There are a ton of different bodybuilding supplements on the market and sometimes it can be hard to know where to start or which ones are right for you.
But what might really surprise you is just how similar many of the products are.
In fact, you can even go as far in some cases as to swap your supplements around and you’ll still get the same effects!
Take fat burners for instance. While these are very varied in terms of their ingredients, they often end up using the precise same things as pre-workouts. So true is this, that you could take your pre workout at the start of the day to increase fat loss, or use your fat burner before a workout to increase energy!
If you take a look at the back of your fat burners or your pre-workouts, you’ll notice that caffeine is often the key ingredient in both. This is because caffeine happens to be very effective at burning fat and increasing energy.
Caffeine works essentially by blocking the action of a neurotransmitter called ‘adenosine’ in the brain. Adenosine in turn is an ‘inhibitory’ neurotransmitter that reduces brain activity. This is increased in the brain over time as it happens to be a by-product of the energy system that powers all our activities. Throughout the day, we build up more and more adenosine and this causes us to feel tireder and eventually fall asleep.
But what this also does is to increase activity in the brain. And when that activity increase, the brain assumes that something exciting/important is going on. Thus it will start to produce other neurotransmitters in response, including norepinephrine and dopamine. These happen to be the same neurotransmitters that are produced in the fight or flight response and have a similar effect on the body – increasing the heartrate and triggering increased focus and rapid fat burning.
When you take caffeine in high enough quantities then, it can actually raise your heartrate and metabolism enough that you end up burning more fat throughout the day – and this effect is even greater during workouts. At the same time, an increased metabolism also leads to more focus, more energy and more concentration which makes this excellent as a pre-workout.
Green tea and bitter orange are both also common pre-workout/fat burner ingredients that essentially have the very same effect as caffeine and similarly increase the heartrate and metabolism.
The other ingredients in fat burners and pre-workouts also work in both ways.
For instance, when a fat burner contains l-carnitine, that’s because this ingredient helps to increase the efficiency of the mitochondria. This in turn means that the cells are able to get more energy from glucose in the blood stream. That then means that you have less glucose in your blood (meaning less will get stored as fat) and you have more energy (meaning you can workout harder). Once again, this is both a pre workout and a fat burning ingredient!