Navigating the world of fitness supplements can be like trying to find your way around a never-ending maze. If you’re not sure where the end is, how are you supposed to figure out the best route to get there?
Knowing your end goal is essential for choosing the right stack of supplements. If you’re looking for maximum muscle growth, something with creatine and protein is probably up your alley.
If you’re looking to prevent muscle fatigue, BCAAs or beta-alanine are good options. And if you want to burn fat and max out your performance, a pre-workout and a fat burner will do it.
But there’s something many people wonder—is a pre-workout and fat burner safe to take together?
We’re digging through the research and giving you what you need to know about taking pre-workout and a fat burner together.
Fat Burner And Pre-Workout—What’s The Difference?
Many people think pre-workout and fat burners are the same. Pre-workouts contain several ingredients purported to kick your body into high gear and, as people seem to think, burn fat.
While pre-workout formulas contain some ingredients that help to mobilize fat stores, the goal isn’t to burn fat—it’s boosting your performance by increasing energy, focus, concentration, drive, intensity, and the like.
Pre-workouts are a class of supplements designed to get you pumped to train. While there is a physical component to pre-workouts, they primarily target the mental aspect of training—attention, focus, concentration, drive, etc.
By targeting specific pathways, pre-workouts can enhance overall performance, delay or reduce fatigue, and augment long-term adaptations that favor your performance goals 1.
They generally contain a stimulant, most commonly caffeine, and a complex of other different ingredients targeted to specific goals. Most commonly, you’ll see:
- Amino acids
- Nitric oxide boosters (beetroot, L-citrulline, arginine, etc.)
- B vitamins
These ingredients work synergistically to promote the sought-after “pump,” increase force production, muscle endurance, and power output, and potentially mitigate muscle damage and accelerate recovery. Essentially, a pre-workout sets you up for the best workout possible.
But when we switch over to fat burners, their sole purpose is to mobilize and burn adipose tissue, not enhance your athletic performance. They do this by increasing fat metabolism and energy expenditure, inhibiting fat absorption, boosting fat oxidation during exercise, and causing long-term adaptations that promote increased fat metabolism 2.
Although all fat burners have a mechanism specific to their ingredients, these compounds help regulate blood sugar, suppress appetite, increase thermogenesis, and more. Ultimately, they target stubborn fat to induce fat burn and weight loss.
In a fat burner, you’ll typically see ingredients like:
- Green tea extract (EGCG)
- Conjugated-linolenic acid (CLA)
In general, these compounds work by increasing lipolysis (fat breakdown) and inhibiting lipogenesis (fat accumulation) 3. This is done by stimulating the nervous system, which causes the subsequent release of catecholamines like epinephrine and norepinephrine that stimulate lipolysis by mobilizing fatty acids for oxidation.
As you can see, some of the ingredients in a fat burner overlap with those in a pre-workout, but generally, they’re not identical. That means they have different pathways they work on to elicit different results.
What’s Your Goal?
If you want to create your perfect supplement stack, it’s important to look at your end goal(s).
If your primary goal is to alter body composition (i.e. burn fat and potentially gain muscle), a fat burner is probably what you’re looking for. But if your main goal isn’t about body composition and you prioritize gains in muscle mass, strength, power, or endurance capabilities, then a pre-workout will help you get there.
You can achieve both if you are strategic with your training methodology and supplement stack.
Here’s what they both have to offer:
- Enhance concentration and focus
- Increase energy
- Boost muscle power and strength
- Increase aerobic and anaerobic endurance
- Increase nitric oxide (NO) levels
- Enhance blood flow and muscle oxygenation
- Sustains NO activity
- Accelerate muscle recovery
- Increase fat mobilization and utilization
- Stimulate thermogenesis
- Boost metabolism and increase energy expenditure
- Suppress appetite
- Regulate blood sugar and insulin
- Preserve lean muscle and accelerate recovery
Can You Combine A Pre-Workout And Fat Burner?
Yes—combining a pre-workout supplement and fat burner is safe, assuming you’re using a science-backed, reputable formula for both.
Many pre-workouts and fat burners lining store shelves are heavy on the stimulants, which means they’re simultaneously revving your nervous system to maximize energy and fat breakdown.
Suppose you’re taking two products with a high stimulant concentration. In that case, you’re probably going to land yourself in a less than ideal situation with unpleasant side effects—jitters, anxiety, irritability, heart palpitations, etc.
The tell-take signs of caffeine overload. Not only is excessive caffeine problematic short-term, but it can do long-term damage, as well. Side effects aside, if your fat burner and pre-workout contain caffeine (or another stimulant), it’s not advisable to take them together.
However, if you’re stacking low-caffeine or stim-free supplements, you run little risk of reliance or adverse side effects. Taken together, they can unlock synergy for maximum results—pre-workouts help you perform better in the gym, while fat burners turbocharge your results.
How could you go wrong?
You’re probably wondering what kind of stack we’re talking about—here it is.
Supercharge Your Fat Burn With Pre Lab Pro® + Burn Lab Pro®
Pre Lab Pro® is a next-generation pre-workout formula designed to take your workouts to new heights. Featuring five science-backed natural ingredients, plus the addition of NutriGenesis vitamins and minerals, Pre Lab Pro® offers a bigger nitric oxide boost, smarter stimulation, and stronger homeostasis.
Its 2x nitric oxide stack boosts and sustains blood flow to active muscles to enhance strength, stamina, focus, and endurance. And with just 80mg of caffeine combined with L-theanine and other nootropics, Pre Lab Pro® supports more energy, focus, and intensity with fewer jitters, crashes, and side effects.
And to top it off, it replenishes nutrients before training to help you perform at your peak, maintain proper hydration, resist stress, and fast-track recovery.
Pair that with Burn Lab Pro® for the ultimate results. BLP is the smartest, most potent natural fat burner on the market that helps you achieve your performance goals faster and easier.
Combining five ultra-powerful ingredients that rev metabolism, mobilize fat, protect muscle, and accelerate recovery, Burn Lab Pro supercharges your workout and recovery for maximum results.
- Harty PS, Zabriskie HA, Erickson JL, Molling PE, Kerksick CM, Jagim AR. Multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements, safety implications, and performance outcomes: a brief review. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018;15(1):41.
- Jeukendrup AE, Randell R. Fat burners: nutrition supplements that increase fat metabolism. Obes Rev. 2011;12(10):841-851.
- Jakopin Ž. Risks associated with fat burners: A toxicological perspective. Food Chem Toxicol. 2019;123:205-224.