Dragging yourself to the gym can absolutely be the hardest part of working out. There are days where finding the energy and motivation to get up, grab your bag, and make it into the changing rooms feels like it takes the endurance and motivation and frankly the bravery of Sir Edmund Hillary. Take one day off from trying to climb your personal Everest (aka leg day), and it quickly becomes a week or a month before you get back to it. Before you know it, you’re back at basecamp and begging for oxygen.
That’s where pre-workout supplements come in. Pre-workouts help pick you up off the floor before you hit the gym in the early hours or after work. All pre-workouts are different, but they all aim to energise and ultimately focus you to the task at hand.
4 Gauge is a pre-workout formula that promises to make your next workout your best workout — forever. The name comes from its 4-in-1 formula and the promise that nothing is ‘bigger or badder than a 4 gauge shell’. We’ve done the research, and we have to say: 4 Gauge isn’t your typical pre-workout.
Is 4 Gauge right for you? We cover the pros and cons of 4 Gauge in our review to help you decide whether to give it a try!
How Do Pre-Workout Supplements Work
Pre-workout supplements (pre-workouts) are for the days (or nights, if that’s your thing) where getting through your workout seems pretty much impossible. Every product has a different formula, but most contain a combination of caffeine and creatine plus a few other ingredients. The shared goal: get you off your butt and into the gym and hopefully through your workouts.
Some people take pre-workouts to get their blood flowing but others look for ones that boost their performance.
It’s worth knowing that a lot of the evidence for most pre-workouts is anecdotal. Some people can’t live without them, and other people just feel like they’re ready to climb the walls after they take them. Very few supplements undergo any kind of meaningful scientific testing, but that’s just the game.
The trick is finding the pre-workout that works for you — and if you can, a product that’s got some scientifically proven ingredients. That’s why it’s so important to read the ingredient list and compare products. There is some good news, though. Unlike fat burners or weight loss supplements, you’ll know whether a pre-workout is right for you the first few times you take it. So, you aren’t necessarily locked into buying a 90 day supply right off the bat.
Pros and Cons of 4 Gauge
So, you want to try a pre-workout and 4 Gauge sounds pretty good. Before diving into the dirty details of 4 Gauge’s ingredients list, let’s talk about some of the pros and cons – why should you try 4 Gauge? Is there anything to look out for?
We’re happy to report in our 4 gauge review that the pros far outweigh the cons in our opinion. Really, the major disadvantages are just nitpicking over details that don’t really impact the way the product works.
Ingredient List Based on Science
The thing about supplements is that they don’t benefit from the same regulation as food or prescriptions. And that means there’s a whole bunch of cowboys out there ready to take your money. If you’re reading this review, you’re probably nodding along right now. It’s rubbish, but that’s also why 4 Gauge’s ingredient list stands out. Not only does the formula include only eight ingredients, but they use sensible doses. And they have a scientific reason for choosing each ingredient and dosage.
If you head to the 4gauge website (owned by Roar Ambition), you’ll see that they cite their scientific sources, so you can evaluate their claims for yourself. When was the last time you saw a pre-workout that offered that?
We wish that this wasn’t a rarity, but since it is, you need to know about it.
Reasonable Amount of Caffeine
As long as you’re healthy, your body can handle a fair amount of caffeine. The Mayo Clinic says that 400 mg of caffeine a day should be safe. That’s 10 cans of Coke or four cups of coffee. Once you push 400 mg or higher, you’re more likely to experience some pretty unpleasant side effects. Caffeine overdoses and hangovers are pretty serious workout killers.
Most pre-workouts contain 300 mg of caffeine per dose. That means that you can take a pre-workout and maybe have a cup of coffee or tea at another point in the day without feeling like you’re about to climb the walls. When you combine that with the epic crash that tends to follow caffeine at that kind of high dosage, it quickly becomes unsustainable. You’re either buzzing or in the foetal position. If you had a problem with pre-workouts before, then this was probably it.
4 Gauge contains only 150 mg of caffeine per serving. It’s a reasonable dose that doesn’t trash the rest of your day. It means you can have coffee in the morning or after lunch to help you get out of bed or make it through work.
Plus, 4 Gauge has other ingredients to make your caffeine buzz less intense and instead help you focus.
4 Gauge comes in one flavour: ‘Fruit Blast.’
Full disclosure for this review: it’s far better than the rubbish you might have bought ten years ago from an unnamed website. But if you don’t like the taste but you will like the effects, you’re going to have to pinch your nose before each dose.
To be fair, if you’ve tried pre-workouts in the past, then you’re just going to be happy that it doesn’t taste or smell like wet cement or gym towels.
It’s not all bad. Unlike some powders, it mixes well with water. Plus, the sweeteners are ‘natural’ not ‘artificial,’ which is great. Though, it’s going to taste somewhat artificial because it’s still a powder.
Where to Buy 4 Gauge
You can buy 4 Gauge on the official website and nowhere else. You won’t pick it up in your local store or on Amazon. If you see it anywhere except the official website, it’s probably a fake and best avoided.
The good news is that buying direct isn’t just the safest way to get it but the smartest, too. The manufacturer Roar Ambition runs all kinds of offers including fast, free shipping.
Worried about the packaging? Good news: the container may be a shotgun shell, but it arrives in plain, discrete packaging.
Ingredients in 4 Gauge
Let’s get down to it. What exactly is in 4 Gauge?
The ingredient list sets 4 Gauge apart from old school pre-workouts. There are only eight here, and they include:
- Caffeine anhydrous (150 mg)
- L-theanine (200 mg)
- Creatine (100 mg)
- L-citrulline DL-Malate (6000 mg)
- Red beetroot extract (300 mg)
- Rhodiola Rosea (100 mg)
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine (500 mg)
- Coconut water powder (300 mg)
Here’s what you need to know about these eight components.
Caffeine anhydrous is the power behind this pre-workout and is known as “smart caffeine“. As you probably already know, caffeine not only gives you the mental boost you need but it can help improve your endurance during the workout by stepping up for glycogen starch when your body uses it all.
Here’s the big thing you need to know about 4 Gauge: there’s only 150 mg of actual caffeine. According to the manufacturer, that’s only half the amount found in many other pre-workouts. Half the caffeine? Well, what are you paying for?
The truth is that way too many supplement manufacturers go heavy on the caffeine. They seem to imply that if you’re not buzzin’, then you’re not getting the benefit. But a good pre-workout is so much more than just caffeine, you are meant to get energy and focus from it. Plus, ingesting that much caffeine can lead to side effects such as dependency and headaches — not to mention what it can do to your energy levels and sleep
In other words, if you don’t like pre-workouts because you hate being unable to feel your face thanks to the caffeine, then 4 Gauge caters to you.
L-theanine is another common pre-workout ingredient. It’s an essential amino acid that provides you with focused energy over a sustained period. In other words, it sharpens your focus without the crash.
Finding the right balance between caffeine and L-theanine is important because they actually work together to give you the best of both worlds. You get the energy and sharpness of caffeine without the crashes and hyperactivity that comes with it because L-theanine keeps you regulated so you can cruise through workouts rather than starting strong and leaving half-dead. Yeah, you know the feeling.
Plus, the Rhodiola Rosea included in the formula pushes it further. Rhodiola Rosea combats fatigue and helps you feel just generally better.
Creatine monohydrate is best known as a muscle builder. And it works. It has to because it’s effectiveness is the only reason so many people choke down creatine shakes.
Getting it in your pre-workout supplement is beneficial for two reasons. First, it means you don’t necessarily need to take it on its own, which is something to celebrate because it’s disgusting. But second, it actually has other benefits that help you throughout your workouts. It stops you from getting dehydrated (however make sure you are aware of the side effects of creatine which is water retention, which will impact your weight) and also works to help keep you focused.
4 Gauge contains very little creatine because it’s not a muscle builder supplement. You need about 20 grams of creatine per day followed by 3-5 daily doses for maintenance. 4 Gauge only contains 100 mg (0.1 grams) of creatine. Even still you’ll need to keep it in mind when and if you’re cycling your supplements.
L-citrulline DL-Malate may not have the name recognition that L-theanine and creatine do, but it is part of the staple ingredients of pre workout supplements.
What is it? For the uninitiated, it’s an amino acid extracted from the mighty…watermelon. This is actually the bit that gives you the almighty pump during and after your workout.
4 Gauge pre-workout supplement actually adds more L-citrulline than pretty much anything at a whopping 6000mg, so if you live to feel the post-session growth, then 4 Gauge says they deliver. Plus, it works together with the red beetroot extract, which increases the amount of nitric oxide, dilates your blood vessels, and helps you feel those results in the hours after you wrap up your workout.
Acetyl-L Carnitine is another amino acid, but rather than focusing on energy, it preps your muscles for the workout. The amino acid works to reduce the damage you do to your muscles, which not only prevents injuries but prevents the bow-legged walk you do around the house after leg day.
You want a generous dosage of this to help you get off the toilet the morning after a tough workout, and 4 Gauge pre-workout delivers with 500mg per serving.
Coconut Water Powder
Another big ingredient that rounds out 4 Gauge is the coconut water powder. You know coconut water contains a tonne of electrolytes and it’s amazing for keeping your hydrated. Unfortunately, picking up a bottle of coconut water at the shops on your way to the gym is a great way to double the cost of your gym membership. It’s as trendy as it is expensive, but it’s also a serious asset.
Adding it to the 4 Gauge pre-workout ingredients list means you’ve got a few drinks in one. And when you think about the cost of coconut water on its own, it becomes pretty clear that you’ve got yourself a deal in this pre workout.
How to Take 4 Gauge
There’s a lot of opinions and “bro-science” review studies on the ‘right’ way to take a pre-workout. Most of them are just dudes talking about their own personal experiences, and you should treat their advice accordingly. Some people get jittery after an americano coffee and others can be hit with a sledgehammer and never notice. You probably know both of those guys. You gotta figure out what works for you and your body over time.
The official instructions for taking 4 Gauge include one serving (two scoops) before you workout. There’s no word on when to take it. In fact, the manufacturer says to take it when you want to and mix it up to find the right time for your dose. Generally speaking, take it within an hour before you hit the gym.
Can you take two servings for an extra boost? Yes. 4 Gauge pre-workout is suitable for double-dosing, but you need to try the standard serving first. If the normal serving works for you, then all you’re going to do by double-scooping is run through the powder faster and give 4 Gauge more money.
To cycle or not to cycle? 4 Gauge says “to cycle.” Take it for 6-8 weeks and then take a week off. You should be giving your body a break the pre workout means you get that extra kick when you cycle back on.
4 Gauge Options and Prices
Like a lot of supplements, you get more value when you buy more bottles.
When we went to press, “4 Gauge pre-workout prices” were:
- 1x 4 Gauge Shell – £25
- 2x 4 Gauge Shells – £50
- 3x 4 Gauge Shells – £75
4 Gauge delivers fastest to the U.S. and the UK because they have distribution centres there. They do same-day dispatch for any order that comes in before 2 PM GMT or 2 PM EST depending on where you want to ship it. That said, global delivery is available to most countries.
Final Thoughts on 4 Gauge
4 Gauge pre-workout supplement tries its best to really deliver on the promises it makes. Every pre-workout supplement under the sun says it will give you energy, focus, and pump, but few explain how or why. So if you’ve cycled through a few different products already, we get it.
4 Gauge includes the big three ingredients (Caffeine Anhydrous, L-Leathine, and Creatine Monohydrate) as well as some other helpful ingredients (Rhodiola Rosea, Acetyl-L Carnitine and L-Citrulline) to get your nitric oxide up and your pump going. The ingredients list is precise, which is great for you to make sure you know what you are taking and comparing it to other products but also for serious athletes who are measuring and weighing absolutely everything.
Are you ready to try 4 Gauge pre-workout?