Welcome to my best pre-workout fat burner review for 2023.
Over the last year, my team and I’ve tested nearly 20 thermogenic pre-workout supplements. We also evaluated each on performance, ingredients, taste, results, and value for money. It’s been A JOURNEY.
Take it from a guy who went from 21% body fat to 13%.
As soon as I started taking a thermogenic pre-workout, I noticed a real boost: I could lift heavier, run longer, and recover faster–all while burning fat and maintaining muscle mass.
But was it the only reason I lost body fat? NO.
Was it the push my lazy A** needed to finally break through plateaus and reach my goal? 100% yes.
Fortunately, YOU are going to benefit from all that experimentation.
Pre-workouts vary more than any other supplement. Sometimes I felt like my face WAS MELTING. Meanwhile, others had literally zero effects aside from giving me a sour duck face. I’ll lay out everything so you know before you buy and get accurate results quickly.
Here are our top seven picks of the best pre-workout supplements and who we think would benefit most from them:
Top 7 Pre Workout Fat Burners for Weight Loss (2023 Update)
PhenQ is a revolutionary new fat burning pre-workout that not only helps you burn calories, but also attacks the root causes of fat itself: fat production, low mood, and appetite.
According to a recent study, people taking PhenQ lost more than 7% of body fat and gained 3.8% muscle mass compared to a placebo.
If you’re looking for a safe pre-workout with proven ingredients that help you gently lose fat without feeling like your face is melting, PhenQ is exactly what you’re looking for.
It’s more of an all-around supplement, meaning it works for any fitness level, any workout, at any time. You’ll definitely feel more of a gentle push before your workout and safe, gradual results, rather than the Mr. Olympia I’M A BEAST BABY feelings of the crazy pre-workouts.
Here’s how it works:
Most supplements target one area of weight loss. PhenQ attacks 5. Not only do you burn more calories during every workout, it also contains ingredients shown to suppress appetite, regulate fat production, boost mood, and enhance energy.
In the gym, that means more weight, more reps, and more endurance. At home, that means fewer cravings and more desire to hit the gym again the next day. I don’t know about you, but I get CRANKY when I eat less.
We have found from using this product that it’s not going to make you superman in the gym, but it will attack weight on all fronts, leading to real results fairly quickly.
- Capsimax powder: For appetite suppression.
- Chromium Picolinate: Helps regulate blood sugar levels to control cravings
- Caffeine: Come on, it’s a pre-workout…
- L-Carnitine Fumarate: Burn more fat and turn it into energy
- Beginners looking for a safe way to burn fat
- Anyone who’s cravings get in the way of losing weight (ME!)
- Experienced lifters who’ve hit a plateau
- Overweight people looking to burn calories fast
- Supports weight loss in five ways
- Accelerates the body’s natural fat burning
- Contains ingredients that block the production of new fat
- Suppresses appetite
- Improves your mood
- Does not require a prescription to order
- Plenty of good customer reviews online
- The company is transparent of their formula
- It can only be purchased on its official website
- Contains caffeine, which may cause sleeping problems if taken at a time near bedtime
Best For: Men and women who wanted to effectively lose and maintain their ideal weight. Vegetarians can also take this as PhenQ is made from 100% vegan ingredients.
Cellucor C4 Ripped pre-workout energy supplement for men and women (fruit punch flavor) is my #1 choice for serious bodybuilders, athletes, weight lifters, or anyone who wants a pre-workout that HITS HARD.
First time I took it, I felt like I stepped on the tracks and got whacked by a freight train. This is that face-melting stuff you take when you’re trying to burst through a plateau and break personal records.
I DO NOT recommend this for beginners. Only take it if you’ve taken pre-workouts before…or you’re adventurous.
You know how PhenQ gently and gradually helps you burn fat?
This isn’t that.
We aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto.
Check out what’s in it:
- C4 Ripped Blend: Clinically formulated muscle endurance and recovery blend for eeking out those extra reps where you normally fail. Contains beta-alanine, citrulline, L-carnitine, and sodium citrate in concentrated doses for muscle enhancement.
- C4 Sport Energy Blend: The exact right dose of caffeine and taurine for heightened focus, greater energy, and improved endurance. You’ll get all the energy surge without the jitters.
- Vitamin and Nutrient Cocktail: Magnesium, B6, B12, calcium, sodium, and potassium.
This is definitely for INTENSE workouts. Don’t expect it to last hours and hours or to sit around an office and watch the pounds melt away. This is when you’re hellbent on getting a fast, intense workout in the gym, on the track, or on the court.
- High level athletes
- Amateur and pro bodybuilders
- Anyone looking to break personal records
- Experienced supplement takers
- Supports body’s ability to burn fat
- Delicious flavor
- Helps increase metabolism
- Contains fat-burning ingredients, such as green coffee bean extract
- Comes as a proprietary blend
- A bit costly than other fat burning pre-workout supplements
- Effects wear off quickly
- The high amount of caffeine may cause side effects
Best For: Individuals who need a powerful fat-burning pre-workout supplement to support their weight loss goals.
Next up is my top recommendation for cardio lovers. If you’re looking for a pre-cardio supplement for aerobics, sports, pilates, track, or just the regular old jog around the bloc, this is it.
I’m not much of a runner, but I noticed a real difference on my first jog. At the point where I’d normally get winded, I still had legs. That ALONE is worth the money for me.
Unlike pretty much every other thermogenic pre-workout, RAW Synergies included Ashwagandha, an herb that’s shown to reduce stress, regulate cortisol, and enhance endurance. It’s what pro runners, cyclists, and endurance athletes use to increase their VO2 Max (basically, how far they can go).
It also contains concentrated amounts of Teacrine, the #1 non-habit forming source of energy in the sports world.
Based on our firsthand experience, if you’re new to working out, take half a scoop. That’s all you need to run farther, burn more calories, and get in shape faster. If you’re a pro, take two scoops.
The best part? The ingredients have shown to boost your resting metabolism, so even after you’re done working out, you’ll still be burning calories.
- Runners, cyclists, endurance athletes
- Before sports like basketball or soccer
- Anyone looking to boost their metabolism
- Beginners who get winded too quickly
- Anyone who likes jitter-free energy fast
- Helps burn away excess fat
- Made to tone your muscle
- Contains pure ingredients
- No artificial fillers
- Good for cardio and running
- Some people don’t like its taste
- May result in grainy texture when mixed with cold water
Best For: Athletic men and women who do the cardio workout and running and those focused on health and wellness.
The Musclewerks DeFine8 Fat Burner pink lemonade flavor contains advanced formulas for improved fat-burning results. It supports energy with mood-enhancing and mental clarity benefits. It also helps with burning fat cells.
We included this in our list of the best thermogenic pre-workout because it also acts as an appetite suppressant while it helps boost metabolism too. Furthermore, it helps curb your sweet cravings.
Some ingredients it contains include fiber, green tea, nandina extract, B6, and Di-creatine malate.
- Curbs sweet cravings
- Boosts metabolism
- Comes in different flavors
- Good energy without the crash
- Although it contains natural flavor, it also contains artificial flavor
Best For Men and women who want to curb their sweet cravings to achieve their weight loss goals.
The Nitrosurge Shred Pre Workout Supplement thermogenic pre-workout powder is designed for men and women who want to perform their best while working out or get leaner muscle.
We included this in our list of the best thermogenic pre-workout fat burner supplements because it contains L-theanine, which helps reduce the less-wanted side effects of caffeine, such as crashing, anxiety, and rapid heart rate.
Still, it contains a reasonable dosage of caffeine anhydrous so you remain amped up during your workout while the L-theanine balances out the negative effect.
As for its full supplement profile, this thermogenic pre-workout powder contains Caffeine Anhydrous 180 mg, L-Citrulline 2 g, Acetyl-L-Carnitine (as Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCl) 1 g, Beta-Alanine 1.6 g, L-Theanine 90 mg.
All these, work together to help you improve your physique without sacrificing muscle mass.
- Available in various flavor
- No artificial flavors
- No fillers
- For increased focus
- Boosts blood flow and nitric oxide (NO) levels to fuel muscle growth and maximize pumps
- For increased fat loss
- Fully-disclosed label
- Does not mix well
- You may need two scoops to feel the effects
Best For: People who do weightlifting and cardio. It is also best for individuals who can’t handle caffeine well and prefer a stimulant that has milder effects.
The Evlution ENGN Shred is one of the best pre-workout supplements because of its advanced shredding and pre-workout formula designed to power intense workouts while supporting fat loss goals.
The key ingredients of this fat-burning pre-workout supplement are CLA (known to target fat deposits and increase metabolism), Capsimax (also known as red pepper that boosts satiety and helps increase fat burning), L-Carnitine, and Coleus Extract.
What’s unique about this product compared to other thermogenic pre-workout energy supplements is that it also contains Yohimbe Bark Extract that helps with fat loss.
Combining all these high-quality ingredients together, this fat-burning pre-workout powder promises explosive energy and maximum focus.
- Improves focus
- Tastes good
- Targets fat
- Dissolves easily
- Contains a high amount of thermogenic ingredients
- Some people may find the taste too sweet
- High caffeine content
Best For: The Evlution ENGN Shred is best for individuals who do a lot of cardio because of its emphasis on focus and muscle formation.
The Legion Pulse Pre-Workout Supplement for Weight Loss contains natural ingredients and no dangerous or harsh stimulants, meaning it helps increase your energy levels without the jitters, nausea, or post-workout crash that you may have felt in other pre-workouts.
Some of the contents of this pre-workout are L-theanine and caffeine, which together work to provide you with bigger pumps and a smooth rush. They also help improve your focus. You’ll also find in its list of ingredients the citrulline malate that relieves muscle soreness, improves muscle endurance, and increases blood flow.
One serving of this pre-workout supplement provides you a clinically effective dosage of Beta-alanine, Alpha-GPC, Citrulline, Theanine, Betaine, and Anhydrous caffeine. Legion Pulse Pre-workout likewise increases the nitric oxide levels. NO is one of the most important molecules for blood vessel health and helps increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to working muscles during a workout.
- Boosts strength, endurance, and power
- Improves mood
- Sharpens mental focus
- Fights off fatigue
- Improves workout performance
- Good customer rating online
- Some users find the fruit punch flavor bitter. (You can still choose other flavors)
- Others did not really feel “pumped,” but just feel awake and not drowsy
Best For: People who are into weightlifting, circuit endurance, and cardio training as this pre-workout fat burner provides muscle endurance, power, and strength.
What to Look for in a Thermogenic Pre Workout Fat Burner
Most modern supplements should attack fat in multiple ways like more energy, more endurance, fewer cravings, etc.
Avoid pre-workout supplements that only focus on a single aspect, like energy, at the cost of performance and pumps. Stick with formulas that do at least 3.
For example, give you more energy, boost your metabolism, and spur muscle growth. Anything less is a rip off.
Thermogenic pre-workout powder and regular pre-workout energy supplements may have a lot of similarities in ingredients, but they are fundamentally different.
For instance, pre-workout supplements are designed to boost metabolism and may contain ingredients to counter the effects of reduced appetite. Thermogenic also often contains less caffeine than regular pre-workouts.
On the other hand, pre-workout energy supplements promote focus during exercise and may contain ingredients, such as nitric oxide, to promote nutrient delivery and protein synthesis.
The main ingredients you’ll often find in thermogenic pre-workouts include caffeine (increase fat burning and metabolism), green tea extract, CLA or conjugated linoleic acid, L-carnitine (for metabolism and energy production), and capsicum/cayenne.
The best thermogenic pre-workouts feature a fully-disclosed label and are also not underdosed for the safety of people taking them.
Value vs. Cost
It is important to invest in high-quality thermogenic pre-workout powder to keep up with the latest body conditioning techniques. Cheaper fat burners are often packed with fillers and are mass-produced so they provide little nutritional value.
But high prices do not always mean the fat burners are made of quality ingredients. So, always read the label and weigh value over cost.
5 Tips to Improve the Effects of a Fat Burner
1. Find a Solid Fitness Plan and Stick to It
A high-quality fat burner may make your journey towards weight loss more accessible, but it’s essential that you also have a solid fitness program and stick to it. Without exercise, the associated energy boost is wasted.
2. Eat Enough Protein
Protein helps boost satiety hormones and reduce the hunger hormone. This leads to a reduction in hunger and helps you lose weight. Taking enough protein will also help you maintain lean muscle mass.
3. Take Your Fat Burner at Strategic Times
Fat-burning supplements can suppress your appetite and give you energy. Timing your dose right will help you get the most from them.
The best time to take a stimulant fat burner is upon waking up or half an hour before training. This kicks the fat-burning process into gear and raises your energy. People sensitive to stimulants can take their fat burner before midday, so they will still have time to wind down before sleep time.
4. Cycle Your Fat Burner
Cycling (you take a supplement for a set time and have another time off) fat-burning supplements help ensure that your body processes the ingredients to its utmost advantage.
Taking fat burners on a repetitive basis may cause the body to become desensitized to some ingredients – a backfire to your goal of losing weight.
5. Get More Sleep
Sleep deprivation can make a dieter “metabolically groggy.” A study done at the University of Chicago found that when dieters cut back on sleep over two weeks, the amount of weight they lost from fat dropped by about 55%. They felt less satisfied after meals and hungrier, which zapped their energy.
FAQs About Pre-Workout Fat Burners
Does PreWorkout help burn fat?
Yes, the best pre-workout for weight loss can help you burn fat. It works not by triggering your body to burn fat directly but by helping you accomplish your goal of boosting your exercise performance.
Is it better to take a fat burner before or after a workout?
The best time to take a fat burner is before your morning workout, possibly about 30 minutes before breakfast. Taking your fat burner in the morning will also kick-start your day so you can do a more intense workout.
Can you take fat burners without exercising?
Yes, of course. High-quality fat burners work without exercise, although their effect is much better when you work out. Fat burners work without exercise because it stimulates thermogenesis – a metabolic process by which the body burn calories to generate heat.
Final Verdict: Which One Should You Buy?
As you can see in the list above, there are great thermogenic pre-workout supplements available on the market today. But our top pick for the best overall fat-burning pre-workout would be the PhenQ Fat Burner.
The PhenQ is hands down one of the best pre-workouts you can buy at its price point and has a solid ingredient profile. What makes it stand out from other fat burners in this list is that it has a unique blend of ingredients and contains the trademarked formula called α-Lacys Reset®.
This ingredient alone fires up the body’s thermogenesis and accelerates metabolism, so you can burn more calories quickly than taking other thermogenic pre-workout products. Other ingredients you’ll find in this product are a blend of capsicum, niacin (vitamin B3), caffeine, and piperine that help you slim down.
If you want something that has a little more oomph right away for intense gym sessions, go with Cellucer C4 Ripped. It’ll be the best workout of your life.
We also like that Cellucor C4 Ripped is available in incredible flavors, including Tropical Punch, Raspberry Lemonade, Icy Blue Razz, Fruit Punch, Cherry Limeade, and more!
PhenQ is currently my #1 recommendation based on all fat-burning pre-workouts that me and my team researched and tested.
It took our team a lot of trial and error, but none of the weight loss supplements get close to the power of this excellent thermogenic pre-workout. It uses the right ingredients, is safe, and has proven to help you lose fat.
If you found this article interesting and helpful, check out more fitness articles on ExpertFitness.org.
Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.
If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.