Review Nutrition Pre-Workout

Transparent Labs Lean Pre-Workout Review (2024)

In this Transparent Labs Lean Pre-Workout Review, we’ll be taking a look at TL’s signature “fat-burning” pre-workout so you can decide if this supplement is right for you, or if you’d be better suited to another pre-workout. 

Overall, this is a solid, mild pre-workout supplement, although its “fat-burning” ingredients are likely useless. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of this product, and to find out what our final verdict is. 

Transparent Labs Lean Pre-Workout Review –  While Lean delivers a mostly solid formula with active ingredients like Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, and Betaine, some of its extra ingredients don’t serve much of a purpose. Most people looking for a solid pre-workout will be better off choosing Bulk from Transparent Labs instead.

transparent labs lean review

Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-Workout Review

Transparent Labs LEAN

transparent labs lean workout
  • Serving Size: 1 scoop (14.2 g)
  • Servings per Container: 30
  • Calories per Serving: 5
  • Total Carbohydrate: 1g
  • Citrulline Malate per Serving: 6000 mg
  • Recommended By AthletesHafþór Júlíus BjörnssonPat LiPAULINA

Transparent Labs Lean pre-workout is marketed as a fat-burning supplement because of ingredients like Choline Bitartrate and L-Carnitine. However, it’s unlikely these ingredients will have any real effect on weight loss.

With that being said, this is still a solid overall pre-workout formula with largely effective doses of Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, and Betaine. It also has solid mild stimulation from its dose of caffeine. 

Also, like most Transparent Labs’ products, Lean is made without artificial filler ingredients, has solid third-party certification, and has a ton of flavor variety. 

While this is undeniably a good pre-workout supplement, many people may be more interested in the similar supplement, Transparent Labs Bulk. This option forgoes the “fat-burning” ingredients, instead having more effective active ingredient doses, and more caffeine, all for the same price. 

Ingredients Breakdown

Below, we’ll be breaking down the ingredients included, their effects, and their doses. These ingredients include Caffeine, Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, and several more! 

1. Dosage of Caffeine per Serving

First, and arguably the most important ingredient in any pre-workout formula, is caffeine. Lean contains 180mg of caffeine, which is fairly low for a pre-workout. However, especially for someone new to pre-workout supplements, this is around the sweet spot for solid stimulation without causing any unwanted side effects like anxiety, or jitters. 

2. Type and Dosage of Citrulline

Citrulline is a common pre-workout which has been shown to improve endurance and overall exercise performance. 

Citrulline is included here in the form of Citrulline Malate. This means it is bonded with malic acid, and as a result, larger doses are needed for the same effects when compared to pure L-Citrulline. We generally recommend a dose of 8-10g of citrulline malate, so the 6g dose included here may be slightly too low for acute effects, although it should still provide some benefit with chronic use. 

3. Beta-Alanine Dosage

Next, another common pre-workout ingredient is Beta-Alanine, which is mainly used to help reduce fatigue. Note that Beta-Alanine has no acute effect, and will only produce this effect when it’s taken consistently over several weeks. 

athlete drinks electrolytes

The 2g dose included here may still produce some significant effects with consistent use, although a larger 3-6g dose would likely produce noticeable effects sooner. 

4. Betaine Dosage

Betaine is another common pre-workout ingredient, which is used to help improve force production and muscular endurance. Similar to Beta-Alanine, Betaine has no acute effects and needs to be taken consistently. 

It’s included at a dose of 1.5g per serving, which should also be sufficient to produce meaningful effects. 

5. Carnitine Type and Dosage

You will also be getting some L-Carnitine in this supplement. This ingredient is commonly marketed as a fat burner, although it appears to have no real effect on weight loss

However, L-Carnitine Tartrate is considered to be a beneficial sports supplement for it’s effects on improving recovery. With this being said, Lean contains Acetyl L-Carnitine instead. This form of L-Carnitine is more commonly used as an adjunct medical treatment as opposed to a sports supplement

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What Are the Benefits of L-Theanine and Choline Bitartrate?

Some additional ingredients here include L-Theanine, and Choline, which have 2 very different purposes.

First, Theanine is commonly included in pre-workouts for its effects on reducing cortisol, and how it appears to reduce many of the negative side effects associated with caffeine. 

Next, Choline is included here mainly to assist with weight loss. Transparent Labs cites a study where 2g of Choline administered daily led to a significant loss in body mass. However, Lean only contains 0.5g of Choline, so it’s unclear if such a small dose will produce similar results. 

different tl products

Regardless, we recommend being skeptical of any “fat-burning” ingredient like Choline, as the only way to genuinely lose weight is to eat in a consistent caloric deficit. 

1. What about Theobromine, Huperzine A and BioPerine®?

The final ingredients included in Lean are Theobromine, Huperzine A, and BioPerine. Theobromine and Huperzine A are both considered nootropics, and BioPerine is included to help improve nutrient absorption. Overall, it’s unlikely any of these ingredients will have any significant effects. 

2. What Sweetener is Used in LEAN?

As mentioned earlier, Transparent Labs uses all-natural ingredients in their formula. As a result, lean uses the popular natural sweetener, stevia. This makes any Transparent Labs pre-workout a good choice for anybody looking to avoid artificial sweeteners like sucralose. With this being said, it’s worth noting that stevia does have a strong aftertaste that may be offputting to some. 

What Else Should be Considered?

Beyond the ingredient breakdown, there are a few other things you should consider before buying Lean! These include third-party certification, flavor variety, and mineral content. 

1. LEAN Pre-Workout is Certified by Informed Choice

One major thing to consider whenever buying any supplement is whether or not it’s certified by a recognized third party. This will typically ensure a high level of quality in a supplement’s ingredients and manufacturing process. 

Lean, along with most other Transparent Labs supplements are certified by Informed Choice, which makes them a great choice for anybody concerned about the quality of their supplements. If you’re interested in learning more about Informed Choice’s testing process, you can learn more at their website here

2. We Have 9 Flavors to Choose From

Lean also comes in a solid 9 different flavors, so there should be at least one flavor that appeals to everybody. A few of the flavors include:

  • Strawberry Lemonade
  • Sour Grape
  • Fruit Punch
  • Cherry Splash 

3. 5 Minerals as Bonus Components

Finally, while they aren’t exactly active ingredients, Lean also contains a solid mix of 5 different minerals all dosed at over 100% of your DV. These include:

  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Chromium
  • Selenium

It’s worth noting that this likely won’t make a huge difference if you’re already getting enough of these minerals in your diet. However, if you do struggle to eat enough of these minerals in your diet, this may be a nice bonus!

supplement drink in shaker

If you’re concerned about your micronutrient intake, we recommend consulting your doctor and getting some blood work done to see if you’re deficient in anything. 

The Final Verdict on LEAN Pre-Workout

Overall, Lean would make a solid pre-workout choice for many people. It has solid doses of several active ingredients and good mild stimulation. However, be aware that most of its so-called “fat-burning” ingredients are unlikely to make any real difference in weight loss. 

With this being said, before giving our final verdict on Lean, we want to quickly point out Transparent Labs’ other pre-workout, Bulk

Transparent Labs BULK Pre-Workout

Transparent labs bulk pre workout
  • Serving Size: 1 scoop (21.2 g)
  • Servings per Container: 30
  • Calories Per Serving: 5
  • Betaine Anhydrous Per Serving: 2,500 mg
  • Taurine per serving: 1,300 mg
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafþór Júlíus BjörnssonPat LiPAULINA

On top of having slightly more stimulation at 200mg of caffeine instead of 180mg, Bulk also has higher, more effective doses of its active ingredients like Beta-Alanine Citrulline Malate, and Betaine. On top of all this, Bulk has slightly more flavor variety with 13 different options to choose from. Considering that these 2 products are the same price, we believe this may be a better choice for most people. 

tl bulk pre-workout

With this being said, if you’re interested in a slightly milder formula, then Lean may still be a good option!

For Whom can LEAN be an Ideal Pre-Workout?

Lean would be an ideal pre-workout for anybody interested in a mild pre-workout that still has a decent amount of caffeine per serving. It’s worth noting, however, that Lean’s purported “fat-burning” ingredients are unlikely to make any difference in weight loss.

While Lean is still a solid supplement, we do believe Transparent Labs’ Bulk pre-workout will suit more people because of its slightly higher stimulation and more effective doses of active ingredients. 

FAQ

What does Transparent Labs Lean do?

Transparent Labs Lean will provide mild stimulation through its moderate 180mg of caffeine, as well as some ergogenic effects related to endurance and fatigue through active ingredients like Citrulline, Betaine, and Beta-Alanine. While Lean does contain some “fat-burning” ingredients like L-Carnitine, it’s highly unlikely these will provide any benefit for weight loss. 

Does Transparent Labs Lean Have Caffeine?

Yes, Lean contains 180mg of caffeine per serving, which is fairly mild for a pre-workout supplement, but it may not be a good fit for everyone. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may want a milder or even stim-free supplement instead. However, if you’re used to pre-workout supplements, you’ll probably want something with slightly more caffeine. 

Does Transparent Labs Lean Break a Fast?

Transparent Labs Lean only contains 5 calories per serving, so the vast majority of people wouldn’t consider pre-workout as something that would break your fast. However, if you’re strict, you may believe consuming anything with calories counts as breaking your fast. Ultimately, whether Lean will break a fast comes down to your own guidelines for fasting. 

Does Transparent Labs Lean Have Creatine?

No, Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean pre-workout supplement does not contain any creatine, but this may end up being a good thing. 

Although creatine is a fantastic supplement that we recommend to almost everyone for its effects on performance, strength, and recovery, it does need to be taken every day for any results. If you get your creatine exclusively from a pre-workout supplement, it’s unlikely you’ll take it every day. So, you’re probably better off taking creatine on its own instead!

Conclusion

Transparent Labs Pre-Series Lean Pre-Workout is a solid supplement from a brand known for the quality of its products. It has a mild dose of caffeine and decent doses of its active ingredients. While it does also contain a “fat-burning” complex, it’s unlikely this supplement will have any effect on weight loss. 

While Lean is a decent pre-workout supplement, you may want to consider Transparent Labs’ other pre-workout, Bulk, as an alternative. Bulk has slightly higher caffeine and more effective doses of its ingredients, all for the exact same price as Lean. As a result, we believe it will be a better option for the majority of people. 

Still, if you want a milder pre-workout, Transparent Labs Lean is by no means a bad choice! We hope our Transparent Labs lean reviews can help you make a more informed decision!

Have you ever used pre-workout before, or are you looking to try it for the first time? Are you more interested in Lean or Bulk after reading our review? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  1. Wethington, L. N. “The Ergogenic Effects of Acute Citrulline Malate Supplementation on Weightlifting Performance in Trained Females.” Health, Human Performance and Recreation Undergraduate Honors Theses. (2016).
  2. McGonigle, B, et. al, “EFFECTS OF BETA-ALANINE ON ANAEROBIC PERFORMANCE,” International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 8: Iss. 8, Article 67. (2020).
  3. Apicella, Jenna M., “The Effect of Betaine Supplementation on Performance and Muscle Mechanisms” Master’s Theses. 109 (2011).
  4. C. Snoke, et. al, “EFFECTS OF ACUTE L-CARNITINE SUPPLEMENTATION DURING LOW-INTENSITY TREADMILL EXERCISE,” International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 8: Iss. 9, Article 15. (2021).
  5. William J Kraemer, et. al, “The effects of L-carnitine L-tartrate supplementation on hormonal responses to resistance exercise and recovery,.” J Strength Cond Res. Aug;17(3): 455-6 (2003).
  6. Department of Surgery, “Carnitine,” NYU Grossman School of Medicine, https://froemkelab.med.nyu.edu/surgery/content?ChunkIID=21450 (Accessed October 24, 2023)

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With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Camila Parente Santos

Author: Camila Parente Santos
Nutrition and Sport Nutritionist

Experience: 7 years

Camila has worked as a Nutritionist for 7 years. In addition to being a nutritionist, she is an amateur weightlifting athlete for 2 years. Camila has experience at Flamengo’s football base and in a food supplement company and currently provides services at a clinic. At the moment she is coursing a postgraduate study in Sports Nutrition.

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