Supplement Stacking 102

In our “Supplement Stacking 101” course, we schooled you on creating some basic stacks for gaining muscle mass, increasing muscle strength, boosting testosterone levels and dropping bodyfat. In “Supplement Stacking 102,” each stack is designed to build upon those you’ve already put together, to provide a cumulative effect that further enhances the goal at hand, whether it’s getting a better pump from your workouts, having more energy to train harder, picking up your mood, or boosting your growth-hormone levels for packing on muscle mass.

 PUMP STACK 

Enhancing muscle pump is not just about a quick, temporary boost in muscle size. The “pump” is due to a greater volume of fluid filling the muscle cells. This stretches the muscle membrane, which the cells sense. They initiate cellular events that result in muscle growth to make room for the greater volume. In other words, the muscle pump results in long-term muscle growth. Using the following stack works great with the mass stack from Stacking 101 for building unbridled mass.

ARGININE

So many people believe that nitric oxide boosters actually contain NO. Not true — it would be difficult to do in supplement form, since NO is a gas. What you are getting in an NO booster is a good dose of the amino acid arginine. This amino gets readily converted to NO in the body with the help of an enzyme known as nitric oxide synthase. Just one of the many benefits of NO is the dilation of blood vessels, allowing more blood to be delivered to muscles. More blood means more water, since blood is mostly water. This effect enhances the amount of water that enters the muscles and the size of the pump obtained.

CITRULLINE

This amino acid is closely related to arginine. In the body, citrulline is regularly converted to arginine. In fact, research shows that taking citrulline bumps up levels of arginine more than an equal dose of arginine does, because citrulline seems to be better absorbed by the body than arginine. This makes citrulline the perfect supplement to NO-boosting arginine. Research also demonstrates that taking citrulline helps to prevent muscle fatigue, allowing for the completion of more repetitions.

PYCNOGENOL

As previously mentioned, arginine relies on the enzyme nitric oxide synthase to catalyze its conversion into NO. Maximizing the conversion of arginine into NO requires that the activity of this enzyme be maximized. That’s where the antioxidant flavonoid from the bark of the French maritime pine tree — Pycnogenol — comes in. Pycnogenol helps to boost NO production from arginine by increasing the activity of NOS.

STACK THEM LIKE THIS 

Take 3-5 grams of arginine in the form of L-arginine, arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, arginine malate or arginine ethyl ester without food about 30-60 minutes before workouts, in addition to 2-3 g of either L-citrulline or citrulline malate and 50-100 milligrams of Pycnogenol. 

 PUMP STACKING SYLLABUS* 

  • Arginine | 3-5 g 30-60 minutes preworkout without food
  • Citrulline 2-3 g 30-60 minutes preworkout without food
  • Pycnogenol | 50-100 mg 30-60 minutes preworkout without food

*Works well with the mass stack from “Supplement Stacking 101”.

 

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 ENERGY STACK 

A stack that enhances energy levels would make the perfect adjunct to a strength stack, such as the one we taught you in “Supplement Stacking 101.” Greater energy and drive get converted to greater strength than you thought possible.

CAFFEINE

Of course, caffeine has to be included in the ultimate energy stack. It’s a central nervous system stimulant that can ramp you up to the point where you feel like you can lift any weight. But it’s not just the jolt that the world’s most popular drug provides that makes it essential here. In addition to stimulating you, caffeine has been found to enhance muscle strength on its own when taken about one hour before workouts.

TYROSINE 

This amino acid provides a definite pick-me-up. In the body, tyrosine is used to produce many important hormones, such as those for the thyroid, as well as neurotransmitters, which include dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Higher levels of dopamine can help focus the mind and deliver the drive for heavy lifting. As demonstrated in research studies, higher epinephrine and nor-epinephrine levels in the body can help to reduce fatigue and maintain strength during workouts. 

COQ10 

Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone (because it is ubiquitous within the body), is critical for helping to produce adenosine triphosphate in the body. ATP is the major energy substrate that muscle cells use to contract, as when lifting weights. So having optimal levels of CoQ10 can provide you with optimal levels of ATP in muscle cells during workouts, allowing you to complete more reps and train harder and heavier. In fact, Japanese researchers from Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine reported in a 2008 issue of the journal Nutrition that when subjects supplemented with 300 mg of CoQ10 per day for eight days, they experienced less fatigue during exercise and recovered faster between bouts of exercise. 

STACK THEM LIKE THIS 

About one hour before workouts, take 200-400 mg of caffeine and 2-4 g of tyrosine. Then, right before workouts, take 200 mg of CoQ10 with your preworkout shake. Also take another 100-200 mg of CoQ10 with another meal of the day, such as breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

 ENERGY STACKING SYLLABUS* 

  • Caffeine | 200-400 mg about one hour before workouts
  • Tyrosine | 2-4 g about one hour before workouts
  • CoQ10 | 200 mg with preworkout shake; another 100-200 mg with a meal such as breakfast, lunch or dinner

*Works well with the strength stack from “Supplement Stacking 101”.

 

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 BRAIN / MOOD BOOST STACK 

When you diet, you may notice that your mood takes a nosedive. That’s because lowering carbs and calories also lessens levels of the hormone serotonin. This can put you down in the dumps, and it can make your cravings get out of hand. Another sad factor of low mood is that, according to research, it can also depress muscle strength. Taking this stack along with the fat-burning group of supplements we provided in Stacking 101 can help enhance fat loss by keeping your spirits and strength up and cravings down. 

BETA-PHENYLETHYLAMINE

Also known as phenylethylamine, this is a naturally occurring metabolite of the amino acid phenylalanine, which enhances the transmission of nerve impulses. PEA boosts fat loss by stimulating an increase in the body’s levels of norepinephrine, which keeps metabolic rate and fat burning on high. PEA also provides a feeling of euphoria by boosting dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. 

RHODIOLA ROSEA

This is a root extract that increases the body’s resistance to a variety of stresses. Rhodiola also improves cognitive function, mood, and athletic performance. It performs these functions by improving the neurological mechanisms of dealing with stress. This includes stimulating the release of the mood-modulating neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Rhodiola has also been shown to increase the beta- endorphins that help with pain reduction and improve mood. Research shows that it’s also effective at mobilizing fatty acids from adipose cells, particularly during exercise, which means it can further enhance fat loss. 

5-HTP 

The essential amino acid tryptophan gets converted into 5-hydroxytryptophan before it forms serotonin and melatonin in the body. This can help you to curb carb cravings and get you to relax before bed. Unlike tryptophan, 5-HTP is readily absorbed and can easily enter the brain. It also cannot be used for protein synthesis, as tryptophan can; therefore, the majority of 5-HTP you ingest goes to your brain where it gets converted to serotonin and melatonin. Research confirms that 70% of the 5-HTP that is ingested gets into your system. Research also con- firms that 5-HTP curbs carb cravings and enhances weight loss. University of Rome researchers found that subjects supplementing with 5-HTP ate fewer calories per day and lost about 10 pounds more than those taking a placebo. 

STACK THEM LIKE THIS 

Take 100-500 mg of beta-phenylethylamine once or twice daily, as well as 50-300 mg of Rhodiola rosea (standardized extract yielding a mini- mum 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside; a 3:1 ratio of rosavins-to-salidroside) two or three times per day without food, and take 50-300 mg of 5-HTP in the evening. 

 BRAIN / MOOD STACKING SYLLABUS* 

  • PEA | 100-500 mg once or twice daily
  • Rhodiola | 50-300 mg two or three times daily
  • 5-HTP | 50-300 mg in the evening

*Works well with the ripped stack from “Supplement Stacking 101”.

 

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 GH STACK 

Here’s a stack that will work with the testosterone stack we put together for you last month. This one boosts levels of growth hormone, an anabolic hormone that enhances muscle growth and fat loss. Maximizing both testosterone and GH is the best way to stay anabolic. The critical times to boost GH levels are during workouts and while you sleep.

GLUTAMINE 

This amino acid has a host of bodybuilding benefits, with just one of those being an effective GH booster. Louisiana State University (Shreveport) researchers found that supplementing with glutamine increased GH levels in as little as 90 minutes after subjects ingested it. The scientists speculated that one way glutamine likely increases GH release is through its ability to stimulate arginine production in the kidneys. Arginine enhances GH release by blunting a hormone that normally would inhibit its release. Another possible way that glutamine works on GH is through its conversion to glutamate, a potent stimulator of GH. 

GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric acid is actually an amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in the body. It has numerous positive effects on the nervous system, such as enhancing the body’s sleeping cycle when taken at night. But GABA also stimulates the release of GH. This has been shown in several investigations, with the most recent being a 2008 study from Shenandoah University (Winchester, Virginia). The researchers reported in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise that weight-trained men who took 3 g of GABA before working out or just resting increased GH levels by about 200% after the workout and about 400% when at rest.

ALPHA-GPC

Alpha-glycerylphos-phorylcholine is derived from soy lecithin and is actually a source of choline. It enhances mental function by increasing acetylcholine production, and it stimulates the release of growth-hormone-releasing hormone, a hormone that does as its name implies — boosts GH release.

STACK THEM LIKE THIS 

Take 5-10 g of glutamine, 3-5 g of GABA and 100-500 mg of alpha-GPC with your preworkout shake and again before bed.

 GH STACKING SYLLABUS* 

  • Glutamine | 5-10 g with preworkout shake and before bed
  • GABA | 3-5 g with preworkout shake and before bed
  • Alpha-GPC | 100-500 mg with preworkout shake and before bed

*Works well with the testosterone stack from “Supplement Stacking 101”

 

Click HERE for Supplement Stacking 101 >>

 FLEX 

 

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