As you progress in building your body and working on both your physique and workout routine, learning how to “stack” your supplements properly can help you achieve maximum results during your training.
When you are just starting, you learn how to figure out the best supplements for different categories – protein, fat burners, post-recovery, etc. Now, it’s important to move onto the next step and learn how to effectively create the best muscle-building “stack” for you. Adding together different supplements, whether it be pre-workout or post-workout products or more specific ones like creatine monohydrate or Arachidonic Acid, can help bring out the best results in all of them. So, what is the best stack for muscle gain? First, let’s talk about what supplement stacking even is.
What Is Supplement Stacking?
Supplement stacking (or simply “stacking”) is when you “stack” supplements to get the best of each of them and help you bring maximum results from every workout. Supplement stacking is not only about finding the best muscle building options for you, but it is also about figuring out which supplements complement and work best together.
There are stacks for different purposes – increased muscle mass, burning fat, general muscle building, boosting testosterone, etc. It’s important to determine your purpose before we get started. Are you looking to create lean muscle mass or just bulk up? Are you looking to increase overall muscle growth or hone in on specific parts of muscle building? This is based solely on the individual and what their goals are, both short-term and long-term.
How Do You Stack Supplements To Build Muscle?
How to stack your supplements depends on your goals. As mentioned above, there are eight combinations of supplements for every purpose or goal, such as muscle gain and burning fat. How you’ll stack supplements entirely depends on your goal.
If you are looking to create muscle building stacks, then you should figure out which supplements work best in allowing you to get lean muscle mass. Using the best supplements to achieve lean muscle mass is crucial in your pre-workout and post-workout routine. There are many different products on the market, so it’s best to first determine what types of muscle building stacks you need in the first place.
What Your Muscles Need
You can work your muscles out all-day – lift weights, do squats and curls – and even do them at your maximum physical level, but if you do not have the right nutrients in your body, you will never bulk up and achieve lean muscle and lean mass.
Hard work and consistent action is one thing when it comes to building muscles, but biology and nutrition is also another thing that you need to consider. This explains why nutrition and supplementation are very important when building muscles, as they provide you with the nutrients your body needs to build those muscles.
Your muscles need macronutrients, micronutrients, as well as certain amino acids to properly repair after each workout. Also, certain compounds can help your muscles fight off fatigue. This makes you more capable of pushing through your limits, which is crucial if you want to get maximum results and gains from your hard work.
Best Supplement Stack For Muscle Gain
Now, you may think that protein is the only supplement that you will need to get those big gains and some more, but you’d be wrong! There are different supplements – each of them have their different, specific functions – which are essential in your workout routine and your muscle’s biological and nutritional component. Essentially, this is what stacking is for – to combine different supplements to help you get closer to your goals (and, of course, to get them!).
You can add in these supplement stacks to your day-to-day routines, but make sure to take the right supplement both pre-workout and post-workout. These muscle building stacks will help you in gaining muscle as well as increase your overall strength and power.
As mentioned above, protein is not the only supplement that will help you build muscles. Here are a variety of supplements that you should add to your supplement stacks to get maximum results in gaining muscle.
The list of muscle-building supplements will not be complete if creatine is not on the top of the list. Creatine is a very popular supplement for building muscle mass and strength, and it has science to back it up. That being said, you can be sure that creatine works, and it is not just a product of fitness and bodybuilding hype.
If properly used and combined with the right training effort and attitude, on average, you can expect to get a solid 10lbs of muscle mass or more and around 10% muscle strength from using creatine. To get even more gains than that, consider taking creatine with beta-alanine (more on this supplement later). This is a great addition to your supplement stacks.
Whey protein is a viral muscle building supplement because aside from its quick digestion, which makes it easier to be absorbed in your body, it is also rich in branched-chain amino acids, and whey protein’s peptides boost blood flow, which is very beneficial for your muscles during workouts. For this reason, it is a popular supplement for taking before and after workouts.
Best of all, aside from being very effective for building muscles, whey protein can be combined with casein protein to further enhance its muscle-building effects after your workouts. This is a great muscle building supplement to use post-workout.
Casein protein, like whey protein, is a milk protein. Whey makes up 20% of milk protein, whereas casein makes up 80%. That being said, they provide boosted benefits and effects if they are taken together.
However, casein protein is less popular than whey protein when it comes to muscle building supplements because it has a slower digestion rate compared to whey protein. However, it does not mean that it won’t help you a lot in gaining muscles – despite its slow digestion rate, studies show that taking it after workouts will enhance your muscle’s protein synthesis, which will lead to muscle growth.
It is shown that taking casein protein (with whey) immediately after workouts will lead to even greater gains than when you take whey protein alone. Is this supplement already in your muscle-building stacks?
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs are one of the best supplements for building bigger muscles not because they directly help you build and gain muscles like the previous supplements mentioned so far, but because they speed up recovery by enhancing protein synthesis and reducing muscle damage from your workouts. Simply put, BCAAs help you recover fast and allows you to get back to the gym as soon as possible to crush it again and work out for more gains.
BCAAs work in three different ways: speedy recovery, more energy, and muscular capacity for our workouts, and it helps in stunting cortisol, a hormone that can degrade our muscles. These benefits ultimately increase muscle and help support your workout habits.
For best results, find a BCAA supplement that offers leucine at a ratio of 2:1 per dosage of isoleucine and valine.
This workout supplement can significantly enhance and boost the effects of creatine for greater muscle gains, but how does it exactly do it?
Once beta-alanine goes inside your muscle cells, this amino acid will combine with the amino acid histidine, and they will form the molecule called carnosine. The more carnosine you have in your muscle, the stronger and bigger your muscles would be, as carnosine is associated with muscle size and strength.
There is one study from the College of New Jersey that shows that those who took beta-alanine alongside creatine gained more muscle mass than those who only took creatine. Also, those who took beta-alanine with creatine burned more body fat than those who don’t, which is ideal if you want to show off your hard-earned muscles!
Unlike other supplements on the list, fish oil supplements are probably the last thing that you will think about whenever you think about supplements for building muscles.
To begin, fish oil supplements indeed do not directly contribute to your muscle gains for the most part. However, it does provide benefits that can contribute to your overall muscle-building efforts – otherwise, it will not be on this list to begin with!
Fish oil supplements help in building muscles because they have anti-inflammatory effects. Lowering inflammation is also very essential if you want to build muscles because the less inflammation you have, the faster you can recover your muscles, which essentially means that you can go back to the gym as soon as possible to go down on another set of muscle-building workouts!
Also, omega-3 fatty acids – which are very abundant in fish oil and fish oil supplements – help your muscles in better synthesized bulk-building protein, according to one 2012 study from Clinical Science.
Generally, fish oil is a very beneficial supplement because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which brings about significant health benefits, especially to the heart and brain.
Best Protein Supplement For Muscle Gain
As explained above, deciding what the best protein supplement is for your body is important. For some people, this might be a whey protein; for others, it might be a protein powder or a stack of different products.
Achieving lean muscle and lean mass is something many are after, but tailoring your supplement stack to fit your goals can be extremely beneficial.
Should You Create A Supplement Stack For Muscle Gain?
Creating a tailored muscle building stack is a great idea for anyone who is trying to increase their muscle mass, strength, or even overall well-being. Adding a muscle building stack to your day-to-day is not only something that is beneficial for those who are bodybuilders but anyone who needs to add protein to their diet.
Testing out different supplements and products will help you determine which ones are best for your particular biological makeup. While some may argue that there is a best muscle building stack, we suggest tailoring it to fit your needs. Whether this is adding a pre-workout to your routine, a post-workout powder, or even a powder that includes creatine monohydrate, it all depends on what your body best responds to.
One of the best ways to test the best muscle building stack for you is by trying out a new product for at least a few weeks. Adding in products one at a time will detail which ones you’re actually yielding results from, whether it be for muscle mass, bulk, or even general muscle growth.
If you do see issues with a supplement, make sure to contact a doctor for assistance.