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Supplement Review - Cellucor C4 RTD Canadian Version


Cellucor’s pre-workout C4 RTD looks a little different than the powder version, but in this case, change is a great thing. Thanks to Cellucor, we no longer need to balance a shaker cup on our lap while we scoop out one of our favourite pre-workout formulas! Nor do we have to chase a dry scoop with a shot of water! In this ready-to-drink version of their bestseller, we just need to crack it open, sit back, and enjoy.

The world of energy drinks has exploded—convenience stores are fully stocked with so many different options. With the wide selection of zero-sugar options, we’re also seeing these drinks creeping into supplement stores and gaining the attention (and love) of fitness fanatics and athletes across different sports. It seems like the average Joe is now finally realizing what Muscle Insider readers have known for years: The right supplements will enhance physical and mental performance every time. Cellucor’s C4 is the #1 selling pre-workout brand in the world, so we knew it was only a matter of time before we would see C4 RTD and in Canada.

Known for its solid sports supplement products, Cellucor is continually bringing new innovations to the market to bridge the gap between mainstream energy drinks and the fitness world of pre-workouts. C4 Energy Carbonated ready-to-drink (RTD) product combines the enjoyment of an energy drink with the scientifically proven ingredients to support your workout, and we’re all about that!

What Took Cellucor So Long to Bring C4 RTD to Canada?

You might have seen the very recognizable C4 RTD cans on Instagram before, and for good reason. C4 RTD has been on the market in the United States for quite some time, and we first saw this drink in 2019 in Germany at FIBO, which is the world’s largest fitness expo. But now we have in our hands a customized version of the C4 RTD made specifically for us Canadians, and we’re happy to see it.

For the move up north, Cellucor needed to adjust its US formula to meet Health Canada’s strict regulations, which as with all energy drinks, can take over a year to get approved! But the wait is finally over, and we think this product is going to be a game changer for Cellucor here in Canada.

C4 Powering Your Workout

As a reader of Muscle Insider, you obviously hit the gym and will be interested in knowing about C4 RTD’s key performance ingredients. Cellucor always includes high-quality, research-backed ingredients in its products, and C4 RTD is no exception. C4 RTD includes the best performance formula possible for an energy drink! For caffeine junkies out there, the C4 RTD delivers just shy of 150 milligrams per 16-ounce can, which gives a great mind and body boost without overstimulating.

C4 RTD includes three important ingredients: taurine, arginine, and caffeine. Taurine is an amino sulfonic acid that is created by the body and found throughout the body, including the brain and blood cells. Dosed at 1,250 milligrams per can, taurine supports endurance in athletic performance—a huge benefit when you’re facing a long, tough workout. Although the physical aspect of training is important, athletes know their mental game needs to be strong, too. When used in combination, taurine and caffeine have been linked to an improvement in brain function as well as mental performance. These two ingredients together will help keep your focus and attention sharp on the workout, ensuring you get the most out of your session.

Increased Blood Flow

One of the most important tasks the body performs during training is delivering blood to the working muscles. Unfortunately, caffeine is a vasoconstrictor that actually reduces blood flow. Without this, the muscles lack the nutrients and fresh oxygen needed to work at their max. To fix this situation, arginine was added to the formula. Arginine is a free-form amino acid that plays several critical roles in performance enhancement. The 400 milligrams of arginine in each serving of C4 RTD is converted into nitric oxide in your body, which causes the blood vessels to dilate, allowing more blood to flow to the working muscles. This improves nutrient delivery to the muscles you’re training, which helps improve anabolism. But this also helps remove lactic acid and ammonia when it’s being formed during exercise, which helps reduce fatigue. Secondly, arginine has been found to stimulate the release of insulin and growth hormone, both of which support muscle growth by mobilizing fuel in the body.Caffeine

It’s nearly impossible to find an energy drink without caffeine, and for good reason. Caffeine works! Beyond its ability to help you stay awake through a long day at work, caffeine actually has performance benefits too. The increase in focus and attention helps you zero in on what you’re doing, and it (obviously) gives you more energy to train harder and longer. In fact, a meta-analysis that looked at caffeine intake and a range of athletic performance markers found mostly positive impacts. Specifically, it was shown to have a positive effect on muscular and aerobic endurance, muscular strength, and anaerobic power. So, it doesn’t just help you feel more alert, but can actually help elevate your performance as an athlete.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that assists in the utilization of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It also acts as a cofactor in the production of red blood cells, DNA synthesis and the production of the myelin sheath that surrounds your nerves. If you’re eating less meat and other animal proteins, you may be more vulnerable to a vitamin B12 deficiency since this vitamin is found in abundance in meat. For these reasons, vitamin B12 is an important nutrient when considering athletics or those trying to cut down and lean out, which is why Cellucor included it.


The inclusion of potassium may seem minor, but when it comes to athletic performance, it matters. This electrolyte is involved in regulating blood pressure, controlling water balance and retention, acid base balance, conducting nerve impulses, controlling muscle contraction, and maintaining normal heart function.

Potassium stores quickly deplete during training, and they play an important role in muscle contractions, hydration, and overall recovery—all critical components of a solid workout. The C4 RTD contains potassium.

C4 RTD Is Powerful and Tastes Insane!

Okay, we know this is the part you’re most interested in—how does it taste? As a short answer, terrific! Currently, three flavours are hitting the Canadian market. Tropical Blast falls along the lines of the classic fruit punch flavour, which will appeal to a wide audience. But the standout to our group was the Frozen Bombsicle with its sweet taste that immediately made us think of blue freezies. We have to admit that we’re sad we haven’t yet tried the Frozen Limeade flavour, as some of our team loves anything tart. We also hope to see the flavours expand to match the line of 10 flavours in the US … patience is a virtue, we suppose.

Zero Calories, Carbs or Sugars

For all of our calorie-conscious people out there, Cellucor has you covered. These drinks have zero sugar, carbohydrates, and calories. Also, as a health and fitness brand, it has no artificial colours or flavours added to the formula. This not only is nice to see but also goes a long way to making sure there’s no strange chemical aftertaste.Best Served Chilled

There are a few products out there that we would actually use even if we weren’t working at Muscle Insider with access to the best stuff, and this is one such product. We kept a stock of these in our fridges so they’d be chilled and ready to chug anytime! Although they have performance benefits, they’re also great to perk you up in the afternoon to prevent those three o’clock nods (especially when you’re working from home these days), and they’re tasty even if you want a refreshing treat. We went against the label warning and drank two or three of these each day (as they taste so good and we’re very accustomed to stims) and found them great for cutting hunger, stabilizing energy, and keeping your mind sharp.

If you’re taking the C4 RTD as a pre-workout, consume it about 60 minutes before your workout starts to make sure the ingredients can work their magic. If you’re taking it on an empty stomach, it will hit within about 30 minutes.

Not a Replacement for Powdered C4

Cellucor’s extensive line of powdered C4 products isn’t going anywhere, so you can (and we recommend that you do) continue to use whichever version you like best if you want all the other performance-enhancing ingredients such as creatine, beta-alanine, and more. You don’t have to choose one or the other if you’re a high-performance athlete. Cellucor has simply made room on its shelves for this more convenient RTD version, making these a smart complement to the C4 line overall. In Canada, the market for truly performance-enhancing energy drinks from sports supplement companies is on the rise, and we expect to see stores nationwide stocked up with the C4 RTD in the weeks ahead.

C4 RTD can be found at Popeye's and Supplement King with more stores coming soon! Click HERE for more info Cellucor products.