Supplement stacking: Where to start?
Along with a clean diet, adequate sleep and a high–volume training program, there are a few additions to your routine that can speed up your muscle development. ‘Supplement stacking’ is the consumption of various supplements simultaneously to improve training performance, results and recovery. Through the consistent use of a number of compounds found at your local supplement provider, your body will be able to grow muscle at its most efficient level.
There are 101 different types of protein powders the market. From vegan protein to 90% Whey Protein Isolate(WPI), to slow releasing casein, the choices are endless. Protein is made up of amino acids – the building blocks of muscle. Without adequate protein intake, your muscles will struggle to repair and grow quickly and effectively. This key supplement is one of the most important items in any gym bag. If you’re just starting out with weight lifting, including a protein shake in your diet is the best introductory supplement.
For muscle gain, aim to consume between 60-90g of protein from shakes per day (2-3 protein shakes worth)
2. Fish Oil
In order to gain muscle mass, your body’s access to fat is almost as equally important as it is for protein. Fish oil contains the fatty acids from the tissues of oily fish – omega-3s. Within the oil, are two main acids:
- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and,
- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Recent studies have shown that they have extremely positive effects on users metabolisms, muscle development, joint health and body fat percentage. Its additional effects on energy levels, concentration, nutrient absorption and physical performance has brought it into the diets of many powerlifters and athletes alike.
Aim to take 2-3 capsules in the morning, with an additional 1-2 at night.
Creatine (or creatine monohydrate) is a naturally occurring substance produced by the liver, kidneys and pancreas. Its main role in the body is to assist in muscle growth and supplement for energy when needed. Creatine is one of the most heavily researched natural performance enhancing substance in weightlifting and bodybuilding, with over 75% of powerlifter, boxers, track and field athletes consuming the supplement for muscle growth. Introducing this additional supplement into your daily routine is one of the easiest ways to quickly increase muscle size and mass.
Take 1 serving in both your pre and post workout drink (4g per serving)
Another important supplement for developing muscle is Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). Taken during and after a workout, the supplement provides your body with the necessary minerals to repair, develop and increase the overall size of your muscle. BCAAs are the combination of 3 essential amino acids:
- Isoleucine and;
They are essential because the body can’t produce them, they have to be consumed. Along with promoting muscle retention, the supplement is a key component in growing new muscle and preventing muscle breakdown.
To see the best results, sip on 1 scoop in 250ml of water in the morning and 1 scoop during your workout.
In order to increase muscle size, the stacking of supplements should be equally devoted to growing muscle as well as preventing its loss. Glutamine is an extremely effective and natural supplement for bodybuilders. It allows the body to limit energy loss and muscle breakdown during exercise, whilst improving performance and stamina, resulting in greater muscle retention.
A secondary benefit of this supplement is its increase in fat metabolism rates. As more muscle is retained, your body is further encouraged to burn fat, leading to simultaneous muscle growth at fat loss.
Mix 5g with your pre and post workout (10g in total)
You don’t have to be a professional bodybuilder or fitness expert to start stacking supplements. Start with a few of these and eventually work your way up to a full stack. The addition of any of these supplements will see a dramatic increase in muscle size, strength and stamina.