Our Review: Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred Pre-Workout/Fat Burner – Worth it?

Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred Review
Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred Review Summary $49.99
  • Muscle Pumps
  • Energy & Focus
  • Ingredient Quality
  • Safety
3.5

Summary

C4 Ultimate Shred is a great-tasting, highly energizing pre-workout powder. It comes in a variety of awesome flavors and claims to help you with not just performance during exercise, but also fat loss. This makes it stand out from your typical pre-workouts. However, we have found these claims to only be partially true. The performance-enhancing aspect of C4 Ultimate Shred is excellent – you will feel plenty of energy, focus, and your muscle pumps should last longer. The main issue is with the “fat-burning” part of the formula. Almost all the fat loss ingredients are hidden in a proprietary blend – you can’t see their doses. This is a serious problem! Without seeing the doses, we can’t tell if they are safe or effective. Even when there are good ingredients, there are issues. C4 Ultimate Shred is using a huge 300mg of caffeine per serving, combined with another stimulant called Rauwolfscine. If you’re not used to aggressive pre-workouts, it can cause side effects. All in all, we expected a bit more from a brand as renowned as Cellucor. If you’re looking for a potent pre-workout, this is definitely worth considering. But for serious fat loss, there are better products available on the market.

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About Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred

From Cellucor comes one of their newest powdered supplements: C4 Ultimate Shred. Featuring 6g of Citrulline Malate, 3.2g of patented Beta-Alanine, and a massive 300mg of caffeine in each flavorful scoop, C4 Ultimate Shred promises to help you burn fat, lean out, and get more from every workout.

  • Yes, you’ve read that right. This is not just a pre-workout formula, but also a weight loss one! It is build upon natural performance-enhancing ingredients such as Capsimax® and Rauwolfsia Vomitoria to help you experience more energy, increased fat breakdown, and faster metabolic rate amongst others.

Most impressively, C4 Ultimate Shred claims to continue to torch calories en when you are not training – they call it the “afterburn effect”.

We must say, these claims sound promising, unique, and impressive. However, can Cellucor deliver on them?

Is C4 Ultimate Shred really that good for enhancing performance AND fat loss? Can it achieve both at the same time, or does it lack in some areas? Is it safe and side-effect-free? Read on as we dissect the serving recommendations for Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred, and, even more importantly – its ingredient formula.

How to Use Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred

Dosage instructions for C4 Ultimate Shred are to mix 1 level scoop of the product in 10-12 fl. oz. of water and drink it 20-30 minutes before your training. Note that you may feel a harmless tingling sensation as it kicks it, which is the side effect of one of its ingredients – Beta-Alanine.

Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred Ingredient Analysis

Here is a look at the ingredient label of Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred:

Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred Ingredients

In case that image isn’t clear, here’s a list of the ingredients in Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred Pre-Workout/Fat Burner:

  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) – 250mg
  • Niacin – 60mg
  • Vitamin B6 (P5P) – 1mg
  • Folic Acid – 500mcg
  • Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin) – 70mcg
  • Calcium – 103mg
  • Citrulline Malate – 6g
  • CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine – 3.2g
  • Betaine Anhydrous – 1.5g
  • Nitrogisine Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate – 1.5g
  • C4 Ultimate Shred & Thermogenic Matrix – 1.334g
    • N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (dose unknown)
    • Caffeine Anhydrous (300mg)
    • Dichrostachys Glomerata Fruit Extract (DygloFit) (dose unknown)
    • Mucuna Pruriens (dose unknown)
    • Theacrine (done unknown)
    • Cayenne Fruit Extract (dose unknown)
    • Lychee Truit and Green Tea Extracts (dose unknown)
    • Ginger Root Extract (dose unknown)
    • Alpha GPC (dose unknown)
    • Zembrin Sceletium Tortusum (dose unknown)
    • Rauwolfia Vomitoria (dose unknown)
    • Huperzine A (dose unknown)
  • Taurine – 1g
  • Bioperine Black Pepper Extract – 5mg

Cellucor wasn’t kidding when they said Ultimate Shred is a pre-workout/fat burner formula. It contains a ton of ingredients in order to achieve both the performance-enhancing and fat-burning effect. At first glance, C4 Ultimate Shred looks like a formula that has the potential to really amp up your energy levels, focus, and mood for working out. Of course, increased physical activity will naturally make you burn more calories. But, C4 Ultimate Shred also contains ingredients that help boost your metabolism even when you’re not working out.

Among the ingredients, you’ll see everything from basic nutrients like B vitamins, to compounds such as Mucuna Pruriens, L-Tyrosine, and Cayenne Pepper Extract – some of which are our top-recommended compounds for weight loss.

But there are also some issues.

Serious issues.

While you can clearly see the doses of most pre-workout ingredients in C4 Ultimate Shred, most of the ingredients that are focused on fat burning are hidden in a proprietary blend. There’s no way to see the dose of every ingredient in the blend. You can only see the dosage of all the ingredients combined.

Why is this an issue? Because, it prevents us from seeing if the manufacturer correctly dosed the ingredients for effectiveness and safety.

We’re now going to take a closer look at each ingredient in Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred. We’ll show you what these ingredients do, what the science says, and what we make of their dosages. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them down at the bottom of this post.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) – 250mg

We’re not sure what Vitamin C is doing in C4 Ultimate Shred. This ingredient is not common in pre-workout supplements. You’ll more often see it in supplements for athletes recovering from workouts. There’s a good reason for this. As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps lower inflammation and repair, which is beneficial when you’re trying to speed up your recovery after a hard training session. But taking it before physical activity has actually been shown to hinder physical performance.

Niacin – 60mg

Niacin is one of the 8 essential B vitamins. It is a type of nutrient that helps the body turn carbs and fats into fuel. It also helps maintain nerve and digestive health. Niacin is not a super-popular pre-workout ingredient due to lack of proven effects. You are unlikely to notice anything from supplementing this compound. Unless you’re eating a niacin-deficient diet (which is rare), this is not the best inclusion. That said, niacin can sometimes cause negative effects. Sometimes it can worsen insulin resistance and lead to fat gain, which is ironic in the context of a fat loss supplement.

Vitamin B6 (P5P) – 1mg

Vitamin B6 is found in pre-workout supplements for various reasons. First, it helps the body produce energy by converting carbohydrates into glucose. It also increases the production of hemoglobin in the blood, which improves oxygen transport to muscles and speeds up recovery time after workouts.

The body can synthesize vitamin B6 from other nutrients like protein, but only if enough vitamin B12 is present. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see B-complex vitamins in pre-workout supplements because they help provide the necessary building blocks for vitamin production. The dosage here is nothing spectatular; providing only 50% of your daily requirement for B6.

Folic Acid – 500mcg

Folic acid, or folate, is a B-complex vitamin that is important for neural tube formation and neurological development. It can be found in supplements that are designed to increase nitric oxide levels, which means it can also be found in pre-workout supplements. There are many benefits of Folic acid use in pre-workout supplements, including increased energy levels and increased vasodilation. Folate has been shown to have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure. But much like with all the other B vitamins, you are unlikely to notice an substantial difference from supplementing Folic Acid, unless you’re eating a severely nutrient-deprived diet!

Methylcobalamin – 70mcg

Methylcobalamin is a water-soluble form of vitamin B12. The body needs vitamin B12 to form red blood cells and make DNA. It can be used in pre-workout supplements to increase energy levels and lead to faster recovery. The dosage of 70mcg is plenty to ensure optimal levels of this vitamin in your body. That is, if you aren’t already eating a diet that contains enough of the nutrient – if you are, supplementation won’t make much of a difference!

Calcium – 103mg

Calcium is not widely used in pre-workout supplements. As a supplement that’s most commonly used to maintain strong bones, calcium is usually supplemented for people who are at a greater risk of developing a deficiency. This includes vegans and vegetarians, as well as people with certain medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease or kidney stones. It’s more than likely that calcium is merely a filler ingredient used to bulk up C4 Ultimate Shred’s formula – saving the manufacturers a bit of money on production.

There are many benefits of using citrulline malate in pre-workout supplements. The most notable one that you already probably know is increased muscle pumps. However, Citrulline malate has also been accepted by the supplement industry as an effective, natural stimulant that can be consumed before workouts to increase muscle strength and endurance. Citrulline Malate is often used in pre-workout supplements because it can help prevent fatigue and increase muscle strength. It also provides a number of other benefits, including increased nitric oxide levels. Rather than relying on stimulants like caffeine or artificial sweeteners, which only provide short-term energy boosts, many athletes use citrulline malate to help them feel energized for their entire workouts.

Citrulline Malate – 6g

There are many benefits of using citrulline malate in pre-workout supplements. The most notable one that you already probably know is increased muscle pumps. However, Citrulline malate has also been accepted by the supplement industry as an effective, natural stimulant that can be consumed before workouts to increase muscle strength and endurance. Citrulline Malate is often used in pre-workout supplements because it can help prevent fatigue and increase muscle strength. It also provides a number of other benefits, including increased nitric oxide levels. Rather than relying on stimulants like caffeine or artificial sweeteners, which only provide short-term energy boosts, many athletes use citrulline malate to help them feel energized for their entire workouts.

CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine – 3.2g

Beta-Alanine is a nonessential beta-amino acid. It has been linked to increased muscle mass and strength gains. It may also have a mental function boosting benefit on cognition, as it also acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Some pre-workout supplements use Beta Alanine because it can enhance the user’s workout performance by increasing their endurance capacity, strength, and reducing fatigue. Beta-Alanine is found to be effective when used at doses between 2.4 and 6.4 grams per day for at least eight weeks. The dosage of 3.2g per serving of C4 Ultimate Shred is on the lower end of the spectrum, but still effective.

Betaine Anhydrous – 1.5g

Betaine is not as common as other ingredients such as arginine and creatinine, but it is used in pre-workout supplements for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that it can help with muscle cramps, which may be caused by salt deficiency. This is due to the fact that 18% of its chemical structure consists of sodium. The second reason might be due to the fact that it has been shown to have the ability to increase muscle power output by up to 14%.

Nitrogisine Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate – 1.5g

Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate (ISAS) is a type of dietary supplement that has been shown to promote endurance and help with recovery. It also has the ability to reduce lactic acid production while increasing the amount of blood flow to muscles. The optimal dose of ISAS in pre-workout supplements is still being researched. The current research suggests that it is best taken at 3g or 6g per day, but there are no long term studies on what doses are best for people who take it year-round. That said, the dosage in C4 Ultimate Shred is a little too light, limiting any effects.

C4 Ultimate Shred & Thermogenic Matrix – 1.334g

Here we come to the proprietary blend of Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred. This is the part of the formula which focuses on fat burning. Here are the ingredients in the blend:

  • N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (dose unknown)
  • Caffeine Anhydrous (300mg)
  • Dichrostachys Glomerata Fruit Extract (DygloFit) (dose unknown)
  • Mucuna Pruriens (dose unknown)
  • Theacrine (done unknown)
  • Cayenne Fruit Extract (dose unknown)
  • Lychee Truit and Green Tea Extracts (dose unknown)
  • Ginger Root Extract (dose unknown)
  • Alpha GPC (dose unknown)
  • Zembrin Sceletium Tortusum (dose unknown)
  • Rauwolfia Vomitoria (dose unknown)
  • Huperzine A (dose unknown)

C4 Ultimate Shred’s propreitary blend contains some solid weight loss ingredients. Caffeine is an excellent stimulant that is responsible for most of the energy-boosting and focus-enhancing benefits you’ll experience with this pre-workout formula. Caffeine also naturally raises your stress hormones, putting you into the “flight-or-fight” state where you’re burning more calories. However, there are big issues.

The sole fact that this is a proprietary blend is a huge issue in and of itself! The doses of ingredients are all hidden, except for caffeine which has a huge 300mg per serving. This is a dose that can cause negative side effects if you’re not used to stimulants. Aside from that, this proprietary blend contains some completely unproven or ineffective ingredients such as Zembrine Sceletium Tortusum. So it’s a mixed bag.

Even when there are good ingredients in this blend, there is no way to tell if they are effectively or safely dosed. On the whole, then, we think the “fat-burning” part of Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred is lacking, to put it mildly.

Taurine – 1g

Taurine is an organic acid that is naturally created by your body. It is also found in different foods, such as meat, seafood, and milk. Taurine helps maintain the health of your heart muscle and aids in digestion. It can also help with mental focus. The optimal dose of taurine for pre-workout supplements is 500mg to 1g per day – good job Cellucor!

Bioperine Black Pepper Extract – 5mg

Black Pepper extract is an interesting inclusion. It doesn’t really do anything for performance or fat loss. Instead, this ingredient is included to help with digestion and absorption of other ingredients in the formula, which can make them more effective.


Our Commentary on the Formula

All things considered, Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred is a mixed bag. It contains some good ingredients like Beta-Alanine, Citrulline, and Caffeine which should amp up your energy and keep you zoned in on your workout. In addition, some of these compounds work to boost your metabolism so you’re burning more calories and breaking down excessive body fat.

Despite that, the “fat-burning” part of Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred is disappointing. The sole fact that we can’t see the ingredient doses is a red flag – it prevents us from knowing if they’re effective or safe.

C4 Ultimate Shred looks like a decent pre-workout formula, but the weight loss ingredients are all randomly thrown together as a single value on the label. Don’t let the hype and marketing fool you; just because it’s a huge brand doesn’t mean it’s flawless! We believe there are definitely better formulas available on the market as far as weight loss is concerned.

Side Effects

Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred contains a large number of ingredients. Combinations of some of these compounds obviously raises the risk of potential side effects. The biggest concern is the inclusion of stimulants in high doses, and in some cases, in unknown dosages.

Caffeine dose in C4 Shred Ultimate is 300mg, which is fairly high. Unless you’re experienced and watching your caffeine intake outside of this supplement, there is a risk of:

  • Heart palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Jitters
  • Harsh energy comedowns

Caffeine alone can cause these issues. However, it’s not the concerning part of C4 Ultimate Shred. We’re more worried about the inclusion of another stimulant – Rauwolfia Vomitoria. This ingredient contains an aggressive compound known as Rauwolscine. Although it’s still underresearched in humans, Rauwolscine seems to have similar or stronger effects as Yohimbine, a substance banned in countries like the UK and Australia for its high potential for causing side effects.

Testimonials & Reviews

It’s worth looking into “other people’s” experiences using Cellucor’s C4 Ultimate Shred to get an idea about what you can expect. While it doesn’t give you the full picture, it can tell you whether the product is legitimate or a total letdown! The latter doesn’t appear to be the case as users are generally happy with the results.

C4 Ultimate Shred delivers on most of its promises, according to one customer. They said they can see improvements in their performance and an increase in their energy levels.

Another common praise regarding C4 Ultimate Shred is that it comes with many different flavors, which makes it easy for customers to choose a flavor that they enjoy because not everyone loves the same thing. The price point for this product is affordable because you only need one scoop per day to be able to see results.

However, there are also people who weren’t too happy with their experiences. One user said they felt “disappointed” by the lack of results in the mirror. Another mentioned experiencing stomach cramps and diarrhea every time they took this pre-workout.

We will say this: take these reviews with a grain of salt. The sheer number of reviews makes it hard to filter out the fake ones from legitimate reviews from real people. These days, it is become really easy to leave a “bot” review or paid ad on Amazon. As such, the best way to determine whether the product in question is right for you is by doing your own research into its ingredients and seeing what the evidence says.

Pricing, Availability, and Other Things to Consider

Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred price depends on the version of the product you choose, as well as where you’re purchasing it from. C4 Ultimate Shred Powder costs $49.99/tub (20 servings).

Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred comes in a variety of flavors, including Gummy Candy, Sour Batch Bros, Lemon Italian Ice, Icy Blue Razz, and Strawberry Watermelon. We’ve found all of the flavor options to taste great. Even though they contain the controversial synthetic sweetener Sucralose, none of the flavors of C4 Ultimate Shred leave artificial aftertaste in the mouth. If we had to pick one, we’d go with the Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred Icy Blue Razz flavor – you can’t really beat that rich, refreshing taste!

At the moment, C4 Ultimate Shred is available on the official Cellucor website, as well as on Amazon and GNC.

Takeaway

Is Cellucor C4 Ultimate Shred good? Is it safe and effective?

In our experience, C4 Ultimate Shred is a good pre-workout for those who want something more potent to give them energy for long and hard gym sessions. It contains high doses of stimulants that pack a punch and will leave you focused for hours. There’s also a good amount of citrulline in the supplement to enhance and prolong your muscle pumps. However, the high doses of stimulants in C4 Ultimate Shred raises the risk of potential side effects. If you are used to caffeine-heavy pre-workouts, than this could be a good option for you.

That said, considering it’s coming from a brand as big as Cellucor, we expected a bit more. This product, while a decent-pre workout, is not the best weight loss supplement we’ve seen. The fat-burning part of the formula is completely hidden in a proprietary blend, preventing you from seeing if the ingredients are dosed correctly.

So if you’re looking for something safe and effective to help you cut pounds fast, there are definitely better choices on the market as of right now.

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