Pre-Workout vs Fat Burners

Medically reviewed by Dr Dimitar Marinov
Pre-Workout vs Fat Burners

What’s better to use to increase fat metabolism, pre-workouts or fat burners? The answer isn’t as simple as just saying one is better because fat burners and pre-workouts have different functions, which would make comparing them difficult. However, knowing which one to take and how they should be used will shed some light on which one is better for you.

Let’s take a look at pre-workouts vs fat burners to help you make the best choice. 

Is it better to take pre-workout or fat burners?

This answer largely depends on what your goals are. Pre-workout and fat burners can be used similarly, but their functions differ.

Fat burners improve fat loss

Fat burners are supplements that are designed to help you lose weight and target stubborn fat. They do this by improving fat oxidation while suppressing your appetite.

Pre-workouts increase energy expenditure

Pre-workouts are tailored to help boost energy to help you optimise your exercise performance, and indirectly help you lose weight. They also give you an impressive pump that could improve your power output and muscular strength. Pre-workout supplements are often used before a workout and come in powder forms or tablets, which can be taken orally. 

Fat burners and pre-workout supplements can be used together

The best part is both of these fitness supplements can be used together to get the best results. But you’re not going to see your desired effects by taking these nutrition supplements alone, because they do require you to take them alongside a healthy diet and a workout plan.

Reviewing the ingredients in pre-workout

Not all pre-workout formulas are the same, and the ingredients differ from brand to brand. Good pre-workout supplements contain quality ingredients to energize your workout. It typically has:

  • Beta-alanine prevents muscle acid buildup and boosts muscle performance
  • Caffeine for increased energy and focus (there are great stimulant-free pre-workouts available)
  • Creatine is a natural compound that supports energy production and muscle strength
  • Nitric oxide, produced by the body, enhances blood flow
  • Branched-chain amino acids can promote muscle growth and ease muscle soreness

What are the benefits of taking pre-workout?

Pre-workouts make a huge difference in your ability to perform. Here are the main benefits of taking pre-workout: 

  • Increased energy 
  • Increased focus 
  • Improved muscle building 

What are the drawbacks of taking pre-workout?

While pre-workouts can be beneficial and help you get one step closer to your goals, there are some drawbacks that you should consider. Pre-workouts: 

  • May cause headaches
  • May cause jitteriness
  • May cause mild reactions 
  • May cause water retention
  • May upset your digestive system 

Reviewing the ingredients in fat burner supplements

Fat burners have a combination of ingredients that are supposed to aid in weight loss. Some of the ingredients used in fat-burning supplements can differ depending on the product; these are some common ones you’ll likely find in most fat-burners:

  • Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and helps you maintain focus, and it’s also known to suppress hunger
  • Green Tea Extract also has high traces of caffeine in it and is known to help burn calories and reduce the amount of fat you absorb from food
  • Yohimbe comes from the bark of an evergreen tree and helps increase your heart rate to help burn fat
  • Carnitine helps keep your metabolism active and provides you with a small energy boost

What are the benefits of taking fat burner supplements?

Fat burners have several benefits when taken correctly. These benefits are:

  • Increase metabolic rate
  • Support the body using stored fate
  • Aid the body with appetite suppression
  • Boost your energy
  • Increase focus and alertness
  • May promote thermogenesis
  • Reduce water weight

What are the drawbacks of taking fat burner supplements?

Most fat burners have high levels of caffeine and other ingredients that can have potential side effects. Here are some drawbacks of taking fat burners:

  • High levels of caffeine can cause jitteriness or insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal issues can occur
  • You could build a tolerance 
  • Risk of dehydration

Can pre-workouts and fat burner be taken together?

It’s not usually recommended to combine a pre-workout supplement with a fat burner. Both supplements usually have a high level of caffeine, which would double when taken together and may cause potentially dangerous effects on your body. 

What is the best time to take pre-workouts or a fat burner?

The best time to take a fat burner is usually first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. The appetite-suppression ingredients should keep you satisfied till lunch, while other ingredients help burn body fat.

The best time to take pre-workouts is between 15-30 minutes before you exercise to ensure that your body can turn the ingredients into energy to boost your workout. 

Final thoughts

Fat burners and pre-workouts are designed to provide different functions for people. Whether you’re exercising or trying to lose a few kilos, choosing either supplement or both will add to helping you achieve your goals. Use a pre-workout supplement to improve your overall workout performance and a fat burner to help you shed some weight while you’re doing it.

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