Legion Pulse vs Cellucor C4 – which pre-workout is superior? Which is safer? Which will give you a better energy buzz, mental focus, motivation to work out, and other pre-workout benefits? We cover that, and more, in our in-depth comparison below – starting with a short summary!
[LEGION PULSE VS C4 KEY POINTS]
- Legion Pulse has a 100% natural ingredient profile, whereas C4 uses the artificial sweetener Sucralose
- Legion Pulse costs $1.71 per serving, while Cellucor C4 costs $1 per serving
- Legion Pulse has a more transparent ingredient label compared to Cellucor C4 which uses a proprietary blend
- Legion Pulse has an aggressive 350mg of caffeine per serving (there’s also a stim-free option available), whereas C4 has 150mg per serving
- Both Legion Pulse and Cellucor C4 use beta-alanine which causes paresthesia, a harmless but often distracting side effect that manifests as tingles throughout your body
- Both pre-workouts offer great flavors, though Legion Pulse has more flavor options (12 vs C4’s 7)
- While Legion Pulse is a more premium supplement with a cleaner ingredient label, it’s missing some of the best pre-workout ingredients (including Rhodiola, Coconut Water Powder, Red Beet Extract, and more), so it doesn’t make it on our top 3 pre-workouts list for this year.
What do we use?
Legion Pulse vs Cellucor C4 – The Overview
About Legion Pulse
Pulse is a 100% natural pre-workout powder that is claimed to help you with energy and focus; along with increasing your strength, endurance, and resistance to fatigue.
- 12 great-tasting, easily dissolvable flavors
- Provides strong energy rush
- 8g of citrulline malate for muscle pumps
Legion Pulse comes in two versions: with caffeine and without caffeine. The one with caffeine is very aggressive at 350mg of caffeine per serving so if you don’t think you will tolerate the stimulant well a stim-free option might be for you. That being said, the stim-free option doesn’t really have much of a physical effect, we only found it to improve our concentration.
The recommended Legion Pulse dosage is 1 scoop with a big glass of water 15-30 minutes before your training. If you experience jitters or other side effects, lower the dosage or stop taking the product.
- Fruit punch (most popular)
- Blue Raspberry
- Blueberry Lemonade
- Cherry Limeade
- Green Apple
- Pink Lemonade
- Sour Candy
- Strawberry Kiwi
- Tropical Punch
At $35.99 for 21 servings, Legion Pulse costs the same or more than some of the best-reviewed pre-workouts on the market. But can it keep up in terms of benefits and effects? Let’s find out more below!
About Cellucor C4
Cellucor C4 is one of the most hyped pre-workouts in the world, and is America’s #1 selling pre-workout.
Elevated energy, heightened focus, and motivation to tackle any challenge… those are the benefits you’re promised with C4. 150mg of caffeine per serving, you’ll get a sustained energy boost, whereas 1g of Arginine will help support optimal blood flow to your muscles.
The recommended C4 dosage is 1 level scoop with 6oz of water 20-30 minutes before your training. If you experience a tingling sensation, that’s coming from beta-alanine in C4. This is a love-it or hate-it ingredient, more on it below.
- Orange Burst
- Fruit Punch
- Cherry Limeade
- Icy Blue Razz
- Pink Lemonade
- Strawberry Margarita
Cellucor C4 costs $30 for 30 servings. Its relatively affordable price is part of the reason what makes it so popular amongst so many people. Some users swear by C4’s benefits, while others say the hype doesn’t reflect the positive effects (or lack thereof) of this pre-workout.
The question is, how will Cellucor C4 work for you – and is it a better option than Legion’s Pulse Pre-Workout?
See for yourself:
Legion Pulse vs C4 – Ingredients
Both Legion Pulse and C4 use several pre-workout ingredients that will give you an energy kick, such as caffeine and beta-alanine which are found in both formulas.
Legion Pulse has opted to go really aggressive with its caffeine dose of 350mg per serving. An equal amount of L-Theanine is included to help offset some of the negative effects of caffeine. But unless you can easily tolerate high amounts of caffeine, it will still lead to jitters and energy crash afterwards. C4 uses a more balanced 150mg of caffeine per serving which will give you a cleaner effect, despite missing L-Theanine.
As for Beta-Alanine, it’s a hit or miss ingredient for most gym-goers. You either love it or you really don’t. This is because of Beta-Alanine’s side effect known as paresthesia, which causes you to feel tingly all over your body. Many people describe this sensation as annoying, but some don’t mind it. If you’ve never taken beta-alanine before, it’s worth testing it for yourself before buying a pre-workout that contains it.
One advantage of Legion Pulse over Cellucor C4 is that it has a completely transparent ingredient label – you can see every ingredient dose on it. Meanwhile, C4 uses a proprietary blend which doesn’t show you the doses of certain ingredients.
As we’ve said, Legion Pulse and Cellucor C4 only have caffeine and beta-alanine in common. Let’s now take a look at their unique ingredients and what effect they will have on your workouts.
Legion Pulse Ingredients
Unique active ingredients in Legion Pulse are:
- L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1 – this is a great pre-workout ingredient for muscle pumps. It raises your blood nitric oxide (NO) levels which results in wider blood vessels throughout the body. At 8g per serving, you’re getting an effective dose of the ingredient, too.
- Betaine Anhydrous – This is a natural metabolite of choline which helps hydrate your muscle cells, helping to improve performance in the process.
- Caffeine Anhydrous – Excellent choice for boosting mental focus, energy, and motivation to see your workout through. However, as we said earlier, 350mg of caffeine per serving is a bit over the top! It’s not only detrimental to performance but also long-term health.
- L-Theanine – A calming natural amino acid from tea and mushrooms that helps to mitigate some of caffeine’s over-stimulating effects.
- Alpha GPC – A brain-boosting compound, Alpha GPC can improve your memory and information recall. This makes it a better ingredient choice for a nootropic than a pre-workout.
Cellucor C4 Ingredients
The unique active ingredients in Cellucor C4 include:
- Vitamin C – This is an antioxidant that can reduce muscle inflammation. While vitamin C is great for recovery, studies have shown it can actually hinder physical performance. This makes it better for post-workout than pre-workout!
- B Complex Vitamins – B vitamins are a great choice for a pre-workout. While they won’t give you a stimulant kick like caffeine, they help your body convert food into energy more efficiently. That said, most people already get more than enough of B vitamins through their diet. Supplementation won’t give you any benefits unless you’re deficient.
- Creatine Nitrate – Creatine is the most studied supplement in sports, and one of the most studied supplements in general. It helps your body make more ATP which is the energy currency of your cells. Creatine isn’t for everyone though – it puts pressure on the kidneys, which can have negative consequences if you already have kidney issues. Talk to your doctor if you aren’t sure if creatine is right for you!
- Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate – Arginine is the less effective version of L-Citrulline that’s found in Legion Pulse. Unlike Legion Pulse’s Citrulline, Arginine in Cellucor C4 isn’t very well absorbed by your body which means you need to take large amounts to notice any muscle-pump-enhancing effects from it.
- Explosive Energy Blend (Tyrosine, Velvet Bean, Theacrine) – This is the proprietary blend that we talked about earlier. You can’t see the ingredient doses in it except for caffeine. You only see their total amount. Some of the ingredients could be underdosed without you being able to tell. L-Tyrosine for example, is a great ingredient that can boost mental focus during your workouts, however, its optimal dose is 500-1,000mg. The entire Explosive Energy Blend weighs only 425mg.
Legion Pulse vs C4 – Side Effects
Legion Pulse has 350mg of caffeine per serving. At this amount, caffeine is known to cause:
- Heart Palpitations
- High Blood Pressure
The good news is, there’s also a Legion Pulse stim-free version available. If you don’t think you can tolerate high amounts of caffeine, you may look into that one.
- Related: Legion Pulse vs Pre Kaged
As far as side effects potential go though, Cellucor C4 is the better option. It’s got a much safer 150mg of caffeine per serving which will raise your alertness and energy but without risking side effects.
Legion Pulse vs C4 – Customer Reviews
Legion Pulse and Cellucor C4 are both very popular pre-workout supplements.
Cellucor C4 has been longer on the market, and Cellucor is also a bigger brand, which naturally means you’ll see more C4 reviews online.
However, Legion Pulse has quickly established a strong foothold in the pre-workout market thanks to its all-natural ingredients and quality formulas.
The main remark people have about Legion Pulse is its high price, whereas the biggest issue for users of C4 tends to be the use of artificial sweeteners and other synthetic fillers that may have negative side effects long-term.
The Bottom Line
Legion Pulse and C4 are both popular for a reason – they work. They will give you more energy and focus no matter if you’re in the gym or doing long-distance running. However, both products have their drawbacks that make them fall out of the year’s list of top 3 pre-workout supplements.
One issue is that both Legion Pulse and Cellucor C4 are missing several ingredients that have been shown by science to be among the most effective natural ergogenic acids.
Additionally, Legion Pulse has too much caffeine which may result in more side effects than benefits. Yes, there’s the stim-free option available, but that one lacks the ‘kick’ you’d get from a pre-workout. With the stim-free option, we didn’t feel much at all, and the caffeinated version is a bit too aggressive in our experience.
Also, the price is pretty steep at $36 for just 21 servings. If you’re going to charge this much, the pre-workout shouldn’t have the issues we mentioned.
As for Cellucor C4, it’s a cheaper option at $30 for 30 servings. It’s also got a lower dose of caffeine which will reduce your chances of getting side effects. Cellucor C4 also has creatine which is a great ingredient for long-term muscle building. The main issue with C4, though, is the use of controversial synthetic sweetener Sucralose. The jury is still out on how safe artificial sweeteners are, so if you don’t mind them, Cellucor C4 could be a good option for you.
If flavor is most important to you, both Legion Pulse and Cellucor C4 offer several excellent options, and they dissolve fast. Our favorite Legion Pulse Flavor is Fruit Punch, whereas Icy Blue Razz is our favorite version of Cellucor C4.
If you’re interested in seeing what we rate as the very best pre-workouts currently on the market, follow the link below: