A popular pre-workout supplement for beginners and experienced athletes alike, Cellucor C4 Sport is a powder intended to boost your exercise performance.
How well does it really work?
Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement—Key Takeaways
- Pricing options as low as $0.52 per dose make this supplement one of the best values on the pre-workout market.
- The product boasts high-quality ingredients, including patented supplements and ingredients, like creatine, that many companies sell separately.
- The modest caffeine dosage makes Cellucor C4 Sport an excellent starting place for users who are new to pre-workouts, and the NSF Certified for Sport designation makes it safe for athletes and fitness enthusiasts in general.
Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement Review Score:
So is Cellucor C4 one of the best pre workouts on the market? We think so.
But lets explore how we arrived at this score.
As pre-workout supplements go, C4 Sport is known as one of the better-tasting options, with flavors that really taste like fruit punch and watermelon-flavored candy. Feedback that its flavors could be a little too sweet at times prompted Cellucor to cut back on the artificial sweeteners in its latest formulation.
One of the most affordable pre-workout supplements on the market, Cellucor C4 Sport boasts a cost-per-dose price as low as $0.52. It’s a great value-priced option for budget-conscious fitness enthusiasts who want to take the plunge into a pre-workout-fueled routine without breaking the bank.
Strength of formula: 7/10
With a lower dose of caffeine than we typically prefer to see and proprietary blends that make it difficult to know exactly how much beta-alanine and other vital ingredients are in the supplement, the formulation could be stronger. Still, the concentrated form of caffeine used and high-quality ingredients give most users the results they want from a pre-workout supplement with fewer jittery side effects.
Quality of ingredients: 9/10
One aspect of the Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout supplement we love is that the product is independently laboratory-tested and has achieved the NSF Certified for Sport designation. Not only is this designation crucial for athletes who must abide by the banned substances rules of competitive sports teams, but it also indicates high quality in terms of manufacturing practices, safety, and verification of ingredients.
Cellucor C4 Sport isn’t one of the most potent pre-workout formulations on the market, but it still packs a great punch for the average user—and it does so with less chance of side effects.
What Are the Benefits of Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement?
Cellucor C4 Sport aims to benefit athletes and fitness enthusiasts by boosting three critical components of success:
In particular, Cellucor promises a “burst” of “explosive” energy—but does it make good on that promise?
Does It Actually Work?
No one pre-workout supplement offers the optimal blend for every person. Each user’s body is different, as are their needs and fitness goals. For the vast majority of Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout users, though, the product delivers on its marketing promises.
Users report noticeable energy boosts on the days they take the supplement compared to days they don’t use it. Popular opinion says that Cellucor C4 Sport is the best pre-workout supplement in its price range, giving users the boost of energy they need to get through their workout without leaving them feeling jittery or “crashing” later.
To give you an idea of why C4 Sport Pre-Workout fans love the product, some users have called it their “hyper juice” and said the supplement made them feel “like a superhero.”
Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement Formulation
The benefits of an effective pre-workout supplement may feel magical, but they’re based on science. Let’s look at the formulation of Cellucor C4 Sport and other pre-workout products on the market.
What’s in a Pre-Workout Supplement?
In our experience, most of the best pre-workout powders include three types of ingredients:
- Caffeine, a stimulant that increases energy, cognitive focus, and alertness. We like to see pre-workout powders contain 200 to 400 mg of caffeine per serving.
- Beta-alanine, an amino acid that can improve exercise capacity and performance and reduce feelings of fatigue, so you can keep going through the toughest high-intensity workouts
- L-Citrulline, an amino acid that the body converts to arginine and uses to produce nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels for better blood flow
We also look for natural dietary extracts that serve as nitric oxide boosters, such as red spinach leaf extract and beet root extract, and the amino acid creatine, which boosts energy regeneration and reduces fatigue.
Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement Ingredients
The workout-boosting benefits attributed to the Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout supplement come primarily from two proprietary blends included in the product, the C4 Sport Performance Blend and the C4 Sport Energy Blend.
The C4 Sport Performance Blend features a combined 3.181 g of the following ingredients:
- CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine: A patented form of beta-alanine billed as “the leading ingredient in the top sports nutrition formulas”
- L-Arginine: A naturally-occurring amino acid in the body that is known to build protein as well as produce nitric oxide to widen the blood vessels and increase blood flow
- CON-CRET Creatine HCl: A branded form of creatine marketed as enhancing muscle strength, endurance, and post-workout recovery
- Sodium Citrate: The sodium salt of citric acid, an electrolyte that is used to aid in the absorption of fluids and control the level of acidity in the body
- Magnesium Chloride: A mineral that promotes muscle strength, contraction and relaxation, as well as post-workout recovery
- Dipotassium Phosphate: A compound that improves workout performance by enhancing energy production, endurance, and muscle recovery
The C4 Sport Energy Blend consists of a total of 1.138 g of the following ingredients:
- Caffeine: 135mg of caffeine anhydrous, a concentrated form of caffeine derived from coffee plant leaves and seeds
- Taurine: An amino acid with anti-inflammatory properties that has been known to help fitness enthusiasts boost their endurance and the efficiency of their exercises, particularly during high-intensity training routines
- Pyridoxine HCI: The hydrochloride salt form of the water-soluble vitamin B6 known as pyridoxine, which supports the production of new blood cells and, in turn, muscle growth and post-workout muscle recovery
- Cyanocobalamin: A synthetic form of Vitamin B12 used to enhance normal energy production in the body
You will also find a mix of vitamins and minerals in the Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout formulation, including:
- Vitamin B6 (3.4 mg)
- Vitamin B12 (60 mcg)
- Calcium (25 mg)
We don’t love seeing proprietary blends on a supplement facts label because these blends make it difficult to determine how much of any one ingredient appears in the product.
Additionally, the strength of this formulation leaves something to be desired. We prefer to see at least 200 mg of caffeine, so the 135 mg included is a little low.
We prefer products that include 2 to 5 g of beta-alanine. While the actual amount of beta-alanine is not listed on the label, the total proprietary blend that includes beta-alanine amounts to only 3.181 g.
Still, we like that the supplement includes creatine, which is one of our preferred ingredients but which many pre-workout powders leave out. We also like the quality of the ingredients. The branded supplements bring name recognition.
The supplement is NSF Certified for Sport, which means that the product achieves Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) registration and undergoes third-party laboratory testing. This testing ensures that the product is free of banned substances and contaminants and verifies that the strength of the caffeine and other key ingredients align with the product label.
What Ingredients Are Missing From Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement Ingredients?
One noteworthy omission from the Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout formulation is the lack of L-citrulline.
The L-arginine included in the C4 Sport Performance Blend is intended to fulfill a similar purpose to L-citrulline, dilating the blood vessels to achieve better blood flow throughout the body. However, researchers have concluded that citrulline supplements are more effective than arginine supplements, according to The Journal of Nutrition (as cited by Vitamin Shoppe). Given a choice, we would rather see L-citrulline than L-arginine in this formulation.
Who’s It For?
The quality and strength of ingredients in the Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout supplement make it suitable for anyone looking to use a caffeine-based pre-workout supplement.
Who Should Use the Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement?
The caffeine content of Cellucor C4 Sport is on the low side as pre-workout supplements go, somewhat higher than what you would find in a cup of coffee. This dosage, combined with the affordable price point, makes Cellucor C4 Sport a great starter pre-workout. Beginners can find out what a pre-workout supplement can do for them and see how the formulation affects their unique bodies with very little to lose.
The NSF Certified for Sport designation makes Cellucor C4 Sport an excellent choice for athletes playing in competitive leagues. We also feel that this designation is valuable even if you’re not an athlete because it speaks to quality as assessed by third-party testing.
Plenty of users take this supplement to help them maintain motivation at the gym or while doing personal workouts outside of competitive sports. Whether your exercise routine is a half-hour, an hour, or a couple of hours, Cellucor C4 Sport is a pre-workout supplement that can help.
Both men and women see benefits from taking the supplement. The pre-workout supplement’s more generic goals—boosting energy, focus, and endurance rather than, say, building muscle mass or shedding inches—make it versatile enough for the average fitness enthusiast, regardless of what their end goals are.
Who Shouldn’t Use Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement?
The low dosage of caffeine has pros, but it also has cons. If you have a high tolerance for caffeine, you might be better off choosing a pre-workout supplement that contains a higher dose of stimulants. Some users with a higher caffeine tolerance felt that there wasn’t enough caffeine in the supplement to noticeably boost their levels of energy and focus.
On the other end of the spectrum, people who cannot tolerate caffeine, including those who shouldn’t use the stimulant because of medical conditions, should avoid this product. Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout shouldn’t be taken by minors under the age of 18 or by pregnant or breastfeeding users.
You should also avoid this supplement if you have a medical condition or are taking any of several different types of prescription or over-the-counter medications — that is, unless your doctor specifically tells you otherwise. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before adding a pre-workout supplement, even if you are healthy and not taking any medications.
Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement Flavor Review: How Does It Taste?
The Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout supplement is available in watermelon, fruit punch, and blue raspberry flavors.
According to customer reviews, the best flavor of the Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout supplement appears to be watermelon, which some users describe as tasting like Fun Dip candy. Fruit punch is another popular flavor of this pre-workout powder. Many users report loving the fruit punch flavor, although some complained of a “cough syrup”-like taste or aftertaste.
Although the C4 Sport Pre-Workout supplement is ranked among the better-tasting pre-workout powders overall, one complaint Cellucor received about taste was that many users felt the flavors were a little too sweet, despite being sugar-free.
The company took this feedback into account and recently adjusted the formula to cut down on the amount of sweeteners and refresh the taste of the drink.
Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement Price and Buying Options
Just how much will the Cellucor C4 Sport pre-workout powder set you back?
The one-time purchase price from the manufacturer is $21.99 for a container of 30 servings. However, subscribers save 30%, dropping the cost to $15.39, as well as receiving free shipping.
Buying on Amazon drops the one-time purchase price slightly to $20.82. Amazon purchasers can save 5% to 15% more when they sign up for Subscribe & Save.
Even at the manufacturer’s full one-time purchase price, the cost per dose for this pre-workout powder is around an affordable $0.74. Amazon purchasers will pay around $0.70 per dose, not including Subscribe & Save discounts. If you subscribe through the manufacturer’s website, you’ll pay just $0.52 per dose.
You won’t find many pre-workout supplements cheaper than Cellucor C4 Sport. The full-price cost per dose is still well below the $1.33 average cost per dose among all pre-workout supplements. The significant subscriber discount available through the manufacturer drops the cost per dose to one of the lowest on the market.
If the high cost of pre-workout supplements like GHOST Legend and Bucked Up Pre-Workout ($1.71 to $1.80 and $1.67 per dose, respectively) has been holding you back from seeing what a pre-workout powder could do for your workout performance, we recommend giving the Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout supplement a try.
*Prices listed above are accurate as of November 2022.
What Are the Side Effects of Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement?
The side effects attributed to Cellucor C4 Sport are the same side effects reported with pre-workout supplements in general, including:
- Upset stomach
- Heart racing
- A tingling sensation in the skin, which can sometimes become itchy or uncomfortable
- A post-workout “crash”
Most side effects of Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout powder are common and harmless, but if they feel severe or don’t go away, you should stop use and consult a doctor.
Interestingly, users note in many reviews that they experience fewer side effects—particularly of the jitters, heart racing, and crashing variety, which often result from taking more caffeine than the user can tolerate—using Cellucor C4 Sport compared to other pre-workout supplements they have tried.
Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout Supplement Pros and Cons
- Cellucor C4 Sport is one of the most affordable pre-workout supplements you’ll find, and for the quality of ingredients, you’re getting a great value at this price point.
- Third-party testing and the NSF Certified for Sport designation mean users don’t have to worry about banned substances, contaminants, or label inaccuracies.
- A more modest dose of concentrated caffeine anhydrous allows for a boost of energy and focus with minimal jitters and post-workout crashes.
- Fitness enthusiasts with a high caffeine tolerance will likely find that they need to look elsewhere for a supplement that gives them a noticeable pump beyond what they’re used to.
- The proprietary blends make it difficult to tell just how much of crucial ingredients (other than caffeine) are in the formulation. We would always rather see transparent labeling over proprietary blends that make it difficult for users to know exactly how much of different ingredients they’re taking.
- We would like to see more—and more effective—nitric oxide booster ingredients besides L-Arginine to enhance blood flow more effectively.
Overall, the Cellucor C4 Sport Pre-Workout powder is a solid product that gives the majority of its users excellent results, all at a surprisingly affordable price.