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Our Picks for the Best Pre-Workouts for Weight Loss in 2024:

When it comes to weight loss, exercise can play a key role in helping you to get back in shape. That being said, workouts are often not easy, and occasionally we need that extra boost to get us to the gym and help us power through. That’s where pre-workout supplements come in. These supplements are designed to provide you with the energy, focus and endurance you need to maximize your workout potential, burn more calories and achieve your weight loss goals.

When choosing a pre-workout supplement for weight loss, it’s important to pay attention to the ingredients and their dosages. Look for powders that are calorie-free and contain ingredients like caffeine, green tea extract. beta-alanine, citrulline malate or carnitine. 

In this article, we are breaking down our top picks for the best pre-workout powders to help your weight loss journey. We will review the key ingredients and their dosage levels, nutrition facts, the different flavor options available and anything else you need to know to find the best product to suit your needs.

This content is meant to be informative, but should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention or treatment of health problems. Always speak with your doctor before starting any new supplement or exercise regimen.

Why I picked it:

Onnit’s Alpha BRAIN is a line of nootropic supplements that are formulated to improve your focus, memory and processing speed. Alpha BRAIN pre-workout is a combination of nootropics, amino acids and caffeine that are meant to give you both a cognitive and energy boost before your workout.

A unique feature that sets Alpha BRAIN pre-workout above the competitors is the amount of trademarked ingredients in the formula. Three of the active ingredients in Alpha BRAIN—Noogandha, Alphasize, Dynamine—are trademarked which means they’ve undergone independent clinical testing at their specific doses for safety and effectiveness. Noogandha is a concentrated ashwagandha extract that can reduce the effects of stress on your cognitive function, your physical body and your hormone balance when you take between 225 and 400 milligrams daily. Alpha BRAIN has 225 milligrams.

Dynamine works by blocking neurotransmitters that make you feel fatigue. This is similar to what caffeine does in your brain; however, studies suggest that Dynamine does not have the same negative side effects as caffeine like disrupted sleep or jitteriness. Another study showed that people who took 150 milligrams of caffeine paired with 100 milligrams of Dynamine had a higher performance boost than people who took 300 milligrams of caffeine alone. Alpha BRAIN has 200 milligrams of caffeine and 50 milligrams of Dynamine.

These ingredients together can give you more energy and focus during your workout, which can lead to more calories burned during and after your workout. Paired with a balanced diet, you should be on track to meet your weight loss goals.

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it

XWerks is a sports supplement company with a mission to optimize human performance and a product line that was designed with athletes in mind.

The Ignite pre-workout is unique because it contains less caffeine (150 milligrams) than most other pre-workout powders on the market and instead prioritizes nootropic ingredients like rhodiola rosea, DMAE bitartrate and L-tyrosine to enhance focus. This makes this product a great option for women who want to use a pre-workout as part of their weight loss program, but want to avoid the jitters and anxiety that can come with a highly caffeinated pre-workout powder designed for 200-pound-plus males. 

Ignite also includes all of the major ingredients you like to see in a pre-workout formula including L-citrulline malate and beta-alanine; however, I wish these were included in slightly higher dosage levels to match up with some of the other products that are available. This product definitely isn’t the strongest pre-workout on the market, but it still should be effective and is a great option for both male and female athletes who train using CrossFit, high intensity interval training or in endurance sports.

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it:

Pulse by Legion Athletics is a caffeine-free pre-workout that contains 14.4 grams per serving of the four active ingredients: citrulline malate, beta-alanine, alpha-GPC and betaine. These four combined work to boost muscle endurance, enhance strength, increase power and reduce fatigue without the adverse side effects of stimulants. Pulse contains no artificial substances, and every ingredient is derived from plants.

There are eight grams of citrulline malate per serving, which is an effective dose for reducing post-exercise soreness and enhancing athletic performance during high-intensity, short-duration exercise. One clinical study found that participants given six grams of citrulline malate for 16 days reported a significant reduction in fatigue and an increased production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), an immediate energy source during vigorous training.

This supplement has 3.6 grams of beta-alanine per serving which supports performance improvements and can increase lean muscle mass. There are also 2.5 grams of betaine per serving. In a clinical study by The University of Memphis, participants given 2.5 grams of betaine for 14 days saw an increase in total repetitions and volume load during strength training. The 300 milligrams of alpha-GPC per serving supports brain health and function to keep you focused and can increase hepatic fat oxidation to utilize stored fat for energy.

Pulse is well formulated for athletes who focus on endurance or strength training. It has everything the body needs to provide energy and focus and is an excellent caffeine-free pre-workout supplement before high-intensity activity.

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it:

Transparent Labs has built a brand around providing complete transparency with its products and never including any artificial ingredients like sweeteners, colors or flavors. Instead, Transparent Labs uses natural flavors, stevia extract for sweetness and both beet-root powder and beta-carotene for color.

The major active ingredients in BULK Black include 8,000 milligrams of citrulline malate, 4,000 milligrams of beta-alanine, 2,500 milligrams of betaine anhydrous and 305 milligrams of caffeine. In addition to the high-quality ingredients included at clinically effective dosages, every batch of supplements from Transparent Labs is tested by third-party labs and comes with a Certificate of Analysis and Composition available on the Transparent Labs website.

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it:

When it comes to supplement labels, it can be difficult to differentiate between synthetic and natural caffeine. Natural caffeine is extracted from sources like coffee beans, guarana seed or green tea whereas synthetic caffeine is chemically produced. Synthetic caffeine is more concentrated, which means it’s easier for your body to absorb. However, research shows that synthetic caffeine and natural caffeine give you the same effects like improved focus and an energy boost, although their side effects differ. Basically, natural caffeine tends to have less negative side effects like jitters or crashes.

EBOOST POW Natural Pre-Workout has 175 milligrams of natural caffeine sourced from coffee bean extract. That is about as much caffeine as two cups of coffee, so if you’re sensitive to caffeine you should be careful; otherwise 175 milligrams should not be enough to cause adverse effects.

Another unique ingredient in EBOOST POW is FruiteX-B. FruiteX-B is a patented form of calcium fructoborate, which research suggests can greatly reduce inflammation and joint pain while increasing joint flexibility for those with primary osteoarthritis. POW has 216 milligrams of FruiteX-B, which is about double the effective dose used in the clinical trials.

POW also has common pre-workout ingredients like CarnoSyn, a patented form of beta-alanine which can enhance muscle performance during strength training, 5-HTP which can help reduce anxiety, depression and insomnia and DMAE, which may play a role in balancing your mood hormones.

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it:

If you are searching for high-stim pre-workouts to give you a big energy jolt before going to the gym, then Legion Pulse may be what you’re looking for. Pulse has 350 milligrams of caffeine, which is pushing the 400 milligram daily limit that is considered safe. However, one serving of Pulse is two scoops, so if you’re worried how your body will react to that much caffeine, you can half it to start. A half serving would give you 175 milligrams of caffeine, which is still higher than some pre-workouts.

But caffeine isn’t the only ingredient that makes Pulse one of the strongest pre-workouts. The formula also has eight grams of L-citrulline malate, which is an amino acid that can help improve your muscular endurance and lower recovery time between sets when consumed at an eight-gram dose like Pulse contains.

Pulse also has 3.6 grams of beta-alanine, which can significantly improve your muscle’s oxygen intake, leading to less fatigue and greater strength. However, the 3.6 grams is just about half the six-gram dose used in the clinical trials to produce those results.

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it:

Onnit Alpha BRAIN Pre-Workout is unique on our pre-workout list because it isn’t high-stim—there are only 200 milligrams of caffeine. It also has common pre-workout ingredients like 2.4 grams of beta-alanine and 2.4 grams of L-citrulline, which are on the lower end of clinically effective doses. However, there are three ingredients that make Onnit Alpha BRAIN pre-workout an excellent choice for those looking for a boost in the gym: NooGandha, AlphaSize, and Dynamine.

NooGandha is a patented, concentrated ashwagandha extract that can reduce the effects of stress on your body, cognitive function and hormones. The clinically effective dose of NooGandha is between 225 and 400 milligrams daily. Alpha BRAIN has 225 milligrams.

Finally, Alpha BRAIN also contains Dynamine. Dynamine works as a substitute for caffeine because it has similar benefits like blocking neurotransmitters that make you tired. However, studies show that Dynamine doesn’t have the same side effects as caffeine like headache, jitters and insomnia. As such, the 50 milligrams of Dynamine in Alpha BRAIN function as an additional 50 milligrams of caffeine without the side effects.

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it:

XWerks Ignite is a good alternative to the common pre-workout formulas that are stimulant-heavy. Ignite does have 150 milligrams of caffeine, but that’s less than the amount of caffeine in two cups of coffee (27). Instead, Ignite focuses on Rhodiola rosea, which is a nootropic that may help reduce your muscle recovery time and improve your explosive output (26).

According to that same study, best results were seen when 500 milligrams of Rhodiola were given about a half hour before a workout, which is exactly the dose included in the Ignite formula.

Another key ingredient in this formula is DMAE (or Deanol), which XWerks claims can help improve cognitive function, though there are limited studies to support this. Other important ingredients include vitamins B6 and B12, which help make energy production efficient (28) and L-tyrosine, which is an amino acid that may boost cognitive function (29). Ignite contains two grams of L-tyrosine, which is only 33 percent of the most effective dose (six grams), but it’s still within the effective range.

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it:

Transparent Labs Stim-Free pre-workout is one of several pre-workout products offered by Transparent Labs. Obviously, this product is caffeine-free, but it does contain a variety of other ingredients to support performance, endurance and focus during training that make it a great addition to a weight loss program. Some of these key ingredients include beta-alanine, citrulline malate, betaine and taurine.

Stimulant-free pre-workout powder won’t directly help you lose weight, but it is a great option for individuals with weight loss goals because it won’t interfere with your normal sleep schedule. This is relevant because of the correlation between sleep quality and weight loss, with one study finding that better sleep was associated with greater weight and fat loss. If you train in the evening, then I would definitely consider trying out this product instead of a caffeinated pre-workout and seeing if your sleep improves.

What we love:

What to consider:

Why I picked it:

Athletes prioritize gains in muscle strength more than the average gym-goer, so their pre-workout needs to pack a punch. A single scoop of XWerks Ignite contains 150 milligrams of caffeine, three grams of L-citrulline, 1.5 grams of beta-alanine and two grams of L-tyrosine. Each serving provides the dosages scientifically recommended to provide real performance benefits in the gym.

The amount of caffeine per scoop is moderate, but effective; it’s unlikely to give you the jitters, but you should feel a boost of energy. The L-citrulline is a nitric oxide booster, so it increases blood flow to your muscles. Beta-alanine helps prevent muscle fatigue, and L-tyrosine improves muscle endurance.

What we love:

What to consider:

What Are Weight Loss Pre-Workouts?

There really aren’t many pre-workout powders on the market that are specific to weight loss. That being said, a powerful pre-workout can be an effective weight loss tool because it helps to support your weight loss goals. These supplements are formulated to increase your energy levels, focus and drive during training, which can help individuals work harder and therefore burn more calories and fat throughout their workouts.

Pre-workout supplements for weight loss are especially effective when you’re in a caloric deficit, meaning that you are burning more calories than you are consuming. While this is necessary for weight loss, it’s common to experience a decrease in energy levels during this caloric restriction. This is because your body is attempting to decrease its energy expenditure as a result of the lower caloric intake. This drop in energy may reduce your will to workout and can make it difficult to even want to drive to the gym, let alone work hard once you’re there. This is where a high-stim pre-workout supplement really shines. These highly caffeinated products can help to provide the energy and focus you need to still attack your workouts.

This combination of a healthy diet and exercise is a fantastic weight loss strategy and can not only help you lose weight, but also help maintain your weight loss once you have hit your target body weight. Some common ingredients you may want to look for in a pre-workout supplement for weight loss include caffeine, green tea extract, L-carnitine and possibly other stimulants like synephrine HCl, also known as bitter orange. These ingredients have potential metabolism boosting effects outside of allowing you to train harder in the gym.

Pre-Workout for Weight Loss Ingredients

Here is a list of the common pre-workout ingredients found in supplements designed for weight loss.


Caffeine is one of the most common ingredients found in pre-workout products to provide users with the energy boost they need during training. It can also be an effective weight loss tool for a variety of different reasons. The first is its ability to stimulate the central nervous system leading to improvements in focus, performance and endurance through a reduced perception of fatigue. This means that you will still have the energy and drive you need to power through your workouts. Additionally, when caffeine is consumed in a high enough dose, it can act as an appetite suppressant. This may help to reduce the total amount of calories consumed throughout the day and help to aid your weight loss endeavors.

Just remember that when you are consuming a highly caffeinated pre-workout, it’s important to monitor your total daily caffeine consumption, including the amount ingested through other dietary sources like coffee, tea and soda. The recommended daily allowance of caffeine for adults is 400 milligrams per day, and going above this limit may negatively impact the quality of your sleep.


Carnitine is an ingredient that’s commonly found in fat burner supplements and also sometimes included in pre-workout powders. It has been shown to help with weight loss by transporting excess body fat to our cells to be utilized as energy. A recent 2020 meta-analysis looked at 37 randomized controlled clinical trials and concluded that L-carnitine supplementation provided a modest reduction in body weight. They found that the combination of carnitine with a high-protein diet led to a substantial reduction in body fat through the preservation of lean muscle mass. This is due to the fact that when in a caloric deficit, the body must get the extra energy it needs through the utilization of excess energy stores such as body fat and muscle. A diet high in protein, along with L-carnitine supplementation, helps to prevent the breakdown of lean muscle in favor of using excess body fat for energy.

Green tea extract

Green tea extract contains a number of different beneficial compounds including caffeine, catechins such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), antioxidants and polyphenols. This ingredient has been shown to have a positive effect on both weight loss and weight management through increasing metabolism and helping to break down excess body fat for energy.

Synephrine HCl

Synephrine HCl is a stim ingredient commonly found in fat-burner supplements and pre-workout powders that became popular due to the 2004 ban on ephedra by the FDA. This is because synephrine has been shown to help increase metabolism and enhance fat oxidation. However, this ingredient’s similarity to ephedra has led it to some controversy, as it has been shown to have some potential negative side effects. If you have a heart condition or high blood pressure then you should consult with your primary healthcare provider before taking a supplement containing this ingredient. Also note that synephrine is a banned substance by the NCAA and not suitable for collegiate athletes.


L-tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that’s the precursor to the “feel good” hormone dopamine. Consuming L-tyrosine prior to a workout has been shown to improve feelings of well-being and result in a reduced sense of fatigue. Although we usually think of workouts as stress relieving, intense cardio and resistance training sessions put the body under a significant amount of strain. L-tyrosine can help alleviate some of these stressors and improve your workout potential.


Alpha-GPC is an ingredient that has been shown to improve both mental and physical performance at a dose of 200 milligrams. This is accomplished through alpha-GPC’s ability to prevent exercise induced reductions in acetylcholine levels, which is the brain’s primary neurotransmitter molecule.

How Does Pre-Workout Help With Weight Loss?

Pre-workout products can help with weight loss in several ways, including:

Increased metabolism

Many pre-workouts contain ingredients such as green tea extract, caffeine and synephrine which have been shown to increase thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the process of converting stored body fat into heat energy which helps to increase your caloric burn and potentially aid weight loss.

Appetite suppression

Some pre-workout products contain ingredients that can help to reduce appetite, such as caffeine and synephrine HCl. When you feel less hungry, you are less likely to overeat during meals and therefore may consume less calories throughout the day.

Enhanced fat oxidation

Fat oxidation is a fancy way of saying “the body is converting excess body fat into energy.” Pre-workout supplements that contain ingredients like L-carnitine can enhance fat oxidation by helping to transport fatty acids into cells to be used for energy. By increasing this fat utilization for energy, the body may be able to burn more calories throughout the day.

Improved focus

Many pre-workout supplements for weight loss include ingredients like alpha-GPC, tyrosine and choline that can help improve focus and mental drive. This can help individuals push harder in the gym and burn more calories during their workout.

Pre-Workout Precautions

Whenever you are looking to add a pre-workout supplement to your routine there are a few things you should consider. The first is that pre-workout supplements usually contain high levels of caffeine and other stimulants which can have potential side effects and risks. That’s why it’s important to always read the supplement facts label carefully and ensure you have an understanding of every ingredient and dosage level in the product. 

You also may want to start with a lower dose, such as a half-scoop serving size to assess your tolerance before consuming a full serving size. It’s also important to avoid taking these supplements close to your bed time because they can interfere with your sleep quality when taken within six to eight hours of going to sleep. If you do have any concerns about the safety and efficacy of a pre-workout supplement for weight loss, you can always speak with your primary healthcare provider to get their expert insight.

How to Choose the Best Weight Loss Pre-Workout for You

When choosing between several options, consider the following factors. 

Caffeine content

Pre-workout supplements usually contain somewhere between 150 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per serving. It’s important to assess your tolerance to stimulants and find a pre-workout powder that will give you the kick you need without the unwanted negative side effects of a high caffeine dose such as anxiety, jitters, headaches and insomnia. If you are unsure of how the high levels of caffeine will affect you, start with a low dose to see how you feel.


Many pre-workout powders contain artificial ingredients such as sweeteners like acesulfame potassium, sucralose and aspartame. If you prefer an all-natural pre-workout without artificial ingredients, then you should look for a powder that’s sweetened with stevia leaf or monk fruit extract.


Pre-workout supplements often come in a wide array of delicious flavors. It’s important to find one that you enjoy to maintain consistency when using the product. You may also want to avoid supplements with artificial flavors and opt for products that contain natural flavors only.

Other ingredients

Pre-workout powders are such a unique class of supplements because they can vary significantly in the number of and types of ingredients between brands. If you have weight loss goals, then it may be smart to choose pre-workouts that include ingredients like carnitine and green tea extract that can both aid fat loss and boost performance in the gym.

Customer reviews

It’s always smart to read a few customer reviews on the pre-workout supplement for weight loss you are considering using. These reviews often provide valuable insight into how the product worked for people, the results you can realistically expect from using the product and the best flavor options to try. If possible, read reviews both on and off the brand’s official website to get the best perspective.


Remember that the price point of a supplement does not necessarily reflect the quality or the effectiveness of the product. Never overspend on the purchase of a supplement and be sure to consider your specific needs, goals and budget in order to make an informed decision about which product will provide you with the highest amount of value. If you have weight loss goals, it’s far more important to prioritize a healthy diet, resistance exercise and quality sleep over a pre-workout powder.

What to Avoid in a Pre-Workout for Weight Loss

The main thing you would want to avoid in a pre-workout supplement for weight loss is extra calories. So, be sure to avoid any pre-workout powders that include carbohydrates for energy such as dextrose or maltodextrin. You may also want to avoid products with artificial ingredients such as sweeteners, flavors or colors that are commonly found in pre-workout powders. Finally, it’s important to choose a product that has the right amount of caffeine. If you are new to pre-workout powders, then you may want to avoid any supplements that have a caffeine dose higher than 250 milligrams per serving.

How We Chose the Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Weight Loss

We chose our list of the best pre-workout supplements for weight loss by reviewing a number of different factors, including the quality of the ingredients and their dosage levels, the supplement label transparency, customer reviews and the price point. We also take into account the company that manufactures the product and whether the supplement undergoes third-party testing. We do our best to ensure that the products we recommend are high-value, quality supplements that will work to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Learn more about our product review process.

Weight Loss Pre-Workout FAQs

Do pre-workouts burn fat?

Most pre-workout powders are not designed to inherently burn fat. However, they will give you the energy you need to push your workouts at the gym and increase your daily caloric burn.

Does creatine in a pre-workout help you lose weight?

No, creatine in a pre-workout will not help you lose weight. In fact, it may even make you gain weight because creatine increases the amount of water that’s held in the muscles. While this isn’t the same as gaining body fat and is completely safe, if weight loss is your primary goal then creatine might not be the best supplement option.

Takeaway: Are Pre-Workouts Worth It for Weight Loss?

Taking a pre-workout supplement during a weight loss phase may help you to achieve your health and fitness goals more quickly than with diet and exercise alone. However, these supplements are not specific for weight loss and won’t magically help to drop the numbers on the scale. What they can do is give you the kickstart you need to get to the gym and help you crush your workout when you get there. 

Expert Contributors

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.


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Pete Nastasi, certified sports nutrition coach


Pete Nastasi, the owner of Nastasi Nutrition, is a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach residing in North Carolina.