I love to workout hard, but sometimes I need a little “push.” I always reach out for a caffeine pill to give me a boost of energy during these times. Recently, I tried C4 Original Pre-Workout drink mix to see what it would do for me.
In this post, I will be comparing the effects each one has on my workouts as well as providing you with general information on the usage of these two things.
About pre-workout products
Pre-workout products are things that people take around 30 minutes before they want to do their workout. The claim is that they will help provide more power, strength and endurance to get through them.
There are many of these products out there with a variety of different ingredients in them. The most common ingredient seen is caffeine although there are some without it. The following are ingredients one might find in pre-workout products:
- Beta-alanine (amino acid)
- Branch Chain Amino Acids
- Protein powder
- Vitamin Bs
Pre-workout products come in powdered drink mix, pre-made drink and pill form. You can find the drinks in many flavors.
While many people have experienced positive effects from the pre-workouts, there can be some negative effects as well. They are as follows:
- GI issues
- Dry mouth
- High blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Chest aches
- Interactions with medications
It is important for one to do their research when it comes to buying these products. The ingredients and the amounts of them can be very detrimental to some.
About C4 Original Pre-Workout
This product is from a company called, Cellucor. They have been around since 2011 and have put out very popular products for fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike.
The C4 Original Pre-Workout is a sugar free drink mix that comes in a variety of flavors. One scoop of the mix is one serving size and there are 30 servings per container. It is among six other ones in Cellucor’s pre-workout line.
The company claims it can increase energy (physical and mental), endurance and strength. This is due to its blend of ingredients. The following is what is in each serving of the product and the alleged benefits:
- 250 mg of vitamin C- For recovery, post-workout.
- 30 mg of niacin- For muscle pumps.
- 500 mcg of vitamin B6- For energy.
- 35 mcg of vitamin B12- For energy.
- 250 mcg of folic acid- For energy.
- 24 mg of calcium- Bone protection from the stress of the workout.
- 1.6 g of CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine- For increased strength and muscle endurance.
- 1 g of creatine nitrate- For increased strength.
- 1 g of Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate- For increased strength and muscle endurance.
- 425 mg of an energy blend- Includes 150 mg of caffeine which may help with energy, endurance and strength.
One scoop of the pre-workout is supposed to be mixed into 5-10 ounces of water- depending how strong one wants it to taste. No more than two scoops of the product should be used per day due to the possibility of negative effects.
The other pre-workout products from Cellucor include the following:
- C4 Ripped- For muscle endurance, strength, energy and weight loss.
- C4 Sport- For muscle endurance, strength and energy. It is also certified for sports competitions.
- C4 Sport Ripped- For muscle endurance, strength, energy and weight loss. It is also certified for sports competitions.
- C4 Extreme- For extreme muscle endurance, strength, energy and pumps.
- C4 Ultimate- For extreme muscle endurance, energy and pumps.
In addition to pre-workout products, they also have other kinds as well. They include the following:
- Energy and smart energy drinks (in cans and bottles).
- Amino acid drink mixes.
- Fat burner capsules.
- Protein powder.
My thoughts on C4 Original Pre-Workout
I ended up just getting the fruit punch version, thinking that it didn’t really matter as they were all going to taste terrible to me.
The day that I took a scoop of the product was one of my upper body days. This was deliberate so that I could see if the pre-workout would help with strength and muscle endurance as the company claims it does.
I mixed it into five ounces of water and noted the bad smell of it. I knew that this meant I would probably have to get it down as fast as possible so that I wouldn’t taste too much of it. So, I chugged it.
The aftertaste was unpleasant to me. I was glad that I didn’t take slow sips of it because I would have probably gagged.
Around 30 minutes after I took the product, I started feeling a rush of tingling in my body. I already knew that it was the niacin doing it’s work. I also felt a noticeable increase in energy.
It was time to work out!
I was definitely able to push myself more when it came to the cardio burst part of my upper body workout. Mountain climbers kill me and I usually have to punk out but with the C4 Original Pre-Workout- I got through them easier.
When it came to the weightlifting, I was definitely stronger than usual. I was able to go up in weight on all of the lifts which was awesome! This coupled with the increased capability for intense cardio, made for an overall great workout.
When I completed the workout, I still felt energized but I didn’t do any more. The energy lasted for quite a while and I wasn’t able to fall asleep until around 2:00 AM.
Most of us already know about caffeine so I will only go into it a little bit. Here are its effects (good and bad) that have some anecdotal and scientific evidence behind them:
- Causes wakefulness.
- Increases energy.
- Enhances memory in some.
- Increases ability for cardio workouts.
- Improves strength for weightlifting workouts.
- Improves mood.
- Increased anxiety.
- Fatigue in some.
- GI upset.
Caffeine is found naturally in some plants and is added to many different types of food and drinks. The most common way of getting it is by way of coffee.
400 mg of caffeine is the maximum amount that an adult should consume. This is because adverse events have occurred in people who have gone beyond that. It is important to take a look at how much caffeine is in what you are ingesting.
Caffeine as my pre-workout
So I have been using caffeine daily for a long time now. Because of this, I have built up a tolerance to it and it doesn’t have a strong effect on me anymore. That being said, I do still experience benefits from it.
I take a caffeine pill (200 mg) 50 minutes before I intend to workout because it does take a bit longer for it to work than it probably does for other people. After that amount of time passes, I don’t get a rush of energy but my mind says that it is time to get started.
My motivation to do and complete the workouts are mainly how the caffeine pill effects me. I don’t actually get a huge increase in physical energy or strength.
When I have taken caffeine in the form of coffee before my workouts, I do notice an increase in physical energy and strength though. For whatever reason, it effects me differently than the pills do.
Both the pill and coffee allow me to fall asleep at a reasonable time.
Which one wins?
I have to say that the C4 product definitely wins as a pre-workout for me. Even though I don’t like the taste of it, taking it had such a positive impact on my workout.
After using the C4 pre-workout, I realized how somewhat lackluster my workouts have been. It really kicked the upper body day into high gear and I can’t wait to see how it helps me with my other workouts.
The only bad thing about C4 was the insomnia issue. Not being able to sleep until 2:00 AM is not good. If I actually had a job (good lord, will I ever have one again?!), it would be even worse due to not being able to get much sleep in before I started working.
It really isn’t in our budget unfortunately, so I will not be buying it all the time. I will be using it when I can though. My hope is that the insomnia was just a fluke and that subsequent uses of the product won’t cause that again.
It was interesting to compare how the C4 Original Pre-Workout product worked versus just taking caffeine as I usually do. The C4 worked so well that I think I will be using it regularly.
If you are looking for a pre-workout, I would recommend C4 products. As always, do your research on the ingredients before trying something out.
Thanks for reading!
Health disclaimer: I am not a doctor, therefore what I say should not be a substitute for medical advice. I am merely just giving information that I learned and showing products that I use. You must consult with your doctor before adding anything that may impact your health. Your health is your own and I am not liable for any consequences you suffer due to your choices and actions.
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