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8 Best Supplement Stacks in 2024

While individual supplements are great, effectively combining them can be the key to getting the most out of these products.

With that being said, it can be difficult to decide on which supplements to combine! Luckily, some supplement companies will sell supplement stacks, combining their products in an easy-to-use bundle. 

In this article, we’ll be covering the best supplement stacks on the market today, so you can decide which combination is right for you! 

8 Best Supplement Stacks in 2023

Top 8 Best Supplement Stacks Reviewed

  1. Core Essentials Stack – Top Pick
  2. Muscle Growth Stack by Legion – Best for Pre + Post Workout
  3. BulkSupplements Vital Stack – Best Supplement Stack for Beginners
  4. BulkSupplements Essentials Bundle – Best Value for Money
  5. Performance Stack by Kaged
  6. Vegan Essentials by Future Kind – Best Vegan Essentials Bundle
  7. HUGE BULKING STACK – Best Supplement Stack for Muscle Gain
  8. Vegan Strength Stack by TL – Best Vegan Supplement Stack for Bulking
ProductTotalStack
Formulation
Nutrition Label
Transparency
Third-Party
Testing
Value
for Money
Transparent labs4010101010
Legion39.510109.510
Bulk Supplements Vital39.510109.59
Bulk Supplements Essentials391010910
Kaged399101010
Future Kind38.5101099.5
Huge supplements389.51099.5
Transparent Labs38910109
TOP PICK

1. Core Essentials Stack by TL

Core Essentials Stack
  • Best For: Gaining Muscle, Weight Loss, Recovery, Athletic Performance
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Stack Components: Whey Protein Isolate, Creatine HMB, Bulk Pre-Workout
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.74
  • Servings per Package: 90
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafthor Bjornsson, Paul Sklar, Sean Harris

Starting our list, our pick for the best supplement stack for muscle gain is Transparent Labs’ Core Essentials Stack. If you’re looking for a stack that covers all the basic essential supplements extremely well, look no further than this. 

In this stack, you’ll be getting a whey protein isolate, Creatine HMB, and a pre-workout supplement. Let’s quickly go over what each of these supplements has to offer. 

Transparent Labs offers one of the best protein powders on the market with a whey isolate containing 28g of protein in each serving. As an isolate supplement, it’s very low in calories and other macros, making it ideal for those looking to cut as well as gain muscle. It’s also made from high-quality grass-fed dairy, which has been shown to be healthier than regular milk.

Next, you’re also getting Creatine HMB. Creatine is one of the most well-researched and effective sports supplements, boosting exercise performance and recovery with consistent use. This supplement combines creatine with HMB, which has very minimal evidence surrounding its effectiveness, although it has been shown to produce some positive results at ~3g a day, although this supplement only contains 1.5g per serving.

100% Grass-Fed

Finally, you’ll also be getting Transparent Labs’ Bulk Pre-Workout. You can expect a solid 200mg hit of caffeine for a boost before your workouts. You’ll also be getting the active ingredients Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, and Betaine.

These are all common pre-workout ingredients that have their own purposes, although keep in mind beta-alanine’s effects are entirely chronic, so don’t expect any acute effects (other than some potential itchiness). 

Citrulline is beneficial for improving performance and recovery, beta-alanine has been shown to reduce fatigue, and betaine may help with force production. Beta-Alanine and Betaine are dosed effectively at 4g and 2.5g respectively, while the 6g Citrulline malate is fairly low. 

Another pro is that Transparent Labs doesn’t use any unnecessary artificial ingredients in their formulas, so you can be confident you’re getting high-quality, all-natural products.

You’ll also be getting 30 servings of each of these supplements for a total of 90 servings, for an average serving cost of ~$1.74. While this is one of the pricier options on our list, we believe it’s worth the price for one of the best muscle-building stacks available. 

40 EXPERT SCORE

Core Essentials Stack by TL offers one of the best protein powders on the market with a whey isolate containing 28g of protein in each serving.


Stack Formulation:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • 3 high-quality, effective supplements
  • Effective stack for weight loss or gaining muscle
  • Plenty of beneficial active ingredients included in the pre-workout

Could be better:

  • Inclusion of HMB in the creatine is likely unnecessary, especially at such a small dose
  • Not vegan-friendly
Best for Pre + Post Workout

2. Muscle Growth Stack by Legion

Muscle Growth Stack by Legion
  • Best For: Gaining Muscle, Recovery, Athletic Performance
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes (with Plant-Based Protein)
  • Stack Components: Protein Powder, Pre-Workout, Post-Workout
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.81
  • Servings per Package: 80
  • Recommended by Athletes: Gage Clark, Grant Tinsley, Machaela Brabham

Next up on our list of the best workout stacks is Legion’s Muscle Growth Stack. This is fairly similar to the Transparent Labs stack, with a few minor differences. The main difference here is that Legion’s stack includes a specific post-workout supplement alongside its protein and pre-workout. Let’s take a closer look!

For Legion’s Protein, you’re getting a similarly high-quality whey isolate supplement with a solid 22g of protein per serving, with minimal carbs and fats. You can also make this a completely vegan stack by opting for Legion’s Plant-based protein instead. 

You also get a strong pre-workout supplement that has 350mg of caffeine in each serving. However, if the caffeine is too much for you, you can opt for a stim-free option instead.

Regardless of caffeine, this pre-workout also contains the same 3 active ingredients as Transparent Labs Pre-Workout, albeit at slightly different doses. You’ll be getting a solid 8g of Citrulline Malate, 3.6g of Beta-Alanine, and 2.5g of Betaine. 

Legion

Finally, Legion’s stack includes a creatine-based post-workout supplement as well. Along with 5g of creatine in every serving, you’ll also be getting 2.1g of L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, which has been shown to help with recovery. Keep in mind that creatine is much more effective a supplement compared to L-Carnitine, although L-Carnitine still does have some minor benefits. 

Similar to Transparent Labs, Legion’s products are all-natural, meaning they don’t contain any unnecessary artificial ingredients. Finally, you get 30 servings of the protein and post-workout, as well as 20 servings of the pre-workout in each stack.

This makes for a total of 80 servings, and an average cost per serving of ~$1.81.

39.5 EXPERT SCORE

Muscle Growth Stack by Legion - the best workout stacks whereyou’re getting a similarly high-quality whey isolate supplement with a solid 22g of protein per serving, with minimal carbs and fats.


Stack Formulation:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • 3 high-quality supplements for performance and recovery
  • Vegan and No-Stim options are available
  • Plenty of active ingredients in pre-workout supplement

Could be better:

  • Relatively low protein content for a whey isolate
  • No moderate caffeine option available
Best Supplement Stack for Beginners

3. BulkSupplements Vital Stack

BulkSupplements Vital Stack
  • Best For: Gaining Muscle, Weight Loss, Recovery, Athletic Performance
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Stack Components: Whey Protein, Creatine Monohydrate
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.38
  • Servings per Package: 133
  • Recommended by Athletes: Jovan J. Campbell, Adam Montrose, Shayne Kawika

Up next on our list of muscle-building supplement stacks is the first of 2 Bulk Supplements stacks we’ll be featuring. The Vital Stack features 2 of the most essential supplements for all gym-goers: protein powder and creatine.

These are also some of the best supplements available to support weight loss, making this the best supplement stack for cutting on our list as well. Let’s take a closer look. 

First, Bulk Supplements whey isolate is a similarly high-quality protein powder compared to the top 2 options on our list. However, this isn’t a grass-fed organic supplement like the previous 2 options in case this is important to you.

Still, it delivers a solid 26g of protein with <1g of fat and 0g of carbs, arguably making this the best protein supplement for dieting on our whole list. In addition to the high-quality protein supplement, you’re also getting a solid creatine supplement.

This is the first basic creatine supplement on our list with 5g of creatine, and no additional ingredients. This will allow beginners to see the effects of creatine without the effects of any other ingredients. 

It’s worth noting that these supplements do come in fairly unbalanced package sizes. You get 100 servings of creatine with only 33 servings of protein. Assuming daily creatine use, you could only take protein powder every 3 days to finish these supplements around the same time.

However, this may be ideal if you’re only looking to use small servings of protein, or if you only plan on using it occasionally. 

Like the last 2 stacks on our list, Bulk Supplements also offers simple formulas without any artificial additives. At 133 total servings between the 2 supplements, you’re also getting outstanding value with an average of ~$0.38 per serving. 

39.5 EXPERT SCORE

BulkSupplements Vital Stack is a high-quality protein powder for muscle building and one of the best weight loss supplements available, making them the best supplements.


Stack Formulation:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Excellent simple choice for beginners
  • Protein powder macros are ideal for cutting
  • Exceptional value for money

Could be better:

  • Imbalanced serving size
  • This basic stack may not be suitable for more advanced lifters looking for other supplements
Best Value for Money

4. BulkSupplements Essentials Bundle

BulkSupplements Essentials Bundle
  • Best For: Gaining Muscle, Weight Loss, Recovery, Athletic Performance
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Stack Components: Whey Protein, Creatine Monohydrate, Beta-Alanine
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.29
  • Servings per Package: 216
  • Recommended by Athletes: Jovan J. Campbell, Adam Montrose, Shayne Kawika

The next Bulk Supplements stack for building muscle on our list is very similar to the previous option. However, this stack also includes beta-alanine, which is a common pre-workout ingredient. Let’s take a closer look!

In terms of protein and creatine, you’ll be getting the same products included in Bulk Supplements’ Vital bundle. See above for a closer look at what these products have to offer. 

The main difference here is the inclusion of beta-alanine. As mentioned earlier, this is a common pre-workout ingredient that helps with fatigue, however, it may be better on its own as it has no acute effects.

Taking beta-alanine on its own is a great way to get all the benefits of this ingredient, as long as you take it every day. While Bulk Supplements’ recommended dose of 3g should be good for most, keep in mind that it may cause some tingling/itchiness. 

As mentioned above, Bulk Supplements produces high-quality supplements without any unnecessary filler ingredients. You’ll be getting 83 servings of beta-alanine as well as 33 servings of protein and 100 servings of creatine for 216 total servings.

As a result, this bundle also offers excellent value for money with the average per-serving cost of each supplement being ~$0.29.

39 EXPERT SCORE

BulkSupplements Essentials Bundle stack includes beta-alanine, which is a common pre-workout ingredient.


Stack Formulation:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Beta-Alanine is a great daily supplement on its own so you can take a more personalized dose
  • Creatine and whey protein are both excellent staple supplements for muscle growth
  • Excellent value for money

Could be better:

  • Similarly unbalanced package sizes
  • Beta-alanine may cause itchiness/tingling

5. Performance Stack by Kaged

Performance Stack by Kaged
  • Best For: Gaining Muscle, Weight Loss, Recovery, Athletic Performance
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Stack Components: Whey Protein, Pre-Workout, Electrolyte Mix
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.95
  • Servings per Package: 121
  • Recommended by Athletes: Andrea Somer, Colt Nichols, Kris Gethin

Next up on our list of bodybuilding supplement stacks is Kaged’s Performance Stack which is the only supplement on our list to contain an electrolyte mix along with whey protein and a pre-workout supplement. As we’ll cover more below, because of the electrolyte supplements, this will be an ideal stack for endurance athletes. 

First, Kaged whey isolate offers similar solid macros to the previous products covered on our list. It has 25g of protein, 0.5g of fat, and 4g of carbs. This can be great for either building muscle or weight loss! Note that Kaged’s protein is the first product on our list to contain artificial sweetener sucralose if this is something you’d prefer to avoid. 

Moving on to the pre-workout “Pre-Kaged” is a solid moderate supplement with 188mg of caffeine per serving. It contains 3.5g of L-Citrulline, 1.6g of Beta-Alanine, and 1.25g of Betaine. While all these doses should be moderately effective, they could all be dosed slightly higher in our opinion – especially L-Citrulline and Beta-Alanine. 

Finally, this stack also comes with Kaged’s electrolyte supplement, Hydra-Charge. While electrolytes are unnecessary for most athletes, they can be very beneficial for endurance athletes who lose a lot of sweat during their training.

Hydra-Charge is a fairly low electrolyte supplement in one serving, so it likely won’t be as beneficial for endurance athletes as some other electrolyte supplements available. However, it may still act as a great flavor enhancer for plain water, which can be used by all athletes. 

Overall, while Kaged’s protein and pre-workout supplements are both solid, the inclusion of an electrolyte supplement here is largely unnecessary. You’ll be getting 20 servings of pre-workout, 41 servings of protein, and 60 servings of electrolytes, which is fairly unbalanced. For the 121 total servings, the price averages out to about $0.95 per serving. 

39 EXPERT SCORE

Performance Stack by Kaged - bodybuilding supplement stacks with whey protein and a pre-workout supplement.


Stack Formulation:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • High-quality protein and pre-workout supplements
  • Electrolytes may be beneficial for endurance athletes
  • Plenty of flavor options for all 3 supplements

Could be better:

  • Inclusion of electrolytes is largely unnecessary
  • Pre-Workout has low doses of L-Citrulline and Beta-Alanine
Best Vegan Essentials Bundle

6. Vegan Essentials by Future Kind

Vegan Essentials by Future Kind
  • Best For: Overall Health
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Stack Components: Iodine Liquid Drops, “Essential for Vegans” (D3, B12, & Omega 3s) 
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.64
  • Servings per Package: 120
  • Recommended by Athletes: Dylan J Young, Nayi Fit on Plants, Ali Figz

Our next supplement stack is radically different from the previous entries on our list, as this is a pair of supplements targeted towards vegans to help with common dietary deficiencies.

While this isn’t a performance supplement stack, for the right person these products can make a huge difference. You’ll be getting Liquid Iodine Drops as well as an “Essential for Vegans” multivitamin supplement. Let’s take a closer look!

First, you’ll be getting Iodine drops, which are dosed at 100% of the recommended daily value. Iodine is most commonly found in animal-based foods, making it somewhat difficult to get through a vegan diet without depending on “iodized” foods like table salt.

Symptoms of deficiency include fatigue and weakness, making it beneficial for vegans to incorporate into their diet through supplementation. 

On top of this, you’ll also be getting an “Essential for Vegans” multivitamin supplement that includes high doses of Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Omega 3’s, which are all of importance to vegans who may struggle to get enough of these nutrients in through their diets. 

Of course, it’s important to only take vitamin and mineral supplements if you’re genuinely deficient. We recommend getting blood work done to see if these supplements are even necessary for you. 

These supplements are well-balanced as you get 2 bottles of the multivitamin which contains 30 servings each, and 1 bottle of the Iodine which contains 60 servings. With 120 servings total, the price averages out to about $0.64.

Overall, while this may be convenient, you could likely get similar doses of all these nutrients cheaper through a basic multivitamin and Omega 3 supplement.

38.5 EXPERT SCORE

Vegan Essentials by Future Kind pair of supplements targeted towards vegans to help with common dietary deficiencies.


Stack Formulation:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Covers many common deficiencies for vegans
  • Comes from a 100% vegan company
  • Well-balanced supplement stack

Could be better:

  • May be considered too expensive for what you’re getting
  • Supplement bundle could benefit from more supplements like protein or creatine
Best Supplement Stack for Muscle Gain

7. HUGE BULKING STACK

HUGE BULKING STACK
  • Best For: Gaining Muscle, Recovery, Athletic Performance
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Stack Components: Whey Protein, Creatine, Pre-Workout, “Hibernate: Sleep & Grow”
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.40
  • Servings per Package: 125
  • Recommended by Athletes: Matt Greggo, Tren Twins, Max Taylor

Up next on our list is Huge’s Bulking Stack, which is primarily targeted towards those looking to put on muscle. Similar to Transparent Labs and Legion’s stacks, you’ll be getting a Protein Powder, Creatine, and Pre-Workout supplement However, what makes Huge unique is that you’ll also be getting their “Hibernate: Sleep & Grow'' supplement. Let’s see how this supplement stack for bulking compares to the rest of our list. 

First, Huge’s Whey Isolate supplement is the highest protein supplement we’ve covered so far with 30g per serving. It also contains a fairly low 1g of fat and 3.5g of carbs. At 145 calories per serving, it can be ideal for both gaining muscle and cutting. Also, similar to Kaged’s protein, Huge contains sucralose if you’d prefer to avoid this.

Next, their Wrecked pre-workout is fairly mild with 125mg of caffeine and 50mg of di-caffeine malate. It also contains decent doses of its active ingredients with 4g of L-Citrulline, 1.75g of Beta-Alanine, and 1.5g of Betaine. However, L-Citrulline and Beta-Alanine could both be higher. Similar to the pre-workout, it also contains sucralose in its formula. 

Similar to Bulk Supplements, there’s not much to say about Huge’s creatine monohydrate. It contains a solid 5g dose of creatine in each serving without any additional active ingredients. Because this is a flavored supplement, keep in mind that it does also contain some sucralose. 

Finally, the main draw of Huge’s stack is their Hibernate supplement. Despite being a unique concept for this list, it’s unlikely it will make a huge difference in your sleep. You can expect several other herbal ingredients and amino acids like L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine.

Overall, personal experience may vary in terms of improved sleep quality, time and latency. Like the other 3 products in this stack, Hibernate also contains sucralose. 

You’ll be getting 25 servings of Hibernate, 30 servings of protein and creatine, and 40 servings of pre-workout. This is a fairly balanced stack, especially if you’re planning on taking 2 scoops of the pre-workout for stronger stimulation.

With 125 total servings, you’re looking at an average cost of ~$1.40, making this one of the more expensive stacks on our list.

38 EXPERT SCORE

HUGE BULKING STACK - is the highest protein supplement we’ve covered so far with 30g per serving and Kaged’s protein, whith contains sucralose if you’d prefer to avoid this.


Stack Formulation:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Highest protein supplement on our list
  • Solid basic pre-workout and creatine supplements
  • Sleep supplement may be beneficial to some

Could be better:

  • All supplements contain sucralose if you’d prefer to avoid this
  • Pre-workout could contain more citrulline and beta-alanine
Best Vegan Supplement Stack for Bulking

8. Vegan Strength Stack by TL

Vegan Strength Stack by TL
  • Best For: Gaining Muscle, Recovery, Athletic Performance
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Stack Components: Vegan Protein, Pre-Workout, Creatine HMB, “Build; Daily Muscle Builder and Strength”
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.31
  • Servings per Package: 150
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafthor Bjornsson, Paul Sklar, Sean Harris

Closing off our list is the second Transparent Labs supplement stack we’ll be covering. While this is similar to their core essentials stack, this is instead targeted towards vegans. In this stack, you’ll be getting a vegan protein powder, Transparent Labs “Build” supplement, as well as the Bulk pre-workout and Creatine HMB supplements covered above.

First, Transparent Labs delivers a solid vegan protein made up of organic rice & pea protein. In each serving you’ll be getting 24g of protein, as well as 2g of fat and 3g of carbs making it also a good choice for folks on a weight loss journey. This is a similar level of quality to Transparent Labs whey protein as it’s made without any unnecessary artificial ingredients. 

You’ll also be getting Transparent Labs’ Build supplement which is made up of different ingredients including various mushroom strains, and herbs. It’s difficult to say how much of an effect (if any) this supplement will have on muscle growth and performance.

Finally, the other 2 supplements included in this stack were covered above in our overview of Transparent Labs Core Essentials Stack. In short, these are both solid supplements that should give you a significant boost to your performance in the gym.

In this stack, you get 60 servings of Build as well as 30 servings each of the other 3 supplements. This makes for a total of 150 servings with an average cost of ~$1.31. While this isn’t too expensive, it’s up to you if the inclusion of Build makes this stack worth it. 

38 EXPERT SCORE

Vegan Strength Stack by TL - solid vegan protein made up of organic rice & pea protein and it’s made without any unnecessary artificial ingredients.


Stack Formulation:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • High-quality plant-based supplements
  • Includes one of the best vegan protein powders available
  • Solid pre-workout formula

Could be better:

  • Build may not have significant benefits for everyone
  • Inclusion of HMB in the creatine supplement likely isn't necessary

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What Are the Benefits of Stack Supplementation?

While individual supplements are great, it can be even more beneficial to combine them for maximum effectiveness. While there aren’t many supplements that are necessary to take alongside each other, below we’ll be covering a few reasons you may want to use a supplement stack. 

✅ They Can Be Cheaper

One of the main reasons you should consider buying a pre-made supplement stack is the price. Supplement companies will typically give you a fairly significant discount when buying supplements in a bundle as opposed to on their own. 

It’s worth noting that not all brands will offer a significant discount on their stacks. Transparent Labs, for example, doesn’t appear to offer any significant discount compared to buying their products individually. However, Bulk Supplements offers a generous 30% discount on their Bulk Essentials Bundle. 

Before buying any stack, check the prices of the individual products to see if there is any discount. Also, if you’re planning on using a stack for a while, most brands will offer significant discounts if you sign up for their subscription services. 

Overall, while buying supplement stacks isn’t always a more budget-friendly option, with certain brands you will save quite a bit of money by purchasing a bundle. 

It’s worth noting that supplement stacks won’t always be cheaper, especially if you end up buying supplements you didn’t want in the first place. There are several supplements included in stacks on this list that likely won’t make a major difference in your training.

These include Kaged’s Hydra-Charge, Huge’s Hibernate, and Transparent Labs’ Build. Make sure you want every supplement included in a stack before purchasing so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.  

Legion Whey Protein

✅ They’re Convenient and Beginner-Friendly

Another reason to consider buying pre-made supplement stacks is the convenience. 

When you’re first looking to buy supplements, it can be difficult to know which supplements will actually make a difference. Luckily, supplement stacks from reputable brands are a great place to start when buying your first few supplements. 

Most of the supplement stacks on our list are fairly similar. They mostly combine protein, pre-workout, and creatine. This basic formula for a supplement stack is a great place for any beginner to start. Assuming high-quality formulas, these 3 supplements will likely give you the most bang for your buck in terms of genuine results. 

While we recommend using these 3 products as a baseline for a solid supplement stack, other products like electrolytes or sleep-enhancers may also be effective for you. Just be aware they likely won’t make as much of a difference as protein, creatine, and pre-workout. 

Carrying on, it’s super convenient to buy all the supplements you need in one place – especially if you get a discount for doing so. As you learn more about supplements, you may be interested in picking and choosing certain products to get the most optimal formulas and ingredient dosages. However, until then, supplement stacks are a great way to pick up everything you need in one easy purchase. 

Overall, workout supplement stacks are great if you’re a beginner, or you’re just looking for a convenient way to get all your supplements at once. While more advanced lifters may want more control over which supplements they’re buying, they’re a great choice for those who need a bit of help choosing which supplements are right for them.

✅ Maximize Supplements Effectiveness

Before getting into this final point, it’s worth noting you will get the benefits of using multiple supplements whether or not you’re buying them in a premade stack. Essentially, by combining multiple effective supplements, you will notice more significant effects than you would by only using 1. 

The most common supplements found in the stacks covered in this article are protein powder, creatine, and pre-workout supplements. While it’s not necessary to take these supplements together, all of these supplements will contribute in their own way to boosting your performance in the gym and increasing the results you see. 

First, protein powder will help you hit your protein goals for the day, which will stimulate more muscle growth, or help you maintain muscle mass during fat loss depending on your goals. Next, creatine will help improve your performance in the gym and help with increasing total lean body mass. Finally, pre-workout supplements will give you more energy, reduce fatigue, as well as other ergogenic benefits that can improve your training results. 

As you can see, all of these supplements will provide slightly different benefits to somebody’s training. As a result, by taking them together you may experience more noticeable effects on your progress than you would if you were only taking 1. 

To be clear, supplements don’t become more effective because you’re taking them alongside other supplements. Instead, you’re simply combining the different effects of a few supplements for a more significant overall result. 

Tips From the Champ

To check your foot arch, soak your feet in water and step on a piece of paper. Step off and check the imprint on the midfoot: if it’s mildly visible, you have a neutral (normal arch). If it’s empty or nearly so, you might have a case of high arches.

Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

How to Choose the Best Supplement Stacks?

If you’re looking to buy a pre-made supplement stack like the ones featured on this list, we recommend following a few simple guidelines to find the best stack for you. These involve prioritizing training and diet first, choosing certain supplements over others, looking for good deals, as well as considering your unique goals. Let’s get into it!

1. Prioritize Proper Training and Diet

Before getting into what supplements have the most benefits, if you’re a beginner, we recommend focusing on your training plan and diet before beginning to use supplements. A common beginner mistake is thinking that supplements will radically increase their progress, even though this is rarely the case. 

After all, no supplement can replace intense training with proper form and a diet that’s optimal for your goals. Once you feel like you have a good foundation of proper training, like for example understanding the importance progressive overload, or that you grow when you rest, not when you train, and an understanding of the basics of nutrition, like energy balance and macros, that’s when we recommend beginning to use supplements - you will simply understand why and when they are useful.

When you decide it’s time to start using supplements, we also recommend doing some research so you understand the science behind the products you’re using. In the next section, we’ll be covering our recommendations for the best science-backed supplements. 

How to Choose the Best Supplement Stacks

2. Look for Stacks with Scientifically Proven Supplements

First, the main thing you’ll want to consider when buying a supplement stack is which supplements it includes. While individual needs may vary as we’ll cover more in-depth later on, you should always choose supplements that have formulas with scientifically proven ingredients. 

As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, the main science-backed supplements we recommend are protein powder, creatine, and pre-workout. 

Keep in mind that there’s more variation in pre-workout formulas than there is with the other 2 supplements. They also frequently include ingredients that don’t have much scientific basis. The  main ingredients we recommend looking for are Caffeine, Beta-Alanine, Betaine, and L-Citrulline. Just, make sure they come in effective doses. 

We’ve included a table below to help with this:

IngredientMinimum Effective DoseOptimal Dose
Caffeine100 mg200-300mg
Beta-Alanine1-2 g+3g
Betaine1.25-2.5 g2.5g
L-Citrulline3g+ of L-Citrulline (6g for acute effects)
6-8 g of Citrulline Malate
8 g of L-Citrulline
12 g of Citrulline Malate

Beyond this, we recommend doing your own research to see if other supplements will be beneficial for you. Things like sleep enhancers, and other herbal blends may have certain use cases, although they likely won’t have the same level of an effect on people.

Electrolytes are a bit different category and should be taken when their ingestion is fully justified by their loss during workout. Ultimately, we recommend prioritizing protein, creatine, and eventually pre-workout in any supplement stacks you’re looking for. Just be sure the pre-workouts contain effective doses of their active ingredients that you are looking for.

From there, it’s up to you to decide whether supplement stacks that include other products are worthwhile, or if you’d prefer to stick to the basics. 

3. Look for Budget-Friendly Options

Next, consider what your budget is when buying a supplement stack. 

As mentioned, certain brands will offer discounts for their bundles, while others won’t. If you’re looking to save some money, we recommend opting for the brands that offer the highest discounts on their stacks and sticking to basics - like whey protein and creatine. Otherwise, there’s not much of a reason to buy the products altogether other than convenience. 

If you’re confident you’re going to be using a supplement for a long time, see if the brand you’re interested in offers a subscription service. This can be a great way to significantly reduce the price of a supplement, as well as having the convenience of a regular shipment. 

Also, consider whether a supplement stack even works with your budget. If you can’t afford to buy 3-4 supplements at once, there’s nothing wrong with just getting 1 and buying the others later. If you’re looking for the supplement with the best cost-to-effectiveness ratio, we believe creatine’s the way to go. Especially if you buy in bulk, you can easily find creatine supplements for under $0.10 per serving!

Overall, while supplement stacks can be more budget-friendly than buying individual supplements, this isn’t always the case. If you don’t want to spend a bunch on supplements up front, consider only buying one supplement at a time instead. 

4. Consider your Goals and Dietary Needs

Finally, and arguably most importantly, is to consider what your individual goals are with a given supplement stack. For example, someone looking to put on muscle might want different supplements compared to someone looking to improve their overall health or lose weight. Below we’ll be covering some different goals, and generally recommending supplement stacks that can help.

First, what if you’re trying to put on muscle? You’ll likely be fine with a standard supplement stack of protein powder, creatine, and pre-workout. For someone looking to lose weight, this will also be fine, although you may want to choose a protein powder lower in total calories. 

Meanwhile, what if someone is looking to optimize their overall health? While this specific stack is targeted towards vegans, Future Kind’s Essentials bundle is a great example of a stack meant to target nutritional deficiencies to address your health and well being rather than improve exercise performance. 

Speaking of vegans, if you follow a plant-based diet, be sure you’re buying a vegan-friendly stack like those offered by Legion and Transparent Labs. 

As you can see, considering your individual goals and needs can help point you in the right direction when deciding which stack is right for you. 

What Is the Best Way to Use Supplement Stacks?

The best way to use supplement stacks will depend largely on which supplements are included in your stack. As the most common supplements we’ve featured on this list are protein powder, creatine, and pre-workout, we’ll be quickly going over our recommendations for how to take each of these supplements. 

Supplement Stacks

1. Protein Powder

How you use protein powder will depend largely on your goals. Before mixing up your first shake, consider whether you want to lose weight, or put on muscle mass. 

If you’re looking to lose weight, we recommend mixing your protein with water, skim milk, or a low-calorie plant-based milk. This will maximize your protein intake while keeping the calories as low as possible. 

If you’re trying to gain weight, you have a lot more room for experimentation with your protein powder. While there’s nothing wrong with having a simple protein shake mixed with milk, you can easily make a homemade mass gainer with multiple ingredients. Consider adding bananas, frozen fruit, and peanut butter to get an easy several hundred calories in. 

Regardless of what your goals are, feel free to drink your protein shakes whenever it is most convenient for you. What’s great about protein is how convenient it is, acting as an excellent snack, or meal replacement when taken alongside other nutrient-dense foods. 

2. Creatine

Along with being one of the most well-researched sports supplements around, creatine is also super easy to take. The recommended daily dose is 3-5g. It can be mixed with any beverage you like, but we recommend mixing it with warm water for optimal solubility. 

Creatine can be taken at any time throughout the day, so have it whenever is most convenient for you. Taking it right when you wake up or right before bed can be an easy way to remember to get it in every day. 

Remember that you need to take it every day for 2-4 weeks before you’ll begin to see any results. From there, keep taking it every day to keep your muscles fully saturated. 

3. Pre-Workout

Finally, as you can probably guess from the name, pre-workout should be taken before you hit the gym! However, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before using these supplements. 

First, consider the dose of caffeine in your supplement. Caffeine takes about 15-30 minutes to have any effect on the body. It’s also worth noting that an ingredient like L-Citrulline takes about an hour before it has any acute effects. So, we recommend taking your pre-workout 30-60 minutes before hitting the gym to maximize the effects of caffeine and other active ingredients. 

best supplement stack

Also, betaine, beta-alanine, and l-citrulline, and creatine all have cumulative effects. With beta-alanine, for example the idea is to raise baseline levels of carnosine - which can take a few weeks - meaning you will only benefit from consistent supplementation. This means you may begin to notice more out of your pre-workout supplement once you’ve been taking it regularly for several weeks. 

Finally, if you’re using a caffeinated supplement, consider when you’re taking pre-workout during the day. Caffeine can easily interfere with your sleep quality when taken later in the day, especially if you’re consuming 200-300mg in a single dose. As a result, we recommend only using pre-workouts a minimum of 6 hours before you plan on going to bed. Especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may want to choose a non-stim or low-stim pre-workout instead. 

Engaging in any activity that disrupts or offsets regular high-quality sleep, or its duration, such as staying up late or consuming stimulants close to bedtime, will counteract the potential health benefits of that activity.

FAQ

What Is the Best Supplement Stack to Build Muscle?

In our opinion, the best supplement stack for building muscle is a combination of a high-quality protein powder, creatine, and pre-workout. Protein will help you hit your nutrition goals, and aid in better recovery.

Creatine will aid with exercise performance, recovery, and potentially increasing lean body mass. Pre-Workout can increase energy levels via caffeine, and may improve performance and recovery via additional ergogenIs It Safe to Stack Supplements?ic ingredients. 

These 3 supplements are the most well-researched and science-backed options for a powerful supplement stack. Our top pick for a pre-made stack that contains these 3 supplements is the Core Essentials Stack by TL.

Is it safe to stack supplements?

Yes, as long as you’re conscious of what supplements you’re taking, there shouldn’t be any danger with stacking supplements. With that being said, there is some risk associated with taking excessive amounts of specific ingredients. 

For example, taking too much pre-workout could lead to a dangerous amount of caffeine intake. Or, over-relying on protein supplements could very likely lead to an upset stomach. As long as you’re using each supplement in your stack in moderation, there shouldn’t be any issues. 

Do Muscle Stacks Work?

Beyond minor changes in absorption, stacking numerous supplements likely won’t make a major difference on the effectiveness of any given supplement, you will be combining the individual effects of all the individual supplements you’re taking. This will likely lead to greater cumulative effects. Overall, while it’s not necessary to combine supplements, you may notice greater total effects compared to using single supplements. 

Conclusion

Supplement bundles can be a great way to get the most out of all the hard work you’re putting in at the gym. For a simple yet effective supplement stack, we recommend prioritizing protein powder, creatine, and pre-workout.

This will help you optimize your nutrition, recovery, and performance in the gym. While it’s not necessary to buy pre-made supplement stacks, they’re convenient and can also be a better deal than buying supplements individually. 

Our top pick for a high-quality supplement stack is the Core Essentials Stack by TL. This is a simple, high-quality combo of protein, creatine, and pre-workout, covering all the bases for a solid supplement stack. We hope these supplement stack reviews can help you make an informed decision on which stack is right for you!

Are you currently taking a supplement stack? Any recommendations for the best bodybuilding stacks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  1. Richard B. Kreider, et. al, “International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine,” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrit
  2. ion volume 14, Article number: 18 (2017).
  3. Adam M. Gonzales, et. al, “Effects of Citrulline Supplementation on Exercise Performance in Humans: A Review of the Current Literature.” J Strength Cond Res. 2020 May;34(5):1480-1495.
  4. Arnold B. McGonigle,"EFFECTS OF BETA-ALANINE ON ANAEROBIC PERFORMANCE," International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 8: Iss. 8, Article 67. (2020)
  5. Jenna M. Apicella, “The Effect of Betaine Supplementation on Performance and Muscle Mechanisms,” Master's Theses. 109. (2011).
  6. O’Connor, E.; Mündel, T.; Barnes, M.J. “Nutritional Compounds to Improve Post-Exercise Recovery.” Nutrients, 14, 5069. (2022).
  7. The Nutrition Source, “Iodine,” Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/iodine/ (Accessed Nov. 23, 2023)

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Camila Parente Santos

Author: Camila Parente Santos
Nutrition and Sport Nutritionist

Experience: 7 years

Camila has worked as a Nutritionist for 7 years. In addition to being a nutritionist, she is an amateur weightlifting athlete for 2 years. Camila has experience at Flamengo’s football base and in a food supplement company and currently provides services at a clinic. At the moment she is coursing a postgraduate study in Sports Nutrition.

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