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C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout Review

The supplement industry has seen its fair share of companies that are innovators and companies that are more like wannabes. While wannabes are always popping up out of nowhere almost every year, it's the innovators that often stand the test of time and remain relevant regardless of decade or era. 

One of the many good innovators in the supplement industry is Cellucor. And to prove just how innovative they are when it comes to the business of gym nutrition, they formulated C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout.

C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout is described as a supplement that has evolved beyond what normal pre workout formulas are capable of, but we’ll be the one to have the last say on that.

Is C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout truly C4’s best pre workout ever? Let’s go check it out.

C4 Ultimate Review

C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout
Stimulant Boost
Ingredient Quality
Pump Boost
Overall Value


  • Great pumps
  • Premium ingredients
  • Good pricing
  • Good overall dosage


  • Too many ingredients
  • Proprietary blend

About C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout

C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout is described as a pre workout that  delivers energy you can feel, powerful pumps, muscular endurance, extreme focus, and peak performance. It is also declared as a clean, clear, and evolved formula. This is perhaps to allude to how many supplements use too many dyes, prop blends, and cheap, generic ingredients. Here’s what we also noticed:

  • Plenty of firepower. We have 15 key ingredients and they’re sharing 19.5 grams of serving size. Depending on what they use, 19.5 grams seems to be enough for now, but we’ll get to the specifics later.
  • Ultimate everything. The website claims their formula will deliver ultimate energy, ultimate performance, ultimate pumps, and ultimate focus. We’re just hoping it doesn’t ultimately fail.
  • Premium stuff. We see a lot of branded names here, folks. This should be interesting to say the least.

C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout: Supplement Facts

Other Ingredients: Polydextrose, Silicon Dioxide, Natural Flavors, Calcium Silicate, Sucralose, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Acesulfame Potassium, FD&C Red #40.

Directions: Take one serving (1 scoop) of C4® Ultimate, mixed with 10-12 fl. oz. of water 20-30 minutes before training. During your workout, it is recommended that you drink plenty of water or a performance beverage to stay hydrated. Some individuals may experience a harmless tingling sensation, which is attributable to beta alanine. USE ONLY AS DIRECTED.

Thinking about ordering C4 Ultimate? We've put in the research so that you don't have to!

C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout: Ingredient List

  • Vitamins and Minerals: We have Vitamin C, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folic acid, Vitamin B12, and Calcium. Nothing out of the ordinary here as these are the usual vitamins and minerals used in pre workouts for supplying lost nutrient stores during exercise. What we do notice is the forms used for Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate) and Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin). These are the premium forms of B6 and B12, and being premium means the body gets to absorb them faster and in a more efficient manner.
  • Citrulline Malate: Citrulline Malate is the de facto ingredient for massive pump action which can make a difference between a good lift and a great lift. At 6 grams, we’re getting a decent heaping per scoop, but it should be noted that we’ve seen larger doses in pre workout blends.
  • CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine: Beta alanine is an ingredient known to improve strength, physical performance, and even speed up muscle recovery - which then leads to better muscle growth. However, what sets it apart from other pre workout ingredients is how many users actually kind of like Beta alanine’s side effect - skin itchiness. This happens when beta alanine molecules graze your nerves as it circulates your bloodstream and is thought to only happen when you have a lot of it coursing through you. At the 3.2 grams, you could be itching more than usual. To curb the excessive itching, we’re also getting it as CarnoSyn, the most premium beta alanine form known for purity and a much more manageable itching sensation.
  • Creatine Nitrate (NO3-T®): Creatine Nitrate is literally a combination of creatine and a nitrate compound and is aimed to boost both muscle recovery and pumps. To date, we’ve only seen one real study that says it’s better than creatine monohydrate. We’re not sure just how good it is, but what we do know is the 1.5 gram dosage may be a bit too modest for many users.
  • Betaine Anhydrous: Also known as trimethylglycine, this ingredient is added to enhance muscle recovery, stamina, and physical performance. It can also work as a fat loss ingredient, as cited by this study using obese patients.
  • Nitrosigine® Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate: This is a branded form of inositol stabilized arginine silicate. What it does is basically support our body’s ability to produce nitric oxide levels. In this study, researchers say consuming this compound helped improve energy levels, reduce muscle damage, and boost muscle pump.
  • Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate: Shortened to AAKG, this ingredient provides pump benefits and functions as a pump support more than the main pump ingredient.
  • Taurine: This popular pre workout ingredient supports mental focus and cell hydration. Because of its secondary function, some companies also label it as a pump ingredient, though not with nitric oxide but with actual H2O.

C4® Ultimate Energy & Focus Blend

  • N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine: The best form of tyrosine for maximum focus and stress alleviation. The problem is the dosage is a mystery, but we do think we have at least 300 mg of it given how prop blend rules work - with the first ingredient having similar or more dose than the one next to it. 
  • Caffeine Anhydrous: The only ingredient in the prop blend that has a dose declaration and rightly so. People nowadays are trying to control their caffeine usage, especially since caffeine builds tolerance. At 300 mg, caffeine has about three cups worth of coffee in terms of energy.
  • Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens) seed extract (standardized for L-Dopa): A really good ingredient for testosterone boosting and reducing stress. We’re just not sure about the angle they used for energy.
  • Theacrine (as TeaCrine®): Theacrine is a blend of theanine and caffeine. It’s meant to act as a “second release” type of energy source to help curb the dreaded caffeine crash. We also have to recognize the premium brand they used here.
  • AlphaSize® A-GPC (Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline): Now THIS is a premium nootropic. Alpha GPC is one of the best nootropics available and works for brain function, reduced stress, and tons of focus. The problem is, we think the dosage is a bit too small for the maximum effect, but we’ll take it.
  • Zembrin® (Sceletium Tortuosum) aerial parts extract: This is yet another quasi-caffeine minus the crash and jitters. The problem with adding this here is it seems redundant and just a cheap tactic to boost your product’s price.
  • Rauwolfia vomitoria root bark extract: This works like yohimbine in a sense that it ups your body’s fat burning efforts to produce more energy.
  • Huperzine A (from Toothed Clubmoss (Huperzia serrata) aerial parts extract): This is a nootropic known to function even in small doses, such as the one we have right now.

Who is C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout made for?

C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout seems to market to mostly those who have been a fan of the C4 brand for years. After all, the entire marketing page speaks about producing the most evolved C4 formula since the dawn of time. Based on the formula design, we think C4 Ultimate also greatly caters to those who know what ingredients to look for in a pre workout formula, especially as we have plenty of branded and top tier ingredients. 

What are C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout’s benefits?

C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout can definitely boost your pumps, performance, and lifting power. More importantly, the formula seems to be really designed to help with muscle recovery, making it a sort of helpful post-workout blend. The energy it provides is a whopping 300 mg, but the addition of nootropics as well as quasi-caffeine ingredients should help reduce the side effects associated with stimulant use.

Speaking of side effects...

C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout: Side Effects

The main sources of side effects will likely come from either beta alanine or caffeine (or perhaps both). 

Beta alanine at large doses can cause itchiness, often in the arms and legs, but sometimes also the face. It’s not that bad; think of an ant slowly crawling on your skin kind of itching. The CarnoSyn brand’s known to help reduce this effect, but it still depends on the user.

Caffeine at 300 mg is often too high even for caffeine fans. Drinking 3 cups of coffee may not seem that bad, but 3 cups of pure, direct to your senses caffeine in one gulp is a different beast. If you’re not ready, you might experience jitters, anxiety, headaches, some stomach pains, and the crash.

C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout: pros and cons


  • Premium ingredients. It’s like having a celebrity ball, really.
  • Decent dosages. The doses aren’t really that bad considering they tried to fit in 15 ingredients. 
  • Great pumps. Prepare to get super pumped and feel like you want to lift an entire squat rack.
  • Decent price. You get all that for less than $40 a can.


  • Too many ingredients. This is more of a question, because on one hand, we like that they used a lot of premiums, but on the other, the formula becomes a bit too complex for its own good.
  • Prop blend. Could have done better without it, really. 
  • Redundant and underdosed ingredients. The second part of the formula could use some good tweaking.

Pricing info

  • 1 Container (20-Day Supply): $39.99; 20% off + free shipping with subscriptions
  • Available online and in retail
  • Flavors: Icy Blue Razz, Strawberry Watermelon, Orange Mango, Sour Batch Bros, Cotton Candy.

C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout: Summary

C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout is a really cool-looking work of art as far as C4 products are concerned. The formula is well designed, the doses are mostly on point, and the ingredients used will definitely attract the premiums-only crowd. You can expect to get a good hit of energy, a great pump experience, and just a generally strong experience when you take it.

With that said, we think C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout could use a bit of tweaking, particularly in the number of ingredients used and the redundant ingredients. And as it is, you can completely omit the second blend and leave caffeine, and you’ll still get a good product.

Regardless, C4 Ultimate Pre-Workout is definitely a good recommendation, especially with that price tag.

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