How To Build Your Supplement Stack
Your training plan has been detailed out. Your gym game is strong, your diet is clean (and you’re counting your macros). But if you’re looking to take your fitness, weight loss, or gains to the next level, it’s time to talk supplements.
Now, whether you are new to supplements, or have been taking them for years, two things jump out when you stare at the shelves of your fav health food store (be honest, that’s us right?!).
- There’s a lot of supplements to choose from
- They can do a number on your wallet
That’s where supplement stacks come in, and we’re here to tell you:
- What is supplement stack
- How to stack to hit your fitness or weight loss goals
What is a supplement stack?
A supplement stack is a way to combine your supplements to get you the most bang for your buck.
When you stack your supplements properly, based on your fitness or weight loss goals, you capitalise on the synergistic power they have with each other.
What does ‘synergistic power’ mean?
It means choosing nutrients that complement each other, increasing the effectiveness. Think along the lines of the ‘sum is greater than the parts’.
A word of caution
Yes, you can buy supplements over the counter, but let’s get one thing clear; supplements have a real effect on the body. If combined incorrectly this can sometimes do more harm than good.
If you’re new to supplementing, check in with your healthcare practitioner. This will help to avoid any interactions with medications you may be on.
Be a label reader! In Canada, supplements are regulated by the Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD), an arm of Health Canada. What this means is that each supplement label will outline any possible contraindications that you need to know about.
Still not sure whether a supplement combination is right for you? Don’t hesitate to check in with one of our in-store experts. Our team has a vast amount of supplement knowledge and can help you tailor a supplement plan to fit your goals, health concerns, and budget.
New to supplement stacking? Start with the basics
If you’ve never taken supplements before, start with the basics. Every stack should include a protein powder and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). For most people (if budget allows), adding in a quality multivitamin and green food powder helps to fill any nutrient gaps and can contribute to improved energy levels, metabolism, and recovery.
Get specific: Take your stack next level
Once you have the basics in place, you can look at adding in other supplements based on your fitness and health goals.
Supplement Stacking For Fat Loss
Battling the scale doesn’t need to be an all out war. Adding a few of these fat burning supps into the mix can help kick start a sluggish metabolism.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (aka CLA): a type of omega-6 fatty acid, that’s found primarily in grass-fed meat and dairy. Has been shown to increase metabolic rate, and improve muscle growth and reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
L-Carnitine: a substance that helps the body turn fat into energy.
Fat Burners: a combination formula that may or may not include stimulants, along with other ingredients known to increase thermogenesis, and stimulate lipolysis (aka the breakdown of fat in the body). If you have anxiety, heat up easily, or already drink a lot of caffeine, be sure to stay clear of products that have any ingredients with a stimulant effect (i.e. caffeine, kola nut, ephedrine).
Supplement Stacking For Muscle Building
Working out hard, but not building muscle? Consider adding a few of these products into the mix.
Creatine Monohydrate: a combination of three amino acids (glycine, arginine, methionine). Has been shown to improve performance in high-intensity exercises, as well as stimulate protein synthesis.
BCAAs: made up of the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Have been shown to improve Growth Hormone levels improving muscle gains. Try adding BCAAs into your workout drink at about 5g per hour of training. Sip on additional BCAAs every 2-4 hours during the day. (One of our experts can help you tailor this!).
Testosterone Boosters: typically a combination of herbs, and other botanicals that help to improve testosterone levels supporting muscle mass and gains.
Sleep & Growth Formula: increasing muscle mass is as much about what you do out of the gym as what you do in it! Sleep and growth formulas (like Magnum G-Spring) contain a combination of ingredients to support deep quality sleep, supporting optimal growth hormone production and muscle growth.
Pumps: products that increase blood flow to your tissues helping you to workout harder and longer, so you see better results, faster.
Supplement Stacking For Better Recovery
If you’re feeling constantly sore or tired, consider adding these supplements to your stack.
Glutamine: our body typically makes all the glutamine we need, but during times of stress, or illness, we need to supply our body with an additional source. Glutamine has been shown to improve muscle hydration and reduce acid levels that build up with exercise, helping improve recovery.
BCAAs: sipping on additional BCAAs post-work and throughout the day may help to improve muscle recovery and fatigue, especially if you are eating a calorie reduced diet.
Supplement Stacking For Performance Enhancing
Looking to push a little harder at the gym, or just need a spark to get you out of the house for an early morning training session? Try adding a pre-workout or intra-workout product to your stack.
Pre-workout: formulas that are designed to increase energy, endurance, and focus during your workout. You can find formulas with or without stimulants. If you’re sensitive to caffeine or already consuming a lot of coffee during the day, opt for stimulant free versions.
Intra-workout: formulas designed to be taken during your workout to help you push harder and longer. Typically these formulas have electrolytes for proper hydration, a source of carbs to replenish lost glycogen, and BCAA to help with energy production and glucose sparing.