Cellucor C4 Extreme Review – Is It Any Good?

By: Rob Miller
Fact Checked On: 6-10-2018

Home » Pre Workout » Cellucor C4 Extreme Review – Is It Any Good?

C4 Pre Workout Overview

As you probably know, Cellucor is a pretty big name in the world of bodybuilding supplements and sports nutrition. And most of its popularity has come through word of mouth, including that of c4 pre workout.

We’ve reviewed and tested a TON of their products, including:

There’s one common theme when it comes to the Cellucor brand, and that is their supplements WORK!

Cellucor C4 Extreme is their pre workout supplement.

c4 pre workout review

It sets you up with energy , stamina, and focus for pumps, reps, and more effective workouts. It comes in several different flavors, and by all accounts, they’re delicious. Of course, pre workout like C4 are about more than just taste, so let’s take a look at what’s in this stuff.

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Cellucor C4 Extreme Review
SupplementCritique.com Video

C4 Pre Workout Ingredients

Here’s a quick snapshot of the label before we get started:

c4 pre workout ingredients label

The ingredient list for Cellucor is pretty long, but there are a few key players that we’ll get into a little bit of depth with:

  • Creatine Nitrate is ten times more soluble that Creatine Monohydrate.

    It opens up blood vessels to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles for better pumps. And because of the better absorption, you don’t have to worry about the intestinal distress that often occurs with Creatine.
  • Beta Alanine prevents lactic acid buildup in the muscles so you can perform better with less fatigue.
  • Arginine AKG promotes vascularity and increases the secretion of growth hormone an insulin.

    It’s also a precursor to nitric oxide so it improves blood flow.
  • Caffeine provides energy and focus.
  • B-Vitamins support overall health and increase energy.
  • Vitamin C to support your immune system.
  • Mucuna Pruriens to increase the secretion of dopamine for a bit of a “feel good” feeling.

Now we are going to analyze a few of these C4 ingredients, while discussing the pros and potential side effects.

How do these C4 Pre Workout Ingredients Work?

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate – P-5-P)

C4 Pre workout contains 500 mcg of B6.

Oftentimes, people who are tired, but don’t know why or don’t appear to have a reason to be tired are low on B vitamins.

vitamin b6
Image courtesy of SpineUniverse.com

In many cases, the noradrenalin neurotransmitter pathway is not working properly due to a lack of tyrosine and P5P. Simply consuming B vitamins in general and specifically P5P can offer dramatic results.

In addition, an estimated 10% of people have a genetic condition known as Pyroluria where they need an excess of P5P and zinc in order to function normally. Pyroluria is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions today, but is becoming more well known through the work of alternative health practitioners.

In other words, consuming P5P can dramatically improve energy levels in a wide range of individuals, especially people who are suffering from Pyroluria.

This has to be one of the main reasons why it’s included in C4 pre workout.

Vitamin B12

C4 pre workout contains 35 micrograms of B12.

Vitamin B12 is necessary for energy production, while overall absorption of this vitamin typically declines as we age.

vitamin b12
Image courtesy of NootropicGeek.com

While it may not be the Holy Grail of energy production, as many claim, supplementation can certainly offer benefits. Vitamin B12 is also extremely important in myelin sheath formation, essential for adequate nervous system function.

Vegetarians and people who don’t consume adequate levels of meat may be deficient in vitamin B12 and should consider supplementation.

C4 Pre workout contains 35 micrograms of Vitamin B6.

Since doses of 35 µg of vitamin B12 are generally well tolerated by the body, it isn’t likely to result in side effects in healthy individuals and can simply be considered insurance.

Beta Alanine

C4 pre workout contains 1.6 grams of Beta alanine per scoop.

Beta Alanine is a popular amino acid often used in order to improve athletic performance.

chemical structure of beta alanine
Chemical structure of beta alanine.

Photo courtesy of Healthline.com

In addition, Beta Alanine can increase lean muscle mass, making it an ideal ingredient in a pre-workout supplement.

Consuming Beta Alanine improves overall muscular endurance which is likely why many people who take Cellucor C4 pre workout notice that they can pump out rep after rep without getting tired.

Beta Alanine is converted directly into carnosine, another amino acid, when introduced into the body. Carnosine has been noted to be a strong antioxidant and has also been shown to be useful in anti-aging compounds.

A common side effect from Beta alanine is tingles, which we’ll talk about below.

In general, a standard dose is between 2 g and 5 g so people who take a double dose of C4 pre workout, if appropriate, are likely to receive the greatest benefit from the Beta Alanine contained in this formula.

Creatine Nitrate

C4 pre workout contains 1 gram, which is HARDLY enough to make a substantial impact on gains.

Creatine Nitrate is similar to creatine monohydrate, however, it is 10 times more water soluble. This means that a smaller amount of water is needed to dissolve creatine nitrate.

creatine powder

Many claim that creatine nitrate is a superior form due to its water-soluble nature, however, there are no studies comparing the two on exercise performance tests.

It appears that creatine in either form is effective, however, people who are consuming the monohydrate compound simply need to consume more water along with it.

Arginine AKG

C4 pre workout contains 1 gram of Arginine AKG.

Arginine AKG consumption has been shown to increase plasma L-Arginine levels, however an increase in nitric oxide production is only noted when combined with resistance exercise.

arginine akg chemical structure
Arginine akg chemical structure.

Image courtesy Fishersci.com.

In many cases, a better choice for vasodilation is L-Citrulline, as it is converted into L-Arginine in the body and therefore, increases nitric oxide production in vivo.

Proprietary Explosive Energy Blend – 371 mg


Acetyl-L-Tyrosine is converted into L-Tyrosine in the body. This particular compound has a higher bioavailability than L-Tyrosine, making it an ideal method of delivery.

l tyrosine chemical structure
L tyrosine chemical structure

L-Tyrosine is noted to produce noradrenalin and dopamine, thus decreasing stress levels. Since exercise generates stress and increases cortisol levels, consuming L-Tyrosine about 30 to 60 minutes before exercise has been shown to be effective in reducing exercise induced stress.

Typically, a dose between 500 and 2,000 mg appears to be best, however, the entire proprietary formula of C4 pre workout doesn’t contain this much so its overall effectiveness in this formula is in question.


Caffeine is a stimulant that has been shown to increase physical strength and endurance. However, it is a drug that causes tolerance and has negative side effects associated with it.

One serving of C4 pre workout contains about 150 mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of about 1 cup of strong coffee.

caffeine content per beverage
Caffeine content per common beverages.

Image courtesy of Tealife.com.

It isn’t likely to cause many side effects, however, people consuming multiple doses of this formula should be aware of how much caffeine they are consuming.

All in all, Caffeine has been shown to increase anaerobic capacity, power output, adrenaline levels, and even improve aerobic capacity. Since caffeine does so much and is the most popular drug in the world, including it in this formula is likely to provide benefits.

Velvet Bean Seed Extract (Mucuna Pruriens)

Velvet Bean Seed Extract contains a high level of L-Dopa. Currently many people are using Velvet Bean Seed Extract to treat Parkinson’s, as an antidepressant, and as a testosterone enhancing supplement.

An advantage of consuming Velvet Bean Seed Extract is that it increases adrenaline levels and reduces cortisol levels, while increasing dopamine, and noradrenaline. All of these benefits should be apparent to people taking this product as a pre-workout supplement. In addition to the good feelings offered by L-Dopa, a reduction in cortisol allows the body to lessen the stress response associated with exercise.

Since Velvet Bean Seed Extract has been used to treat infertility, the assumption is that it increases testosterone levels in subjects as well, although there aren’t any studies on it in this regard. In any case, it is a highly sought after supplement.

Unfortunately, because it’s hidden in a proprietary blend, we’re not really sure how much Velvet bean C4 pre workout contains.

TeaCor (Tetramethyluric Acid)

Tetramethyluric Acid is similar to caffeine and is included in this formula in order to increase motivation and physical capacity.

In studies, Tetramethyluric Acid has been shown to increase attention, reduce fatigue, and reduce stress.

How Do I Take C4 Pre Workout?

Here’s a snapshot of the directions label:

how to take c4 pre workout

The recommended dose is 1 to 2 scoops of Cellucor C4 Extreme with 4 to 6 ounces of water about half an hour before your workout. They say you should start out with 1 scoop and adjust it to your needs and tolerance as you go. Bigger guys will need 2 scoops.

Cellucor C4 Extreme comes in several flavors, all of which seem pretty well-liked by guys who use it, with particular props for Green Apple it seems.

What Are The C4 Pre Workout Side Effects?

Caffeine has been shown to disrupt sleep patterns, contribute to jitteriness in some individuals, and has side effects that one would expect from a stimulant. People who are highly susceptible to caffeine shouldn’t consume this product.

There are also a number of warnings on the C4 pre workout label, too many to list here.

Here’s a snapshot of the warning label:

c4 pre workout warnings

Tetremathyluric Acid Side Effects

Tetramethyluric Acid has been shown to damage the liver in mice that consume 10 mg to 30 mg per kilogram for seven days straight. Since we don’t know how much Tetramethyluric Acid is in this product, this can be a cause for concern, although it certainly isn’t anywhere close to these levels.

L-Arginine Side Effects

L-Arginine consumption causes a drop in blood pressure that could be harmful to individuals who already have abnormally low blood pressure.

Beta Alanine Side Effects

Beta Alanine often causes a tingly or itchy feeling on the skin in some users about 10 to 20 minutes after consumption. Although it isn’t harmful, it is certainly something to be aware of.

beta alanine tingles

Anyone who is taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI), SSRIs, blood thinners, anti-inflammatory drugs, or pseudoephedrine, should consult with their doctor before taking this supplement.

Customer Reviews of C4 Pre Workout

On Amazon, Cellucor C4 Extreme pre workout has received a 4.0 star out of 5 star rating with over 1,400 reviews. It is obvious that people really like this product so it must have something going for it. 53% of people that reviewed this product gave it a 5 star rating, while only 14% gave it a 1 star rating.

People that gave Cellucor C4 Extreme a 5 star rating did so because this product tastes delicious and provides plenty of energy before a workout. Another positive is that Cellucor C4 Extreme doesn’t result in a jittery feeling in the greater majority of individuals.

Others state that Cellucor C4 Extreme increases motivation, stamina, and alertness in order to get them ready for a great workout. People who want to get more out of their workout should at least try this supplement and see where it takes them, as any product that has this many positive reviews is likely to offer results.

On the other side of the coin, reviewers who gave this product a 1 star rating said that it didn’t provide the energy needed to motivate them and sustain their workout. Others say that this supplement created gastrointestinal issues and affected their sleep, likely due to the stimulants this product contains.

Reviewers who left a 1 star rating said that this product increased their heart rate significantly and one user felt like he was dying. As with any supplement, there are always going to be people that have negative side effects. People who find that they are strongly affected by caffeine may want to consider a different pre-workout supplement.

On the whole, the sheer number of positive reviews that Cellucor C4 Extreme has received should give people who are thinking about using this product a reason to try it. In order to be on the safe side, consider consuming one quarter of the suggested dose at first, while weighing the benefits versus the drawbacks. Since people who like this product, love the results, adding Cellucor C4 Extreme into a pre-workout shake is likely to provide some benefit to almost anyone.

C4 Pre Workout Pros and Cons

Advantages of C4 Pre Workout

  • Cellucor C4 Extreme reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
  • It comes in a bunch of flavors so anyone will be able to find one they like.
  • It comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.
  • You can buy Cellucor C4 Extreme at GNC

Disadvantages of C4 Pre Workout

  • It’s a bit on the expensive side, especially for bigger guys who take 2 or 3 servings at a time.

Where to Buy Cellucor C4 Pre Workout

You can purchase Cellucor C4 Extreme pre workoutlocally at your GNC store. You can also get it online through a bunch of different retailers. Cellucor will honor the money back guarantee no matter where you make your purchase as long as you submit your receipt to them. The retail price is about $47 for a 60 serving tub.


We tried but couldn’t find anyone who didn’t think C4 pre workout was at least okay. And most guys just rave about it. This recommendation is easy. If you need a pre workout supplement, try Cellucor C4 Extreme.

Have You Used C4 Pre Workout? Leave Your Review Below!

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User Questions and Answers

I work out with my husband and he buys the C4 pre work out supplement, and we are trying to see if that was safe for women to use or is there another one that you would recommend for me to use? -SHERRIE

C4 is completely fine for women, and it's a great pre workout.- Rob

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4 out of 4 people found this question helpful.

Is this product only for body building men and women or is it OK to use for only cardio workout ? -Mayra

Most people choose not to use pre workouts for cardio, but some do. It's really a matter of preference. If you decide to try it, start with half a dose to assess your tolerance- Rob

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3 out of 3 people found this question helpful.

Hi Rob, I have been using nitrocut for the past month, but I am using also some fat burner pills (Liporush and Censor form GNC) and I think this too much pills to take a day, so I was thinking about switching to C4. would it be okay to combine C4 with Iso 100 protein shake? Thanks. -Mouhamad

That would be fine.  Just make sure that when you're taking C4, you don't take other supplements with stimulants, like most fat burners.- Rob

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2 out of 2 people found this question helpful.

Can i take C4 if i am on the Atkins diet? -Gladys

I don't see a problem.- Rob

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There are no stimulants in Volcano so you can stack them. But you shouldn't need to. They provide similar benefits. You may be better off stacking one with a testosterone booster or creatine, depending on your needs and goals.- Rob

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1 out of 2 people found this question helpful.

Author: Rob Miller

Supplement Critique

Rob Miller founded SupplementCritique.com over 7 years ago, and has been the chief editor ever since. He has a diploma in Advanced Dietary Supplements Advisor, and worked at GNC for 3 years. He KNOWS supplements, both inside and out. Rob currently resides in Jupiter, FL, with his wife of 4 years.  Learn more about him in his Bio here. Follow him on Twitter , Facebook, LinkedIn, or find him on Google +.