Stack ’Em and Save


It’s not every day that a company gives its customers a present on its anniversary. But The Vitamin Shoppe is that company, and in honor of its 33rd anniversary, it is extending a “Buy One, Get One 50% Off” deal on all BodyTech and Vitamin Shoppe brand products. A deal of this magnitude requires a bit of planning to maximize money saved. The best way to take advantage of this opportunity is to buy supplements that work well together, like these.

HMB + Acetyl-L-Carnitine

HMB stands for the unwieldy beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate, and it works to preserve muscle tissue during periods of hardcore training. But when you pair it with carnitine, which also improves recovery from hardcore exercise, you get a tidy little fat-burning stack. Together, HMB and carnitine improve the transport of fats into the area in cells where it gets burned.

Take: 2 to 3 grams of HMB two to three times per day between meals and 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of acetyl-l-carnitine with four meals (try breakfast, preworkout, postworkout and dinner).

Arginine + Horny Goat Weed

You likely know arginine as the source of nitric oxide, but have you heard of horny goat weed? It has a salacious name and, yes, in traditional medicine, it has been used as an aphrodisiac because it decreases the function of a certain enzyme that breaks down NO, which results in higher NO levels, which relaxes blood vessels, which increases blood flow, and you can take it from there. But that increased blood flow also means improved recovery and muscle growth after workouts. Taking these two supplements together will boost and protect NO levels.

Take: 3 to 10 grams of arginine and 500 milligrams of horny goat weed three times per day between meals, with one dose 30 to 60 minutes preworkout and one dose 30 to 60 minutes before bed.

Creatine + Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Creatine is critical to mass in so many ways, but its primary job is to increase the amount of energy each cell has to expend. That translates into longer sessions in the gym, and ALA can only assist in that pursuit. An antioxidant that can help manage blood sugar levels, ALA has also been found to enhance creatine uptake.

Take: 3 to 5 grams of creatine with 500 to 600 milligrams of ALA after workouts.