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C4 Energy Drink Side Effects (Analyzed)

C4 energy drinks are not as mainstream and popular as the likes of Redbull and Monster, but they have their own set of loyal customers who prefer C4 over other alternatives.

The brand heavily markets itself as an excellent supplement for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. But it comes with its own side effects as well.

Due to its high 200mg of caffeine, C4 comes attached with a number of possible side effects, if excessively consumed. These include dizziness, insomnia, caffeine addiction, and diarrhea.

Read on for a more in-depth look into C4’s side effects!

C4 Energy Drink Nutrition Facts

Here is the list of nutritional facts of a single 16 fl oz can of C4 Energy.

Standard ValuesC4 “Original” Carbonated
(16 fl. oz)
Energy0 calories
(Of Which Saturated)
(Of which Sugars)
Vitamin B3
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B9
Vitamin B126μg

C4 Energy Drink Ingredients

Ingredients in C4 Energy

C4 has a set of ingredients especially added to their drinks to provide a burst of energy. They call it their Explosive Performance Energy Blend:

  • Caffeine anhydrous (200mg)
  • CarnoSyn Beta-alanine
  • Beta Power Betaine Anhydrous
  • N-acetyl-l-tyrosine
  • Citrulline malate

It also comes packed with the following ingredients:

  • Carbonated water
  • Citric Acid
  • Natural flavors
  • Artificial flavors
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Sucralose 
  • Acesulfame potassium 

Caffeine in C4 Energy

C4 Energy is one of the highest caffeinated energy drink brands out there. Each 16 fl oz drink comes with 200mg of caffeine.

For reference, a similar Redbull and Monster drink contains around 160mg.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends healthy adults have no more than 400mg of caffeine in a day.

Side Effects of Caffeine

Caffeine can have varying levels of effects on different individuals. If you are sensitive to caffeine, having C4 is not recommended.

For an average adult, intaking more than 400mg can result in the following, immediate, side effects.

Long Term Side Effects of Caffeine

Besides the side effects listed above, caffeine can cause harm in the long run as well.

Caffeine Addiction: Intaking large amounts of caffeine regularly and depending upon the ingredient to get you out of bed can result in caffeine dependency. This can result in the inability to function without having a large dose of caffeine.

Insomnia: Drinking beverages with caffeine before going to sleep can cause insomnia. This can be identified by anxiety, frequent nighttime awakening, and inability to go to sleep.

Stomach Problems: Caffeine may stimulate the gastric acid in your stomach, having the ingredient frequently can cause an upset stomach. This effect is particularly stronger if you drink C4 Energy on an empty stomach.

Are Artificial Sweeteners in C4 Safe?

C4 boasts of a sugar-free formula that is perfect for those who are looking to lose weight or are diabetic.

Instead of regular sugar, the brand uses the artificial sweetener Sucralose.

While Sucralose is generally regarded as safe for use in foods and beverages, it has had its share of controversies as well.

Studies conducted on rats showed that Sucralose eats away at important bacteria present in the stomach which are necessary for digestion to be carried out.

While this may sound concerning, no solid research on humans has been carried out to prove this.

Does Jolt still exist?

Jolt Cola and its variants have been renamed Jolt Energy since 2006. There was a limited time window between 2017 and 2019 during which Jolt Cola could be purchased at Dollar General, Casey’s General Store, and on Amazon.

Since March 2019, Jolt Cola has become “unavailable” on Amazon and impossible to purchase in shops.

Why was Jolt discontinued?

The Jolt Cola firm went bankrupt in 2009 after price conflicts with its supplier, but it reemerged in 2011 as Jolt Energy. And in 2017, via the Dollar Store, Jolt Cola reappeared. I wouldn’t call it a comeback, but it did happen.

It’s a real bummer that they got rid of Jolt Cola since it tastes quite similar to Coke, but with a little less sugary aftertaste. One possible explanation is that instead of high-fructose corn syrup found in most colas, they utilize cane sugar.

Was Jolt the first energy drink?

The first energy drink, Jolt, had twice as much caffeine as other brands and twice as much sugar. Since Monster and Red Bull had already established themselves as market leaders when it rebranded, the cola disguise didn’t help. Jolt Cola first appeared in 1985, advertising itself as having twice the caffeine of other soft drinks in addition to twice the sugar.

C. J. Rapp developed cola as a highly caffeinated drink. Promoted as a stimulant like energy drinks, it was aimed at the young professional and student demographic.”

Is C4 Energy Healthy?

While I wouldn’t call C4 Energy particularly healthy, its lack of calories and sugar is certainly helpful when you’re trying to lose weight.

The large amounts of caffeine present in C4 are harmful if taken in excess. If you have more than one can in a single day, you are likely to face adverse effects.

Alternatives to C4 Energy

Here are some alternatives you can try if C4 Energy’s large caffeine content isn’t for you.

Other Notable Mentions:


C4 Energy’s side effects are no different from any other energy drink brand and the large caffeine content is responsible for the bulk of negative effects.

Taking more than one can will exceed the 400mg daily limit set by experts, this can cause headaches, insomnia, abnormal heart rate, and anxiety.

However, the lack of sugar and calories is a quality only a few other energy drinks have, it is ideal for people looking to get in shape.

Drinking C4 in moderation will not cause any adverse effects, so stay safe, and you can take advantage of C4’s energy-boosting properties without facing side effects.

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