Four canisters of 4 Gauge pre workout

4 Gauge Review – Does the Shotgun Shell Pre-Workout Really Bang?

4 Gauge has long stood out as one of the most premium pre-workouts on the market. But, does the shotgun shelled powder live up to the hype? This review will break down the formula and facts to find out.


  • All-natural

  • Generously served

  • Intelligent formula

  • Vegetarian/Vegan friendly

  • No proprietary blends

  • Pre-, Intra-, and Post-workout benefits

  • Competitive pricing

  • 90-day money back guarantee


  • Only available direct from

  • One flavor

Introducing 4 Gauge

This pre-workout powder has been on the market for years now and has recently undergone a formula update. Roar Ambition, the company behind 4 Gauge, seem to regularly do this to keep their products up to date.

4 Gauge itself has gathered a reputation for being explosive, as well as providing good muscle pumps. At first glance, the ingredients inside should live up to these expectations, which is always a good place to start.

According to the 4 Gauge website it can help users:

  • Push harder in the gym than ever before
  • Look bigger, feel bigger
  • Feel more focus, with no nasty energy crashes
  • With no artificial sweeteners

So, without any more hesitation, let’s get into the formula. This is what’s inside 4 Gauge and what they could do for your workout!

What’s in 4 Gauge

Before we dive into each ingredient, let’s see what 4 Gauge offers from the top:

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Some potent, powerful doses
  • Pre-, intra-, and post-workout ingredients
  • No proprietary blends
  • One Fruit Punch flavor

We feel that these are definitely traits athletes want to see in their pre-workout. Depending on your personal preference, the one flavor option could be a positive or a negative. We like it but still understand not everyone will.

Here is what you’ll find inside 4 Gauge.

4 Gauge ingredient label up close

4 Gauge ingredients

L-Citrulline Dl-Malate

This amino acid, extracted from watermelons, should boost nitric oxide levels once absorbed in the body. Doing so allows the blood vessels to expand, meaning they can carry more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles faster.

Muscle pumps are also improved as a direct result of this action. What’s more interesting, though, is this. Leading researchers in muscle growth and fitness have found evidence to suggest these muscle pumps do increase size gains (1).

NO is also apparently a potential modulator of mitochondrial respiration and muscle energy metabolism. In short, it seems to hold benefits for increasing endurance during exercise.

Research has shown L-Citrulline to improve athletic performance, while at the same time relieving muscle soreness (2). Taking it should give you an edge to train harder, for longer, as well as experiencing fewer feelings of exhaustion afterward (3).

Creatine Monohydrate

Chances are you’ve heard of Creatine, the most rigorously tested supplement on the planet. It’s for good reason too, as Creatine supplementation has shown to hold a whole spectrum of athletic benefits. Something especially true for workout performance.

Top researchers at the ISSN have identified as an ergonomic aid that allows athletes to carry out more work (exercise), alongside seeing improvements in their speed, strength, and power (4).

Fatigue might also be reduced via Cr supplementation, according to other studies (5) (6). That could mean more sets, reps, and gains from your session. Creatine is pretty much a must-have supplement for any athlete.

Yet, these obvious benefits aren’t why 4 Gauge have complimented their mix with creatine. Hydration is their main cause, alongside boosting your brain power. There’s research to back this up too, as studies indicate increases in total water (7) and brain performance (8) following Creatine use.

Acetyl L-Carnitine

Although it’s a naturally occurring amino acid, ALCAR is often used as a supplement. It’s commonly taken to aid weight loss as well as boost brain function. At the time of writing studies into human weight loss have given mixed opinions.

However, there are studies out there that suggest it could improve recovery from exercise (9). Others say it might improve oxygen supply to muscle, whereas a different study suggests stamina increases (10). Much like L-Citrulline, this is due to an increase in blood flow and nitric oxide production.

Red Beet (Beta Vulgaris) Root Extract

4 Gauge have added in Red Beet as another nitric oxide booster. According to their website, this 300 mg serving is supposed to back up L-Citrulline Dl-Malate to boost the effects. Muscle pumps, especially, should be improved (11).

Coconut Water Powder

One thing 4 Gauge says it can do is keep you hydrated while you train hard. Interestingly, there’s a study out there saying Coconut Water can help in a similar way to a sports drink (12). This ingredient should help 4 Gauge users restore electrolyte levels during and after exercise.


Commonly found in Green Tea, L-Theanine is an amino acid associated with calm and focus. Studies say it’s ideal for helping users feel both composed and alert (13).

What we like about the inclusion of L-Theanine as it becomes one half of the Smart Caffeine combination. When paired with regular Caffeine (like in 4 Gauge), something researchers dubbed Smart Caffeine occurs, which helps users experience the energizing effects of the stimulant, smoothed out by the calming effect L-Theanine. Scientists say this combination is beneficial for improving performance during cognitively demanding tasks (14).

Caffeine Anhydrous

Popular among most pre-workout drinks, Caffeine provides stimulating energy by increasing alertness. The ISSN consider it to be a powerful ergonomic aid, helping athletes find an edge during competition and workouts. Keep in mind that the research says you need 3 mg/kg or above to feel these results (15).

Caffeine Anhydrous doesn’t just pose physical pre-workout benefits, but mental too. According to the researchers, the 150-300 mg found inside 4 Gauge is enough to boost cognitive performance (16). Taking this amount could help users become sharper, more vigilant, and see their focus increase.

So, why Caffeine Anhydrous? Because this isolated form appears to be more effective than your standard coffee or tea.

Rhodiola Rosea

This herb has been added to the mix to further enhance focus during training. 4 Gauge’s website says it’s to keep you in the zone for longer, most likely because of it’s ability to delay fatigue and boost cognition (17) (18).

Research has also shown Rhodiola Rosea to fight depression and elevate subjective well being (19) (20). Motivation may be increased with the use of this ingredient, which could make it easier to hit those harder, more intimidating sessions.

4 Gauge ingredient facts

Full serving size: 14 g (2 scoops)

Servings per container: 20

Amount Per Full Serving

% Daily Value +


5 kcal

Total carbohydrate

4 g


10 mg



20 mg



30 mg


L-Citrulline Dl-Malate

6000 mg


Creatine Monohydrate

1000 mg


Acetyl L-Carnitine (as Acetyl L-Carnitine HCI)

500 mg


Red Beet (Beta Vulgaris) Root Extract

300 mg


Coconut Water Powder

300 mg



200 mg


Caffeine Anhydrous

150 mg


Rhodiola Rosea (Root) Powder

100 mg


* Daily Value not established

+ Percentage Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

>> See the more stats at the 4 Gauge website <<<

Is 4 Gauge Safe?

When we checked out the ingredients inside 4 Gauge nothing stood out as dangerous. Plus, as an all-natural supplement, it doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals.

Zero proprietary blends

4 Gauge is also free from proprietary blends. These are mixtures that supplement companies use to hide and not disclose certain ingredients and doses. Obviously, it’s very hard to call a supplement safe that uses proprietary blends as you can’t be certain exactly what is in it. 4 Gauge on the other hand is totally transparent, which boosts it’s safety score for us.

Serving sizes are sensible too and aren’t over-reliant on stimulants. 4 Gauge does contain caffeine, but at a smarter dose of 150 mg, which shouldn’t be too much for the average person. L-Theanine is also added to the mixture to provide the previously mentioned smart caffeine effect. So, rather than experience the powerful lift of caffeine on its own, it’s smoothed out by this second ingredient.

Caffeine caution

In terms of safety, you should always be cautious when approaching caffeine in a pre-workout. Try not to exceed the standard dose on your first time trying 4 Gauge, then if you feel like you want more power, you can progress to four scoops. This protocol is written on the 4 Gauge container to make things clear.

Because this pre-workout contains stimulants, we don’t advise you take it within five hours of going to sleep. People sensitive to stimulants may need to wait longer or take a smaller serving. As always, when taking pre-workouts that include stimulants try to lower your outside caffeine intake. Reduce how much coffee, tea, and energy drinks you consume throughout the day.

How effective is 4 Gauge?

When working out how effective a supplement should be you have to go past ingredients. It’s a case of looking at distinct doses and how they match up to the research out there.

Off the bat 4 Gauge looks promising thanks to it’s varied 150 – 300 g of caffeine anhydrous. Resources say that it should be effective at improving sports performance at doses between 3-9 g/kg (21). Therefore, the amount in 4 Gauge should be effective for people between 50 – 100 kg in weight.

However, alertness, focus, and reaction times can all be enhanced at much lower doses. As a result, you might find 4 Gauge’s caffeine to be more effective at providing a energized edge mentally, rather than a purely physical boost. L-Theanine should work to dial in focus here too, whereas Rhodiola Rose backs up motivation.

L-Citrulline DL-Malate is also well dosed in 4 Gauge at 6000 mg. This is an amount shown to improve endurance for athletes, therefore, its an optimized serving for a pre-workout (22). Red Beet, however, doesn’t quite match up to the dose to bring about the best results.

In terms of caffeine, 4 Gauge offers between 150-300 mg within its guidelines. According to researchers, only the three or four scoop servings are ideal for sports performance benefits.

Yet, 200 mg+ could significantly boost cognitive performance. That’s according to one Navy SEAL Training study, anyway (16). Put plainly, 200+ mg should help users feel more awake, alert, and focused, rather than give them a big power or endurance boost. Whereas 3 mg/kg of body weight could improve your physical output.

All the other ingredients seem to be served in reasonable amounts as well. While they might not be fully optimized as individuals, they should all contribute to the high potential for effectiveness.

In short, 4 Gauge should work well given the amounts of its key and supporting ingredients.

4 gauge and shaker
Excuse the packaging – the container got bounced around my gym back

How to take 4 Gauge

The manufacturers behind 4 Gauge recommend you mix two scoops with 300–350 ml of water. Shake well and wait around 30-minutes before exercise before you drink it.

Doing this is supposed to give the ingredients time to take effect and be absorbed by your body. Drinking your pre-workout too close to working out means that sometimes it struggles to get you motivated and energized in time. Naturally, taking it too far away can make you peak early.

If, for whatever reason you decide two scoops is not enough, it’s apparently safe to double dose up to four scoops. The people behind 4 Gauge recommend you don’t exceed this amount for safety reasons. Going above four scoops per day can significantly increase your risks of side effects.

Yes, you can take 4 Gauge alongside other supplements like Creatine, L-Car, or a Beta-Alanine. However, we don’t suggest mixing it with anything else with simulants.

4 Gauge price

One shotgun shell container supplies 20, 14 g (two scoop) servings.

  • One container: $45/

  • Two containers + free USA/UK shipping: $90

  • Three containers + one free shell + free worldwide shipping: $135

If you’re planning on using 4 Gauge for more than 20 workouts maybe consider these multi-buy deals. While they cost more in a single purchase, they could save you money over time.

This is especially true when you factor in the biggest bundle, which gives one free container and worldwide shipping at no extra cost. Of course, this is one of the better options for double dosing pre-workout veterans.

4 Gauge side-effects

Given the sensible serving of Caffeine in 4 Gauge users shouldn’t feel side-effects. L-Theanine also helps to smooth out the sharpness of Caffeine too, which should help.

However, whenever there are stimulants involved there’s always a chance. If you’re sensitive to Caffeine we recommend you try a small serving first. Then, when you’ve assessed how you react, up the scoops accordingly.

One thing we always say is to not take pre-workout supplements with Caffeine in later than five hours before sleep. Otherwise, the effects of the stimulants could keep you awake. Also, try not to go over the recommended dose. Doing so significantly increases the risk of side-effects.

Finally, 4 Gauge is an all-natural product, with no hidden chemicals. We see these kinds of products as lower risk of side-effects.

Container of 4 Gauge with full scoop

4 Gauge review round up

All signs point toward 4 Gauge being a great pre-workout supplement.

Many of the key ingredients are there, and they’re served in generous and sensible amounts too. We also like how it’s all-natural, meaning your body should be able to utilize the components better.

The evidence we saw showed that 4 Gauge should be effective too for both pre-, intra-, and post-workout support. Not only could this supplement have you performing better in the gym, but it might enhance your recovery too. For us, it’s an all-round product that doesn’t just amplify your workout but leave you crashing.

Price wise, 4 Gauge seems to be competitive. While it’s not the cheapest on the market it does seem to offer quality over quantity. Users receive a well thought out formula that’s generously served and manufactured in approved facilities. Unlike low-quality, cheap supplements, the risk of cross-contamination is minimized here.

We’d have preferred to see Beta-Alanine in the mix and more flavors. But, that doesn’t remove from the impressive ingredients included in 4 Gauge. Overall, it appears to be a great, natural product that can be used by all kinds of athletes – especially those who enjoy muscle pumps and building lean mass.

Total score: 9/10

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  1. Schoenfeld, B., & Contreras, B. (2013). The Muscle Pump. Strength And Conditioning Journal, 1. doi: 10.1519/ssc.0000000000000021
  2. Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman P. Citrulline Malate Enhances Athletic Anaerobic Performance and Relieves Muscle Soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(5):1215-1222. doi:10.1519/jsc.0b013e3181cb28e0
  3. Suzuki T, Morita M, Kobayashi Y, Kamimura A. Oral L-citrulline supplementation enhances cycling time trial performance in healthy trained men: Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled 2-way crossover study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016;13:6. Published 2016 Feb 19. doi:10.1186/s12970-016-0117-z
  4. Kreider, R. B., Kalman, D. S., Antonio, J., Ziegenfuss, T. N., Wildman, R., Collins, R., . . . Lopez, H. L. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14(1).
  5. Ferreira R, Fernandes W, Barros F, Ribeiro W. Effects of 10 Weeks Swimming and Creatine Supplementation on Blood Lactate and Muscle Fatigue of Mice. Athens Journal of Sports. 2016;3(3):197-205. doi:10.30958/ajspo.3-3-3
  6. Dabidi Roshan, V., Babaei, H., Hosseinzadeh, M., & Arendt-Nielsen, L. (2013). The effect of creatine supplementation on muscle fatigue and physiological indices following intermittent swimming bouts. Journal Of Sports Medicine And Physical Fitness53(3), 232-9.
  7. Powers ME, Arnold BL, Weltman AL, et al. Creatine Supplementation Increases Total Body Water Without Altering Fluid Distribution. J Athl Train. 2003;38(1):44-50.
  8. Rae C, Digney AL, McEwan SR, Bates TC. Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Proc Biol Sci. 2003;270(1529):2147-50.
  9. KRAEMER, W., VOLEK, J., FRENCH, D., RUBIN, M., SHARMAN, M., & GOMEZ, A. et al. (2003). The Effects of L-Carnitine L-Tartrate Supplementation on Hormonal Responses to Resistance Exercise and Recovery. Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research, 17(3), 455-462. doi: 10.1519/00124278-200308000-00005
  10. Spiering, B., Kraemer, W., Hatfield, D., Vingren, J., Fragala, M., & Ho, J. et al. (2008). Effects of L-Carnitine L-Tartrate Supplementation on Muscle Oxygenation Responses to Resistance Exercise. Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research22(4), 1130-1135. doi: 10.1519/jsc.0b013e31817d48d9
  11. Baião, D., Conte-Junior, C., Paschoalin, V., & Alvares, T. (2015). Beetroot juice increase nitric oxide metabolites in both men and women regardless of body mass. International Journal Of Food Sciences And Nutrition67(1), 40-46. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2015.1121469
  12. Saat, M., Singh, R., Sirisinghe, R., & Nawawi, M. (2002). Rehydration after Exercise with Fresh Young Coconut Water, Carbohydrate-Electrolyte Beverage and Plain Water. Journal Of PHYSIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY And Applied Human Science, 21(2), 93-104. doi: 10.2114/jpa.21.93
  13. Nobre, A.C. et al. (2018). L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr.17 Suppl 1:167-8.
  14. Parnell, H., Owen, G., & Rycroft, J. (2006). Combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognition and mood. Appetite, 47(2), 273. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2006.07.051
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  16. Lieberman, H., Tharion, W., Shukitt-Hale, B., Speckman, K., & Tulley, R. (2002). Effects of caffeine, sleep loss, and stress on cognitive performance and mood during U.S. Navy SEAL training. Psychopharmacology, 164(3), 250-261. doi: 10.1007/s00213-002-121
  17. De Bock, K., Eijnde, B., Ramaekers, M., & Hespel, P. (2004). Acute Rhodiola Rosea Intake Can Improve Endurance Exercise Performance. International Journal Of Sport Nutrition And Exercise Metabolism14(3), 298-307. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.14.3.298
  18. Shevtsov, V., Zholus, B., Shervarly, V., Vol’skij, V., Korovin, Y., & Khristich, M. et al. (2003). A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work. Phytomedicine, 10(2-3), 95-105. doi: 10.1078/094471103321659780
  19. Darbinyan, V., Aslanyan, G., Amroyan, E., Gabrielyan, E., Malmström, C., & Panossian, A. (2007). Clinical trial ofRhodiola roseaL. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. Nordic Journal Of Psychiatry, 61(5), 343-348. doi: 10.1080/08039480701643290
  20. Edwards, D., Heufelder, A., & Zimmermann, A. (2012). Therapeutic Effects and Safety of Rhodiola rosea Extract WS® 1375 in Subjects with Life-stress Symptoms – Results of an Open-label Study. Phytotherapy Research, 26(8), 1220-1225. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3712
  21. Shabir, A., Hooton, A., Tallis, J., & F Higgins, M. (2018). The Influence of Caffeine Expectancies on Sport, Exercise, and Cognitive Performance. Nutrients10(10), 1528. doi:10.3390/nu10101528
  22. Sureda, A., Córdova, A., Ferrer, M., Pérez, G., Tur, J., & Pons, A. (2010). l-Citrulline-malate influence over branched chain amino acid utilization during exercise. European Journal Of Applied Physiology110(2), 341-351. doi: 10.1007/s00421-010-1509-4


[Honesty disclaimer: If you choose to purchase 4 Gauge from this review we may receive a small commission. This does not influence our opinions, however, we believe our readers should know. It is how we are able to keep Muscle Mindset Life going.]

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