The Genius Muscle Builder: Natural Muscle Gains Like a Genius

The Genius Brand

The Genius Brand takes on Muscle Building with three human-research-backed ingredients!

The Genius Brand has become the company to beat on Amazon in 2018. Their products all have science-backed formulations that have become the talk of the industry. Recently, they entered the “natural muscle building” corner with The Genius Muscle Builder. There’s no doubt, we’re huge fans of Genius, especially with formulas like Genius Joy and Genius Consciousness. Can this supplement go above and beyond the standard go-to builders like creatine and betaine to warrant as much praise as other Genius Brand supplements? Let’s find out.

The Premise: Build Muscle Like a Genius

The Genius Brand is a household favorite of the PricePlow team. We applaud any company that puts out so many well-researched, open-formula products that use trusted, trademarked ingredients. We expect Genius Muscle Builder to be no exception.

Genius Muscle Builder

How does The Genius Brand approach a muscle-building supplement? With human research backed ingredients!

We’re sure customers will appreciate seeing a product titled “Muscle Builder”. We’d like to set our stance on these products foremost. PricePlow has a strict “if it’s not steroids, it won’t make you Ronnie Coleman” policy on muscle-building products. Instead, we compare them to realistic expectations of natural products that may help you build a bit more muscle mass than you otherwise would have, given proper diet and aggressive training.

A powder for the pill-haters

One thing we enjoy is that Genius Muscle Builder is unique in it’s a powder formula. Most products like this are encapsulated, but we guys like a nice powder to mix with our pre workout (Genius Pre Workout, anybody?), so this already sets it apart from the competition.

The long story short is that this contains the next set of safe, natural ingredients after your creatine / betaine / carnitine basics are covered. It’s not cheap but neither are the trademarked/patented ingredients inside. Genius Brand promises that Muscle Builder will “optimize your biological environment for extraordinary performance.”

Without further introduction, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this article: the science, but first, sign up for our Genius Brand news alerts and check out the prices below:

The Genius Brand Genius Muscle Builder – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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The Genius Muscle Builder Ingredients

At a glance:

Genius Muscle Builder Ingredients

The Genius Muscle Builder Ingredients at a Glance

Now let’s get to the research!

  • PeakO2 (2g)

    Genius Muscle Builder Ingredients

    PeakO2 is a trademarked and research-backed mix of mushrooms from Compound Solutions, featuring cordyceps militaris at the front of the blend. For those of you who watched our podcast interview with Rob Oliver, founder and CEO of The Genius Brand (@TheGeniusCEO), you know that Rob’s a huge fan of mushrooms.

    PeakO2 begins with cordyceps militaris, a mushroom that posses well-researched anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and some anti-aging benefits.[1,2] On top of that PeakO2 includes Reishi, King Trumpet, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail into the mix. These bring an interesting mix of benefits, including some of the cognitive benefits of Lion’s Mane we’ve discussed a lot recently.

    PeakO2 Research

    Cordyceps Militaris Benefits

    This incredibly-successful human study was actually done on a patented mushroom blend, named PEAKO2.[3] Is cordyceps militaris really where the action’s at? We believe so.

    But PeakO2’s blend has a particular advantage over other blends as it’s been studied! The investigation found that PeakO2 may improve VO2 max, power output, and increased time to exhaustion when dosed at 4g/day.[3] While we aren’t getting that much in a single serving, it may get us on our way to some benefits, especially if paired with an intra workout supplement that has an additional 2g PeakO2 as well.

    What’s the deal with cordyceps?

    Cordyceps indeed has some great research on it, but it also has a wild story when it comes to the cordyceps sinensis species that was originally sold by various supplement companies. It turns out that much of the cordyceps sinensis based research has been flawed due to historical misidentification (paecilomyces hepiali was often confused as cordyceps sinensis due to visual identification until DNA testing came around!) So you literally don’t know what older cordyceps sinensis studies were actually testing in the past!

    Genius Muscle Builder Before and After

    This is Rob Oliver, CEO of The Genius Brand (@TheGeniusCEO). Always cool when the CEO puts his results out there for everyone to see!

    The full story is told in our cordyceps crackdown post, but the solution is to go with the easier-to-identify cordyceps militaris that has even better research in its own right!

    My personal take on PeakO2

    Those who follow PricePlow’s YouTube channel have heard this story a dozen times, but here’s one more. I track my heart rate when training — to me, it’s the closest way to physically monitor actual exertion. When using PeakO2-based supplements, my heart rate stays lower on difficult exercises. For instance, deadlifting gets me up to 160bpm pretty easily. When using PeakO2, it stays at 150bpm for the same weight. I don’t know why, but it gives me an indication that my heart is having to do less work to get oxygen and nutrients where they need to go. And it happens consisGenius Muscle Builder Benefitstently.

    Point being, there’s definitely something going on with PeakO2, and I think it may enable you to last longer and push a bit harder without exhausting, and the data’s starting to prove that.

  • Mediator Phosphatidic Acid (1.5g)

    Mediator Phosphatidic Acid Logo

    Mediator is a patented, standardized form of phosphatidic acid developed by Chemi Nutra.

    Mediator is a patented form of phosphatidic acid that contains 50% of PA by mass. Therefore, in the 1.5g dose present in muscle builder, you’ll be getting a decent punch of 750mg of the active ingredient!

    Phosphatidic Acid, as the name applies, is a phospholipid involved in cellular membranes. Most relevant to this product is its role in anabolic pathways that may assist with muscle building. Recent research on isolated muscle tissue shows that PA may help elevate mTOR signaling… which means more gains.[4] Especially if combined with other mTOR-boosting ingredients (such as the next one) and good ol’ leucine-rich protein sources!

    Better yet, there is research showing that 750mg/day may increase squat strength by almost 12% and muscle mass by 2.6%![5] While those numbers don’t seem huge, they will add up when you’re chasing every last natty gain.

    It’s expensive but may be worth it to the “natty elite”

    Phosphatidic Acid and mTOR

    Phosphatidic Acid and mTOR

    If you’re wondering why Genius Muscle Builder is so expensive, Mediator is one of the main drivers. It’s the ingredient that has some good research, but it’s horribly expensive to produce. We consider it “Gucci Gains” in that it’s definitely beneficial, but it’s not for those on a tight budget.

    We call on ChemiNutra to lower the price, especially for our friends at The Genius Brand!

  • MyHMB – Calcium HMB (1.5g)

    myHMB is a patented form of HMB, one of the most popular (yet controversial) muscle-building ingredients of the last few decades. For those new to the ingredient, HMB is an active metabolite of leucine that has a role in the muscle protein synthesis pathway.

    While known for older supplement brands that originally overtouted its efficacy in muscle building, HMB is an effective supplement when you keep the expectations more realistic when looking for its benefits – especially when training hard. For instance, HMB is efficient at helping athletes maintain more lean-body mass while Genius Muscle Builder Benefitsin a caloric deficit.[6] In addition, HMB may help you feel less sore after workouts. By recovering better, you can train more often… leading to more gains. Remember, this is a volume-based game.

    The conflicting HMB research… is Vitamin D the solution?!

    HMB Vitamin D Status

    It turns out that HMB was more effective when the users’ Vitamin D status was better![7] So keep it high with sunshine and supplements!

    But you may heard the research on HMB is showing it may not be as wonderful as once thought,[8,9] especially if already eating a ton of protein. After a year-long study, MTI Biotech, the company that first combined HMB with Vitamin D, thinks they have the answer. Their recent investigation showed that HMB becomes more effective when given to folks who have healthy vitamin D status!

    The study discovered that HMB requires sufficient levels of Vitamin D to work effectively. Vitamin D may be the “rate-limiting” step of HMB’s benefits… a metabolic bottleneck, if you will. In addition, the body requires more calcium than usual to use HMB well… which is also provided by myHMB![7]

    Of note from that study, however, is the lack of lysine and arginine in the Muscle Builder formula. The study that showed benefits of the HMB and Vitamin D combination also gave participants large doses of both. We don’t know if they’re also required to enjoy the benefits, but this is why we’re all about eating plenty of protein and using an essential amino acid supplement.

    In 2023, we updated our HMB research in a massive article titled HMB (β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate): Performance-Driven Muscle Supplement – give it a read if you really want the deep-dive on the ingredient.

    Always seek healthy Vitamin D status

    HMB Vitamin D Status

    If you want the strength and size gains from HMB, Vitamin D is worth supplementing.[7] Could this have been the missing piece to the HMB puzzle all along?

    Meanwhile, Vitamin D also carries tons of benefits of its own. For those that are deficient (aka most of America), supplementation is usually the easiest anabolic thing you can do for yourself.[9] Optimal intake of Vitamin D provides heightened testosterone, reduced fat mass, higher overall quality of life, and even enhanced cognition.[7,10-14]

    It’s indeed best to get Vitamin D from sunshine and to avoid ingesting its pathway competitors.

So basically, we’re looking at three of the “next-generation” ingredients that go beyond the gains and recovery you’ll get from creatine, betaine, and carnitine. Mediator’s making it pricey, but upregulating mTOR and chasing more volume is often the name of the game.

Genius Flavor

The flavor currently available for Muscle Builder may be the best part: a naturally-flavored strawberry vanilla cream, sweetened with stevia. Genius Brand always goes with interesting natural flavor profiles and this is no exception.

In addition, they’ve added beet root for color – you know Rob Oliver at Genius isn’t going to use fake colors or flavors. And if you didn’t know that, then you’ll need to watch Mike’s interview with him below!

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Conclusion: A next-gen natty approach

Muscle Builder is a next-generation natural muscle builder through and through. The formula is well-researched and it should be a go-to for fans of the Genius Brand or anyone that loves to shop for them on Amazon. Genius sticks to well-researched ingredients, and they believe that the Vitamin D solution in MyoDge HMB is the solution to HMB’s woes.

Genius Muscle Builder Benefits

The Genius Muscle Builder Benefits

The formula is a safe play for those looking to go beyond creatine and betaine – you won’t find Genius putting out many ingredients that have rat-only studies, for instance. The question is really whether or not Mediator is worth the added cost. We can’t really recommend you run this 365 days a year because of that. But if you’re a month or two before a big competition / show / vacation, it could be time to get every last drop out of it that you can.

We were a little disappointed with claims like “get 10x more out of your time in the gym” from such a well-researched company, but we understand that marketing is marketing. 10x more selfie taking, maybe, but 10x more gains out of gym time is a stretch. Our message to Genius is to keep it real – this isn’t a “10x” supplement, but a “1.10x” supplement. In that case, if you’re leaving it all on the gym floor and can enhance gains by 10% without taking a hormonal route, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

For those seeking help in the muscle-building arena with time-proven and valid ingredients, Genius Muscle Builder well get you there. We like the ingredients – they’re safe and well-researched. The only risk here is the cost, and there’s not much anyone can do about that until Mediator comes down in price.

The Genius Brand Genius Muscle Builder – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

Get Price Alerts

No spam, no scams.

Disclosure: PricePlow relies on pricing from stores with which we have a business relationship. We work hard to keep pricing current, but you may find a better offer.

Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public. Mike is currently experimenting with a low Vitamin A diet.

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  1. Das, S. K., Masuda, M., Sakurai, A., & Sakakibara, M. (2010). Medicinal uses of the mushroom Cordyceps militaris: Current state and prospects. Fitoterapia, 81(8), 961-968;
  2. Wang, L., Xu, N., Zhang, J., Zhao, H., Lin, L., Jia, S., & Jia, L. (2015). Antihyperlipidemic and hepatoprotective activities of residue polysaccharide from Cordyceps militaris SU-12. Carbohydrate Polymers, 131, 355-362;
  3. Hirsch, K. R., Mock, M. G., Roelofs, E. J., Trexler, E. T., & Smith-Ryan, A. E. (2015). Chronic supplementation of a mushroom blend on oxygen kinetics, peak power, and time to exhaustion. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(S1);
  4. O’Neil, T. K., Duffy, L. R., Frey, J. W., & Hornberger, T. A. (2009). The role of phosphoinositide 3-kinase and phosphatidic acid in the regulation of mammalian target of rapamycin following eccentric contractions. The Journal of Physiology, 587(14), 3691-3701;
  5. Hoffman, J. R., Stout, J. R., Williams, D. R., Wells, A. J., Fragala, M. S., Mangine, G. T., . . . Jäger, R. (2012). Efficacy of phosphatidic acid ingestion on lean body mass, muscle thickness and strength gains in resistance-trained men. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,9(1), 47;
  6. Zanchi, N. E., Nicastro, H., & Lancha, A. H. (2008). Potential antiproteolytic effects of L-leucine: Observations of in vitro and in vivo studies. Nutrition & Metabolism, 5(1), 20;
  7. Fuller, JC Jr. Vitamin D Status Affects Strength Gains In Older Adults Supplemented With a Combination of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate, arginine, and lysine: a Cohort Study. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2011 Nov; 35(6):757-62;
  8. Wilson, J. M., Lowery, R. P., Joy, J. M., Walters, J. A., Baier, S. M., Fuller, J. C., . . . Rathmacher, J. (2013). β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate free acid reduces markers of exercise-induced muscle damage and improves recovery in resistance-trained men. British Journal of Nutrition, 110(03), 538-544;
  9. Hoffman, J. R., Cooper, J., Wendell, M., Im, J., & Kang, J. (2004). Effects of β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate on Power Performance and Indices of Muscle Damage and Stress During High-Intensity Training. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 18(4), 747;
  10. Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin D. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  11. Lee DM, Tajar A, Pye SR, et al. Association of hypogonadism with vitamin D status: the European Male Ageing Study. Eur J Endocrinol. 2012;166(1):77-85;
  12. Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, et al; “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men”; Horm Metab Res = Horm und Stoffwechselforsch = Horm Metab. 2011;43(3):223-225;
  13. Dahlquist DT, Dieter BP, Koehle MS; Plausible ergogenic effects of vitamin D on athletic performance and recovery; J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12(1):33;
  14. Pettersen JA. Does high dose vitamin D supplementation enhance cognition?: A randomized trial in healthy adults. Exp Gerontol. (2017);

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