Gorilla Mind and Cellucor are probably the two most popular supplement companies at my gym.
And when I was talking with a few professional bodybuilders about pre-workouts recently, we couldn’t come to an agreement on whether C4 or Gorilla Mode works better.
Most of the evidence I was getting was subjective and anecdotal, so our team at Total Shape decided to do some research and testing.
We teamed up with a dietitian and 11 clients to go through a four-week testing phase.
Here’s what we found.
What is the Main Difference Between Gorilla Mode And C4?
The main difference between Gorilla Mode and C4 is in the number of ingredients that have reliable scientific research behind them.
Both products have a few overlapping ingredients like L-tyrosine, creatine, and caffeine, but there’s also a significant difference in the dosage of these.
Gorilla Mode contains 2.5 g of creatine, while C4 only has 1 g per dose. And that could make a big difference in recorded performance levels during testing, which is backed by research from the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry .
The other thing I would point out is that Gorilla Mode pre-workout has a very clear nutritional label. C4 is a bit more deceptive as it hides some of the ingredient amounts behind a proprietary label.
It’s one of the things that always turns me off supplements, as it makes stacking that much more difficult.
Our Testing Approach
A diverse group of clients, both men and women, showed interest in evaluating Gorilla Mode and C4 pre-workouts. To ensure a comprehensive review, we included both genders, recognizing that both products cater to a wide audience.
We categorized them into two teams, each testing one of the pre-workouts over a span of six weeks.
Before initiating the experiment, we considered their existing diet, exercise habits, body composition, and fitness progress to establish a starting point.
Both teams experienced enhanced workout performance and energy levels. Yet, one pre-workout subtly outshined the other in overall results.
Features Head to Head
We broke our research and testing down into five sections.
Both products contain a good dose of caffeine that can have a positive effect on training performance and fat burning .
“Overall, the research team found that taking a dose of caffeine 30 minutes before an aerobic workout increased fat oxidation during exercise regardless of the time of day.”
- Carolyn Crist, Writer
They also both contain efficient pre-workout ingredients like creatine and L-tyrosine, but C4 contains less than half the amount of these ingredients.
A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology on L-tyrosine was particularly interesting as it highlighted that it could help with endurance and strength during training .
To test how effective these products are, we first started by having everyone go through 10 days of training without any pre-workout supplement to establish a baseline for sets, weights, and reps.
Then we got everyone to first use Gorilla Mode for a week and then C4 for another week.
The good news is that both products produced better results than the baseline.
But when we took a closer look at the exact weight loads and reps, we noticed that there was a noticeable and consistent performance increase with Gorilla Mode.
Both products come in powder form, so we did a side-by-side test of how quickly the powder dissolves and how easy it is to mix it into water.
Because C4 has a smaller scoop size, the powder dissolved a few seconds faster. But there was so little in the difference that we can’t say that it’s an issue.
Both drinks also had no lumps and were easy to drink.
Gorilla Mode stood out for me because it has twice as many flavor options. I like having that kind of choice as I tend to be picky, and I get bored with the same flavor all the time.
But C4 still has a great choice, and I must say that our testing team preferred some of the C4 flavors. This is despite the natural-tasting flavor options Gorilla Mode had.
At first glance, it looks like C4 is a lot cheaper than Gorilla Mode.
But you have to consider that it also only contains 30 scoops while Gorilla Mode contains 40.
Also, the overall formula for Gorilla Mode is stronger and has more ingredients. And once you factor in the bulk-order discount, it can work out a lot cheaper.
Unique Supplement Features
I already highlighted the shared ingredients above and our test results. Now it’s time to look for an explanation of what other ingredients might be contributing to the results.
Here are the most interesting things from the Gorilla Mode label.
- L-Citrulline: Studies published in Experimental Physiology have shown that this amino acid can improve blood flow to muscles during exercise, and we noted a good improvement on pumps .
- Betaine: Scientists have linked betaine to an improvement in muscle function and strength, and that is probably another explanation why our Gorilla Mode test results were significantly better .
- GlycerPump: Clinical studies published by Nutrition Reviews have shown that glycerol has a direct impact on muscle performance, especially when the body is under constant strain, like at the gym .
- Malic Acid: This is another positive ingredient that can trigger improvements in muscular endurance and prevent fatigue, allowing you to do more reps .
Here are some of the ingredients in the C4 pre-workout that my dietitian pointed out.
- Beta-Alanine: Studies from the National Library of Health have shown that consistent supplementation of this amino acid improves performance levels, but those studies used significantly stronger doses .
- TeaCrine: One extensive study showed that teaCrine doesn't boost performance levels when taken as a pre-workout drink .
- Velvet Bean Extract: Scientists have revealed a link between this extract and growth hormone levels, but the company doesn’t publish the dosage, so we can’t determine if it’s actually effective, according to Nutrition and Metabolic Insights .
- Arginine: An interesting and extensive study on trained athletes showed that arginine has a positive effect on muscle performance, but it’s worth noting that it achieved this with a stronger dose .
Do You Gain Long-Term Effects
Many pre-workout supplements are evaluated based on their immediate impact. However, Gorilla Mode stands out not just for its instant benefits but also for its suitability for long-term use.
Consistent users in our test group have reported sustained energy levels, reduced fatigue, and improved workout performance over extended periods. This makes Gorilla Mode a reliable choice for those seeking a lasting fitness companion.
What's the Dietary Compatibility Like?
Gorilla Mode seems to be the more versatile, catering to various dietary preferences and lifestyles. Whether you're on a keto, vegan, or intermittent fasting regimen, this pre-workout seamlessly integrates without disrupting your dietary goals.
Its formulation is designed to complement different diets, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their food choices, can benefit from its energy-boosting properties. This adaptability makes Gorilla Mode a top pick for diverse dietary needs.
Our Verdict on Gorilla Mode vs C4
Based on our testing, research and analysis with a dietitian, and feedback from testers, we have decided to recommend Gorilla Mode.
While both had positive results on exercise performance, Gorilla Mode pre-workout drinks were able to show higher levels of improvement.
Between the stronger dose of key ingredients and the scientifically-backed formula, you’ll get a lot more out of your training by choosing Gorilla Mode.
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