Workout Level on 100 – Review of C4 Pre Workout

By | November 11, 2015



My Rating – 8/10cellulor c4c4 label

Price ~ $29.50 (varies slightly with flavor)

Servings – 30

Price/serving ~ 98 cents

Flavors – Icy Blue Razz, Watermelon

Cheapest Place to Buy – Amazon




Cellucor C4 has been on the market for quite a while now and went through many ingredient revisions. It is extremely popular and has received outstanding reviews, but is it really worth it? In this product review I will be analyzing the Cellucor C4 pre workout ingredients, particularly the more important active ingredients as well as their dosages.

Lets be in with the popular Beta Alanine, which is in just about every pre workout.


Beta Alanine

  • promotes high carnosine levels in the muscles
    • this is a buffering agent that helps keep pH balance in the muscles
      • keeping the pH balance healthy the muscles don’t fatigue as quickly
        • this increases muscular endurance
    • higher carnosine levels also have proved to increase lean body mass
      • this leads to increased muscle density and strength
  • gives you a tingling sensation which may give you a psychological boost (I’m sure many of you love this effect)
Recommended Dosage

From studies I’ve found there have even been dosages as high as 6.4g per day that have proven beneficial. However it seems that usually the dosages are broken down into anywhere from 800mg to 1500mg at a time for optimal absorption and effect.

For this reason I conclude that the 1600mg (1.6g) this product offers is an adequate dose at one time. Although you may want to supplement more by itself throughout the day to see better effects.


Creatine Nitrate (NO3-T)

No one can deny the benefits of creatine. There have been hundreds of studies that support the claim that creatine helps build muscle, decrease muscle recovery time, boost strength, and increase muscular endurance. But why is creatine nitrate included in this preworkout? What are the benefits of this form of creatine?

  • has 10x the water solubility of creatine monohydrate
  • suggests that it may be more easily absorbed

Creatine nitrate is a much newer form and has not yet been proved to be any more effective than your typical creatine monohydrate, however this could be due to extreme lack studies performed.


Once again this form of creatine is understudied and their is no optimal dosage proven by science. However from what I have read it is recommended that you take anywhere from 1000 – 2000mg per day depending on body weight.

With that said it seems that the 1000mg (1g) of creatine nitrate included in this pre workout is a sufficient dose.


Arginine AKG

Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate is a salt of arginine, an amino acid. Its benefits include:

  • increases N.O. production
    • increasing vasodilation (gives you a pump)
  • increased insulin (20 to 30%)
    • in theory should increase strength and muscle growth

Whether this is true or not is unclear. The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition conducted a study of the supplementation of 3000mg of arginine AKG and found no such strength benefit. Also the International Journal of Sports Nutrition conducted a similar survey where the results were inconclusive, meaning if there were benefits they were insignificant.

Many people swear arginine AKG works for them so its possible that there just has not been enough scientific testing done yet.


Recommended dosage is anywhere from 1500 – 3500mg per day. However, a study of 4000mg supplementation a day for 8 weeks showed no adverse effects.

This supplement contains 1000mg (1g) which is below what is considered optimal.


Explosive Energy Blend (as it is labeled)Dynamite_clipart

Caffeine Anhydrous

Caffeine is probably the most important ingredient when it comes to this explosive energy blend. It has been around for centuries and seems to work for just about everyone. The caffeine contained here is in a anhydrous state and is more powerful than that found in coffee. Some of caffeine’s benefits include:

  • increases mental alertness
  • increases muscular endurance
    • study of 330mg caffeine ingested prior to cycling to exhaustion (endurance race)
      • increased time til exhaustion form 75 min to 96 min
    • study of 250mg caffeine ingested prior to cycling to exhaustion (short term intense race)
      • increased time til exhaustion from 5:20 min to 5:49 min
  • increases power output
    • study of sprinters which performed a series of 6-s sprints
      • showed a 7% improvement in what they called “maximal power output”
    • studies on 1RM in strength training are inconclusive (more studies needed)

Besides all of the great benefits of caffeine beware of its negative aspects. Such that it is a diuretic and is dehydrating.


3 – 6mg/kg of body weight has shown to be the target area for optimal intake. Doses of 7mg/kg of body weight and higher have shown to not improve benefits and actually can effect performance negatively.

So if you weight 200lbs and take 250mg of caffeine you are taking 2.76mg of caffeine per kg.

This pre workout contains 150mg of caffeine per serving so according to research studies this is below optimal, however for many people any more would give them jitters and profuse perspiration.


  • helps with production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and noradrenaline
    • leads to brain relaxation and mood boost
  • increases mental alertness (focus)
  • improves cognitive thinking


Side Effects

The c4 pre workout side effects include:

  • tunnel vision (focus is more narrow with less distractions)
  • tingling sensation of the skin (most noticeable in the hands and fingers)
less common
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • skin rashes

Of these side effects I have only experienced tunnel vision and tingling of the skin. I prefer to have both of these side effects. It helps me get in the mood to throw some weight around.

If you have experienced additional side effects be sure to let me know by commenting below.



One ingredient that I would really like to have seen in this pre workout is Agmatine Sulfate. Agmatine sulfate increases muscular endurance, aids in recovery, modulates N.O. production, enhances the production of insulin, and so on. Of course I also love the pump I get from it. My guess is that they did not include it because of the price. It is much more expensive than arginine or beta alanine…

Another thing that this pre workout along with almost all pre workouts has is caffeine along with the N.O. boosting ingredients. Caffeine is known to restrict blood flow, while the purpose of the N.O. boosting ingredients is to increase blood flow. As you can see this is a problem. I have used caffeine free pre workouts many times before and honestly I would still rather stick with the ones containing caffeine. Until a better ingredient can be found I am sticking with caffeine.

Overall, I would consider this pre workout a fairly good one. It fell short of optimal on a few doses such caffeine and Arginine AKG but was not far off. It also could have included other beneficial ingredients (as many pre workouts do) such as my favorite agmatine sulfate. With that being said I would give this supplement a rating of 8 out of 10.

If you have never used a pre workout before give this one a try. Its sure to give you that extra boost that you sometimes need in the gym. The caffeine content is not crazy so you won’t be bugging out during your workout (important for those not used to caffeine).

So Where Can I Buy It?

  • Cheapest Price (this includes shipping) –



Do you agree with this rating or have questions? Have you tried this product and would like to share your experience?

Don’t forget to comment below.






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