Transparent Labs Bulk vs Black: A Subtle, But BIG Difference

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I spent a month thoroughly testing both Transparent Labs Bulk and Bulk Black.

At first glance, it might be difficult to spot the differences between Bulk and Bulk Black aside from the obvious difference in label color. 

To be honest, even after thoroughly testing both products, I found it difficult to differentiate between them. However, there is definitely one subtle but big difference to note.  

So, the goal of today’s article is to compare Bulk vs Bulk Black head-to-head across six key categories:

  • Ingredients
  • Advertised Benefits
  • Strength
  • Pump 
  • Energy
  • Taste
  • Cost

If you’re looking for a quick answer to “which is better,” I would say the classic Bulk formula.  But, it really comes down to your goals, which I’ll discuss later, and Bulk Black definitely has its time and place. 

Key Takeaways

  • Both Bulk and Bulk Black use clinical doses and are third-party tested, resulting in pre-workouts that are high quality, safe, and effective. 
  • The only difference between the Bulk and Bulk Black formulas is that Bulk Black has a higher caffeine content (350mg) than Bulk (200mg). Both formulas contain ingredients to support prolonged energy without jitteriness or a crash. 
  • Both formulas are tailored for muscle building. However, individuals looking for a more intense energy boost, or people who are trying for a PR in the gym might prefer the high stim effect of Bulk Black.
  • Bulk Black has a slightly higher cost per serving, at $1.83 compared to Bulk at $1.66.

Note: If you want to try Bulk or Bulk Black, I’ve already done the research on the most affordable places to buy them.  If I find better prices, I always update the links below.

Transparent Labs Bulk

Transparent Labs Bulk

Transparent Labs Bulk is a great option for individuals looking for a good pump, energy, and increased strength. It’s specifically formulated to support muscle building. 

Take Transparent Labs Bulk

Transparent Labs Bulk Black

Transparent Labs Bulk is a great option for individuals looking for a high-stimulant formula that will also provide pump, strength, endurance, and power without side effects like jitteriness or a crash.

What Is Transparent Labs Bulk?

Transparent Labs Bulk is a well-rounded formula with clinical doses of ingredients to support energy production, strength, pump, stamina, mental focus, and recovery. 

The ingredients in Bulk are designed to work together to increase protein synthesis and muscle mass. Some ingredients, like boron and betaine, may also be beneficial for supporting testosterone production and improving body composition. 

Alongside these performance-enhancing ingredients, Bulk contains 200mg of caffeine per serving. This puts it in the low to medium caffeine range for pre-workouts. Some pre-workouts, like Transparent Labs Stim-Free, have zero caffeine. Others, like Bulk Black, have 350mg per serving. 

The caffeine and nootropics found in Bulk provide a good energy boost and mental focus. The addition of ingredients like theanine helps prevent the jitteriness and anxiety associated with caffeine.

Transparent Labs Bulk Ingredients

The lower caffeine content in Bulk also makes it an appealing option for anyone who likes to consume other sources of caffeine in their day, like coffee, pop/soda, or energy drinks. 

The FDA recommends a safe upper limit of 400mg of caffeine daily, so the 200mg in Bulk allows you to reasonably consume other caffeine sources without pushing you into potentially unsafe caffeine levels. 

Bulk is currently available in 11 different flavors.  I tested all of the flavors. Read my full breakdown of each Transparent Labs Bulk flavor

Transparent Labs has publicly available third-party testing results and does not use artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners in its products. 

Bulk comes at a very attractive price point of $1.66 per serving. In evaluating more than 50 pre-workouts on the market, I found the average cost per serving to fall around $1.61. This average includes products with lower doses, lower-quality ingredients, and no third-party testing assurances. 

All in all, this makes Transparent Labs Bulk a phenomenal value. For reference, other pre-workouts with similar ingredient lists, like Legion Pulse and Gorilla Mode, are priced between $2.25 and $2.85 per serving. 

Want more info?  Read my in-depth Transparent Labs Bulk Review here.  

Transparent Labs Bulk

Who Should Take It? 

Transparent Labs Bulk is a good option for: 

  • Those who prioritize high quality ingredients
  • Individuals who want to avoid artificial flavors or sweeteners
  • Someone looking for a clinically dosed product
  • Someone who likes to consume other caffeine sources in their day
  • Individuals looking to increase strength and muscle mass
  • Elite athletes who undergo drug testing
  • Anyone who had negative side effects like jitteriness from previous pre-workouts

What Is Transparent Bulk Black?

Transparent Bulk Black

Transparent Labs Bulk Black is virtually identical to the original Bulk formula. Bulk Black contains identical doses of citrulline (8g), beta-alanine (4g), betaine (2.5g), taurine (1.3g), tyrosine (1g) , alpha-GPC (300mg) theanine (200mg), and boron (3 mcg).

The only differences we see in the Black formula are the following: 

The caffeine content of Black is higher, with 275mg of caffeine anhydrous (a quick acting caffeine source) and 75mg of DiCaffeine Malate, a slower releasing type of caffeine. This brings the total caffeine content of Bulk Black to 350mg. 

Bulk Black has a higher level of theobromine (100mg vs 50mg) which will increase the energizing effects of Bulk Black.

Transparent Labs Bulk Black Ingredients

Bulk Black is a good option for people who have used pre-workouts for many months or years and find that they no longer feel the energizing effects of caffeine. 

It’s also a great option for individuals who are looking to hit a new PR or are entering the peak phase of their competition season and want to push their performance to the absolute limit. 

I recommend not using Bulk Black for your every day training sessions, to reduce the likelihood of becoming adapted to the caffeine. 

If you try Bulk Black and don’t feel like it gives you much energy, or if you have used it consistently for several months and stopped feeling its energizing effects then I recommend taking several weeks off of caffeinated products entirely to try to reset your tolerance. 

Bulk Black has a slightly higher price point than Bulk, coming in at around $1.83 per serving. This is still a great value, since some other heavy-hitting pre-workouts like Gorilla Mode cost $2.25 to $3.00 per serving and have a higher incidence of negative side effects like stomach upset 

Bulk Black is available in 7 different fruity flavors, like Cherry Kiwi, Blueberry Pomegranate, and Watermelon Peach. 

Bulk Black is third-party tested and informed choice certified and does not use artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. 

Want more info?  Read my in-depth Transparent Labs Bulk Black Review here.  

Who Should Take Bulk Black? 

Transparent Labs Bulk Black is a good option for: 

  • Individuals who value high-quality ingredients
  • Someone looking for a clinically dosed pre-workout
  • Someone looking to increase strength and muscle mass
  • Someone who has experience taking high doses of caffeine or is looking for a high-stim product
  • Individuals who are approaching the “peak phase” of their competition season, or are going for a new personal best

Main Differences: Transparent Labs Bulk vs. Bulk Black


The Winner: Tie 

As outlined above, the formulas of Bulk and Bulk Black are virtually identical. The only difference is the total amount of caffeine and stimulants, with Bulk Black being the higher option. 

8000 mgCitrulline Malate8000 mg
4000 mgBeta-Alanine4000 mg
2500 mgBetaine Anhydrous2500 mg
1300 mgTaurine1300 mg
1000 mgL-Tyrosine1000 mg
300 mgAlpha-GPC300 mg
200 mgOrganic Caffeine275 mg
200 mgL-Theanine200 mg
50 mgTheobromine100 mg
50 mgSenactiv ®50 mg
5 mgBioperine ®5 mg
3000 mcgBoron3000 mcg
Infingergy™ (Dicaffene malate)75 mg

Key Advertised Benefits

The winner: Tie

Transparent Labs Bulk advertises itself as the superior industry option for increasing lean muscle mass, strength, stamina, energy and pumps. 

Bulk Black advertises all of the same benefits, but for those who want the extra “pep” of a high-stimulant formula. 

Both formulas advertise similar benefits, and both formulas deliver on their promises through the use of high-quality ingredients, clinical dosing, and transparent third-party testing. 


The Winner: Tie

With identical strength and performance-enhancing ingredients, both Bulk and Bulk Black deliver on their promises. Both formulas also support recovery between sets and workouts, helping you feel strong throughout your entire program. 

I expected to feel “stronger” with Bulk Black just in the sense that the added energy from the caffeine might make me feel like I had more overall strength or power output. 

In reality, I felt like both formulas provided very similar feelings of strength and stamina.  


Transparent Labs Bulk pump
Transparent Labs Bulk Black pump

The Winner: Tie

Both the Bulk and Bulk Black formulas delivered good muscle pumps and overall hydration. There were no noticeable differences between the two. 

In fear of sounding like a broken record, both formulas have identical doses of ingredients and I felt like both provided a pretty decent pump. 

For individuals looking to really take their pumps to the next level, consider adding some Transparent Labs Pump to your regime. It’s stimulant-free and can pair well with either of the Bulk formulas.  


The Winner: Bulk Black

Theoretically, Bulk Black will edge out Bulk with 150mg of added caffeine and extra theobromine. When I tested both formulas, I didn’t find the energizing effects to be too different, but I regularly consume 400mg of caffeine daily which may be a contributing factor. 

One thing that will be important to note with the Bulk Black formula is that the second type of caffeine, Infinergy ™ is designed to be a slow-release caffeine. As such, the energy felt from Bulk Black will last much longer than Bulk, which only has a single source of caffeine. 

This can be great because it ensures that you will not experience a crash from taking Bulk Black and can also help prevent side effects like jitteriness or anxiety that might come from taking 350mg of a single-source, quick-acting caffeine. 

On the other hand, if you typically work out in the evenings, I don’t recommend taking Bulk Black because the slow-release caffeine could contribute to insomnia or difficulty falling asleep. 


Transparent Labs Bulk taste
Transparent Labs Bulk Black taste

The Winner: Bulk

I found both Bulk and Bulk Black to be enjoyable, though admittedly on the sour side. I am giving the slight advantage to Bulk here only because it is currently available in 11 different flavors, compared to the 7 offered by Bulk Black.  

When trying to see what others thought of the flavor online, the feedback was frustratingly typical of online reviews: Each flavor has a following of people proclaiming it to be the best they’ve ever had, and someone else commenting that it tastes unbearable.

Even the sweeter-sounding flavors like blue raspberry and pina colada were quite sour. If this is an issue for you, diluting the pre-workout with a few extra ounces of water cut down the sour taste.

If you want to know more about how Bulk tastes, I tried every single flavor! You can read about it here, or watch my Youtube video:  


The Winner: Tie 

Bulk Black has a slightly higher cost per serving than Bulk, at $1.83 vs $1.66. The $0.17 per serving difference isn’t significant, but with virtually identical formulas, you may still choose to go with the cheaper option for day to day workouts. 

Bulk Black provides an extra 150mg of caffeine per serving compared to Bulk, which is equal to approximately a medium (14oz) coffee. A commercial coffee can cost you anywhere from $2.00 to $3.00 and homemade brewed coffee still averages around $0.50 per cup. 

This makes the 150mg of caffeine and extra nootropics that Bulk Black provides for only $0.17 excellent value. 

In the end, both formulas provide fantastic value when you factor in the clinical doses of ingredients, the use of high quality ingredients, and the third party testing high quality standards. 

Where To Buy Transparent Labs Bulk or Bulk Black

Both Transparent Labs Bulk and Bulk Black are readily available from the Transparent Labs website. This is usually my go-to recommendation for buying any Transparent Labs products, since this allows you to take advantage of the Subscribe and Save feature. 

This feature lets you save money on your supplements and you can choose your own delivery schedule. This is also going to be the best way to access the full flavor selection or take advantage of seasonal discounts. 

You can also find Bulk and Bulk Black on

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Bulk and Bulk Black Together? 

Bulk and Bulk Black can be used interchangeably, depending on how much caffeine you want that day. Do not take full servings of Bulk and Bulk Black together or on the same day.

My personal strategy for pairing Bulk and Bulk Black is to use Transparent Labs Bulk or Stim-Free for my regular training days and evening lifts. 

I save Bulk Black for heavy compound days or days when I really need an added energy boost.

Are Bulk and Bulk Black Considered Beginner-Friendly Pre-Workouts?

Bulk is a great beginner-friendly pre-workout, but Bulk Black should be reserved for experienced pre-workout users or people who are accustomed to taking in high amounts of caffeine (300mg or more).

Transparent Labs Bulk contains 200mg of caffeine, which is a reasonable amount for most pre-workout users, even those less experienced. If you are brand new to pre-workout, I always recommend starting with a ¼ or ½ scoop serving to assess your personal tolerance.  

Because of the higher caffeine and stimulant content in Bulk Black, I don’t recommend taking this product if you are brand new to taking pre-workout. I would start with Transparent Labs Stim-Free or Bulk first, and gradually work up to Bulk Black.

About The Author

Jennifer Vibert

Jennifer Vibert is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Nutrition Coach, and supplement store manager. She has a Bachelor of Kinesiology with a major in Fitness and Lifestyle and a minor in Psychology from the University of Regina. She is a Certified Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition, with a passion for helping clients learn the fundamentals of nutrition and supplementation in order to build healthy, sustainable habits.

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I’ve Tested 28+ Pre-Workouts, Here’s My #1 Pick


  • Proven Doses: Ingredients Dosed To Clinical Standards
  • Great Value: 17% Cheaper Than Other Similar Formulas
  • Well-Rounded: Excellent for Pump, Energy, & Strength


  • Proven Doses: Ingredients Dosed To Clinical Standards
  • Great Value: 17% Cheaper Than Other Simliar Formulas
  • Well-Rounded: Excellent for Pump, Energy, & Strength

Read my review