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How Long Do Energy Drinks Last?

by Erick Avila

Energy drinks have been a go-to fuel for many high performing individuals when they need to kick it into overdrive ahead of a big meeting, exam or game. Energy drinks can feature ingredients that have seemingly immediately noticeable effects like caffeine. But they aren’t one size fit all, many energy drinks can be high calorie bombs loaded with sugar that can sabotage a diet. Or they can consist of mainly caffeine and kitchen sink mix of cheap ingredients, with little research backing their safety or efficacy. Because the formula for energy drinks can vary from brand to brand, the effects will vary as well. This is why you’ll sometimes hear stories of people saying they felt a “crash”, hours after consuming an energy drink.

With C4®, you can immediately feel it working upon consumption and the energy is a smooth sustained energy that lasts for several hours. C4 Energy drinks are industry leaders because they feature premium energy and focus ingredients that you wouldn’t typically find in an energy drink.

Let’s examine how some of these ingredients get absorbed in our bodies and how long those effects last.


Caffeine is the feature ingredient in C4 Energy, C4 Smart Energy and C4 Ultimate that delivers the explosive energy you feel right away. On average, humans absorb 99% of caffeine ingested within 45 minutes and caffeine’s half-life lasts around 5 hours.[1] So, if you crack open a can of C4 Energy about an hour before a big game or presentation, your body will have fully absorbed the caffeine amount by the time you’re ready to shine. What about the “half-life” thing? A half-life refers to the time it takes half of a dosed substance to be metabolized and excreted from your body. Since caffeine has a 5-hour half-life on average, this means that if you drink a serving of C4 Ultimate (300 mg of caffeine per serving) at 1 pm, you’d have about 150 mg of caffeine in your system at 6 pm. Being mindful of caffeine content and its half-life can be helpful for choosing which C4 RTD is right for you.


An assumption that some people have about energy drinks is that their effects might be much stronger (or weaker) than other caffeine sources because they’re carbonated or often consumed cold. Research comparing caffeine consumption from different sources including warm coffee and a cold energy drink found the absorption and distribution rate of caffeine to be similar.[2] This is great news for you if you’re a first-time energy drink consumer, but already know your caffeine tolerance, you won’t have to worry about needing to adjust your caffeine dosage just because you’re drinking an energy drink.

InnovaTea® Caffeine, which we use in C4 Smart Energy, is an extremely high-purity naturally derived caffeine sourced from green tea. InnovaTea® is also Non-GMO Project verified so it complies with best practices for GMO avoidance. Every can of C4 Smart Energy contains 200mg of clean caffeine directly from InnovaTea®


Cognizin ®

Cognizin is a premium version of citicoline that’s featured in C4 Smart Energy. Cognizin has been clinically studied to support mental focus and attention. Research on citicoline shows that it can be absorbed in a matter of minutes, it’s then converted to cytidine and choline, with peak levels being reached about 1 hour after administration.[3]


Citicoline is mainly eliminated through the respiratory system and it has a half-life of about 56 hours.[4] This means that with an ingredient like Cognizin, you’ll be able to benefit from its mental focus enhancing effects long after you’ve finished your can of Smart Energy. But no need to worry, this is jitter free energy because Cognizin isn’t a stimulant. Cognizin exerts its beneficial effects by acting as a brain nutrient that supports the production of phosphatidylcholine, a substance that plays a role in healthy brain function.

CarnoSyn ® Beta-Alanine

CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine is a patented form of beta-alanine, an amino acid that’s been extensively researched over the past 20 years for its effects on increasing athletic performance. Plasma levels of beta-alanine peak about 30-40 minutes after ingestion and the tingly feeling associated with beta-alanine tends to subside about an hour after ingestion.[5] An interesting aspect about beta-alanine is that its athletic enhancing effects take place after you’ve saturated your muscles over the course of about a month of consistent use. So, you’ll feel the energizing tingles almost immediately upon drinking a can of C4 but the athletic benefits will take effect long after you’ve finished your can.

N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT)

N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT) is a precursor to the amino acid L-Tyrsoine. NALT is used in formulas in the place of L-Tyrosine because it has improved water solubility. L-Tyrosine plays a role in neurotransmitter production and has shown the potential to provide mood boosting effects during stressful activities. Plasma levels of NALT and Tyrosine increase rapidly and peak within about an hour administration and return to baseline after about 4 hours. [6,7] This makes NALT a fast-acting mood enhancer.


As you can see the ingredients featured in C4 energy drinks work through different mechanisms and the length they circulate in your body can vary. Some of the ingredients in C4 energy drinks effects can be felt immediately and others benefit you after they build up in your system over time. When it comes to C4 energy drinks, you’ll notice an effect immediately, with peak levels likely occurring about an hour after consumption and lasting for 3-4 hours after ingestion. If you’re more sensitive to stimulants than you’ll likely feel the effects for an even greater amount of time.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for how you can use the different C4 drinks to elevate your energy

C4 Energy (150-200 mg caffeine): Use C4 Energy when you need superhuman performance for the gym or life.

C4 Smart Energy (150-200 mg caffeine): Harness the brain boosting power of Smart Energy to dominate any task from work to studying to gaming.

C4 Ultimate (300 mg caffeine): Use this about an hour before a workout so you can conquer new PRs in the gym. If you’re more sensitive to stimulants and workout in the evening, use this a 2-3 hours before your workout.









Date April 27, 2022
Category Lifestyle