Overview of Cellucor C4 Carbonated Energy Drink
Cellucor is a big, big brand. They are available in club stores like Costco and major retailers like Walmart. This generally means lower quality products at affordable prices. I will give it to Cellucor, they have started to launch more products that are well-dosed that you won't find at a big box retailer, because their formulas cannots support that margin model.
Cellucor C4 Carbonated Energy Drink is going to be one of the better energy drinks on the market today. While everyone is obsessed with Bang!, there are other RTDs that not only give you adequate caffeine, they are also providing other benefits that promote blood flow, endurance and focus. C4 Carbonated is one of those drinks. It is not a fully-dosed pre-workout, so don't think that, but it's a much better variation of an energy drink.
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Testing Results and Ratings
We reviewed Cellucor C4 Carbonated Energy Drink on four categories. We first start by looking at it’s ingredient profile. This portion of the review looks at the different ingredients used in this energy drink.
We then look at effectiveness. An effective energy drink will use several beneficial ingredients that is just more than caffeine and sucralose.
Then we move into the taste of the different flavors we’ve tried. We grade each flavor separately and average the scores for their overall taste rating. We were able to test out the following flavors: Orange Slice, Purple Frost and Midnight Cherry.
Finally, we talk about value. Value is the combination of profile, effectiveness and taste in relation to cost. Another part of value are the competitors and other versions of energy drinks on the market.
The vast majority of energy drinks are going to hit home one key ingredient: caffeine. Many of these drinks have 300mg of caffeine, something I personally think is too much caffeine in one sitting. Cellucor C4 Carbonated provides 200mg of caffeine per can. This, to me, is much more reasonable. This is all part of their Explosive Energy Blend that is a prop blend of 6.73g.
Yes, prop blend. BUT this is an energy drink. Look at the other drinks on the market, including soda, no one discloses anything. This blend starts with Citrulline Malate. This is to enhance blood flow. The optimal dosage of this is 6-8g – so you won’t be getting a full dosage of Citrulline Malate, but that is to be expected. This would be sludge if it had optimal dosages.
Next we get CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine. Optimally, this is dosed between 3-3.5g. This helps with endurance. It also is the “tingly” feeling you get from pre-workout supplements.
The blend also contains BetaPower Betaine. This helps with power output and is traditionally dosed at 1.5-2.5g. Tyrosine is used next, a cognitive enhancing ingredient. This should be dosed at 1g.
This does use Citric Acid for flavoring. It also uses natural and artificial flavors. We also have sucralose as the sweetener, but it is 2nd to last on the ingredient deck.
I am not an energy drink fan, but overall, this is one of the better one available since it isn’t just fake sugar water with a bunch of caffeine. The 200mg caffeine should be enough to provide that up you are looking for.
I want to be clear, this shouldn’t pass as a pre-workout. This is an energy drink with pre-workout ingredients, but there is not nearly enough of those ingredients to justify it as a true PWO.
With that said, this is going to put pep in your step with the 200mg of caffeine (unless you’re a huge stim junkie then you should think about weaning off stims for a bit). The addition of Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Betaine and Tyrosine is nice as you’ll feel a bit more focus from this but nothing too drastic.
The main purpose of an energy drink is to provide energy and this does. The combo of the other ingredients help reduce fatigue and enhance focus too.
We were able to try three of these flavors, with Orange Slice being my favorite. It tasted a lot like Hi-C…those were the days. It was actually enjoyable, and coming from someone who isn’t a fan of these drinks, that’s saying something. Purple Frost is your traditional grape flavor. I am not the biggest fan of grape, but I know a lot of people love this stuff. It is good, especially if you’re a grape fan. Lastly, Midnight Cherry is cherry forward, not a cola. I was hoping it would be more Cherry Cola but it wasn’t. It was still good, I just wish it was more like a cola. It does taste like you’d expect from a carbonated cherry drink.
Overall, their flavors are solid. They are not using a lot of other sweeteners like the competitive set, so we may not see Root Beer and Cola anytime soon.
We always come back and compare pricing to Bang. Bang is cheap. It really is. C4 Carbonated retails for $30 for 12-cans. This is not a pre-workout so you cannot justify a higher price tag for a PWO RTD, this is still an energy drink. At $2.50 a can, when you can get two Rockstars for $3, it is hard to eat the price, even though this is a better variation, not sure it justifies a $2.50 price per can. Yes, it has almost 7g of extra good stuff…but is that worth an extra $1 a can? You can be the judge.
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