Review: C4 Extreme (Cellucor)
Pre-Workout Supplements– oh yeah! If you walk into your local supplement store, you’ll see shelves lined with brands galore– and along with whey protein, “pre-sups” are a multi-million dollar industry unto themselves. And while pre-sup ingredients may differ across the board, they all have a list of base ingredients (in varying doses) on which they build: Caffeine (for energy), Beta Alanine (decreases fatigue, increases vasodilation), Arginine (nutrient precursor/transport for Nitric Oxide) and Creatine (muscle energy)– usually capped off with a “proprietary energy blend”. And don’t forget the shared hyperbole… “Mind-blowing nuclear energy”, “vascularity to make anchor ropes jealous” and all that.
Marketing hype aside, they’re still the supplement I love to hate and hate to love. I use them because they work in providing focus and energy. I don’t like them because they’re filled with dyes and undisclosed chemical stacks. Listed ingredients are mostly naturally occurring but I still recommend following dosage instructions very carefully and listening to your body as you take them. Hypocritical, sure– but besides BSN’s N.O.-XPLODE and USP Labs Jack3d, I’ve recently sampled a few new products– so what’s the deal with ‘em? To find out more about Cellucor’s C4 Extreme (sold at GNC), read on.
C4 Extreme Review
The stuff in the shiny silver tub with the black and yellow “warning stripe” label. If you’re lost in the wilderness or the gym parking lot, you can use the lid to signal search planes.
Pre-workout supplements usually come in three flavors: nasty, tolerable and not-so-bad. I sampled C4 Extreme’s “Orange” flavor as you usually can’t go too far off the rails with citrus flavors. As it turns out, the taste has a mildy sweet flavor compared to Jack3d. I’ve heard it compared to “Kool-Aid”, but I’m going to have to disagree with that one. Still, it’s got a clean taste going down with a bitter punch (common to pre-workout supplements) at the end if you let it sit for more than a couple seconds. C4 Extreme comes in two flavors: Fruit Punch and Orange. If “Back-order” status is an indicator, Fruit Punch is the most popular.
A C4 Extreme single serving is small and sticks to the “ultra-concentrated” fad that’s become popular with Pre-Supps these days. Like Jack3d, the serving size is about 5g and offers up 0 calories for a recommended dose of one to two scoops max. C4 Extreme mixed quickly, easily and smoothly (with an “eh” bit of gritty residue in the last swig).
Where I work out in the morning, I “commit” myself to the workout by taking a pre-supp as soon as my feet hit the floor. My first shot of C4 Extreme was pretty close to the energy levels I’d been accustomed to with Jack3d. Nothing overpowering– just nice focused “I can do this” energy I felt kicking in after about 15-20 minutes as I started my Insanity warm-up. I’d compare it pretty closely to Jack3d– especially if you’re taking it for the first time. And since I may be a little jaded having used Pre-sups for a while, a friend of mine (a first-time pre-sup user), “A-Money” had this to say: “My experience with using c4 the past couple days have been amazing!! Like about 20 mins after I took it certain parts of my body started to feel weird (like tingling) and right when that started happening I just got sooo pumped and got energy out of nowhere! During the workout my endurance is increased dramatically!! I honestly lasted longer during each exercise than I ever have before. Overall I love the stuff so far!”
Most of these products are associated with “tingling” and I did feel prickles in my forearms as the blood started pumping– more than I’ve ever felt using either Jack3d or N.O-Xplode. Later in the afternoon I didn’t feel a crash, though it does carry a kind of “herby” aftertaste that stuck with me for a while. Wasn’t sure if that was the “1,3 Demethylamyamine”– a stimulant derived from Geraniums. As it turns out, it’s also banned by a lot of sports organizations and may get you banned if you’re a collegiate/professional athlete (Jack3d uses it as well). More on that later in a later post…
C4 Extreme works like it says it does but as usual, the hyperbole wasn’t quite as dramatic as advertisements say. My friend A-Money might tell you differently, however. Still, his experience was like most others– first few doses are high-energy but as your bdy adapts, you need to take more and more. At that point, you cycle off for a while. Still, C4 Extreme is an effective pre-supp and one I’d recommend if you’re in the market.
As always, do what your body tells you to do, start off in moderation and ALWAYS follow the Suggested Use label all conservative-like.