It’s that time of year again. Summer is approaching quickly and you want to look your best. That means you’re getting as ripped as you can.
You’re doing everything right but maybe you need an extra edge to help those pounds drop off a little faster. This is where a thermogenic pre-workout will be very helpful. You’ll still get all the benefits of a pre-workout but now you’ll get an extra fat loss kick.
Let’s find out what the best thermogenic pre-workouts are!
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
Quick Answer – Top 6 Best Thermogenic Pre-Workouts in 2020
- Ntel Nutra AREZ Super: God of the Gym Pre-Workout – The Best Overall
- MuscleTech Vapor X5 Ripped – Best Value
- Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean Pre-Workout – Best Natural Thermogenic Pre-Workout
- Cellucor C4 Ripped – Best For Caffeine Sensitive Users
- Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Shred – Best For Beginners
- Evlution Nutrition ENGN Shred – Best For Women
Reviews – The Best Thermogenic Pre-Workouts
1. Ntel Nutra AREZ Super: God of the Gym Pre-Workout – The Best Overall
Now, this is what I’m talking about! Ntel Nutra AREZ Super is everything a thermogenic pre-workout should be. It features a fully disclosed label, and (wait for it) it’s not underdosed.
There’s a 7.5g pump complex as well as a 4.3g endurance complex. Yes, it has a full 3.2g beta-alanine, so users will experience the short term itching effect. There’s also a 753mg energy complex that includes 325mg of caffeine, which is great for thermogenesis and energy.
There’s also 50mg of GBBgo, an interesting ingredient also known as “super carnitine”. GBBgo may help transport stored fat to be used as energy by the body. It also has thermogenic properties.
From here, there’s a 500mg focus complex. This is the most well-rounded formula on this list and the only one that’s dosed effectively across the board. Ntel Nutra AREZ Super: God of the Gym is the overall best thermogenic pre-workout.
- Fully Disclosed Label
- Effectively Dosed
- Complete, Balanced Formula
- Contains GBBgo, the “Super Carnitine”
- May Be Too Much Caffeine For Some Users
- Only 21 Servings
2. MuscleTech Vapor X5 Ripped – Best Value
Vapor X5 Ripped has a good looking, fully disclosed formula. It clearly lists the dosing for 1 and 2 scoops. You’ll need 2 scoops if you want clinical dosing. It’s a relatively simple formula with a 3 ingredient fat loss complex that includes C. canephora robusta, an ingredient that may support fat loss.
Additionally, Vapor X5 Ripped contains Yohimbe and a potent 300mg of caffeine at 2 scoops. Both of these ingredients stimulate thermogenesis.
One problem is that the description for this product claims that it includes creatine and betaine, yet those 2 ingredients are not on the label. They are dropped from the Ripped version in favor of the fat loss complex.
That changes the effectiveness of this pre-workout dramatically. It will be difficult for this product to help maintain size and strength without these 2 ingredients. That makes this a decent pre-workout, but not a top contender for maintaining muscle and strength.
Still, it’s a good thermogenic due to the combination of caffeine and Yohimbe when using 2 scoops.
- Speeds Metabolism
- Increased Energy
- Good Thermogenic Due To Caffeine & Yohimbe
- May Speed Your Heart Rate
- Two Scoops Required For Effective Dosing
3. Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean Pre-Workout – Best Natural Thermogenic Pre-Workout
PreSeries Lean Pre-Workout is a solid formula with exceptional label transparency. But it’s a little underdosed in several key ingredients. Take BCAAs for example. There’s just 2g of BCAAs. Really? Caffeine is a low 180mg but that’s somewhat offset by synephrine.
Another question mark is the high 360mg of theanine. This ingredient works well with caffeine and helps smooth out the harsh effects caffeine can cause.
However, caffeine is low dosed in this product, so there shouldn’t be a lot of harshness anyway. Not to mention, theanine promotes a relaxed state in the body. Yes, it does not cause drowsiness, but how relaxed do you want to be during a workout?
There’s also a 4-ingredient thyroid support complex. This is something many fat loss products overlook. Yet, the thyroid is called “the master of the metabolism” for a reason. A healthy thyroid means a properly functioning metabolism. While PreSeries Lean Pre-Workout is a good formula, it’s not the runaway best overall that’s typically expected from this brand.
Still, it is a completely natural, ultra-clean formula. That makes Transparent Labs PreSeries Lean good enough to be the best natural thermogenic pre-workout.
- Thyroid Support Complex
- Support Muscle With BCAAs
- Good Thermogenic Ingredients
- Some Ingredients Are Underdosed
- Not Enough Caffeine For Some Users
4. Cellucor C4 Ripped – Best For Caffeine Sensitive Users
Cellucor has done very well with their C4 line of pre-workouts. C4 Ripped is yet another spin-off of the original C4. C4 Ripped supports fat loss thanks to extra ingredients such as l-carnitine tartrate, green coffee bean extract, capsimax cayenne, and coleus forskohlii root. This combination promotes thermogenesis for faster fat loss.
The downside to C4 Ripped is that most of this formula is in two prop blends. The other downside is that the entire formula is underdosed. If you’re new to pre-workouts or haven’t used one in a long time, the standard dosing in C4 Ripped may be OK.
However, you’ll need to switch to more effective dosing after a few workouts. Of course, you can double-scoop it, but should you really have to? Why not just dose it right in the first place?
Still, with just 150mg caffeine per serving, Cellucor C4 Ripped is the best thermogenic pre-workout for users that are sensitive to high amounts of caffeine.
- Good Beginner Pre-Workout
- Low Caffeine For Sensitive Users
- Wide Availability
- Two Prop Blends
- Underdosed Across The Board
5. Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Shred – Best For Beginners
The good news is that Nitrosurge Shred features a fully disclosed label. However, this is another underdosed formula. It’s simple enough with only 6 ingredients plus black pepper extract for better absorption. Yet, every ingredient is dosed too low.
As we’ve said before, this may be good for beginners, those coming back to a pre-workout after a lay-off, or caffeine-sensitive users. For anyone else, you’ll want to double scoop this product if you want real dosages.
Some users complain about the flushing/itching of beta-alanine. It’s temporary and harmless. Man up and drink a glass of water. You’ll want the full clinical dose if you want better endurance in the gym.
Overall, Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Shred is a decent thermogenic with carnitine and caffeine as the primary fat loss ingredients. The fully disclosed label makes it the best thermogenic pre-workout for beginners.
- Fully Disclosed Label
- Good For Beginners
- Low Caffeine For Sensitive Users
- Underdosed Across The Board
- Two Scoops Required For Decent Dosages
6. Evlution Nutrition ENGN Shred – Best For Women
Evlution ENGN Shred is an extremely popular thermogenic pre-workout for good reason. It has a great fat loss complex that consists of cla, carnitine, coleus forskohlii, capsimax, and yohimbe. Not to mention, there’s also 260mg of caffeine and a nice 2g focus blend. It’s also good to see at least some fully disclosed ingredients.
Now the downside. There are no pump ingredients. That may not matter to some users but if that’s important to you, you’ll need to buy a separate pump product.
Also, it has 2 prop blends, one of which woefully underdosed. The entire fat loss complex could be dosed higher, yet the amount of caffeine won’t allow you to double scoop it.
Still, it’s perfectly dosed for female users. For that reason, Evlution Nutrition ENGN Shred is the best thermogenic pre-workout for women.
- Good Fat Loss Complex
- Natural Caffeine
- Improves Focus
- 2 Prop Blends
- May Be Too Much Caffeine For Some Users
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Thermogenic Pre-Workout?
Thermogenesis can be defined as the use of calories to produce heat in the body. This is a metabolic process that helps maintain body temperature. (1) Supplement ingredients that stimulate the metabolism are considered thermogenic and are thought to help the body burn fat.
What Is A Thermogenic Pre-Workout?
Thermogenic pre-workouts include everything you expect from a typical pre-workout. They also include thermogenic and other fat loss ingredients. (2) They are a subcategory of pre-workout meant to help the user lose fat and achieve a lean physique.
How Are Thermogenic Pre-Workouts Different From Regular Pre-Workouts?
A good pre-workout needs to contain ingredients to support energy, focus, pumps, and performance. You should expect beta-alanine and pump enhancers such as citrulline. You should also expect a focus complex. A thermogenic pre-workout should contain all of these and also include a thermogenic/fat loss ingredient or complex.
How To Choose A Thermogenic Pre-Workout
The most important thing to look for in a good thermogenic pre-workout is a balanced formula. You still want everything a good pre-workout offers but with ingredients that can help you achieve your fat loss goals. Avoid any products that only zero in on one aspect, such as energy, at the cost of pumps and performance. You should also use a product that’s well dosed with a fully disclosed label.
Ingredients You Should Look For In A Thermogenic Pre-Workout
This is the most popular stimulant on the planet. Caffeine will increase energy, alertness, and focus. It will also stimulate thermogenesis and improve performance. (3, 4) Caffeine can have some harsh effects at higher dosages. These effects include jitters and the dreaded “crash”. Make sure you choose a thermogenic pre-workout that has a dose you can handle. Also, some products add theanine, which helps temper the effects of caffeine.
This ingredient is better known as cayenne peppers. It’s what makes peppers hot. And it also stimulates thermogenesis. Additionally, capsaicin is thought to help decrease appetite. (5)
L-Carnitine is synthesized from lysine and methionine, which are two essential amino acids. It helps transport fatty acids to the cells to be used as energy by the body. Although it’s a popular ingredient, the jury is still out on its effectiveness. (6) You will find more than one form of carnitine in thermogenic pre-workout formulas. These forms include acetyl-l-carnitine, which has cognitive benefits, and l-carnitine-l-tartrate, which provides performance benefits.
This is a trademarked ingredient that is considered to be a “super carnitine”. What is it? GBB converts into carnitine in the body and, as a supplement ingredient, appears to have a thermogenic effect. It also provides the same fatty acid transport benefits of regular carnitine. (7)
This comes from the bark of the Yohimbe tree in South Africa. It helps increase levels of the hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine. This helps the body burn more fat and control hunger. Yohimbe is also thought to have thermogenic properties. (8)
Also known as bitter orange, this ingredient was the original replacement for ephedra and is considered to have similar but more mild effects. These effects include energy, focus, thermogenesis, and hunger control. (9)
This is not a thermogenic ingredient but can still be found in some pre-workouts. CLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that has been shown to support fat loss as well as help maintain muscle mass while on a reduced-calorie diet. (10)
The Best Time To Use A Thermogenic Pre-Workout
Questions such as when to take a thermogenic pre-workout have pretty obvious answers. You take it before your workout! Of course, follow label directions and don’t use a high-stim pre-workout too late in the day so you can sleep at night.
Should I Cycle My Thermogenic Pre-Workout?
The only real reason to cycle any pre-workout is to give your body a break from the stimulants. Tolerance to the stims tends to build up with any pre-workout you use. The solution to this is to either cycle 3-4 favorite pre-workouts or alternate a stim-based with a non-stim-based pre-workout.
Tips To Get The Best Results From A Thermogenic Pre-Workout
If you’re using a thermogenic pre-workout, fat loss is at the top of your list of goals. It should be understood that the primary keys to fat loss success are in your diet and activity levels. Some form of cardio should be incorporated to get the best results. Anything from brisk walking sessions to full-bore HIIT Interval cardio is a good choice. The other key is nutrition. First off, let’s be clear. We’re talking fat loss, not weight loss. There’s a big difference between these two terms. Fat loss is losing excess body fat. Weight loss means you’re also losing muscle. Think fat loss while maintaining muscle. This means cardio combined with some type of resistance training.
Secondly, make healthy nutritional changes you can live with. Notice I did not say go on a “diet”. Again, there’s a difference. A “diet” implies some fast fad approach to “weight” loss. It also implies you’ll go off the diet at some point. Healthy changes mean you can eat that way as long as you need to, even if it’s years. Think high protein, low sugar, carb-cycling, and a moderate intake of healthy fats.
As you can see, there are some great thermogenic pre-workouts currently on the market. Our pick for the best overall thermogenic pre-workout is Ntel Nutra AREZ Super: God of the Gym Pre-Workout. This is hands down one of the best pre-workouts you can buy. It has a fully disclosed, clinically dosed, well-balanced formula that includes GBBgo as part of a strong energy/thermogenic complex.
Don’t want something quite so potent? Cellucor C4 Ripped is the best thermogenic for users that prefer a low amount of caffeine. How’s 150mg sound?
If you’re a beginner and have never used a pre-workout, Jacked Factory Nitrosurge Shred is the best thermogenic pre-workout for you. With just 6 ingredients and moderate dosing, it’s a great place for a beginner to start.
Even though this is not really a large subcategory of pre-workout just yet, there’s a choice here for everyone. Happy Training!
- Belza, A., Frandsen, E., & Kondrup, J. (2007, January). Body fat loss achieved by stimulation of thermogenesis by a combination of bioactive food ingredients: a placebo-controlled, double-blind 8-week intervention in obese subjects. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16652130
- Astrup, A, et al; “Caffeine: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of its thermogenic, metabolic, and cardiovascular effects in healthy volunteers”; Am J Clin Nutr; 51(5):759-67; 1990; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2333832
- Harpaz, E., Tamir, S., Weinstein, A., & Weinstein, Y. (2017, January 1). The effect of caffeine on energy balance. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27824614
- Tremblay, A., Arguin, H., & Panahi, S. (2016, August). Capsaicinoids: a spicy solution to the management of obesity? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26686003
- Sheen, A. (2016, May 10). LeanGBB® replacement of L-Carnitine. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/AlexSheen3/leangbb-replacement-of-lcarnitine
- Ostojic, S. M. (2006). Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17214405
- Stohs, S. J. (2017, October). Safety, Efficacy, and Mechanistic Studies Regarding Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange) Extract and p-Synephrine. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28752649
- Blankson, H., Stakkestad, J. A., Fagertun, H., Thom, E., Wadstein, J., & Gudmundsen, O. (2000, December). Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat mass in overweight and obese humans. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11110851