The best pre-workouts for weight loss include research-backed ingredients and we’ve chosen only the best to review.
There are many different pre-workout supplements on the market and we’re not just referring to the name and packaging (although some are pretty dope). The ingredients can vary a lot between products, and consequently, not all are formulated for the same purpose.
For example, you have low-stimulant, high-stimulant, stimulant-free, bulking, and cutting pre-workout formulas. So it’s important to pay attention if you want to ensure you choose the one that best suits your goals.
Transparent Labs has become a very reputable name and we can tell you personally, that they have top-notch products.
Lean is a cutting formula that isn’t extremely high in caffeine and it doesn’t need to be because it’s high-quality and contains L-theanine; an amino acid that enhances cognitive function and works synergistically with caffeine to extend its effects.
You’ll still get plenty of sustainable energy and there are several other ingredients that contribute to the effectiveness of this product. For example, it contains a whopping 6g of citrulline and other performance-supporting ingredients.
To aid in fat loss, Lean includes synephrine, found in bitter orange, guggulsterone, and hordenine. The formula also supports thyroid function and is very focused on health support.
Check out our full review of Lean Pre-Workout here.
Powher is a pre-workout formula designed specifically for women hence the pink labeling and powder. It’s a low-stimulant formula with only 100mg of caffeine per serving, although it does contain a caffeine amplifier called EnXtra that has been shown to prolong the beneficial effects of caffeine.
It also includes several other effective ingredients for performance and health benefits.
We really liked this product and in our opinion, it deserves a top spot, although it is a women-focused pre-workout.
Read our full review of Powher pre-workout here.
While you won’t see the word “pre-workout” on the product label, RSP Aminolean is still very much a pre-workout. Even if it does say “anytime energy”.
Each dose contains 5 grams of vegan amino acids; some of which help to build proteins while others are antioxidant-like, protecting the body against disease, and enhancing certain factors of performance.
Aminolean also contains a natural energy and focus blend that provides 130mg of caffeine from fermented tea and matcha.
Not everyone wants or needs 300-400 mg of caffeine per serving.
In addition, there’s a weight management blend of L-carnitine, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), green tea, and green coffee. So there’s plenty of calorie-burning potential.
RSP was started by former collegiate athlete Victor Davanzo in 2008 due to being unsatisfied with the quality of supplements on the market. His passion was and still is to bring healthy and innovative products to busy professionals and fitness enthusiasts. You could say it’s become an obsession.
MuscleTech Shatter Ripped SX7 Revolution sounds hardcore and that’s kind of the point. But does it deliver?
It’s certainly loaded with ingredients that are familiar to us and that, according to research, are justified.
The formula includes a Myoshock Performance Blend with a potent 6g of citrulline for big pumps and 3.2g of beta-alanine, enough to enhance strength, endurance, and overall performance.
The other blend includes an energy, focus, and thermogenesis enhancer with a large dose (400mg) of sustained-release caffeine, Alphasize (key brain nutrient/transmitter), Yohimbe, and more.
A key ingredient in this formula is C. canephora robusta; a non-stimulant green coffee bean that has shown to promote weight loss because of its chlorogenic acid content.
In a study, subjects who took this ingredient lost an average of 10.95 lbs (compared to 5.40 lbs for placebo group) in two months when combined with a reduced-calorie diet.
This seems like a formula worth taking a look at if you’re looking for big energy and improved weight loss.
MuscleTech may be associated as a “bodybuilders brand of supplements” having been endorsed by the world’s best competitors. But their products are for anyone whether that’s the serious athlete, weekend warrior, and anyone else.
It’s been a leading brand for over two decades now and many would be surprised to know that their new Chief Creative Director Henry Cavill, the man who played Superman in the 2013 superhero film Man of Steel.
ENGN Shred seems to be a crowd favorite and for good reason.
It’s loaded with certain nutrients such as B6, B12, niacin, and folic acid that are good for maintaining overall good health.
For the main ingredients, the formula has a Mind-To-Muscle Matrix blend that includes betaine, a muscle, and strength-building ingredient. Then you have choline, taurine, tyrosine, agmatine, and few others that contribute to good health and improved performance.
The ENGN Shred Matrix consists of CLA, carnitine, red pepper, and Yohimbe, and the formula contains 260mg of natural caffeine for energy.
“Our mission is to be your most trusted nutrition partner to achieve your fitness goals.”
EVL Nutrition was formed to support all performance and health needs.
From the packaging to the name and everything else, Nitro Surge Shred was an option we had to include in our list of best pre-workouts for weight loss.
It’s a “thermogenic pre-workout” that was formulated based on scientific evidence and it’s one of the simpler products in this review containing just a little over a handful of ingredients.
These include a smaller dose of l-citrulline, beta-alanine, acetyl l-carnitine, 180mg of caffeine, l-theanine, theobromine, and Bioperine black pepper extract (enhances bioavailability and absorption of certain nutrients).
Theobromine is a compound and stimulant found in cacao beans but compared to caffeine, its effects on boosting energy levels and mental alertness are mild and may be longer-lasting.
And according to research, it shows some promise as a safe alternative for the treatment of certain diseases (1).
Theobromine seems to be a key ingredient in this formula having similar but milder effects when compared to caffeine.
While Nitro Surge seems may not be the most potent pre-workout, the ingredients seem to be strategically dosed to create a longer-lasting effect.
“Formulated with science, tested in the trenches”, Jacked Factory makes premium products without artificial dyes and fillers and direct to consumer pricing.
With a name like cardio cuts, you’d have to expect that this supplement is focused on burning fat while still giving the much-needed energy to power through your physical activities.
In fact, per the label, it’s formulated as a pre-cardio and weight loss accelerant.
As a result, there are various blends that each have a specific focus.
The blends include a thyro-lean blend (tone tight complex, thyro-define complex), Lean-pump recovery blend (amino acid-performance complex, Endu-recover complex, Vasu-lean complex), Thermo output blend (rejuvenated complex, thermo-cardio-focus complex), and a natural health blend consisting of vitamins and minerals.
Each dose supplies a whopping 300mg of caffeine so there’ll be no shortage of energy and the various compounds in Cardio Cuts 3.0 including teacrine, ashwagandha, carnitine, CLA, MCT’s, aminos, and vitamins and minerals help with physical and mental health and overall performance.
They call this the “trendsetting, first-ever pre-cardio/weight loss formula that attacks the pounds and inches while energizing your workouts.”
Many really like this product and we think it can make a great addition to your performance supplement regime.
NDS Nutrition was started in 2002 and they’ve been making cutting-edge formulas with high-quality ingredients ever since.
Their mission is “To create the most talked-about, well-respected, and sought-after nutritional products and solutions for building a better body and living a stronger, healthier, richer life”.
Man Sports Scorch contains a thermogenic blend that features a trifecta of green, white, and black tea, all containing beneficial compounds. Then you have coffee beans that are std. to 98% caffeine and consequently, yield 147mg of caffeine.
The thermogenic blend also contains raspberry ketones, carnitine, taurine, and L-theanine.
Between the aforementioned ingredients, users may benefit from energy-boosting, appetite-suppressing, and brain-enhancing effects.
In our opinion, this is a clean and effectively-dosed product containing quality ingredients that will no doubt boost factors of performance.
According to their website, Man Sports isn’t just another supplement company, but rather, innovators, dreamers, outside-the-box thinkers, industry changers… and you get the idea.
Their team includes individuals who’ve participated in various disciplines and it’s this diversity that has allowed them to reach many and earn a solid reputation.
Cellucor is one of the most popular brands for pre-workout products especially because many became a fan of their original C4.
But C4 Ripped Sport may be a better product for weight loss in addition to the energy boost it gives users.
This formula has two blends: C4 Ripped Sport Performance blend and C4 Sport energy blend.
The Ripped Sport blend contains proven ingredients such as Carnosyn beta-alanine, citrulline malate, and L-carnitine. The energy blend contains 135mg caffeine, taurine, and a few other ingredients.
Ripped Sport is a low-calorie, low-carb, and zero-sugar formula. It also has a decent serving of B12; an essential vitamin for nerves, and blood cells, neurological function, and more.
The formula is also NSF Certified for Sport.
Cellucor is marketed as America’s #1 pre-workout supplements brand and for good reason. Their C4 changed the game and was one of the most popular pre-workouts on the planet.
But they also have a wide range of quality products as well and are always a welcome addition to any pre-workout review.
Raw Synergies is a clean formula product designed for women. It’s a 2-in-1 pre-workout thermogenic that gives natural energy, improves mood, and helps individuals to burn more fat.
It has beneficial ingredients that help with cardio, stress management, and improved focus; all essential components of an effective weight loss recipe.
MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) powder is a partially mad-made fatty acid that the body can more easily use as an energy source.
Ashwagandha has shown to have positive effects on reducing stress and being able to work through it while helping to maintain a clearer mind. This can have huge benefits for maximizing training efforts (2).
Theacrine is another interesting addition to this formula. It’s found in the leaves of Camellia Kucha and may “favorably affect multiple subjective feelings related to energy and mood” (3).
This is one of the better formulas out there that contains a few, quality research-backed ingredients. It should give clean energy without the jitters and crash and sustain enhanced cognitive performance.
“Great products to improve our bodies and enrich our souls”
Raw stands for cleans products that contain no sugar, dyes, fake flavors, or artificial additives; just clean, vegan formulas.
We can’t possibly go over every single ingredient as there are many found in the pre-workouts on our list. However, we did provide some information on the key performance and potential weight loss-supporting ingredients.
Everyone knows about caffeine; it’s only the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance on earth; a nervous system stimulant that increases energy and alertness, and it’s also believed to improve focus. It does this by blocking the chemical adenosine that allows for the release of neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine (4, 5).
These chemicals cause the desired effects after consuming caffeine and consequently, people who consume it typically experience improved performance.
Nothing will give you a jolt of energy like caffeine and that’s why it’s used in most pre-workout supplements aside from waking you up in the early am for a long shift.
With that being said, more energy can result in more calories burned, especially when you’re intentionally engaged in activities that raise your heart rate.
That’s because caffeine can boost metabolic rate due to its thermogenic effects and therefore burn more calories when the body is at rest. But it may also have a direct fat oxidizing (breaking down fatty acids) effect (6, 7).
Not to mention, caffeine may also help to suppress the appetite and therefore reduce caloric intake.
However, it’s important to note that caffeine, as with any ingredient or supplement, will not cause significant weight loss on its own. You still need to implement a proper diet/exercise regime.
Green tea contains polyphenols known as catechin epigallocatechin (EGCG) that are believed to be responsible for the supposed effects.
For instance, EGCG is known to have antioxidant properties that stave off disease. But it may also be beneficial for oxidizing fat mass and therefore, maybe a potentially beneficial ingredient for obese individuals.
Green teas also naturally contain l-theanine that can have significant benefits for calm and stress.
You know those tingles you get after taking a pre-workout? That can be attributed to the beta-alanine found in most. But there’s nothing to worry about as this is completely normal.
But beta-alanine isn’t just used to make you feel all tingly and funny while you’re training. It actually acts as a buffer against lactic acid; the stuff that causes you to feel an almost unbearable burning sensation in your muscles during intense activities and resistance training.
Nothing is more painful than lactic acid building up during an intense leg session!
Citrulline malate may be the best ingredient for getting big pumps. It’s a vasodilator which means it expands blood vessels and allows for more blood flow.
This ingredient is also used in many sexual enhancement products because of its blood flow-enhancing effects. Not to mention, it could be beneficial for heart health and research has shown that it may increase muscle growth, strength, endurance, and growth hormone levels.
Check out our citrulline supplements review for more information on the potential benefits of this potent ingredient.
CLA is nothing new and studies have shown that it may have modest effects on weight loss, although you still need to be in an energy deficit to experience any effects.
It may be worth including in a weight-loss-focused supplement but CLA may also have health benefits. Research is promising for its potentially beneficial effects on blood sugar and heart health, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Read more about CLA here and see our ten product picks.
A proven ingredient for many uses, Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal and many studies support its use for stress and anxiety management. There’s also plenty of research on it being beneficial against chronic disease.
This super-herb has shown to have positive effects on mental health, blood sugar health, cholesterol, cancer, physical and mental performance, strength and muscle mass, and even fertility in men.
But does Ashwagandha help with weight loss? Research says yes.
In one study where 52 participants with chronic stress were given 300mg of Ashwagandha or a placebo twice daily and assessed at 4 and 8 weeks, improvements were seen in stress levels, well-being, and eating behaviors. The volunteers also lost significantly more weight than the placebo group (8).
Researchers found Ashwagandha extract to be safe and tolerable and it was concluded that this herb is a viable option to help with weight loss in adults suffering from chronic stress.
Carnitine is derived from amino acids and found in all cells of the body. It helps to transport fatty acids to mitochondria where it’s used for fuel or energy.
If you want to learn more about carnitine, we have an entire section on this very ingredient.
Let’s make something very clear, weight loss and fat loss don’t necessarily mean the same thing.
Fat loss is just that; you need to be in a caloric deficit so that the body can burn the fat for energy. But weight loss can mean losing any form of body weight including fat, water, poop, etc.
It’s fine to aim for either. However, focusing more on losing body fat should be the goal. That’s because when it really comes down to it, carrying a lot of body fat is more unhealthy and has a bigger overall effect on appearance.
Plus, other forms of body weight are likely to only have a more temporary impact on aesthetics. For example, you can shed water weight much easier than fat weight.
Losing fat requires an energy or caloric deficit.
To achieve this, you need to either eat fewer calories than what your body needs or do more physical activity to create a negative energy balance. Heck, some people do both.
But it’s easier said than done not only because changing your body requires extra effort, but it’s where to start and how to continue that intimidates a lot of people.
No worries though, we have plenty of useful resources that can help you to lose body weight and achieve your goals.
Our calculators are also very handy and make reaching your goals that much easier as you can simply input some basic information and get immediate nutrition recommendations that you can follow.
Related: The Top 20 Simple Weight Loss Tips
There you have it, our list of best pre-workout supplements for weight loss. Not all are created equally, and we’re confident in the quality and effectiveness of our picks.
Remember, many of the ingredients found in these products may help with the weight loss process, but you must have good habits and ensure you’re in an energy deficit. This is achieved through having a proper diet, exercise routine, and maintaining good habits overall.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask down below and we also welcome comments. Also, check our review of the best pre-workouts without creatine.