Transparent Labs LEAN Review

Could TL's LEAN be the best pre-workout for leaning out?

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Transparent Labs is a Utah-based supplement company, and as the name suggests, they’re really invested in making transparent products. Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-Workout formula is no exception. It contains 21 active ingredients, including five vitamins and minerals. While pre-workout supplements are diverse in their formulation, this pre- takes a multifaceted approach to provide the necessities for a solid workout. Its robust formula includes ingredients (such as tyrosine) for help with focus, BCAAs for a potential boost in recovery, and citrulline, which may help enhance your performance in the gym. 

LEAN is focused on providing more than just a stacked pre-workout ingredient list with some favorites like beta-alanine — it also contains potential fat-burning ingredients, like chromium and caffeine, which may give you a little extra help in your cutting phase. LEAN is a solid pre-workout supplement that is best suited for individuals who are looking for plenty of active ingredients and an added potential boost when it comes to weight loss.

Main Takeaways

  • Transparent Labs LEAN is formulated with 21 active ingredients, including citrulline malate, beta-alanine, and betaine.
  • This formula is created with pre-workout and fat-burning needs in mind, which is evident with the inclusion of chromium and caffeine.
  • If you’re in a caloric deficit, you’ll enjoy the focus-forward ingredients here that may help you fight brain fog or lack of energy.
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Transparent Labs LEAN
Transparent Labs LEAN
Transparent Labs LEAN

Third-party tested and clearly dosed, Transparent Labs LEAN has a huge variety of ingredients for endurance, power, alertness, and focus. Use code BARBEND10 for 10% off.

Transparent Labs Lean Pre-Workout Video Review

Get an in-depth look at Transparent Lab’s pre-workout, including a breakdown of the ingredients label, how it tastes, and more.

BarBend’s Nick English gives you the rundown.

Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-Workout Highlights

There are a ton of ingredients in this product. Transparent Labs recommend using half a serving at first to see how you react. Nutrition-wise, a serving has over a day’s worth of iodine, zinc, copper, and chromium, as well as 91 percent of your daily needs for selenium. The formula contains 6,000mg of citrulline malate, which may help increase lean muscle mass when paired with resistance training. (1) You’ll also find a healthy dose of 2,500mg of betaine which may help with protein synthesis and delay age-related muscle loss. (2) You’ll also find 2,500mg of BCAAs and 2,000mg of beta-alanine, the latter of which is a vasodilator and may improve blood flow

The formula contains amino acids tyrosine, theanine, and carnitine and 220mg in a total of two different types of caffeine — 180mg of caffeine anhydrous and 40mg of Infinergy™ — which is two and a half cups of coffee worth of caffeine. It’s rounded out with 500mg of choline bitartrate, 50mg of theobromine, and 5mg of Bioperine, which is a black pepper extract and may help make the other ingredients in this pre-workout more absorbable.

barbend testing LEAN
Nick shows a tub of Transparent Labs LEAN

LEAN comes in Sour Peach, Blue Raspberry, Green Apple, Orange, Cherry Limeade, Sour Grape, Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch and Watermelon flavors. It is naturally sweetened with stevia, naturally flavored, and naturally dyed with beta-carotene. This tub comes with 30 servings and each serving costs around $1.65 which is a very reasonable price for a naturally formulated pre-workout supplement.

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-workout

  • Those who want a pre-workout that is designed with classic pre-workout ingredients, like citrulline and beta-alanine, but who also want potential fat-burning ingredients like chromium and caffeine. 
  • Folks on a budget, but unwilling to compromise on quality. This formula contains natural sweeteners, dyes, and flavors, but only costs around $1.65 per serving.
  • People who want a plethora of flavors to choose from as this pre-workout comes in nine flavor varieties.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-Workout

  • Athletes who aren’t looking for potential fat-burning ingredients in their pre-workout.
  • Those who are sensitive to, or avoiding, caffeine may want to find a stimulant-free pre-workout.
  • Anyone who prefers a pill or unflavored powder option will have to find a different pre-workout supplement on the market. 

Price & Buying Options

You can pick up 30 servings (that’s a little over a pound) for about $49.99 per tub. This comes out to around $1.65 per serving, which is a pretty fair price for the high quality of this pre-workout, and falls in the middle ground of pre-workout prices as many on the market exceed $2.00 per serving.

barbend testing LEAN
BarBend tries Transparent Labs LEAN in the gym

Transparent Labs also offers a subscribe and save option that allows you to save 10 percent and receive free shipping on your order. That brings the per-serving price down to about $1.50 per serving, and you can bank on getting your pre-workout in the mail either every 30 days, 45 days, or 60 days, depending on your selection. 

Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-Workout Overall

With so many pre-workout formulas available, it may be hard to decipher why this one stands out among the crowd. This pre-workout comes with a stacked ingredient list. It contains 21 active ingredients, which is a pretty impressive lineup. It also contains clinically effective doses of five ingredients and has well over 100 percent of your daily RDI for four of the five vitamins, while the fifth, selenium, is close at 91 percent.

This formula comes in nine flavor options — Sour Peach, Blue Raspberry, Green Apple, Orange, Cherry Limeade, Sour Grape, Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch, and Watermelon — all of which are naturally sweetened with stevia extract and contain no artificial flavoring or dyes. LEAN will cost you around $1.65 per serving and each tub comes with 30 servings. 


If you take a peek at LEAN’s ingredient list, it may be hard to decipher what ingredients are helpful for what outcomes unless you’re a supplements expert. The formulation of this pre-workout comes with many fan-favorite ingredients, such as citrulline malate and beta-alanine. There are also some less common, but potentially helpful pre-workout ingredients, like chromium and micronutrients zing, iodine, and selenium. We detail each ingredient below, so you can get a better idea of what you’ll find in this product.

Citrulline Malate

Citrulline malate is a combination of two ingredients, citrulline and malic acid, and may have blood flow and “pump” benefits. It has the potential to help improve resistance training, high-intensity exercise, and recovery as it’s considered a vasodilator. (3) This formula contains 6,000mg, which is a bit under the suggested dose of 8,000mg an hour before a workout. (4)

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

Branched-chain amino acids are the three amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are three of the nine essential amino acids. This means they have to be supplemented because the body doesn’t produce them naturally, and they are necessary for healthy function. They are suggested to play an important role in muscle mass regulation and alleviate muscular fatigue during workouts. (5) The clinically effective dose for BCAAs is between two and 10 grams with a ratio of 2:1:1 of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. You can obtain them through food sources (like red meat) or through supplementation. (5)


Beta-Alanine may be an important ingredient for delaying fatigue during workouts, potentially allowing you to push past your normal wall and work for longer during high intensity exercise. (6) The suggested clinical dose of beta-alanine is between 3,200mg and 6,400mg before your workout — although, if you’re not a fan of the tingly feeling beta-alanine may create, it is suggested you break your dose into smaller, more frequent doses. (6) This formula contains 2,000mg per serving, which may leave you feeling less tingly than a higher dose as it is under the recommended effective dose.


Chromium is an essential mineral, which may improve insulin levels and decrease binge eating, making it a potentially beneficial ingredient for those who are looking to lose weight. (7) This formula contains 200mcg per serving, which is 571 percent of your recommended daily intake.

Betaine Anhydrous 

Betaine is found in beetroot, which is one of nature’s greatest pre-workout ingredients. Betaine is a vasodilator, which may improve blood flow in the body, and may promote cellular hydration and create resilience to stressors (including intense workouts). (8) The suggested effective dose for betaine for exercise performance is 2,500mg (or two doses of 1,250mg if you have a sensitive stomach as betaine can cause digestive discomfort), and LEAN contains 1,500mg per serving. (8)

Acetyl L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is a nonessential amino acid that may be helpful as an anti-inflammatory, may increase nitric oxide levels, and may aid in fat loss. (9) The suggested dose to unlock these potential benefits is between 500mg and 2,000mg, and LEAN contains 630mg per serving. (9)

Choline Bitartrate

Choline is found in high amounts in egg yolks, and is mostly touted as a cognitive-boosting supplement. Choline turns into acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that can be important for learning. (10) Choline’s most effective dose lies between 250mg and 500mg daily for the general population, but can go as high as 2,000mg for greater potential benefits. (10) LEAN provides 500mg of choline per serving. 


Theanine is derived from tea leaves and may be best noted for its potential nootropic effects — cognition-enhancing — and its potential to help you remain relaxed and calm without causing drowsiness — especially when paired with caffeine. (11) The recommended dose for theanine is between 100mg and 200mg, and it’s suggested you pair it with caffeine. (11) This formula contains 360mg of theanine along with 220mg of total caffeine.

Caffeine & Infinergy™

Caffeine can be found in a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, or your dark chocolate of choice. Caffeine may keep folks alert, focused, and attentive. Infinergy™ is a combination of caffeine and malate, which is designed to provide the same stimulant effect as caffeine, but it’s meant to last longer and nix any potential jitters. This formula has 180mg of caffeine, which is equal to two cups of coffee and 80mg of Infinergy™, which can be most effective between 300mg and 400mg, but when paired with the extra caffeine, this effective dose may be less. 


Theobromine is derived from the cacao plant and may be beneficial for cellular health, neurological function, and memory. (12) This formula contains 50mg of theobromine per serving, and one study suggested that an intake of 43mg or more may be helpful for cognitive purposes. (13)

Black Pepper Extract 

Black pepper is a common ingredient found in supplements as it may have benefits when it comes to absorption of other ingredients. (14) You’ll find 5mg of black pepper extract in this formula, which is a pretty standard amount across the market.

Transparent Labs Lean Pre-Workout Taste

The Green Apple flavor here tastes like sour apple candy, which could be expected given that the ingredients list includes citric acid, which is pretty tart. We will say that when following Transparent Labs’ suggestion to mix one whole scoop with 1.2 cups of water (10 fluid ounces), it produces a pretty darn sour drink. If you don’t like sour, try mixing it with two cups or trying a less sour flavor option, like Blue Raspberry or Watermelon.

What to Consider Before Buying Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-Workout

There are many things to consider before purchasing a new pre-workout. You may be wondering if this is the right formula to help you conquer your workouts or to help you get a leg up on your next team practice. We expand on some of those thoughts — such as ingredients, price, flavor, and dosages — below. 


This formula contains 21 active ingredients, all of which may benefit cognition, recovery, building muscle, and fighting fatigue. This pre contains a bonus of five added vitamins and minerals, which isn’t super common among pre-workouts. It’s a sneaky way to get some extra micronutrients into your diet. It’s worth noting that this may not be the formula for you if you’re avoiding stimulants as it does contain 220mg of caffeine in total. However, if you are looking for a formula that may be helpful for concentration and focus, this has theanine, caffeine, taurine, tyrosine, and carnitine, which all may be beneficial for focus.

BarBend testing LEAN
An opened tub of Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-Workout

As LEAN is meant to help promote fat loss, it’s also worth noting that chromium and carnitine may be beneficial ingredients in this lineup. If you’re looking to burn fat as a part of your goal, the addition of 571 percent of your RDI of chromium may be helpful, as well as the addition of caffeine. (7) Although there have been many studies done on the importance of caffeine as a fat-burning aid, one study suggested caffeine may be helpful for a reduction in BMI, body fat, and weight loss. (15)

The quality of the ingredients is another consideration. Transparent Labs creates all of its supplements without artificial dyes, colors, sweeteners, or fillers. Ultimately, each person varies in their needs when it comes to pre-workouts. Although this ingredient list is pretty stacked, you’ll want to consider what ingredients may be most beneficial and important for you and the goals you’ve set for yourself. 


Price is always an important part of the decision-making process. This tub of pre-workout contains 30 servings, and each serving costs around $1.65 unless you opt to subscribe and save. The subscribe and save option saves you 10 percent on your purchase and scores you free shipping. This comes out to about $1.50 per serving — but whether or not you opt to subscribe and save, this is a pretty reasonable price point for a stacked pre-workout. Many pre-workouts on the market cost around $2.00 per serving, and while you will be able to find cheaper options on the market, it may be at the loss of quality. 


Flavor is more important than it may seem, as the enjoyability of taking your supplement may be the difference between staying consistent or ditching your pre-workout before the gym. This formula comes in Sour Peach, Blue Raspberry, Green Apple, Orange, Cherry Limeade, Sour Grape, Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch and Watermelon flavors. There is no option for unflavored pre-workout here, but we did enjoy the Green Apple flavor and think you will, too, if you like sour pre-workouts. 


Although the list above details each ingredient and its most effective dose, dosing may be more or less important person to person. This formula contains five pre-workout ingredients that are at clinically effective doses. When it comes to the included vitamins and minerals, four of the five micronutrients contain 100 percent of your daily RDI. Selenium contains 91 percent of your RDI, but having vitamins and minerals in a pre-workout is usually a bonus no matter what the percentage is. 

If you’re looking for a pre-workout with full clinically effective doses, you may want to look elsewhere. Although it does contain some clinically effective doses, citrulline malate, beta-alanine, and betaine are under the clinically effective doses. But it is worth noting that just because some of these don’t fall into the bracket of clinically effective doses doesn’t mean they won’t be effective at all. 

Final Word

Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-Workout contains 21 active ingredients and may be helpful for endurance, recovery, power, alertness, and focus. The fact that this product contains no artificial sweeteners, dyes or flavors, and comes in at such a reasonable price point makes it an absolute winner in our books. We also love that it comes in nine flavor varieties to help keep you hooked on taking your pre-workout. 

If you’re looking solely at this pre-workout to help burn fat, you may want to opt for a fat-burner rather than a pre-workout. But if you’re wanting a pre-workout that contains some potentially fat-burning ingredients mixed in with pre classics, this may be a great formula for you.

So that’s our takeaway: This may not be the best fat loss product for some people, but it’s a fantastic pre-workout.


Should I choose Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-Workout over other pre-workouts from TL?

Depending on your goals, LEAN may be a better choice for you if you’re looking to potentially enhance fat-burning during your workouts. It contains chromium, caffeine, and carnitine, which all have potential fat-burning effects. However, it won’t make the world of a difference if you aren’t utilizing other fat-burning protocols, such as caloric deficit.

Is Transparent Labs LEAN expensive?

Transparent Labs LEAN contains 30 servings and costs $49.99 per tub. This means that each serving costs around $1.65 which is a pretty fair price tag considering the other pre-workout supplements on the market and the quality of this product. Although there are cheaper pre-workouts on the market, you may be compromising quality or settle for artificial ingredients and fillers.

What makes Transparent Labs LEAN Pre-Workout a good choice for fat burn?

Although this is a pre-workout and not a fat-burning supplement, LEAN has a few ingredients that may be helpful for those who are cutting or who want an extra boost for their weight loss goals. It contains ingredients chromium and carnitine, and shed some weight.


  1. Hwang P, Morales Marroquín FE, Gann J, Andre T, McKinley-Barnard S, Kim C, Morita M, Willoughby DS. Eight weeks of resistance training in conjunction with glutathione and L-Citrulline supplementation increases lean mass and has no adverse effects on blood clinical safety markers in resistance-trained males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Jun 27;15(1):30. doi: 10.1186/s12970-018-0235-x. PMID: 29945625; PMCID: PMC6020314.
  2. Chen S, Lu XT, He TT, Yishake D, Tan XY, Hou MJ, Luo Y, Long JA, Tang ZH, Zhong RH, Fang AP, Zhu HL. Betaine Delayed Muscle Loss by Attenuating Samtor Complex Inhibition for mTORC1 Signaling Via Increasing SAM Level. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2021 Aug;65(15):e2100157. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.202100157. Epub 2021 Jun 25. PMID: 34061446.
  3. Gough LA, Sparks SA, McNaughton LR, Higgins MF, Newbury JW, Trexler E, Faghy MA, Bridge CA. A critical review of citrulline malate supplementation and exercise performance. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2021 Dec;121(12):3283-3295. doi: 10.1007/s00421-021-04774-6. Epub 2021 Aug 21. PMID: 34417881; PMCID: PMC8571142.
  4. (2022, September 28). Citrulline health benefits, dosage, safety, side-effects, and more: Supplements. Examine. Retrieved December 7th, 2022, from 
  5. (2022, November 14). Branched-chain amino acids health benefits, dosage, safety, side-effects, and more: Supplements. Examine. Retrieved December 7th, 2022, from 
  6. (2022, September 28). Beta-alanine health benefits, dosage, safety, side-effects, and more: Supplements. Examine. Retrieved December 7th, 2022, from 
  7. (2022, September 28). Chromium health benefits, dosage, safety, side-effects, and more: Supplements. Examine. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from 
  8. (2022, September 28). Betaine health benefits, dosage, safety, side-effects, and more: Supplements. Examine. Retrieved December 7th, 2022, from 
  9. (2022, September 28). L-carnitine health benefits, dosage, safety, side-effects, and more: Supplements. Examine. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from 
  10. (2022, September 28). Choline health benefits, dosage, safety, side-effects, and more: Supplements. Examine. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from 
  11. (2022, September 28). Theanine health benefits, dosage, safety, side-effects, and more: Supplements. Examine. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from 
  12. Yoneda M, Sugimoto N, Katakura M, Matsuzaki K, Tanigami H, Yachie A, Ohno-Shosaku T, Shido O. Theobromine up-regulates cerebral brain-derived neurotrophic factor and facilitates motor learning in mice. J Nutr Biochem. 2017 Jan;39:110-116. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2016.10.002. Epub 2016 Oct 8. PMID: 27833051.
  13. Theobromine for improved cognitive function? Examine. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2022, from 
  14. Fernández-Lázaro D, Mielgo-Ayuso J, Córdova Martínez A, Seco-Calvo J. Iron and Physical Activity: Bioavailability Enhancers, Properties of Black Pepper (Bioperine®) and Potential Applications. Nutrients. 2020 Jun 24;12(6):1886. doi: 10.3390/nu12061886. PMID: 32599787; PMCID: PMC7353321.
  15. Tabrizi R, Saneei P, Lankarani KB, Akbari M, Kolahdooz F, Esmaillzadeh A, Nadi-Ravandi S, Mazoochi M, Asemi Z. The effects of caffeine intake on weight loss: a systematic review and dos-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(16):2688-2696. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1507996. Epub 2018 Oct 18. PMID: 30335479.

Transparent Labs Lean

Per Serving: $1.63










  • Well-dosed
  • No artificial ingredients
  • 3rd party tested


  • Expensive
  • Not the strongest pre-workout in terms of caffeine
  • Not the best fat loss ingredients