What Multivitamin is best for you? Opti-Men VS Animal Pak Multivitamins can be a dime a dozen and there really
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What Multivitamin is best for you? Opti-Men VS Animal Pak
Multivitamins can be a dime a dozen and there really can be dozens. With so many options, how do you choose between two? That’s what we’re going to help you do in this post! In this blog, we’re going to go over how Opti-Men VS Animal Pak. Two multivitamins that are consistently popular for athletes worldwide.
What is Opti-Men And Animal Pak?
As you can probably guess, both Opti-Men and Animal Pak are multivitamins. However, unlike most over-the-counter multivitamins, these are targeted for athletes. In general, multivitamins are great “safety nets” for nutrition requirements. Meaning, if your diet isn’t providing you all the vitamins, minerals, and/or other nutritional requirements, a multivitamin can help bring you back to baseline. (1) What make’s Opti-Men and Animal Pak an athletic multivitamin is the additional complexes within their formulas, like their amino acids blend.
Now it’s time for the important stuff, what makes these products similar. Both labels are large and feature multiple complexes. But, both Opti-Men and Animal Pak feature:
- A Vitamin & Mineral Blend
- An Amino Acid Blend
- Digestive Enzymes
Both products also have some shared ingredients that aren’t directly within a blend, but we’ll go through them as they come up!
First up, let’s go over the shared vitamins and minerals and compare their dosages.
Opti-Men VS Animal Pak: Vitamins
As you can see on the labels, the dosages on for Opti-Men are entirely metric (mcg and mg). But on Animal Pak there’s a mix between mcg, mg, and IU. We’ll be converting these dosages as we go and comparing them to the RDA (recommended daily allowance). The RDA is a recommended value for men and women (and children) to avoid nutritional deficiencies. (2)
Our first vitamin is vitamin A. Vitamin A is beneficial for boosting immunity, maintaining healthy vision, and plays a key role in essential body systems like the cardiovascular system.(3)
In Opti-Men, the vitamin A is seen as beta carotene and mixed carotenoids and sourced from beta carotene, alpha carotene in Animal Pak. However, Opti-Men contains 3000 mcg of vitamin A and Animal Pak contains 9900IU. When you convert the IU to mcg, Animal Pak is just under, containing around 2970 mcg.
So what’s the RDA?
The RDA for vitamin A is actually significantly lower than both dosages, around 700 mcg for women and 900 mcg for men. (3) This leaves the question, is more better in the case of Vitamin A?
The answer is not necessarily. While dosages up to 3000 mcg is considered safe, it likely isn’t needed for optimal health and bone density. (4) There are some potential side effects with overconsumption of vitamin A due to it being a fat soluble vitamin. This can include discoloration of the skin from the due to carotenoids or some more severe effects like liver damage. Because of these risks, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin A based on what your body needs. (4)
Unlike vitamin A, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Meaning it does dissolve in water and is not stored by the body. Because of this, you can consume larger doses of vitamin C (or other water-soluble vitamins) without a risk of side effects. (5) And there are definitely some large doses of vitamin C in both multivitamins. In Opti-Men there 300 mg, while Animal Pak has around 1g.
Vitamin C is beneficial for a bunch of things like potentially reducing the risk of the common cold and maintaining skin and tissue health. It also does play a role in strengthening bones and teeth. But the RDA again is significantly lower, for men the RDA is 90mg and for women it’s 75 mg. (6)
Again, because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, it isn’t likely to be harmful, but there are still some side effects from large doses like, diarrhea, nausea, headaches, and others. (7)
Vitamin D, like vitamin A, is a fat-soluble vitamin. While a deficiency is very common, especially for individuals who stay indoors and don’t get enough ultraviolet (UV) light, there are also food sources such as fish, and fortified sources. Vitamin D is important for many functions including, immune functions, nervous system, bone health, and regulating minerals such as calcium. (8)
In Opti-Men there is 37.5 mcg, whereas Animal Pak has 680IU or 17 mcg. However, the RDA for vitamin D is 15 mcg or 600IU for adults under 70. For this vitamin, only Opti-Men is significantly above the RDA.
Just like with vitamin A, you want to be mindful of how much vitamin D you’re taking and what your body actually needs. Because vitamin D is stored in the body, you may benefit from taking your multivitamin a couple of times a week rather than daily. Additionally, overconsumption of vitamin D can lead to some side effects like build up of calcium in the blood. (9)
Vitamin E is an important vitamin for vision, organ function, as well as preventive care for illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and liver disease. Opti-men contains 160 mg of vitamin E, while Animal Pak contains 300IU or 201 mg. However, the RDA for adults is only 15 mgs daily. Again if you’re taking the full dosage of either product you may want to limit how often you’re consuming it. In the example of vitamin E, a week’s supply of the RDA is 105 mg. (10)
Vitamin E, especially at high dosages, can interact with illnesses you may already have such as bleeding disorders and diabetes. Because of this you may want to consult your doctor before taking vitamin E. (10)
The next 8 vitamins are all B vitamins or Vitamin B complex. Our first B vitamin, thiamin, aids the body in producing cellular energy from nutrients and helps promote cell function. A deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. In Opti-Men 75 mg of thiamin, whereas Animal Pak has 76 mg.
Because thiamin is water-soluble, what your body doesn’t need will likely be excreted. With that said, the RDA is 1.1-1.2 mg. Significantly different. However, there is a lack of research and evidence to clarify any adverse effects from large doses of this vitamin. (11)
Similar to thiamin, riboflavin or B2 is important for cellular function and energy production. It’s also important for the breakdown of fats, steroids, and medication. Because riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin, excess intake is excreted from the body.
Although the RDA is 1.1-1.3 mg, an upper limit has not yet been established and is generally considered safe. This is due to adverse effects not being reported from high riboflavin intakes from foods or supplements (400 mg/day for at least 3 months). Opti-Men currently contains 75 mg of riboflavin and Animal Pak contains 76 mg. (12)
Unlike B1 and B2, niacin or B3, is found in a bunch of supplements outside of multivitamins. This includes fat burners, pre workouts and even amino supplements. Niacin plays an important role in the body. In fact, over 400 enzymes are dependent on it for various reactions (13). Despite this, the RDA for niacin is 14-16 mg. Meanwhile, Opti-Men contains 75 mg and Animal Pak has 82 mg.
Unlike the previous B vitamins we’ve gone over, niacin does have an established Tolerable Upper Limit (UL), this is 35 mg. However, niacin is a water-soluble vitamin and the excess will be excreted. One known adverse effect from excess niacin is a flush appears to skin, which may be accompanied by a burning, tingling, and itchy sensation. (14) For anyone who’s taken beta alanine, this effect is very similar to the paranesthesia tingling sensation.
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine plays an important role as a coenzyme for more than 100 enzymes. These functions can include breakdown of nutrients, maintenance of homocysteine levels, and even supporting the immune system and brain. With all these important functions, the RDA is only 1.3-2.0 mg.
However, Opti-Men contains about 50 mg of B6 and Animal Pak contains 180 mg. Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, like the other B-vitamins, so excess is excreted. The tolerable upper intake level for B6 is 100 mg, however studies found no adverse effects on a dose of 200 mg daily for 5 years. (15)
Folate is actually the natural form of vitamin B9. Whereas, folic acid is the form commonly used in supplement and it may be better absorbed by the body than food sources. Folate is important for aiding in forming DNA and RNA, and protein metabolism. It is also necessary for producing red blood cells and is critical during periods of rapid growth (i.e., pregnancy).
The RDA for folate is 400 mcg, which is actually the same as the dosage in Animal Pak. Whereas, the UL is 1000 mcg, the same dosage in Opti-Men. Some studies suggest that large doses of folic acid may negatively impact the immune system, along with “mask” vitamin B12 deficiency. (16)
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is naturally found in animal foods like red meat. It’s needed in the body to form red blood cells and DNA. While also playing a key role in function and development of the brain and nerve cells. In order for the body to absorb B12, it first is binded to the protein we eat, then unbinded in the stomach.
This is where B12 is in its free form and combines with a protein called intrinsic factor. So while supplements tend to have dosages way above the RDA (2.4 mcg), this is not necessarily the amount absorbed. As you need ample intrinsic factor to absorb the B12. There are 100 mcg of B12 in Opti-Men and 50 mcg in Animal Pak. (17)
Biotin or B7 is a water-soluble vitamin that is vital for assisting in the breakdown of food nutrients. However, there is not enough research on biotin to establish a RDA. Instead, biotin has an AI or adequate intake level, which is suggested at 30 mcg. Both Opti-Men and Animal Pak have 300 mcg of biotin. At this point, there have been no adverse side effects associated with high levels of biotin. (18)
Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, is our last of the B vitamins. It’s needed to make coenzyme A, which helps enzymes to build and breakdown fatty acids as well as perform metabolic functions. Although the RDA for B5 is 5mg, there has not been a toxic level discovered. So high levels of is considered safe. Opti-Men contains 75 mg of B5 and Animal Pak contains 76mg. (19)
Our first mineral is calcium, which is needed for numerous functions, such as building and maintaining bones and teeth, blood clotting, the transmission of nerve impulses, and regulation of the heart’s rhythm. Despite the necessity of calcium, there has yet to be an established daily value for it.
But, the National Academy of Sciences recommends adults over the age of 19 to take around 1,200 mg or 1.2 g. Opti-Men currently contains 50mg of calcium. So if you shouldn’t rely on this multivitamin solely for your calcium content. Whereas Animal Pak contains 2 g of calcium, which is the UL. (20)
Iodine is an essential trace element. It is needed to promote function in the thyroid, which regulates many important biochemical reactions, including protein synthesis and enzymatic activity, and are critical determinants of metabolic activity. The RDA for iodine is 150 mcg, this is also the amount of iodine in both products. (21)
Magnesium is our first mineral. It’s essential for various chemical reactions in the body, such as regulating blood sugar, blood pressure, and even nerve functions. The RDA for magnesium is 320-420 mg (from food) and the UL is 350 mg (from supplements). Whereas Opti-Men contains 80 mg and Animal Pak contains 400 mg. Toxicity from magnesium is rare, however if you have kidney disease, you may have an increased risk. (22)
Zinc is a trace mineral with essential roles for almost 100 enzymes to carry reactions. It is also a key player in DNA, repairing damaged tissue, and supporting the immune system. The RDA for zinc is 8-11 mg, whereas the UL is 40 mg. Opti-Men contains 15 mg and Animal Pak contains 30 mg. (23)
Like zinc, selenium is a trace mineral, meaning our bodies need very little of it. Selenium is a necessary component of various enzymes and proteins that help make DNA and protect against cell damage and infections. The RDA is 55 mcg for men and women and the UL is 400 mcg. Opti-Men contains about 200 mcg of selenium, while Animal Pak contains 50 mcg. (24)
Our next essential mineral is copper. Copper is involved in the forming of red blood cells, bones, connective tissue, and enzymes. The RDA for copper is 900 mcg or .9 mg and the UL is 10,000 mcg or 10mg. In Opti-Men there is 2 mg or 2,000 mcg of copper and in Animal Pak there is 600 mcg. (25)
Manganese is another essential mineral that’s involved in extensive processes, like processing cholesterol. It’s also a cofactor for many enzymes. The RDA for it is 1.8 to 2.3 mg and the UL is 11mg. Opti-Men contains 2 mg of manganese, while Animal Pak contains 5 mg. (26)
Chromium is another trace mineral. While we don’t need much chromium daily (the RDA is 25-35 mcg), there has been no established UL. Chromium may enhance the action of insulin and may be involved in the metabolism of nutrients. In Opti-Men there’s 120 mcg of chromium and in Animal Pak there’s 60 mcg. (27)
Now we’re going to go over the difference within this section of the label. Starting with Opti-Men.
Opti-Men contains vitamin K, which is not in Animal Pak. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble that’s available in two forms: phylloquinone and menaquinones. Phylloquinone is found in green leafy vegetables, while menaquinones is found in animal foods, fermented foods, and can be produced by bacteria in the body.
Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and building bones. Although there is vitamin K in many systems of the body, it is quickly broken down and excreted, so it rarely reaches toxic levels. Because of this there is no RDA or UL. However, there is an AI of 90-120 mcg. Opti-Men contains 75mcg of vitamin K. (28)
Our next ingredient is molybdenum, a trace mineral. Molybdenum like other minerals is a cofactor for important enzymes, which are involved in processing sulfites and breaking down waste products. Because molybdenum is a trace mineral, our bodies don’t require a lot of it.
The RDA for molybdenum is 45 mcg, while in Opti-Men there’s 80 mcg. Although molybdenum is excreted from the body quickly, there is a UL of 2,000 mcg. However, in healthy people, high consumption of it should not pose a health risk. (29)
Our last ingredient from the vitamins and minerals section in Opti-men is sodium or salt. The body requires a specific amount of sodium to conduct nerve impulses and relax muscle, and maintain the balance between hydration and mineral content in the body.
Finally in Animal Pak, we only have two different ingredients: Phosphorus and Potassium.
Phosphorus is another essential mineral. It’s an essential component of bones, teeth, DNA, and cell membranes. The RDA for phosphorus is 700 mg, while Animal Pak contains 1,330 mg. There are studies that indicate over 1,000 mg of phosphorus may result in adverse effects, but other studies found no link. Either way the UL for phosphorus is 3,000 mg to 4,000 mg. (32)
Potassium, an essential mineral, is needed by all tissues in the body. It serves several functions, like being an electrolyte, maintaining hydration of cells, and aiding in muscle contraction and supporting blood pressure. It’s functions are similar to sodium. The RDA for potassium is 2,320-3,016 mg. Animal Pak currently contains 200 mg. (33)
What’s The Same: All Other Blends
Both Opti-Men and Animal Pak are sports multi-vitamins. With this, there are a ton of other ingredients and blends to go towards overall well being than just the vitamins and minerals. Opti-Men contains: An Amino Men Blend, Phyto Men Blend, Viri Men Blend, and Enzyme Blend. While Animal Pak contains: An Amino Acid Complex, Performance Complex, Antioxidant Complex, and Digestive Enzyme Complex. Although some of the blends and complexes sound similar, their ingredient profiles are quite different.
Arginine is one of 20 amino acids and is considered semi-essential. What it does is synthesize nitric oxide, which helps your blood vessels expand. This increases your blood flow. As a result, it’s often used to help treat angina, coronary artery disease, and clogged arteries. (34) In sports, arginine may be used to increase vascularity and pump, so it’s common to see it used in pre workouts. Animal Pak currently contains 1,213 mg, however, in Opti-Men, arginine is in a proprietary blend. Meaning we cant be sure of the amount in it. Dosage range for arginine varies depending on what you’re hoping to use it for. Ranges can vary from 1.5 grams to 6 grams or more (if advised by a doctor). (35)
Our next amino acid is Cysteine. When consumed, your body converts the cysteine to glutathione, an antioxidant. Antioxidants fight off free radicals that cause damage to cell membranes and DNA. It also may be beneficial for treating respiratory conditions. It should be noted that cysteine can react with some medication and is not safe at a dose of 7 grams or more. Additionally, there are forms that are considered toxic and should be avoided: (36)
Animal Pak currently contains 110 mg, but we can’t know how much is in Opti-Men due to the proprietary blend.
Glutamine is considered a conditionally essential amino acid and is only really considered essential during periods of disease. It is found in meats and eggs as well as protein like whey and casein. It is often used for building and repairing muscle, but there isn’t much research that supports these uses. Glutamine is often supplemented at high doses of 20-30 grams, but in Animal Pak there is only 174 mg and Opti-Men has a glutamine in a blend. (37)
Isoleucine is part of the 3 branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). It plays a role in muscle metabolism, including building and repairing muscle. Isoleucine is an essential amino acid, so you need to consume it from food or supplements. The current recommendation of isoleucine for adults is around 13 mg daily. However, for muscle growth, it is common to see isoleucine in a BCAA supplement dosed in a 2:1:1 ratio with leucine and valine. In Animal Pak there is 284 mg, while Opti-Men has isoleucine in a blend. (38,39)
Leucine is our next branched-chain amino acid. Similarly to isoleucine, leucine contributes to protein synthesis and muscle repair. The current recommendation for Leucine is 19 mg, whereas there is 509 mg in Animal Pak. (39,40)
Lysine is not a branched-chain amino acid, but it does play a role in protein synthesis. It also helps hormone and enzyme production, and other functions. The current recommendation of lysine is 16mg for adults daily; Animal Pak contains 418 mg. (39,41)
Threonine is a critical amino acid for structural protein like collagen, which is an important component of skin and connective tissue. It also is important for fat metabolism and immune function. The daily recommendation for threonine 9 mg, while Animal Pak 283 mg. (39,42)
Valine is our last of the branched-chain amino acids and our last shared amino acid between the products. And like the other two, valine helps stimulate muscle growth and repair, as well as energy production. Animal Pak currently contains 289 mg, and the recommendation daily intake for adults is 13 mg. (39,43)
Because Animal Pak features an almost entirely disclosed label, we will be continuing the comparison by following it’s label. This takes us to the Performance Complex, and our first ingredient is Choline.
Choline is a precursor for acetylcholine, phospholipids, and the methyl donor betaine. As a result, it serves a wide range of functions from cell structure to supporting the nervous system. It’s recommended to have between 425 mg to 550 mg daily. However, at doses of over 1000 mg choline may aid in improving and preventing age-related memory problems in older adults. There is 250 mg of choline in Animal Pak and 10 mg in Opti-Men. (44)
Inositol is a type of sugar that serves several functions, including a structural role in your body’s cell membranes. It’s benefits can range from aiding in anxiety disorders like panic disorder to benefiting metabolic syndrome risk factors, and may even help prevent gestational diabetes. However, more research is needed overall. There is currently no established recommended intake for inositol; depending on the usage, different values may be more beneficial. In Animal Pak there is 125 mg, while Opti-Men contains 10 mg. (45,46,47)
Para-aminobenzoic Acid (PABA) is a chemical found in folic acid. However, it is not a vitamin. PABA is often used for preventive care of skin conditions and can even be found in sunscreen. There is no defined RDA or AI PABA, but it is recommended to not take in large doses. There is 400 mg in Animal Pak and 10 mg in Opti-Men. (48)
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid is a natural antioxidant. It’s benefits range from its properties as an antioxidant to aiding in slowing down progression of memory loss related to aging, and even weight loss. It is generally recommended to have between 300-600 mg of ALA for these benefits. Animal Pak currently contains 100 mg of ALA, while Opti-Men contains 25 mg. (49,50)
Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract is rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent disease and protect against oxidative stress, tissue damage, and inflammation; among other benefits. Grape seed extract generally taken at dosages between 100-2,000 mg for these benefits. Animal Pak contains 50 mg of grape seed extract and Opti-Men contains grape seed extract within a blend. (51)
Lutein is an antioxidant like grape seed extract, so similarly it can help protect your cells from oxidative damage. Additionally, it may help improve or reduce the progression of eye conditions. The dietary reference intake (DRI) for lutein is between 1-20 mg. In Animal Pak, there’s 1 mg of lutein, while Opti-Men has 500 mcg.
Lycopene is our last shared antioxidant, so it shares benefits with the other antioxidants in each product. As well as, help reduce the feeling of pain and benefit your eyes, brain, and bones. Although there is no recommended daily intake for lycopene, studies indicate dosages between 8-21 mg per day are the most beneficial. There is currently 1 mg of lycopene in Animal Pak and 500 mcg in Opti-Men. (52)
Although bromelain isn’t an antioxidant it shares some of the benefits you can expect from an antioxidant: such as its anti-inflammatory, anticancer activity and immunomodulatory effects,and a wound healing and circulatory improvement agent. Additionally, bromelain can be used as a digestive enzyme to help treat gastrointestinal issues. There is currently no set DRI for bromelain, but it is recommended to keep dosages below 1,000 mg. There is 100 mg in Animal Pak and Opti-Men currently has bromelain in a blend. (53)
Lipase is considered a pancreatic enzyme or digestive enzyme. It works by breaking down fat molecules so they can be absorbed and used by the body. Because it is a digestive enzyme the recommended intake for lipase is in units of bioavailability/activity. Whereas in Animal Pak and Opti-Men the lipase is indicated by mg, which is a measurement of mass. This measurement does not indicate the activity level of lipase for these products. However, it is generally recommended to stay below 10,000 units per day per 2.2 lbs. In Animal Pak there is 10 mg of lipase and it is in a blend for Opti-Men. (54,55)
Now we’re going to go over the difference within these sections of the label. Starting with Opti-Men.
Phyto Men Blend
Within the Phyto Men Blend there are plant powders and antioxidants, like the grape seed extract. As a whole this blend is 100 mg and contains:
- Green Tea Powder
- Hesperidin Complex
- Deodorized Garlic Powder
- Fruit Blend
- Vegetable Blend
This blend is intended to boost overall well being. However, because the blend is a proprietary blend, we cannot determine the individual doses of ingredients in the blend. Please note that because there are both fruit and vegetable ingredients, individuals with allergies should review the label closely.
Viri Men Blend
The Viri Men Blend contains 50 mg as a total for the following ingredients.
- Saw Palmetto Extract
- Damiana Extract
- Panax Ginseng Extract
- Ginkgo Biloba Powdered Extract
- Nettles Powdered Extract
- Pumpkin Extract
- Raw Oyster Concentrate
These are a bunch of ingredients in Opti Men specifically for men. Two key ingredients in this complex that are Saw Palmetto and Raw Oyster Concentrate. Saw Palmetto is a great herb used to block DHT which causes enlarged prostates. Raw Oyster Concentrate is included for sexual health. (56,57)
Similarly, Damiana Extract may also promote blood flow and aid in sexual health. (58) Panax Ginseng is a slow-growing root that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. Studies suggest ginseng could help improve cognitive functions like memory, social functioning, and mood.(59)
Ginkgo Biloba features terpenes and glycosides, this formation promotes an increase in blood flow in the brain, which may result in a reduction in cognitive decline.† Nettles Powdered Extract or Stinging Nettle Leaf Powdered Extract may aid in reducing inflammation and may also aid in reducing prostate size. (60,61) As well as pumpkin extract (62).
Our last blend in Opti-Men is the Enzyme blend. The only remaining ingredient from this blend is the Alpha Amylase, which may aid in food digestion.†
Our final ingredient in Opti-Men is boron. Boron is a trace mineral that may aid in the growth and maintenance of bones, can aid in improving wound healing, and even improve brain function. (63)
Amino Acid Complex
Animal Pak contains an additional 10 amino acids that Opti-Men doesn’t have. This will help give the edge in performance and recovery.
- Aspartic Acid
- Glutamic Acid
This blend is a mix of amino acids that can aid in a range of benefits such as improving endurance, recovery, and more.
Alanine or beta alanine is a popular ingredient for pre workouts. That’s because the benefits of beta alanine aid your power output. Alanine can help buffer away lactic acid build-up, which is associated with the “burn” effect of training a muscle. For these benefits, you would need around 2-5 grams of beta alanine. However, here, there is only 279 mg. So it won’t replace a pre workout, but you shouldn’t experience the tingling sensation often associated with beta alanine. (64)
Aspartic acid comes in two forms L- or D-aspartic acid. In Animal Pak, it’s not disclosed what form of aspartic acid is in the formula. L-aspartic acid is used to build proteins, while D-aspartic acid plays a role in making and releasing hormones, like testosterone.† There is 498 mg of aspartic acid in Animal Pak.
Glutamic acid can be found throughout human tissues as well as throughout human cells. It’s involved in the formation of proteins and can aid nerves cells in the brain send and receive information from other cells. Glutamic acid becomes glutamate in the body. Small doses of glutamate may aid in enhancing neural sympathetic activity. (65) There is 653 mg of glutamic acid in Animal Pak.
Glycine, in addition to being an amino acid, is used by the body to make glutathione (an antioxidant) and is a component of creatine and collagen. Dosages for glycine can range from 3-15 grams. However, in Animal Pak, there is only 180 mg. (66)
Histidine is a protein in the body that may be beneficial for easing joint swelling. It is generally taken at doses between 4-5 grams for this benefit, here, there is 92 mgs. (67)
Methionine is an important amino acid for creating other molecules like cysteine, glutathione, and even creatine. The daily recommended intake of methionine plus cysteine is 8.6 mg/lb per day for adults. In Animal Pak there is 125 mg. (68)
Phenylalanine is an amino acid that is converted into tyrosine or the monoamine neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and epinephrine (adrenaline). This amino acid may aid in cognition including boosting mood. (69) Dosages of L-Phenylalanine can range. In one study, a max dose of 2,500 mg was used, but others range between 50 to 100mg. (70)
Proline is actually an imino acid, which is similar to an amino acid. It’s used by the body to aid in forming collagen, regenerating cartilage, and even repairing skin damage. There is 203mg of Proline in Animal Pak. (71)
Serine is a non-essential amino acid that is formed from glycine. This amino acid is important for mental and physical, with an especially important role in the central nervous system and brain. Animal Pak contains 250 mg of serine. (72)
Tryptophan is essential for metabolic functions, where its principal role is as a component of protein synthesis. It is also a precursor of two metabolic pathways, kynurenine synthesis and serotonin synthesis. The RDA for Tryptophan 250-425 mg, while Animal Pak contains 81 mg. (73)
Tyrosine is an amino acid produced by phenylalanine. It is used by the body to produce several other substances including dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and melanin. Tyrosine is a common ingredient in energy drinks and pre workouts. This is because of its potential to improve memory and performance. (74)
- Uni-Liver Blend (Liver, Beef Protein Isolate)
- Eleutherococcus Senticosus
- Milk Thistle
- Pyridoxine Alpha Ketoglutarate
Finally, we’ll be going over the performance complex. Our first set of ingredients is a blend (Uni-Liver Blend) of liver and beef protein isolate. This blend can support muscle growth and repair. (75) There is 4230 mg of this blend.
Next we have carnitine, which plays an important role in producing energy and transporting fatty acids into your cells’ mitochondria. (76) There is 25 mg in this complex.
Similar to the Panax Ginseng in Opti-Men, Animal Pak contains Eleutherococcus Senticosus or Siberian Ginseng. However, Siberian ginseng is an adaptogen that is beneficial for over health and wellbeing instead of cognitive health. But, some studies indicate that it may benefit mental alertness. (77) There is 1750 mg in this complex.
Hawthorn or hawthorn berries are full of antioxidants. This adds into some of its benefits including its anti-inflammatory properties and lowering blood pressure. But it also may aid in digestion, reducing cholesterol and even heart health. (78,79,80)
Our last ingredient in this blend is Milk Thistle, which can be beneficial for promoting liver health. This is why it is commonly used in Post Cycle Therapies (PCTs). (81)
- Citrus Bioflavonoids
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- Pine Bark Extract
Our first ingredient in the Antioxidant blend is Citrus Bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids refer to a group of polyphenolic plant compounds, called flavonoids. These flavonoids are antioxidants, which aid in fighting off free radicals and oxidative stress. (82) The suggested dosage for citrus bioflavonoids is around 500 mg†, but here there is 1,000 mg.
Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring nutrient in the body that acts as an antioxidant. But, it also plays a role in metabolism, ATP production, can help prevent headaches and improve exercise performance. (83,84) There currently is no specific dosage for CoQ10, the range suggested for use is from 50 to 1,200 mg†, in this blend, there is 5 mg.
Research suggests Pine Extract may be effective at reducing effects related to oxidative stress. This includes muscle soreness and damage (85). The recommended doses seem to range from 20 mg to 200 mg, † in here, there is 200 mg.
Lastly, we have kelp which is considered a superfood. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals to aid in prevention of illness and disease and may even aid in weight loss. (86,87) There is currently no recommendation for kelp, but there is 10 mg in this complex.
Digestive Enzyme Complex
- Acid Protease
Our last two ingredients are Insulin and Acid Protease, which may aid in digestion and even reduce inflammation. † There is currently 250 mg of Insulin and 64 mg of Acid Protease in Animal Pak.
Do Men And Women Need Different Vitamins or Minerals?
While both men and women have the same basic requirements for vitamins and minerals, there can be variation in how much of each vitamin is required per sex. For example, pregnant women or women who could be pregnant need to be getting a minimum of 400 mcg of folic acid. And throughout life your need for vitamins may change. Post menopausal women tend to lose bone density faster than men. Because of this, it is recommended that after menopause women take additional calcium, vitamin D, and sometimes B12. (88)
What Vitamins Provide Energy?
While vitamin B12 is famed for its role in energy production, it’s not alone. All the B vitamins except folate (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B9 and B12), vitamin c, and even some minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc play a role in how our bodies produce energy. Adequate supply of all these vitamins and minerals are required for appropriate functioning of the energy-production system. (89)
Why Do Multivitamins Make Urine Yellow?
This reaction is likely the cause of surplus B complex vitamins. If you can remember during our review of vitamins, B complex vitamins are water soluble. Meaning if you consume more than your body needs, it will be excreted by forms of urine or even sweat. Specifically, vitamin B2 or riboflavin is known for this effect. (90)
Do Multivitamins Break a Fast?
The short answer here is no. Multivitamins do not break fast because they are mostly calorie-free. However, if your multivitamin contains amino acids and protein like in the case of Opti-Men and Animal Pak, there may be some calories. Therefore these multivitamins would break your fast.†
If you are on an intermittent fasting diet, you may want to wait to take your multivitamins later in the day. In animal pak, they disclose that there is 40 calories per serving. Opti-Men does not disclose a calorie value but it it likely very small. For example, 1 gram of BCAAs has around 4 calories. and in their Amino Man Blend the entire mix of amino acids is 1 gram.†
Do Multivitamins Affect Hormone Balance?
Yes! In fact, different hormones can be affected by different vitamins and minerals. For example, there is evidence that B vitamins 6,9, and 12 may have a positive effect on mood and stress. This is associated with cortisol secretion (the fight-or-flight stress hormone). But there can also be negative effects. There are studies linking high dietary intake of certain nutrients like folic acid and progression of lesions and tumors. What this really means is that everything should come at a balance. The best way to figure out what your body needs is to see a doctor and get a blood test done. (91,92)
Can Multivitamins Help Acne?
For anyone fighting acne, you know that there isn’t always a cookie cutter answer. But, there are ways that multivitamins can aid in your fight. Vitamin A , for example, can be a potential solution topically. It’s important to note that oral vitamin A has not resulted in the same benefits. Zinc however, may be a solution that can be taken orally. Zinc may be able to reduce oil production in skin and may protect against bacterial infection and inflammation. Some studies also looked into vitamin E but this relationship is not as well understood. (93,94,95)
Can Vitamin Deficiencies Affect Sleep?
This is actually a growing topic in research. There is strong evidence that vitamin D may affect how much sleep we get and the quality of the sleep we get. There is also evidence that vitamin B6 deficiencies may promote psychological distress and sleep disturbance. Additionally a deficiency in iron may be related to restless leg syndrome. Overall, if you’re struggling to sleep or stay asleep you may want to look at your diet and dietary intake of vitamins and minerals. (96,97)
What’s The Difference Between a Sport’s Multivitamin And a Daily Multivitamin?
The difference here may be clearer than you think. With the assumption that an individual taking a sport’s multivitamin is participating in more physical activity than others, their bodies may require more nutritional support. So formula wise you may see larger dosages than generally recommended and even larger formulas. In a daily multivitamin, you will generally see a list of vitamins and minerals, but that’s it. Whereas a sport multivitamin may include other blends to promote recovery, performance, digestion, and overall wellness. (98,99,100)
Closing: Opti-Men VS Animal Pak
Whether or not you may benefit from a sport’s multivitamin or daily multivitamin depends on your diet. If you’re getting all the nutrients you need from food, you may not need a multivitamin at all, but if you know you avoid certain food groups for whatever reason, you may be lacking in a vitamin or mineral. But, again the best way to be sure is to follow up with your doctor. This wraps up our post on Opti-Men VS Animal Pak. Thank you for reading! And of course if you have any questions or have an idea for another post, you can send us an email here!
†The intention of the information provided is for reference only and we are in no way providing medical advice or instruction. The information provided in this post is based on anecdotal information and available studies/reviews. While it is our goal to maintain and display accurate information, we can’t guarantee it represents the latest formulation of the product or information. Therefore, if you have any concerns, please visit the manufacturer’s website. Also, the information above is not a representation of our views at Same Day Supplements. Rather, these are the views and information provided by manufacturers and users. Also, the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. Finally, the intention of these products is not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.
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