Animal Pak Reviews
Quick SummaryYou know what it is. This is the best vitamin product. Back up.
IntroductionAh yes. THE PAK. The quintessential kitchen-sink multi-vitamin for active lifters. If you haven't tried Animal Pak, do you even lift bruh?
I'm a believer in consistently taking a daily multivitamin in order to ensure you're meeting core nutritional needs. I usually stick to a basic, one-pill multi with a relatively simple ingredient profile; ON's Opti-Men is a good example. However I've run Animal Pak before - both the new powder formula and the older version of the paks - thus I jumped on the chance to try the newer formulation of the pill paks.
One final introductory note: I view multi-vitamins the same way I view protein - as a mandatory dietary staple; not a product I expect will take me to the next level.
Ingredient ProfileAnimal Pak is absolutely effing loaded and is slightly different from its powdered brother. There are five major complexes: Vitamin, Amino Acid, Performance, Anti-Oxidant, and Digestive Enzyme. While the powder includes a Uni-Pro Blend in the Performance Complex (a prop blend of protein and organ support ingredients), the pill paks include a fully disclosed profile of liver and organ support that is higher dosed and more robust than the powder, but lacks the inclusion of whey protein. A small difference, but notable. I personally prefer the profile of the pill paks here. Say that five times fast.
The only other change between the pill paks and the powder seems to be in the Amino Acid Complex. There are marginal differences in each of these ingredients between these two versions, but overall I think the pill version comes out slightly ahead.
I could write a doctoral thesis on the profile of Pak and how it compares to other products, which ingredients are appropriately dosed, which aren't, and so on. I'll try to do a quick hitter here:
Aside from the Vitamin complex, the other four profiles are basically unmatched by any competitor multi-vitamin. They are insanely robust. Even Vital 4U and its 14 different pills don't hold a candle to Pak on these four platforms. That said, Vital 4U has generally higher dosages of core vitamins and minerals i.e. vitamins A and C, and more ingredients that support the immune system and mental clarity. Even so, when looking at the Vitamin complex in a silo (which I feel is the most important of the five) it takes a product like Vital 4U stack up against the Pak. Your basic one-a-days aren't going to come close.
That's not to say the Pak is flawless. I think some of the profiles are a bit gratuitous. Most of the ingredients in the Amino Acid complex are under dosed, some drastically so. Tyrosine, for example, has a recommended daily dose of 500-1000mg daily. You get 164mg from 2 Paks. Now, I understand the intent here is to support reaching daily values, not to provide the full daily dose, but does 20% of your daily dose of something like Tyrosine really make a difference?
Regardless, as was the case with Animal Pak Powder, it's the Vitamin and Enzyme complexes that are the MVPs for me.
Taste/Mixability/DosingEach pak is 11 hard-packed pills that range from small to relatively large. I'll admit, even for someone like me who generally has no issues with pills, this is still a LOT of swallowing (zing). It took me around 10 oz. of water to get down all of these pills, and I was generally dosing only one pak daily with dinner. No issues with odor or powder burps it's just a lot of pills.
If you struggle with pills - go get the powder.
EffectivenessIt's rather difficult to gauge a vitamin's effectiveness, but I knew I was taking the Pak. I absolutely felt a stronger sense of general health and wellness. Admittedly this feeling could be totally psychosomatic, but I did not get sick or have any sort of health issues while running this product. Both my kids came down with a small bug during the month I was running Animal Pak, and as usual I skated through unscathed. I haven't been sick in about a year, and when I ran the Animal Pak Powder I avoided the flu despite my entire family and half my office coming down with it. I have to think that's a testament to the effectiveness of this brand and this product.
One other note on effectiveness - the Pak doesn't fully replace a proper Digestive Enzyme. I didn't have quite the regularity that I do when I'm running that type of supplement, but I did notice a significant difference in my movements, even more so than I experienced while running the powder version (which is interesting given the digestive enzyme profile is identical). Again, although it may not fully cover a certain health aspect, the Pak assists and supports across the board.