When Cellucor announced their new G4 (4th Generation) product line, it included several variations of the new C4 pre workout. C4 Ripped is the fat burner of the bunch, but in pre-workout form.
Note that existing fat burner Super HD (also upgraded with a new formula) appears to be sticking around as well. The new content in C4 Ripped seems to focus on athletes in a cutting cycle rather than your average weight loss dieter who’d use Super HD.
This is a product with both some pros and cons, and whether or not you want to try it will come down to a few factors. The first of which is price — so compare prices below and sign up for price drop updates to get notified as more stores get it in stock:
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This is a pretty unique product niche – in fact, our Best Pre Workout buyer’s guide doesn’t even really have a “weight loss” section!
What are the C4 Ripped ingredients?
The core difference between the two Cellucor products is the ingredients used in the new C4 Ripped Blend, which has some good and some questionable ingredients inside.
One thing that surprised us with the stimulants in the Explosive Energy Blend is that synephrine does not make a return for Ripped, even though it was in the original C4 Extreme formula.
Ripped is leaning heavily on that caffeine and tyrosine — it doesn’t even have the TeaCor that some of the other C4 products have! (TeaCor is Cellucor’s new Theacrine blend that will generally make the feel of caffeine last longer).
For the breakdown, let’s skip right to the new and different stuff in C4 Ripped:
C4 Ripped Blend
This is a proprietary blend of one gram total, so we don’t know exactly how much of the following ingredients are present.
L-Carnitine Tartrate (LCLT) has shown improved fat oxidation as well as muscle recovery time in studies, but the catch is that was with a 2g dose.[3,4] It’s the primary ingredient in this blend, but it still has to be less than 1g.
There’s one other significant catch to using L-carnitine for weight loss — it shows better results in those with an existing deficiency, like vegetarians and the elderly.
Regardless, this is one of the most underrated supplements out there, and too few people are getting enough of it. We gladly welcome it for a multitude of reasons.
Green Coffee Bean Extract (here we go again…)
We’ve been around the block here many times with green coffee bean extract, but if you’re just tuning in, it’s one of those Dr. Oz-hyped ingredients that doesn’t really do what’s advertised. There’s very few legit patient studies not funded by a GCB extract manufacturer, and of the ones that exist and showed weight loss, that weight loss leaned more toward muscle and water than fat.
The one study that Dr. Oz originally hyped as a “miracle pill” turned out to be based upon falsified information, and was later retracted.
Put simply, green coffee bean extract has some benefits discussed below, but has probably been put here for marketing reasons. After all, people still generally recognize it as the stuff that Dr. Oz and his hordes of internet marketing minions spammed for so long.
We’re normally fine with that… except it serves to further obscure the doses of the next two ingredients which actually work for weight loss.
Note that the chlorogenic acid in green coffee bean extract does have research showing that it reduces blood pressure, which is all well and good. It’s just never been shown to be a weight loss ingredient.
Capsimax – Red Pepper Extract
Capsimax cayenne, on the other hand, has valid science backing it as a fat oxidizer. Capsaicin in general (found in all sorts of spicy foods) does increase energy expenditure and promote the burning of stored fat.
Drinkin’ that hot sauce….
Here’s the potential problem with it, and your mileage may vary here. There’s a chance that if you let it sit in water for way too long, it’ll eventually start to taste a touch “peppery”. Capsimax tries to get around this by enclosing the cayenne in micro-capsules, which works great in capsule fat burner products.
However, we’ve yet to see this ingredient make it through a shaker in powdered form when left in water for ten or more minutes. So, the inclusion of this ingredient means you’re probably going to want to shake and chug pretty fast as you can to avoid a hotter taste.
But that said, if you can handle it or drink it fast enough, there are weight loss benefits to having this ingredient.
Coleus forskohlii root extract
Yes! Possibly the best current stimulant-free weight loss ingredient we know of right now!
Coleus forskohlii (forskolin) is a root extract used to increase cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels in the body. cAMP improves muscle protein synthesis and aids in fat metabolism.[7,8]
It’s good stuff, but since it’s dead last in the formulation, we’re left with questions about the effective dosage. The good news is that you don’t need monstrous doses to get it done, if it’s extracted properly. We simply don’t know enough here to say, but having it in the product is definitely promising.
Explosive Energy Blend
This energy cocktail has been featured in all the C4 products released thus far and we’ve talked about it at length in other posts, so we’ll just give you the fly-over here.
- 150mg of caffeine is about a cup and a half of coffee’s worth and is a bit towards the high end for these products, but shouldn’t be an issue if you’re not particularly stim-sensitive.
- There’s at least that much N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine since it comes first on the label, and that’s a good thing, because it’s a proven focus-booster.
- Finally, there’s some unknown amount of Velvet Bean extract, standardized for L-Dopa, which stimulates dopamine production. The amount is likely too small for growth hormone stimulation, so this is probably just here as a mood-booster.
Beta Alanine and AAKG
The only other items of note are beta alanine and arginine AKG, at 1.6g and 1g respectively. They’re included at this dosage in all the C4 products. Arginine is to prevent nitrate tolerance, and it’s more relevant in pump products.
Results vary, but you might get a decent (but not monstrous) pump from it. Most people in diet mode aren’t necessarily trying to blow up their chests anyway.
Beta alanine is always welcome, as it’s a proven muscular endurance booster. The clinical dose is 3.2g per day, so at one scoop, it’s a fairly standard half-dose like in all the C4 products, but it’s cheap to add more on separately.
With beta alanine, the weight loss effect is indirect. If it can help you work out longer, it can help you burn more calories, but it won’t directly burn them for you. You gotta do the work, but beta alanine helps you do it longer!
Worth noting is that there is no creatine in here – not even the standard 675mg that comes from creatine nitrate in other C4-based products. It’s not here.
Even though creatine isn’t a bad thing for dieters, most of them get ‘scared’ of it because of negative public perception associated with creatine and bulking. It doesn’t affect fat mass one way or another – but it does increase lean muscle tissue mass, which is typically desired.
The Final Word
There’s both good and bad here, but the negatives don’t seem to outweigh the positives, so we think it’s worth a shot when you get it on price drop.
We understand this isn’t meant to be a hardcore fat-burning product for the seriously obese, and Cellucor is now in Costco so they must appeal to the masses, but even so, the content here is a bit hidden in proprietary blends.
Forskolin and capsaicin are good stuff, but we don’t know how they’re dosed behind the questionable green coffee bean extract. LCLT is a bit conditional to be useful for all adults, but we’ll always take it.
We have to wonder one thing, though: without a beta-2 adrenergic ingredient (such as synephrine or higenamine), will this work as well as the original C4 Extreme? It likely comes down to how well the forskolin and cayenne are dosed, so hope to feel some heat!
If you are a dieter, a fan of Cellucor, and want to try a diet-supporting C4 and you like to drink your pre workouts pretty quickly, then give it a go. We’ll be here for you when the prices keep dropping as more stores get it in stock:
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Again, unique idea, and something not mentioned in our Best Pre Workout buyer’s guide!
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- Deijen, JB, et. al; “Tyrosine improves cognitive performance and reduces blood pressure in cadets after one week of a combat training course“; Brain Research Bulletin; January 1999
- Root, AW, et. al; “Effect of L-dihydroxyphenylalanine upon serum growth hormone concentrations in children and adolescents“; The Journal of Pediatrics; October 1972
- Hongu, N, et. al; “Carnitine and choline supplementation with exercise alter carnitine profiles, biochemical markers of fat metabolism and serum leptin concentration in healthy women“; The Journal of Nutrition; January 2003
- Volek, JS, et. al; “L-Carnitine L-tartrate supplementation favorably affects markers of recovery from exercise stress“; American Journal of Physiology; February 2002
- Thom, E; “The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people“; The Journal of International Medical Research; November-December 2007
- Janssens, P, et. al; “Acute Effects of Capsaicin on Energy Expenditure and Fat Oxidation in Negative Energy Balance“; July 2013
- Costford, SR, et. al; “Skeletal muscle NAMPT is induced by exercise in humans“; American Journal of Physiology; January 2010
- Litosch, I, et. al; “Forskolin as an activator of cyclic AMP accumulation and lipolysis in rat adipocytes“; Molecular Pharmacology; July 1982
- Hoffman, JR, et. al; “Short-duration beta-alanine supplementation increases training volume and reduces subjective feelings of fatigue in college football players“; Nutrition Research; January 2008
- Watanabe, T; The blood pressure-lowering effect and safety of chlorogenic acid from green coffee bean extract in essential hypertension.