Skip to Content

Does C4 Energy Drink Actually Work? (Deep Dive)

There are many energy drink brands out there — some are trusted and tested brands like Red Bull and NOS, while others are newer and maybe even a bit obscure. C4 falls somewhere in the middle considering that it only came out in 2011 

C4 Original Cans

C4 is known for being America’s fastest-growing energy drink brand. But regardless of its popularity, the important question is: Does it even work?

The short answer is yes. While it has more caffeine compared to Red Bull and contains particular, it works perfectly for those needing added energy.

So what are the properties in C4 Original and how do they work? Well, let’s dive right into the article to find out.

C4 Nutrition Facts

To give you an idea of what’s in a single can of C4 Original, here are the nutrition facts indicated on the label.

C4 Energy Drink Nutrition Facts
C4 Nutrition Label
Nutrient Amount Per Serving (16 fl.oz) 
Total fat0
Total carbohydrate0
Total sugar0g
Potassium 85mg (2%)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 30mg (150%)
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)6mcg (100%)
C4 Nutrition Facts

The percentages you see at the end refer to the percent daily value (%DV).

%DV is the amount of your daily need for a nutrient you receive by consuming a single serving of a product. 

These are also calculated on the assumption that you follow a 2000 calorie per day diet. So if the diet your doctor recommended differs from that, you’ll have to learn how to do the calculations yourself to get a clearer picture of what C4 Energy can give you. 

How Many Calories are in C4 Energy Drink Original?

C4 is calorie-free. 

Calories refers to the amount of energy contained in the food and drinks you consume. 

Although C4 Original has zero calories, it has other properties that can sustain your daily activities.

C4 Original’s zero-calorie content is an important part of maintaining a healthy diet if you’re health conscious.

Does this mean zero calories are a bad thing then? 

Not really. Depending on where you’re from and your other dietary choices, the recommended limit of 2000-2500 calories a day can be easy to reach (or surpass). 

Another thing to consider is that it’s literally impossible for anything but water to have zero calories. That label is reserved for foods that have a total of 5 calories or less. 

Still, whether it has few calories or none, C4 is a solid pick for customers looking to cut down or are on a diet. 

How Much Sugar is in C4 Original?

C4 is sugar-free and uses artificial sweeteners as its alternative. 

It has two kinds of artificial sweeteners in its formula: Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium

Besides providing flavor, they’re also considered zero-calorie products. 

Sucralose can be up to 600 times sweeter than sugar, while Ace-K is 200 times sweeter than sugar. 

Artificial sweeteners are a kind of sugar substitute companies use to flavor their sugar-free products. They can also be purchased and used at home as a cooking ingredient by anyone else too. 

Thanks to this, they’re popular with people who want (or need) to avoid sugar for one reason or another. 

Why avoid sugar? The most common diseases you can acquire are Type-2 Diabetes and weight control.

Diabetes of any kind is what happens when your pancreas becomes unable to produce insulin to process sugar with. In Type-2, this can be caused by insulin tolerance as a result of (you guessed it) eating too much sugar. 

Sugar is also tied to weight gain because it contains calories like any other food. So if you can’t burn through the sugar you eat to push you through the last hour at work, you can expect to see it added to your weight. 

Vitamins in C4 Energy Drink Original

The C4 Original formula has Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and B12 (Methylcobalamin). 

Though the B-vitamins have some individual differences between each other, they all share their purpose of improving metabolism and giving you energy.

They’re also water-soluble, which means that excess food and beverage, you have flushed out in your urine. So there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to energy drinks such as C4 Original.

In addition, C4 contains 100% and 150% of your daily need for Vitamin B3 and B12 respectively.

B12 plays a role in the prevention of brain atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain. This is often associated with dementia or memory loss.

Given the fact that it prevents memory loss, it can be said that C4 Original is a good supplement for those who are studying or people who has to work the entire day.

Outside of energy drinks like C4, B-vitamins are very common in food like:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs 

What are the Ingredients of C4 Original?

In addition to the ingredients indicated on the label, it also contains the following properties that promise an energy boost in every sip.

This includes Explosive Performance Energy Blend containing the following:

  • Beta-alanine
  • Arginine nitrate (NO3-T)
  • Caffeine anhydrous
  • N-acetyl-l-tyrosine

And other ingredients such as:

  • Carbonated water
  • Potassium Sorbate (preservative)
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame Potassium
  • Citric Acid
  • Natural flavors
  • Artificial flavors

Is C4 Original a Good Pre-Workout Supplement?

C4 Original has gained popularity over the years and has been perceived to be a bodybuilding supplement. Although it has a large amount of caffeine compared to other brands, it remains to be a top choice in the weightlifting community.

Some of the ingredients that make a good pre-workout supplement are Beta-alanine and Caffeine. C4 Original has both of these properties and can definitely give you an adequate amount of energy for your workouts.

Other than C4 Original, you can also try out the powder version that’s specifically designed for pre-workout.

For a better understanding of the properties mentioned, let’s break them down one by one.

What does Beta-Alanine do?

Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that helps you produce carosine.

It’s a common ingredient you can find in pre-workout supplements, particularly in energy drinks like C4 Original., as it may improve exercise capacity while decreasing muscle fatigue, which may result in enhancing your overall performance.

It’s produced by the body and can also be found in meat, fish, and poultry. Beta-alanine is also found in supplements that are meant to improve athletic performance and endurance. 

It’s also an antioxidant and has anti-aging properties which you can likewise get in foods containing carnosine or through other food supplements.

So, it’s safe to say that C4 Original can give you that needed boost during workouts and other activities.

Experts recommend having beta-alanine, may it be in C4 Original or other sources, 2 to 5 grams daily, for it to be effective.

Tartaric Acid

Tartaric acid is a chemical that is naturally found in many plants and wine. It has a “sharp” sour taste and gives food a tart flavor.

The food industry uses it as a flavoring, preservative, and something to set gel with. Outside of C4, it’s also used in ceramics, photo printing, and textile printing. 


Tyrosine is an ingredient that promotes better cognitive functions. The cognitive functions in question are alertness, attention span, and focus. 

It produces neurotransmitters that help the nerves communicate better. So besides helping with memory and the like, it’s also believed to be helpful in regulating moods. 


Arginine is a substance that’s used in a variety of bodily functions like:

  • Wound healing
  • Helping the kidneys remove waste
  • Dilating the arteries to improve blood flow

It can be produced naturally by the body and taken from food, so deficiencies are a rare event.

How Much Caffeine does C4 Original Contain?

Caffeine (Coffee Beans)

The Original C4 has 200mg of caffeine per 16 fl.oz serving. 

For most people, that’s already two cups of coffee. Scientifically, that’s 50% of the recommended daily caffeine limit for adults. 

According to Mayoclinic, the average adult can have up to 400mg of caffeine without issue. If you have more than the recommended serving, you can overdose on caffeine and bring several health risks for some people, which includes:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Loose bladder control
  • High blood pressure
  • Palpitations (fast heartbeat)
  • Substance dependance
  • Increased risk for substance addiction

If you do happen to be sensitive to caffeine, then the amount you can safely consume will probably be much less than 400mg each day. 

All in all, C4 isn’t that bad in terms of caffeine content. Compared to other brands, it doesn’t even come close in terms of how much caffeine you get with 300mg per can.

How Long Does it Take for C4 Energy Drink To Kick In?

It takes a around 15 to 20 minutes before C4 produces noticeable effects.

Caffeine typically takes a few minutes to show effects while it enters your bloodstream. It also reaches peak levels at the 30-minute mark. 

From there, the amount of caffeine in your bloodstream slowly decreases until it reaches its half-life 3-5 hours after consumption.

Half-life refers to the point at which there is only half the original amount of caffeine in your blood. Once caffeine enters your system, it takes 3 hours to reach its half-life. Normally its effects will go away 6 hours after drinking.

You can easily flush caffeine out of your body based on how fast your metabolism is. People who digest faster and have a high tolerance are more likely to have a shorter caffeine half-life than those who absorb slowly and have low caffeine tolerance. 

What are the Side Effects of C4 Energy Drink?

Side effects are common when you take a large dosage of pre-workout or caffeinated drinks in a day. Among other things, it may trigger mild reactions, cause indigestion, headaches and increase water retention, which may also cause unexpected weight gain.

C4 Original is no exception. You can experience some of the side effects mentioned when taken in large amounts especially if you’re not wary about the food you take in a day.

Final Verdict

C4 Energy Original should work fine for those who need that energy boost during the day.

It has 200mg of caffeine, negligible calorie content, no sugar, and ingredients that can give you the right amount of energy to do tedious work and other physical activities.

C4 could be a good choice for you if you don’t have caffeine issues or restrictions. Unlike the other brands, which tend to be loaded with both caffeine and sugar, this one only has caffeine to worry about. 

Personally, I don’t think it’s that bad. On the one hand. 200mg of caffeine gives you some leeway for other food sources like chocolate, tea, and other caffeinated drinks.

On the other hand, 200mg is still a lot even for people who don’t have caffeine sensitivity and can process it properly. So drinking it too often could still lead to you developing a strong tolerance to caffeine. 

If you’re curious about what else C4 has going for it, here’s a review that goes into detail about the product before transitioning into a taste test.

Other articles:

Skip to content