As I’m waiting for my second tub of Ritual to arrive from AAA Supplements, I decided to trial and review yet another sample pack they generously sent to me. This time I gave C4 by Cellucor a go. Let’s firstly take a look at the ingredients profile.
Ingredients – 9/10
It’s always so releiving to see a company that’s confident enough in their product that they don’t have to hide it’s under-dosed ingredients behind a proprietary blend! Unfortunately only half of the ingredients are clear with C4 and the other half hidden behind their “Explosive Energy Blend”. Luckily for me these ingredients are not hidden on my sample pack. To begin with, we have the staple:
- Beta-alanine 1500mg
- Creatine nitrate 1000mg
- Arganine AKG 1000mg
It’s nice to see a decent dosage of creatine nitrate in a pre-workout. This is something I’ve considered supplementing separately, but not at a very high dosage, so the addition of 1000mg in C4 means I could get my preferred creatine dosage included in my pre-workout supplement. The beta-alanine and arganine dosages are also quite impressive.
Explosive Energy Blend
And now I shudder in disgust. You were doing so well Cellucor!
- Vitamin C 250mg
- L-Tyrosine 200mg
- Caffeine 160mg
- Bitter Orange 50mg
- Niacinamide (Viatmin B3) 30mg
- Folate 150mcg
- Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate 35mcg
- Vitamin B12 20mcg
I’ll first comment on the vitamins. We should all know what vitamin B and C vitamins do and what dosages are good for us. It’s mostly dependant on diet as these are both highly bio-available from many food sources. If you’re a drinker like me, any bonus vitamin B supplementation never goes astray, although generally you would be wanting to supplement thiamine (B1) rather than B3, B6, B9 and B12.
The dosage of caffeine is standard for pre-workout supplements. The bitter orange dosage is the same as VOLT, which if you read my review I mentioned that some evidence exists that suggests supplementation of 32mg or more of bitter orange daily can assist with weight loss, however not enough scientific data exists to back this up.
L-Tyrosine – L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is used to produce noradrenaline and dopamine; supplemental appears to be anti-stress for acute stressors (which tend to deplete noradrenaline) and may preserve stress-induced memory deficits. It is usually supplemented in dosages of at least 500mg, so it’s likely this is underdosed in C4.
Taste / Mixability – 7/10
I was sampling the fruit punch flavour. Drinkable, but very chemical tasting. Not the best I have tried. It did mix well though.
Effectiveness – 9/10
With a double dosage containing 320mg of caffeine and 3000mg of beta-alanine I was expecting to be bouncing off the walls. And unlike my double dosage of VOLT containing the same caffeine and MORE beta-alanine, C4 really did pack a punch! Within 15 minutes I was wide awake and had some crazy beta-alanine tingling. I take my pre-workout supplements every morning at 5:40am to give them 40 minutes to take full effect before I begin workout out at 6:20am. I usually get up and go to the bathroom at 6:10, but by 6 I couldn’t stay in bed any longer and just had to get up and start moving!
The energy by the 40 minute mark was insane. I was really pushing hard through my workout and it lasted for the entire workout too. I could still feel the beta-alanine tingling away through the entire workout and it made me push harder and harder as I wanted to be sure the effects wear off by the time my workout ended. Usually in my 40 minutes of cardio, I do about 6 – 7 high intensity bursts (HIIT) from around the 10 minute mark to the 22-24 minute mark, then continue doing low intensity cardio for the remaining 16-18 minutes. With C4 buzzing through me I continued to do HIIT from the 10 minute mark right up to the 36 minute mark, taking me up to 18 bursts of high intensity instead of the usual 6 or 7.
I am writing this 2 hours post-workout and am starting to feel a bit of a crash coming. I think this is a supplement I might keep handy for when I have an hour or more to spare for my workouts, and don’t have work to do after, such as weekends. I would also keep it around for when I start weight training, which will be pretty soon I think.
Finally a pre-workout that I can compare to Ritual and Upload! C4 definitely gives more energy and beta-alanine rush than anything I’ve ever tried, but it would seem it is not without a post-workout crash. I imagine that this is a product best for days where you can relax after your workout, or for days where you really need to lift hard and heavy. It is something I will be getting my hands on once my next tub of Ritual runs low.
I got a free sample of C4 that I tried this morning myself, amazing boost of energy as I took it at 4:45 am to do my 90 min workout, I had no trouble getting through my workout. The one I had was fruit punch, the taste was not that great, it was hard to choke down, I’m having a hard time finding samples of any of the other flavors, because I think this might be a good one to add, but I’m not sure I could choke down that fruit punch every morning.