Introduced to the market in 2010, C4 Extreme is the fourth generation pre-workout supplement from supplement manufacturer Cellucor. Combining some of the most tried and true compounds with a few more modern additions, C4 is geared to provide a bit of pep and pump for the gym goer who finds themselves wanting a bit of a boost before a workout.
Fortunately for those who like to exercise some scrutiny regarding what they put in their body, C4 is not a proprietary blend, meaning the ingredient list is readily available on the packaging or via a quick search online. Before we dissect the exact contents of C4, it is important to note that while manufacturer Cellucor has clearly listed most of the ingredients and amounts, they do include a proprietary formula called “Explosive Energy Blend.” While the compounds used in this formula are disclosed, the exact proportions of those compounds is not listed. As a result, C4 falls somewhere in the gray zone between full disclosure and proprietary supplement.
The label for C4 lists it as having 5 Calories and 1g of carbohydrates. This is a result of sugars (sucralose) added for flavoring and is more or less negligible. C4 contains no protein.
Vitamin C (as Asorbic Acid) 250mg
Niacin (as Nicinamide) 30mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate) 500mcg
Folic Acid 250mcg
Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin) 35mcg
Beta Alanine 1.6g
Creatine Nitrate (N03-T) 1g
Arginine AKG 1g
Explosive Energy Blend (N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Caffiene Andhydrous (150mg), Velvet Bean (Mucuna puriens) seed extract, “TeaCor” Tetramethyluric acid) 371mg
Other/Inactive Ingredients: Citric Acid, Polydextrose, Natural & Artifical Flavors, Calcium Silicate, Silicon Dioxide, Sucralose, FD&C Red Lake #40, Acesulfame Potassium
Taking a look at this list, we see the expected usuals for a pre-workout supplement: vitamins for various functions and general health and energy, caffeine as a stimulant, creatine for boosting gains and energy, Arginine AKG to add some vasodilation and that desirable pump. But there are a few less familiar names on this list. Lets take a look at their properties.
“TeaCor” Tetramethyluric Acid: TeaCor is the brand name being used by Cellucor to describe a compound known elsewhere as Theacrine. Having a structure very similar to caffiene, it has been investigated as a stimulant and has also been noted for analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Velvet Bean (Mucuna puriens) seed extract: Recognized for its medicinal properties since antiquity, the velvet bean is known to contain L-DOPA, an important precursor for the neurotransmitter dopamine. It has been studied in the treatment of Parkinsons disease and demonstrated to potentially have a neuroprotective effect. It may have been included in C4 with the hopes of providing a mild stimulant or general health benefit.
Flavor, Jar Size, and Price per Serving
C4 is available in a wide variety of flavors, meaning there is something for just about everyone’s palette. Choose from Fruit Punch, Icy Blue Razz, Watermelon, Pink Lemonade, Strawberry Margarita, Orange Dreamslice and Berry Bomb.
Jar sizes are available as 30 or 60 servings. A 30 serving jar of C4 contains a total of 195g. At 6.5g per serving, the $39.99 price tag from Cellucor’s website puts C4 at about $1.30 per serving for the 30 serving jar, and about $0.99 for the 60 serving jar.
Over at bodybuilding.com, C4 has an overall rating of “Good” at 8.6 with 3787 total ratings and 1255 verified buyers.
Fairing slightly less well over at supplementreviews.com, C4 gets a 7.8 rating making it #47 in their Pre-Workout Stimulants category.
Overall, Cellucor C4 appears to be a decent pre-workout stimulant product. Mainly geared towards stimulation and not much towards pump, C4 is mostly to get you going, not making you super vascular. However, it does provide some compounds to encourage some extra pump, while also tossing in must have vitamins and creatine.