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Pre workout gives you that extra boost you need to make the most of your training. It can also be a useful tool if you’re cutting, but with the variety of options available, it’s hard to know which one is right for you.
So what is the best pre workout supplement for weight loss? As someone who struggles with weight loss, I’m going to take an in-depth look at the top options and give you our honest opinion about each.
What Is Pre Workout?
If you’re new to this supplement, it’s helpful to understand what it does before deciding to try it. Pre workout is a powder supplement that gives you a boost of energy so that you can work out more intensely and for more extended periods. It also sharpens your focus, helps you to build muscle, and increases your metabolism.
Since we’re discussing pre workout for weight loss, this article and the products reviewed will focus on a specific subset: thermogenic pre workout.
What Is Thermogenic Pre Workout?
Thermogenic pre workout is quite similar to the standard kind, but we can talk about one critical difference between the two. The thermogenic varieties contain additional ingredients to help boost your metabolism through thermogenesis.
What Is Thermogenesis?
The word thermogenic means “heat-producing.” And when we talk about thermogenesis, we’re merely referring to creating heat through metabolism.
Did you know that our bodies burn from 800 up to 1000 calories per day to maintain body heat? This number can fluctuate according to season. In the winter, for example, our bodies typically burn more calories to keep us warm, leading to an increased calorie demand. This increased calorie requirement is why we tend to feel hungrier in winter.
Why is this important? Because if we can increase thermogenesis, we can improve our metabolism. Certain foods naturally speed up thermogenesis. So do specific supplements—such as a thermogenic pre workout, which makes eating those foods or taking those supplements a good idea if we’re trying to lose weight.
Thermogenic Pre Workout vs. Other Pre Workout
What are the practical differences between regular pre workout and thermogenic pre workout? Here’s a quick overview of the main properties of each.
- Allows for quicker recovery
- Diminishes protein breakdown
- Includes BCAAs and beta-alanine
- Promotes muscle gain
Thermogenic Pre Workout
- Less of an emphasis on muscle gain
- Contains less caffeine
- Contains less BCAAs
- Aims to stimulate metabolism, as well as calorie burn
- Helps with appetite control
You’ll notice that thermogenic pre workout’s characteristics are slightly different and better suited to fat loss.
When Should You Take Thermogenic Pre Workout?
Knowing when to take pre workout is vital to ensuring the best results. As a general rule, you should take it thirty minutes before you plan to work out to maximize its benefits. But be careful if you exercise in the evening. Most pre workouts contain caffeine, so you should avoid taking them within five hours of when you plan to go to sleep.
Additionally, you can take pre workout on rest days thirty minutes after you wake up.
Achieving the Best Results from Thermogenic Pre Workout
Thermogenics speed up your metabolism. This fact is why we recommend taking pre workout even when you’re not hitting the gym because it can help burn more calories throughout the day. And when you do work out, pre workout boosts your metabolism both during the exercise and after—but why?
Despite having completed the session, your body continues to burn calories. How many are dependent upon the kind of exercise you’ve done. This effect is less if you’ve done cardio than if you just finished weightlifting, for example. Here’s how to maximize results while taking thermogenic pre workout:
- Focus on weight training
- Increase the length of your sessions
- Increase the intensity of workouts
The Best Pre Workout Supplement for Weight Loss
Now that you’re up to speed on the basics of thermogenic pre workouts, it’s time for our top picks. We reviewed the highest performers on the market and will declare a winner at the end.
We’ll kick things off with this heavy hitter from Evlution, which also comes in a women’s version. Both supplements are highly popular and formulated with ingredients that target fat loss, though they still provide the energy benefits that standard pre workouts do.
ENGN Shred includes 260 milligrams of caffeine, which is a thermogenic supplement. It also contains cayenne, l-carnitine l-tartrate, red pepper, Coleus forskohlii extract, and conjugated linoleic acid. All of these ingredients boost metabolism through thermogenesis. We like the addition of vitamin B and huperzine A to help with focus.
- Ample amount of thermogenic ingredients linked to fat loss
- Excellent taste
- Highly soluble
- Improves focus
- Sweet taste
- High caffeine content
Next up is Cellucor, another highly popular pre workout that’s a spinoff of Cellucor’s regular version. This one, however, includes ingredients that target weight loss: l-carnitine tartrate, green coffee bean extract, Capsicum cayenne, and Coleus forskohlii root extract. It’s also got 150 grams of caffeine to make you feel like the energizer bunny when you step foot in the gym.
This pre workout is creatine free, so you don’t have to be concerned about bloating, and its flavors are delicious. Cellucor’s formula is mostly a stimulant, so be warned that it may cause itchiness. Some users complain that it wears off too quickly.
- Provides substantial pump
- Aids weight loss
- Gives you focus
- Includes extra vitamins and antioxidants
- Caffeine content may be too intense for some people
- Can cause a tingly sensation
- Wears off quickly
This supplement by MuscleTech is somewhere between a pre workout and a thermogenic, but it’s probably closer to a pre workout. It contains Yohimbe, which is one of the main fat loss supplements in the formula. Though it provides less of a cutting benefit, we do like how it gives an energy boost without the jitters or crashing afterward.
Some people might not like this pre workout because it contains creatine. Creatine can cause bloating, so it’s not always a desirable ingredient in this type of supplement. Still, this product is worth mentioning because it’s a hybrid that can work for people who get too jittery with other pre workouts.
- The unique blend of ingredients makes for a great hybrid product
- Improves focus
- Increases metabolism
- Contains creatine
NitroSurge Shred includes 190 grams of caffeine, as well as theobromine. Its effect on the central nervous system is not as strong as other pre workouts with higher caffeine content. However, this formula will boost your mood and make you feel more alert.
NitroSurge Shred contains thermogenics, ingredients to improve power and strength, and l-citrulline to enhance nitric oxide production. It’s a great option if you’re sensitive to caffeine.
It does have some downsides. NitroSurge is not the most soluble pre workout, and it may cause some itchiness. Further, it doesn’t have any vitamins, which help with energy release and to reduce fatigue.
- No jitters
- Reasonable price
- No proprietary blend
- Might cause itchiness
- The formula could be improved to mix a bit better
- No added vitamins
Last up on our list is the Six Star Explosion Ripped Pre Workout. Out of all the supplements listed, this one is the most bare-bones type of pre workout. It’s not as well known or as powerful as other supplements on this list, but it’s worth mentioning for one vital reason. If you’re new to pre workout, Six Star Explosion could be a great introduction.
It’s suitable for newbies because it’s got just a few ingredients, and the only thermogenics are caffeine and l-carnitine. The doses are lower than in comparable supplements, so you won’t crash or get jittery, but you may need to take an extra dose to see the effects. It also has an excellent amino acid profile, which is beneficial for weightlifters.
- Low price
- Excellent taste
- Clean energy
- No crash
- May require two doses to see effects
- Doesn’t provide a lot of benefits that similar products do
Top Pick for Pre Workout Supplement for Weight Loss
After reviewing all of these thermogenic pre workouts, it’s time to declare a winner. Evlution Nutrition ENGN Shred is my top pick for the best pre workout supplement for weight loss. Though the other options in my review are all excellent in their own right, Evlution’s pre workout topped the list for several reasons.
I feel that this product provides the most weight loss benefits, while still offering what users love in pre workout—that boost of energy and focus needed to make it through a tough session. Users love the taste and how easy it is to mix this formula. Additionally, Evlution offers a version of this pre workout tailored specifically to women, which I like.
Overall, after researching the products, I’m not surprised to see how popular it is with other users and in the fitness world. In my opinion, Evlutin offers the best value for money.