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Fish Pie

Fish Pie is a classic English dish, probably one of those originally invented to use up fish that was less than fresh. Slathered in mashed potatoes, cheese, and a creamy white sauce, the idea was to cover up the fish, not make it the main focus.

This recipe for Primal fish pie takes a completely different approach. The dish is still covered in a buttery mashed potato crust, but underneath is a light and flavorful filling. Fresh salmon and cod are layered with leeks, zucchini and fresh herbs, and flavored with lemon and Dijon.

The potatoes are flavored with nothing more than creamy, salty, delicious butter. Just keep adding it until the potatoes taste like, well, butter. If you can, use salted grass-fed butter, which has incredible flavor plus a healthier fatty acid composition and higher vitamin content than regular butter.

Servings: 4 to 6

Time in the Kitchen: 1.5 hour


  • 1.5 pounds (about 4) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch/25 mm chunks (680 g)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, divided (plus more to taste) (90 g)
  • 1 small leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated (about 1 cup grated)
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 pounds fish, skin-off, bones removed cut into 1-inch/25 mm pieces (try half salmon, half cod) (680 g)
  • Zest of one small lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (15 ml)


Preheat oven to 400 Fº/205 Cº.

Cover potatoes with salted water in a pot and boil until soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain. Mash the drained potatoes with 4 tablespoons butter, or more if you like. Season with salt if needed. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons/30 g butter over medium heat. Add the leek and celery. Cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until the zucchini is soft, 5 minutes.

In a 2 or 3 quart baking dish (or deep pie plate) layer vegetables and fish, and sprinkle lemon zest and parsley on top. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and Dijon mustard. Pour on top of the fish.

Smooth the mashed potatoes on top of the fish. Dot with small pieces of butter.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy around the edges.
Fish pie can be served warm or at room temperature.

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CrossFit Training: How to Support Overall Wellness and Longevity with Primal

There are some who hold the view that at birth, each of us is allotted a finite supply of energy which exercise depletes, thus hastening our demise. An intense regimen like CrossFit, in this paradigm, would hasten a person’s demise.

That’s wrong, of course. Those who remain sedentary their entire lives often have short, miserable ones, while regular exercisers enjoy better health throughout their time on earth. Exercise has real potential to prolong life and compress morbidity. But it is a major stressor that, if applied incorrectly or excessively, can reduce health and overall wellness.

Here’s the good news for CrossFitters and anyone else engaged in similar combinations of aerobic, strength, and anaerobic training:

Strength training promotes healthy longevity, even in people with hip fractures .

The stronger your grip, the longer you live ( even if you’re overweight ).

The more lean mass you carry , the better you’ll survive injuries and disease.

The more briskly you walk , the lower your mortality risk.

The more functionally capable you are , the longer you’ll stick around on this rock.

In heart failure patients, a combo of endurance and resistance training is better for long term outlook than just endurance training.

Sound familiar? Between all the deadlifts, the squats, the box jumps, the multi-modal development of fitness across multiple energy pathways, the muscle endurance, and the strength, CrossFit appears to support all the pro-longevity factors listed above.

But there are some things to watch out for that could derail your health and longevity—and going Primal can help.


Injuries are a fact of life. Anyone who pushes their body to the limits will eventually overstep them. That’s okay, but you can increase your body’s resistance to injury with a few Primal interventions. Namely:

  • The increase in collagen intake , which supports connective tissue health.
  • The regular consumption of omega-3-rich seafood and reduction in omega-6-rich seed oil consumption, which improves inflammatory status.
  • The elimination of gut irritating-foods like gluten grains, which reduces gut inflammation and prevents excessive intestinal permeability.
  • The consumption of full-fat dairy, which provides vital calcium and anti-inflammatory fatty acids.
  • The promotion of barefoot living, which, provided you go slowly and gradually, increases foot strength, ankle stability, and proprioception.
  • The forays into ketosis , which increase anti-inflammatory ketone bodies.
  • Add these uniquely-Primal interventions to a CrossFitter’s rock-solid technique, ample mobility training, good sleep, and mind-body intuition and you’ll have a better shot at staying injury-free.

Fat Adaptation

Any CrossFit athlete interested in living a long, healthy life should devote at least three or four weeks to getting fat-adapted. Going full-on ketogenic is the quickest way to do it, and easier and more congruent with your training schedule than you might think, but you can go basic low-carb, too. And you don’t have to stay there.

Hit the point where the low-carb/keto flu stops. Where you start feeling good (consistent energy throughout the day, no more headaches or irritability, no more carb cravings, steady appetite, lucid thoughts). That’s the signal that fat-burning mitochondria are ramping up.

Stay there for 2-3 more weeks. Really get settled, get those fat-burning systems established.

Then, try the cyclical low-carb approach I described in a previous post . High-carb on training days, lower-carb on rest days. That should be enough

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Adaptogens: Maca Root, Sea Buckthorn Oil, and Schisandra

I’ve covered a number of adaptogens over the past few months including American and Asian ginseng , ashwagandha, astragalus, and holy basil —and for good reason. They offer an effective means to combat stress as well as boost health and performance from a number of angles. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with many of them and even use some on a regular basis

I thought I’d continue the series with a look at 3 additional adaptogens: maca, sea buckthorn, and schisandra. See what you think.

From Dirt to Dispensary: The Life Cycle of Your Adaptogen

Maca Root (Lepidium Meyenii)

Maca is a cruciferous biennial herb that hails from the high Andean peaks of Peru. Grown primarily for its fleshy root, maca is similar in growing habit and size to turnips and radishes. Its green, fragrant tops grow above ground, but most of the action takes place below the surface, with the root varying considerably in shape, size and color depending on the subspecies.

Most maca cultivation happens at high elevations—think 14,000 feet in Peru, Bolivia, and some of the higher spots of Brazil. Chances are, however, your supplement was grown in Peru.

Maca (sometimes called Peruvian ginseng) takes about 7 months to produce small flowers and go to seed. It’s harvested at this point, washed, and left in covered tents to dry out. Traditional Peruvian custom is to then put the plants in large sacks and give them a good rustle up—with the seeds falling onto tarps below and subsequently collected for the next round of cultivation. The root itself is then either sold locally as a whole root (they eat the stuff like potatoes in the Andean villages of Peru), ground to a powder for supplemental purposes, or sent off for processing into beverages, wine, liqueurs, and even jams. I’ll admit I’m intrigued by the jam. 

Because it’s grown at such high altitudes in remote areas, it’s unlikely that any herbicides or chemical applications are used during cultivation. The only real task for the farmers is to keep wild vicunas and sheep from eating their crop.

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae Rhamnoides)

The curiously named sea buckthorn hails from an entirely different part of the world, and can be found growing wild on the coastlines of Atlantic Europe (hence the same), or as a subalpine shrub on European or Asian mountain ranges. It’s a tough little tree, able to withstand excesses of wind, cold, heat and salt, and for this reason was once distributed free of charge to Canadian prairie farmers to be used as shelter belts.

The form of sea buckthorn shrubs match their temperament, with small leaves, alarmingly large thorns, and a tendency to spread vegetatively almost to the point of invasiveness. Sea buckthorn of the rhamnoides variety typically grows to between half a meter and 6 meters in height, and as a nitrogen fixer it’s great for rebuilding impoverished soils.

Trees take around 3-4 years to start producing the flavonoid-rich berries, which is what most sea buckthorn supplements and oils

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 464


More than 1 in 8 Americans are alcoholics.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation can reduce meth cravings.

The conventional wisdom about back pain is being upended.

Plants listen for water.


Episode 181: Brad Kearns and Elle Russ Part 2: Elle and Brad continue their chat about the upcoming Primal Endurance Online Mastery Course.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.


Nutrition textbooks for self-learning.

How exercise affects appetite.


The zoo whose entrance fee is some dirty fingernails.

Monsanto ghostwrote the “independent” safety reviews of its flagship product, Roundup.


Mumbai pest control.

Shot. Chaser.

The Onion gets eerily close to reality.

Why Aziz Ansari quit the Internet.


Lectures I wish I could attend: My buddy Chris Armstrong is putting on some incredible Re-Find Health events, including Dr. Kirk Parsley in LA on October 14, Gary Taubes in Stockholm on November 16, and Gary Taubes again in London on November 18 and 19.

I’m impressed: Freediving is tough enough, but how about freediving in Iceland?

Article I’m pondering: “Have smartphones destroyed a generation?”

Beautiful interview I enjoyed: cultural anthropologist (and daughter of Margaret Mead) Mary Catherine Bateson on “composing a life” versus “juggling” one, and practicing “active wisdom” as we age (and other things).

Man do I wish we still had prehistoric megafauna: Giant sloths built huge caves you could drive a car into.



One year ago (Aug 13– Aug 19)


“What is ‘leftover’ coffee.. how does that happen? LOL”

– My thoughts exactly, Jessica.

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I’m Back to Being Me!

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here . I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

As I bent down to tie my shoe, I had to breath out to reach the laces. Before I was done tying the other shoe, I had to sit up and breathe. My belly was in the way, and was forcing me to not be able to breath while bent over. I sat up, and cussed inwardly. That’s enough! In my younger years I had raced Moto-X, I had been into body building. I was in martial arts and was a black belt. I had played all sorts of demanding sports. And now I couldn’t even tie my shoe without coming up for air.

After my son was born I quit the gym to spend more time with family. 2-1/2 years later when my daughter was born I had gained 20 lbs and had stopped working out all together. And now, 3 years after that I couldn’t even tie my shoe. On top of that, I had a lower back injury caused by coughing. Yeah, that’s right, I coughed and my back when out. What the…? I stepped on the scale. 238lbs.

Now I was dealing with the voice inside insisting I could never get back to where I was. It was too hard, I didn’t have the time. I didn’t want to give up good food. I didn’t want to feel guilty if I missed a week of working out, or ate something I wasn’t supposed to. At 238 lbs, I felt tired, guilty, ashamed, and unmotivated.

A co-worker told me about Mark’s books, Primal Blueprint and Primal Endurance . I bought the audio books and started listening to them on my way to and from work. “Inspired” is the only word I can come up with. This sounded achievable. I could do this. It was time to get healthy for my kids, my wife, and myself.

I followed the books. I ran, biked, worked out, and played. I played hard. I bought a HRM and used it often. At first only able to walk to stay within my aerobic zone. I stayed with it.

I stuck with the Primal eating for a month, and dropped 15 lbs easily without once feeling like I had given anything up! I ran 3 miles at the beach the next month then played with my kids all day. The month after that I ran 5 miles in just over an hour averaging 138BPM, then did yard work and played soccer with my kids all day, no crash, no cravings for carbs. I ate a steak with veggies that night with friends. They said “Allen, you’re looking great! You’ve lost a lot of weight. Are you cheating on your diet today?”

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7 Healthy Coffee Ideas for Every Primal Taste

Normally, I’m deep in the thick of nutritional research or other heady topics midweek. Today, not so much. I have coffee on the brain after trying a few new concoctions recently. As I’ve noted in the past, coffee is a welcome part of the Primal Blueprint. Unlike traditional paleo, there’s no conflict here. While living healthily and sleeping well mean I don’t depend on coffee for energy, I consider it a positive staple in my diet, not to mention a pleasant ritual in my day.

I’ve gone into extensive detail about the copious benefits —to overall health, to disease prevention, to cognitive function, even to fitness performance—in the past. Today, I’m all about the actual intake. There’s plenty to the why, but this post covers several Primal ways to enjoy it right now. Let’s dig in….


Cacao nibs are loaded with polyphenols, and a great source of saturated and monounsaturated fat. Add coconut milk (or whole cream), plus a drizzle of coconut oil to smooth out the chocolate emulsion, and this dark chocolate mocha is brimming with healthy fats.


  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1 cup coconut milk or whole cream
  • 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil


Bring coconut milk or whole cream to a simmer in a small pot. Turn off heat and add cacao nibs. Let steep 5 minutes.

Blend the cacao mixture and coconut oil in a blender on high speed until smooth and frothy, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pushing down on the solids to release the liquid. Add a sweetener if desired. Pour the cacao milk into hot coffee, or chill it before adding to iced coffee. The cacao milk will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.

Macadamia Cream

Macadamia nuts are sweet and buttery fat bombs. Blend ‘em up into smooth cream for a rich and fatty cup of coffee that also has delicious macadamia flavor.


  • 2 tablespoons macadamia butter*
  • 3 tablespoons hot water


Whisk together macadamia butter and hot water until smooth. Pour into a fine mesh sieve placed over a bowl. Press down with a spoon to release the smooth and creamy liquid into the bowl and separate it from any grainy solids. Whisk the macadamia cream from the bowl into your hot coffee.

*To make macadamia butter, simply blend raw or toasted unsalted macadamia nuts in a food processor until very smooth

Tahini Coffee

The high-fat sesame  paste called tahini turns into a surprisingly delicious keto-friendly dessert cream when whisked with molasses and whole cream. Eat it alone, or stir the cream into your coffee.


  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons whole cream


Whisk together tahini, molasses and cream until completely smooth. Whisk the tahini cream into your hot coffee (or, just eat it for dessert with a spoon).

Chai Golden Milk Coffee

This spiced coffee is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich. Chai Golden Milk (named after the Indian tea and the addition of turmeric) is delicious in hot or cold coffee. It’s also delicious without coffee when

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Dear Mark: Collagen Peptides, Fasting vs Sleeping, Dog Bone Broth, and Pork Broth

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four question. First, are collagen peptides just as effective as bone broth or other collagen sources? Second, how should I choose between IFing or sleeping like a baby using pre-bedtime nutrients that may impede autophagy? Next, I explore whether you should be making dog bone broth (it’s not what you think, so don’t worry about that). And finally, what are some of my favorite pork bone broth recipes?

Let’s go:

Nicole asks:

Hello – I am wondering if anybody has any opinions on the Pacific Organic Bone Broth one can get at Costco. I’m skeptical it is the “good stuff.” Also, do collagen peptide powders offer the same benefits?

I haven’t tried the Pacific broth, but a good rule of thumb is to look at the protein content on the label. If it’s high, you can assume it’s high in collagen.

Collagen peptides appear to have many of the same effects as broth or straight collagen or gelatin powder. They should. They’re made of the same stuff, only more digestible.

Collagen peptides improved body composition , increased fat free mass, and boosted strength in sarcopenic (muscle-wasting) older men. No, collagen amino acids don’t directly contribute to muscle protein synthesis, but they are protein-sparing—when you eat collagen/gelatin/collagen peptides, you need fewer amino acids from more androgenic sources to get the same effect.

Collagen peptides derived from beef bone and pork skin improved quality of life and subjective pain levels compared to placebo in osteoarthritis patients. Just like gelatin/collagen does .

Drinking fermented milk with added collagen peptides  increased collagenous amino acid levels in plasma .

Peptides certainly work. But so does straight-up collagen or gelatin (or bone broth, for that matter).

Stefan M. wonders:

Hello, Mark! I have a question. I’m a fan of the IF protocol, but I like to eat a tablespoon of honey, of coconut oil, and drink a big mug of bone broth 30 m – 1 hr before sleep.

It knocks me out good. I’m following your suggestions for sleep!!

The problem is that my schedule is most compatible with a eating window from 8 AM to 12 PM, so say I drink the bone broth at 9 PM; I fear it could affect the autophagy effects of fasting.

Are the quantities mentioned going to break fasting-induced autophagy? If so, how could I make it up, if I still drink before bed because it’s so helpful?

Should I try to make a compromise or, say, add 2 daily-long fasts a week; or one 5 day-long fast a month, or whatever, for enhanced autophagy? What would be most effective?

If I cyclically switch between a carb-loaded crossfit training period (high stress and high energy requirements) and a more relaxed ketogenic weightlifting training period (maintenance rather than constant pushing), what’s the best course of action for each scenario?

On the hierarchy of health decisions, sleep trumps almost everything else. If a spoonful of honey, a mouthful of coconut oil, and a big mug of bone broth are the key to getting you 8 hours of solid sleep a night, it’s worth giving up a

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Lemon and Sage Chicken in Cream

Primal lemon and sage chicken in cream is a riff on Jamie Oliver’s recipe for chicken in milk, an unusual recipe with a fervent following. In Oliver’s recipe, a whole chicken is roasted with an odd combination of ingredients: milk, cinnamon, garlic, sage and lemon. That odd combination turns into a roasted bird swimming in an amazing sauce scented with lemon and sage. You really have to try it to believe how good it is.

But consider trying this version first, which is richer, creamier and even more succulent. Using bone-in chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken cuts down on the cooking time and guarantees juicy, succulent meat. Using whole cream instead of milk results in a sauce that is rich and smooth instead of curdled.

The combination of whole cream, chicken drippings and butter sends the fat content of this dish soaring, which is a good thing if adding healthy fat to your diet is a priority. This lemon and sage chicken is so good and so easy to make that it’s sure to become a favorite.

Servings: 4 to 6

Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes, plus 45 minutes in the oven


  • 6 to 8 bone-in chicken thighs, seasoned generously with salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon PRIMAL KITCHEN® avocado oil or red palm oil (15 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (30 g)
  • 8 cloves garlic, skin left on
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ?10 fresh sage leaves
  • ?Zest from one lemon (see note below)
  • 2 cups whole cream (1 pint/473 ml)


Preheat oven to 375º F/190º C

Recipe Note: For this recipe, strips of lemon zest are better than grated zest. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove the yellow peel from most of the lemon, being careful to leave the white pith behind. Use a knife to cut the pieces of peel into thin strips.

In an ovenproof skillet that will fit all the chicken, heat the avocado oil/red palm oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin side down. When the chicken is nicely browned, flip it over. Carefully tilt the skillet and pour some of the oil out, leaving only a thin layer.

Add the butter, garlic, cinnamon stick, sage leaves and lemon zest. Right when the butter just begins to turn brown, pour in the cream. Bring the cream to a gentle boil and then put the skillet in the oven.

Cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, until the chicken is done and the sauce is bubbly and thickened.

If needed, add a little salt to the sauce before eating. (The garlic cloves can be easily slipped out of their skins while you eat.)

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The Inaugural Primal Health Coach Masterclass: A Weekend to Remember

I’m a little nervous.

For whatever reason, I always get the jitters before hosting people at my house. Usually it’s for a dinner party or birthday celebration or something similar and more intimate, with close friends. People who aren’t expecting anything out of you except good food and good conversation in other words.

Today’s different.

Today, I’m hosting a group of students and graduates of the Primal Health Coach certification program . These are people who have devoted their time, money, and energy to gain a deep understanding of the Primal Blueprint concepts and to learn how to become effective and successful health coaches.

These are folks who have joined me in my mission to create a global network of coaches to transform the health and wellness of communities around the world using ancestral health principles.

And now, they’re making an even bigger commitment: to the Primal Health Coach Masterclass—a weekend retreat designed to help Primal Health Coach students and graduates break through any barriers they may have and push forward to create the career of their dreams.

As soon as the attendees begin arriving, the jitters melt away. These are my people. They’re here to learn how to translate their passion for Primal living into business and clients, and my team and I are here to show them.

Said team includes:

Christine Hassler, coaching director of the Primal Health Coach program. Christine has spent the last couple decades writing books, giving talks, running retreats, and coaching lives. She’s a coaches’ coach.

Erin Power, head of student/grad support. Erin has 20 years of experience working in marketing, fitness marketing, and fitness coaching. She hits all the bases.

Laura Rupsis, head of admissions and co-owner of Absolution CrossFit in LaGrange, Illinois. She left a lucrative 20-year career in the financial sector to pursue her passion: helping people get strong, fit, and healthy.

Jill Esplin, leader in the personal growth industry and spiritual psychologist.

They’re a formidable bunch.

The day kicks off with a keynote address from yours truly and Christine. We talk about the mindset necessary to be an entrepreneur, the hard work, the pain, and the payoff.

The biggest hurdle for any business owner, coach, trainer, or really anyone offering a piece of themselves up in service of others is how to ask for money. It trips everyone up. Even I get a little trepidatious when I’m about to offer a new product, book, or service. Everyone has that “Am I really worth it?” moment. The brief bout of imposter syndrome that, I think, is a healthy, necessary, and—let’s admit it—unavoidable occurrence in the life of any entrepreneur.

But you have to move past it. And right here, right now, I’m watching 32 people making that leap in real time. Thirty-two people realizing that they aren’t just good enough—they’re better. They understand the material. They hold in their heads the keys to help the people around them achieve better health. It’s a powerful thing, that moment when you understand and accept your power and competency.

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CrossFit Training: How to Add Mass and Build Strength with Primal

Gaining mass and building strength while CrossFitting should be a breeze. You’re lifting heavy things using compound full-body movements like squats, deadlifts, and presses, providing a potent growth stimulus to your muscles. Yet, many people fall short of their goals, perhaps losing weight and improving performance but failing to really gain any real muscle or strength.

Today, I’m going to explain how going Primal can help you achieve both goals.

First, you must understand the very Primal reality of your body’s hormonal systems and their relation to the environment: Acknowledge that you are an organism whose endocrine system is acutely attuned to the inputs it receives. It’s actively engaged in the world around you, making predictions and taking actions based on your perceptions. If your body thinks it’s living through a famine, it will conserve energy and eliminate wasteful extravagances like big muscles and 2x body weight back squat. If your body thinks it’s living through plentiful times, it will be more liberal with energy and allow the growth of extracurricular tissues, like big muscles. Create an environment of abundance—or even the impression of one—and you will be more likely to gain muscle and strength.

First and Foremost, Eat More Calories

Providing a caloric surplus doesn’t just provide the raw materials necessary to build more tissue, though that’s a big part of it. It also sends the message to your endocrine system that you’re living in a resource-rich environment and that it’s okay to splurge a bit. Your body, first and foremost, just wants to survive. CrossFitters have a higher baseline because of the stressful training they engage in, so the calorie excess is really important here. Start by adding about 10% to your calorie intake.

Get Your Precursors!

People forget that hormones—the anabolic foremen directing the operation that constructs new muscle tissue—are material things with physical precursors, triggers, and building blocks. Most of the necessary precursors, triggers, and building blocks come from the food we eat.

Protein Is a Major One

The muscles are made of protein. That’s why eating the skeletal muscle of animals is the best way to get a dense whack of protein. It also means we need to eat protein to build more muscle. But protein helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis by another route, too: spiking insulin, which shuttles amino acids into muscle tissue.

A 2011  paper  on optimal protein intakes for athletes concluded that 1.8 g protein/kg bodyweight (or 0.8 g protein/lb bodyweight) maximizes muscle protein synthesis, whereas  another  suggested “a diet with 12-15% of its energy as protein.” 0.8 g/lb is probably a safe baseline, and you may not need much more than that. 

Carbs Are Important As Well

While they aren’t necessary for muscle gain , they can certainly help when used in the right context. For one, they spike insulin , which helps shuttle amino acids into muscle for muscle protein synthesis. They replenish lost glycogen , which you need to support future strength training endeavors. When you do eat carbs in a post-workout context, keep fat low. Fat is a huge factor in muscle

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