• Editor Rating
  • Rated 2 stars
FREE TRIAL to $109
  • 40%

  • Optimal Stack
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: August 16, 2016
  • Overall
    Editor: 41%
  • Effectiveness
    Editor: 42%
  • Speed of Results
    Editor: 39%
  • Sustaining Results
    Editor: 38%
  • Safety
    Editor: 43%
  • Value
    Editor: 39%

What Is Optimal Stack?

Optimal Stack is a pre-workout supplement created to prepare the body to achieve optimal workout results. The product claims to increase the rate of muscle growth and endurance while decreasing muscle fatigue. Each element of the formula was chosen because of its success in scientific studies. Unfortunately, the company didn’t choose to test its formulation through clinical trials. Until such trials occur, there’s no way for the product to prove its level of effectiveness against the competition.

Pre-workout supplements are an increasingly popular supplement category. One of their selling points is that they can be used at any level of fitness, whether it’s the customer’s first workout after years of a sedentary lifestyle or if the customer is a professional athlete or bodybuilder. Such products can be used on their own or to complement other supplements used during different stages of a workout. This flexibility is one of the reasons that such products are so marketable.

The biggest downfall of the product is its use of a subscription service. The only way to purchase the product is to order a trial. Signing up for the trial automatically enters the customer into a monthly renewal program. This is not considered a good business practice among the supplement community, but the lack of regulation allows it to occur. Optimal Stack is one of the few products that takes part in such a questionable act that does state that the free trial requires taking part in a subscription program on their main web page and not just in the fine print.

 

Manufacturer

The manufacturer of the product also goes by the name of Optimal Stack. Manufacturers that use the same name as the product is typically only common among companies that are referred to as ‘pop-up manufacturers’. Such manufacturers usually only produce one product, and many of these businesses lack longevity within the supplement community. Mandatory subscription services are also common among such companies and often serves a red flag to customers.

The company doesn’t provide any information about themselves. Outside of the customer service information, there isn’t any contact information. The location of their offices or the product facilities is not provided either. Lacking such information doesn’t provide customers with confidence in the company’s product as there isn’t enough information to hold them responsible if something goes wrong with the product.

To add to the questions surrounding the company, they cannot be found on the list of businesses provided by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB is a government organization responsible for providing businesses official accreditation. Businesses must apply for this accreditation and prove the quality of their business practices. Such an accreditation is not required to operate, but it provides customers with a sense of security.

 

How Optimal Stack Works?

Optimal Stack’s functionality is designed the use of amino acids to prepare the body for a workout. Each ingredient was chosen to take care of a certain aspect of the pre-workout body preparation so that they all come together to create a complete product. The formula is designed to create an optimal pre-workout environment in order to produce effective and noticeable results. The way in which the product functions is similar to many of the other pre-workout supplements, especially with the use of amino acids.

After the capsules are digested, the two types of L-Arginine begin converting to Nitric Oxide which causes the blood vessels to expand. This allows more blood and oxygen to reach the muscles, which prevents the muscles from becoming fatigued during the workout. Decreasing or preventing muscle fatigue will allow an individual to increase their workout intensity in order for the results to become visible sooner.

While this is taking place, L-Ornithine assists with removing excess waste from the cells in the body before the workout begins. This provides the body with an increase of energy once the workout begins as it isn’t using its energy to clean up waste and toxins. Finally, L-Glutamine speeds up the rate of protein synthesis which allows the muscles to increase their mass at an increased rate.

 

Ingredients of Optimal Stack

The company keeps the complete list of ingredients of the product under lock and key. They list the main ingredient as an L-Arginine Blend of which each dose contains 4500 mg. The use of the term ‘blend’ means that the company can combine any ingredients to the mixture, but there are only a few provided to the public. The company lists the following four elements as part of the L-Arginine Blend:

  • A-AKG
  • A-KIC
  • OKG
  • GKG

Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (A-AKG) and Arginine Ketoisocaproate (A-KIC) are both types of the amino acid L-Arginine. Both A-AKG and A-KIC are used in pre-workout supplements to reduce muscle fatigue. L-Ornithine (OKG) is another amino acid, but its purpose is to push waste through the body. The final known element of the blend is L-Glutamine (GKG) which is also an amino acid. L-Glutamine is used for protein synthesis which increased the rate of muscle growth.

The product doesn’t provide the amount of each element, nor do they provide any other ingredients that are included in the formula. As the product is sold in capsule form, there should also be a list of inactive ingredients. These ingredients typically include items like Magnesium Stearate and Gelatin. Both are used in the formation of the capsule and to extend the shelf-life of the product. Not listing all of the ingredients is uncommon among pre-workout supplement.

 

Advantages

One advantage of the product is that its main formula is composed of natural ingredients. Using natural ingredients limits the chance of side effects for customers. Since amino acids used in this product are necessary for the body’s daily function, so there’s less of a chance that they’ll end up counteracting each other.

Another advantage of Optimal Stack also pertains to its main ingredients. Each of the four parts of the main blend has been tested by the scientific community. These tests have been published and made available to the public. Although the formula as a whole hasn’t undergone testing, these individual elements have proven themselves individually.

The product also has the advantage of its design. All of the elements were chosen to assist with separate issues that affect individuals during workouts. However, when each of these separate issues is tackled by a certain ingredient, it serves to benefit other areas as well. When the ingredients are combined, they end up creating an optimal environment for workout effectiveness.

 

Certificates

An area that the product falls short is certificates. This a circumstance that many pre-workout supplements find themselves. There are not many certification opportunities available for supplements produced within the U.S. because of the small amount of regulations put upon the supplement community. Without a confirmed set of standards, there isn’t anything to compare the supplements to in order to prove it has achieved something. There are two certificate opportunities available, but Optimal Stack hasn’t managed to achieve either.

One of these missed opportunities is a Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) certificate. This is a certification offered to products that are produced in a facility that meet specific FDA regulations. Unlike prescription medications, the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements, so this is the sole opportunity for the product to obtain some type of certificate from the organization. Unfortunately, the production facility fails to meet these standards.

Another opportunity that the product failed to obtain is a patent. Patents are designed to prevent other companies from stealing a product’s formulation. To obtain a patent, the product needs to apply for one but only after it has been thoroughly tested and proven its effectiveness. Optimal Stack hasn’t requested any clinical trials, so without the evidence, the product can’t apply for a patent. Lacking a patent in a flooded market doesn’t allow the product to stand out from its competitors.

 

Testimonials

After a year of being a couch potato, I decided to chase my fitness dreams. After not working out for a long time, it’s really hard to get through even a simple workout. I tried Optimal Stack in an attempt to help me get through the transitioning period, but I found it so helpful that I’m still using it six months later. I noticed my energy levels increasing within thirty minutes of taking the product, and within two weeks, my muscle growth was visible.

– John H., Chicago, IL

I use this pre-workout supplement in combination with a mid-workout supplement and a post-workout supplement. I compete in an amateur bodybuilding network, so I need to be able to make it through my workout and recover quickly. Optimal Stack prepares my body to make it through, so I can go right into it without any sluggishness.

– Richard H., San Francisco, CA

There are some days that trying to make it to the gym after a long day at work is a real struggle. Those days are when Optimal Stack is my go-to supplement because it gives me that boost of energy to take on my workout. I feel like I struggle less to make it through my training sessions as long as I take the supplement about 20 or 30 minutes before I begin.

–  Trystan L., Miami, FL

 

Awards & Media Coverage

Optimal Stack has not received any awards. This is not an uncommon situation for pre-workout supplements. The supplement is produced in the U.S., and unfortunately, there aren’t any official organizations that mandate the supplement community in the U.S. Without such an organization, the only awards that can be received are from fitness magazines.

Fitness publications are also about the only place that pre-workout supplements can receive media coverage. There are only a few publications that are considered reputable among the supplement community while there are thousands of pre-workout supplements on the market. This leaves little time to cover them all, so only a select few are chosen for coverage.

Optimal Stack’s lack of media coverage can most likely be attributed to three factors. First, the supplement exists in a flooded market, which statistically limits its coverage opportunities. Second, the product is produced by an unknown manufacturer. Lastly, the supplement is only offered to consumers by means of questionable business practices. These three factors combine to shrink the product’s potential for media coverage as well as official recognition.

 

Money-back Guarantee

Technically, the product offers a money-back guarantee. However, in this case, the phrase is more about semantics than an actual guarantee regarding satisfaction. The money-back guarantee for Optimal Stack is only available for the trial bottle, and it comes with its own stipulations. If the customer abides by the 15-day subscription cancellation policy and returns the trial package within the following 15 days, they won’t be charged for the bottle.

Normally, not being charged for a free trial would not be considered a money-back guarantee, but for this product, the rules are slightly different. For this product, customers are charged for the initial bottle if they don’t cancel their subscription within the initial cancellation period. So, making it out without any charges besides shipping does qualify for a money-back guarantee. However, there are no available refunds for any other shipments after the initial bottle.

Such a return policy is not common among pre-workout supplements. In fact, it is considered a bad business practice. Even when companies don’t offer a full refund on used products, they typically offer customers an in-store credit for the original price of the product. Not offering a traditional money-back guarantee is a disadvantage for this product because its competitors are offering money-back guarantees without any catches.

 

Shipping

Shipping fees are set for across the board for both U.S. and international customers. Customers are required to pay for shipping of their free trial. Unlike other subscription services, customers of Optimal Stack are also required to pay for shipping for their automatic shipments. Whichever option the customer chooses for their trial shipment is the shipping option that will be used for their monthly shipments. The only way for the customer to change their shipping method is to contact the customer support staff.

Customers have the option of choosing First Class Mail, which has a delivery timeframe of three to six days, or Priority mail, which has a delivery timeframe of five to nine business days. Both options are priced at a set fee of $5. Compared to other pre-workout supplements, the product is at a disadvantage because it doesn’t offer free shipping on full priced items. This is especially a disadvantage for this product because the product is already priced much higher than most of its competitors.

 

Customer Support

The customer support for Optimal Stack is provided by the manufacturer. The team can only be reached by phone. The support team is available during normal business days (Monday through Friday) beginning at 5 a.m. PST and ending at 9 p.m. PST. Weekend hours for both Saturday and Sunday are set to begin at 8 a.m. PST and end at 5 p.m. PST. The hours of operation are for both U.S. and international customers.

There is an international hotline number as well as one number dedicated to United Kingdom customers and one for Australian customers. However, the hours of operations aren’t considered convenient for international customers as the hours are only convenient for North and South American customers. Most pre-workout supplements offer separate support staffing for international hotlines so that they can be available during hours that are convenient for the customers.

Compared to its competition, the product’s customer service support is lacking. In the digital age, customers expect multiple options to reach the support staff. Optimal Stack only offers a hotline option for customers, and the option is only available for a limited amount of hours. The company lacks email as well as a click-to-chat option which has become the most used option among millennial customers.

 

Safe & Secure Checkout

Optimal Stack can be purchased using a safe and secure checkout. The first layer of security is provided through a layer of encryption on the web page called a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). This level of encryption blocks anyone from accessing the page or viewing it while the customer is entering their personal information into the necessary sections. Such a level of protection has awarded the site a Verified by VISA stamp which indicates it has met the credit card company’s security expectations.

The site also uses an antivirus. Antiviruses are an essential part of modern website security. Without an up to date antivirus in place, the site can be attacked by a virus which results in a weakness in its security defenses. This weakness allows hackers to get into the servers in order to steal customer credit and debit card information. The antivirus used by the checkout is verified as up-to-date which can be seen with the Norton Secured stamp.

The final layer of security for the checkout is the secured servers. The company uses digital servers to store all of the customer information including credit cards. The servers are also encrypted so that all the information stored on them as well as the information that is sent between the website and the servers is safe from outside eyes. None of this information can be accessed without permission.

 

Pricing & Free Trial

One bottle of Optimal Stack is priced at $109. Each bottle contains 90 capsules, but because the dosage requires three capsules once per day, the bottle only provides a month worth of product. Compared to other pre-workout supplements, the product is priced much higher than average. The top-selling pre-workout supplements are typically priced around 85 dollars less than this supplement. The only other supplements in this category that cost around the same amount also practice the questionable subscription programs.

The product advertises a free trial, but there is in fact nothing free about it. When a customer signs up for the trial, they initially only have to pay for shipping. They then have 15 days to either cancel their subscription or continue on with the monthly renewal program. If the customer hasn’t canceled their subscription by day 15, their card is charged $109 for the ‘free’ trial bottle. After another 15 day stretch, the customer will be charged for the next bottle of the supplement, and it will be shipped out.

The only way for a customer to get out of paying for their free trial is to cancel it by day 15 and return the partially used bottle to the manufacturer within 15 more days. The last 15 days that are set aside for the return period, also includes shipping time and processing time. It is important for customers to remember that any delays in shipping or processing will result in them being charged the full price for the bottle.

Pros

  • The product’s main ingredients are composed of natural ingredients.
  • The ingredients were chosen based on their effectiveness in previous clinical trials.
  • The product can be purchased through a secured virtual checkout.

Cons

  • The manufacturer doesn’t exist on the list of businesses provided by the Better Business Bureau.
  • The product’s formula isn’t patented.
  • The formulation hasn’t undergone a clinical trial of its own.
  • Customers are required to take part in a monthly subscription program.

Optimal Stack

Summary: Optimal Stack is a pre-workout supplement designed for all levels of athleticism. Not all of the supplement’s ingredients are provided to the public, but its main ingredients are composed of amino acids. To obtain a bottle of the product, the customer must first sign up for a trial. However, after the trial period, they are charged for the product and enrolled in a monthly subscription. The complete formula hasn’t undergone clinical trials, so it can’t prove its effectiveness.

FREE TRIAL to $109
RatingRated 2 stars

Allen Hicks is a professional bodybuilding coach and author. By using his experience, knowledge and understanding of all the intricacies regarding the fitness and bodybuilding industry, this websites delivers detailed reviews for every new supplement on the market. As an author, he may receive some small compensation for some of them, however we guarantee the neutrality regarding the evaluating of each of the products and the factuality of the information.