Posted on 31 Aug 2017
5 min read
I’m going to start this review by declaring some previous biases, in that I think testosterone products are mostly underdosed rubbish, but that I also have massive respect for the Animal brand in general, something my Animal Pak review certainly shows.
So despite some initial hesitation, I decided to put Animal’s M-stak to the test for one full cycle (three weeks on, one week off), and I consciously went in with as little bias as possible.
I’ve now been using the product for the full container cycle of 21 packs (days), so let’s see how it shapes up.
M-Stak by Animal (Universal Nutrition) is a natural, non-hormonal supplement designed for hardgainers.
This basically means it will aid your efforts in gaining muscle, just in case you weren’t clear on that from the badass packaging (below).
M-Stak is not strictly just a testosterone booster, as its main function is to increase gains for those who find it hard (ectomorphs, like me).
That being said, many of the ingredients are very similar to what you’d usually find in a testosterone supplement, hence my focus on it in this review.
M-stak comes in Animal’s trademark pill bags (pictured below), so do not try to take these into a nightclub with you, and expect some dodgy looks from airport security.
This also means that if you are someone who can’t swallow pills well, like a tiny child or a small dog for example, then these won’t be for you.
I’m going to tear down the ingredients briefly, to see what has scientific support.
For this I’ve mostly used the excellent Examine.com which takes an in-depth look at supplements and nutrients to compare research available.
Where there isn’t any research, I’ve simply used the effectiveness section of this review as judgement to whether it worked or not.
There are two sections of M-Stak that contain pretty common and well-researched ingredients, and these are the “anti-catabolic amino complex” and the “energy complex”.
However, I want to say that the “anti-catabolic amino complex” isn’t really going to do much.
You’d need around three grams of leucine to trigger a decent anabolic (growth) response, and here there’s only three grams in total for all six amino acids included.
If you’re looking for anabolic aminos you’d be better off with grabbing straight up leucine or a BCAA blend – or just whey protein.
The “energy complex” contains some decent stimulants, and I can confirm that they are damn strong and will make you feel great without much of a crash.
This is not for the faint-hearted though as there’s the caffeine equivalent of a few shots of coffee in there.
As a side note, the red pill is the one with the stims, so just remove that if you don’t want to take stimulants.
So that leaves us with four more complexes to look at:
Right away there isn’t any research that supports the ingredients in the Natural Flavone/Sterone complex.
That’s not to say they definitely do nothing but there’s just no real conclusive studies.
However, the “M Factor complex” is essentially to aid absorption of the ingredients and is pretty well researched.
Other than these, the Adaptogen complex of M-Stak has two ingredients which may help anaerobic capacity (the energy source used during weight lifting) and there seems to be evidence of these being studied and working.
These are the Eleutherococcus Senticosus (ES) and the Muira Puama extracts – adaptogenic herbs.
But we come back to the same problem as with the amino acids.
In the case of ES alone, the recommended dose for performance is 2-4 grams, and we’ve only got one gram for three combined ingredients.
Side note: the pills smell absolutely amazing – I think it’s the herbs, but man they smell damn good!
Which leads us to the last ingredient section, the “Insulin Potentiating Complex” which is evidently supposed to increase the performance of insulin, a traditionally anabolic hormone.
This section does seem to be supported with some quite decent research on insulin, with levels of supplementation recommended at 500-600mg.
So, that’s the ingredients briefly looked at, but how does M-Stak actually perform?
I took this product for the 21 packets in the container, and I was following my usual routine of compounds at low reps and high weight followed by more reps and bodybuilding movements.
My diet was its usual – around 70% clean and 30% filth, with a focus on high protein and plenty of healthy fats.
I honestly saw no effects from taking this product at all.
The only thing I might have noted was that the stimulant packet is pretty intense, so you can use this pre-workout as a really nice boost.
However, in terms of my gains or (perceived) testosterone levels, there were no real results that I saw.
We could of course argue that 21 days isn’t enough time to see any results, and that we’d need longer on the product to see any real effects, but considering the product is around the £35 mark for 21 days, it’s not unrealistic to expect results after this period of time.
I’ve never really recommended testosterone products due to the fact that they often contain hardly any ingredients that are backed by studies, and when they do they are in such low amounts that it’s not worth buying.
With M-Stak, I genuinely think (and perhaps because I’m a big fan of the brand) that Animal have made a product which is edging towards what natural testosterone boosters should be – a supplement that helps you gain muscle in real doses and is broken down into specific formulas.
But what they have made is something that’s just still too underdosed to be effective.
You’d be better off spending the money on some extra whey protein or creatine – stuff that is proven to help muscle gain.
A great effort at redefining natural testosterone and hardgainer supplements, but still too underdosed in the right areas to be effective.
If you still want to give Animal M-Stak a try, you can usually pick it up for the best price here at Amazon.co.uk.
Have you tried M-Stak?
Agree or disagree with my review?
Any other comments or questions?
I’d love to hear from you below!