Pre workout supplements are no doubt a very popular category of supplements and they can do many things from boosting energy to increasing pump. Because of the extensive number of ingredients in pre workout supplements, some individuals consider using them as fat burners or weight loss aids.
One of the major reasons why you would consider using a pre workout supplement as a fat burner is the fact that many pre workout supplements contain quite a high dose of stimulants. Many stimulants do an excellent job of increasing metabolism and fat burning and hence can help with weight loss.
The issue with using pre workouts as a fat burner is that unlike purpose designed fat burners, pre workouts often lack the supporting ingredients for effective fat burning. Instead, these products are designed to support workout quality. The best way to demonstrate this is if we compare some of the ingredients in one of the bestselling pre workout supplements to one of the best fat burners.
Type of Product
Buffer against lactate
Energy and thermogenesis
Energy and thermogenesis
Regulates blood sugar
*Although this is a common ingredient found in both pre workouts and fat burners, the particular fat burner in this comparison did not contain bitter orange.
As you can see from the above table, although there are some common ingredients between pre workouts and fat burners, they are in fact very different products. However, despite the general differences between the two product categories, some products do blur the lines. Pre workouts, such as Optimum Platinum Pre contain capsaicin, a poten thermogenic fat burner. In addition, L-carnitine, one of the most widely used fat metabolisers also have recovery benefits, which is why it can also be found in pre workouts such as EHPLabs Buzz and ProMera Pump Extrem. The converse is also true, with pre workout ingredients such as beta-alanine finding themselves into fat burners such as Beast 2Shredded.
Despite the blurring in boundaries it must be said that products do what they are designed to do best. In other words, fat burners can burn more fat than pre workouts, and pre workouts improve workouts better than fat burners. Hence, it makes sense to pick the product that most closely matches your goals. Some people opt to use both pre workouts and fat burners. However, if you chose to do this you must be careful not to consume both too closely together to avoid a stimulant overdose. Products containing stimulants should not be consumed with 3 to 4 hours of each other. Alternatively use a fat burner together with a stim-free pre workout.