The Good: Some good results. Big range of potentially good ingredients.
The Bad: Possible side effects. Odd dosages. Complicated proprietary formula- Impossible to track. Recommended mainly for veterans (5+ years experience w lifting and supplementation)
What is Animal Stak by Universal Nutrition?
Animal Stak is a well-known supplement in the body building industry, especially among gym veterans. It’s made by Universal Nutrition, which is a well known manufacturer, with a wide range of products.
Some veteran lifters believe Stak is good for a post cycle therapy regimen. We believe that Stak is decent as a natural test booster – but impossible to track ingredients unless you have practiced intuition as to how your body responds.
Experienced lifters (5 + years intensive training) will be pleased to know that users usually report some increases in strength and recovery. This is a seemingly complex product meant to increase and support both testosterone and growth hormone levels and output. It contains “anti-estrogenic ingredients, cortisol blockers, vasolidators, DHT blockers, and liver detoxification ingredients”.
However note that many of the ingredients are actually featured in other workout products, or in other “natty test boosters” a.k.a natural testosterone boosters .
Animal stak vs Stak 2?
Unlike many earlier reviews, this one is for “Animal Stak 2” – though the company just calls it Animal Stak again. The formula has been revamped and apparently improved.
The first Animal Stak did contain steroid substances that were not legal in many countries. This new version removes or replaces banned substances (pro hormones) . Click here to check out buying options on Amazon.
Some die-hard fans of the brand love its long-lived “garage” feel, street cred and reputation. Stak has been around for more than 10 years… But we have to note that in the end they are still a big corporation/business – and they do change their formula depending on their goals. Sorry guys, Animal is not God.
Ingredients: Whats inside Stak? How does Stak Work?
Here’s are ingredients contained in Animal Stak, and a basic explanation of why they were included:
But note that magnesium and zinc oxides are actually considered low quality versions of magnesium and zinc, not the best for toxicity or absorption.
Many of these are classic testosterone ingredients – some work more directly than others on testosterone, others are better for libido or stamina. Longjack and fenugreek tend to better for Testosterone; Tribulus is usually not effective unless standardized for Protodicesin (a type of natural steroid): Stak may have tried to do this, but there’s no way to tell for sure. At least this standardization is a good sign.
But a proprietary formula means that the company is not legally obliged to standardize or even include most of the ingredients! Other ingredients-complexes are better mainly as health support or “backup”. We’re guessing the Pro testosterone formula here is okay (or possibly even over-dosed for fenugreek- see below), but other “complexes” mentioned later are more obviously under dosed.
What Stak does is to throw in the entire “kitchen sink” of natural testosterone ingredients! Stak tends to use more testosterone ingredients than any other testosterone booster on the market: but most are clinically inaccurate or under-dosed– and that’s our best guess, as the complex proprietary blend makes it impossible to tell for sure.
Arginine alone is typically supplemented in much higher doses. And it tends to be slightly ineffective (Citrulline is better) This blend is likely under dosed or under-strength.
Mucuna Pruriens Extract, Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC). These ingredients help counter the mild depression (the “blahs”) and the reduced libido that often result from low testosterone. Alpha GPC is also good for alertness and focus.
Doses are likely low. Again we have to guess or hope that Universal is going for a “synergy” of smaller doses, rather than more accurate doses of fewer ingredients.
Some ingredients are questionable: the resveratrol dosage is likely under-dosed. It also tends to be insoluble when taken orally!
The DIM is likely inefficient – some studies show that DIM might even lower other androgenic (masculine or strength related factors). We think you will likely get better results for example from IC3 supplementation (eating vegetables like broccoli!) as DIM is a less effective metabolite of IC3.
How do Aromatase Inhibitors work?
These are usually used by veteran bodybuilders best after a cycle of pro hormones/anabolic steroids. (see below) There is usually an imbalance of hormones, which can take a long time to recover from – the duration of this vulnerable period leaves one open to bad side effects.
Nice that Stak has a restorative support complex: Meant to help for recovery or immunity. But this is again slightly underdosed: ALA typically uses dosages of 300 mg+ and Ashwagandha typically needs effective dosages of 300 mg + . Not likely that 500 mg of this support complex covers these ingredients well, with other ingredients besides.
Is Animal Stak good for Post Cycle Therapy?
Often, the body’s inability to produce testosterone post-cycle creates an artificial overload of estrogen – Yes this includes preventing bitch tits. (a.k.a “Gyno” symptoms) As well as water retention, high blood pressure and other issues. Including aromatase inhibitors for post cycle therapy is supposed to help bring ideal hormonal levels back much faster, by accelerating testosterone production.
But note that Animal Stak is nowhere as strong or powerful synthetic aromatase inhibitors like HCG or Clomid – so you should not ONLY use this, or ONLY use a natural test booster, for proper PCT after a synthetic/anabolic steroid cycle. In fact, as we note above: the aromatase inhibitor blend is likely under-dosed or ineffective!
So our estimate is that though Stak may increase testosterone, users will have an estrogen over-load if they try to use this for PCT. A possibly high dosage of fenugreek may even increase this estrogen further (fenugreek may be a mild DHT blocker, which increases estrogen as DHT is reduced). So even as testosterone increases and muscle is gained, there may also be a loss of strength, libido and other estrogenic side effects.
Basically if you are planning for various bulking and cutting cycles, and you may be on “gear” or other supplements – it really helps to know what you are doing in detail.
Bodybuilders: Who Should Not Use Anabolic Steroids?
Your natural testosterone is not likely to be low, and you are able to make good gains without gear. Also your hormones are still likely to be fluctuating, so cycling may very well mess up your endocrine system.
If you have not been lifting hard naturally for at least 5 years, you have a lot of natural potential left. It is best to exhaust as much of your natural potential before resorting to gear. By using too soon, you may be short changing yourself.
Animal Stak vs other Test boosters?
Actually, many natural testosterone ingredients already work as natural AIs, such as zinc, boron and Longjack. AIs in a natural test booster usually work in combination with many other ingredients – testosterone is actually produced in a cascade of reactions – from glands near the brain, travelling all the way down to your testes.
Inhibiting estrogen tends to increase Testosterone, which in turn tends to convert to/ or increase DHT – reducing cortisol also tends to increase testosterone – testosterone also triggers growth hormones… so actually most of the ingredients in Stak are classic test boosters, and meant to work together, despite the technical sounding jargon!
You should actually simply compare Stak to other natural test boosters: the question becomes whether it is effective overall, and whether you can control or track the dosages…
When you buy a proprietary formula, you have basically agreed to pay for a “secret” formula: the company can put anything inside, or change the formula at any time – and you have no way to hold them accountable.
We’ve heard of cases where proprietary formulas for test boosters were actually spiked with toxic doses of viagra or cialis: now we don’t think Universal is anywhere as evil, but you simply have no idea what is inside exactly, and you will find it tough to manage or reduce dosages if necessary.
We have not heard of major problems with Animal Stak – but like we said, this product is probably best for veteran lifters.
Animal Stak vs Animal Test?
Animal Test is another Universal Nutrition product, but with more of a “muscle” emphasis than Animal Stak. Click here for our comparison review
“How to use or take Animal Stak ?”
Animal Stak comes in an edgy animal looking tin, but opens up to show a number of bags of pills (which can be fearsome for casual users, as these look large and daunting). Hardcore, baby.
One advantage to Animal Stak is that you only need to take the pills according to the instructions provided – there’s no second-guessing what you should do. But keep in mind that you’ll be taking a large number of pills and you have to take them daily. You should take these pills 30 minutes before your workout. On your rest days, you should take them at night.
However, your body can adapt to the pills so you may get less effective results as time passes. Your kidneys and your liver may also be overloaded. That’s why you need to cycle your use of the supplement. You can take the pills for 3 weeks and then you have to stop for an entire week before you can begin another cycle.
Animal Stak vs M Stak – what’s the difference?
Animal M Stak is produced by the same company, and often lumped together as a combination: M Stak is actually meant to help lifters with difficulty at sticking points, or possibly “hardgainers”- those who have problems bulking up somehow.
Are there Side effects and Risks? Are results good?
Basically: you won’t notice a buzz like a pre workout formula, but you should notice increased strength and endurance during workouts, an extra rep or so in the first few weeks, gradually increasing into the months beyond. You should also notice increased libido and erections.
Some users on Amazon do report stimulatory effects 30-40 minutes after taking though, so you may want to be careful using this in the evenings. Some users also report good results for body recomposition – though again we will note that proper recomp programs are usually meant for advanced lifters. That means improved vascular-ity and definition.
Some reports of side effects are of oily skin or acne – or occasional ineffectiveness. We mentioned above that there may be estrogenic side effects, but its more likely that Stak is slightly under-dosed.
To minimize dangers and risks: in addition to the above instructions from the label – we strongly suggest that after 2 months of continuous use, you stay off Stak for at least 4-5 weeks straight. This gives your system and hormones time to adjust, and minimizes long term risk.
How much is Stak? Where can I buy Animal Stak?
For best results, Stak should be bought with at least two cans and plan on doing a 8 week cycle (with a week off in between cans). There are 21 packs per can, which allows you to take it for 3 weeks, plus one week for recovery before starting your next can.
VerdictStak has generally good effects, though not quite the best for us. We found this not easy to combine with other supplements throughout the day. Or if there were minor side effects, we found this tough to track results, or to adapt the dosage. You have to go by finer instincts.
Compared to other better boosters, Stak uses a “kitchen sink” approach – dozens of good ingredients, but in odd doses and combinations.
If you are an advanced lifter (generally 5 + years of focused training), you might want to try this as an experiment. But if you are just looking for a standalone natural test booster, or all-round hormone “modulator” for health and strength – there are other simpler, effective options (click here), even if they seem less muscle-oriented or flashy.