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Best Fat Burning Pre-Workout Powders

By Brian Grant PT, DPT, CSCS

Each year, almost 50% of Americans attempt to lose weight.¹

Sadly, the research clearly shows that most are unsuccessful in the fat-burning voyage. What’s more, even for those successful in shedding some pounds, it typically only takes 2 years to regain over half of the weight they lost.²

Now, if you’re reading this article, you probably aren’t the typical person who’s “let yourself go” for years on end. Staying healthy and strong is likely something you take quite seriously. However, regardless of your commitment to the gym, the fact remains that gaining muscle and dropping pounds of fat is never easy. In fact, there’s a strong case that for those already doing the right things (exercising regularly, eating a high-protein diet, etc.) the job is even more challenging. There’s simply less room for error. 

Whether you’re a world-renowned bodybuilder like our very own Sadik Hadzovic, an avid distance runner, or a weekend warrior, at some point in time, cutting a few pounds will be paramount for competitive and/or general health reasons.

Fat Burning Pre-Workout Tips

In order to trim fat without losing precious muscle along the way, several variables must be in place.

  1. Eating fewer calories than you burn each day
  2. An appropriate strength training regimen
  3. Adequate sleep

There are simply no substitutes for these three pillars.

What’s also important is ensuring supplementation sets the table for success. For precisely this purpose, Cellucor has crafted three pre-workout formulas designed specifically for performance and fat loss.

The research is clear that certain supplements can expedite the fat loss process. What’s more, many of these same ingredients double as performance enhancers, validating the needs for both sides of the aesthetic coin. Now, let’s  get into it. What are these ingredients, and why are they so efficacious?

Fat Loss Ingredients in Pre Workout


Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning your body’s energy dial is turned up from its consumption. This manifests as many things, including increased alertness, wakefulness and perhaps most desirably, an increased basal metabolic rate (BMR). 

BMR is the number of calories your body burns simply to keep you functioning. Recent research³ has shown that modest amounts of caffeine can increase your BMR by about 10% with larger doses perhaps causing larger increases. 

In regard to daily consumption, the FDA recommends no more than 400 mg of caffeine to be consumed within a 24 hour period. 

If you’re looking for a lighter caffeine dose in your fat-burning pre-workout, C4 Ripped Sport contains 135mg. For moderate levels – C4 Ripped contains 150mg, followed by the ultimate dose of 300mg caffeine in C4 Ultimate Shred.



Capsimax®is a premium form of cayenne extract that is found in C4 Ripped and C4 Ultimate Shred. This unique ingredient helps promote lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and thermogenesis (increased heat production). Two scoops of C4 Ripped contains the amount of Capsimax® that will burn as many calories as running one mile. One scoop of C4 Ultimate Shred contains the same dose. 

Green Tea Extract 

Often steeped in hot water and drunk as a beverage, green tea is a plant rich in antioxidants called catechins. These antioxidants have numerous health benefits including increased insulin sensitivity, decreased blood pressure and improved cognition, just to name a few. Not to mention, green tea has been used for centuries in the battle against unhealthy weight gain⁶. 

As it relates to fat loss, a 2011 meta-analysis⁶ examined six different research articles and concluded green tea had a profound effect on BMR. What’s more, when combined with caffeine, green tea has further potential to oxidize (break down) fatty tissue. Win-win. You can find green tea extract as part of the ultimate shred and thermogenic matrix in C4 Ultimate Shred.


A compound often found in meat, L-carnitine is a chemical also produced naturally by the body. In addition to several positive outcomes such as improved insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and inflammation, L-carnitine's main function is to draw fat molecules into your cells to be burned as fuel. 

Of course, fat oxidation is always on the menu for athletes looking to stay lean and healthy. A 2016 review by Pooyandjoo et al⁷ analyzed 7 studies looking at carnitine supplementation versus placebo for the sake of weight loss. Study durations varied between 1-12 months, and it was consistently reported that subjects lost weight while supplementing with L-carnitine. Importantly, this trend held strong for both obese and non-obese participants. You can find L-Carnitine in C4 Ripped and C4 Ripped Sport.

Performance Ingredients in Pre Workout

Beta Alanine 

Beta alanine is a chemical whose primary role is to buffer acid accumulation within working muscles8. Without getting too far into the weeds, acid accumulation fatigues muscles, especially fast-twitch muscles, during high-intensity exercise. 

In a meta-analysis by Hobson et al.8, eighteen studies were analyzed, each comparing beta-alanine with placebo during high-intensity exercise. The authors concluded that for intense exercise bouts lasting 1-4 minutes in duration, such as longer working sets in the gym, beta-alanine promoted superior performance. C4 Ripped, C4 Ripped Sport, and C4 Ultimate Shred all contain CarnoSyn®, the world’s most premium and studied form of beta-alanine.


Citrulline Malate 

Citrulline malate (CM) is a non-essential amino acid and a biological precursor to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide naturally dilates the blood vessels, contributing to the all-too-wonderful “pump” feeling only harnessed through heavy weightlifting. 

A recent meta-analysis⁹ compiled data from eight different studies, each looking at performance across a broad landscape of upper and lower-body resistance exercises either with or without CM supplementation. Subjects who supplemented with CM prior to exercise completed about 6% more repetitions across sets than did their placebo counterparts leading researchers to the conclusions that supplementing with CM prior to exercise effectively delays muscular fatigue and promotes muscular endurance during high-intensity strength training. If you’re looking to truly experience the power of the pump from citrulline malate, C4 Ultimate Shred contains a massive 6g dose in every serving!


Which Fat Burning Pre-Workout Is For You?

C4 RippedThe original pre-workout product geared toward performance and fat loss, C4 Ripped employs a strong combination of caffeine, beta alanine and L-carnitine to power explosive workouts while aiding an athlete’s fat loss ambitions.*


C4 Ripped Sport: An NSF Certified for Sport fat burning pre-workout. Making C4 Ripped Sport different is the introduction of both citrulline malate and an evolutionary fat-loss formula including L-carnitine, conjugated linoleic acid and a lighter amount of caffeine resulting in a best-in-class pre-workout that can help give you what you need to perform your best.*

C4 Ripped SuperSport: supercharged to help drive performance & fat burning. With ingredients to support energy, fat burning, hydration, and increased metabolic rate, C4 Ripped SuperSport™ helps you reach your goals. 

C4 Ultimate ShredC4 Ultimate Shred stands alone atop the fat loss and performance mountaintops. In each and every serving, a nearly 10-gram performance blend of citrulline malate and beta-alanine is accompanied by the fat-burning potential of green tea extract and caffeine to maximize your hard work in and out of the gym.*


  1. Martin, C. B., Herrick, K. A., Sarafrazi, N., & Ogden, C. L. (2018). Attempts to lose weight among adults in the United States, 2013-2016. US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics.
  2. Hall, K. D., & Kahan, S. (2018). Maintenance of lost weight and long-term management of obesity. Medical Clinics, 102(1), 183-197.
  3. Dulloo, A. G., Geissler, C. A., Horton, T., Collins, A., & Miller, D. S. (1989). Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 49(1), 44-50.
  4. Helms ER, Aragon AA, Fitschen PJ. Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2014;11(1).
  5. Turnbull D, Rodricks JV, Mariano GF, Chowdhury F. Caffeine and cardiovascular health. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2017;89:165-185.
  6. Hursel, R., Viechtbauer, W., Dulloo, A. G., Tremblay, A., Tappy, L., Rumpler, W., & Westerterp‐Plantenga, M. S. (2011). The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: a meta‐analysis. Obesity reviews, 12(7), e573-e581.
  7. Pooyandjoo, M., Nouhi, M., Shab‐Bidar, S., Djafarian, K., & Olyaeemanesh, A. (2016). The effect of (L‐) carnitine on weight loss in adults: a systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obesity reviews, 17(10), 970-976.
  8. Hobson, R. M., Saunders, B., Ball, G., Harris, R. C., & Sale, C. (2012). Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino acids43(1), 25-37.
  9. Vårvik, F. T., Bjørnsen, T., & Gonzalez, A. M. (2021). Acute Effect of Citrulline Malate on Repetition Performance During Strength Training: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism31(4), 350-358.

Date May 04, 2022
Category Lifestyle
Erick Avila

Erick Avila got his start in the fitness industry working as a physical preparation coach with professional boxers. He’s written for top brands like Muscle & Fitness, Juggernaut Training Systems, T-Nation, Stack Media, and Everlast Boxing. And worked in the dietary supplement industry across a variety of roles including researcher, content writer, and product formulator. Erick has a Master of Science in Drug Discovery and Development from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition with an emphasis on Exercise Science from California State University Los Angeles. In his free time Erick enjoys lifting weights, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.