Let’s admit it – being ripped is incredibly appealing. Problem is, it’s a really hard place to get to, and even harder to remain there. That being said, we can certainly make it easier with the correct supplementation!
Supplements should remain that, supplements. They cannot replace a good diet, and you cannot out supplement a bad training plan. We can still get the most out of each one when used correctly!
But where do you even start? Which supplement is the one most people can actually benefit from?
Simply put, protein powder. Protein has been shown to aid in muscle gain, fat loss, and recovery, yet so many people just don’t prioritize it.
And our top pick is Swolverine’s Whey Protein Isolate. Isolate protein powders tend to be easier on the stomach due to their composition. They’ve been filtered extensively, and they’re also Hydrolyzed, meaning they break down faster.
With 26 grams of protein per serving, added enzymes to improve digestion, and only 1g of carbohydrates per serving, you can rest easy knowing this is the ideal protein powder for a fat-loss journey.
Not only is it a banger quantitatively, but the quality of the product is substantial, to say the least. There are 4 great flavors to choose from, and every tub has the scoop right on the top!
Okay, maybe that last part is a bit of a white lie.
With the basics covered, it’s time we delve into the rest. Bodybuilders certainly don’t get to 4% body fat whilst only sipping on protein powder, right?
In a Rush? Here’s Our Top Pick!
Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate Powder
- Mix with a blender, shaker bottle, or glass & spoon in 30 seconds
- 100% whey protein (no B.S. filler ingredients)
- 5 grams of BCAAs for enhanced muscle recovery
- Goes down easy for a quick post-workout drink
What to look for when buying supplements
In recent years the supplement market has boomed, with more companies than ever making their debut. They all want their products to be included in what you consume to be lean and ripped.
This is both a good and a bad thing, seeing as the influx of competitors may drive prices down, but could potentially do the same for quality.
See, when you’re in such a competitive and saturated market, chances are you’ll do anything to get the customer. If that means selling something that isn’t optimally dosed or using inferior ingredients, so be it. As long as your marketing is good.
Because of those reasons, you should take great care about where you actually spend your money. Here are some tips you could use next time you’re in the supplement Isle.
Prioritize your Goal
This is actually so simple, yet you come across it every single day. “Oh I’m trying to gain as much muscle as possible, but I don’t want to gain any fat!”. Those two are contradicting, mate.
When you have an overarching goal, all roads lead to Rome on that one. Every action, every rep, and every meal in your diet plan should be in line with said goal. Going back and forth on goals means the same for method, and you end up spinning your wheels in one place.
Have a clear goal and idea in your mind about where you want to end up. By doing so, you’ll have a clear vision of what needs to be done, and where you’ll have problems. Problems are the things that need to be solved and are standing in your way of success.
That means you might not have the same problems as your favorite influencer, and that’s perfectly fine. You need to keep your goal and your genetics in mind. This leads me to tip number two.
What do you Need
Now that you have identified your goal, you have ideally also identified where you’re going to have problems. I’m not referring to problems with your girlfriend when you’re cutting and she’s bulking of course. I am referring to Nutritional and Training problems.
If you’re someone who struggles to get in enough calories, that’s a problem we can potentially solve with supplements. Poor appetite means we are in a position to utilize liquid calories, and so a Mass Gainer shake might work for you.
If you’re someone who engages in extremely high-intensity training, you will suffer from having too low ATP levels (adenosine triphosphate). If we have identified your ATP levels as the limiting factor, we can solve that by increasing your Creatine Phosphate pool, by supplementing with Creatine.
If you are someone who tends to train quite early and you need a little boost, maybe replace your Espresso with something a little stronger like pre-workout. Depending on the ingredients has been proven to increase energy as well as performance.
It’s important to identify exactly what you need. Regardless of what your friends might need or might be using, you are an individual with individual needs.
What’s actually in the Products
This is the last, and definitely one of the more important ones. What exactly is in the product you’re thinking of buying? Have you done your research?
This is not just a quality measure, but also a quantity measure. For instance, we often see Creatine added to Protein Powder, but in low dosages, 1 to 2 grams max. We know from peer-reviewed science that the dose needed to see any physiological benefit sits at 5 grams daily.
This is called Pixie Dusting. Putting in the bare minimum, slapping it on the label, and calling it a day. Don’t fall for it. Make sure whatever is in your supplement is both good for you and enough for you.
Furthermore, just check the ingredients list. Is there something that doesn’t belong? We’ve all heard of protein/nitrogen spiking, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend you Google it.
5 Best Supplements to Get Ripped
Alright, you’ve made it, and you’re ready to hear the 5 best supplements to get ripped for the summer! As always, combine these with a caloric deficit and a good training plan, and you should be on your way!
Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate Powder
Protein is going to be the main driver behind any fat loss diet, as we know it has a higher thermic effect of food compared to carbs and fats. We also know that in a calorically matched diet, higher protein will lead to more muscle gained or retained.
Supplementing with extra Protein has become standard, and a prime example of a good Protein Powder would have to be Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate Powder. Isolate Proteins are easier to digest, contain fewer fats and carbohydrates, and as a bonus, mix better as well.
This particular protein comes jam-packed with 26g of Protein per serving, whilst only containing 1g of Carbohydrates, and 0.5g of Fats. This makes it the perfect protein while your carbs and/or fats are going to be restricted.
The best usage for a Protein Powder is well, anytime. There is no real “Best Time”, as increasing your protein intake, in general, will lead to better results. That being said, because the Swolverine Isolate is going to digest so easily, you could utilize this perfectly in that pre and post-workout window.
You’re going to benefit from the low fat and carbohydrate count seeing as restricting those has directly been linked to losing fat while retaining muscle mass. Combine this shake with a few oz of Almond Milk or Water, and you have yourself the perfect shake. Better yet, add ice, blend, boom, smoothie.
Make sure your protein intake is spread throughout the day, and try not to go longer than 4 – 5 hours without consuming some form of protein. The Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate Powder can be consumed at any time during the day.
- Easily digestible Isolate Protein
- Only 10 Calories are of the Non-Protein kind
- 4 Flavours: Vanilla, Chocolate, Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter, and Mint Chocolate Chip
- Has added Digestive Enzymes
- Obviously, Vegans cannot consume this
Swolverine Kre-Alkalyn: Creatine Phosphate
As mentioned earlier in this article, Creatine is a powerful supplement. By increasing your Creatine intake, you can increase your Creatine Phosphate pool. By increasing this your body will have a greater ATP storage and replenishment ability.
ATP is the primary fuel source for short, high-intensity activity. When your goal is to be as shredded as you can, you’re most likely going to be engaging in some form of weight training. That would make Creatine the perfect supplement to take.
Creatine has been proven to increase muscle strength and muscle size, and even aid in muscle retention when on a fat loss journey! Unfortunately, regular Creatine has the ability to cause certain side effects:
- Muscle Cramps
- Water Retention
Swolverine’s Kre-Alkalyn is the brand’s solution, a version of Creatine that has been engineered to cause fewer adverse effects. It is a pH-corrected version of Creatine Monohydrate, also called “buffered Creatine”.
By being buffered, Kre-Alkalyn is a more stable solution and has less ability to turn acidic. Kre-Alkalyn is also not degraded in Creatinine, which gives it a substantially higher bioavailability. This means more servings and more money in your pocket.
Creatine is the most researched product on the market and has benefited so vastly that it would be impossible to name them all. Hell, it even helps with brain function. If there is one supplement that most people would benefit from, it’d be Creatine. And why not go for a version that causes less water retention?
While there is no real scientific research to suggest a “best” time to take Creatine, most users just opt to take it after their workout.
- Can increase muscle strength, size, and endurance
- Can increase brain function
- Does not have the typical Creatine side effects
- More “dense” than regular Creatine, which means you save money
- Creatine is not advisable for people suffering from Chronic Kidney disease.
C4 Original Pre Workout Powder Fruit Punch
Pre Workout has taken the world faster than you could think. Way faster than the supplement companies though, and had to pump out version after version to satiate our insane caffeine addictions. Thank you kindly Supplement Companies, appreciate that.
But with this massive increase in options, a few not-so-good versions have also slipped through the cracks – what do you expect. This hasn’t stopped marketing agencies from pushing these lackluster products as “the best”. That is not the case with C4 Original Pre Workout Powder.
C4 is one of the originals, with years of satisfied users to advocate its efficiency. C4 is loaded with ingredients that are going to push your performance through the roof:
- Beta-Alanine: Has been shown to be a buffer against the build-up of acid in the muscle, as Hydrogen ions are produced when lactic acid disassociates to lactate. This lowers the pH of the entire muscle. When acidosis is achieved in the muscle, fatigue rises and force production lowers. Beta Alanine decreases time to acidosis.
- Creatine: Has been shown to increase ATP storage and replenishment in the muscle, which can lead to increased performance and muscle gain.
- Arginine: Arginine acts as a Nitric Oxide booster. This can decrease muscle tension within arteries, leading to greater blood flow and pumps. This could potentially help muscle gain as well.
C4 contains a proprietary blend of other substances that are going to dramatically increase performance even more. You know the drill, dry scoop (preferably not), headbang to some metal in the car, and wait for the Beta-Alanine itch to kick in.
Pre Workout timing will be person dependent. Make sure you do not consume it too soon after eating a meal as this can lower the effects. Consume 40 -15 minutes before training. Do not consume after 4 PM if you struggle to fall asleep.
- Can increase muscle endurance, recovery, and performance
- Added Caffeine can increase energy
- Arginine could dramatically increase endurance if you train with a lot of volume
- Pre-workout is not advised for individuals suffering from heart conditions
- Beta-Alanine can cause a (normal) skin tingle
Swolverine BCAA 2:1:1
We know that you have to consume protein in order to build lean contractile tissue. That being said, we also know that protein is comprised of Amino Acids, which are then used within muscle tissue to help grow new muscle.
Studies have confirmed that Leucine, AKA the Anabolic Trigger, is essential for triggering muscle protein synthesis. Leucine is the main part of the Swolverine BCAA 2:1:1 mixture, equating to 2000mg of the 6500mg serving.
BCAA supplements are often used while training, as a means to preserve muscle mass. This is even more useful when you’re in a calorie deficit – muscle wastage risk is high, and you can use all the help you can get.
The Swolverine BCAA 2:1:1 has a few tricks up its sleeve, however, as it is not just any old BCAA formulation. See, it contains the following:
- 2:1:1 BCAA Ratio: BCAA refers to the Amino Acids Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. These, when combined with a protein-rich diet, substantial training input, and adequate rest, can lead to greater gains. The ratio refers to the ratio of the Amino Acids to one another.
- L-Glutamine: Glutamine is one of the most popular recovery supplements. Not only could it help with your recovery from one session to the next, but it has a lot of evidence as a gut health supplement.
- Electrolytes & Hydration Formula: This is a nice little addition seeing as these minerals (Sodium, Potassium, and Vitamin B6) can help with motor neuron functioning and muscle contractions.
The main goal behind taking the Swolverine BCAA is to increase recovery, retain muscle mass whilst dieting, and have a refreshing 0 Calorie drink to sip on whilst training. You can pop a scoop with some ice-cold water any time of the day.
While there is no “best” time to consume BCAAs, the optimal time will be during workouts, or during periods where you do not have access to Protein.
- Can increase recovery, and decrease DOMS
- 0 Calorie drink to sip on
- Added Electrolytes can help with cell hydration
- You’re gonna want to sip on this 24/7
Old School Labs Vintage Burn Muscle-Preserving Thermogenic Fat Burner
Fat burners have always been a popular supplement, and when your goal is to become as lean as you possibly can, you’re gonna benefit from a fat burner. These are typically designed to either suppress hunger or increase metabolism.
The Old School Labs Vintage Burn Muscle-Preserving Thermogenic Fat Burner comes brimmed with various ingredients that are going to take your fat loss capabilities to the next level:
- Green Tea Leaf Extract: Contains quite a few catechins, which in combination with Caffeine can increase metabolism and energy expenditure
- Green Coffee Bean Extract: When combined with an energy-restricted diet can result in increased fat loss
- Raspberry Ketones: Some research suggests that Raspberry Ketones not only increase fat loss but also reduce appetite
- Olive Leaf Extract: Has various Cardiovascular benefits, and the oleuropein can lead to a reduction in body fat
- Caffeine: Can increase energy whilst in a caloric deficit
These are the main ingredients that could help you lose a few extra kilograms whilst on your fat loss diet – but don’t expect a miracle, however. Even bodybuilders will tell you no pill will magically burn fat.
That being said, this can certainly amplify your efforts and certainly help manage your hunger whilst in your caloric deficit.
Due to the stimulants (Caffeine) it would be wise to consume this fat burner closer to the morning than in the evening. Individual effects might differ, so it will be best to test your own tolerance.
- Can amplify fat loss efforts of a calorically restricted diet
- Can help manage hunger whilst dieting
- No intense stimulants that will cause adverse effects
- Still requires that you actually put in most of the work
Nothing is ever going to replace a solid diet, and no supplement will magically make your fat loss journey a breeze. You’re still going to have to diet and put in the hard work when training to see results. To get the most out of your fat loss diet, make sure you focus on these 5 principles:
- Diet: You need to be in a caloric deficit to lose fat, and you can greatly benefit from having a protein-dense diet
- Training: To retain the most amount of muscle, aim to follow a plan that is based on resistance training, and only add cardio as necessary
- Sleep: There is a lot of evidence that shows sleeping less can lead to fat gain and higher cortisol
- Stress Management: Failing to manage daily stress can make the entire dieting process a lot harder
- Supplementation: Using the right (like the ones in this list) can increase your performance. That being said, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
We’ve spoken about some great supplements today. Some, especially protein and Creatine, have been the base of bodybuilding diets for ages. There is substantial evidence to back these, and you certainly can benefit from them as well.
Make sure you execute the basics and fill in the gaps with the supplements on this list. In order of preference, the ones to go for are:
- Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate Powder
- Swolverine Kre-Alkalyn: Creatine Phosphate
- C4 Original Pre Workout Powder Fruit Punch
- Swolverine BCAA 2:1:1
- Old School Labs Vintage Burn Muscle-Preserving Thermogenic Fat Burner
While all of these can play a role, numbers 1 through 3 are going to be first on your shopping list. Choose the flavors you like, get in that caloric deficit, train hard, sleep harder, and wake up with abs. +- a few weeks.