uni-liver over all of them ? Beef aminos and others like that.


    • Uni-liver is all I’ve taken from Universal before. I believe a couple of them are very similar, just dosed differently. The tabs are mega huge man, I don’t stay on them, just every once in awhile I cycle them in for a month or so

  8. I found out that eating more than 40g of protein results in explosive diarrhea. Like you always say “eat clean”. Since I only eat whole foods it completely stopped, it does not matter how many proteins I eat anymore, I eat meat, potato, rice, and noodles + salad every day and I never had diarrhea again.

  9. Hi JD

    I’ve got a few queries about protein intake whilst cutting. As you know, there are so many different things being said about intake, I’m just wondering what would be the best to do.

    I’m weighting currently 195 pounds, and around 17% body fat. I’m looking to go on a 12 week cut after Christmas, lose as much body fat as possible with minimal muscle loss. I’ve tried low carb/high fat diets in the past and I have had okay results, but its been a massive struggle as I’ve craved carbs. Problem is that I can’t handle many carbs. My routine will be a Push/Pull/Legs style with 2 – 3 sessions on 20 minutes cardio on the exercise bike. Gear wise, I plan on using 300mg each of Test Prop/Tren Ace/Mast Prop a week.

    Would you still advise on having 0.8g protein per pound of body weight? I didn’t know whether doing something like, 1..1g per pound of body weight, having 20% of calories for fats and the remainder for the carbs. I’d be having around 2075 calories a day.

    Also, does it really matter not having a post workout protein shake? I’d much prefer having a homemade Oat/Whey/Blueberry oatcake, which would equate to around 35g protein and 60g carbs. Or would it be better to have a shake?

    Thanks so much for the advice! Really appreciate it.

    • My advice is to try to hit at least a gram of protein per lb of bodyweight but if you go over then do not worry about it.

      No, a shake is not necessary, food works fine! As for carbs, keep them controlled and in moderation and slowly lower over time. This is more manageable than just cutting everything out completely and then yoyo dieting where you cave in and continuously eat shit


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