C4 Pre Workout Review: Pros & cons of the original high-energy workout supplement

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Sometimes you just need a little extra boost in the gym.

Okay... maybe you need it a lot of the time.

Me? I usually work out around lunchtime, just as my morning coffee is wearing off. If I haven't slept great or I'm just having a funky day, I'll still be a little bit foggy.

I've been experimenting a lot with different pre workout supplements to get me going and boost my performance when I lift.

Today I'm going to talk a little bit about one of the supplements I tried recently, C4 original pre workout -- what's in it (ingredients) plus what I liked and didn't like about it.

So now, here's my full C4 Original Pre Workout review

What's in it? C4 Pre Workout Ingredients

Before you go guzzling a glass of this stuff, let's pop the lid and see what's inside.

(We'll talk briefly about the main ingredients and what each is designed to do inside your body.)

Caffeine - 150mg:

You know caffeine; it's what makes the world go round.

Caffeine is a mild stimulant found in a lot of things we drink, from coffee to tea to soda and energy drinks.

150mg could be considered a medium amount of caffeine for a pre workout drink. C4's sister-beverage, C4 Sport, has a little bit less, but some other drinks have quite a bit more.

For comparison, a cup of coffee has somewhere around 100g of caffeine.

Creatine Nitrate - 1g:

Creatine is one of the staple supplements used by many weightlifters. It sounds like an intense steroid-type of compound but it's really nothing to be afraid of -- creatine, in simple terms, helps your body quickly replenish its energy stores so you can go harder and longer in the gym.

(It can also draw water into the muscles, making them look bigger and fuller, along with functioning better.)

Typically you see people using creatine monohydrate. Creatine nitrate is a newer version of the same compound that is supposedly more easily absorbable by your body.

In any case, 1g of creatine is not a lot. It should help give you a little tiny boost in the gym, but serious lifters who "dose" creatine regularly take it in much higher amounts.

Arginine Alpha Ketoglutorate - 1g:

Arginine Alpha Ketoglutorate, mercifully known as AAKG, is certainly a mouthful. But its function is relatively simple: AAKG helps your liver process some of the byproducts of training and allegedly boosts protein synthesis.

It should help a little with your recovery after a hard workout and keep you from getting stiff and sore while in the gym, in other words.

But again, 1g is a pretty small amount and not something that will have a major impact on your training. It's just there to give you a little bit of a short-term boost.

CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine - 1.6g:

You know when you're running on the treadmill, or doing super high reps of weight training, and your muscles literally start burning? Like they're on fire? It's a good feeling because you know you're working hard, but it's also hard to fight through.

In simple terms, CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine is designed to help delay or reduce this acidic burning feeling (which occurs from a build-up of lactic acid in the muscles).

The 1.6 grams, as found in C4 Pre Workout, is essentially the minimum effective dose of this compound.

Teacrine -

Teacrine is relatively unique to C4 Pre Workout (it is not found in C4 Sport or Ripped) and brings a pretty intriguing effect to the table.

Teacrine itself is a natural compound that supposedly boosts your mood and motivation, though it's not a stimulant like caffeine. The idea is that you feel better, more alert, more motivated, and happier, but without the fluttery heart and jitters that come from other stimulants.

Teacrine is part of Cellucor's proprietary blend, so the exact of amount of teacrine in C4 isn't listed.

So does it work? My experience and results using C4 Pre Workout

I used C4 Original for a few weeks before my workouts (I lift heavy weights 3 times per week) and here's what I found:

Consistency/Ease of Use

c4 pre workout clumps

I actually found C4 original to have some minor clumping issues.

When I opened the can, there were several visible chunks (that could have formed during shipping), and I found that the powder didn't quite mix as well as I'd like.

For the most part, the drink is smooth and easy to drink, but there is a noticeable amount of powder in the dregs that makes the end of the drink hard to finish.


I tried the Icy Blue Razz flavor and really enjoyed it!

It's sweet but not overwhelmingly so (and you can moderate that as you see fit depending on how much water you use to make the drink). It doesn't have that overpowering aspertamey taste that's so common with zero or low calorie energy drinks.

And the cool thing is that C4 Original Pre Workout comes in like a billion flavors, like Cherry Lime, Watermelon, and Strawberry Margarita!


This stuff works! You'll definitely feel energized and alert when you hit the gym after a glass of C4 Pre Workout.

For me, though, the 150mg of caffeine was just a little, tiny bit too much.

(I prefer the 135mg found in C4 Sport)

I found that, depending on how much coffee I had in the morning, C4 Original would sometimes put me over the edge into jittery/wirey territory. And I actually kind of like that feeling sometimes, but it's not what I want in the gym when I'm trying to kick ass.

But if you're not a coffee drinker, or you're just someone with a higher tolerance for caffeine, this might be right up your alley. (You could go even higher with a whopping 300mg of caffeine in C4 Extreme Energy. Yikes!)

Does C4 Pre Workout have side effects?

There's a lot going on inside this, and any, pre workout supplements. A lot of different energy supplements, performance boosters, and recovery compounds are at work. And your body may or may not react predictably to them.

Common side effects of pre workout drinks are:

  • Headache
  • Jitters
  • Cramps
  • Tingles or numbness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety

If you're worried about any of these side effects from drinking C4, consult your doctor or a qualified personal trainer before you drink it.

That said, I personally have never experienced any of these with C4 pre workout except some very minor jitters.

C4 Pre Workout Nutrition Facts

For all the different compounds and supplements found inside C4, there is little to no nutrition to be found. One serving is less than 5 calories and has about 1g of carbs.

But here's a full list of the ingredients as listed on the label.


The final word

C4 Original Pre Workout is definitely effective at providing you with energy, focus, and solid recovery for the gym.

The two small issues I had with it were powder clumping and minor jitters, though your experience may be different.

My general advice, though, is to try many different pre workout supplements until you find the one that makes you feel the best. After all, everybody's body and training are different, so feel free to experiment!

Good luck.

Get your C4 Pre Workout from Amazon.

C4 Original Pre Workout Supplement
3.5 / 5