Dialing in your diet can make all the difference when it comes to fitness. This is where supplement “stacks” — several products purchased as a group, often with complementary properties or purposes — come in. For example, a basic stack may include a pre-workout, a protein, and a post-workout, while a more comprehensive stack may throw fish oil, vitamins, and fat burners into the mix, as well.
Stacks are valuable because, just as training properly is a multi-faceted ordeal, crossing every “T” and dotting every “I” when it comes to mastering nutrition takes more than any single product can provide. From stacks for building muscle to stacks for vegans, we’ve broken down the market’s most popular offerings and what they can do for you — here are some of our favorites.
Best Supplement Stacks
- Best Supplement Stack for Weight Loss: Transparent Labs Fat Burning Essentials
- Best Supplement Stack for Building Muscle: Legion The Muscle Build
- Best Supplement Stack for Bodybuilders: Legion Bigger Leaner Stronger
- Best Supplement Stack for Beginners: Transparent Labs Stimulant Free Muscle Building Essentials
- Best Supplement Stack for Digestion: Transparent Labs Wellness
- Best Supplement Stack for Women: IdealFit Workout Bundle
- Best Supplement Stack for Vegans: Transparent Labs Vegan Strength
Best Supplement Stack for Weight Loss
While the basic principle behind losing weight is simple (consume fewer calories than you burn), nailing down every aspect of your nutrition while cutting weight can easily become complicated and confusing. A one-stop purchase that can help ensure your diet runs smoothly is especially convenient.
Transparent Labs Fat Burning Essentials
Transparent Labs provides the major nutritional cornerstones to potentially help shed fat without tacking on extra products to push up the price. The inclusion of PreSeries LEAN, a pre-workout with a heaping portion of BCAAs, can help you hang on to your hard-earned muscle in the gym (1), while their PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner may work to boost caloric expenditure throughout the day.
Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Fat Burning Essentials
- People who want a supplement stack directly focused on helping you burn fat.
- Lifters who are focused on maintaining muscle during a “cutting” phase.
- Anyone who feels mental fatigue during diets, since extended caloric restriction can hamper cognition.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Fat Burning Essentials
- If you’re wary of your caffeine intake, be mindful — this stack contains 300 mg daily.
- Anyone who wants a supplement stack to do more of the nutritional legwork overall.
If you’re in the market for an arsenal of supplements that could help you burn fat quickly and easily, Transparent Labs has you covered.
Best Supplement Stack for Building Muscle
Since muscle is actually built outside of the gym, having a supplement stack that facilitates hypertrophy long after you finish your final set is crucial. Many popular stacks do the bare minimum by including a post-workout shake, but we’re interested in products that go the distance.
Legion The Muscle Build
Legion keeps it simple but effective with The Muscle Build. Three products chosen strictly for their relevance to long-term muscle growth make for a potent addition to any supplement cabinet. Their Pulse pre-workout is well known for its potential to provide smooth, high levels of energy as well as increase power output due to a welcome dosage of the compound Alpha-GPC, which has been substantiated to increase explosiveness during resistance training. (2)
For everything after the gym, you can get some much-needed protein from the well-crafted Whey+, but the real hitter is their Recharge post-workout powder. Recharge is the recovery-centric cousin of their pre-workout, made specifically to help facilitate repair and growth in the hours after training by including ingredients like L-Carnitine, which has been substantiated to reduce muscular soreness and trauma. (3)
Legion The Muscle Build includes three products chosen strictly for their relevance to long-term muscle growth: Pulse pre-workout, Whey+ protein, and Recharge post-workout.
Who Should Buy Legion The Muscle Build
- Lifters in a “bulking” phase who want to make the most of their work in the gym.
- Anyone who wants to do more nutritionally than just sip on a whey shake after training.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Legion The Muscle Build
- Beginners who may not need a comprehensive post-workout stack.
- Anyone taking it easy in the gym or not training particularly intensely at the moment.
If getting big was as easy as chugging a shake or swallowing a pill, anyone would do it. But that doesn’t mean that the right hypertrophy stack can’t potentially speed up your journey a little.
Best Supplement Stack for Bodybuilders
If you’re a dedicated bodybuilder — whether recreationally or in pursuit of your first Pro Card or sponsorship — you may have different goals in mind than the average gym rat trying to add a few inches to their arms. It should follow that your nutritional needs are equally distinct.
Legion Bigger Leaner Stronger
What’s Included: Pulse pre-workout, Whey+ protein, Recharge post-workout, Triumph multivitamin, Triton fish oil, Phoenix fat burner.
A supplement stack for bodybuilders has to be intelligently designed and include the necessary ingredients for both building muscle and keeping you lean, especially with a show around the corner. Luckily, Legion’s Bigger Leaner Stronger delivers in spades. Once again, Pulse and Recharge make the roster for their potential pre and post-workout benefits alongside the extremely well-formulated Whey+ powder.
However, the addition of their Triton fish oil and Triumph multivitamin can help physique athletes hit the extremely precise micronutrient benchmarks they need. On top of that, the Phoenix Fat Burner — an absolute essential for bodybuilding fanatics who need to maintain their abs year-round — can help keep a tight core with promising ingredients like forskolin, which may have links to preserving muscle and increasing fat oxidation simultaneously (4).
Who Should Buy Legion Bigger Leaner Stronger
- Athletes working towards their first show or stage appearance who want to look their best on the day.
- Anyone in the market for a stack that targets a lot of nutritional optimization at once.
- Buyers interested in products that are comprehensively supported in scientific literature.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Legion Bigger Leaner Stronger
- Consumers on a budget — the wide swath of components make Bigger Leaner Stronger notably expensive.
- Anyone looking out for only a few specific supplements may not need everything offered here.
Bodybuilders need to be one hundred percent confident about what they’re putting into their body — their career can depend on exact formulation. Legion’s Bigger Leaner Stronger puts fears to rest when it comes to calibration and efficacy.
Best Supplement Stack for Beginners
One of the perks of being a neophyte to the iron game — alongside incredibly rapid gains in strength and size — is that, much like the training itself, nutrition and supplement needs are fairly basic. Many novices don’t need more than a good whey powder to progress in the gym. That being said, there’s no harm in going the extra mile with your supplementation.
Transparent Labs Stimulant Free Muscle Building Essentials
Transparent Labs’ Essentials stack is just that — the essentials. If you’ve just put together your first workout routine or are new to resistance training, your needs aren’t as intricate or niche as someone who has been lifting for a decade already.
The 100% Grass-Fed Whey Isolate is perfectly suited for muscle growth and the inclusion of their Creatine HMB powder is one of the most valuable supplements for any lifter due to creatine’s well-researched beneficial effects on strength and size (5).
A krill oil supplement can also help to ensure the new stimulus from training doesn’t beat up the joints too much (6), which can be a real concern for first-timers who haven’t acclimated to the demands of resistance training.
Transparent Labs’ Essentials stack is just that — the essentials: PreSeries Stim-Free pre-workout, 100% Grass-Fed Whey, StrengthSeries Creatine HMB, and RawSeries Krill Oil.
Who Should Buy Stimulant Free Muscle Building Essentials
- Athletes who want an energy boost in the gym without the disorienting side effects of caffeine.
- Consumers wary of supplementation and only want the basics covered.
- Buyers who want plenty of flavor options for the products of their stack.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Stimulant Free Muscle Building Essentials
- Anyone who wants a more potent combination, particularly for performance in the gym.
- Folks who are only after the bare essentials — buying one or two of the items here separately might be better.
The only thing a beginner really needs to take their first steps is some determination and initiative. But a starter supplement stack like this can still provide a solid boost.
Best Supplement Stack for Digestion
Supplement stacks aren’t exclusively the province of those who train hard five or six days per week. For anyone who may not be out to win a powerlifting competition, but still wants to augment their standard diet and polish digestion processes, a wellness stack is a prime choice.
Transparent Labs Wellness
What’s Included: Organic Vegan Protein, Prebiotic Greens, Turmeric, MAG Magnesium Bisglycinate, Krill oil.
The selections here won’t create skin-tearing pumps or help you set new PRs directly, but they can keep your engine running smoothly and your body in good overall condition. The Organic Vegan Protein can help you hit your macros a little easier without ingesting lactose or extra calories, while the krill oil can help strengthen your bones.
The Prebiotic Greens is the real winner here though, coming in light on calories but heavy on nutrition. The quantities of vitamins and minerals more than satisfy your daily requirements, while a long list of stomach-friendly probiotics aid in gut health and digestion (7).
This product can keep your engine running smoothly and your body in good overall condition with its Organic Vegan Protein, Prebiotic Greens, Turmeric, MAG Magnesium Bisglycinate, and Krill oil.
Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Wellness
- Anyone in the market for supplements that help the body function well outside of a gym.
- Organic or paleo enthusiasts who don’t want synthetics or additives in their diet.
- Dietary perfectionists who want to make sure they’re getting everything they need on a daily basis.
Who Shouldn’t Transparent Labs Wellness
- Anyone interested in a supplement stack tailored towards acute performance will want to look elsewhere.
- Those on a robust dietary plan with a lot of varied, whole-food protein sources may not need everything included in this stack.
You shouldn’t have to worry about what you eat after you eat it — eating the right meals at the right times is hard enough on its own. A stack designed to optimize digestive processes can be great for alleviating concerns in this area.
Best Supplement Stack for Women
Anyone — male or female — should have access to effective supplements that work for them. That being said, many companies market themselves toward men, promising bulging muscles and mountains of calories to pack on pounds. On the other side of things, there are specific stacks — like this pick — that are targeted toward females as well.
IdealFit Workout Bundle
IdealFit’s Workout Bundle is a convenient, uncomplicated selection of products that can work for anybody but are exceptional for women. Everyone can use a good dose of protein and amino acids to recover from muscle damage accrued during exercise, but ladies may not want a whey powder that contains well over two hundred calories per serving. The IdealLean Protein packs in the macronutrients required to refuel without loading up on spare sugar or fat.
Their IdealLean pre-workout can also provide stable, clean energy for getting a good sweat on in the gym without the accompanying jitters or crashes commonly associated with more “hardcore” supplements.
IdealFit’s Workout Bundle's uncomplicated selection of products that are exceptional for women include IdealLean Protein, IdealLean BCAAs, and IdealLean pre-workout.
Who Should Buy IdealFit Workout Bundle
- Anyone on a budget who wants to get the nutrition they need without breaking the bank.
- Those who need clean, un-cluttered sources of energy and protein from their supplements.
Who Shouldn’t Buy IdealFit Workout Bundle
- Folks searching for supplements that satisfy higher caloric requirements.
A male-dominated supplement industry has a lot of room for (and need of) products designed specifically to serve a female audience, making IdealFit’s stack a welcome addition to the mix.
Best Supplement Stack for Vegans
Anyone who still believes that veganism is incompatible with getting big or strong is lying to themselves. You need only look at some of the truly mind-bending feats of vegan athletes to realize that these stereotypes aren’t true. That said, any restrictive diet does require a little extra attention — this is where a vegan-friendly supplement stack can make a big play.
Transparent Labs Vegan Strength Stack
What’s Included: Bulk Pre-Workout, BCAA Glutamine, Creatine HMB, Organic Vegan Protein Powder.
Transparent Labs ensures that their products meet vegan dietary restrictions while still delivering high-quality performance augmentation. Their protein powder is sourced from peas and brown rice, while the Creatine HMB and BCAA Glutamine can help improve strength and recovery rates (8) without relying on any animal products. Their BULK pre-workout can also deliver more than enough energy without forcing you to make any dietary concessions.
Transparent Labs ensures that their Bulk Pre-Workout, BCAA Glutamine, Creatine HMB, and Organic Vegan Protein Powder meet vegan dietary restrictions while still delivering high-quality performance augmentation.
Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Vegan Strength Stack
- Vegetarian or vegan devotees interested in accessible supplementation that works alongside their diets.
- Non-vegans who want to get solid supplements that are made from ethical, cruelty-free sources.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Vegan Strength Stack
- Anyone interested in getting their nutritional value from animal products for the same price.
Veganism catches a bad rap in some fitness circles. Even though it isn’t the most lenient dietary practice out there, that doesn’t mean you can’t adhere to it fully and still assist your gains with the right supplements at your side.
Why Should I Use a Supplement Stack?
Navigating the perils of the supplement industry on your own can be intimidating, especially if you’re looking to pick up multiple products at once. Supplement stacks are packaged specifically to quell uncertainty and allow you to get straight to what matters — maximizing your health and performance.
By compiling the right products for you, a well-made stack should provide some peace of mind and allow you to direct your energy towards working hard, eating well, and recovering intelligently.
How We Decide
Assessing the merit of a supplement bundle is more difficult than just looking at a single nutrition label. Not only do these products have to deliver on their individual promises, they also have to be vetted as a collective to ensure they aren’t redundant — or even harmful — when taken together.
We’ve paid special attention to how the individual components of a stack work, not only on their own, but as part of a bigger nutritional picture — you could be leaving potential gains on the table if you aren’t diligent about every aspect of your diet. So if a company bundles five products together, promising that it is a complete package, but one or more items don’t align with the overall purpose, we won’t bother suggesting it.
While many companies advertise their products appropriately and back their claims up with data, there are also many who don’t. We want to ensure the products you are buying — including the supplement stacks on this list — are backed by science. While even science doesn’t guarantee that each product will work exactly the same for every individual, the data does show it has the potential to help with performance if taken properly and incorporated into an already healthy diet. Therefore, we have triple-checked that all the products and companies on this list provide the data to back up their claims and aren’t dishing out any promises they can’t keep.
It can be a drag to purchase a single supplement, only to find out later that it doesn’t do what you wanted it to. That feeling magnifies if you end up purchasing a pricey bundle that falls flat.
We want to absolutely ensure that the stacks recommended here are properly tailored to deliver on the promises they make. A stack targeting bodybuilders that doesn’t work overtime to stimulate muscle growth isn’t worth our time — or yours. On this list, if we — or the company selling the product — say a stack can help with muscle gain or will potentially aid digestion, you can take our word for it that we’ve researched that claim. Just make sure our recommendations align with your needs before buying an expensive bundle of supplements. Remember that achieving your fitness goals requires action and dedication. A stack alone is not a magic pill, but a package of supplements aimed to help you hit your goals.
What to Consider Before Buying
Supplement stacks are tailored to help you find all the right products you need for your fitness journey in one fell swoop. But before you swipe right on a stack, there are a few factors that deserve some consideration.
Manage Your Expectations
When shopping for supplements of any kind, keep in mind that brands are making a targeted effort to pitch you their products first and foremost. For consumers, this can mean having to sift through dubious claims about efficacy or ingredients.
While all the products on this list are scientifically backed, make sure to do your own research and read the ingredients list thoroughly before making a final decision or purchase. And know that not every claim a product makes is going to hold true for every individual — all of our bodies process supplements differently, which means our reactions to certain supplements may vary, regardless of data.The main way to achieve fitness goals is through consistent exercise and diets.
Assess Your Actual Needs
A supplement stack is a fantastic idea if you’ve got several holes to plug in your nutrition. Rather than buying all five or six of the products in a stack separately, you can snag them all at once. But if you don’t actually need all the products in the group, don’t get suckered into buying a whole stack when you will only end up using one or two from the bundle.
A supplement stack of four products isn’t necessarily four times more effective than a single item. In fact, the opposite can be true. If you’re hitting your macros from whole food sources on a regular basis, don’t feel beat up from your training, but wish you had more energy in the gym, you may just need a solid pre-workout rather than a whole new stack of products. The gist: Buy what you need.
While a supplement stack can be incredibly useful for shoring up multiple weaknesses in a diet, a single well-made product still retains its potency. Before you pull the trigger on a stack, be absolutely sure that you can get value out of every part of it.
That said, picking up a bundle of supplements that work well together can be one of the best ways to streamline and support your nutritional needs. That all of the products are from the same brand will also bring peace of mind about consistency and quality — there are no bad apples in these bunches.
Do supplements ever cancel each other out?
Not really. It can seem odd at a glance that a stack includes a high-calorie protein powder and a fat burner, but these products target different aspects of function and performance without interfering with one another.
Do I need to take multiple different supplements at once?
If you’re completely certain that your dietary and health needs are laced up save for one area, no. That’s a tall order, though, and most of us could benefit from at least one well-crafted supplement.
Is it safe to consume multiple supplements per day?
Yes. As long as you aren’t chugging back three different pre-workouts at once, the various components of a supplement stack are intentionally chosen to be safely consumed together. In fact, many of them work even better when added to your diet at the same time.
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- Ziegenfuss, T., Landis, J., & Hofheins, J. (2008). Acute supplementation with alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine augments growth hormone response to, and peak force production during, resistance exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 5(Suppl 1), P15.
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- Koecher et al. Estimation and Interpretation of Fermentation in the Gut: Coupling Results from a 24h Batch in Vitro System with Fecal Measurements from a Human Intervention Feeding Study Using Fructo-oligosaccharides, Inulin, Gum Acacia, and Pea Fiber. (2014) J. Agric. Food Chem. 62( 6) 1332–1337.
- Howatson, G., Hoad, M., Goodall, S., Tallent, J., Bell, P. G., & French, D. N. (2012). Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9, 20.