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Cellucor CN3 vs. Cellucor C4

With pre-workouts leading the way in the supplement industry, some of you may be surprised to learn that the term 'pre-workout' encompasses more than just a simple caffeine product. Pre-workout is used to describe any supplement that is taken before your workout to improve your overall performance and results. Energy boosting pre-workouts are just one facet of a huge category.


Cellucor is one of the top contenders in the pre-workout industry as it has several pre-workout products, all of which promise to boost your workout in different ways. Today, let's take a look at two extremely popular pre-workouts from the brand, Cellucor CN3 and Cellucor C4, to see which one is worth buying.


Cellucor CN3

Where can I buy it?


Pros of Cellucor CN3

Cellucor CN3 is commonly referred to as a N.O. Booster. Nitric Oxide boosters are used to promote blood flow and oxygen uptake into muscle tissue. Benefits from this may include better performance and strength as tissue is able to capitalize on the increased nutrient delivery and blood flow. When you use an N.O. booster, you may experience 'the pump.' This is when blood swells in the muscle being worked. It's a feeling that most serious lifters strive to accomplish each workout.


Cellucor CN3 contains Creatine Nitrate, the result of bonding nitrate with creatine monohydrate. Studies show that using 3 grams of Creatine Nitrate each day is safe, well tolerated by most, and may result in boosting your performance. Subjects saw a significant improvement in their bench press results, suggesting that Creatine Nitrate may also increase strength levels as well. This is very important if your goals include strength gains and lean muscle mass. (1, 2)


Cons of Cellucor CN3

There are no downsides to using Cellucor CN3. The only two ingredients are Creatine Nitrate and Vitamin C. Most importantly, the Creatine Nitrate has been dosed at 3 grams per serving, which was the ideal range as shown in the studies. This is a solid pre-workout product.


Cellucor C4

Where can I buy it?


Pros of Cellucor C4

Cellucor C4 has been around the pre-workout circuit for a long time. As one of the pioneers of next level pre-workouts, C4 has gained a massive following and it's not hard to see why. It contains a variety of energy boosters such as Caffeine Anhydrous, Velvet Bean, and Theacrine but it also has a nitric oxide boosting blend featuring Creatine Nitrate and AAK (Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate).


The energy boosting formula contains caffeine and theacrine, which is an amazing blend. Studies show that pairing these two together results in higher energy levels without the anxiousness associated with caffeine use. Also, the use of Beta Alanine may be a great way to boost strength and performance. (2-4)


Cons of Cellucor C4

While it does have Creatine Nitrate (the main ingredient in CN3), it is only dosed at one gram, making it essentially ineffective compared to the proper dose of 3 grams. This can be remedied by pairing up C4 with CN3, as I talk about below. (1)


The only other issue we have with C4 is the use of the proprietary blend, which makes it impossible to know exactly how much of each ingredient you are getting in the energy blend. Still, this isn't a huge issue because you can assess your tolerance with C4 using a single serving, making it obvious that the dose is high enough to work.



Cellucor CN3 and Cellucor C4 are both fantastic products in the same category but they couldn't be further apart in terms of functionality. CN3 is a nitric oxide booster that may be able to increase strength levels, overall performance, and that pump you feel during the workout. Cellucor C4, on the other hand, is used to increase energy, boost focus, and promote performance. If you're serious about your workouts, then ideally you should be getting both of these products as they may have a significant impact on your gains.



  1. Elfego Galvan, Dillon K. Walker, Sunday Y. Simbo, Ryan Dalton, Kyle Levers, Abigail O'Connor, Chelsea Goodenough, Nicholas D. Barringer, Mike Greenwood, Christopher Rasmussen, Stephen B. Smith, Steven E. Riechman, James D. Fluckey, Peter S. Murano, Conrad P. Earnest and Richard B. Kreider. Acute and chronic safety and efficacy of dose dependent creatine nitrate supplementation and exercise performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition201613:12. DOI: 10.1186/s12970-016-0124-0.
  1. Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lejeune MP, Kovacs EM. Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation. Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1195-204.
  1. Daniel J. Kuhman, Keanan J. Joyner, and Richard J. Bloomer. Cognitive Performance and Mood Following Ingestion of a Theacrine-Containing Dietary Supplement, Caffeine, or Placebo by Young Men and Women. Nutrients. 2015 Nov; 7(11): 9618–9632.
  1. Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z. Epub 2012 Jan 24.
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