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Best Muscle Building Stack

Sometimes you need a little help to get the most out of your lifts. These stacks can help turn your hard work into real gains.

Last Updated: Sep 8, 2022
Best Muscle Building Stack

Building muscle is supposed to be a simple equation. You lift weights and eat more than maintenance calories, and the muscle should grow. But it doesn’t always work this way. Multiple factors can get in the way of success in the gym, from the quality of the food you’re eating to your genetics.

That’s why so many people looking to put on muscle and keep it on turn to supplements that can give them an edge. And multiple clinical studies confirm that supplementation with protein, vitamins, amino acids, and more can help you get more gains out of the same amount of work in the gym. However, one supplement or protein powder on its own might not be enough, especially when you consider that different ingredients work best at specific times around your workout.

Muscle-building stacks account for this by breaking up vital nutrients into pills and drinks you consume at various points throughout the day. This allows you to maximize each benefit and lets the supplements work together to achieve desired results.

If you’re a little pressed for time, here’s a quick rundown of our favorite muscle-building stacks.

Summary of recommendations

Our Top Picks

Transparent Labs

Transparent Labs has a solid muscle building stack that includes a hefty creatine component.

Transparent Labs includes quality ingredients that are rigorously third-party tested. Choose between regular, vegan and stim-free options. Take 10% of your purchase with a subscription.

Muscle building stacks: top considerations

Choosing the right muscle-building stack for you depends on several factors. Here are the criteria we paid the closest attention to when making our selections.

Effectiveness

Winner: Transparent Labs

In addition to our testers’ experience, we looked to the specific ingredients and doses available from a given stack to determine its effectiveness. We carefully compared those ingredient lists to available clinical research that could support their efficacy and sought to exalt only the combinations that stood the best chance of success for the most people.

There are certain caveats to effectiveness for some consumers. For example, whey is generally a better tool for adding bulk than pea protein, but it’s not an option for vegans and many lactose intolerant individuals. Caffeine is another divisive ingredient in pre-workout supplements among those with a sensitivity. We’ve taken those needs into account in developing our guide.

Cost

Winner: JYM

The range of costs among muscle-building stacks isn’t particularly wide, especially among the options we’ve included here. There are certainly those with a lower price tag, but that’s not where our examination stops. We weigh the cost against potential efficacy, looking at the quality of ingredients, third-party testing, and daily dosages to determine which company offers you the most benefit for the least money.

In some cases, getting any benefit is worth it, and you might not see the need to spend more up-front for greater results down the line. Not everyone has extra capital to burn; we get that. Unfortunately, the best options out there are not also the cheapest. Weigh your goals against your finances when making this decision.

Safety

Winner: Transparent Labs

Compared to taking steroids, most muscle-building stacks are incredibly safe. But some are still safer than others. One important factor we look for is third-party testing. This ensures that any given supplement contains exactly what the company says is in it with no contamination or dilution.

Another way we evaluate safety is by comparing a supplement’s ingredients to available clinical data on adverse reactions. Sometimes these reactions are dose-specific or particular contraindications with prescription medicines, and we use this information to weigh the potential risk any given supplement poses.

Convenience

Winner: Transparent Labs

Convenience in a muscle-building stack comes from a handful of places. It starts with a company’s website, ease of use, and customer consideration. Simple navigation, money-back guarantees, and privacy policies also play into this category. Flexible subscription options are also a big plus when available.

Taking a given supplement stack needs to be convenient, as well. Complicated dose timing can be prohibitive for a busy lifestyle, so fewer pills and drinks and more convenient times each day can make a big difference.

How our top recommendations compare

To give you a quick overview of how our top muscle-building stacks compare to one another, we’ve put together this chart outlining their costs, supplement quantities, and protein types.

  Cost Number of supplements in stack Protein type
Transparent Labs Muscle Building Essentials $183 4 Whey
Transparent Labs Vegan Strength $168 4 Rice and pea
JYM $136 4 Whey
Animal $121 3 Whey
Swolverine Build $243 5 Whey
Swolverine Vegan Build $240 5 Pea and pumpkin seed
Beast Stack $95 3 None
Crazybulk $185 4 None

How do muscle building stacks work?

Muscle-building stacks work by taking various supplements that can improve workout performance and boost results and organizing them into an effective system. Instead of taking everything at once, you might take a daily vitamin supplement in the morning, a pre-workout before heading to the gym, and a protein powder or recovery aid after your lifting session.

Here’s a look at the types of supplements included in various muscle-building stacks and some of the ingredients you’re likely to find in them.

Dailies

These are supplements you’ll take daily that provide your body with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other elements that studies show can improve performance in the gym and recovery afterward. In many studies, the ingredients in these supplements are associated with greater muscle mass after a training period.

Common ingredients in daily muscle-building supplements include:

  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vitamin D3
  • Omega 3s
  • Zinc
  • Chromium

Pre-workouts

Pre-workouts are usually drinks that often include ingredients to do one of two things. They either help give you more energy in the gym so you can perform at your best, or they help protect your muscles from catabolism. That means your body won’t target your muscles for energy and potentially undo your hard work.

Common ingredients in pre-workouts include:

  • BCAAs
  • Beta-alanine
  • L-citrulline malate

Post-workouts (recovery)

Recovery supplements also often come in the form of drinks. They’re occasionally combined with your protein supplements but also regularly exist on their own. Like pre-workouts, their ingredients guard against catabolism, but they also provide your body with carbs to replenish glycogen stores spent during your training sessions.

Common ingredients in post-workouts include:

  • BCAAs
  • Glutamine
  • Creatine
  • Betaine
  • Chromium

Protein powders

If you want to build muscle, you have to get enough protein. For many, that means supplementation, as few of us have the time to prepare 6,000 calories worth of protein-rich meals every day. When bulking, you want a calorie-rich protein powder that offers a complete amino acid profile. This is why you’ll rarely see vegan offerings that contain only pea protein — which is incomplete. They often include a secondary protein to round out the amino acid profile.

Common protein powder ingredients include:

  • Whey protein
  • Pea protein
  • Rice protein
  • Pumpkin seed protein

Testosterone boosters

In many men, an inability to put on muscle is tied to low testosterone levels. In clinical studies, various ingredients found in testosterone boosters have been shown to increase testosterone. Even if you don’t have clinically low testosterone, a boost might help give you an edge in muscle repair and production.

Testosterone booster ingredients include:

If you think low testosterone could be the cause of your struggles in the gym, you can find out what your T levels are without leaving your house. Check out our complete guide to at-home testosterone testing for more.

Who should take a muscle building stack?

Anyone looking to get the most out of their efforts in the gym would benefit from a muscle-building stack. Many already use one or more of these supplements, just not in combination. Some grab a pre-workout for that added boost in the gym or enjoy a protein shake afterward. But since buying a stack will often save you money compared to buying the supplements individually, the increase in cost to upgrade to a full stack is nominal.

So, if you use any kind of supplement in the hopes that it will increase your effectiveness in the gym and the gains you see from your hard work, it might be well worth your while to use a stack instead.

Transparent Labs

Best overall, best tasting, best stim-free, and best vegan option

Pros

  • Rigorous third-party testing
  • Vegan option uses a pea and rice protein mix
  • Whey protein is grass-fed
  • Large creatine dose
  • Lots of flavor options
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • 10% off with subscription

Cons

  • Return policy is disappointing
  • No stim-free vegan options
  • Stim-free pre-workout excludes many vitamins

As the company’s name suggests, Transparent Labs wants their processes and ingredient quality to be as visible as possible. To that end, they employ third-party testing and provide certificates of analysis and composition through a batch-specific database on their site.

Transparent Labs also offers one of the most diverse selections of bulking stacks on the market, with vegan and stim-free options available. They also have a stack dedicated to mass gaining that’s especially useful for people genetically predisposed to struggling to gain weight. It’s not an ideal choice for everyone, given its caloric content, as there is a risk of gaining fat alongside muscle. Still, it’s a good option to offer.

Here’s a quick breakdown of their contents and pricing:

  Cost Cost with subscription Protein type
Muscle Building Essentials $214 $183 Whey
Vegan Strength $196 $198 Pea and Rice
Stim-Free Muscle Building Essentials $214 $183 Whey
Hardgainer Essentials $213 $182 Whey

Protein powder

Transparent Labs’ whey protein powder is 100% grass-fed, which means that the milk they use is more likely to have a better balance of nutrients and a lower likelihood of causing inflammation. It provides 28g of protein and is available in:

  • Milk chocolate
  • Strawberry
  • Chocolate peanut butter
  • Vanilla peanut butter
  • French vanilla
  • Mocha

The organic vegan alternative offers 24g of protein, is made from pea and rice protein, and only comes in chocolate or French vanilla. The Mass Gainer powder is a more potent protein powder and meal replacer, with 53g of whey protein and 750 calories per serving. It comes in French vanilla and chocolate glazed donut flavors.

Pre-workout

You’ll find Transparent Labs Bulk pre-workout in all but the stimulant-free stack. The disparity between these standard and stim-free pre-workout formulas is a bit of a disappointment when you compare them side-by-side. One might hope that a stim-free formula would simply remove caffeine and other stimulant ingredients and leave the rest of the components intact. But Transparent Labs also remove much of the vitamin content in their Bulk pre-workout from the stimulant-free alternative.

Both formulas contain some of the most important ingredients the company offers in a pre-workout, including:

  • Citrulline malate: 6,000mg
  • Beta-alanine: 4,000mg
  • BCAAs: 4,000mg
  • Betaine: 2,500mg

Another way that the Bulk and stim-free pre-workouts are the same is their flavor options, each of which comes in:

  • Sour grape
  • Watermelon
  • Green apple
  • Orange
  • Blue raspberry
  • Strawberry lemonade
  • Tropical punch
  • Lemon lime
  • Black cherry
  • Peach mango

Creatine and HMB

While many companies put creatine in a dedicated pre-workout, post-workout, or both, Transparent Labs isn’t prescriptive about when and how to take their creatine, which stands apart from their pre-workout. That said, they do recommend it within 30 minutes of a workout for optimal results.

Transparent Labs offers one of the most generous doses of creatine among the stacks on our list, at 5,000mg. This product also contains β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (HMB), which has been shown to protect muscle mass and encourage growth.

The creatine and HMB supplement is available in 10 flavors, as well as an unflavored variety. The 10 flavors are:

  • Fruit punch
  • Tropical punch
  • Watermelon
  • Black cherry
  • Blue raspberry
  • Orange
  • Peach mango
  • Hawaiian splash
  • Strawberry lemonade
  • Sour grape

Daily growth supplement

In addition to the three drinks that come with a Transparent Labs muscle-building stack, you also get their Growth supplement. These 90 capsules contain just one ingredient: phosphatidic acid (PA). This lipid messenger is known to promote muscle growth and has been shown to improve muscular performance and overall body composition.

A common dose seen in PA studies is 750mg, the same amount you’ll get from each serving of Transparent Labs Growth. It’s a stimulant-free supplement, so you can incorporate it into your daily regimen wherever is most convenient.

Shipping and returns

Shipping from Transparent Labs is free on orders over $100, so all of their muscle-building stacks qualify.

If you aren’t satisfied with the product, you can return it within 30 days, but unopened products don’t receive money back. Instead, they get store credit.

JYM

Best budget pick

Pros

  • Creatine in pre- and post-workouts
  • High-dose fish oil
  • Multiple size and flavor options
  • Stacks are partially customizable
  • Comes with a nutrition e-book

Cons

  • Protein powder delivers only 24g per serving
  • Stacks ineligible for subscriptions
  • Caffeine dose may be too high for some
  • No stim-free options

JYM has an impressive array of supplements that aim to improve your fitness, performance in the gym, and recovery. They don’t have quite the same variety among muscle-building stacks that some of their competitors do, with just one stack dedicated solely to muscle growth in their lineup.

Their muscle-building stack consists of a protein powder, pre- and post-workouts, and a fish oil supplement. It costs $135.86, and shipping is free on domestic stack orders.

Insider Tip: The price above includes additional savings the company doesn’t apply until checkout, so your total might look a little higher in the cart. Don’t panic; head over to the checkout, and you’ll see the right price.

You can get the protein powder and pre-workout in two sizes. The $135.86 price point reflects the smallest sizes of each, which should work out to roughly one month’s worth.

Let’s look at each component in the stack to better understand what JYM has to offer.

Pro JYM Protein Powder

JYM protein powder contains 24g of protein from four sources, ensuring both a complete amino acid profile and a variegated absorption rate. That makes it less crucial to consume within a set time from your workout, as your body will digest these proteins at slightly different speeds. The powder’s four sources are:

  • Whey protein isolate: 7.5g
  • Micellar casein: 7g
  • Milk protein isolate: 7g
  • Egg white protein: 2.5g

You can get JYM’s protein powder in 2lb or 4lb jars, depending on your needs. One 2lb jar delivers 24 servings, which is enough if you only consume it around workouts. If you want to supplement your daily protein intake, you might want to opt for the larger jar. It comes in eight flavors, including:

  • Cookies and cream
  • Banana bread
  • Chocolate peanut butter
  • Rocky road
  • Chocolate mousse
  • Tahitian vanilla bean
  • Strawberry milk
  • Root beer float

Pre JYM High-Performance Pre-workout

JYM’s pre-workout provides plenty of energy to get you through a training session. The lion’s share of that boost might come from the 300mg of caffeine in each serving. Considering that JYM doesn’t offer a non-stim option, this seems like more caffeine than may be necessary for most lifters. And anyone sensitive to stimulants would be out of luck.

The highlights of JYM’s pre-workout ingredient list include:

  • Citrulline malate: 6g
  • BCAAs: 6g
  • Creatine HCl: 2g
  • Beta-alanine: 2g
  • Betaine: 1.5g
  • Beet root extract: 500mg
  • Caffeine: 300mg
  • Alpha-GPC: 150mg
  • Huperzine A: 50mcg
  • BioPerine: 5mg

While nearly all of these ingredients should help boost energy levels, provide enough of a push to gain a rep or two per set, and promote muscle preservation, the BioPerine is one of the most interesting. It’s there to increase the bioavailability of the rest of the ingredients, so your body absorbs them more thoroughly.

You can get JYM’s pre-workout in 20- or 30-serving tubs in the following flavors:

  • Tangerine
  • Grape candy
  • Pink lemonade
  • Rainbow sherbert
  • Pineapple strawberry
  • Black cherry
  • Strawberry kiwi

Post JYM Recovery Matrix

JYM’s post-workout has a few of the same ingredients you’ll see in their pre-workout, as well as a handful that can help speed up recovery and promote muscle growth. The list includes:

  • BCAAs: 6g
  • Glutamine: 3g
  • Creatine HCl: 2g
  • Beta-alanine: 2g
  • L-carnitine L-tartrate: 2g
  • Betaine: 1.5g
  • BioPerine: 5mg

JYM’s post-workout contains enough powder for 30 servings, and it’s available in five flavors:

  • Blue arctic freeze
  • Lemonade
  • Mandarin orange
  • Rainbow sherbert
  • Green apple gummy

Omega JYM

Given the multitude of potential benefits your body can reap from omega-3s — especially in the gym — it makes a lot of sense for a company like JYM to include an omega-3 supplement in their stacks. And this fish-oil-derived option includes the three main omega-3s — DHA, EPA, and DPA. The company packs a lot of each into their capsules, so the serving size is just two pills, twice daily.

Here are the measurements of each omega-3 in Omega JYM:

  • DHA: 1,500mg
  • EPA: 1,500mg
  • DPA: 300mg

Shipping and returns

JYM offers free shipping on all orders over $100. That means their muscle-building stack will ship to you for free. The return policy is a little more convoluted. JYM claims that they want your process of searching for the right supplements to be hassle-free and that they’ll help you if you’re unsatisfied with a product. They don’t say how much time you have to make such a claim or exactly what they’ll do for you in any specific situation.

Animal

Best for older lifters

Pros

  • Dedicated supplement for joint support
  • Incredibly thorough multivitamin
  • Eight protein powder flavors
  • Favorable price point

Cons

  • Too few stacks contain protein powder
  • Lots of pills to take daily
  • Best products aren’t in the same stack

Animal make some of our favorite fitness supplements, with effective fat burners and mass gainers alike. With so many individually excellent products, it seems like they’d be a sure thing for outstanding stacks. Unfortunately, their stacks are almost too targeted, often consisting of just three products each, whereas many of their competitors offer four or five.

For example, The Animal Stack provides a multivitamin that can boost performance in the gym and promote muscle growth along with other daily health benefits. It also provides the company’s reliable protein powder and a joint health supplement that supports flexibility and protects your joints during particularly heavy lifts — a must-have for older lifters. Now, compare that to their Mass Gainer Stack, which comes with a pre-workout, protein powder, and hormonal optimizer that can boost testosterone.

In an ideal world, there would be a stack that offered the pre-workout, protein powder, joint support, and testosterone booster together. But that’s not an option.

At the end of the day, we think that The Animal Stack is the company’s best current offering, and we found the best price for it ($120.68) at bodybuilding.com. Let’s take a closer look at its contents.

Muscle Food Protein Powder

Animal’s protein powder is whey-based, with 25g of protein per serving and just 4g of carbohydrates. On its own, it’s available in multiple sizes, but it comes in a 2lb jar as part of the stack.

Animal’s Muscle Food comes in eight flavors, including:

  • Brownie batter
  • Chocolate chocolate chip
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla
  • Cookies and cream
  • Chocolate
  • Banana cream
  • Mocha cappuccino

Pak Multivitamin

Animal’s Pak Multivitamin is one of the company’s most complete offerings. But it offers more than just a multivitamin complex. The supplement includes amino acids, digestive enzymes, and more, all designed to prime your body for performance and recovery alike. Many of its ingredients are things you’d find in pre- or post-workout products, and what the supplement lacks in dose timing, it more than makes up for in complexity and quantity.

Here’s a look at some of what each ingredient category contains:

  • Multivitamin complex: A, B, C, D, and E vitamins, zinc, manganese, chromium, iodine
  • Amino acid complex: Arginine, lysine, glutamine, alanine, leucine, methionine
  • Performance complex: Liver blend, carnitine, choline, milk thistle
  • Antioxidant complex: Citrus bioflavonoids, pine bark extract, grape seed extract
  • Digestive enzyme complex: Bromelain, inulin, lipase, acid protease

It’s also worth noting that the “Other ingredients” section includes some powerful additions like whey protein concentrate and additional carnitine.

Compared to mixing a drink before and after your workouts, taking pills at any given time in the day is more convenient. That said, each serving contains 11 tablets. Even if you don’t have trouble swallowing pills, that can get tedious. If you do have difficulty with pills, it might be a non-starter.

Flex Joint Support

Lifting puts a lot of pressure on your joints, especially when you’re lifting heavy and trying to add mass — fewer reps with heavier weights have been shown to produce greater mass gains than more reps with lighter weights. So, if you’re an older lifter or want to make sure that your joints stay in the best possible shape, Animal’s Flex Joint Support is an outstanding addition.

Flex Joint support consists of three complexes designed to support specific aspects of joint health:

  • Construction Complex: Glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin sulfates A and C
  • Lubrication Complex: Flaxseed oil, hyaluronic acid, and a proprietary blend of cetyl myristoleate
  • Support Complex: Ginger and turmeric roots, Boswellia serrata extract, quercetin, and bromelain

All of these ingredients combine to strengthen and lubricate your joints while fighting the inflammation that lifting can cause. With joint pain out of the way, you might be able to get a few more reps in or move up in weight.

Shipping and returns

Since we found the best deal over at bodybuilding.com, you can enjoy free shipping and 10% off your order when you become a member. At the current price of The Animal Stack, that 10% more than covers the cost of membership.

The site also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee that will refund your purchase even if you’ve used the supplements. They claim discretion as to whether that return will go to your credit card or be issued as store credit on the site, and it’s unclear what the conditions are for either option.

Swolverine

Pros

  • Vegan and whey protein available
  • Uses single ingredients instead of complex blends
  • Made in the USA
  • Clinical studies provided on each product page
  • Batch-specific certificates of analysis available

Cons

  • A more expensive option than many others
  • Subscribe & Save not available on stacks
  • No returns on opened products

As a company, Swolverine is all about enhancing athletic performance. They have an impressive supplement catalog that includes products designed for muscle building, fat loss, performance improvement, and even gut health.

Swolverine makes a point to be as transparent as possible. They don’t employ proprietary blends, but they do offer certificates of analysis on all their supplements and design ingredient-specific stacks that allow you to know for sure whether a given product is working for you and why or why not.

Swolverine offers two muscle-building stacks, one of which is fully vegan. Neither stack contains stimulants. Here’s a look at how they differ in cost and contents:

  Build Vegan Build
Cost $243 $240
Protein type Whey Pea and pumpkin seed
Protein per serving 22g 26g
Flavor options 3 2

Whey and pea proteins

Depending on whether you go for the vegan or non-vegan Build stack, you’ll either get whey protein (non-vegan) or a combination of pea and pumpkin seed protein (vegan). That’s because pea protein doesn’t offer a complete amino acid profile. Adding pumpkin seed protein ensures you get all the amino acids your body needs to build healthy muscle.

You can get the whey protein in chocolate, vanilla, or honey cinnamon peanut butter flavors. The vegan protein only comes in chocolate cake flavor.

Supplement stack

Both vegan and non-vegan stacks come with identical components beyond the protein powder. You can mix all of these in a single drink to consume before or during a workout, though Swolverine recommends additional L-glutamine after your workout to optimize recovery. Here are the four included supplements:

  • Kre-alkalyn (3,000mg): A pH-balanced form of creatine phosphate
  • Beta-alanine (5,000mg): A non-essential amino acid
  • L-citrulline malate (5,000mg): A non-essential amino acid combined with malic acid
  • L-glutamine (5,000mg): A conditionally essential amino acid

Shipping and returns

Swolverine offers free shipping on all US orders over $100. Both vegan and non-vegan stacks are expensive enough to qualify for free shipping.

Swolverine’s return policy isn’t as good as some of their competitors. They give you a 30-day window to initiate a return but won’t accept returns on opened products. That means you can really only return something if you change your mind before even trying it out.

CrazyBulk

Best to prevent fat gain

Pros

  • Safe, legal alternative to banned substances
  • Bulking stack addresses testosterone directly
  • Bulk savings available
  • Comes with a bulking guide
  • Free shipping on all orders

Cons

  • No protein powder in the bulking stack
  • No subscription option
  • Poor return policy
  • Capsules contain gelatin

While CrazyBulk sells all of its various supplements individually, their site actually makes it easier to shop for stacks. The company designs several of their supplements to mimic the effects of substances that are either unhealthy or banned by competitive organizations and, in some cases, downright illegal. Their safe alternatives might not produce identical results, but between their proximity to these substances and their increased efficacy when stacked, you can expect results.

CrazyBulk’s bulking stack consists of four supplements, each in capsule form. A one-month supply of the Bulking Stack costs $184.99, but you can save if you have the capital to buy in bulk. A two-month supply comes with a free third month, costing just $369.98.

Let’s take a look at each supplement in the Bulking Stack to understand what they can offer you as a whole.

Testo-Max

Testo-Max is CrazyBulk’s testosterone supplement. It contains several ingredients proven to help men improve strength training, including a generous dose of D-aspartic acid.

By addressing potentially low testosterone levels, it should be able to help men build and maintain muscle without adding as much fat. It can also have positive sexual side effects, including increased semen quality and volume, stronger erections, and improved libido.

Here’s a look at the ingredients in Testo-Max:

  • Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol): 52mcg
  • Vitamin K1 (from Phytonadione): 20mcg
  • Vitamin B6 (from Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate): 20mg
  • Magnesium (from Magnesium Oxide and Magnesium Citrate): 200mg
  • Zinc (from Zinc Citrate Dihydrate): 10mg
  • D-Aspartic acid: 2,352mg
  • Nettle leaf extract 4:1 (Urtica dioica): 40mg
  • Ginseng red powder (Panax ginseng)(Root): 40mg
  • Fenugreek extract 4:1 (Trigonella foenumgraecum) (Seeds): 40mg
  • Boron (from Boron Citrate): 8mg
  • Bioperine 95% Piperine: 5mg

Trenorol

Trenorol serves as a safe and legal alternative to a banned anabolic steroid called trenbolone. It’s a combination of four active ingredients whose properties mimic those of trenbolone without the dangerous side effects.

Those four ingredients are:

D-Bal

Like Trenorol, D-Bal serves as a safe alternative to another banned anabolic steroid: Dianabol. It employs a handful of ingredients to achieve its effects, but methylsulfonylmethane is the most abundant and likely most important of the bunch. MSM has been shown to reduce muscle pain after workouts and fatigue during workouts. That means you’ll be able to push through more reps and still feel alright afterward.

Several other D-Bal ingredients promote healthy muscle construction, and some — like ashwagandha — have benefits for testosterone levels and mood regulation. Let’s take a look at D-Bal’s complete ingredients list:

  • Magnesium (from Magnesium Oxide): 60 mg
  • MSM: 800 mg
  • L-isoleucine: 300 mg
  • Suma Root Concentrated Extract 2:1 (Pfaffia paniculata): 200 mg
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): 200 mg
  • Tribulus Terrestris (Fruit): 75 mg
  • Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid): 30 mg

DecaDuro

DecaDuro derives its name from Deca-Durabolin, the brand name of a banned anabolic steroid called nandrolone. Rather than risk its side effects or a penalty if you’re a competitive athlete, you can use DecaDuro to attain similar results. CrazyBulk uses six ingredients in this supplement that, when combined, can improve endurance and recovery time.

Ingredients like L-carnitine and wild yam can help protect muscles against catabolism, while citrulline can enhance performance and reduce soreness. Here’s the ingredients list for DecaDuro:

  • Wild yam (Dioscorea opposita Thunb)(Root): 750 mg
  • Ginseng (20% Ginsenosides)(Panax ginseng)(Whole herb): 375 mg
  • L-Arginine alpha-Ketoglutarate: 150 mg
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine: 75 mg
  • L-citrulline: 75 mg
  • Tribulus Terrestris (Tribulus terrestris L.)(Fruit): 37.5 mg

Shipping and returns

CrazyBulk provides free shipping on any order to any location inside and outside the US — regardless of order size — and most US orders arrive within about a week.

Their return policy isn’t quite as illustrious, however. Not only do they only accept returns on unopened merchandise, but their return window is a paltry 14 days. That means you don’t get to try the product to see if it works for you, and if you change your mind, you have to initiate a return in a hurry.

Muscle building stacks FAQ

Do muscle building stacks really work?

Muscle-building stacks definitely work. They provide your body with extra protein, calories, and nutrients to give you an edge in the gym and afterward. They can improve power and endurance when lifting weights while limiting soreness and speeding recovery. That said, you can’t just take a muscle builder and expect it to do the work for you. You still have to show up and put in the effort. If you do that, though, you can expect success.

Are muscle building stacks safe?

Muscle-building stacks are almost always safe. They often use ingredients that boast extensive clinical studies to show both safety and efficacy. Some side effects may be associated with particular ingredients, and some pre-workout supplements contain large quantities of caffeine. Considering that a stack will add several supplements to your daily regimen, it would be wise to talk to a doctor before beginning.

What’s in muscle building stacks?

Muscle-building stacks contain supplements designed to give you an edge in the gym and help with recovery and muscle growth afterward. Many contain protein powder to help your muscles rebuild after a workout. Stacks with pre-workout formulas often include a caffeinated drink of some kind to get you going, but good companies often offer a non-stimulant version of these supplements if you need them.

Will muscle building stacks give me the jitters?

Not all muscle-building stacks contain stimulants, so they won’t all give you the jitters. Among the ones that do contain stimulants, you’ll sometimes find ancillary ingredients like L-theanine that can counteract caffeine’s jittery effects. If you’re concerned about the jitters and using a stack with a caffeinated pre-workout, be sure to abstain from coffee or tea until you know how the pre-workout affects you.

Can muscle building stacks curb my appetite?

While some ingredients in muscle-building stacks can curb your appetite, you’ll more readily find such components in fat-burning stacks. These often contain similar supplements as muscle-building stacks but swap out things like meal replacers or growth formulas for thermogenics.

How long do muscle building stacks take to work?

Pre-workout supplements in muscle-building stacks will start working in a matter of minutes, but it will take several weeks for the whole stack to combine with your efforts in the gym and produce noticeable growth. The best thing you can do is have a lifting plan and stick to it. Results are sure to follow.

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We extensively test each health service or product we review. Our content provides you, our readers, with an unbiased exploration of at-home health options, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate products and services based on their adherence to quality and the latest medical evidence and health standards. We ask ourselves two simple questions: Would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job? Would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

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