Pre-workout supplements are intended to serve three purposes. The first is to provide the body with the critical nutrients necessary to perform at its optimal level; the second is to boost energy and endurance during the workout so that an effective workout can be completed; and the third is to promote post-workout muscle building and rapid recovery.
Cellucor C4 Extreme Pre-Workout Supplement is a powder intended to be mixed with water and consumed shortly before a workout. The supplement is intended to boost energy, focus, strength, and endurance during the workout. It is sold in a 60-serving size that retails for $34.99, a 30-serving size that retails for $16.99 and a 5-serving trial size that retails for $7.99. It comes in 12 different flavors so everyone can find a favorite, or just enjoy the variety.
- No proprietary ingredients
- Dissolves instantly in water
- Comes in 12 different flavors
- Contains creatine nitrate for great muscle pumps
- Contains caffeine and synephrine for energy
- Contains beta alanine to boost endurance
- Contains arginine AKG to boost blood flow to the muscles
C4 Extreme was awarded Pre Workout Supplement of the Year (2013) by Bodybuilding.com and Best Product Innovation by GNC.
Users of C4 Extreme report it tastes good and dissolves easily in water. It is said to kick in quickly, within 10 minutes of consumption. It produces great pumps, an almost explosive feeling of overwhelming energy, and prevents fatigue from setting in. Users generally report not experiencing any twitching, jitteriness, crashing or anxiety after-effects.
This pre-workout has great taste, comes in multiple flavors (Icy Blue Razz and Lemonade are probably the best bets) and provides strong pumps that make you feel great during a hard lift. Ideally, Cellucor doesn’t market the product with a “propietary blend” making it very black and white exactly what is going into your body. It won’t be a mystery what ingredients you’re putting into your body with this supplement. You can expect to have highly focused and energized workout with Cellucor C4.
As an added bonus, the price point is just right. Compared to other products in its class, C4 is pretty inexpensive and affordable for most people who workout regularly.
Multiple users complained of the waste of packaging- the tub contained the stated amount, but the tub was much larger than necessary and appeared to be only half-full, or even only a quarter-full. Some users reported having upset stomachs after using the product.
The form of beta-alanine used in C4 Extreme can cause tingling and itching of the skin; some users don’t like this sensation and might want to look for a different supplement that does not contain beta-alanine or that uses a time-released version of beta-alanine instead.
One user commented that the only vasodilator in C4 Extreme is arginine AKG. Arginine AKG is not the most effective product for this purpose in use today. Many supplements have switched to using glycerol monostearate and agmatine sulfate instead of or in addition to arginine AKG.
The lack of taurine and betaine in C4 Extreme is a definite downside. Taurine has been shown to dramatically enhance muscle endurance and betaine has been shown to boost power and strength.
C4 Extreme also lacks a number of ingredients shown to promote endurance and prevent fatigue, such as citrulline malate and ornithine. The formulation of C4 Extreme seems to be aimed more at providing a very intense high-energy workout rather than supporting a very long workout by preventing fatigue.
C4 Extreme provides a modest amount of creatine. Some body-builders prefer to use higher amounts of creatine, and therefore should consume an additional creatine supplement in addition to C4 Extreme. The relatively low level of creatine in C4 Extreme isn’t really a disadvantage because many body-builders prefer to take creatine in variable doses depending on the stage of training they are in, and therefore need to take a separate creatine supplement so they can adjust the dosage.
Like most pre-workout supplements, C4 Extreme contains a fairly high dose of caffeine and synephrine. Together these stimulants can cause rapid heartbeat, dizziness and shortness of breath.
Overall, users had a very favorable impression of C4 Extreme. It provides the energy boost and muscle pumps they are looking for, without a crash later on. Unlike many similar supplements, it dissolves readily in water and tastes good.
Unlike many pre-workout supplements, C4 Extreme lists all of its ingredients and the amounts provided per serving. It is very difficult to directly compare across supplements because many list “proprietary blends” as ingredients, or list ingredients without any amounts indicated.
Two other pre-workout supplements mentioned by users of C4 Extreme deserve mention. Legion Pulse was mentioned several times as providing a smoother, longer-lasting energy boost than C4 Extreme. Pulse contains several endurance-boosting components, and therefore would be expected to support a prolonged workout. However, for the average-length workout, C4 Extreme produces a more explosive energy burst. Another commonly-mentioned supplement, Muscle Pharm by Assault, doesn’t seem to produce as explosive an energy burst as C4 Extreme. However, Assault has a time-released beta-alanine and doesn’t cause the unpleasant skin effects that some users of C4 Extreme object to. Assault also contains taurine and betaine.
C4 Extreme is priced similarly to other pre-workout supplements. It is much more economical when purchased in the largest (60 servings) size. It is important to keep in mind that the dosage size of the package assumes the individual is only taking 1 scoop per serving. Many experienced users of C4 Extreme take 2 scoops per serving.
Cellucor C4 Extreme Video Review