6 Best Thermogenic Pre-Workouts in 2024

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko (Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition)

You may be asking, what is a thermogenic pre-workout? If you’re unfamiliar with thermogenics, they are products designed to supposedly increase metabolic rate, and use stored fat as an energy source. Pre-workouts frequently contain thermogenic ingredients  with the idea to help people lose weight/fat more effectively. If you’re looking for a supplement to help you shred fat while keeping as much muscle as possible, check out our list of the best thermogenic pre-workouts available.

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the Clean Burn by Kaged.


Clean Burn by Kaged is our top thermogenic pre-workout, offering three delicious flavors and a slightly higher caffeine content than its competitors, though its key ingredients require further research to confirm their weight loss benefits.

Our team of experts, consisting of professional athletes (including S&C movement architects, conditioners, PhDs in Sports Science, certified nutritionists, physical coaches with decades of combined experience, and more), conducted detailed testing on 15 thermogenic pre-workouts from different brands in order to create a concise selection of the best ones available. With more than 300 hours invested over a span of 7 months, each of the 15 thermogenic pre-workouts has been thoroughly tried, tested, and ranked on stimulation, ingredients breakdown, taste/flavor, nutrition label transparency, and value for money. The list of the 6 best thermogenic pre-workouts (below) is the result of the time and effort. We’ll keep this list updated as we discover and test more products.

6 Best Thermogenic Pre-Workouts

Top 6 Best Thermogenic Pre-Workouts Reviewed

ProductTotalStimulationIngredients BreakdownTaste/FlavorNutrition Label TransparencyValue for Money
Kaged47.59910109.5
C4 Ultimate® Shred471099109
ELIMINATE46.51099108.5
BURN-XT™ MAX46.59.58.59.5910
FAT BURNER46899.5109.5
Phoenix45999.598.5

1. Clean Burn by Kaged – Top Pick

Clean Burn

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavor: Orange Mango
  • Caffeine: 166mg
  • Special Ingredients: Apple Cider Vinegar Powder, L-Carnitine, Capsicum, Grains of Paradise
  • Package Information: 204g (30 Servings)
  • Serving: 6.8g
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Andrea Somer, Colt Nichols, Kris Gethin

Our Top pick pre-workout with thermogenics is Clean Burn by Kaged. Right off the bat, it’s worth mentioning this is a powder that comes in 3 nice flavors – orange mango, lemon drop and strawberry lemonade. 

In terms of ingredients it’s very similar to the some entries on our list. It features a slightly higher dose of caffeine than Transparent Labs at 166mg which can be enough if you already have or want to get a coffee (or both).

Let's talk about L-carnitine, capsaicin, and grains of paradise. While L-Carnitine has very little effect on fat loss - it can be a good thing for your recovery after training, especially in form used by KAGED - L-Carnitine L-Tartrate., Capsaicin and grains of paradise are slightly more promising – even though more research needs to be done to fully understand their benefits for weight loss.

The other major ingredient we can see is apple cider vinegar. Although it’s become popular in recent years for its purported weight loss benefits, there have not been any major studies conducted to confirm its value as a supplement for fat loss and it’s not recommended as a long term solution. Additional ingredients include guayusa, which have not been studied enough to draw any definitive conclusions.

Overall, while Kaged does have a solid, yet moderate dose of caffeine, most of its thermogenic ingredients need to be studied further to determine their value.

Clean Burn instagram

Photo by @kaged

What you can expect from this product is moderate stimulation (unless you are sensitive to caffeine) completely safe and backed up by science L-Carnitine L-tartrate which actually can have an indirect effect on your weight loss by helping you with recovery and possibly improving your workout performance. So Caffeine, LCLT, absolutely free from banned substances (which can be a thing with fat burners!), great taste, no hidden stuff and tbh really good price are reasons why it’s no 1. As you will see later, “fat-burners” are very controversial supplements so it’s good to stick to the basics.

47.5Expert Score

Clean Burn by Kaged provides safe stimulation with caffeine and L-Carnitine L-tartrate, supporting potential weight loss through enhanced recovery and workout performance, free from banned substances and at an affordable price.

Stimulation:
9
Ingredients Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
10
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Price/Quality:
9.5

Positives:

  • Moderate dose of caffeine

  • L-Carnitine L-tartrate is science backed ingredient

  • Free from banned substances!

  • Good value for money

  • Only supplement on our list with apple cider vinegar if this is what you’re looking for

Could be better:

  • Some people may prefer the simplicity of capsules over powder

2. C4 Ultimate® Shred – Runner-Up

C4 Ultimate® Shred

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best for: Muscular Strength, Muscular endurance, Reducing Fatigue, Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Icy Blue Razz, Lemon Italian Ice, Strawberry Watermelon
  • Caffeine: 300mg
  • Special Ingredients: Beta-Alanine, L-Citrulline, CapsiMax, Grains of Paradise
  • Package Information: 316g (20 servings)
  • Serving: 15.8g
  • Company Founded: 2002
  • Recommended by Athletes: Brittany Ann, Scott Mathison, Demi Bagby

Next up on our list is C4’s Ultimate Shred pre-workout. This is another pre-workout with thermogenic ingredients, and is very similar to Huge’s Eliminate, with just a few key differences.

First up, C4 has caffeine content, at 300mg per serving. Similar to Huge, it also contains the potentially thermogenic ingredients capsaicin, and grains of paradise.

Keep in mind that these may not have a major effect, as we covered in our section on Huge’s product. But if you're looking for a supplement with a thermogenic effect, the combination of a high dose of caffeine, the main thermogenic substance, and additional ingredients that can potentiate this effect is the most effective formula for success today.

C4 Ultimate® Shred instagram

Photo by @qsendall

Where C4 stands out is that it contains Beta-Alanine and L-Citrulline. These are some of the most widely studied and effective pre-workout ingredients aside from caffeine. Beta-Alanine is shown to increase power and reduce fatigue, while L-Citrulline has been shown to improve exercise capacity. With Beta-Alanine and L-Citrulline being some of the best ingredients for any pre-workout, they give C4 an added edge.

Keep in mind that this is also a flavored powder, so it is slightly more difficult to consume than a simple capsule – although the flavors may appeal to some. It is also significantly more expensive than Huge, coming at a similar price point for 33% less servings.

47Expert Score

C4 Ultimate® Shred packs a thermogenic punch with caffeine, capsaicin, and grains of paradise, boosted by Beta-Alanine and L-Citrulline for optimal performance, despite its higher cost and fewer servings compared to competitors.

Stimulation:
10
Ingredients Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Price/Quality:
9

Positives:

  • Solid caffeine content

  • Solid doses of well-researched ingredients, Beta-Alanine & L-Citrulline

  • Comes in 3 unique flavors

Could be better:

  • Fairly expensive product

  • Рigh dose of caffeine is not for everybody

ELIMINATE by HUGE

  • Item Form: Capsules
  • Best for: Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavor: Unflavored
  • Caffeine: 350mg (250mg Caffeine Anhydrous, 100mg Di-Caffeine Malate)
  • Special Ingredients: Capsimax, Grains of Paradise, Green Coffee Bean Extract
  • Package Information: 120 Capsules (30 Servings)
  • Serving: 4 Capsules
  • Company Founded: 2019
  • Recommended by Athletes: Matt Greggo, Tren Twins, Max Taylor

Let’s have a look on Huge Supplements Eliminate pre-workout. With 350mg of caffeine per serving, this offers some of the strongest stimulation on our list. This high caffeine content, along with the solid list of additional active ingredients make this product to be on our list of the best cutting pre-workout.

Right off the bat, it’s worth noting the thermogenic effects of caffeine, especially at such a high dose. Most likely it will be the most effective ingredient in all pre-workouts in terms of energy expenditure effect. One study in rats demonstrated that caffeine enhances non-exercise activity thermogenesis, as it increases the calories used during low-level physical activity. Also, caffeine not only increases exercise performance, but improves lipid metabolism as well, which will help burn stored fat as you exercise.

Keep in mind that you need to determine your sensitivity to caffeine at the beginning of supplementation. A good starting point is to start with half the recommended dose and only increase if it is well tolerated. The total dose of caffeine per day should not exceed 300-500 mg, so consider the caffeine content of other beverages throughout the day.

In terms of other potentially thermogenic ingredients, Eliminate also contains capsaicin, grains of paradise, and green coffee bean extract.

Capsaicin is controversial as a thermogenic ingredient, as some studies show that it is not effective at inducing thermogenesis, while others claim it plays a valuable role in promoting good metabolic health. Because of this conflict in the literature, we can’t say capsaicin is a fat-burner, it seems to have no effect on energy expenditure. There is some evidence that it can lower energy intake (maybe you will eat less basically) and help reach the kcal deficit but it will depend on the individual.

While Grains of Paradise are an ingredient similar to capsaicin, it does appear they have a thermogenic effect that increases overall energy expenditure when ingested. It’s worth mentioning, however, that there aren’t too many studies readily available to back this up and say how it will affect total daily energy expenditure or if it will make a significant difference for you….

Green coffee bean extract is also not definitively useful for burning fat, although there are some studies that have positive results.

Easily the most powerful thermogenic ingredient in Eliminate is its high caffeine dosage, which has earned this supplement spot on our list. The additional ingredients like capsaicin, grains of paradise, and green coffee bean extract, may also serve to provide a boost to the body’s energy expenditure and metabolic process.

46.5Expert Score

ELIMINATE by HUGE delivers potent stimulation through caffeine, alongside thermogenic ingredients such as capsaicin, grains of paradise, and green coffee bean extract.

Stimulation:
10
Ingredients Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Price/Quality:
8.5

Positives:

  • One of the highest caffeine doses on our list

  • Additional ingredients may be useful for fat-burning/inducing thermogenesis

  • You can save some money by subscription

Could be better:

  • 4 capsules is a fairly large serving size

  • Additional ingredients need further research to fully back up 

  • Such a high dose of caffeine is not for everybody, may be too much

BURN-XT™ MAX by Jacked Factory

  • Item Form: Capsules
  • Best for: Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavor: Unflavored
  • Caffeine: 250mg
  • Special Ingredients: L-Carnitine, Green Tea Extract, L-BAIBA
  • Package Information: 90 Capsules (30 Servings)
  • Serving: 3 Capsules
  • Company Founded: 2006
  • Recommended by Athletes: Morgan Mac, Mike Oliver, Bhuwan Chauhan

Next on our list is Jacked Factory’s Burn-XT Max pre-workouts. Another thermogenic fat burner pre-workout, this product is the first on our list that features the purported fat-burning ingredients green tea extract, L-BAIBA, and L-Carnitine. So, how do these ingredients compare to things like capsaicin, grains of paradise, and green coffee beans? Let’s find out!

Before we get into that, it’s worth noting that Jacked Factory’s product does offer a lower caffeine content than the last 2 products on our list. Although 250mg is still a solid dose, it doesn’t have that super high level of stimulation you’re going to get from C4 or Huge’s product. Can be a good option for those of you who like to drink more than one coffee a day.

For the thermogenic ingredients, similar to capsaicin and grains of paradise, there are some conflicting results surrounding green tea extract’s weight loss inducing properties. While the ingredient in some studies does appear to boost metabolic rate, it doesn’t appear to have major effects on weight loss.

BURN-XT™ MAX by Jacked Factory instagram

Moving on to the other ingredients, the results associated with them are fairly disappointing. While L-Carnitine does play a valuable role in the body’s ability to convert fat into energy, there is little evidence to show that supplementation improves this process, or has a significant (or any) effect on body weight/fat loss. Finally, while L-BAIBA also appears to play a valuable role in the body’s metabolic health, there is little research (mainly on rodents) done on the effects of supplementation. While it may be a useful thermogenic ingredient, it is currently unclear what the effects of supplementation are.

So, while the caffeine content of Jacked Factory’s product is solid, the only other ingredient that appears to have any researched effect on metabolic rate is green tea extract. Especially compared to other products on our list, Jacked Factory’s product likely won’t have as noticeable of a thermogenic effect. Especially with their claims of being “the best fat burner available”, their ingredients list doesn't give that impression.

46.5Expert Score

BURN-XT™ MAX by Jacked Factory includes green tea extract, L-BAIBA, and L-Carnitine for moderate stimulation with lower caffeine content, but its fat-burning effectiveness compared to other options remains uncertain.

Stimulation:
9.5
Ingredients Breakdown:
8.5
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Price/Quality:
10

Positives:

  • Solid caffeine content

  • Green tea extract will help with metabolism

  • Solid value for money

Could be better:

  • L-Carnitine and L-BAIBA aren’t research backed ingredients

  • Slightly misleading claims on the website (ie. “the best fat burner available”)

FAT BURNER by Transparent Labs

  • Item Form: Capsules
  • Best for: Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavor: Unflavored
  • Caffeine: 125mg
  • Special Ingredients: Green Tea Leaf Extract, L-Theanine, Capsimax
  • Package Information: 60 Capsules (30 Servings)
  • Serving: 2 Capsules
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafthor Bjornsson, Paul Sklar, Sean Harris

Next on our list of fat-burning pre-workouts, we have Transparent Labs Fat Burner, which is advertised as a metabolic booster and appetite suppressant. Let’s see if its ingredients list backs up these claims!

First up, at only 125mg of caffeine, this is the lowest stimulation pre-workout on our list. While this may seem like an obvious con, this does make Transparent Labs more suitable for caffeine sensitive individuals or coffee lovers.

FAT BURNER by Transparent Labs instagram

In terms of its other ingredients, the main “fat burners” include green tea leaf extract and capsaicin. As we’ve already covered capsaicin, both of these ingredients do show some  effects, but their distinct effect on fat loss is likely minimal.

This brings us to L-Theanine, which hasn’t been covered on this list yet. While L-Theanine does appear to have some valuable nootropic effects, inducing a state of “alert relaxation”, it doesn’t appear to have any thermogenic properties. The good thing about it is that it can be a nice addition if you want to take caffeine but are a bit sensitive - L-theanine can lower the side effects of caffeine.

Overall, Transparent Labs is a fairly standard fat burner, while it contains a moderate dose of caffeine, like most of the other products on our list, it’s made up of ingredients with a debatable effect on the body’s ability to lose fat.

46Expert Score

At 125mg of caffeine, this is the lowest stimulation pre-workout on our list. While this may seem like an obvious con, this does make Transparent Labs more suitable for caffeine sensitive individuals.

Stimulation:
8
Ingredients Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Price/Quality:
9.5

Positives:

  • Nootropic benefits of L-Theanine

  • Fairly priced

  • Low caffeine may be good for caffeine sensitive individuals

Could be better:

  • Lowest stimulation on our list

  • Fat burning ingredients need further research

Phoenix by Legion

  • Item Form: Capsules
  • Best for: Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavor: Unflavored
  • Caffeine: 200mg (Zero-stimulant option also available)
  • Special Ingredients: Grains of Paradise, Black Ginger, Caralluma Fimbriata, Forskolin
  • Package Information: 90 Capsules (30 Servings)
  • Serving: 3 Capsules
  • Company Founded: 2014
  • Recommended by Athletes: Gage Clark, Grant Tinsley, Machaela Brabham

Finally we’ll be covering Legion’s Phoenix pre-workout. This is the first pre-workout on our list that offers a completely stimulant-free option on top of their standard caffeinated product. For the caffeinated version, it falls right around the average for our list at 200mg per serving.

What’s special about Legion is that they link to dozens of different studies in order to back up all the ingredients the supplement includes. While Legion’s product features grains of paradise which we’ve already covered, many of its other ingredients are unique to this product on our list.

These include black ginger, forskolin, and caralluma fimbriata. It does appear like black ginger has a genuine effect on increasing energy expenditure, which may help with losing weight.

Forskolin also appears to have positive effects on controlling body fat levels, while caralluma fimbriata showed to have a positive effect on suppressing appetite, systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials show no significant changes. With many of these ingredients having very promising studies associated with them, Legion stands out as having a genuinely stacked ingredient list for a fat-burning pre-workout.

We really appreciate the company's approach to designing their product's formula so that their supplements include scientifically proven ingredients. Overall, this is one of the most research backed supplements on our list, with all its ingredients being linked to studies on Legion’s site.

At the same time, there is nothing outstanding about the formula itself compared to our top competitors. They also contain a lower caffeine content. It's a good choice that is suitable in most cases, but it doesn't increase the thermogenic effect. The other thermogenic ingredients don't stand out as being any more effective based on research.

Overall, it's an affordable and well-balanced product with excellent scientific backing, even if it's not the most effective on our list, it's a supplement that's worth trying.

44.5Expert Score

Legion’s Phoenix pre-workout this is the first pre-workout on our list that offers a completely stimulant-free option on top of their standard caffeinated product. For the caffeinated version, it falls right around the average for our list at 200mg per serving.

Stimulation:
8.5
Ingredients Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Price/Quality:
8.5

Positives:

  • Each ingredient is backed up by multiple studies

  • Good balance suitable for beginners

  • Stimulant-free option available

Could be better:

  • Some reviews suggest minimal noticeable effects when ingested

What are Thermogenics?

Before getting into thermogenics, we need to understand the process of thermogenesis.

Human thermogenesis is the process by which the body produces and regulates heat. It is essential for maintaining a stable internal body temperature.

The only source of heat production in the body is metabolism. During metabolism, the body converts nutrients from food (or stored fat), such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, into energy. This energy is then used to power various physiological processes and it produces heat as a byproduct. There are also other tissues like BAT whose primary function is thermoregulation. A take away is that the body has many ways to regulate our temperature.

Physical activities, such as exercise and movement, contribute to an increase in heat production. Muscles generate heat during contraction and movement, which elevates the body's temperature. The process of digesting, absorbing, and metabolizing food also generates heat. This is known as the thermic effect of food, and it accounts for a not that small portion of thermogenesis (significant enough to make a change when addressed properly).

Heat can also be produced in brown fat, or brown adipose tissue, a specialized type of fat that plays a significant role in thermogenesis. When activated, it burns calories and generates heat, helping to maintain body temperature, especially in infants and during exposure to cold temperatures.

So, with thermogenesis being the body’s ability to produce heat, thermogenics are specific ingredients meant to increase this effect in the body. The process involves consuming ingredients that stimulate thermogenesis, leading to a boosted metabolic rate, and ideally, weight loss. Because the end goal here is burning more calories than we intake/absorb, and losing weight, thermogenic ingredients are often referred to as “fat-burners” (even if this is somewhat misleading).

Some of the most common thermogenic ingredients we’ve covered in this list include caffeine, capsaicin and green tea extract. There are also several lesser known ingredients with potentially thermogenic effects including grains of paradise, black ginger, and forskolin.

It’s worth mentioning that thermogenics are not a magic solution for weight loss, which is why the term “fat-burner” is not especially accurate.

Thermogenics are not a substitute for diet and exercise. Although they may aid in weight loss by slightly boosting your body’s metabolism, they likely won’t have a significant enough effect to the point of noticeable weight loss without maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well. They should be used as little more than a tool to assist you on your weight loss journey, with diet and exercise always being your top priority.

The important information is that fat-burning and fat-loss are two different things. One is a process and the second one is a result. Just because You are burning fat, it won’t automatically mean you will lose fat at the end of the day. What you are looking for is a calorie deficit - this is what matters if the goal is weight loss. Next important information is that just because something is acutely raising your metabolic rate it doesn’t mean that it will automatically raise your Total Daily Energy Expenditure. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts in terms of weight loss and most likely it will be uncomfortable - but being healthy is ;-).

Oleksiy Torokhtiy Doing Clean

How do Pre-Workouts with Thermogenics differ from Regular Pre-Workouts?

It’s worth noting that the vast majority of pre-workouts contain thermogenics because of their main ingredient – caffeine. As we’ve already mentioned, caffeine is a powerful tool that improves metabolic rate, energy expenditure, and lipid metabolism. This is all not to mention that it will help give you more energy for your workout, leading to more calories being burned. Because most pre-workouts contain caffeine, most pre-workouts could be considered thermogenic.

However, is there much of a difference between a “fat-burning” pre-workout with additional thermogenic ingredients, and one that doesn’t have these ingredients?

The main difference will lie in ingredients like green tea extract, capsaicin, and grains of paradise, which have metabolic effects similar to caffeine (ie. improving metabolic rate, increasing energy expenditure). Ideally, the thermogenic effects of these ingredients will compound with the effects of caffeine leading to increased calorie expenditure.

Pre-workouts without additional thermogenic ingredients are not specifically targeted towards weight loss. However, this doesn’t mean they cannot effectively be used as dietary supplements as well. As we already mentioned, caffeine is likely the most effective thermogenic ingredient, making most pre-workouts suitable for stimulating thermogenesis. Ultimately, pre-workouts with additional thermogenic ingredients may provide a slight boost in the thermogenic effects you’ll be getting from caffeine.

The main issue here is that many of the studies focusing on thermogenic ingredients suggest moderate effects at best. For this reason, it’s difficult to say if they will have any noticeable effects on someone’s metabolism beyond caffeine’s impact. This means the difference between thermogenic and non-thermogenic pre-workouts is not a very big one. However, if you’re struggling to lose weight, it may be worth experimenting with additional thermogenic ingredients in your pre-workout. Just keep in mind that they likely won’t make a night and day difference in your weight loss journey. Basically if you are not losing weight you are not in a calorie deficit. You might be underestimating how much you’re consuming (which is quite often) or overestimating how many kcal you’re burning in a day (especially common with RMR calculators).

Lifting Over Head

How to find the best Thermogenic Pre-Workout?

If you’re interested in trying out a thermogenic pre-workout, there are several ingredients and factors you should keep an eye out for. These include caffeine content, as well as thermogenic and non-thermogenic ingredients, as well as the price of the supplement, and what form it comes in. 

1. Caffeine

One of the most potent thermogenic ingredients in any pre-workout, caffeine is the main active ingredient in most pre-workout supplements. Always check how much caffeine a pre-workout has before making a purchase. Some people are especially caffeine sensitive, and a pre-workout like Huge’s Eliminate with 300mg of caffeine per serving may be far too strong. We’ve provided a wide range of stimulation on our list, so you should be able to find a thermogenic pre-workout suitable for all different kinds of caffeine sensitivity.

2. Additional Thermogenic Ingredients (Capsaicin, Green Tea Extract, Grains of Paradise etc.)

Aside from caffeine, you’ll want to keep an eye on the different thermogenic ingredients found in your pre-workout. These include capsaicin, green tea extract, grains of paradise, and many more. All of these ingredients have slightly different effects, and their thermogenic properties have been researched to varying degrees. We recommend doing your own research to decide which ingredients seem the most promising and relevant to your individual goals. By understanding the purpose of different ingredients, you can make a more informed choice on which pre-workout is best for you. Although we don’t recommend them as a long-term solution, in the short term they are safe and maybe one of them will be effective for you.

Deadlifting

3. Additional Non-Thermogenic Ingredients (Beta-Alanine, L-Citrulline, etc.)

It’s worth noting that there’s more to an effective pre-workout than just thermogenic ingredients. Ingredients like beta-alanine and l-citrulline will likely have a more significant effect on your workout performance and results than the thermogenic ingredients covered above.

Beta-Alanine has been shown to improve power and recovery, while L-Citrulline helps improve endurance. With C4 Ultimate® Shred being the only product on our list that contains these science-backed active ingredients on top of its thermogenics, it’s a great overall pick. 

4. Value for Money

Of course, one of the most important things to consider when buying a thermogenic pre-workout is the value you’re getting for your money.

You can check the price per serving of each product by dividing the price by the number of servings in the bottle. The pre-workouts on our list range from 20 to 60 servings in each container, so be sure to check how much each serving costs before making a purchase.

You should also consider how much caffeine you’re getting, and how many other active ingredients the supplement contains. By doing your own research, you can ensure you’re getting a product that’s worth the price tag.

5. Capsules vs. Powder

Finally, it’s worth considering whether or not the pre-workout you’re buying comes in a capsuled or powdered form. Capsules will likely be easier to consume, especially if you’re not a fan of how pre-workout drinks taste.

However, some people will prefer mixing their pre-workout into a drink – especially if they’re craving something sweet on their cut. Ultimately, this is completely a matter of personal preference, so be sure to decide which type of pre-workout you prefer before making a purchase!

Doing Clean

Are Thermogenic Supplements Safe?

Yes! Out of all the thermogenic ingredients we’ve covered on this list, it doesn’t appear that there are any serious health concerns surrounding them.

With that being said, there are some potential health risks associated with consuming caffeine in excess. Some of the side effects associated with high doses of caffeine include insomnia, anxiety, and stomach upset.

Because most of the products on our list have high caffeine contents, we don’t recommend taking more than a single serving per day of any caffeinated pre-workout. Because caffeine may seriously disrupt your sleep, be sure you’re conscious of when you’re consuming pre-workout during the day.

Also, because many thermogenic pre-workouts are designed to aid with weight loss, there may be some risk associated with not eating enough while taking these supplements. It’s important to follow healthy practices when you’re trying to lose weight, and to not take any extreme measures to lose a few extra pounds.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you should still only be eating in a small caloric deficit. This will help you maintain more consistent progress, and ensure you’re not becoming deficient in any important nutrients. Consistency and smart decisions are key! You don’t need to be in deficit everyday, you might be even in some surplus every now and then, for example when you need it most. There is plenty of good (and bad as well unfortunately) information on how to approach it properly. Finding a good Sport Nutritionist can be very helpful in that process.

Remember that thermogenic supplements are not meal replacements! Be sure you’re using these supplements responsibly. This will ensure you don’t become nutrient deficient, or lose significant muscle on top of the fat you’re trying to burn.

How to take Thermogenic Pre-Workout?

For the best effects, we recommend taking pre-workout supplements around 30-60 minutes before your workout. This will give the caffeine enough time to have a noticeable effect on your workout. Whether you’re using a capsule or powder pre-workout, we recommend drinking 1-2 cups of water alongside the supplement as well.

Because most pre-workouts contain high levels of caffeine, it’s worth noting that you shouldn’t take them within several hours before going to bed. Caffeine can easily disrupt your sleep, which is an often neglected aspect of health and fitness. In order to maintain high-quality sleep, we recommend using pre-workout no less than 6 hours before bed, for caffeine-sensitive people, even longer.

Performing Before Exercise

FAQ

Is Pre-Workout Thermogenic?

Yes. Because most pre-workouts contain high amounts of caffeine – which is a thermogenic ingredient – most pre-workouts can be considered thermogenic. With this being said, pre-workouts may also contain additional thermogenic ingredients like green tea extract, and capsaicin, which may improve their thermogenic properties. 

Is C4 Pre-Workout a Fat Burner?

Movement is a fat burner ;-). It depends on which C4 pre-workout you’re looking at! C4 offers a wide range of different pre-workouts, and while their standard Sport pre-workout isn’t a fat burner, their Ultimate Shred pre-workout is covered on our list is!

Are Fat Burners Safe?

Yes, for the most part thermogenic ingredients or “fat burners” are safe if used in moderation to assist with your diet. The dangers lie in overusing these products in order to stay in a dangerously low caloric deficit. We recommend staying in a moderate caloric deficit to ensure you’re not becoming deficient in any important nutrients, or losing any muscle. Also watch your caffeine intake, excess can cause side effects.

Conclusion

Thermogenic pre-workouts can be a great tool to assist you on your weight-loss journey! Although they aren’t a miracle cure for fat-loss, when used in tandem with a good diet and exercise plan, they can help you get the best results possible. Our top pick for a thermogenic pre-workout is Clean Burn by Kaged, although all the products on our list have their own unique advantages.

Let us know if you end up trying any of the products on our list! We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Also read:

References:

  • exercise science research proposal posters // digitalcommons: https://digitalcommons.gardner-webb.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1137
  • Caffeine Enhances Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis in Rats // Kent: https://oaks.kent.edu/ugresearch/2016/2016all/125
  • Effects of caffeine ingestion on metabolism and exercise performance // Cas: https://bit.ly/3OHGaZZ
  • Effects of Capsaicin and Evodiamine Ingestion // digitalcommons: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol2/iss5/11/
  • Dietary capsaicin and its anti-obesity potency: from mechanism to clinical implications // NIH: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5426284/
  • Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) extract activates brown adipose tissue and increases whole-body energy expenditure in men // NIH: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23308394/
  • The Use of Green Coffee Extract as a Weight Loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials // NIH: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2943088/
  • EFFECTS OF BETA-ALANINE ON ANAEROBIC PERFORMANCE // digitalcommons: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol8/iss8/67/
  • l-Citrulline supplementation improves glucose and exercise tolerance in obese male mice // onlinelibrary: https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/EP088109
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  • The Use of Carnitine and Pyruvate in Weight Management // digitalcommons: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1882&context=honors
  • β-Aminoisobutyric Acid Induces Browning of White Fat and Hepatic β-Oxidation and Is Inversely Correlated with Cardiometabolic Risk Factors // harvard: https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/34222826
  • L-Theanine // huhs: https://www.huhs.edu/literature/L-Theanine.pdf
  • Apple cider vinegar for weight loss: Does it really work? // harvard: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/apple-cider-vinegar-diet-does-it-really-work-2018042513703
  • Kaempferia parviflora extract increases whole-body energy expenditure in humans // NCBI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25994142/
  • Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men // NCBI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16129715/
  • Effect of Caralluma fimbriata extract on appetite, food intake and anthropometry in adult Indian men and women // NCBI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17097761/
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  • Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers // sciencedirect: https://www.sciencedirect.com /science/article/abs/pii /S0002916523432868
  • Could capsaicinoids help to support weight management? A systematic review and meta-analysis of energy intake data // sciencedirect: https://sciencedirect.com/ science/article/abs/pii/ S0195666313004492
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Oleksandr Maksymenko

Sports Nutritionist, MSc

Experience: 7 years

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