Transparent Labs Bulk vs Lean: 6 Key Differences (TESTED)

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I tested both Transparent Labs Bulk and Lean for 60 days each and have already published a library of content detailing my experiences on FeastGood.com.  

My in-depth written reviews of these products are here, and my YouTube videos are here and here.  

However, after publishing these reviews, I received many questions about the differences between Bulk and Lean and which was better.  

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

If you’re here looking for a winner, you’re out of luck.  

I actually love both of these products equally and consider them some of the best pre-workouts in the game.  

The decision on whether to buy Bulk or Lean depends on how you use pre-workout, your training, and your overall fitness goals.

Key Takeaways

Prefer to watch? Our video producer, Matteo Cantagallo, outlines the main differences.
  • Both Lean and Bulk are third-party tested, ensuring quality and safety, and are free from artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors.   
  • While Bulk is optimal for muscle-building and strength, Lean caters more to fat loss and endurance. Each is priced at $1.66 per serving, providing value in its specific area.
  • Bulk has 200mg of caffeine, while Lean has 180mg.  Each formula offers a balanced energy boost without side effects like jitteriness or anxiety.  

Note: If you want to try Bulk or Lean, I’ve done extensive 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. 

Transparent Labs LEAN

Transparent Labs Lean

Transparent Labs Lean is a good option for individuals who are training exclusively for fat loss, or who are new to pre-workout supplements. Experienced users will likely find this pre-workout too subtle.

What Is Transparent Labs Bulk?

Prefer to watch? Our video producer, Matteo Cantagallo, outlines the pros & cons of Transparent Labs Bulk.

Bulk contains clinical doses of ingredients to support energy, strength, endurance, pump, mental focus, and recovery. 

Many of the ingredients work together to increase muscle mass and protein synthesis, which may be beneficial for supporting testosterone levels and improving body composition. 

These clinical doses mean that Transparent Labs uses the same quantities of ingredients that have been proven effective in quality clinical trials. 

Transparent Labs Bulk ingredients

Bulk contains 200mg of caffeine per serving, which puts it in the low to medium category of caffeine content (some products go as high as 400mg per serving while others are completely caffeine-free). 

This amount of caffeine will provide a good energy boost but is less likely to cause negative side effects like insomnia, anxiety, or jitteriness. 

Transparent Labs does not use artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors in its products, and all of its products are third-party tested with publicly available results.

At $1.66 per serving, Transparent Labs Bulk provides incredible value for its quality and doses of ingredients. Other pre-workouts such as Legion Pulse, Pre Kaged Elite, and Gorilla Mode with similar ingredient panels are priced at $2.25 – $2.85 per serving.  

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

Transparent Labs Bulk

Pros 

  • Clinically Dosed: If a company uses clinical doses, that means that they use the same doses in their products as those that have been proven effective in research. This increases the likelihood that your pre-workout will provide the benefits it claims. 
  • Wide range of benefits: Bulk uses high doses of ingredients shown to increase strength, pump, power, energy, endurance, and mental focus. This makes it a well-rounded pre-workout that will positively increase every aspect of fitness. 
  • Third-Party Tested and Informed Choice Certified: An Informed Choice Certified product guarantees that it undergoes high-quality, third-party testing. This adds a level of security that your pre-workout will be safe and effective and that no hidden ingredients are added.
  • Great Tasting: Bulk is available in 12 different fruit and juice-like flavors, ranging from sweet to tart to sour. You are likely to find a flavor that you enjoy. 
  • Great Value: Considering the high-quality ingredients, clinical doses, and comprehensive formulas, the $1.66 per serving cost is incredibly justified. Comparable formulas cost as much as $3.00 per serving. 

Cons 

  • Requires a high volume of water to mix it:  The scoop size is quite large, so for the pre-workout to dissolve entirely, they recommend mixing it with 10-12 ounces of water. When I personally tested this product, I found this volume of water to be too uncomfortable to consume right before a workout. I concentrated my pre-workout (using only 8 ounces of water), which affected the taste and mixability. 
Who should take Transparent Labs Bulk

Who Should Take It? 

Transparent Labs Bulk is a good option for: 

  • Individuals who prioritize high-quality ingredients
  • Anyone looking to avoid artificial flavors or sweeteners
  • Someone looking for a clinically dosed product
  • Someone looking to increase strength and muscle mass
  • Athletes who undergo drug testing 
  • Someone who has previously had negative pre-workout side effects like jitteriness

What Is Transparent Labs Lean?

Prefer to watch? Our video producer, Matteo Cantagallo, outlines the pros & cons of Transparent Labs Lean

Transparent Labs Lean is a pre-workout with ingredients to support both athletic performance and fat loss. 

Lean contains ingredients commonly found in pre-workout, like citrulline malate, beta-alanine, and betaine, which enhance blood flow, endurance, strength, and recovery

In addition to these performance-enhancing ingredients, Lean contains ingredients supporting fat loss, like l-carnitine and choline. 

Transparent Labs Lean ingredients

Lean contains 180mg of caffeine, on the lower end of caffeinated pre-workouts. 

The addition of theobromine, huperzine, and acetyl l-carnitine will support increased mental focus, and an ingredient called l-theanine will help prevent jitteriness or anxiety and reduce the likelihood of a crash. 

The result is an energizing product with little to no negative side effects.  

Lean costs $1.66 per serving, just like Bulk, which is good value but not as good as Bulk.  

Here’s why:  

Some key performance-enhancing ingredients, like beta-alanine and betaine, fall just shy of clinical dose standards. As such, individuals looking to optimize workout performance might consider Lean a bit overpriced for its benefits. 

That being said, Lean is unlikely to cause side effects like jitteriness or anxiety and is a good multi-tasking pre-workout, meaning it will increase strength, endurance, mental focus, and support fat loss. 

Individuals looking for a formula that provides all these benefits would consider Lean a great value, especially given the high-quality ingredients. 

Transparent Labs Lean high quality ingredients

Like all other Transparent Labs products, Lean does not use artificial sweeteners or colors and is third-party tested. 

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

Transparent Labs Lean

Pros 

  • Provides a variety of benefits: While some of the ingredients are in doses slightly below the doses proven effective in clinical research, Lean utilizes a wide range of ingredients. This results in a product that provides a lot of benefits like energy, mental focus, and endurance. 
  • Lower caffeine level: Lean contains 180mg of caffeine. While this is equal to approximately 2 cups of coffee, it’s actually low by pre-workout caffeine standards. Many pre-workouts now go up to well over 300mg of caffeine per serving. This makes Lean a good option for people trying to lower or minimize their total daily caffeine intake. 
  • Good cost per serving: Lean costs $1.66 per serving, which is a good value for a product that is well-rounded and third-party tested with no artificial flavors or colors. 
  • High-quality ingredients: Lean uses many patented ingredients that have undergone more rigorous and high-quality research trials. This increases the likelihood that the pre-workout will provide its advertised benefits. 
  • Third-party tested: Lean is third-party tested, and the results are available to the public. This proves that the ingredients within the product match those on the label and that no heavy metals or undesirable ingredients are found in the product. 
  • Good Mixability: Lean mixes well with minimal clumps or leftover residue. It’s a good option for people who are sensitive to texture. 

Cons

  • Some underdosed ingredients: Some of the ingredients in Lean, including beta-alanine and betaine, fall just shy of clinical dose standards. This means you may not experience the full benefits of these ingredients.
  • Not very effective for pump or strength: When I tested Lean, I found that it fell a bit short when it comes to increasing strength and pump, at least when compared to Bulk. 
  • Slightly bitter aftertaste: Lean is available in 9 different fruit and candy-like flavors. While I found the taste mostly enjoyable, I found that Lean had a slightly bitter aftertaste. 
Who should take Transparent Labs Lean

Who Should Take It? 

Transparent Labs Lean is a good option for: 

  • Individuals who are trying to improve their body composition
  • Someone who prioritizes high-quality ingredients
  • Athletes who undergo drug testing
  • Someone who normally experiences jitteriness or anxiety from pre-workout
  • Someone who doesn’t want super high doses of caffeine
  • Anyone who is sensitive to texture 

Main Differences: Transparent Labs Bulk vs. Lean

Ingredients

There are some similarities between Bulk and Lean, including the fact that both formulas use many of the same ingredients and are held to the same high quality standard. However, there are a few key differences to note in regard to the doses and the unique ingredients found in both. 

Transparent Labs Bulk vs. Lean Ingredients

Key Advertised Benefits

As their names suggest, Transparent Labs Bulk is formulated specifically with ingredients to support increasing muscle mass, whereas Lean is designed to support individuals trying to reduce their body fat. 

While your pre-workout can definitely support your body composition or aesthetic goals, most of your benefits will come from lifestyle factors like your overall activity level and diet. 

While Lean and Bulk have a lot of similarities, especially when it comes to the ingredients they use and their high quality products, there are a few key differences in their formulas. 

Bulk contains higher levels of performance-enhancing ingredients like citrulline, beta-alanine, and betaine. Some research also suggests that taurine can promote an increase in testosterone, which can further support increasing muscle mass. 

Conversely, Lean features acetyl l-carnitine and choline, two ingredients that can support weight loss and fat metabolism. 

Strength

When it comes to increasing strength, Transparent Labs Bulk is the clear front-runner. 

When I tested Bulk pre-workout, I increased my weights noticeably on every exercise I did. In fact, I wanted to get up even earlier in the morning to have more time to exercise because I felt so good. 

While I did notice some increased energy from Transparent Labs Lean, this didn’t translate to noticeable increases in strength for me. 

This difference is likely attributed to the higher doses of citrulline, betaine, beta-alanine, and taurine found in Bulk. 

One key factor to consider is that, as the name implies, Bulk is designed to support increasing muscle mass, and individuals using this product may be eating higher calories or carbohydrates to support increasing muscle mass. This dietary factor can also cause an increase in strength. 

Alternatively, someone taking Lean may be more likely to be in a calorie deficit or a lower carbohydrate to support fat loss, which can also result in an overall decrease in strength and performance. 

Pump

Transparent Labs Bulk pump
Transparent Labs Lean pump

Though both pre-workouts provide clinical doses of citrulline, I noticed a significantly higher pump effect in Bulk than Lean. 

Lean contains a slightly lower citrulline dose, a key nitric oxide booster, with 6g per serving compared to 8g in Bulk. 

With both products having clinical doses of nitric oxide enhancers, I was surprised that Lean didn’t provide the same pump benefits as Bulk. 

I suspect this may be less about the product itself and more about some of the lifestyle factors I mentioned above. 

When I was taking Lean, I focused on fat loss and consuming fewer carbohydrates and calories compared to my diet when I was testing Bulk. 

Energy

With similar caffeine levels, both Bulk and Lean provided similar energy boosts. That being said, I felt like Bulk provided a more significant increase in physical energy and stamina.

Regarding caffeine-related energy like alertness and mental focus, I found both formulas to be very similar in the energy they provided. Neither formula made me feel jittery or anxious, and I didn’t experience a crash with either formula. 

This shouldn’t be surprising since each formula contains similar amounts of caffeine (180mg in Lean vs. 200mg in Bulk). 

I did feel like I had more significant physical energy and endurance with Bulk, and felt like Lean fell a little bit short in this area in that it didn’t provide as much perceived stamina as Bulk did. 

This could be due to Bulk’s higher doses of nootropics like Alpha-GPC and beta-alanine, a key ingredient for muscular endurance.

Taste/Mixability

Transparent Labs Bulk taste
Transparent Labs Lean taste

Both Lean and Bulk have an enjoyable, juice-like taste and a lot of similar flavors. 

Each product has a slight con to its drinking experience; which one is worse depends on your preferences.

  • Lean dissolves better but has a slightly bitter aftertaste. 
  • Bulk has a better overall flavor but requires more water and effort to dissolve the pre-workout completely. 

To be clear, I found the taste and overall experience of both to be quite pleasant, and neither of the cons mentioned above would be enough to stop me from buying the product. 

If you want to learn more about the taste of these products, I tried and tested every single Transparent Labs Flavor, which you can read about here or watch my YouTube video: 

Cost

Both Bulk and Lean cost the same $1.66 per serving. Since Bulk technically has more ingredients and higher doses of ingredients, it edges Lean out with a slightly better value. 

Whether you buy Bulk or Lean, you will pay the same $1.66 per workout. 

Because Bulk provides higher doses of thoroughly researched ingredients like beta-alanine and betaine and contains more overall ingredients, I put Bulk in the winning column regarding which formula provides the best value. 

Bulk has 12 active ingredients and a 21g scoop compared to Lean, which has 10 active ingredients and a 14g scoop. 

Given the benefits that Transparent Labs offers, like publicly disclosed Third Party Testing, being Informed Choice Certified, and eliminating the use of artificial ingredients, both formulas are an incredible value, especially compared to other products on the market. 

Where To Buy Transparent Labs Bulk or Lean

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. 

Transparent Labs LEAN

Transparent Labs Lean

Transparent Labs Lean is a good option for individuals who are training exclusively for fat loss, or who are new to pre-workout supplements. Experienced users will likely find this pre-workout too subtle.

What Other Experts Are Saying

  • Matthew Magnante, a senior editor from FitnessVolt.com appreciates both Transparent Labs’ Lean and Bulk pre-workout supplements for their quality and ingredient transparency. He highlights the Lean supplement’s effectiveness for fat burning and energy. He notes the Bulk supplement’s suitability for muscle gain and enhanced performance, citing its higher beta-alanine content. Magnante appreciates the absence of artificial additives in both products. While he doesn’t explicitly favor one over the other, he emphasizes that each supplement offers distinct benefits tailored to different fitness goals. His personal take is positive for both, focusing on their specific functionalities and overall quality.
  • This Reddit discussion summarizes Transparent Labs’ Bulk and Lean pre-workouts. Bulk is recommended for muscle building and strength, while Lean is suited for weight loss and fat metabolism. Bulk enhances muscle pumps and strength, and Lean assists in managing cravings and improving insulin sensitivity. Personal experiences indicate Bulk provides steady energy without anxiety/jitteriness, and Lean effectively supports weight loss. Users choose based on their specific fitness goals: muscle gain with Bulk or weight loss with Lean.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Bulk and Lean Together? 

Bulk and Lean can be used interchangeably depending on your workouts and the benefits you seek. 

Personally, I prefer Lean for my cardio and HIIT training days, and I save Bulk for my heavy resistance training and PR days. 

I don’t recommend mixing full scoops of both together. 

Is Bulk and Lean Considered Beginner-Friendly Pre-Workouts?

Bulk and Lean are great beginner-friendly pre-workouts. 

They contain lower levels of caffeine (180-200mg) and have ingredients to prevent side effects like jitteriness or anxiety. 

I experienced no nausea or uncomfortable tingling with either product. Furthermore, they are an excellent quality product at a great value.

References

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Van Every, Derrick W. BS1; Plotkin, Daniel L. BS1; Delcastillo, Kenneth BS1; Cholewa, Jason PhD2; Schoenfeld, Brad J. PhD1. Betaine Supplementation: A Critical Review of Its Efficacy for Improving Muscle Strength, Power, and Body Composition. Strength and Conditioning Journal 43(4):p 53-61, August 2021. | DOI: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000622

Gonzalez, A.M.; Yang, Y.; Mangine, G.T.; Pinzone, A.G.; Ghigiarelli, J.J.; Sell, K.M. Acute Effect of L-Citrulline Supplementation on Resistance Exercise Performance and Muscle Oxygenation in Recreationally Resistance Trained Men and Women. J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8, 88. https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8030088

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Kurtz, J.A., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Doyle, J.A. et al. Taurine in sports and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 18, 39 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-021-00438-0

Elsawy G, Abdelrahman O, Hamza A. Effect of choline supplementation on rapid weight loss and biochemical variables among female taekwondo and judo athletes. J Hum Kinet. 2014 Apr 9;40:77-82. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2014-0009. PMID: 25031675; PMCID: PMC4096089.

Nathan PJ, Lu K, Gray M, Oliver C. The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent. J Herb Pharmacother. 2006;6(2):21-30. PMID: 17182482.

Kahathuduwa CN, Dassanayake TL, Amarakoon AMT, Weerasinghe VS. Acute effects of theanine, caffeine and theanine-caffeine combination on attention. Nutr Neurosci. 2017 Jul;20(6):369-377. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2016.1144845. Epub 2016 Feb 12. PMID: 26869148.

Li Y, Peng Q, Shang J, Dong W, Wu S, Guo X, Xie Z, Chen C. The role of taurine in male reproduction: Physiology, pathology and toxicology. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2023 Jan 18;14:1017886. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2023.1017886. PMID: 36742382; PMCID: PMC9889556.

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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