What Does Stack Mean in Bodybuilding?

Muscular bodybuilder guy doing exercises with dumbbells over whi
A male bodybuilder curling a dumbbell. (Image: Petr_Joura/iStock/Getty Images)

Many bodybuilding terms refer not just to competition preparation or workouts, but to the supplements used in the sport as well. A commonly used bodybuilding term is “stack,” which refers to sports nutrition supplements. Consult a doctor before using any supplements.

Definition of Stack

A bodybuilding stack is a group of supplements used to enhance performance. Stacks feature products with different intended purposes that work together to enhance energy, endurance and recovery. To cover all of these bases, stacks typically comprise a pre-workout product, an intra-workout product and a post-workout product.

Pre-Workout Products

Pre-workout products are designed to provide energy for your workout. Typically, pre-workout products contain stimulants such as caffeine; many contain creatine. According to research published in the January 2003 issue of the “Journal of Gerontology,” creatine use may increase your strength and improve muscle gain when combined with resistance training.

Intra-Workout Products

The second component of many bodybuilding stacks is an intra-workout product. These products, in powdered form that can be mixed with water, are to be taken during your workout. The main ingredient of intra-workout supplements is usually branched-chain amino acids. According to a study from the March 2011 issue of the “Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness,” using branched-chain amino acids during exercise sessions can increase your exercise capacity and increase the use of fat for energy.

Post-Workout Products

Post-workout products help refuel your body after exercise. Because resistance training breaks down your muscles, supplementation is used to promote muscle growth and recovery. To perform these tasks, post-workout products in bodybuilding stacks contain protein and carbohydrates. Research from the August 2001 issue of the “Journal of Physiology” found that consumption of a protein and carbohydrate supplement following exercise enhanced muscle growth.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.