The practice of tossing together a bunch of lukewarm herbal ingredients, topping it all off with just a touch of whey protein and then selling it as some sort of "legal anabolic steroid alternative" is apparently as old as the supplement industry itself. A while ago, I wrote a piece on the CrazyBulk line, which was preceded by yet another article on Crazy Mass. These two scams were notorious for the brazen manner in which they tried to ride to coattails of a number of highly popular steroids, by using names nearly identical to those of the said roids.
Marine Muscle does not use the same approach. Instead, it adopts two different - yet just as cringe worthy - pitches: the military angle and the good-old, patriotic, Red, White and Blue angle. Neither of these makes any sense, or holds any water at closer inspection. Other than this difference in nuance, Marine Muscle is the same as CrazyBulk and Crazy Mass.
What does this marvelous line of supplements promise you though?
All-American, legal steroids of course, with "military grade" ingredients. The first thing that popped into my mind as soon as I accessed the Marine Muscle site, was "what, pray tell is "military grade" in this context?". If you were to think that an explanation would be provided further down the page, you'd be woefully wrong though. There is in fact a section dedicated to this "concept", but it doesn't even touch the subject, going on instead about some general nonsense that's little more than page-filler.
Anyway, the Marine Muscle line consists of Bulking, Cutting and Strength stacks. In fact, they have 9 products, which they juggle back and forth among these stacks. These supplements cost between $65 and $70. Stack prices can go as high as $220 though.
All this generates quite a bit of food for thought...first of all, for what you're getting with these supplements, this is extremely expensive. Secondly, given that there's a 40% affiliate cut offered on the entire line, it makes one wonder exactly how much it costs to produce these supplements, when they can be sold for a profit for 40% less…
Affiliate cuts this generous always represent a major red flag, and they go a long way to explain why there are so many affiliate marketers out there pushing positive reviews of this product-line.
The Marine Muscle Website
The Marine Muscle website is essentially a collection of tired and worn-out cliches presented in a package, the aim of which is to generate hype and to build credibility. While at the former, it does succeed to a certain degree (given the right readership), it falls flat at the latter. None of the "facts" presented on the homepage hold any water, and don't you for a second believe the pushers of this scam don't know it. They have made good use of the Terms and Conditions section to cover their rears in this regard.
What false facts am I talking about though?
The Marine Muscle Background
Presented as an All-American, truly patriotic line of supplements, chances are that the junk that's used in the capsules sold under this name, is not even made in the US. The company behind the "effort" is an old acquaintance of mine, the pusher of many other notorious supplement scams, Wolfson Berg Limited, with offices at 244 Madison Avenue 10016-2817, New York City, United States, and also in Cyprus.
The problem is though that Wolfson Berg don't seem to have any production facilities in the US. I contacted the Marine Muscle live support to try to cast some light on this issue, and they rather clumsily tried to lead me on and obfuscate the question.
Here's the gist of the conversation I had with the support staff member: I asked about an address and company name of the US production facility they used. I was given this address: 165 Pleasant Ave. South Portland, ME 04106, USA. I promptly checked it out through Streetview, to find that there was indeed something that looked like a warehouse there. It turns out though that the facility belongs to Ship-Right Solutions, a PL3 company, which obviously handles the shipping for the scammers. I asked about it, and they told me that yes, indeed that's where production was located too. I asked whether Ship-Right were the producers, I was told no. I asked if there was another company there at the same address with Ship-Right - the actual producer of the supplements. I was told no again.
What I gleaned off the conversation was that I was lied to and that there was no production facility at the given address, or anywhere else in the US. The bottom line: God only knows where these supplements are really made.
The Marine Muscle Marketing Engine
With a 40% affiliate cut on offer, there is obviously no shortage of marketers willing to promote this ridiculous supplement-line.
There are scores of positive reviews featuring affiliate links, some complete with atrocious English and ridiculous assumptions about the product, towing the official line. As the world’s second largest search engine, YouTube has not been immune to such marketing efforts either. Here’s a video looking to push this concoction down your throat:
The link below it points to a “review” which features some cleverly built-in affiliate links.
The bottom line is this regard is this: if you ever run across someone going out of his/her way to recommend you this product, just ask the person what he/she stands to gain out of the sale.
The Marine Muscle Ingredient Profile
This is the point where the ridiculous nature of these supplements is mercilessly exposed. One would think that with ingredient profiles such as these, the seller would make a serious effort to hide the information from the public. In this instance however, supplement facts information straight off the labels is readily available, though it has to be noted that most probably few people ever click through to the relevant pages in this regard.
Let us take this one step at a time though and dissect the ingredients of four of the supplements.
First up, is the “Colonel”.
Vitamin B3 is the first ingredient. In its Niacinamide form, it is synthesized in the body from Niacin. B3 is also present in every vitamin B complex supplement sold, and some of these supplements are indeed extremely cheap too.
Garcinia Cambogia could be good for appetite suppression and weight loss in some cases, but these purported effects are not supported by proper scientific proof. Its side effects include digestive tract discomfort, headaches and nausea.
Bitter Orange extract has shown some metabolism-revving effects and it is deemed to be relatively safe to consume, though it requires more research on both of those accounts.
Most studies aimed at the fat-burning effects of Guarana have been done on multi-ingredient supplements, so they aren’t truly relevant for Guarana alone. The doses cited by most of these studies are in the 1.5 g range, so at 342 mg, the Colonel may fall short by quite a bit.
Turmeric may control some inflammation, thus aiding recovery after rigorous exercise-induced muscle damage. To even try to equate the above ingredients with muscle building in any shape or form, is borderline hilarious, but to call the Colonel the equivalent of an anabolic steroid, is downright outrageous.
For another exercise in unintended hilarity, let’s take a closer look at the “Devil Dog”.
This guy at least brings some protein to the table, though at 200 mg each, the Soy Protein Isolate and the Whey Protein Concentrate are only nominally present really.
We do get Tribulus Terrestris, ALA Shilajit and L Carnitine though, at least some traces of them that is, which are all under-dosed and otherwise present in every lukewarm weight loss supplement scam that has ever seen the light of day.
Moving on to the DrillMaster, we are yet again treated to a full dose of 450 mg of Whey Protein (cue laughter).
L-isoleucine supplementation is indeed recommended for intensive training. The recommended minimum dose in this regard is 45 mg/kg of bodyweight, meaning that an 80 kg person should consume some 3.6 g of it per day, more if active.
The required minimum dose of L-valine for a sedentary person is 12 mg/kg of bodyweight. Those performing vigorous physical exercise, obviously require more. That means an 80 kg person should consume at least 960 mg per day.
Needless to say, at 75 mg, L-leucine is woefully under-dosed as well. Tribulus Terrestris and DHEA are only present in trace amounts.
Enduro seems to be based on Wild Yam Root (of which it contains some 750 mg). Wild Yam seems to be a highly estrogenic natural substance, the efficiency of which is being studied for estrogen replacement and menstrual disorders. How something like that would help you build muscle is beyond science at this point apparently, as there are no references to such uses at any of the scientific portals/databases.
Other than that, Enduro too delivers some trace amounts of Tribulus Terrestris and DHEA, in addition to L-Citrulline and L-Carnitine. Every one of these substances is under dosed.
To call any of the products from the Marine Muscle lineup a “steroid alternative” is PREPOSTEROUS as well as insulting to the intelligence of those who know and have seen the effects of anabolic steroids. This angle is nothing more than a sales line, pushed way above and beyond the limits of reason. The perpetrators of such scams have to be called out and – to the extent that it is possible – publicly shamed.