What Is Stacking? The sport of bodybuilding has existed, in one form or another, since ancient times. Modern bodybuilding looks very different from the bodybuilding of the ancient Greeks, though.
These days, there are tons of tools and techniques that bodybuilders use to sculpt their bodies and help them present the best looking physique when they step on stage. One of the most popular trends is known as stacking.
If you’re wondering “What is stacking?” or “Is there any benefit to this trend?” keep reading.
Explained below is everything you need to know about it so you can decide for yourself.
What is Stacking?
The term “stacking” refers to combining specific supplements to help you reach your physique goals. The series of supplements you take each day is known as your “supplement stack.”
A supplement stack can contain any combination of supplements depending on the bodybuilder who’s taking it.
A bodybuilder might use one stack when they’re focused on gaining weight and building muscle and another when they want to drop body fat before a show.
Generally speaking, though, the supplements found in a traditional stack are usually broken into three categories: pre-workout supplements, intra-workout supplements, and post-workout supplements.
Benefits of Stacking
There are some definite benefits that come with stacking and using supplements to help reach your bodybuilding goals. The following are some specific benefits you might notice if you take your supplements on a regular basis:
Reach Your Goals Faster
When you’re using high-quality supplements and taking them in the correct dosages, you may be able to reach your bodybuilding goals sooner. They can help to give you an added boost so you can continue progressing.
Fill in Nutrient Gaps
Some supplements can help to fill gaps in your diet, too.
For example, if you have a hard time getting enough protein to build muscle from whole foods alone, you can use protein powder to help you meet your daily goal.
You can also use supplement stacks to meet your daily needs for various micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
Many supplements can help to improve your performance in the gym, too. They might give you an energy boost and improve your stamina so that you can push yourself harder and longer during your workouts.
You can also use supplements to aid in muscle recovery. Many bodybuilders make the mistake of not prioritizing recovery. This is essential, though, if you want to continue making progress and seeing your body change.
Get Dialed in
When you’re getting ready to compete in a bodybuilding show, you have to have all aspects of your training and diet on point. There’s no wiggle room.
If you find that you’re doing everything correctly and still aren’t quite where you want to be, the right supplement stack can help you break through the plateau.
Drawbacks of Stacking
Of course, stacking is not without its drawbacks. Before you decide to start stacking supplements on a regular basis, keep these potential cons in mind:
In order to see good results from your supplements, you need to make sure you’re taking the right ones.
For the most part, the supplement industry is unregulated. This makes it hard to know whether you’re taking quality supplements or just really expensive placebos.
To ensure quality, look for supplements that have been tested for quality and effectiveness by third-party labs.
Potential Side Effects
Many supplements come with potential side effects like digestive issues and heartburn. Some may even result in hormonal imbalances. It’s important to consider the potential side effects of each supplement before you decide to take it.
Not a Shortcut
Remember that supplements are not a replacement for hard work and a clean diet. They can give you an added boost, but if nothing else about your training is on point, you’re not going to see the kind of results you’re looking for.
Best Supplements for Bodybuilders
If you understand the benefits and drawbacks of stacking but have decided that it’s still a good option for you, it’s important to understand which supplements are worth taking and which ones you ought to avoid.
The following are some of the best supplements you might want to add to your stack:
One of the most effective supplements you can add to your stack, especially if you’re trying to build muscle, is creatine.
Creatine helps to provide your muscle cells with the energy they need for you to perform well in the gym.
When you use creatine on a regular basis, you’ll notice your stamina and strength improve, as does your muscle growth and recovery.
Protein supplements can help to fill in gaps and ensure you’re getting enough protein to build muscle and maintain your muscle mass.
They can also act as a meal replacement for when you’re on the go and don’t have time for a full meal.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid. It helps to reduce fatigue and can improve your overall exercise performance.
Many people find that their muscle mass increases more quickly when they make beta-alanine part of their supplement stack.
When you start trying to read more about supplement stacks, you’ll find they almost all of them have one thing in common — caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that helps to increase your energy and stamina before a workout.
Caffeine does have performance-enhancing benefits. It’s best not to use it before every workout, though. If you do this, your body will build up a tolerance to it and you’ll have to take more and more in order to experience the same effect.
Get More Bodybuilding Advice Today
You now have an answer to the question “what is stacking?” Now that you know what it is, are you interest in giving it a try?
Supplements definitely aren’t necessary for sculpting an impressive physique. They can help you take things up a notch if you’ve already dialed in all the other aspects of your diet and training, though.
Do you want to learn more bodybuilding and fitness advice?
If so, check out the Health and Wellness section of our website today. You’ll find all kinds of helpful resources here.
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