4 Gauge Review
Those of us that have spent a few years in the gym have probably tried a few pre-workouts along the way. And if you are anything like me, you’ve probably had some pretty bad results.
Amongst other things I’ve felt faint, dizzy, itchy, breathless, wired, and absolutely buzzing. I’ve had my face go bright red, I’ve given up on workouts after 5 minutes. Some pre-workouts really aren’t great.
Roar Ambition have released a pre-workout without, they claim, these drawbacks. 4 Gauge is designed to;
- Deliver a smooth release of energy
- Ensure focus but without a crash at the end
- Pump those muscles
I suppose the million dollar question then is – do they deliver on their promises?
How Does It Work?
At a Glance
- Smart caffeine for energy and focus
- Creatine for power and performance
- L-Citrulline Dl-Malate and Red Beet for muscle pump
- Rhodiola Rosea for the feel-good factor
- L-Carnitine to combat fatigue and muscle damage
It’s not often you find a product with an ingredients list you can’t find any fault with. This is a really well formulated product, they’ve justified the ingredients and dosages for ever constituent. Read the full details of each ingredient further down the review if you have doubts here.
Because we are really picky, we’ve marked 4 Gauge down on one element – the creatine content. 1000mg of creatine monohydrate isn’t a full dose of creatine. If you were serious about your creatine you’d need to take more than that in a separate supplement. It’s a great choice of ingredient, we’d just prefer to see more of it.
4 Gauge isn’t cheap. However, ultimately you get what you pay for. It’s not about the price, we mark the scores based on value. Yes, it’s expensive … but it’s also one of the best we’ve seen.
[Editor: Correction, it is the best we’ve seen.]
The product is manufactured in cGMP approved premises in the US and UK. There are no proprietary blends, everything is there on the label.
Roar Ambition have been around for a few years and are well known on the sports supplements scene. We’ve no trust issues with the product or the company behind it.
Roar Ambition always do their testimonials well, it’s the same for every product. There are loads of them, they are obviously genuine and you get a real feel for the product and the people that use it.
More importantly, you get a feel for why they use it, and what’s good about it. Videos, photos – real names, real people. Some people object to the fact that the company behind it reward testimonials with free product … but as we’ve pointed out in other reviews, if the product wasn’t any good why the heck would they want free bottles of it?
Based in the UK, Roar Ambition have a well regarded range of products including supplements and workout programs. They have cemented themselves as a leading player by providing some of the best premium products on the market.
We are being harsh here but we are knocking a mark off on account of the fact they have no customer telephone number, which we know a lot of people want. They handle all their customers services via email.
How Do I Take It?
You mix either one or two scoops with water 15-30 minutes before a workout, and drink it. 2 scoops would only be recommended for those with a serious caffeine intolerance who need to double it up for a ‘kick’.
Any 4 Gauge Side Effects?
The product doesn’t contain beta alinine, a regular pre-workout candidate for side effects, and the fact that it uses ‘smart caffeine’ means the overall caffeine levels are lower. We don’t envisage you experiencing side effects from using 4 Gauge.
Where Can I Get It?
You can only buy it directly from the manufacturer’s website.
Ingredients – In Detail
You know you’ve chosen the right pre workout when it delivers eye-popping, PR smashing strength and stamina that’d put a Tour De France yellow jersey to shame. Some pre workouts fizzle with the power of a cheap firework before disappearing altogether. But those with the right amount of caffeine explode with strength, performance and unrelenting drive in the gym.
And that’s what 4 Gauge gives you with its 150 mg per serving. As one of the most widely researched compounds on Earth, caffeine has been found to not only improve physical performance, but fat loss, muscle strength, power output and cognitive skills too.
As a stimulant, caffeine attaches to your adenosine receptors and makes them null and void. This means that all calm, sleepiness and relaxation is thrown out of the window altogether .
Instead, you feel energized, resilient and pretty much resistant to fatigue. You’re ready to take on the world – and in the war against the gym there’ll only be one winner.
It’s a well used supplement in pro sport to squeeze the very best results from even top level athletes.
Caffeine has been shown to significantly enhance muscle strength and power during one rep max training , ability to tolerate hard workouts at near maximum intensity , and even fat loss too by elevating your metabolism .
This amino acid is the curve ball ingredient in 4 Gauge. It doesn’t improve muscle pumps and it won’t give enhance your barbell bending eyes of fury strength either. Okay, so what exactly does it do?.
Much like the super-chilled monk that sits cross-legged on top of a mountain, eyes closed in some zen-like meditative state – L-theanine brings calm and tranquility to the party. That’s the exact opposite of what a pre workout should do though, surely? Bear with me here.
When you take a huge dose of caffeine you get all of the endurance and strength benefits. But unless you’re a habitual tea or coffee drinker (and if not, why aren’t you?), you call also feel just that little bit jittery, irritable and anxious.
L-theanine combines with caffeine to form a nootropic called smart caffeine. This potent compound is then able to enhance everything from brain activity and focus, to motivation and cognitive performance .
Much like a superchilled bass player would lead a rhythm in order to control the mad-as-hell drummer that sits behind him, itching to take the tempo up. The studies show some great results too. From reducing anxiety during challenging tasks , to promoting wellness and overall feelings of health . L-theanine is the calm in the storm.
As a healthy, natural amino acid, citrulline malate is found in watermelon. And it’s added to this pre workout for one specific reason … intense muscle pumps.
Here’s a short biology lesson that skips the boring part of science and go straight to the good stuff. When you take a Citrulline converts to L-arginine in your kidneys. And then from there it converts once again to nitric oxide (NO).
Now here’s where it gets interesting.
Nitric oxide is a vasodilator. It forces your blood vessels to expand. And because your blood vessels are responsible for delivering all of that oxygenated, nutritious blood to your muscles, more space means more blood. And more blood means more nutrients.
Citrulline basically harnesses the power of nitric oxide to increase blood flow. And when a muscle becomes engorged in blood it increases in volume. If you’ve ever caught a look of yourself in the changing rooms after a high-volume weightlifting workout and wondered why you look so jacked, it’s because of the pump.
And 4 Gauge is basically ‘pump in a bottle’. It boosts blood flow, makes your blood vessels pop out like a road map and significantly increases the amount of nutrients delivered to your muscles during high-intensity exercise.
So what if you’re not bothered about intense pumps and are all about performance?
Well, citrulline has you covered there too. Because when nitric oxide levels increase, so does high-intensity stamina and endurance too.
Taking 6,000 mg of citrulline malate before a workouts has been shown to ramp up the anaerobic performance of elite athletes . And at elite level it’s not often you’ll find significant improvements in athleticism as they’re already at the top of their game.
This shows you how powerful citrulline malate is for those that take their fitness seriously.
It’s also been shown during clinical trials, this powerful amino acid elevates both strength and muscle protein synthesis . This puts you in that all important ‘anabolic state’ needed to grow new muscle.
Lastly, citrulline malate has been shown to reduce recovery time too, meaning not only can you work harder for longer; you can do it more often too .
You’ll be the guy in the gym who just won’t stop, putting others twice your size to shame.
You might wonder why there’s an extract of one of the earthiest vegetables known to man in a pre workout supplement? And who’d blame you.
As a deep purple, nutrient-rich food, red beet is packed full of phytochemicals called betacyanin, lutein and zeaxanthin. These give it it’s vivid color and multivitamin profile.
Other than being a great source of vitamins and minerals, red beet is emerging as the go-to nutrient for strongmen and endurance athletes for one very important reason… nitrates.
When it comes to stamina and high-intensity exercise, it’s all about pumping as much blood to the working muscles as possible. Deliver more oxygen and nutrients and you’ll find that you can generate more power for longer periods of time.
Nitrates regulate vascular health, blood pressure and what’s known in the deep dark recesses of science as the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway.
To you and me that simply means they’re responsible for dilating your blood vessels when more blood needs pumping to your muscles.
A quick look at the research shows that red beet has exploded with a purple boom of interesting studies – each showing how effective the nitrate-packed vegetable is.
So how does that make you a better athlete? Well, nitrate supplementation has been shown to:
- * Boost oxygen concentration during hard workouts 
- * Reduce time-to-fatigue during maximal exercise 
- * Enhance anaerobic response, meaning higher power and training economy 
Let’s be honest here. No one wants to eat a red beet before a workout. Not only is it dry, muddy and earthy, it’ll make your pee go pink!
But sticking an extract in a supplement such as 4 Gauge gives you all of the benefits, without the need to chew on raw vegetables to make gains.
As a form of the amino L-carnitine, ‘ALCAR’ as it’s known in the deep echoes of the gym, is found naturally in foods such as beef, chicken and avocados – all foods associated with making gains.
Because of its chemical composition, acetyl-L-carnitine is able to cross your blood-brain barrier. This allows it to have a direct effect on your body.
The main function of acetyl- L-carnitine is to ramp up the delivery and breakdown of fatty acids for fuel. It does this by hijacking specific parts of the cells responsible for converting fat into energy called mitochondria.
The big benefit of this is that extra fat means more energy. And more energy means less fatigue, more productive workouts and better results. ALCAR also boosts your metabolic rate and fat loss too.
Now here’s a little bit of science. When your mitochondria use fat for energy you are able to maintain blood acidity. This means you don’t accumulate as much lactic acid in the muscle, and as such are able to work harder for longer.
You’ll also experience less muscle damage too , meaning more regular sessions without long-term fatigue .
You basically don’t suffer the by-product of anaerobic energy production as quickly. And that’s great for anyone who wants to maximize workout intensity and conditioning.
Otherwise known as ‘golden root’, rhodiola rosea is a plant extract famed for its ability to delay fatigue and enhance endurance; even at higher intensities.
As a key ingredient in any high-quality pre workout, rhodiola let’s you shake off the status of mere mortal, and develop stamina, motivation and teeth-gritting resilience usually reserved for demigods.
The research is pretty conclusive when it comes to exercise benefits. For example, one randomized control trial reported that rhodiola had a significant effect on fatigue during demanding tasks .
And another solid clinical trial saw that when a group of athletes were given rhodiola rosea during a tough time trial exercise, time to exhaustion was much longer than another group who only had the luxury of a placebo supplement .
Most studies show that 100 mg of rhodiola is optimal for performance enhancing-gains. So it’s great to see this amount in 4 Gauge.
We’ve taken more time than we normally would when running through the ingredients list on 4 Gauge, because to be honest the product deserves it.
A carefully considered pre-workout that offers focus, pumps and a smooth delivery of energy. Plus the feel good factor thrown in for good effect. A quality product and our current top recommended pre-workout.
Studies Quoted in the Review
- 1. Ribiero, JA et al. Caffeine and Adenosine. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010; 20 Suppl 1: S3-15
- 2. Mora-Rodriguez, R. Caffeine ingestion reverses the circadian rhythm effects on neuromuscular performance in highly resistance-trained men. PLoS One. 2012; 7(4): e33807
- 3. Bell DG. Effect of repeated caffeine ingestion on repeated exhaustive exercise endurance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003; 35(8): 1348-54
- 4. Acheson, KJ et al. Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980; 33(5): 989-97
- 5. Dodd, FL et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood. Psychopharmacology. 2015; 232(14): 2563-76
- 6. Kimura, K et al. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psych. 2007; 74(1): 39-45
- 7. Ritsner, MS et al. L-theanine relieves positive, activation, and anxiety symptoms in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder: an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2-center study. J Clin Psychiatry. 2011; 72(1): 34-42
- 8. Sureda, A et al. L-citrulline-malate influence over branched chain amino acid utilization during exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010; 110(2): 341-51
- 9. Jourdan, M et al. Citrulline stimulates muscle protein synthesis in the post-absorptive state in healthy people fed a low-protein diet – A pilot study. Clin Nutr. 2015; 34(3): 449-56
- 10. Perez-Guisado, J et al. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010; 24(5): 1215-22
- 11. Larsen, FJ et al. Effects of dietary nitrate on oxygen cost during exercise. Acta Physiol. 2007;191:59-66
- 12. Lansley, KE et al. Acute dietary nitrate supplementation improves cycling time trial performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011; 43(6): 1125-31
- 13. Clifford, T et al. The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2015; 7(4): 2801-2822
- 14. Michele, M. Oral acetyl-L-carnitine therapy reduces fatigue in overt hepatic encephalopathy: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Am J Clin Nutr; 2011 vol. 93 no. 4: 799-808
- 15. Musafa, S. G. The Effect of L-Carnitine Treatment on Lactic Acid Levels in Normal Subjects and Patients with IGT. Turkish Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism; 2005 1: 13-16
- 16. Darbinyan, V et al. Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue-a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine. 2000; 7(5): 365-71
- 17. De Bock, K et al. Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performance. nt J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 ; 14(3): 298-307