A question I’m always asking myself when I want to try a new brand of supplements is, what’s the difference between a fat burner and a pre-workout? And are they interchangeable? As a gym novice I’m always looking for amazing supplements that will elevate my work out to the next level, help me train harder for longer and deliver the results I’m chasing.
Basically, fat burners are supplements that acutely increase fat metabolism, energy expenditure and increase fat oxidation during exercise. The main ingredients aim to increase your metabolism so that the body uses fat for fuel and provides energy for working out (https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/5-truths-about-fat-burners.html). Fat burners can be consumed any time of day (but be sure to check the label!) but can most effectively be consumed before a work out to maximise fat metabolism and to use fat as fuel!
Whereas, a pre-workout supplement is designed to provide intense energy, maximum focus, amplified muscle pumps and add explosive power during you work out. Often including ingredients that help delay muscular fatigue, improve endurance and sped up recovery from training (https://baguiosports.com/collections/supplements/products/pre-workout-strawberry-blitz-250g). As in the name pre work is consumed before you start your workout session or is at the very latest consumed after warming up.
Are they interchangeable? Short answer, for me yes, I often use a fat burner in place of a pre-workout. But it all comes down to and depends on what are your goals. Are you training to lose weight or build muscle? Do you want a longer stronger workout, or a leaner toned look?
Any good supplement store should also question you about your health concerns. Pre workout contains a big dose of caffeine, that’s what gives you the “buzz” and makes you want to hit the training hard. Often, we forget that our health issues can affect what supplements we can take and how they function in our body. Just as a little example, people with thyroid issues, issues with cortisol levels or heart problems should always check the product or query the sup store before trying a new pre workout!
Cheers, Hannah x