C4 Pre-Workout Review

C4 is one of the most well-known pre-workout brands, yet there is a large number of people who believe it to be inferior compared to other supplements. 


Still, many people stick to what they know (or at least what they have heard of) with many different brands to purchase. This variety does not necessarily make C4 better or worse than other brands, but people might doubt C4’s effectiveness when considering the product.


We will address these doubts and give our unbiased analysis on the matter so that you can determine if the powder is right for you.


In this C4 pre-workout review, we will examine the pros and cons of the product, as well as the ingredients, usage, and who benefits most from it. 

Table of Contents

C4 Pre-Workout Overview

Cellucor Inc. manufactures the C4 pre-workout power, and it has been a staple in the fitness industry since 2011. There are many variations of C4 pre-workout, such as C4 Extreme, Original, Sports, and Ultimate.


For the purposes of this review, we will be analyzing the original C4 pre-workout.


  • Available everywhere
  • It is not as hard on the body as other pre-workouts
  • Performs decently


  • Not as effective as other brands
  • No noticeable energy pumps

C4 Pre-Workout Review

Let us start with how well the product works. 

While there was not an immediate effect like you might expect from pre-workout, such as tingling or energy boosts, we did notice a significant increase in performance and specifical recovery from muscle fatigue.

Admittedly, C4 did not seem to be as effective as other pre-workouts, although it helped provide sufficient energy for a workout. From time spent with weights to a cool-down run on the treadmill, the powder provided enough of a boost.

Looking at the ingredients (which we will go into more in-depth later in the article), C4 does not have nearly as many as other brands. The real problem lies in people comparing a brand with 1,300g of caffeine to one with 150g.

Here is how we can sum it up neatly:

Did C4 provide good results for a typical workout at the gym? Yes. However, it might disappoint as the go-to for a person who is serious about fitness, workout preparation, and powders.

Now on to the second most important factor, the taste.

For this C4 pre-workout review, we chose the blue raspberry and fruit punch flavors. We cannot say they were the best-tasting pre-workouts we ever had, but there are others that taste worse. It tasted how we expected, and there was minimal clumping when mixed into water.

Many people complain about cheaper options clumping during the mixing process. With C4, you get a smooth drink.

You will not find as many novelty flavors as you would with a company such as Ghost, but there are still a decent amount of options available. 

In short, C4 is decent tasting and decent performing. If we had to give these categories a rating, it would be a 5/10 for both of them. With nothing in the way of performance or taste to put them above the competitors, we’ve got to talk about the advantages that come with C4 pre-workout. 

First of all, the powder is everywhere. If a store has any supplement, it is probably going to be C4 pre-workout. With this brand, you will never have to worry about struggling to find the product, and you can likely always have access to it. 

Since there are not as high doses of ingredients as similar pre-workouts, you are less likely to see adverse effects. For example, high consumption of caffeine can lead to cardiovascular complications such as heart palpitations

You will not be as energized as you would be on other pre-workouts, but it is generally safer. We are not saying that pre-workout is dangerous, but you should always be mindful of how much you take. 

There are, of course, disadvantages to taking C4. C4 pre-workout is not underperforming, but it falls short of upholding its promise of “explosive” power. Given how the powder does not have as much caffeine as other brands and is average, it is best suited for typical workouts.

If you have been taking a different pre-workout and are looking to switch, then there is a good chance C4 might provide the same results. 

Still, if you are looking for something that is not too potent or you have recently started going to the gym, then the C4 pre-workout should be a main consideration.



Next up is a breakdown of the ingredients of C4 pre-workout (how much is in it and what they do).

If you are familiar with pre-workout ingredients, you will likely recognize most of these names.

1.6g of Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that helps with the body’s production of carnosine. The compound carnosine plays a vital part in muscle endurance during high-intensity workouts.

Studies indicate that an adequate daily dosage of beta-alanine is 4g – 6g. C4 pre-workout only has 1.6g, making it vastly below this threshold. 

1g of Creatine Nitrate

Creatine nitrate is a derivative of the creatine monohydrate molecule. Studies have shown it helps with bench press results and does not have adverse health effects. 

Creatine itself helps increase strength and build lean muscle mass, and its nitrate form of it simply makes it more readily available to the body (it’s more soluble).

C4 has 1g of creatine nitrate, which, again, isn’t a very high dosage compared to other supplements. It isn’t too little to be ineffective, and you could potentially see higher degrees in performance over time, but it ultimately depends on the person.

1g of Citrulline Malate

Citrulline malate is an amino acid that increases the body’s arginine levels. Arginine synthesizes nitric oxide, which can help with circulatory functions. The increased blood flow will, in turn, help with cardiovascular activities and can ultimately give a boost in athletic performance

Arguably, some might consider 1g of citrulline negligible, but for many people, it is adequate enough to get a response from the body.

150g of Caffeine Andronydous

Many people know caffeine can help with concentration, increase energy levels, and allow our brains to be more aware. 

If you are new to pre-workout, you might not be so sure why caffeine is in your powder, but you will find that most pre-workout supplements have the ingredient in them.

C4 has 150g of caffeine. If this amount sounds like an excess, it is not. At least it is not when compared to other pre-workouts. The 150g total is only about one and a half cups of coffee. Many alternative brands have almost 10 times that amount.

How to Use C4 Pre-Workout

This section of the C4 pre-workout review covers the product’s usage. To use C4 pre-workout, you should dilute one serving size (indicated by the scoop that comes in the container) into 6oz – 8oz of water. You can mix until the powder is completely dissolved into the water or use a shaker cup.


It would be best if you ingested it anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes before your workout. The time you take the supplement will probably depend on how fast your body metabolizes the supplement.


A further suggestion is that you should not “dry scoop” C4. Many people take the powder straight from the scoop with little to no water because that method is quicker. Unfortunately, dry scooping can have several side effects, such as heart palpitations and difficulty breathing.

Who Is C4 Pre-Workout For?

C4 pre-workout is not the most effective brand out there. It works, but only to a certain degree. After a while, you will not notice it as much. 

That is why C4 is a good stepping stone for people just starting out in the world of pre-workouts. It is not too strong, and it can give you the boost you are looking for. 

There are three main people we would recommend C4 pre-workout for.

People who exercise casually and are looking for a minor boost in performance, people who are just discovering pre-workout powders, and people who cannot tolerate intense, highly stimulating blends.

And if C4 works for you, then go for it! Each person has a different gym routine, and for some, C4 pumps them up just as much as any other pre-workout.


So maybe C4 is not everyone’s go-to pre-workout. It gets a bad reputation simply because it is not overloaded with ingredients that stimulate the body to the highest degree. 


But an average mix of ingredients does not make it a bad pre-workout. A bad pre-workout fails its job, but as we have come to realize, C4 performs reasonably well.


Again, we would not recommend this product to someone who has been using pre-workout for years, but it is a great starter supplement and works for people who want to avoid 1,300g of caffeine before their workout.


Hopefully, this C4 pre-workout review has given you everything you need to know about the supplement and whether or not it is for you. We thank you for reading and wish you luck with your future gains.

Best For
Annual Discount
Overall Builder
$20 / mo.
3 Months Free
Up to 30% off

Vegan Liftz Summary

Something about C4 used to seem kind of cheap, were not sure if it was the old packaging or the old taste, or just some of the old ingredients, but C4 original has changed for the better. 

With a renewed commitment to better quality ingredients some flashy cool packaging and some original flavors plus some new ones, we give C4-original a solid nine. If we needed a good pre-workout and this was in our bag ww would be drinking it! 

About the author
Jason Hughes
Follow Me