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Max’s Super Shred - Supplement Summary

Max’s has carved itself a venerable reputation since its formation in 1989. Their large range of products and their well recognised logo has over time gained almost a cult status within the bodybuilding community and almost anyone who trains frequently. Max’s Super Shred is by far one of their best selling proteins due to its claim of being able to help build ‘ripped, shredded muscle’, something most bodybuilders or even the average trainer would seek to achieve. But does Max’s Super Shred formulation deserve its high standing?

Max’s Super Shred - First Impressions

Max’s Super Shred comes in a box with either 1kg or 2.2kg of protein powder in a separate clear, resealable plastic bag – similar to a giant Ziploc bag. On the front of the package is an impressive looking picture of Max’s superhero mascot ‘Max’ along with several of the main claims of the product. The other panels include a large and extremely comprehensive nutritional panel, a sample diet plan with ‘getting ripped’ diet tips as well as an imposing, but extremely detailed explanation of all the primary active ingredients grouped into 7 complexes, each intended for a different ergogenic benefit. The powder is very fine in consistency with a subtle sweet smell. A 30g scoop is included in the product.

Max’s Super Shred - Taste

Max’s Super Shred comes in three different flavours: caramel nougat, mochachino and chocolate. All the flavours are quite enjoyable when mixed as directed in 300mL of liquid, however, the difference in taste between mochachino and chocolate is rather subtle. Each flavour also has subtly sweet smells, none of which are overpowering. The beverages are not too sweet with no significant aftertaste or grittyness. However, when shaken, the mixture is quite foamy at the start, which may degrade the experience. As with most protein powders mixed with water, the viscosity of the end product is quite thin and while easily drinkable, is no match for a milk based preparation. As the product is considered a fat loss protein, the use of milk may be conflicting with overall weight loss goals, however skim milk is an excellent choice to add not only some flavour but also extra protein. If you are on an extremely strict diet which avoids carbohydrates, then mixing with water is the best choice. Based on several reviews of the product, the flavour most preferred is caramel nougat.

Max’s Super Shred - Mixability

Each flavour of the Max’s Super Shred range of products mixes very well with either a spoon, shaker or blender with no grittyness, clumps or residue when made as directed with 200mL of liquid. The preparation however does foam up with both the shaker and blender which settles within a few minutes.

Max’s Super Shred - Value

Max’s Super Shred comes in two sizes; 1kg and 2.2kg and 3 official flavours. Compared to most other fat burning proteins, Max’s contains a higher amount of protein on a gram for gram basis at 90% protein. It also contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, which proves to be an important factor as many people consider using this as a meal replacement and so it is essential that the necessary nutrition we are missing out from reducing food intake is met. Max’s Super Shred also has a substantial number of active ingredients to help with weight/fat loss while maintaining lean muscle, more so than many of its major competitors.


Price/ g Protein ($)






Max’s Super Shred - Pros

With 7 complexes and 29 proposed active ingredients, Max’s Super Shred has left very little to chance in its ergogenic potential. In fact, the majority of the active ingredients have been shown in studies to positively affect weight loss, body composition, exercise performance and recovery. The inclusion of several active ingredients also increases the potential for synergistic effects which may have not been investigated in studies yet.

A high proportion of protein at approximately 90% along with very little carbohydrates and a low amount of calories per serve make Max’s Super Shred an excellent weigh/fat loss protein. At 470 kJ, it is a third of the calories of a can of tuna but provides almost double the protein. In addition, one serving provides 13.1g of essential amino acids and 6.7g of branched chain amino acids, more than enough to kickstart muscle protein synthesis mechanisms.

Max’s Super Shred - Cons

While the nutrition panel is extremely comprehensive, unfortunately, a flaw within the packaging is that the numbers don’t seem to add up, which can create problems when comparing the amounts shown in the nutritional panel to ergogenic amounts used in studies. Also, because there are so many ingredients, it reduces the amount of each active ingredient per serve which can lower the effectiveness of each ingredient.

Some may think that the switch from a pure WPI powder to a blend containing WPI and calcium caseinate may be a step down. However, using a slightly slower absorbing casein may actually improve the weight loss benefits of SuperShred. Slower digesting proteins can fuel muscles for long and help to keep you fuller for extended periods, which are characteristics one would look for in a fat loss shake.

Max’s Super Shred - Conclusion

Conclusion: Overall, Max’s Super Shred is a great tasting and easy to mix weight/fat loss protein, which can be consumed as either a post-workout shake or a small snack. As weight loss takes time, recommendations are to consider obtaining all three flavours to avoid boredom, which can affect compliance. Including carbohydrates may be beneficial in helping to restore glycogen levels after a strenuous workout. With a renowned reputation, Max’s has created a comprehensive formulation with a wide variety of active compounds, vitamins, minerals and an exceptionally high amount of protein per serve. Below is a comprehensive examination of each of the 7 complexes contained in the supplement reviewing its function and effectiveness.

Max’s Super Shred - Active Ingredients

As Max’s Super Shred contains so many active ingredients, instead of listing them, this review will examine those active ingredients in their respective complex groups.

1. Carb Blocking Complex

The carb blocking complex contains 4 active ingredients; phaseolamin, green coffee extract, hydroxy citric acid and chromium.


Function & Effectiveness


  • Derived from white and cannellini beans, it is known as an inhibitor of alpha-amylase, an enzyme produced to digest starches in carbohydrates.
  • Studies have shown that intake of 500-3000mg of phaseolamin/day helps to reduce weight and waist circumference as well as positively affecting blood glucose/insulin and triglyceride levels.

Green Coffee Extract (GCE)

  • Green coffee extract is found in green or raw unroasted coffee. One of the compounds found in GCE is chlorogenic acid.
  • Studies have shown that consumption of GCE results in significant weight loss, due to its ability to affect post-food rises in blood glucose and blood lipids.
  • While the mechanisms for GCE promoted weight loss is still inconclusive, studies have suggested reductions in glucose absorption, changes in glucose metabolism and suppressed fat accumulation to be major factors.

Hydroxy Citric Acid (HCA)

  • Hydroxy citric acid is an acid found in the rinds of the fruit from the plant species Garcinia.
  • HCA has the potential to affect citrate lyase, a compound required to turn carbohydrates into fat.
  • Studies have been able to show that supplements containing HCA have been able to positively affect body weight, BMI, food intake, cholesterol and leptin levels.


  • Chromium is a compound required in small amounts due to its affects on insulin and this on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
  • Studies are conflicting, but there is a lean towards weight loss with chromium supplementation.
  • Chromium may also affect appetite and carbohydrate and fat cravings.


2. Thermogenic Fat Incinerator Complex

The thermogenic fat incinerator complex contains 5 active ingredients; green tea, forskolin, guarana, carnitine, choline and inositol.


Function & Effectiveness

Green Tea

  • Green tea and green tea extract contains special compounds called catechins.
  • Studies have shown that they have been able to increase thermogenesis, with observations of reduced body fat and waist circumference.
  • Generally speaking, the higher amount of catechins available in the product, the more effective it is, due to the low bioavailability of green tea catechins.


  • Forskolin is a compound derived from a native plant of India and used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine.
  • Studies have examined forskolin’s effect on cyclic AMP, a molecule responsible for sugar and fat metabolism in our bodies.
  • There has been evidence suggesting forskolin with reductions in body fat percentage and overall fat mass as well as increased testosterone with a trend towards increased lean body mass.


  • Guarana berries are often used in energy drinks due to its caffeine content.
  • Studies have shown caffeine is able to increase thermogenesis as well as being able to suppress appetite. Studies have also shown guarana extract is able to suppress appetite as well.


  • Carnitine is an important molecule required to transport fatty acids into the mitochondria to be broken down.
  • Studies have shown that supplementation with carnitine can lead to positive changes in fat composition and fat oxidation, however, it is still too early to conclusively promote carnitine as an effective weight loss ingredient.

Choline & Inositol

  • Choline is a compound said to affect lipid metabolism.
  • Studies have shown choline deficiency leads to conditions such as fatty liver. Choline together with carnitine may be able to lead to weight loss.
  • Inositol is a vitamin like substance which has been suggested to be able to break down fats in the liver.
  • Studies are scarce and in its infancy, but may be able to improve blood lipids.



3. Appetite Modulation Complex

The appetite modulation complex contains 4 active ingredients; l-tyrosine, tryptophan, phenylalanine and zinc.


Function & Effectiveness


  • L-tyrosine is a non essential amino acid but can also be synthesized from phenylalanine.
  • Very little studies have examined the use of tyrosine for appetite suppression, but tyrosine supplementation can reverse weight gain from hypothyroidism.
  • Studies have also shown tyrosine to be effective in helping with stress levels which is a prime factor in increasing appetite and food consumption.


  • Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which influences levels of serotonion and/or melatonin, hormones involved in sleep, appetite and moods.
  • Studies have shown that a metabolite of tryptophan; 5-hydroxytryptophan has been able to lead to weight loss, however doses used in these studies were quite high.
  • Studies looking at tryptophan itself has shown a lean towards weight loss, but few recent studies have been conducted.


  • Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid which can be converted to tyrosine.
  • Studies have shown that phenylalanine has the ability to reduce food intake through the increased production of the appetite suppressing compound cholecystokinin.


  • Zinc is an important mineral required for many enzymes and proteins in our body.
  • Studies have shown that zinc supplementation has been able to increase leptin levels in zinc deficient persons. Leptin levels will signal to the brain that the body has enough to eat.
  • Studies have also shown that obese persons have lower zinc levels.


4. Lean Muscle Growth Signalling Complex

The lean muscle growth signalling complex contains 5 active ingredientsl; l-leucine alphaketoglutarate, taurine, l-arginine alphaketoglutarate, magnesium and calcium.


Function and Effectivness

L-Leucine Alphaketoglutarate

  • Leucine is a branched chain amino acid, while alphaketoglutarate is a compound that is part of the Krebs cycle, a cycle needed for energy production.
  • Studies have shown leucine supplementation has been able to increase muscle protein synthesis through activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway.


  • Taurine is an amino acid which has been implicated for a variety of biological functions.
  • Studies have shown that taurine supplementation can help with reducing oxidative stress experienced post exercise.
  • Animal studies have also shown that taurine is essential for proper muscle functioning and lack of taurine can reduce exercise capacity by up to 80%.

L-Arginine Alphaketoglutarate

  • Arginine is an amino acid, while alphaketoglutarate is a compound that is part of the Krebs cycle, a cycle needed for energy production.
  • Studies have shown supplementation with arginine has the potential to increase nitric oxide synthesis as well as inducing increases in growth hormone, but only if taken just before sleep.


  • Magnesium is a mineral that can affect the neuromuscular, cardiovascular, immune and hormone systems in the body.
  • Magnesium’s arguably most important role is to stabilise ATP during ATP dependent enzymatic reactions.
  • Studies have shown that exercise can reduce magnesium levels in the body and decreased intake can further reduce these levels.
  • Magnesium deficiency has been shown to lead to muscle weakness, cramps and spasms and an overall reduction in exercise capacity.


  • Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our body and is extremely important in muscle contractions.
  • While calcium can decrease with exercise, there hasn’t been many studies looking at calcium supplementation and exercise performance.
  • Calcium is important to also prevent chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, which can affect changes in body composition.


5. Muscle Sparing Recovery Complex

The muscle sparing recovery complex contains 3 active ingredients; l-glutamine, glutamine peptides and branched chains amino acids.


Function and Effectiveness


  • Glutamine is considered one of the most abundant amino acids in the body, important for protein synthesis as well as a donator of nitrogen for anabolic processes within the body.
  • Studies have shown that an oral dose of l-glutamine can increase growth hormone levels. However many other studies have been unable to show gains in lean muscle mass with glutamine.
  • Many recent studies have also included glutamine with other known ergogenic compounds which render the results hard to interpret with respect to glutamine only.

Glutamine Peptides

  • Glutamine peptides are simply small compounds of glutamine attached to other amino acids.
  • Peptides are more easily absorbed than whole proteins and even moreso than free amino acids due to a separate carrier system involved in transporting into the bloodstream.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

  • There are three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) including isoleucine, leucine and valine.
  • Studies have shown BCAAs may be able to speed up recovery by decreasing levels of muscle soreness and damage. Furthermore, BCAAs may help with exercise performance as well as body composition.
  • Leucine itself possesses great potential as a mentioned above for increasing muscle protein synthesis as a standalone nutrient.


6. Cortisol Regulating Complex

The cortisol regulating complex contains 2 active ingredients; phosphatidylserine and l-theanine.


Function and Effectiveness


  • Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid which has been investigated for many ergogenic benefits.
  • Studies have been able to show that it supplementation has been able to help with attenuating circulating levels of cortisol, improved perceived well-being, decreases in muscle soreness and even improved exercise capacity.
  • Phosphatidylserine also has the capability to improve mental and cognitive function, however, most studies have only shown this in patients with certain mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s and senility.


  • Theanine is derived from amino acids and is most commonly found in green tea.
  • Studies have shown that theanine, similar to caffeine can improve cognition and mood, but also decrease levels of psychological and physiological stress.


7. Bio-Engineered Protein Complex

The bio-engineered protein complex contains 2 active ingredients; high glycomacropeptide whey protein isolate and high beta whey fraction whey protein isolate.


Function and Effectiveness

High Glycomacropeptide Whey Protein Isolate

  • Glycomacropeptides (GMPs) are whey protein fractions which results from cheese production.
  • Studies on GMPs have been able to show increased cholecystokinin (CCK) which can increase satiety. Other studies have also shown GMPs effectiveness in improving immune function.

High Beta Whey Fraction Whey Protein

  • Beta whey supposedly contains high levels of beta-lactoglobulin, which apparently contains high levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).
  • As mentioned previously, BCAAs have strong ergogenic effects, especially that of leucine.



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