Pre-Workouts, Thermogenics and Fat-Burners. What's the Difference & What Should I Use?

Pre-Workout, Thermogenics and Fat-Burners. What's the Difference & What Should I Use?

Have you ever found yourself chatting about supplementation with one of the big units at your gym in between sets?

More often than not, they’ll rave about supplements that boost gym performance, enhance recovery, amplify fat loss and give you insane spikes of energy to smash through a killer workout, which you’re then told you absolutely must try out sometime. However, understandably you’re hesitant and reluctant to follow the advice of said gym bro and his army of leg day avoiding bros. Like most people, you naturally want to do your own research prior to diving headfirst into pre-workout supplementation.

The Important Stuff

What’s the major difference between a fat burner and a pre-workout?

To keep things simple, the main difference between a pre-workout and a fat burner comes down to:

  • The ingredients used to formulate the product

  • The intended use and result of the product

How Will the Ingredients Used in Formulating a Product, Change or Alter the Intended Use of the Product? 

Be it a fat burner or a pre-workout, there are some distinct differences between the ingredients used. While caffeine is generally a common ingredient found in both types of products, pre-workout supplements are comprised of ingredients designed to improve gym performance and a fat burners ingredient panel will reflect a formula that targets fat burning.

What Even Is a Pre-Workout

Don’t worry, there’s no shame in admitting that you aren’t entirely sure what a pre-workout actually does. Because guess what? You’re certainly not alone! Simply put, a pre-workout is a supplement consumed prior to exercise. Its primary aim is to improve both gym performance and recovery after a training session, in addition to increasing energy levels and blood flow to the working muscle. And given a pre-workout supplements goal is different from that of a fat burner, it should come as no surprise that many of the ingredients included in the formula are different.

Wondering Why?

It’s simple - A pre-workout supplement isn’t designed to encourage fat loss, instead, it’s designed to improve your gym performance. The ingredients used to formulate a pre-workout will reflect the goals of the product. If the user is seeking better blood flow, better focus, lower lactic acid production and more energy, ingredients like Citrulline Malate, Agmatine, Glycerol, Beta-alanine, and Caffeine will likely be listed in the ingredient list. If your goal is to improve gym performance, pre-workout supplementation is the perfect solution for you. In fact, one of my favourite and most recommended pre-workouts of all time is Nitraflex by GAT.

Some of my best training sessions to date have been thanks to Nitraflex.  For most people, only half a scoop is needed. This is likely due to its high-quality ingredients, minimal fillers, and its caffeine content of 325mg per full scoop.

What Is a Fat Burner?

As the name suggests, a fat burner helps burn body fat. The ingredients listed on the label, as well as the entire formulation of the product, will usually reflect this too. Fat burners can be used as both a fat loss supplement and as a pre-workout supplement. Keep in mind that although fat burners are not designed to be a pre-workout supplement, they still contain caffeine. Using a fat burner will still provide you with great benefits, such as increased energy and productivity when implemented prior to a training session.
For those who want a fat burner without the stimulant effect of caffeine, Evolve Carnitine RX is the product for you. Containing three different types of Carnitine, zero stimulants and a flavour that can be enjoyed all hours of the day and night, it’s no wonder why Evolve Carnitine RX is a game-changer!

When Is the Right Time to Implement a Fat Burner? 

During a fat loss phase, we love to implement a fat burner first thing in the morning before a fasted cardio session. We find it helps us feel more productive and more alert throughout the day.
 Another use for a fat burner is prior to a weights session. Although a fat burner won't give you the same benefits as a pre-workout, the nice energy boost it provides is often all that is needed to get you jumping out of bed and straight into an epic training session. Without a doubt, one of the all-time favourite fat burners for those early morning cardio sessions is  EHP labs Oxyshred.

Oxyshred contains a combination of Caffeine, Taurine and Tyrosine. All three ingredients have shown to have a powerful mood-boosting effect and will have you feeling energised for hours after you've completed your session. Not only does the taste leave you wanting more, but the fat loss ingredients include 3.5g of L-Carnitine, CLA and Raspberry Ketones, which is an incredibly effective combination of ingredients. It's no wonder Oxyshred continues to build a reputation as one of the most popular and effective fat loss products on the market. 

Which is the Best Supplement for You?

The difference between a fat burner and a pre-workout comes down to choosing the right product for you, based on your goals and requirements.

Do you want to be able to train harder, get a better pump in the gym, increased recovery and better energy while training? Then a pre-workout supplement is for you.

Do you want a product that can assist you with fat loss and if needed, you can take multiple times per day, even if you're not training? Do you want something that you can also use as a pre-workout that will give you a nice boost in energy but isn't going to contain too much caffeineThen a fat burner supplement is for you. 

How to Assess Your Tolerance to Caffeine

A great rule of thumb when it comes to trying a new pre-workout supplement is to ALWAYS start with half a serving at first. Even if you don't feel all that much off half a serving, it's important to start with a smaller dose and work your way up to a full serving.


In the best-case scenario, you may find half a serve is more than enough to get the desired effect. A full serving may be too much and might have an adverse effect.  Another benefit of starting at a half dose is if you find that half a serving is enough, you've just doubled the total amount of servings per container!

We hope this serves as a helpful guide to assist you in determining what type of supplementation is most suited to your lifestyle and goals. If you have any further questions, feel free to email us, or talk to anyone of our friendly and experienced staff in-store or online. We’re only too happy to help!


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