Thermogenic fat burners are a great way to help you shed a few extra pounds or get you started on long-term weight loss. They’re generally safe and effective, but many boast different main ingredients.
PhenQ builds its weight loss supplement around a novel ingredient called α–Lacys reset. Studies so far are promising, so our testing team set out to see how well it works and whether this fat burner could be right for you.
- Free worldwide shipping
- Strong appetite suppressant
- Backed by convincing studies
- Suitable for men and women
- Protects lean muscle mass
- Vegan-friendly tablets
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- No non-stimulant formula available
- Pricier than some competitors
- Pills are on the large side
- Live chat isn’t very helpful
PhenQ is an effective thermogenic fat burner. Most of its ingredients boast several scientific studies that illustrate their efficacy. Its dose is on the low end for pills in its class, so it might not show results as quickly. Still, that also means it has a superior safety profile and will be well-tolerated by more users.
PhenQ’s scientifically backed ingredients aid in long-term weight loss for both men and women.
This vegan-friendly supplement effectively suppresses appetite and promotes fat loss, all while protecting against lean muscle atrophy. Enjoy free shipping and a money-back guarantee.
At Innerbody Research, we extensively test each health service we review, including PhenQ. Our team has collectively spent hundreds of hours testing and researching fat burners like PhenQ to provide an accurate, unbiased analysis of how they stack up, free of marketing jargon and gimmicks.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions to live healthier lifestyles. We evaluate the service based on adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?
Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this guide was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
PhenQ uses ingredients designed to help your body burn fat while also suppressing your appetite. You take one pill in the morning just before breakfast and another with your lunch.
Like all thermogenic fat burners, certain ingredients in PhenQ will activate the burning of brown adipose tissue (BAT). Some can even help convert white adipose tissue (the stubborn fat) into BAT, which is much easier for your body to burn.
One of the critical ingredients in PhenQ is 25 mg of α–Lacys reset, a branded combination of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and cysteine. There are purportedly other fat-busting ingredients in α–Lacys reset, but these remain a trade secret of Nutraceuticals International Group, who launched the blend in 2013.
There are no clinical trials on α–Lacys reset, but several ALA studies show a quantifiable difference in fat loss between placebo groups and those taking ALA. It also appears to be an extremely well-tolerated ingredient, with few adverse effects reported in trials.
Cysteine research is more limited at this time, but what is out there suggests it can effectively suppress appetite. And unlike common forms of cysteine used in supplements (typically n-acetyl-cysteine) α–Lacys reset utilizes a form of cysteine that does not require any conversion in the body.
The combination of a safe and effective fat burner with an equally safe appetite suppressant makes α–Lacys reset one of the more exciting developments in thermogenics in recent years. But PhenQ builds upon this ingredient by pairing it with other known entities to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Here’s a close look at the rest of the ingredients in PhenQ:
Capsicum extract - 8 mg
A meta-analysis of capsaicin studies shows an average additional energy expenditure of 50 calories per day. That means daily capsicum consumption can lead to a yearly loss of up to five pounds. Another study saw a 2 mg daily intake of capsaicinoids result in a difference of more than 300 calories per day — a loss potential of more than 30 pounds in a year.
Caffeine anhydrous - 150 mg
Caffeine is one of the most well-known thermogenic ingredients. It has a tremendous amount of clinical research showing its efficacy, including this four-way crossover study. It is a stimulant, so you might want to lay off the coffee when taking PhenQ until you see how it affects you.
Chromium picolinate - 80 mcg
According to the American Diabetes Association, supplementation with chromium picolinate can help the body better control blood glucose levels. This is good news for diabetics, but it will also mitigate weight gain in anyone else. Its inclusion in PhenQ allows you to eat close to maintenance calories and not worry about going off the rails if you have a cheat day or two.
Calcium carbonate - 625 mg
Results for calcium weight loss studies are inconsistent. Some show no meaningful difference between intervention and control groups, while others show a difference in specific demographics like adult men or adolescents. It’s a well-tolerated ingredient with known benefits outside weight loss, but it may not contribute meaningfully to fat burning.
Niacin - 4.5 mg
While niacin doesn’t have a ton of research indicating thermogenic properties, it does boast plentiful research that illustrates its ability to improve cellular metabolism and raise good cholesterol levels. This is a comparatively low dose, however.
Nopal - 20 mg
Many weight loss supplements use glucomannan from konjac root for fiber, but PhenQ uses nopal cactus instead. The difference is that nopal delivers a generous amino acid profile while helping to suppress your appetite. Cactus fiber, in particular, can bind to excess dietary fat and promote its health excretion.
L-carnitine fumarate - 142.5 mg
Weight loss supplements often include carnitine in their formulas to help protect lean muscle mass. Thermogenesis, especially in combination with intense exercise, could theoretically targe muscle as easily as it could fat. Carnitine can protect that lean mass and encourage your body to burn the fat instead.
Piperine extract - 3 mg
Piperine is a brand name for an extract of black pepper. This ingredient has mild thermogenic properties, but it’s there to increase bioavailability. That means your body can absorb more of the other components than if Piperine were not included in PhenQ.
These ingredients either have proven potential to burn fat, suppress appetite, or support your health while you lose weight. And the side effect profile of each is minimal, so combining them should be safe.
PhenQ has a pretty straightforward pricing system. You can buy more than one bottle at a time and save money as you increase the size of your order. Each order also comes with a free training and nutrition guide to help you on your weight loss journey. There is no subscription option.
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When you order five bottles, PhenQ also includes a bottle of Advana Cleanse. This is a natural cleanse containing the following ingredients:
- Acai berry 4:1 – 1,000 mg
- Spirulina – 200 mg
- Alfalfa – 200 mg
- Kelp – 100 mg
- Chlorella – 100 mg
- Magnesium stearate – quantity unknown
There isn’t much evidence connecting these ingredients directly with weight loss, but Advana is meant as a detox. A single bottle should be enough, as it can help you detox throughout your first month of weight loss.
PhenQ accepts major credit cards as payment, and they also partner with Skrill to provide customers with an installment option.
Shipping from PhenQ is free all over the world at every purchase level.
HSA, FSA, and health insurance
No thermogenic fat burners we’ve come across qualify with any insurer as a legitimate expense, even in cases of obesity-related heart disease or fatty liver. There are prescription diet pills that some insurers will recognize in rare cases. It’s worth talking with your doctor and insurance provider to see if you qualify for any such drugs.
PhenQ does not accept payment from HSA or FSA cards.
60-day money-back guarantee
PhenQ guarantees its product for 60 days. That gives you two months to try it out and see if it works for you. You also get an extra week past the 60-day mark to set up any returns.
If you return any product under guarantee, you’ll still pay shipping, and PhenQ will only reimburse you for unopened bottles. As such, the guarantee does not apply to single-bottle orders.
PhenQ will collect necessary personal information from you when you make a purchase. They store and protect that information but may also share some of it with third-party affiliates and other partners.
PhenQ is a very safe option among thermogenic fat burners. Its ingredient list is comparatively small, and it consists of components that have menial side effect profiles on their own. The company suggests you talk to your doctor before beginning PhenQ or any new supplement, and we agree.
Some side effects associated with PhenQ’s ingredients include:
- Upset stomach
Again, studies show these side effects to be especially rare for the ingredients in PhenQ, and most were associated with much higher doses than what you’ll find in its pills.
While PhenQ is a safe and effective fat burner, there are some viable alternatives.
Diet and exercise
The most obvious would be an alteration to your diet and increased exercise. But that suggestion has its limits. Many patients are not in good enough physical shape to lose the weight they need quickly enough to avert significant health complications or be prepared for surgery. It’s also ableist to assume everyone can pick up a daily jogging routine.
If anything stands in the way of dietary or behavioral adjustments to help burn fat, or if you’re already hitting the gym and eating right but struggling to lose weight in certain areas, there are a lot of thermogenic fat burners that might work for you. For a complete look at available products, check out our Guide to Thermogenic Fat Burners.
If you’re a man over 30, your natural testosterone production has already begun to slow down. For many men, this can increase body fat. A testosterone booster may be as effective as a thermogenic fat burner, and it may address other issues related to low testosterone.
You should talk to your doctor and get tested for low T if you suspect you may have a clinical issue. Be on the lookout for these symptoms of low testosterone:
- Lower sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Brain fog and memory issues
- Hair loss
If these sound familiar, you might want to check out our comprehensive testosterone booster guide for more information about low T and possible solutions.
At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service or product. For health products and services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?
User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device, program, app, or website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?
Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?
Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?