IF you’ve been using pre-workout supplements for a while then you’ve no doubt already heard of the Cellucor C4 line of products.
It all started with C4, the potently flavoured, luminously coloured powder in a dangerous looking chrome and hazard yellow tub.
Since then we have seen the release of C4 Ripped and C4 Mass, C4 On The Go, C4 Zero, C4 Extreme Energy, C4 Ultimate….who knows, by the time this review is finished, they may have released another one.
Good old original C4 is still there too, and it’s called…oh yes – C4 Original.
C4 50x is one of the latest. Cellucor says it’s for “…the extremist…” …. Interesting choice of words.
Well…even the extremists amongst us need energy for their workouts.
Anyway, this review is about C4 50x because it’s different from all the others.
Let’s begin with addressing this “50x” business. Turns out, it means “50% more explosive”. So not 50x, then!
Either way, it’s referring to the fact that there are approximately 50% more of the ingredients per scoop that were considered the power ingredients of C4 Extreme.
There are also a couple of additional inclusions to mention: TeaCor and XCELICOR. We’ll discuss these more in the Ingredients section below but they are essentially there for additional energy and longer lasting energy respectively.
C4 50x promises the following benefits:
- 50% More Explosive Formula
- TeaCor for more energy
- XCELLICOR for fast acting energy which lasts longer
So unless you are particularly sensitive to C4 Original or C4 Extreme, this seems to be the upgraded version.
Key Ingredients and Formula Potential
Each 9g serving scoop of Cellucor C4 50x contains the ingredients below:
The usual blend of vitamins and minerals are there. As with most Cellucor supplements it’s quite an extensive list of base vitamins and micro-nutrients, making sure you have the essentials right as well as the fancy stuff.
Moving on to the main formula, not that much has changed in terms of the layout from the original C4 series.
Beta Alanine is still present at a reasonable dose of 2.4g. The tingly feeling people associate with C4 is still there, along with that perceptible boost in set power.
Creatine is included in the compound form of Creatine Nitrate. How useful this is depends on whether you take creatine monohydrate as a separate supplement or add it to your protein after workouts or whatever.
Essentially, creatine works by saturating your cells and really only needs to be topped up daily with about 3 to 6 grams. During workouts, your muscles then use it to make ATP and thus convert it to energy.
The idea that 1.5 grams of Creatine will do much for you is a creative one that lingers like a bad smell in the bodybuilding industry. Creatine Monohydrate is a wonderful and well proven strength supplement. You can buy about 6 month’s worth for less than a tub of C4 50x.
Interpret that how you want!
Arginine AKG (AAKG) at 1.5 grams. A decent enough Nitric Oxide booster (for the ‘muscle pump’) but not as good as L-Citrulline at doing the same thing. Also, again. under-dosed in our opinion.
The rest of the main blend is packed into 557mg of a proprietary formula called C4 50x Explosion Blend.
True to form it contains the usual suspect, Caffeine, although the dose is of course unknown.
N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT) is a nootropic/cognitive stimulant which can help with focus and regulation of stress levels.
XCELICOR, one of the new ingredients, is a ‘cocrystal’ of Caffeine and Pterostilbene. The advantages of this beyond the obvious energy boosting implication isn’t entirely obvious, though it might have something to do with the reduction of blood pressure and/or increased metabolism of fat.
TeaCor – the other new ingredient – appears to be a re-named Theacrine, which itself is another form of caffeine sourced from tea.
The tagline for TeaCor is “hits like the first time every time”. This is a reference to the theory that Theacrine dose not have a tolerance curve like plain old caffeine. For habitual consumers of caffeine, that’s good news because regular caffeine is useless for energy after a few weeks of consistent use.
Side Effects and Health Considerations
If it wasn’t already blindingly obvious at this point, then we’ll try our best here: you need to think about your other caffeine intake during the day. If you drink coffee daily, stop. If you are using any other supplements, make sure they don’t contain caffeine.
The fact is, we don’t know how much caffeine is actually in C4 50x but we know it when we feel it, and it is definitely a huge part of this product.
For people sensitive to stimulants, a full 9 gram dose of this might be a little nauseating to begin with. Dizziness, headaches and heart palpitation are also possible. Just don’t chug a shaker with a 9g scoop and then belt out the most intense workout you’ve ever done.
Take your time, dose less if necessary and do not use this if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, on medication, have a medical condition, or otherwise feel it might not be the best for you.
Now, on to brighter subjects. Don’t worry about the tingles or the flushed feeling. These are both normal effects of Beta Alanine and the Niacin in the vitamin suite. We’ve always enjoyed this feeling, but again if it isn’t for you then back off the dose or simply stop using it.
Conclusion and Recommendations
If you like that tingly, red-faced, kind of grubby energy you get from C4 then you are going to like C4 50x even more.
Of course, like all its predecessors, the flavours are simultaneously face-melting and oddly delicious. Who knows what’s going on there but we like it. The watermelon is the one to go for in our opinion.
To sum it up, Cellucor know what they are doing with pre-workouts at this point. This is just what it says it is: a more intense version of the original.
Will we use it again? Probably not. We look for a more varied and muscle-focused pre-workout like 4Gauge. Follow the link to check out the review…