An In-Depth Look at Universal Nutrition’s Animal Pak Multivitamin
Universal Nutrition is a brand of quality sports supplements that’s faced the test of time and come out stronger. Animal Pak, a unique and thorough multi-pill multivitamin supplement, is one of the brand’s best-selling products.
There’s one reason Animal Pak has become one of the most popular multivitamins for athletic people everywhere, and that’s because it works. It provides highly specialized formulas to support every facet of health in an active person’s life. But one of the first things you might notice upon researching Animal Pak is the lengthy list of active ingredients.
It's not unusual for us to commend a supplement company on a shortlist of ingredients. However, there are supplement categories where more can be better. But a long list of ingredients can be intimidating to health-conscious people. Are there scary, harmful ingredients in there? Let’s take an in-depth look at this multivitamin product and exactly how it works.
What is Animal Pak?
Universal Nutrition is the parent company of the brand Animal. Back in 1983, Animal created Animal Pak, the first multivitamin of its kind. Animal Pak is a one-of-a-kind, all-in-one, multi-pill multivitamin packet formulated to give active individuals support for their health and fitness goals with a multi-faceted approach.
This multivitamin formula provides:
- protein content
- vitamins and minerals
- amino acids
- digestive aids
- energy support
- athletic performance support
Each Animal Pak packet contains 11 capsules and pills, and while that sounds like a lot, they all feature a special coating for easy swallowing. This is a truly unique supplement that combines multiple supplements in one packet.
While you’re still likely to need additional protein support, if you want to save money and cut back on products, you can eliminate:
- antioxidant supplements
- pre-workout supplements
- greens powders
- energy drinks
The Original Animal Pak Multivitamin
The original product is the pill packet comprised of 11 different tablets. It’s an incredible product, but many people suffer from pill fatigue when they try to swallow too many capsules.
If you relate, don’t despair. Thankfully, Animal is a supplement company that puts innovation and problem-solving at the forefront of its operations, and it designed the same product in powder form.
Both options contain the same formula, so let’s dive into the many ingredients in this multivitamin.
The Animal Pak Ingredients:
We’ll take a look at every ingredient in a serving of Animal Pak - both the powder or the original pill packets. For convenience, we’ve sorted the ingredients by purpose.
The Macros in Animal Pak: Does Your Multivitamin Have Protein?
Typically, multivitamins do not have calorie or macronutrient information listed. This sets Animal Pak apart right off the back, as it has some nutritional content in these areas.
This is the only area you’ll find a difference between the pill and powder formulas, as the original Animal Pak contains (per serving):
- 40 calories
- 5 grams of carbohydrates
- 1.5 grams of fibre
- 2 grams of sugar
- 5 grams of protein
Powdered Animal Pak contains:
- 20 calories
- 3 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 grams of protein
Vitamins and Minerals in Animal Pak
Animal Pak is, first and foremost, a multivitamin supplement and, as such, it has various vitamins and minerals you’d see in other basic products.
The important vitamins and minerals that can be found in Animal Pak include:
- vitamin A
- vitamin C
- vitamin D
- vitamin E
- vitamin K
- vitamin B6
- vitamin B12
- pantothenic acid
Vitamin A is important for eye health, white blood cells, bone health, and cell growth. The recommended daily amount is 900 mcg for men and 700 mcg for women, with the upper limit being 3000 mcg. Animal Pak provides 1780 mcg.
Vitamin C is best known for its impact on immune functions. It also plays a role in wound healing, skin health, and free radical defense. The RDA for men is 90 mg and for women is 75 mg. However, many studies suggest much higher doses (up to 2000 mg) can be beneficial without being harmful. This multivitamin pack contains 1000 mg.
Vitamin D is another vitamin found in many multivitamin supplements. It’s essential for bone health, immune function, and much more. Adults require 15 mcg per day, and because it is fat-soluble, it’s important for one to be mindful of large doses. Animal Pak contains 100 mcg.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin as well, and its main function is to act as an antioxidant within the body to prevent damage from oxidative stress. The RDA is 15 mg daily for adults, with the upper limit being 1000 mg. Each pack contains 193 mg.
Vitamin K is most widely known for its impact on blood health, specifically blood clotting. If you’ve recently had a baby, you know that infants receive a vitamin K injection within hours of birth. Adults require at least 120 mcg per day, and Animal Pak contains exactly that.
Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is a water-soluble vitamin, as with the other B-complex vitamins. B1 is required for healthy cell growth and function and is required daily in amounts greater than 1.1 mg. This multivitamin pack contains 76 mg.
Riboflavin is vitamin B2, and it’s important for cell growth and energy production. It’s also involved in the metabolism of fats and medications. The RDA is 1.3 mg for men and 1.1 mg for women. Riboflavin doesn’t have an upper limit, as a toxic level has not been observed because the body excretes excess B2 in the urine. Animal Pak has 76 mg per serving.
Niacin, or vitamin B3, is another water-soluble vitamin excreted through the urine if too much is consumed. This B vitamin is responsible for converting nutrients from food to usable energy. This multivitamin pack contains 82 mg, and the daily RDA is 16 mg for men and 14 mg for women.
Vitamin B6 is sometimes called pyridoxine, and it is also involved in breaking down nutrients. The RDA is 1.3 mg and 1.2 mg for adult men and women, respectively. Animal Pak contains 80 mg per serving.
Folate is most widely known for its effect on reproductive help and fetal development for pregnancy, but it’s also important for adults. Folate or B9 is critical to DNA and RNA production. Adults need at least 400 mcg, and Animal Pak contains 680 mcg.
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is also important for DNA production and red blood cell health. Unfortunately, B12 is known as one of the only vitamins that are very difficult to get without eating animal products like meat and dairy. The multivitamin packs have 1000 mcg, and the RDA is at least 2.4 mcg per day.
Biotin is a vitamin you’ve likely heard about. It’s a common ingredient in supplements designed to support beauty. Biotin is also called vitamin B7, and along with supporting hair, skin, and nail health, it also helps break down macro ingredients in our foods. The RDA is 30 mcg, and Animal Pak contains 300 mcg.
Pantothenic Acid is vitamin B5. Like many B vitamins, B5 is involved in breaking down foods. The RDA is 5 mg daily, and this multivitamin contains 76 mg.
Choline is not a well-known micronutrient, but it is essential. Choline converts to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for muscle contractions, pain responses, and cognitive functions. Choline has a set Adequate Intake level instead of an RDA, and this level is 550 mg for adult men and 425 mg for adult women. Animal Pak vitamins contain 90 mg.
Phosphorus is a mineral, not a vitamin, and it’s essential for bone and teeth health and the health of the cell membrane. In addition, phosphorus is responsible for regulating nerve and muscle function. Adults require at least 700 mg per day, and this multivitamin contains 1500 mg.
Iodine is a trace mineral, needed in tiny amounts and essential for thyroid function. We need about 220 mcg daily, and Animal Pak has 150 mcg.
Magnesium is another essential mineral involved in regulating mood, promoting relaxation, and stress relief. It’s also involved in well over 300 functions in the body. Women need around 320 mg, and men need 420 mg. Each serving contains 400 mg.
Zinc is another trace mineral that makes a big impact on the body. It’s important for cell growth and DNA production and healing tissue and immune function. The RDA is 11 mg for men and 12 mg for women. Each serving contains 30 mg.
Selenium supports the cells against damage and infection and is involved in DNA production. We need about 55 mcg daily, and this multivitamin has 50 mcg per serving.
Copper is involved in making energy and supporting blood vessels and connective tissues in the body. We need about 1.6 mg per day, and each serving has 600 mcg.
Manganese is another mineral involved in hormones, connective tissues, bone health, and blood clotting. Manganese does not have a set RDA, but the Adequate Intake recommendation is between 1.8 and 2.3 mg. Animal Pak has 5 mg.
Chromium is very important for insulin’s function within the body. The AI is 35 mcg for men and 25 mcg for women. Each serving of Animal Pak has 100 mcg.
Potassium is a mineral that you probably know as an electrolyte. This is because it carries an electrical charge and is mainly involved in regulating optimal fluid levels in the cells. This multivitamin has 200 mg, and the AI is 2600 mcg for women and 3000 mcg for men.
As you can see, Animal Pak offers a complete profile of vitamins and minerals that stacks up to even the best-selling multivitamin. Next, we’ll talk about what sets this product apart and into a class of its own.
A Multivitamin with an Amino Acid Complex
We often refer to amino acids as the building blocks of protein. Humans need 20 various amino acids to function, 11 of which are nonessential (the body makes them) and 9 are essential (we need to eat them). Most amino acid products contain only the essentials, but there are benefits to consuming many of the nonessential amino acids as well.
The amino acids are another piece of support for active people, as they’re critical to the recovery after exercise.
The amino acids found in Animal Pak are:
- aspartic acid
- glutamic acid
Alanine is a nonessential amino acid. In addition to creating proteins, it provides muscles and the central nervous system with the required energy. There is 366 mg in this product.
Arginine is nonessential and involved in blood circulation and relaxing the blood vessels. Each serving has 265 mg.
Aspartic Acid is responsible for hormone production and regulation and nerve functions. Animal Pak has 460 mg per serving.
Cystine is involved in creatine cells for the immune system, connective tissues, skin, hair, and bones. A serving of Animal Pak has 79 mg.
Glutamic Acid turns into glutamate in the body and helps the brain and nerve cells communicate and, as such, is important for cognitive functions like learning and remembering. Each serving has 127 mg.
Glycine is responsible for cell health and growth, and it plays a role in the body’s antioxidant defenses. There is 562 mg of glycine in Animal Pak.
Glutamine makes up a large portion of the amino acid content in the body and is involved in the creation and regulation of other amino acids and of glucose. Animal Pak has 127 mg.
Histidine helps to grow and repair damaged tissues in the body and create blood cells. There is 90 mg of histidine in this product.
Isoleucine is one of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) with which you’re probably familiar. It plays a significant role in protein metabolism and also growth, immunity, and glucose transport. All the BCAAs are essential amino acids, and each serving has 220 mg of isoleucine.
Leucine is another BCAA essential to protein synthesis. Leucine is the BCAA most responsible for muscle fibre regeneration and growth, which is why it’s typically included in twice the amount of the other BCAAs. There is 416 mg in Animal Pak.
Lysine helps the body utilize calcium from the diet. It also helps to form collagen, the most abundant form of protein in the body. There is 395 mg in each serving.
Methionine, as with the other amino acids, helps form protein in the body. However, methionine also acts as an antioxidant in the body, protecting it from damaging free radicals. Each serving has 100 mg.
Phenylalanine helps produce neurotransmitters in addition to creating proteins. Animal Pak has 162 mg.
Proline is involved in collagen production. Collagen makes up the structure of many organs and systems within the body. Each serving has 419 mg.
Serine is involved with protein synthesis and cell metabolism. It also plays a role in immune health, and Animal Pak has 226 mg.
Threonine works to produce other amino acids and contributes to the elastic nature of connective tissues. There is 226 mg in Animal Pak.
Tryptophan creates serotonin and melatonin, making it vital for healthy sleep. Each serving has 70 mg.
Tyrosine is abundant in the body and produces hormones, melanin, and more. This product has 115 mg.
Valine is the third BCAA, and it helps regenerate and grow muscle fibres. It also provides energy for the muscles. Each serving has 241 mg.
Liver Support in Animal Pak
In addition to the various vitamins and minerals, this product is also designed to support healthy liver function. The liver is essential to normal body function as it is its biggest form of detoxification. It’s also important for digestion, filtration, storing various vitamins and minerals, and synthesizing proteins.
Animal Pak contains the following ingredients:
- milk thistle seed
- hawthorn berry
- red beet root
- turmeric root
Milk Thistle Seed has been used throughout history to support liver health and digestion.
Hawthorn Berry supports digestion and blood flow.
Red Beet Root is nutrient-rich and supports liver function, blood flow, and exercise performance.
Turmeric Root has many health benefits, including a profound impact on inflammation.
Performance Blend in Animal Pak for Pre-Workout
Another thing that sets this product apart is the performance blend. Among this list of ingredients are some you commonly find in pre-workout formulas. This means if you work out in the morning, your multivitamin can double as your pre-workout supplement.
The ingredients to support performance are:
- eleutherococcus senticosus
- para-aminobenzoix acid
- choline bitartrate
Eleutherococcus Senticosus, also known as Siberian ginseng, is used for adaptogenic properties, and it supports performance, focus, and memory.
L-Taurine is an aminoethanesulfonic acid commonly found in bile. This ingredient is used to support athletic performance and cardiovascular health.
Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA) is a naturally occurring chemical found in the human body and used to support skin health.
Choline Bitartrate is mentioned above. In addition to those factors, choline is also used to support athletic performance and improve mood and memory.
Inositol is a form of naturally occurring sugar in the body. It regulates the responses to various hormones related to mood and cognitive function.
Carnitine is commonly found in pre-workout supplements and is a compound that works to support the metabolism of fatty acids for energy.
Energy and Antioxidant Support in Multivitamin Form
Energy is another important piece of a pre-workout formula, and Animal Pak strategically introduces caffeine to support athletic performance, fat-burning potential, and increased energy levels. This supplement also offers antioxidant support, and while this isn’t necessarily a pre-workout factor, it is another part of the multi-faceted approach to supporting athletic people.
We know that exercise is essential and beneficial, but it also creates a stress response in the body resulting in oxidative damage. Therefore, antioxidant support is critical to limiting the damage done and supporting recovery.
The antioxidant contributors are:
- pine bark extract
- alpha lipoic acid
- grape seed extract
- coenzyme Q10
The ingredients that contribute to increased energy are:
- green tea leaf extract
- coffee bean extract
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid mentioned above. It produces various neurotransmitters that improve your mood and make you feel energized.
Green Tea Leaf Extract is extracted from green tea leaves and contains caffeine.
D-Glucuronolactone improves attention and athletic performance.
Coffee Bean Extract comes from black coffee beans and has caffeine content.
Digestive Magic in Animal Pak
Digestive support is the final piece to this all-in-one support product for athletes and active individuals. Digestion is a prominent part of health. We must be able to break down foods, extract the nutrients, and excrete the waste products.
However, your digestive health may be even more important than you realize, as there is a considerable link between digestion, immune function, and mental health. In this way, Animal Pak supports holistic wellness.
The following ingredients round out this incredible product:
- ginger root
- acid protease
- black pepper extract
Inulin is a prebiotic, which feeds the probiotic bacteria in your gut.
Ginger Root has various benefits but is used here to support digestion and relieve GI symptoms.
Bromelain is an enzyme that helps the body to digest proteins.
Acid Protease is another protein-digesting enzyme, reducing the chance that this multivitamin or any other protein product will cause digestive upset.
Papain is an enzyme extracted from the papaya plant, which also helps break down protein so it can be utilized.
Lipase is an enzyme that helps your body digest dietary fats.
Black Pepper Extract is used in many products because it increases how well the body can absorb and use various nutrients, especially-in this case- turmeric.
For some people, using a multivitamin can be intimidating in and of itself. But even if you don’t relate to that, when you look at the long list of ingredients in Animal Pak, you might find yourself overwhelmed and confused. We hope we’ve made the long list of thoughtful, beneficial ingredients easily digestible and less intimidating because if you’re an active person, Animal Pak might be a great option to support your goals.