Daily Supplement Stacks
While supplements are not meant to replace proper nutrition, they can help to power-boost you towards your fitness and muscle-building goals. Designed to support your daily diet and compensate for any nutritional shortfalls, supplements are an effective way to keep your body at peak performance. And by ‘stacking’ your supplements so you take the right supplement combination at the right time, you can optimize your body during intense exercise as well as support its essential recovery after a workout.
We look at the best daily stacks to consider if you are a beginner to the world of bodybuilding to help you get your physique into its prime.
What Is A Supplement Stack?
Simply put, a supplement stack is a group or combination of supplements that work together to support your body’s nutrition, muscle building, and performance. Each supplement in a stack has its intended purpose (boost energy, build endurance, support muscle growth) and also works with the other supplements for an effective performance enhancer.
How Can They Help?
Used in combination with a consistent and appropriate training plan as well as a healthy, nutritionally rich diet, supplement stacks can help to power you to become a ripped man. Stacking supplements can also be tailored to your personal goals, whether that’s to gain more muscle, to build strength or to lose weight.
We often hear the words ‘protein’, ‘creatine’, ’biotin supplements’ ‘amino acids’ when at the gym or training room, and see bodybuilders regularly supping interesting concoctions from their protein shaker. But just which supplements are best for training and how should they be taken?
It’s essential that supplements do not take the place of a healthy balanced diet but support your daily nutrition. With this in mind, for the beginner to stacking, the following supplements are considered the ones to start with.
Protein –the building block for muscles, an adequate supply of protein is essential for the bodybuilder or athlete as without it, you simply won’t get as ripped as you want. While your daily protein should be found in your diet, you can top up and enhance your intake with a good protein supplement.
Containing essential amino acids that boost muscle and help maintain their strength, protein powders are one of the most popular supplements. Whey protein is one the easiest for your body to digest, getting their goodness to your muscles in quick time, while casein protein is a little slower but can help prevent muscles from breaking down. Other options of protein powder sources include soy, egg and plant – all are also packed with nutrients to boost your body and muscles.
Leucine – to help your protein synthesis – aka muscle building – leucine is another supplement to stack. This little dynamo gets the protein moving along and into your muscle cells, to help repair any damage from a full-on workout.
Creatine – your body already makes this wonder-stuff, but supplementing can really help you to build up lean muscle. Creatine can also create something called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which will help to build your strength and boost energy levels.
Fish oils – you may already be taking these as a daily dose, so if so, continue! Fish oils and Omega-3 supplements are full of healthy fats, which can reduce any inflammation in your body caused by a vigorous workout and also aid your post-gym recovery.
Fiber – nature’s body cleanser, you need sufficient fiber in your daily diet not only for a healthy digestive system but to also mop up any waste left behind in your efforts to build up those muscles. Work in a fiber supplement to keep both you and your muscle building lean and regular.
Multivitamins – even if you are following a healthy diet, it is always worth topping up your nutrient and vitamin levels, especially if you are going hard with your workouts.
Look for a multivitamin that includes vitamins A, C and E to support your muscles and bones and opt for a supplement that is time-released.
Nootropics– these exotic-sounding supplements are natural or synthetic supplements that can boost mental performance and focus. Opt for natural sources of nootropics, which include caffeine, L-theanine and creatine.
Glutamine – a type of amino acid, glutamine can help promote muscle repair and growth. Taken after a workout, this supplement can help to prevent any soreness in the muscles, supports protein synthesis and aids recovery.
The Three Main Supplement Stacks For Beginners:
Now we’ve got to grips with the best starter supplements, it’s time to look at ways to stack your supplements for the maximum results.
One of the best ways to take a supplement stack is to work it around your training program – so before, during and after each gym, weight or cardio session. Also, have a supplement stack for those put your feet up days.
Pre-Workout – Your pre-workout supplement stack should be designed to provide sufficient energy for the level and type of workout you are about to do. It should also help to improve your strength and performance during the workout. Look for a basic combination of whey protein, caffeine, creatine, and a multi-vitamin. For those tired days, you could also pop a couple of energy pills.
Workout – A supplement stack to drink during your actual workout is also a good idea as it can help to increase and sustain your exercise capacity and also boost the use of fat for energy. Mixed with water, the main elements of a workout supplement stack are branched-chain amino acids such as leucine and whey protein. Taurine can also be added for endurance. Fresh water separate from your supplement mix is also essential as you need to maintain your hydration for energy and performance.
Post-workout – A post-workout supplement stack is designed to both refuel your fatigued body and to assist in its recovery, supporting the muscle growth that’s now taking place. The basis of this stack is protein and carbohydrates, with creatine, glutamine and leucine to mend and soothe those muscles. A multi-vitamin and fish oil also aid in recovery and post-workout inflammation and healing.
Rest days – For those days off from the gym, don’t neglect your supplementation as it will continue to enhance recovery and boost the benefits of your healthy diet. Whey protein, multi-vitamins, Omega-3s and amino acids such as creatine are a good basic combination to keep your body’s engines ticking over, ready for your next body-pumping session.
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