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PhenQ Review: Can This Supplement Help You Lose Weight?

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

Medically Reviewed by Natalie Olsen, MS, RDN

Last Updated on December 21, 2022

Dietitian Rating:


About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:3.1
  • Ingredient Safety:4.0
  • Customer Service:4.5
  • Value for the Price:1.0

PhenQ is a weight loss pill with research-backed ingredients that may help boost fat loss, improve your energy, and decrease your appetite. There are some things to consider first, however.

Written by
SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD spent several years working in various dietetic roles and settings, including research, public health, dialysis, and acute care. She became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in 2013, while completing her Master of Science degree at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Medically Reviewed by
Natalie Olsen, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-EP
Registered Dietitian, Certified Exercise Physiologist
Natalie is a registered dietitian, functional medicine practitioner and certified exercise physiologist with over 15 years experience in the health and wellness industry and holds a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine through a collaborative program provided by the University of Western States and the Institute of Functional Medicine.
PhenQ Review: Can This Supplement Help You Lose Weight?


  • Contains several effective ingredients that may help with weight loss and appetite.
  • Comes with a 60-day money back guarantee (minus return shipping).


  • Significantly more expensive than comparable alternatives.
  • Contains high amounts of caffeine.
  • Contains lower doses of ingredients than research studies used, so it may not provide the same benefits shown in research studies.
  • Not third party tested.

Wouldn’t it be nice to take a pill that would decrease your appetite, prevent new fat cells from forming, make your cravings disappear, and make the extra stored fat melt off your body?

It sounds too good to be true, but these hyped-up claims are often made about weight loss pills.

PhenQ is one such weight loss pill. Its website states that the supplement can help you attain your weight loss goals, burn more fat, eat less, feel fewer cravings for carbs and unhealthy foods, and even feel happier.

But is there any evidence to support these claims? And, even more importantly, are PhenQ and other weight loss pills safe?

In this PhenQ review, we’ll discuss the science behind PhenQ’s ingredients, the product’s safety, and how it compares to other weight loss supplements.

What Is PhenQ?

PhenQ is a weight loss supplement made with thermogenic, or fat-burning, natural ingredients including caffeine, pepper extract, and carnitine.

It’s made by Wolfson Brands Limited, a UK-based supplement manufacturing company.

According to the PhenQ website, the supplement was designed to burn fat, prevent body fat production, eliminate food cravings, boost energy levels, and improve your mood.

The name PhenQ is likely based on the word “phentermine”, the name of a powerful prescription weight loss suppressant that was very popular in the 1990s and is still available with a prescription today.

However, PhenQ does not contain the drug phentermine, so its name is a bit misleading. One reviewer even reported that she bought the product because — based on the name — she thought it would work like phentermine.

Customer reviews are also pretty mixed on the product’s effectiveness.

Some reviewers say that the product has helped them to lose excess weight and prevent unwanted weight gain, while others say it’s a scam product that had no effect on their weight.

Some even say that they’ve even experienced weight gain since they started taking it.

Understanding the Possible Benefits Behind PhenQ

Many of the ingredients in PhenQ fat burners have solid evidence to support their use for weight loss and energy, especially caffeine.

However, PhenQ may not contain a large enough dose of the other ingredients to show any benefit in those aspects.

Additionally, from a big-picture perspective, it’s important to remember that the changes to your body’s fat-burning ability and appetite regulation from these supplements are very small.

These weight loss benefits can be completely canceled out if you’re not also eating a healthy diet and exercising.

That’s why PhenQ’s official website features a small disclaimer at the bottom of the page explaining that the product is meant to be used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise routine for weight management.

Below we’ll break down the claimed benefits and its research to help you understand to what capacity this supplement may be helpful in reaching your weight loss goals.

Promoting Weight Loss

PhenQ is made with ingredients chromium and carnitine to promote burning extra body fat through a process called thermogenesis.

One study noted that a combination of 200 mcg of chromium and 1000 mg of carnitine daily for 12 weeks was linked to weight loss in overweight and obese women. (1)

While PhenQ contains 160 mcg of chromium in 2 capsules, it only provides 300 mg of carnitine in 2 capsules, So it may not contain a high enough dose to promote weight loss in this way.

Additionally, PhenQ contains Capsimax powder (capsicum fruit extract) from red chili peppers, which is a source of capsaicin.

In one study, taking 2 mg of capsaicin increased calorie burn without increasing appetite or calorie intake, which may be helpful for weight loss. (2)

However, the amount of capsaicin in PhenQ isn’t disclosed, so it’s hard to tell if the supplement would provide a similar benefit. (2)

The alpha-lipoic acid in PhenQ may also support weight loss.

One 24-week study found that 600 mg of alpha-lipoic acid per day was associated with greater weight loss than a placebo. (3)

Unfortunately, the amount of alpha-lipoic acid in PhenQ isn’t disclosed. But in the supplement it’s part of a blend called α-Lacys Reset, of which PhenQ provides only 25 mg.

It’s unlikely that such a small amount of alpha-lipoic acid would provide the same benefit.

However, the standout ingredient for weight loss in PhenQ is caffeine.

Caffeine has been shown in many studies to boost metabolism and increase your body’s fat-burning abilities, especially during exercise.

In one study, researchers found that a moderate dose of caffeine (3 mg/kg body weight, or about 200 mg for a 150-pound/67 kg person) could increase fat burn and decrease fatigue during one hour of exercise. (4)

In another trial, researchers found that fitness drinks containing 100–140 mg of caffeine could increase energy expenditure (how many calories you burn) and fat oxidation (the body’s fat-burning process) both during exercise and at rest. (5)

If taken per label instructions (2 capsules), PhenQ provides 200 mg of caffeine, so it may offer some of these benefits.


Several ingredients in PhenQ may promote weight loss for people overweight or obese, but, with the exception of caffeine, the product contains smaller amounts of these ingredients than the studies used. For this reason, PhenQ may not provide the same benefits.

Increasing Energy

Two capsules of PhenQ contain about as much caffeine as two cups of coffee.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, providing a natural energy boost and making you feel more awake. (6)

Researchers have found that caffeine intake can improve performance, reaction time, and accuracy in both mental and physical tasks. (7, 8)


PhenQ contains caffeine, a natural energy booster with a great deal of scientific evidence to support its use.

Improving Mood

According to PhenQ, the L-carnitine in the supplement may help to improve your mood. However, there have been no well-designed studies on this potential relationship.

Some research suggests that many people with depression have a deficiency in acetyl-L-carnitine, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that L-carnitine supplementation will boost mood. (9, 10)


The L-carnitine in PhenQ may help improve mood. However, although there may be a link between L-carnitine and mood, more research needs to be done.

Reducing Appetite and Food Cravings

PhenQ may also help reduce your appetite, carbohydrate cravings, and sugar cravings.

One well-designed study found that daily 400 mcg chromium supplementation for 12 weeks could help to alter hunger hormones to promote fullness and suppress appetite in people with fatty liver disease. (11)

However, PhenQ diet pills only contain 160 mcg of chromium when taken as directed, so they may not have the same effect.

Studies have also shown that chewing gum containing carnitine may help reduce calorie intake and snacking. However, the gum also contained other ingredients, such as green coffee extract and garcinia cambogia. (12)

Additionally, although caffeine is frequently touted as an appetite suppressant, a recent study found that its effects on appetite aren’t consistent. Therefore, it may not be very effective for reducing appetite. (13)

Capsicum fruit extract also shows beneficial effects on appetite and food intake that lead to weight loss. (14)

However, the amount of capsicum fruit extract in PhenQ isn’t disclosed, so it’s hard to know if the amount in the supplement would have the same effect that’s seen in studies.


Several ingredients in PhenQ may help reduce appetite, but it contains less than the research studies used. For this reason, PhenQ may not effectively suppress appetite.

The Evidence Score

Here is our score, based on scientific evidence, of how likely PhenQ will be effective for its claimed benefits:

Promotes weight loss3.5/5
Increases energy4/5
Improves mood2/5
Reduces appetite and food cravings3/5

Is PhenQ Safe to Take?

Most of the ingredients in the PhenQ are safe when the supplement is taken as directed. However, the caffeine content can be a concern.

If you take two servings per day as recommended on the product packaging, the supplement provides over 200 mg of caffeine, about as much as 2 cups of coffee.

If you’re already getting caffeine from other sources, such as soda, coffee, tea, or energy drinks, you should be careful with PhenQ.

Some people may experience jitters, headaches, nausea, anxiety, and an increased heart rate with caffeine intake.

It is recommended not to consume more than 400 mg of caffeine in one day, but if you are sensitive to caffeine, you may experience negative symptoms with a lesser amount. (15)

Two cups of coffee and two PhenQ capsules will easily get you to that 400 mg mark.

Women who are pregnant and breastfeeding should avoid PhenQ because of its high caffeine content.

Likewise, because caffeine can affect the heart and may interact with certain drugs, you should speak to your healthcare provider before starting PhenQ if you have any medical problems or are taking any prescription medications.

Additionally, PhenQ is not third-party tested. Although the FDA regulates dietary supplements, it doesn’t approve them before they enter the market.

Third-party testing offers a way for companies to prove that their product is legitimate and contains only the ingredients listed on the label in the correct amounts.

PhenQ’s lack of third-party testing doesn’t automatically mean it’s a bad product, but it is something to be mindful of if you’re considering buying it.

PhenQ’s Supplements Facts and Directions

A serving of PhenQ is one tablet. It provides:

  • Calcium: 230 mg
  • Chromium Picolinate: 80 mcg
  • L-Carnitine Fumarate: 150 mg
  • Caffeine Anhydrous: 100 mg
  • Nopal Cactus Fiber: 20 mg
  • Capsimax Plus Blend: 50 mg — Caffeine anhydrous, Capsimax capsicum fruit extract (2% capsaicinoids), niacin (vitamin B3), black pepper fruit extract (50% piperine)
  • α-Lacys Reset: 25 mg — Alpha-lipoic acid, L-cysteine

According to the product packaging, you should take one serving with breakfast and one serving with lunch.

For this reason, although a bottle contains 60 servings, it’s only a 30-day supply if taken according to the package instructions.

How Much Does PhenQ Cost?

You can only buy PhenQ on their official website. One bottle of PhenQ equals to a 30-day supply.

  • 1 Bottle: $79.99 (often on sale for $69.99)
  • 3 Bottles: $139.99 ($46.66/bottle)
  • 5 Bottles: $209.99 ($41.99/bottle)

As you can see, you can get a better deal by purchasing in bulk. The best savings come from buying five bottles at once.

PhenQ offers free worldwide shipping on all orders.

They also offer a 60-day money-back guarantee. You have to return any unused product you didn’t use within 67 days of purchase, but you’ll receive a full refund minus the cost of return shipping.

How PhenQ Compares to Alternatives

There are hundreds of different weight loss supplements available. Several of them feature similar ingredients as PhenQ, including pepper extract and caffeine. Here’s how PhenQ compares to some similar alternatives.

Jacked Factory BurnXT

Jacked Factor’s BurnXT is the top-selling fat burner supplement on Amazon. Like PhenQ, it contains cayenne pepper extract, black pepper extract, and caffeine. It also contains green tea extract and acetyl-L-carnitine.

It provides 270 mg of caffeine in the suggested serving size of 2 capsules per day, which is a bit more than PhenQ.

It costs $29.99 for a 30-day supply, and shipping costs $9.99. If you subscribe, you can get free shipping and 25% off your first order (and 15% off subsequent refills).

They offer a 90-day money-back guarantee minus the cost of return shipping, but only if you purchase directly through the Jacked Factory website.

Our Take

BurnXT is significantly less expensive than PhenQ and contains similar ingredients. It provides slightly more caffeine, but may be a better fit if you’re on a budget.

Cellucor SuperHD

SuperHD is a weight loss supplement from the well-known, high-quality sports supplement company Cellucor. It contains several ingredients, including cayenne pepper extract and caffeine, that are also in PhenQ.

SuperHD contains 320 mg of caffeine in a suggested serving size of 2 capsules daily, which is significantly more than PhenQ.

According to the Cellucor website, you can take up to 3 capsules per day, which would provide a potentially dangerous dose of 480 mg of caffeine.

SuperHD costs $29.99 for a 30-day supply if taken as directed, but you can get a 30% discount on your first subscription order and 20% off future subscription orders.

Shipping costs vary, but you can get free shipping on orders over $55. Cellucor offers a full 60-day money-back guarantee on its products.

Our Take

SuperHD is another inexpensive alternative to PhenQ, but it does contain significantly more caffeine. If you purchase this product, I would recommend sticking to only one or two capsules per day, which equals 160–320 mg of caffeine, and being cautious of other sources of caffeine to not increase your intake over the recommended limit of 400 mg per day.

Hydroxycut Hardcore

Hydroxycut is a well-known weight loss supplement company that’s been around for over 25 years. You’ve probably seen their commercials on TV before.

Hydroxycut Hardcore contains a variety of ingredients, including caffeine and cayenne pepper extract, that are in PhenQ too. However, a 2-capsule serving of Hydroxycut Hardcore contains 265 mg of caffeine.

Hydroxycut also says that you can take up to 4 capsules per day, an extremely high dose of 530 mg of caffeine, which is above the recommended maximum limit of caffeine per day.

Hydroxycut Hardcore is the least expensive option, at $22.99 for a 30-day supply. Purchasing in bulk can unlock a larger discount, and all shipping is free. However, they don’t accept returns on unopened products.

Our Take

Hydroxycut Hardcore is very inexpensive, but higher in caffeine than PhenQ. If you purchase it, I recommend sticking to a maximum of 2 capsules per day, despite Hydroxycut’s instruction that you can take up to 4.

Quick Comparison Table

PhenQ BurnXT Cellucor SuperHD Hydroxycut Hardcore
Price $69.99 for a 30-day supply $29.99 for a 30-day supply $29.99 for a 30-day supply (if taking 2 capsules per day) $22.99 for a 30-day supply (if taking 2 capsules per day)
Lowest Possible Price $41.99 for a 30-day supply (bulk purchase) $25.49 for a 30-day supply (subscription) $23.99 for a 30-day supply (subscription) $15.33 for a 30-day supply (bulk purchase)
Suggested Serving Size 2 capsules per day 2 capsules per day Up to 3 capsules per day Up to 4 capsules per day
Shipping Free $9.99 or free with subscription Varies or free over $55 or with subscription Free
Returns 60-day money-back guarantee (minus return shipping) 90-day money-back guarantee (first order only, minus return shipping) 60-day money-back guarantee No returns on opened product
Caffeine Per Serving

1 capsule: 100 mg, roughly, 2 capsules: 200 mg

1 capsule: 135 mg, 2 capsules: 270 mg

1 capsule: 160 mg, 2 capsules: 320 mg, 3 capsules: 480 mg

2 capsules: 265 mg, 4 capsules: 530 mg

Key Ingredients

Chromium, L-carnitine, Caffeine, Capsicum fruit extract, Black pepper extract, Alpha-lipoic acid, L-cysteine

Acetyl-L-carnitine, Green tea extract, Caffeine, Capsicum fruit extract, Black pepper extract

N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, Capsicum fruit extract, Caffeine, Green tea extract

Caffeine, Cayenne pepper extract, Green coffee extract, Yohimbe bark, L-tyrosine, L-methionine, L-leucine

Third-Party Tested No No No No

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can you lose with PhenQ?

The amount of weight you lose while taking PhenQ depends on your calorie intake and output. Although PhenQ may provide some slight advantages to the amount of calories you burn per day, you’ll still need to focus on a healthy diet and exercise in order to see weight loss results.

What are the side effects of PhenQ?

Most of the side effects of PhenQ weight loss pills are related to their caffeine content. The product may cause jitters, anxiety, heart rate changes, and nausea — especially if you are sensitive to caffeine. The recommended maximum daily caffeine intake is no more than 400 mg. It is important to be mindful of all sources of caffeine in your day to not exceed this amount.

Can you drink alcohol while taking PhenQ?

PhenQ is high in caffeine — which shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol. According to the CDC, caffeine can mask the effects of alcohol so that you feel more alert when drinking. This may encourage you to drink more than usual because you won’t feel as alcohol-impaired as you actually are. (16)

The Bottom Line

PhenQ contains several evidence-based ingredients intended to promote fat loss and appetite regulation.

However, with the exception of caffeine, it doesn’t provide as much of these ingredients as was used in research studies, so it may not offer the same benefits.

Additionally, PhenQ is high in caffeine. If you’re already drinking caffeine throughout the day, that means you need to be careful with the supplement.

Overall, PhenQ is too expensive for the limited amount of active ingredients it provides. There are several alternatives in the $20–$30 range that may provide similar benefits.

However, it’s also important to remember that weight loss pills aren’t necessary for a healthy, sustainable, and successful weight loss process.

Regardless, if weight loss supplements like PhenQ are motivating to you, or if you want the extra push that they may provide, it could be worth adding one to your routine, as long as you’re mindful of its caffeine content and are also focusing on a healthy diet with exercise.

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  1. Effects of Chromium and Carnitine Co-supplementation on Body Weight and Metabolic Profiles in Overweight and Obese Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial - PubMed:
  2. Acute administration of capsaicin increases resting energy expenditure in young obese subjects without affecting energy intake, appetite, and circulating levels of orexigenic/anorexigenic peptides - PubMed:
  3. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Long-Term (R)-α-Lipoic Acid Supplementation Promotes Weight Loss in Overweight or Obese Adults without Altering Baseline Elevated Plasma Triglyceride Concentrations - PubMed:
  4. Caffeine increases whole-body fat oxidation during 1 h of cycling at Fatmax - PubMed:
  5. The acute effects of thermogenic fitness drink formulas containing 140 mg and 100 mg of caffeine on energy expenditure and fat metabolism at rest and during exercise - PubMed:
  6. Caffeine: MedlinePlus:
  7. Women Experience the Same Ergogenic Response to Caffeine as Men - PubMed:
  8. Effect of acute caffeine intake on hit accuracy and reaction time in professional e-sports players - PubMed:
  9. Acetyl-l-carnitine deficiency in patients with major depressive disorder - PubMed:
  10. Acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid: possible neurotherapeutic agents for mood disorders? - PubMed:
  11. Chromium picolinate balances the metabolic and clinical markers in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial - PubMed:
  12. Short-term effects of a green coffee extract-, Garcinia c ambogia- and L-carnitine-containing chewing gum on snack intake and appetite regulation - PubMed:
  13. Caffeine Transiently Affects Food Intake at Breakfast - PubMed:
  14. Influence of a Novel Food-Grade Formulation of Red Chili Extract ( Capsicum annum) on Overweight Subjects: Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study - PubMed:
  15. Spilling the Beans: How Much Caffeine is Too Much? | FDA:
  16. Dangers of mixing alcohol with caffeine and energy drinks | CDC: