If you’ve been a regular reader of the PricePlow blog, you’ve no doubt noticed that we’ve covered several products from Transparent Labs. This young company has made a solid commitment to zero prop blends and 100% open labels.
We’ve previously covered Transparent Labs’ Grass-Fed Whey Isolate and the PreSeries BULK Pre-Workout, both of which rated very high among our staff (with some notable exceptions that Transparent Labs has reportedly already fixed!)
Today, we turn our attention to the brands weight loss aid titled the Transparent Labs PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner.
The short story is that it has well-dosed ingredients aiming to replicate the “ECA stack”, but using a lower-stim approach – which seems to be working out well for the burgeoning brand.
Before we get to the breakdown, make sure to check the best deal (coupon included) and sign up for PricePlow alerts:
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Transparent Labs Fat Burner Ingredients
As with everything Transparent Labs produces, there are NO prop blends and no pixie dusted ingredients either. Everything is spelled out for you plain and simple so you can rest assured you’re getting exactly what you want.
It’s also relatively lower in stimulants, just like PreSeries BULK.
Note: Ingredient amounts listed below are based on ONE serving (2 capsules). This will get you 30 to 60 days use, depending on your dosing.
ForsLean 10% Coleus Forskohlii (250mg)
TL’s Fat Burner starts off with one of our favorite stim-free fat burning ingredients: Forskolin. The reason we like this ingredient so much is its ability to stimulate fat loss, while simultaneously preserving, and potentially even increasing, muscle mass in dieters.[1,2,3]
Forskolin works by increasing cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) levels in the body. cAMP is a cell-signaling molecule which, when elevated, mimics the effects of exercise in terms of increased action of mitochondrial enzymes in the body.
Basically, this will increase muscle protein synthesis in the body, which is ideal on a cut or recomp.
10% Forskolin: More research, but needs a higher dose
Normally, we’re bigger fans of 90% forskolin, which allows for a lower dose and thus fewer potential side effects. 10% is great due to the amount of research used with it — that’s where official weight loss claims can be made — but we’ve enjoyed higher percentages a bit more.
Transparent Labs makes up for that with a large dose. At 250mg, you’ll almost certainly get some regional fat loss, but the one issue is that it could bring gastrointestinal distress. To most users, the pros of this ingredient have definitely outweighed the cons.
You can read more about this ingredient on our thorough forskolin research post.
Green Tea 50% EGCG (200mg)
Up next, is another one of our favorite fat burner ingredients: green tea extract. It’s highly regarded for its numerous health benefits and has become one of the most frequently used ingredients in fat burners. Green tea’s magic is tied to the catechins contained in its leaves, among these, EGCG is the most well known.
EGCG supports lipolytic actions in the body, enabling you to essential burn fat for fuel.[5,6] These fat-burning properties are further accelerated when it’s used alongside caffeine, another of the ingredients further down the list.
Finally, EGCG also has the ability to block carb absorption. This potent compound inhibits the body’s absorption of different types of carbohydrates due to its interactions with various digestive enzymes in the body.
L-5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a chemical that the body synthesizes from tryptophan which later converts to serotonin. Typically, people consume 5-HTP to improve sleep quality or reduce stress and anxiety.[9,10]
Other studies involving 5-HTP demonstrates that it may help combat obesity. These studies show that 5-HTP helps suppress appetite and improves weight loss and satiety.[11,12,13]
Anyone who’s ever gone on a strict cut knows that two of the side effects are crankiness and a mild brain fog that sets in. Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that helps fight both of these conditions. Although frequently used in pre workouts, it’s also incorporated into a number of thermogenics for its ability to heighten focus.
Tyrosine boosts production of dopamine and noradrenaline, two very important neurotransmitters in the body. Aside from boosting focus, the additional boost in these neurotransmitters also helps reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.[14,15]
Theanine is becoming synonymous with just about every product on the market these days. From pre workouts to fat burners to sleep aids, this powerful amino is making its rounds all over.
In stim-based products like fat burners and pre workouts, the addition of theanine helps smooth out any of the jitters or harsh stim effects of caffeine and other stimulants. But there’s more!
Theanine also has a synergistic effect with caffeine. It improves the cognitive effects of caffeine,and helps alleviate stress, fatigue, and anxiety.[17,18]
In PreSeries Bulk, we were wowed by the 2:1 L-Theanine:Caffeine ratio – it feels comfortably great. This is a bit different here, where you’ll have the same amount of L-Theanine and Caffeine.
You still don’t see a 1:1 ratio that often, since L-Theanine is an expensive ingredient. However, this isn’t a cheap fat burner either, and that’s one reason why. But the calmed, focused feel is definitely worth it for many who enjoy the ingredient – especially when adding the 5-HTP in.
Caffeine is nothing new or novel to the world of fat burners, it’s a great ingredient that has endless benefits. Namely, it increases energy, focus, alertness and even imparts some lipolytic actions in the body as well.
The dose here is a little on the lower end of most fat burners, but remember, caffeine is only part of the weight loss solution, not the whole thing. Too often people think if a little is good, more is better; however, this is rarely the case.
White Willow (60mg)
White willow bark was traditionally used as a pain reliever as the plant contains a precursor to aspirin. As most of you know, reduced calories also impair the body’s recovery leading to a general sense of achiness all over. White Willow helps counteract these feelings.
Additionally, white willow also exhibits some anti-inflammatory properties, but the main reason it’s here is because it’s the natural source of aspirin precursor, salicylic acid.[23,24]
Anecdotal accounts of white willow suggest it helps “extend” the effects of the caffeine and other stimulants, similar to the way aspirin is used in the “ECA” stack (which is ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin).
So effectively, we’re naturally mimicking the ‘A’ in the ECA stack, and that’s why it’s here.
Cayenne Pepper (20mg)
Cayenne Pepper extracts, and all chile peppers, are loaded with a compound called capsaicin. This compound is responsible for the burning and warming feeling you get when eating spicy foods. As it turns out, cayenne does more than just give you the sweats. It also burns stored fat and increases overall energy expenditure.
Incorporating cayenne extract into a capsule has an additional benefit of reducing any GI distress or heartburn that can set in when consuming it in powder form, a smart move on the part of Transparent Labs.
This is a lower dose than some of the other fat burners we’ve seen lately, which could be a good thing since the higher doses could have annoying side effects, such as heartburn. At 20mg, we don’t foresee an issue, but it still will get you a bit heated up.
It’d be nice to have Transparent Labs go full transparency and release the SHU’s (Scoville Heat Units) on their extract in the PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner, though.
Synephrine HCl (20mg)
Synephrine is a naturally occurring alkaloid primarily found in the Citrus Aurantium plant (a.k.a. Bitter Orange). It’s a very strong Beta-2 and Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist[21,22] that stimulates lipolysis.
Lipolysis is a process where the body frees stored triglycerides and releases them into the bloodstream, to be used as a source of energy. This enables you to essentially “burn fat” for fuel during low intensity activities and spare your glycogen stores for high intensity activities like weightlifting or sprinting.
Up above, when we were comparing white willow to the ‘A’ in the ECA stack… synephrine is the replacement to the ‘E’, or ephedrine. It works similarly, but is admittedly far less intense and thus has fewer side effects.
This is a safe dose – at two servings per day you will not be bumping up to any safety limits, but should still get a bit more zip out of the fat burner.
Take 2 capsules with 8-10 ounces of water, twice daily, 30-60 minutes before meals. Start with 1 capsule, twice daily, to assess tolerance and response for the first 3 days, then gradually increase dosage. Never consume more than 2 capsules in a 4-hour period and/or consume more than 4 capsules in a 24-hour period.
There’s a lot to like about TL’s Fat Burner. If you’re in the market for a lower stim option fat burner, this fits the bill perfectly. It has just enough caffeine to wake you up, but not enough to send you into “jitters” territory.
Most supplement brands who make products to simulate the ECA stack do it in a way that’s extremely high-stim. Transparent Labs takes a different approach — they use the same ingredients, but do so in a lower-dosed and more calming nature. Know this going in — if you need crack in a pill, this isn’t for you. But if you want the fat burning effects with just a bit of clean energy, then this is one we can recommend.
On price and value…
The last issue is the price. While we’ve negotiated the best coupon on the web for Transparent Labs products, it’s still pricey even with that!
We’ve found that many users are absolutely in love with PreSeries Bulk despite the high price — it’s massively loaded, has no artificial sweeteners or colors, and flat-out works. That’s why it ranks well in our best pre workout buyer’s guide… but some of those added benefits don’t apply to a capsule-based product.
With Transparent Labs Fat Burner, it’s probably only going to be worth the premium if you enjoy lower-stim products with everything else well-dosed, and want to try a serious dose of forskolin. So keep that in mind – this product is not targeted to everyone who reads this site… but is it targeted to you?
That’s the decision for you to make. It’s a great product for many, but possibly just a “good” product for others.
Remember to use our coupon to get the best deal on all of Transparent Labs products and be sure to sign up for alerts from PricePlow:
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- Costford SR, et al. Skeletal muscle NAMPT is induced by exercise in humans. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. (2010)
- Effects of the long term ingestion of tea catechins on Energy Expenditure and Dietary fat oxidation in healthy subjects
- Wang Y, Yang Z, Wei X; Sugar compositions, α-glucosidase inhibitory and amylase inhibitory activities of polysaccharides from leaves and flowers of Camellia sinensis obtained by different extraction methods . Int J Biol Macromol. (2010)
- Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lejeune MPGM, Kovacs EMR. Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation. Obes Res 2005;13(7):1195-1204.
- Juhel C, et al; Green tea extract (AR25) inhibits lipolysis of triglycerides in gastric and duodenal medium in vitro . J Nutr Biochem. (2000)
- Shell W, et al; A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an amino acid preparation on timing and quality of sleep . Am J Ther. (2010)
- Emanuele E, et al; An open-label trial of L-5-hydroxytryptophan in subjects with romantic stress . Neuro Endocrinol Lett. (2010)
- Rondanelli M, et al; Relationship between the absorption of 5-hydroxytryptophan from an integrated diet, by means of Griffonia simplicifolia extract, and the effect on satiety in overweight females after oral spray administration . Eat Weight Disord. (2012)
- Cangiano C, et al; Effects of oral 5-hydroxy-tryptophan on energy intake and macronutrient selection in non-insulin dependent diabetic patients . Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. (1998)
- Cangiano C, et al; Eating behavior and adherence to dietary prescriptions in obese adult subjects treated with 5-hydroxytryptophan . Am J Clin Nutr. (1992)
- Deijen JB, Orlebeke JF; Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress . Brain Res Bull. (1994)
- Dollins AB, et al; L-tyrosine ameliorates some effects of lower body negative pressure stress . Physiol Behav. (1995)
- Giesbrecht, Timo, et al; “The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness”; Nutritional Neuroscience; 2010
- Kimura K, et al. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psychol. (2007)
- Owen GN, et al. The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. Nutr Neurosci. (2008)
- Mahdi, JG, et. al; “The historical analysis of aspirin discovery, its relation to the willow tree and antiproliferative and anticancer potential“; Cell Proliferation; April 2006
- Janssens, P, et. al; “Acute Effects of Capsaicin on Energy Expenditure and Fat Oxidation in Negative Energy Balance“; July 2013