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Which C4® Pre-Workout is Right For You?

As part of our mission to make products that maximize human potential accessible to all, we’ve formulated a diverse family of C4® pre-workouts to meet the experience levels and goals of all types of people. Lead by two foundational ingredients, Caffeine and CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine, our family of pre-workouts are formulated to deliver unique personalized experiences. Caffeine and beta-alanine are two ingredients that have been scientifically studied for their potential roles in supporting various aspects of sports performance.[1] They’re also arguably the two ingredients that deliver the biggest experiential sensation in pre-workouts.

What to Expect When You Take a Pre-Workout

Caffeine and beta-alanine can both elicit a noticeable sensory experience for many people upon consumption. Usually with caffeine it’s a feeling of increased energy whereas with beta-alanine it’s an increased tingling sensation. People have individual preferences to how much caffeine and beta-alanine they prefer. With some people being fond of high stimulant pre-workouts for higher levels of energy while others prefer lower levels of caffeine. Similarly, some people prefer low to moderate amounts of beta-alanine while others enjoy a higher dosage and feel the tingling sensation is a signal that it’s “go time” before a workout.

Let’s go over what caffeine and beta-alanine do, so that you can pick the C4® that’s right for you*

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a stimulant that is the backbone of the explosive energy in C4®. Caffeine blocks adenosine in the central nervous system. Adenosine is a neuromodulator that plays a role in the sleep cycle.[2]

Doses of caffeine ranging from 40 mg to 300 mg have been shown to improve some measures of cognitive function.[4] Taken an hour before exercise doses of 200 mg of caffeine or more have been shown to support physical performance.[4] The FDA has cited 400 mg of caffeine per day as an amount not associated with negative effects in healthy adults.[5]

Caffeine is well-absorbed in the body with levels peaking about an hour after consumption. Caffeine’s half-life lasts about 5 hours.[4] So, if you take 1 serving of C4® Ultimate (300 mg caffeine anhydrous) at 8 am, you’d hypothetically have 150 mg of caffeine in your system still at 1 pm. *

What is Beta-Alanine?

Beta-alanine combines with histidine, another amino acid, to form the dipeptide carnosine. Dipeptides are compounds consisting of two amino acids. Carnosine is found abundantly in the skeletal muscles and one of its main functions is buffering pH levels.

During exercise, hydrogen ions accumulate lowering the pH of the environment, ultimately causing muscles to fatigue. If you’ve ever experienced a burning sensation while doing lots of reps that caused you to stop, it was likely from a drop in pH.

Beta-alanine appears to be the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of carnosine.[6] In other words, carnosine production is limited by the amount of beta-alanine building blocks present in the body.

Based on available clinical studies, 3.2-6.4g per day of beta-alanine, on training and non-training days, respectively, is where it appeared to show a benefit*

Differences Between C4 Pre-Workout Levels

We’ve formulated different versions for different experience levels and workout needs. We’ve got low to moderate stimulant level pre-workouts and high-stimulant pre-workouts. We also have pre-workouts tailored for beginners and others designed for advanced supplement users. There are even C4 pre-workouts formulated for athletes that participate in drug tested sports.

Here are some of the key differences between a few of our most popular pre-workouts:

C4 Original vs C4 Sport

c4 original vs c4 sport

When it comes to C4 Original vs C4 Sport, there are a few key differences. C4 Sport belongs to our certified for athletes' family of products, these products proudly were the NSF-Certified for Sport® badge on the label. Certified for Sport® is a program created by NSF® to certify that what is on the label is in the bottle and that the product does not contain unsafe levels of contaminants, banned substances, or masking agents. Our C4 Sport and C4 SuperSport pre-workouts belong to this family of products. In contrast to C4 Sport, C4 Original is our explosive energy pre-workout that delivers a higher stimulant level, more endurance, and more muscle-building benefits.

C4 Original vs C4 Ripped

c4 original vs c4 ripped

C4 Original is our explosive energy pre-workout focused on muscular endurance and muscle pumps. While C4 Ripped belongs to our fat burning family of pre-workouts that includes C4 Ripped Sport, C4 Super Sport Ripped, and C4 Ultimate Shred. C4 Ripped combines the explosive energy of C4 Original with ingredients to support fat burning.

C4 Original vs C4 Ultimate

Our C4 Ultimate is formulated for advanced supplement users looking for a high-stimulant pre-workout experience. C4 Ultimate provides ingredients to support ultimate energy, alertness, pump, performance and muscular endurance. And if you’re looking for a combination of high stimulant energy and ultimate thermogenic ingredients, our C4 Ultimate Shred has you covered.

Which C4® is Right For You

Only your personal health care provider can tell you what’s right for you. So, like with any supplement and/or workout routine, you should check with a licensed medical professional before taking any C4® product.

However, here are some things to consider:

Choosing the right C4® pre-workout for you will depend on your fitness goals and preference for stimulants. If you have a high tolerance for caffeine, you may want to use a C4® with a higher dosage of caffeine. Whereas if you’re more caffeine sensitive and don’t regularly consume it, it would be best to choose a C4® with a lower dosage of caffeine.

For an ingredient like beta-alanine where its effectiveness relies on reaching a saturation point, you may want to choose a C4® with a higher dosage of beta-alanine to reach this saturation point quicker. However, if you’re someone who dislikes the tingling sensation, you may want to avoid choosing a C4® pre-workout with a higher dosage of beta-alanine.*

C4® Sport: C4 Sport features 135 mg of caffeine and anhydrous and it features CarnoSyn® beta-alanine as part of it's 4.9g C4® Sport Performance blend.

C4® SuperSport: Features 150 mg of caffeine and anhydrous and it features CarnoSyn® beta-alanine as part of it's 3.1g C4 SuperSport Performance blend.

C4® Original: C4 Original features 150 mg of caffeine anhydrous and 1.6 g of CarnoSyn® beta-alanine for an explosive energy experience.*

C4® Extreme: C4 Extreme features 200 mg of caffeine anhydrous and 2 g of CarnoSyn® beta-alanine to deliver performance energy evolved.*

C4® Ultimate: C4 Ultimate delivers a potent blend of explosive energy and muscular endurance. With 300 mg of caffeine anhydrous and 3.2 g of CarnoSyn® beta-alanine, this pre-workout delivers the ultimate experience for advanced users.*

C4® Dynasty: C4 Dynasty features a powerful 350 mg of caffeine anhydrous and 6.4 g of CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine. Pre-workout is our domain, and C4® Dynasty is King, proudly overbuilt to transform your results.*

Non-Stimulant Pre-Workouts

For individuals that would like to completely avoid caffeine, because they have a low tolerance, or they work out later in the evening closer to their bedtimes, non-stimulant pre-workouts are excellent choices.

Non-stimulant pre-workouts focus on other aspects that contribute to a great workout like supporting increased blood flow. If you’re looking for something free of caffeine or beta-alanine before a workout, give NO3® Chrome or COR Performance® Creatine a try.*

NO3® Chrome was formulated to support increased nitric oxide production to amplify muscle pumps.*

COR Performance® Creatine supports increased strength and muscle mass.*

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.








Date May 10, 2021
Category Nutrition
Erick Avila

Erick Avila got his start in the fitness industry working as a physical preparation coach with professional boxers. He’s written for top brands like Muscle & Fitness, Juggernaut Training Systems, T-Nation, Stack Media, and Everlast Boxing. And worked in the dietary supplement industry across a variety of roles including researcher, content writer, and product formulator. Erick has a Master of Science in Drug Discovery and Development from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition with an emphasis on Exercise Science from California State University Los Angeles. In his free time Erick enjoys lifting weights, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.