Nick Jonas, 22, plays a mixed-martial-arts fighter in DirectTV’s new original series, Kingdom. He put on 12-15 pounds of muscle to prepare for the role, he told Details. To do so, Jonas upped his caloric intake, focusing on protein, with a meal plan that included: an omelet, vegetables, fruit, cashew cheese, and turkey for breakfast; followed by more lean protein and vegetables for lunch and dinner. Jonas notes that he had to be extra-considerate of his menu because has type-1 diabetes.
We’ve heard this formula before: Bulk up on protein and work out regularly to add more muscle. But, what’s actually happening inside the body to transform those amino acids from your dinner into MMA-fighter-worthy biceps? It starts when the enzymes in your stomach and intestines break apart protein into peptides. The team over at Men’s Health asked two exercise scientists to explain the muscle-building process and put together an informative video, below. (It’s kind of like a cool, grown-up version of The Magic School Bus.)