When a Cellucor rep reached out and offered to send some C4 preworkout, my first thought was uhh, why? I've never been into lifting, and even though I've played sports at every level of school, I've always been the type to either run/walk or actually play the sport itself to get exercise and stay in shape.
But that's when our Cellucor rep Scott (shoutout Scott) explained that he drinks the preworkout as a cheaper alternative to canned energy drinks, since it's essentially the same formula but in a bulk, use-as-you-go package. I've always thought about trying powdered drinks like G Fuel - that aren't necessarily targeted towards athletes - but never pulled the trigger.
Well say no more, Scott. Cellucor sent over C4 Original, Sport, SuperSport, Ultimate, and Extreme. I sent the Extreme over to fellow Shark Daniel, who puts out Tik Toks for us, so I'll be reviewing the rest of the preworkouts down below.
Original: Cherry Limeade - 8.2/10
There was definitely a learning curve to using both a blender bottle and the powdered preworkout for the first time, so I tried a couple of different serving sizes before I found the perfect amount. When I used the serving size suggested on the back of the package, 1 scoop for 8oz of water, I found that it was both way too sweet and seemed over-saturated, with the last ounce or two being annoyingly powdery at the end of the bottle.
I tried a couple more iterations, finally settling on my perfect allocation of a 3/4 scoop to 20oz of water, i.e. filling up the blender bottle all the way up and then adding the 3/4 scoop. This seemed to minimize the powdery end-of-bottle shenanigans and had the perfect level of sweetness for me. I'm known to have a non-sweet tooth when it comes to some energy drink flavors, so it's certainly possible that the majority of preworkout consumers prefer a much sweeter beverage.
Onto the actual taste of the powder, it's a really good cherry limeade balance. I'm a fan of Adrenaline Shoc Accelerator Cherry Limeade, and with my 3/4 scoop balance I'd say it's very similar except for the obvious lack of carbonation from the C4. Limeade flavor isn't as strong as I'd like, but I guess C4 didn't put any of the secret sauce from their carbonated Twisted Limeade drink which is also a personal favorite.
For each serving there's 1.6g of Carnosyn (Beta-Alanine), 1g Creatine, and 150mg of caffeine. I didn't feel the Beta-Alanine tingle in this one, but to be fair I'm 6' 190lb so you might feel it if you're a smaller human being.
Sport: Strawberry Lemonade - 4.0/10
This is the worst of the bunch by a good margin. I did a 3/4 scoop in 20oz and the taste was just off in a way that's hard to explain. The flavor was lacking but there was also a strong aftertaste. It's certainly Strawberry Lemonade f but I think it could use a stronger strawberry flavor.
For each serving there's 4.9g of C4's Sport Performance Blend, which includes Creatine and Carnosyn Beta-Alanine. It also includes C4's Sport Energy Blend which has Taurine and 135mg of caffeine.
Supersport: Blue Raspberry - 9.1/10
This one is the best of the four for me, hands down. Blue Raspberry is a flavor in general that can be too sweet, but with a 3/4 scoop in the 20oz bottle it was the perfect level of sweetness. For a flavor comp I would say Bang Blue Razz is similar, with C4 being slightly less sweet (with my serving size).
For each serving there's 3.2g of C4's SuperSport Performance Blend, which includes Carnosyn Beta-Alanine, CON-CRET Creatine, and L-Arginine. There's 150mg of caffeine, and 1.4g of C4's SuperSport Hydration and Electrolyte Complex.
It feels hydrating, which is probably placebo, and I like the 150mg leve of caffeine. Felt a nice, minor boost while drinking it.
Ultimate: Strawberry Watermelon - 8.4/10
This one looks to be the most intense of the bunch... has a tingling warning prefaced that it's caused by the beta-alanine. Taste is a really nice blend of strawberry and watermelon with both flavors coming through strong. I went with 3/4 scoop in the 20oz blender bottle and it was the perfect amount. Sweet but not overwhelmingly so.
For each serving there's 6g of Super Citrilline Pump Matrix, 3.2g of Carnosyn (Beta-Alanine), 2 creatines, and 300mg of caffeine.
I don't drink 300mg energy drinks frequently nowadays, so I definitely felt the boost from the caffeine. I like the beta-alanine feeling but I know that it's a controversial take.
Honestly, I'm sold. After trying all 4 of these preworkout powders, I'm fully on board with them as a reliable, convenient, efficient, and cost-effective alternative to buying canned energy drinks.
If you're like me, you'll miss the carbonation you're used to getting from the can, so as long as you can fill that void with stuff like seltzer waters, or by using cool tech like the Fission Fuel Kit (see our review here), then I think a C4 preworkout can absolutely be a part of your diversified caffeine/beverage intake.
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