4.25 / 5.0
Muscle Marinade touts itself as a pre-workout, intra workout and post workout supplement. Muscle Marinade is built around three areas: recovery, focus & energy and the pump.
Muscle Marinade has a 5:1:1 ratio BCAA inclusion in this pre-workout. Typically post workout you want a 2:1:1 ratio on BCAA so I would have liked to see that ratio here instead of the 5:1:1 but still a nice inclusion to this pre-workout. You are getting 5g of this. This is dosed appropriately.
Next you are getting the Mind/Muscle Nootropic Blend. This is the area that provides the energy and the focus. There are over 3 grams of Nootropics and another 450mg of caffeine sources. It starts with 2.5g of Choline Bitrate which is a cognitive boosting ingredient. This is higher than your typical dosage which is awesome. L-Tyrosine comes in at 400mg which is just shy of the optimal 500mg. This is an anti-stressor which works well to improve your mood and focus. Next you get 450mg of varying caffeine sources. You get 200mg of Caffeine Anhydrous and 250mg of Sustained Release Caffeine. This provides the instant energy you are looking for as well as energy throughout your lift. Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCl improves memory and blood flow to your brain. This could be dosed higher. Finally you get 75mg of N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine which is just a faster absorbing form of L-Tyrosine.
Finally you get your NOX Blend. This is your pump. Everyone loves a pump. You are getting 999mg of NO3-T Sodium Nitrates, VasoDrive-AP, and NO3-T Betaine Nitrate. This is similar to their pump product NOXygen.
You also get 4g of Creatine Monohydrate, 1g of Creatine MagnaPower, 1.5g of Taurine, 2g of Beta-Alanine and 1g of Betaine Anhydrous. These all contribute to strength and power and are dosed appropriately.
4.25 / 5.0
Muscle Marinade calls it a focused energy on their label. They are absolutely right. You get a nice energy from Muscle Marinade. You don’t get rage feeling you get with some DMAA or DMHA pre-workouts. That’s a nice thing. You get a solid-state energy from the caffeine sources and you are focused at the gym. The best part of this pre-workout for me was the pump feature. I find it hard to find formulas that provide a solid pump for me. Muscle Marinade did. I did not have the “vein splitting pumps” that some companies try to use in their marketing, but my muscles were more full than ever which is how you earn your gains. Overall, the energy was solid, the focus was good and the pump was great.
3.75 / 5.0
Flavor: Natural Cranberry Orange
Honestly I am shocked that I liked this flavor. I thought it would be "too much" for me in terms of flavor but it was really good. I would buy it again if I had too. Purus does a good job with their flavors. My only pick at it is that it is a little too sweet.
3.75 / 5.0
Let's start by saying that this is a 22.3g serving of a pre-workout with a lot of ingredients. I did not expect it to be a good mixing PWO powder. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the solubility of the powder. It mixed well with a minimal amount of residue left over. I have had pre-workouts that mixed better, and I have had pre-workouts that mixed far worse.
3.5 / 5.0
As far as value goes on a pre-workout it can be subjective. This is what I know. Muscle Marinade retails for $45-$55 for 25-servings. That is a hefty price tag when you put it up against some strong DMHA pre-workouts. However, this is dosed appropriately by NOT using ingredients that, to some, are risky. You are essentially paying $2 per serving on this while other PWOs can come in at $1-$1.50. Because the effects are good (mostly because it is properly dosed) that can justify a higher cost. It really depends on what you are looking for from a product. If you want that pump then there is no need to spend another $20-$30 on a pump product, this making this more valuable. Looking at it in terms of price and value perceived, Muscle Marinade is valuable, but I would like to see the price tag come in at around $40.