I have a confession to make.
I LOVE energy drinks, and I actually sometimes really enjoy the wirey, jittery feeling you get from drinking a Red Bull or Monster energy drink.
BUT... as I learned the hard way, wired, jumpy, and jittery is not exactly what I want to feel in the gym.
Most preworkout supplements that I've tried have fallen into that trap. Too much jittery, surface-level energy and not enough of a boost to gym performance.
Recently I decided to try C4 sport pre workout in my never-ending quest for the perfect pre workout drink.
Without furter ado, here's my full C4 Sport Pre Workout review
C4 Sport Pre Workout Ingredients
Let's start with what's inside this bad boy.
You'll find a lot of the same kinds of ingredients and blends as many similar pre workouts, but with a couple of key differences that make C4 unique.
Caffeine - 135mg:
Caffeine is the primary energy driver in the C4 pre workout supplement. 150mg of caffeine is a nice boost of alertness, but is on the lower end compared to some of its pre workout brethren -- some preworkouts easily have double this amount.
For reference, a standard cup of coffee has somewhere around 100mg of caffeine.
(If you're looking for a slightly bigger caffeine kick, check out my C4 Original review.)
Creatine Monohydrate - 2.5g:
Creatine is an extremely popular workout supplement. It sounds scary, but is actually a naturally occurring element inside your body. Supplementing it for enhanced performance has a number of benefits.
Essentially creatine helps your muscles quickly replenish ATP, or your body's main source of energy. This can help you lift heavier and experience better endurance in the gym. Typically, though, creatine is "loaded" in slightly heavier doses than what appears in C4 sport pre workout for maximum results.
Just consider this small amount of creatine as a minor performance bonus in the gym and nothing more.
Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate - 1g:
According to Men's Fitness, Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate (or AAKG) is a "nonessential amino acid that's necessary what it comes to making nitric oxide in the liver."
That's a fancy way of saying that AAKG may help you workout harder and longer without getting stiff or sore. There's also some evidence that AAKG can boost protein synthesis, though typically only in much larger doses than the 1g found in C4 Pre Workout.
Much like the presence of creatine, the AAKG in C4 Preworkout is there to help you get a better workout and not act as a significant change agent to the way your body recovers from training.
CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine - 1.6g:
Whew. That one's a mouthful, huh?
Bodybuilding.com says Beta-Alinine is a naturally occuring amino acid in our bodies, often coming from eating beef and poultry.
It helps our body form a compound called carnosine. To simplify an extremely long and scientific explanation... you know how your muscles burn during intense workouts or high reps? Carnosine helps prevent or delay that buildup of lactic acid, the burning feeling, and ultimately the "burnout" of muscles during a workout.
1.6 grams, as found in C4 Pre Workout, is considered near the minimum dose of this supplement.
There are also a number of other ingredients in C4 Pre Workout, including high doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Folic Acid.
My experience using C4 Sport Pre Workout for lifting weights
I'll keep this brief as it can be a little difficult to quantify my subjective experience with this pre workout supplement and how to attribute success I've had in the gym.
But I've been using this stuff for a few weeks now, and here's what I've found:
Consistency/Ease of Use
Other pre workouts I've used have had MAJOR, MAJOR clumping problems... As in, you stir a scoop of pre workout in with your water, and by the time you get to the bottom, you're practically drinking straight powder. It's disgusting and an awful experience.
C4 is by far the best I've seen in this area. At the bottom of your drink, the water will certainly be a little powdery, but it's very minimal and you can usually drink the dregs pretty easily.
The powder in the tub is smooth and clump free. It's easy to scoop, mix, and drink without any major issues.
I tried the Blue Raspberry flavor and found it super enjoyable and easy to drink. There's hardly a hint of any "diet" tasting artificial sweeteners, but the drink itself remains sweet and delicious. (You may want to water it down a little bit to avoid an overwhelming taste.)
As I wrote above, the powder mixes quite well and the drink doesn't taste at all chalky or powdery. It goes down smooth and easy.
This is where C4 sport pre workout really shines.
The energy and alertness from this powdered drink are smooth, subtle, and very effective. As I wrote in the Ingredients section, the caffeine in this blend is not overwhelming -- just a little more than a cup of coffee. The creatine, AAKG, and other vitamins and supplements are doing most of the work here, rather than pumping you full of artificial, jittery energy.
I love drinking this before I go to the gym to lift weights. I'd love to tell you for certain whether it has improved my performance or helped me lift heavier, but it's a little hard to separate what benefits I'm getting from the drink vs being in a calorie surplus during my current lean bulk.
But I'll say this: I feel great in the gym after drinking C4 sports... Alert, energetic, and focused.
I highly recommend you give it a try.
C4 Sport Side Effects
There are a lot of chemicals, compounds, and individual supplements inside any pre workout, including C4 Sport. Everyone's body is going to react differently being exposed to these new elements, especially before you're used to them.
Common side effects of pre workout drinks are:
- Tingles or numbness
- Trouble sleeping
If you're concerned about any of these side effects from drinking C4 sport, definitely consult your doctor or a qualified personal trainer before you give it a try.
That said, I personally have never experienced any of these with C4 sport pre workout.
C4 Sport Pre Workout - Nutrition Facts
There's really not much to see here, unless you're curious about the breakdown of various vitamins and minor supplements included in the pre workout.
The whole drink has about 5 calories and about 1 gram of carbohydrates.
That's pretty much it!
The final word
C4 Sport has quickly cemented itself as one of my favorite pre workout drinks. I've been using it for several weeks while lifting 3 times per week and find that it gives a smooth and excessive energy and focus.
I look forward to drinking it, actually, because it wakes me up a bit without giving me the jitters.
I'd highly recommend casual weightlifters and gym-goers to give this supplement a try.
Get your C4 Sport Pre Workout from Amazon.