advocare1

Way back when I wrote my review of Herbalife, I had no idea it would garner the attention that it did. After Herbalife I reviewed Isagenix because I received so many emails asking me about the quality of the products. Today, after receiving yet another review request for Advocare, here it is.

But before we get started, please understand that I do not advocate meal replacement shakes in general. The basis of my nutrition coaching is not about shortcuts, it’s not about drinks that help you become “trim,” and it’s not about sketchy protein bars. Here at Ancestral Nutrition we do real food, we do healthy food, and we don’t do diets or quick fixes. We eat based on the way traditional cultures have always eaten: organic, unprocessed food.

Unfortunately, Advocare doesn’t fit the bill.

The Vegetarian Meal Replacement Shake ingredient list:

Pea protein, whole grain brown rice protein, potato protein, soy protein isolate, L-glutamine, L-lysine, L-leucine, L-isoleucine, L-valine, fructose, natural flavors, cocoa powder (processed with alkali), dicalcium phosphate, potassium citrate, potassium chloride, magnesium oxide, choline bitartrate, ascorbic acid, inositol, d-alpha tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), d-biotin, zinc oxide, niacinamide, L-selenomethionine, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A palmitate, copper gluconate, manganese sulfate, phytonadione (vitamin K 1), chromium citrate, riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), pyridoxine HCl (vitamin B6), thiamine HCl (vitamin B1), cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), sodium molybdate, potassium iodide (iodine), gum arabic, flaxseed, cellulose gum, xanthan gum, medium chain triglycerides, Reb-A (stevia extract), oat fiber, citrus pectin, bromelain, papain

The AdvoBar Apple Cinnamon ingredient list:

Soy protein isolate, corn syrup, soy nuts, dried apples, sugar, beet syrup, sunflower oil, chicory fiber, dicalcium phosphate, magnesium oxide, ascorbic acid, ferric pyrophosphate, dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate, niacinamide, zinc oxide, calcium d-pantothenate, copper citrate, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, beta carotene, vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, d-biotin, potassium iodide (iodine), sodium selenite, phytonadione, cholecalciferol, cyanocobalamin, glycerin, calcium caseinate, fractionated palm kernel oil, caramel color, salt, cinnamon, soy lecithin, natural flavors, tapioca starch, whey powder, nonfat milk powder, yogurt powder (cultured whey and nonfat milk), milk protein, malic acid, sucralose

The Rehydrate Gel ingredient list:

Water, maltodextrin, fructose, dextrose, calcium lactate, natural flavors, citric acid, magnesium citrate, ascorbic acid, L-glutamine, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, sodium chloride, sodium benzoate, potassium chloride, sucralose, pyridoxine hydrochloride, niacinamide, beta carotene, calcium pantothenate, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, chromium citrate

The Meal Replacement Shake:

Whey protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, milk protein isolate, L-glutamine, L-lysine, L-leucine, L-isoleucine, L-valine, crystalline fructose, dicalcium phosphate, potassium citrate, potassium chloride, magnesium oxide, ascorbic acid, choline bitartrate, ferrous fumarate, inositol, vitamin E acetate, zinc oxide, niacinamide, vitamin A palmitate, copper gluconate, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, chromium citrate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, selenomethionine, thiamine hydrochloride, biotin, folic acid, phytonadione, cholecalciferol, sodium molybdate, potassium iodide (iodine), cyanocobalamin, maltodextrin, gum arabic, natural and artificial flavors, guar gum, beet root extract (for color), xanthan gum, medium-chain triglycerides, citric acid, malic acid, oat fiber, cellulose powder, citrus pectin, soy lecithin, sucralose, bromelain, papain

The AdvoBar Meal ingredient list:

Isolated soy protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, glycerin, corn syrup, maltitol, chocolate coating (whey protein concentrate), palm kernel oil, maltitol, cocoa powder, sugar, soy lecithin [an emulsifier], vanillin [an artificial flavor]), water, soy fiber, maltodextrin, peanut flour, coconut oil, inulin, ascorbic acid, beta carotene, biotin, calcium pantothenate, tricalcium phosphate, ferric orthophosphate, folic acid, magnesium phosphate, niacin, magnesium & calcium phosphates, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamine hydrochloride, palmitate, cyanocobalamin, cholecalciferol, tocopheryl acetate, guar gum, natural and artificial flavor

I’ve highlighted some of the particularly disturbing ingredients above and will further clarify below.

Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Nuts, Soy Fiber

These are all highly refined forms of soy. I’ve written about the health effect of soy before, you can read that article here. Over 90% of soy in the US is genetically modified, and includes the soy found in Advocare products. They are not organic and are definitely not GMO-free.

Processed soy is particularly problematic. Whereas fermented, organic soy in small amounts (like natto) does not pose serious health risks, eating soy protein isolate/nuts/fiber, especially everyday, will definitely take its toll on the body. Some effects of soy include decreased libido, mood swings, depression, anxiety, erectile dysfunction, protein malabsorption, endometriosis, depressed thyroid function, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and several others.

This study from Harvard found that men consuming the equivalent of one cup of soy milk per day had 50% lower sperm count than men who did not consume soy (even accounting for other factors like age, caffeine and alcohol intake, etc.).

From the study,

There was an inverse association between soy food intake and sperm concentration that remained significant after accounting for age, abstinence time, body mass index, caffeine and alcohol intake and smoking. In the multivariate-adjusted analyses, men in the highest category of soy food intake had 41 million sperm/ml less than men who did not consume soy foods.

The processing that soy protein isolate undergoes is also  a huge cause for concern. Dr. Mercola describes the process,

SPI is not something you can make in your own kitchen. Production takes place in industrial factories where a slurry of soy beans is first mixed with an alkaline solution to remove fiber, then precipitated and separated using an acid wash and, finally, neutralized in an alkaline solution.

Acid washing in aluminum tanks leaches high levels of aluminum into the final product. The resultant curds are spray- dried at high temperatures to produce a high-protein powder.

Fructose

Yes, fructose is found in fruit. But let’s consider that a safe fructose intake is around 25 grams per day, and around 15 grams if a metabolic disorder is present. Fructose is processed by the liver, an excess of fructose is not only toxic to the liver, but forms free radicals and triglycerides. Regular and high fructose consumption is so toxic to the liver, that it can even lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). From Emory University School of Medicine,

Substantial links have been demonstrated between increased fructose consumption and obesity, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. Growing evidence suggests that fructose contributes to the development and severity of NAFLD. In human studies, fructose is associated with increasing hepatic fat, inflammation, and possibly fibrosis…Sufficient evidence exists to support clinical recommendations that fructose intake be limited through decreasing foods and drinks high in added (fructose-containing) sugars.

Obtaining a small, natural amount of fructose in unprocessed foods is fine. Obtaining isolated fructose from a processed protein drink…not so much.

Sucralose

Sucralose (otherwise known as Splenda) is an artificial sweetener. It is made in a lab by adding three chlorine molecules to a sugar molecule. Sounds totally safe and healthy, right?

In my Herbalife article, I wrote that sucralose alters the beneficial gut flora in the GI tract. When tested on mice, consumption of sucralose resulted in a significant reduction of beneficial gut flora. Considering that our gut flora helps protect us from everything ranging from the flu to cancer to depression, this is significant.

Dr. Morando Soffritti, Director of the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna recently performed a study that showed an associated between mice fed sucralose and leukemia. Basically, the more sucralose they consumed, the higher the risk of developing leukemia.

From Dr. Soffritti,

“Health concerns over aspartame are leading consumers to switch to the widely promoted alternative: sucralose. Now that we have found evidence of a link between sucralose and cancer in mice, similar research should be urgently repeated on rats, and large scale observational studies should be set up to monitor any potential cancer risk to human health.”

Sunflower Oil

Consider for a second how oil a sunflower seed is. It isn’t. To extract the oil, extreme amount of pressure and processing have to be applied.

According to Soya Tech,

Oil-type sunflower seed is normally processed according to these steps:

  • Seed Preparation and cleaning
  • Dehulling
  • Physical pressing of the sunflower seed with subsequent hexane extraction of the remaining oil in the meal
  • Degumming
  • Refining
  • Bleaching
  • Dewaxing
  • Deodorization
  • Storage

Not only would I never recommend an oil that he’s been refined, bleaches, deodorized or degummed, we also have to consider the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Polyunsaturated oils are rich in omega-6 and cause inflammation that can lead to heart disease. The lipid composition for sunflower oil is as follows:

Polyunsaturated: 65.7 grams

Monounsaturated: 19.5 grams

Saturated: 10.3 grams

Therefore, sunflower oil is highly inflammatory.

Nonfat Milk Powder, Whey Protein Concentrate, Milk Protein Isolate

These are all denatured, processed forms of dairy. As far as I’ve learned from the Advocare website, the protein they use is not from grass-fed cows, it’s not raw, and it’s not healthy. Consider that commercial dairy is obtained from cows that are fed genetically modified soy and corn, pumped up with hormones, confined to CAFO operations and are knee deep in their own feces and therefore shot up with antibiotics.

Do you want to be consuming this disgusting dairy?

Nonfat milk is skim milk powder. From the Weston A. Price Foundation,

In order to make powdered milk, fluid is forced through a tiny hole at high pressure and then blown out into the air. This causes a lot of nitrates to form, and the cholesterol in the milk becomes oxidized. Contrary to popular opinion, cholesterol is not a demon but your best friend; you don’t have to worry about consuming foods containing cholesterol, except that you do not want to consume oxidized cholesterol. Evidence indicates that oxidized cholesterol can initiate the process of atherosclerosis.

Natural and Artificial Flavors

“Natural and artificial flavors” are a clever way to avoid labeling. Technically castoreum is a “natural flavor.”

Castoreum is the exudate from the castor sacs of the mature North American Beaver and the European Beaver. Within the zoological realm, castoreum is the yellowish secretion of the castor sac which is, in combination with the beaver’s urine, used during scent marking of territory.

Appetizing, right?

According to the FDA,

The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional. Natural flavors include the natural essence or extractives obtained from plants listed in 182.10, 182.20, 182.40, and 182.50 and part 184 of this chapter, and the substances listed in 172.510 of this chapter.

This means that MSG, GMOs and a ton of other sketchy ingredients can be listed as “natural and artificial” flavors.

Here is the protein shake I make; it’s unprocessed, made from real food and actually good for you.

CONCLUSION:

Advocare is not healthy. There is no quick fix to becoming healthy or losing weight, and you literally could not pay me to ingest these products.

The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat well, to eat real food, and to give your body what it needs. If you’d like more information about taking care of your body and keeping weight off for good, I definitely suggest checking out my 21 Day Lifestyle Transformation. Like I said at the beginning of this article, we eat well, we take care of ourselves, we take pride in our bodies and we love ourselves enough not to pollute our bodies with toxic ingredients.

*If you would like a product review, please provide a specific link to the ingredients of the product you would like reviewed.

Sources:

https://www.advocare.com/products/trim/T2151.aspx

https://www.advocare.com/products/active/A3612.aspx

https://www.advocare.com/products/active/A1403.aspx

https://www.advocare.com/products/trim/T1251.aspx

http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/11/2584.full

http://www.mercola.com/article/soy/avoid_soy.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23390127

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24219506

http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v66/n8/full/ejcn201247a.html

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/244603.php

http://www.soyatech.com/sunflower_facts.htm

http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/650?fg=&man=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=&qlookup=sunflower+oil

http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-foods/dirty-secrets-of-the-food-processing-industry

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=101.22

178 responses on “An Unbiased Review of Advocare

      1. Edward Wallace

        Hi Dani,
        Not only is this a really good article, but you also do a great job of responding to your readers. I do not usually like to do this but I was hoping I could get you to read my article review of Advocare where I address some of the general statements used by distributors as well as users. You know the typical “the colon cleanse prepares your body for better nutritional absorption” or”Advocare is researched by a third party”, and “they use the best doctors and scientist coupled with the most recent research”. Well, the last one might not be untrue but is misleading. Please visit my blog at http://www.advotruth.blogspot.com
        I think you will find it is thorough, and supported with research.

  1. Kim

    Love your reviews of Advocare and Herbalife. I can’t tell you how many people just don’t understand the simple idea that these companies aren’t healthy and the people selling the products don’t know much about nutrition at all. Good work!

    1. Nick

      Everyone at my work is jumping on this bandwagon and trying to get me to do the 24-day challenge.. and they’re getting pretty good results.. but I’m super skeptical about it all.

      They eat pretty good now too, but they are overly reliant on their products.. which in my mind defeats the entire purpose.. but they seem content on spending the money for the rest of their life.

    1. dani stout Post author

      Keeping in mind that I don’t support meal replacement shakes, I don’t see anything about Shakeology using grass-fed, raw/undenatured whey. I also am not a fan of quinoa, but it has some good ingredients.

      Am I missing the ingredient list for the other two? I see that the site says it contains soy, which is NOT a health food. Read more here: http://ancestral-nutrition.com/why-i-have-beef-with-soy/

        1. Linda

          Sorry, guess I don’t know how to bold in this forum. But, it seems that there is a word missing in your response. Or, am I not understanding it?

      1. Billy

        Thank you for your dedication to sharing the truth about the horrible products these companies are pushing. You stated that you are not a fan of quinoa … is it because of the process of “de-poisoning” the quinoa before it is safe to eat? I only recently read about this and it was quite disturbing. Here I thought I was eating a super healthy alternative protein source only to read that it is highly toxic in its raw form. Can you shed some light on this?

  2. Lydia

    Thank you for this review! (And the Herbalife one as well.)

    Are you up for reviewing another product? Shakeology. http://www.shakeology.com/

    Any of their flavors….from what I can tell the chocolate and vanilla flavors are the most popular ones.

    1. dani stout Post author

      Keeping in mind that I don’t support meal replacement shakes, I don’t see anything about Shakeology using grass-fed, raw/undenatured whey. I also am not a fan of quinoa, but it has some good ingredients.

      1. Lydia

        Thanks, Dani! I was reading on my phone and somehow missed the comment above concerning Shakeology as well. Oops! 🙂

  3. Kellie

    I am in a weight loss challenge that I didn’t know was lead by an advocare rep until I paid and started. Now there is some pressure to do the 10 day cleanse. Did you do any review of the supplements in the cleanse? Thank you so much for this article. It just reminds me why I refuse to purchase these products.

    1. dani stout Post author

      I looked up an herbal cleanse on the Advocare website, I’m not sure if it’s the cleanse you’re participating in but you can find the ingredients here: http://www.advocare.com/products/well/W3171.aspx and a lot of the ingredients concern me: sucralose, fructose, maltodextrin, etc.

      The other issue I find with these type of “cleanses” is that a one size fits all approach can be dangerous. These products are loaded with synthetic vitamins and depending on each person’s individual diet, people are going to need a different intake of certain vitamins and minerals.

      Also, “cleanses” really should be supervised and individually tailored to each person. It’s definitely not something that should be taken lightly. I honestly think it’s kind of sketchy and dishonest to have someone participate in a weight loss challenge without clearly laying out your intuitions and agenda. You should never feel pressured to do anything you’re not comfortable with. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      1. ART

        Nice info Dani, I want to share IDLIFE with you, “one size does not fit all” ID stands for “individual designed”. Idlife is a company that just launched in January 2014 in Frisco, TX. Base on a HIPAA compliant Health Assessment, you can now have your supplements customized for you. Thats important. Heres is the website and feel free to give me your thoughts………AT

        http://www.idlife.com/ArtTarango

  4. Cindy

    Okay,
    Any suggestions for a highly competitive athlete. I am looking for a supplement/ nutritional approach that does not require me moving to an inorganic farm stead. ( love the idea but not practical.)

    1. dani stout Post author

      I prefer to eat post workouts and to fuel workouts, eggs and sweet potatoes with butter/ghee/coconut oil are great for this. I also recommend gelatin and raw, organic whey protein. You can find both on Amazon.

    2. Jennifer Meador, CHHC, AADP

      Hi Cindy,

      Not sure if your question is for just Dani or anyone reading the comments too. This is my first time coming across Dani’s site/info, & I must say it’s nice to come someone who is open-minded & willing to take a good hard look at anything available to people, in the health industry. (Well done Dani!).

      Per your specific question, if I may; you are concerned to find something that is good & beneficial for a highly competitive athlete (your words). There IS a little known, fairly new product that is Non-GMO, NO artificials, Zero sugar or stimulants/caffeine, Vegan (for those who prefer that0, is a good-tasting liquid, & is World Anti-Doping Assoc. (WADA) compliant…in other words, a competing athlete can take this product WHILE in the competition (it increases endurance & performance, & will be involved in a specific study for that soon). It’s finish-product tested (very unusual) with solid science behind it.

      I don’t know how to reach you to share this personally, & don’t want to overstep, but if you want to research & look into it: www dot victoryinhealth dot com is where to do that. Dani, you may like to look into the 3 products also (NO meal replacement going on there!). You have to ‘dig deep’ to get to the understanding of WHY they are so unique & revolutionary however, because there’s a lot to it…but know that the label is only 25% of the story (this is one case where you can’t judge a bottle by the cover!).

      All the Best of success in whatever you do…Enjoy the Blessing of Health! 🙂

  5. Ronelle Escher

    Thank you for taking the time to break down the various MLM products, saved me a TON of time, and perhaps weight 🙂

  6. Lisa S

    Hi Dani,
    First off, I love your site — it’s amazingly intelligent and helpful.
    What do you think about Peanut Butter powder? (You just add water to make peanut butter) Most stores are carrying this product — even Wal-Mart. They’ve taken out the oil from peanuts and final product is less oil/fat and calories but still great source of protein. It looks appealing because of the protein. What are your thoughts?

    1. dani stout Post author

      Dislike! Peanuts are extremely high in omega-6 fatty acids and peanuts are one of the crops most sprayed with toxic, harsh chemicals. Also, most products like this are very processed. I would definitely recommend eating a whole, unrefined form of protein.

  7. Sarah

    Thank you!!! I have been defending my stance against Advocare because of these exact reasons, people who I know that are Advocare advocates refuse to accept any of this as true (even though you can clearly see all the ingredients of the products) they say it is a holistic and natural supplement. It’s unbelievable how people can’t see that ingesting those ingredients is not natural or holistic. Thank you for writing this!

    1. Bill Turner

      You have some facts incorrect. Advocare does not claim to be holistic and all natural supplements. We are specifically told not to make those claims. Our eating guidlines have our clients eating real foods, have you seen the eating guidelines or recommendations. We help people change their lifestyles and eating habits. Again Advocare makes no claims of being Holistic or all natural.

      We also never downgrade another company in a public forum and then try and sell our product. Not very ethical in my opinion.

      Good luck with your business and please check your facts.

  8. M. Sealts

    We couldn’t help but notice the PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE for Ancestral Nutrition company at the end of your blog. Pretty much says it all. Makes sense now why you would point out all the negatives about several other nutritional lines and glorify the one that pays you. Money talks.

    1. dani stout Post author

      To clarify, that is a legal disclaimer that the FCC requires for any website that makes money because Ancestral Nutrition is a business. I am a health coach. No one pays me to endorse anything.

  9. Geoff

    I guess if you’d take advice from a 23 year old fresh out of college with a finance degree over Warren Buffet, then by all means we should be following this Health coaches advice. Certified in 2012 as a health coach versus 21 year old company with products developed by top medical professionals in their fields with over 250 years of experience. Nevermind the athletes that use the products and success stories of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Dani, I hope you live a long healthy life but….if by chance you develop a terminal disease, will you opt out of treatment? I mean, nothing says holistic treatment like chemo therapy or any other drug used to combat terminal illnesses, right?

    1. dani stout Post author

      What are your thought on Herbalife products?

      Because their products are also developed by doctors, nutritionists and scientists. And yet I find that many Advocare supporters think Herbalife is terrible.

      Having medical professionals develop a product does not mean the product is ideal. Don’t forget that medical professionals develop prescription drugs that kill over 200,000 people per year.

      1. Earnest

        Dani, I wasn’t going to comment, until I saw those coming down on you for your statements about Herbalife, and Advocare. I use to be a distributor and promoter of both. I have made a lot of money in the past doing so. But in my endeavor to know the truth, I have come to the same conclusion you have. Through scientific research. Foods that have processed can never compare to those that have no processing done to them. I have family that make a living selling Herbalife, so it is not easy to not agree with them. They are passionate about what they are doing. And honestly believe they are helping others in the area of Health and Fitness. I have been in the fitness industry for since 1975. Masters Degree in Muscle Physiology, and Bachelors Degree in Nutritional Science. I am 60 years old now and still in competitive Powerlifting ( State Champion for the last 9 years) I have yet to find anyone on Advocare, or Herbalife, that can keep up. We as a people tend to believe those we know like and trust over those we don’t know. So when someone steps on our potato chips, (or herbalife/advocare) then we get defensive. So many ideas out there, but so many don’t really know the truth. I agree with you completely, but one thing is for sure and no one can argue with. We can ALL be wrong, but we can’t ALL be right. I truly believe that natural and un-processed is best. Thank you for what you do. Earnest

    1. dani stout Post author


      I’m not “trying to push” anything, it’s an alternative to people who have been led to believe that health comes out of a canister.

        1. dani stout Post author

          Thanks for the link, I will try to get around to watching it but it likely won’t be soon.

    1. Michael

      Ok, so your post was in 2014 and I’m assuming that at that time Advocare felt the way then as they do now. The Advocare site specifically says that all reports that sucralose (splenda) is bad are all false and missleading. Here is a study (I it found with a simple google search I might add) that was conducted in 2013 and published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (a scientific peer-reviewed journal) listed in the US National Library of Medicine’s website. It talks about the health concerns that were discovered.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856475/

      Advocare is counting on most people taking things at face value and not doing any research. Their target demographic is anyone who wants to be told what to do and how to do it. No work involved that’s why these people seek a magic pill in the first place and then the Advocare rep sells them on working out and eating right as well (so the pill shows results).

      This is what is wrong with america, most people fail to conduct their own due diligence after being presented with new information. This happens everywhere not just in Advocare sales and marketing.

      As far as the doctor credentials go, it’s impressive no doubt, but show me a doctor who isn’t being compensated in some way stand behind the product. Even funnier Dr. Kreamer lists being inducted into his HS hall of fame on his professional bio, but fails to mention Advocare. I don’t know what speaks louder, the absence of Advocare or the mention of some arbitrary fact that is mostly irrelevant to his professional career and the absence of Advocare. I guess his endorsement ends once he walks out the door. Goldberg and Keen are listed as members of the Metabolife Institute Editorial team. Odd they would lend their name to add credibility to a competitor. Fact is nobady on this board ever conducted any tests. Don’t believe me? Look it up. Here’s a good place to start

      http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/ADVOCARE.htm

      This link is from Vanderbuilt University and states that Advocare has no record or evidence of conducting any scientific tests. None. zero. Not even scientific, no tests at all. A major university, a major reasearch university, found none.

      I’ll leave you with the last paragraph from the Vanderbuilt university link to sum up Advocare, but again I implore you to do your own due diligence.

      “Although there are no studies proving the program is detrimental to health that does not mean the program is safe and effective. There are also no studies proving its effectiveness either. Also, most of AdvoCare’s endorsers are members of the company. The only non-company affiliated endorsers are well-known athletes and coaches and their testimonials could also be economically motivated. I feel that there is not enough research to prove the product healthy and effective, and a few of the ingredients are still being questioned in the medical field. Thus the overall lack of scientific evidence leaves me too skeptical to be able to take AdvoCare without the doubt of adverse effects if any at all.”

      1. Michael

        Also always question the source of information you do find and it’s motives. Look for sources that present themselves to be neutral under close scrutiny.

        1. Michael

          I meant to add this in the last post.

          To Dani: Just found yoursite. I enjoy your writing style. you present good evidence to support your writing. I saw that one poster said your evidence was drawn from unreliable sources. She also Cherry picked your story for what she thought was a hole in your armor, completely ignoring other parts. I think she drank the Kool-Aid, or in this case Spark.

  10. Rhonda

    Love this site ! Thank you Dani! Gonna always have haters I guess ( ppl standing up for ‘health ‘ companies). I think most ppl that visit THIS site , are just out for an honest opinion and open mind from you & other commentors……. I think of this site as a ‘tool’ and the opinions of others can be very helpful. And if i dont agree, oh well …….. God gave us 2 ears for a reason ( in one ear and out the other) lol. And if they, or anyone is upset by your comments/ and others here, then X out of the page ………… I have had alot of ppl in my family that try the ‘ magic pill’ or ‘ potion’……….. Why do they think the outcome is EVER going to b different ?? Urgh……… I find THAT annoying more than anything. My brother did Herbal life for almost 2 yrs and did do very well……….. But he started having stomache issues, not sure if it was related to Herbal life, and only assume so, and he got bored w/ the whole thing. Now I have distant family selling the Advocare, and are ofcourse trying to intice their family and friend list . I asked what exactly was in each product , and did not get the detailed list you provided, and my cuz is a very healthy disaplined women and REALLLLY thinks this product she is selling is AMAZING . She posted pics after 7 days of the cleanse on herself , and she does look great( but she did B4 the cleanse! ) and ANYTHING that can ‘morph’ or ‘transform’ your body that fast is probably a diurectic ,lol or just NOT safe. I do what I can to eat clean, appreciate how lucky I am to be healthy & pain free and I feel great!!!!! Thank you for the freebies & recipes!!!! 🙂

  11. Esther

    Thank you! I love getting the REAL info about these types of products…Just yesterday a friend tried to get be on board with Advocare since we have ‘similar goals’ in terms of weight loss. I simply said no thank you. I would prefer to keep eating my whole/raw/organic foods and continue to get healthy that way!
    I am about to read more about the Isagenix too!
    I don’t care who creates the product…if there are chemicals, it is NOT good for you!
    Thanks again!

  12. Peggy

    Thanks for this. Last year someone tried to get me into Advicare, touting the weight they were losing. Guess what? They’d also changed their diet and exercise,

    When I started eating clean and finally gave up sugar and sweeteners, the weight started dropping off.

  13. Greta

    So I wondered what your thoughts where on the company Genesis Pure. It claims it products are organic and GMO free? I personally have had great success from some of there supplements. I have had a chronic inflammation disease for over 14 years and the organic MSM and Mangosteen have helped me tremendously. I haven’t had any pain for months. Nor have I had a single migraine and have been able to stop my prescription medication which I think is a plus. I also like there athletic line it has helped me with my endurance during my workouts, my soreness almost eliminated and my recovery has improved so much I am able to increase my activity at the next workout. I eat a healthy life style but adding these products have defiantly helped.

    1. dani stout Post author

      The first ingredient in their protein is soy, which is extremely unhealthy even if it’s not genetically modified. I wouldn’t recommend anyone take these products.

      1. Earnest

        I agree, Soy has been PROVEN, to cause an hormonal imbalance in both males and Females. Women over 40 should never take soy products because of its effects on estrogen, and 16 Alpha Hydroxy Esta, as well as 2 Alpha Hydroxy Estra. 16 Alpha is inflammatory. And anyone with any kind of real knowledge in health knows that, that is bad for the Heart, Liver, and Kidneys. There was a case study done in 1987-1989 in the military, because some of the men were complaining about tenderness around their nipples. They had to have 4 doctors look at the 6 men making the complaint, before they found a doctor that could give them an answer. He went back to his original questions about their diet,, but this time in much more detail. All the men were found to have been taking protein shakes containing Soy. That promoted a the study by the US Military to study the effects of Soy on our troops.,
        I don’t have to tell you the findings. You and I both know how that came out. Soy is used because it is the Cheapest form of Protein found, and the Cheapest to process.

  14. April

    Hey, can I get your input on Genesis Pure? I’m a new IBO for them & haven’t found a flaw in any of they’re products but respect your reseach & writings so just thought id see what your input on them is.

    1. dani stout Post author

      The first ingredient is soy, which is extremely unhealthy. I wouldn’t recommend anyone use this product.

  15. Allana

    Have you heard of ID Life? They claim their products are all Organic, gluten, casein, and GMO free. I’m looking into it and am very curious. A friend of mine is a Dr. who specializes in wellness and her husband recently started doing this. Her family eats gluten free and is pretty health conscious so that says to me that they must be pretty good products, but what’s your opinion?

      1. Allana

        ok.. weird… I posted earlier and have been watching all day to see if you responded and now my previous comment is gone…

        the website is idlife.com

        1. dani stout Post author

          I don’t see their complete ingredient list on the website, you may have to email them for it.

  16. John

    Just came across the reviews for the supplements and I am shocked how many people tried to jump on you for your view on advocare products. Keep doing what you’re doing ! You have great reviews! To the individuals complaining about the review, just leave the website. If you have nothing important or constructive to add just move along .. Battling like a teenager doesn’t make anyone listen to you. Yes..that was my teenager rant.

  17. Mary Hummel

    You are way ahead of those “medical Doctors”! This program contradicts itself, advising to eat healthy , but ingest this garbage. As a Young living product user, I know from researching their products you can purchase all organic, chemically free, 100 percent healthy supplements for about the same price. A no brainer…..

  18. Jacquelyn

    I’ve read your reviews on these products and although I understand and appreciate your stand on meal replacements and the sort, I would really like to get your opinion on Purium’s health products. Here are a few of links to their products:
    http://www.puriumcorp.com/ProductPage.aspx?ItemID=1306
    http://www.puriumcorp.com/ProductPage.aspx?ItemID=1620
    http://www.puriumcorp.com/ProductPage.aspx?ItemID=1712
    Purium has over 50 products. No point in listing them all. These are pretty much our top sellers. We did just add a shake for kids and a vanilla chai LOV shake, but at the moment there is not a link to their labels. I could send you pics of the labels if you would like to see them.
    Thank you for your time.
    Jacquelyn

    1. dani stout Post author

      I don’t recommend plant based proteins because they’re hard to digest, and full of natural toxins. They also have phytic acid which binds to minerals and prevents them from being absorbed.

  19. Gabriela

    Thank you for this! I was thinking about doing advocare, but I didn’t seem to find an ingredient list. I know someone who is very into fitness and sells the product. I was on the fence because I wasn’t sure what was in it. My husband and I just started doing paleo, and the results are phenomenal. I cannot believe how much better I feel! We even decided to “cheat” one day and I felt awful and sick to my stomach. That was just the reminder I needed to not eat that way again! Do you happen to eat any protein shakes with fruit in them? I prefer fruit in my smoothies and was wondering if you might have a good recipe. Thanks so much!

    1. dani stout Post author

      No problem!

      I normally love GOL products! But I don’t like their protein because it’s plant based which comes with a lot of toxins and phytic acid and is hard on the GI tract.

    1. dani stout Post author

      Rice bran is extremely high in phytic acid and hard to digest, so you wouldn’t even be absorbing the minerals in this. Most of which are synthetic anyway.

  20. Krista

    Recommendations for those who have casein allergies? I love that you’ve shown how to make a much more wholesome protein shake but I can’t personally use 2-3 of your main ingredients. Would love to hear what you might suggest. Thanks!

  21. Jessica

    Thank you Dani! That helps a lot! What is your take on nutritional supplements in pill form? After reading your awesomely intelligent reviews I have begun to question their benefits too. Is there anyway to follow your work via Facebook??

    Thanks again, I really appreciate the insight! 🙂

  22. Nicole Tozier

    Thanks for the review! I’ve been seeing a lot about Advocare recently, and I always wondered about it. It’s hard, though, investigating these products thoroughly without buying. I’ve run into more than one company that only gives you a partial ingredient list, if that, or won’t let you see all the info if you don’t pay, or at least have a rep name. You can’t just look beforehand! Like…I think it was Skinny Fiber that my friend did, and I had to put her name in to even see anything, and even then, if memory serves, I could only see the ingredients for one product! 🙁
    Can you review the following?:
    http://livinglovingwrapping.myitworks.com/shop/product/303/ Orange Greens
    http://livinglovingwrapping.myitworks.com/shop/product/304/ Confianza
    http://livinglovingwrapping.myitworks.com/shop/product/317/ It’s Vital Complete Nutrition Pack
    http://livinglovingwrapping.myitworks.com/shop/product/306/ New You
    http://livinglovingwrapping.myitworks.com/shop/product/307/ Relief
    http://livinglovingwrapping.myitworks.com/shop/product/312/ Regular
    I know it’s a lot, but I have health conditions that force me to supplement a lot to get what my body needs, and while these are some of my favorite health products ever, I want to know what you think! Thanks!

    1. dani stout Post author

      Some of the ingredients are okay and some definitely aren’t. I wouldn’t recommend the Orange Greens to anyone, ever (processed soy). Some ingredients are natural, some aren’t.

      Overall, there are way better options when it comes to companies that sell supplements.

        1. dani stout Post author

          I didn’t see anything about it being fermented but fermented soy is definitely better than unfermented. I wouldn’t recommend it everyday though. I’d also suggest making sure it’s GMO-free.

          1. Nicole Tozier

            Yes, when you click on the ingredient list, there’s commonly asked questions below. It is fermented, and everything they do is non-GMO. They own their own farm, I guess, and grow everything themselves, raw and GMO-free.

  23. Krista

    Recommendations for those who have casein allergies? I love that you’ve shown how to make a much more wholesome protein shake but I can’t personally use 2-3 of your main ingredients. Would love to hear what you might suggest. Thanks!

  24. shane

    I am confused as to why someone like Drew Brees and “Strong Woman” Danika , along with countless others would choose a product like ((Advocare,)) (especially when they do not even get paid to endorse it). If the product’s are so dangerous ???? Many NFL coaches giving their players Bio Tune & BioTool must not know that either.

        1. dani stout Post author

          They’re compensated with cash. Professional athletes don’t endorse products for free. You think Michael Phelps endorses Subway just so he can get free foot longs?

  25. Dana

    Just came across your blog and love what you are doing! What do you think of the product by advocare “rehydrate” it’s an electrolyte replacement?
    The ingredients are:

    Pure crystalline fructose, dextrose, maltodextrin, malic acid, Sustamine™ (L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine), sodium citrate, potassium citrate, sodium chloride, ascorbic acid, calcium lactate, potassium chloride, L-arginine, beta carotene, magnesium citrate, sucralose, chromium citrate complex, niacinamide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium d-pantothenate, riboflavin, thiamine hydrochloride, d-calcium pantothenate, chromium citrate

    Thanks!

  26. Jordan K

    So i got burned by advocare until realized the people that sold it to me were all about the money/business side and i told myself “wait a minuet… why aren’t there meetings or “mixers” ever on the actual products, what they contain etc. NO ONE EVER ANSWERED MY QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT WAS IN THE PRODUCTS EVER! They justified it by saying you intake those things anyways why does it matter? SO STUPID, ITS ALL ABOUT MONEY. People are greedy.

    I’m trying to build muscle the healthy way. Natural Whey (WITHOUT ALL THE CRAP INGREDIENTS that are not harmful?) what do you recommend. and i know its all about what you cook in the kitchen, my diet is going strong. Thanks!

    You are super helpful Dani, thanks for this forum. I like how the advocare people on here think they’re professional Dieticians and Nutritionists just like the ones trying to sell me their products when in reality they don’t know JACK. Pisses me off. again THANKS for standing up for whats right. Jordan

  27. Regina

    Like with any company, you are going to find people that do a poor job of representing it. AdvoCare reps should not be saying that it’s all natural or
    Organic, because AdvoCare does not claim to be either of those things. AdvoCare is not for everyone, it is made for people that eat a mainstream diet. If you choose to eat all organic then AdvoCare will probably not be a good fit for you. That does not mean that the
    products are bad. AdvoCare’s main goal is
    to help people jumpstart a healthier
    lifestyle. Our country has a horrible
    obesity problem and most people need to
    get healthier. AdvoCare’s 24 day
    challenge is meant to teach people how to
    make good eating choices and fuel their
    bodies correctly. AdvoCare recommends that people limit or avoid processed foods
    not only during the 24 day challenge but as a regular routine.AdvoCare products
    provide better alternatives for people to
    choose. You may not be a big fan of the
    ingredients in Spark for example, but
    spark is a better alternative than drinking
    a coke. Think AdvoCare provides a good balance for people who understand the importance of eating clean but also don’t mind putting a minimal amount of processed foods in their body.

    1. dani stout Post author

      “AdvoCare is not for everyone, it is made for people that eat a mainstream diet. If you choose to eat all organic then AdvoCare will probably not be a good fit for you. That does not mean that the products are bad.”

      Actually that’s exactly what it means.

  28. Kristen Martyka

    Hi Dani – I love many things about your website and what you stand for. You are definitely inspiration for a lot of people to live a better and healthier life; however, I do have a problem with some of the information your are providing people when making decisions on companies or products such as Advocare. First, there are many things in your “un-biased” article that are just not sound research. I would like to understand where you got your sources. If I had to guess, it would be from articles or blogs off the internet vs. reputable scientific published journals from medical experts and scientists. Just one of your flaws is on your research you reference in regards to sucralose and Dr. Morando Soffritti’s findings. Did you know that when asked, he and his institution couldn’t back up his their theoretical findings with valid research. Also, he tried to get his findings published in scientific journals and was denied. If you dig a little further into this research instead of just citing what you find from unreliable sources, you would come to find out that many of the mice/rats that were used were sick with chronic lung respiratory disease. You would also find out that many other scientists were doing the exact same research including the US National Cancer Institute, and they did not have the same findings. If you dig even further, you will find other research by this guy that is debunked, and a statement made by their organization in 2011 saying: “Based on the available data, however, we have identified significant shortcomings in the design, conduct, reporting, and interpretation of this study. FDA finds that the reliability and interpretation of the study outcome is compromised by these shortcomings and uncontrolled variables, such as the presence of infection in the test animals.” If I just take sucralose, for example, there is no scientific research that has showed causation with taking and health issues. Sound scientific research will show causation vs correlation. This is only one flaw of many is your review. My main issue with your points is that you are making them on emotion (unreliable research, blogs, etc.) rather than true science. I value your opinion, and understand that you won’t ingest such products; however, to say Advocare is unhealthy and people shouldn’t consider is debatable. It can and has done a tremendous amount of good for people and changed lives. By providing the advice you are giving, you are giving off the assumption that you have more expertise than credible doctors and scientists. I don’t know much about you, but I think your only credentials is being a certified health coach. I am as well, and it only takes a year. All and all, I do love your approach, but I wish you would be open minded, and actually read some credible, published scientific studies and research vs. what you are pulling from the internet.

    1. dani stout Post author

      Hey Kristen,

      I find it interesting that you say I use unreliable research and blogs to back up my claims – when I directly cited Harvard, Emory, NC State, The Oxford Journal of Medicine and Health…and you’ve cited literally no one. So how exactly am I using unreliable research and blogs? I’m very unclear on that. Perhaps you didn’t simply scroll down to see my list of sources?

      Also, I’m well aware that the FDA has attacked Dr. Soffriti and his findings, I’m also well aware that the FDA is a highly corrupt organization that supports Aspartame. Even if the mice were infected – there was still a higher incidence of leukemia in rats fed aspartame. To say that when asked to back up his “theoretical findings” also isn’t true – the team has done this several times, you can see one here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430255/#b3-ehp0116-a0240a

      Not to mention the fact that you’ve only addressed one study I linked to regarding aspartame. Did you also miss these studies that I clearly linked to? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24219506 and http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v66/n8/full/ejcn201247a.html

      Before accusing me of not doing my research and essentially not knowing what I’m talking about – please do your research. Or even look at the credible research I’ve done, which I clearly linked to. If you want to consume aspartame that’s obviously up to you, but there is no debate that it’s an unhealthy and unsafe product to consume.

      I don’t think I’m the one here who needs to do research when you’re saying a product that contains GMOs, processed soy, fructose, denatured inorganic whey and artificial flavors does a “tremendous amount of good.”

  29. john

    Thanks for these breakdowns!

    I would love to see you breakdown Plexus, please! Since they are not meal replacement, I am wondering if they might fare a bit better…

  30. M

    Comment about Genesis pure products
    You said first ingredient is soy…not true.
    Superfruit juices are 100% pure fruit
    Sulfur pure sulfur
    Greens doesn’t contain soy
    Hidration, recovery, energy no soy.
    Promila bars no soy.
    Go yin no soy.
    Mila pure chia seeds.No soy.
    Coral calcium no soy.
    Daily build no soy.
    Silver, alkaline water, cleanse no soy. Etc.
    you said you would not recomend GP products because of soy???!!!
    GP products are pure.
    Essential oils are 100% organic and usda certified.
    Most products are gluten free and vegan.
    Thank you

      1. M

        GMO free soy!!!
        Thats big difference!!!
        Also you said that soy is in all products and that people should avoid Genesis pure. I just wanted to show people that read your comments that thats not true. Soy is not in all products..and the few products that has it its a GMO free soy.

        Thank you

  31. Tari

    I’m drinking spark from advocate bc I am addicted to soda. I’ve tried several ways to quit but spark has helped. I plan on using it just long enough to get over the craving of soda. I’m crabby that they use sucralose. What are your thoughts on non-gmo, organic stevia?

  32. Jarod

    I enjoyed reading your article and certainly am impressed with your knowledge and research about the subject matter. That said, the average American diet is so far removed from your recommendations that I’m not sure I could accept the notion that a plan associated with Advocare products would not be a drastic improvement for most. I would have enjoyed reading more about heart disease which kills about 600,000 Americans every year. As someone who has followed a paleolithic diet, I understand the preparation and planning that takes place in order to follow it and I certainly don’t believe there are many willing to do it. As someone who has never made a penny off of an Advocare product but has seen it advertised on TV and decided to do some research, I certainly would recommend it over the typical burger and fries or pizza and nachos that warrant much more concern. Again, when you take into consideration the typical American diet, you’re really speaking a foreign language to most. Nice blog though.

    1. dani stout Post author

      It makes me sad that the apparently the only option for majority of Americans are a crappy diet, or a crappier diet. I refuse to believe that, it’s just about the effort. I’ve been poor. I’ve worked two jobs while going to school. I’ve been there. I know it’s hard to eat well sometimes – but it’s not impossible.

  33. James

    I am looking for a healthier alternative to spark for my 11 year old son. He has a hard time focusing in school and at home with homework. When we give him spark he is a totally different person and can actually focus and get his work done. Do you happen to know of any other drinks? I read the natural flavors and sucralose on the ingredients and didn’t want to give it to him any more. any help is appreciated.

  34. Ray Cattaneo

    The below is from ID LIFE. What do you think?
    Supplement Per Serving %RDA
    Vitamin A ( natural carotenoids 50%, Retinol palmitate 50% ) 2500.00 IU 50
    Vitamin A (Beta Carotene) 1500.00 IU 30
    Vitamin C 160.00 mg 266
    Vitamin C (from Calcium ascorbate) 30.00 mg 50
    Vitamin D (from Cholecalciferol) 2500.00 IU 625
    Vitamin E (from mixed tocopherol) 11.00 IU 36
    Vitamin B1 (Thiamin mononitrate) 1.00 mg 62
    Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1.30 mg 76
    Vitamin B3 (Niacin HCl) 20.00 mg 100
    Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride) 2.00 mg 100
    Folate (50% 6(S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid, glucosamine salt and 50% folinic acid calcium salt) 600.00 mcg 150
    Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) 2.00 mcg 33
    Pantothenic acid (from Calcium pantothenate) 6.00 mg 60
    Choline 50.00 mg 10
    Biotin 30.00 mcg 10
    Calcium (dicalcium phosphate) 234.00 mg 23
    Calcium (from citrate, ascorbate) 125.00 mg 12
    Chromium (Chromate)(fro Chromium polynicotinate) 60.00 mcg 50
    Copper (from glycinate) 0.50 mg 25
    Iodine (from kelp) 150.00 mcg 100
    Magnesium (from glycinate, maleate) 100.00 mg 25
    Manganese (from gluconate) 2.00 mg 100
    Molybdenum (from Sodium molybdate) 75.00 mcg 100
    Selenium (from selenomethionine) 121.00 mcg 242
    Zinc (Optizinc®) 6.00 mg 40
    Potassium (from citrate) 50.00 mg 1
    Alpha Lipoic Acid 25.00 mg ?
    Broccoli (brassica oleraces) 15.00 mg ?
    ChronoFactor Proprietary Blend: Curcumin, EGCG, Quercetin and Glucosinolate 75.00 mg ?
    CoQ10 (ubiquinone) 25.00 mg ?
    Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA-from marine fish oil) 192.00 mg ?
    EGCG (from green tea) 50.00 mg ?
    Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA-from marine fish oil) 251.00 mg ?
    GABA 50.00 mg ?
    Glutathione (reduced) 5.00 mg ?
    N-Acetyl-Cysteine 250.00 mg ?
    PABA 25.00 mg ?
    Schizandra chinensis 25.00 mg ?
    Silicon (as horsetail) 2.00 mcg ?
    Spirulina (Arthrospira maxima) 450.00 mg ?
    Tocotrienols 25.00 mg ?
    Vanadium (from Vanadyl Sulfate) 500.00 mcg ?
    ?Daily Value not established
    Other ingredients: Gelatin, Magnesium Stearate, Stearic Acid, Microcrystalline, Cellulose, Silicone Dioxide, Glycerine, DI Water

  35. Mary Richmond

    Hi I’m wondering if you could maybe do one of these reviews on the Visalus products. I would be interested in seeing what you think about that. I have friends that use Shakeology and Advocare regularly and I use Visalus some and have family that use Visalus regularly. Any help you can give is appreciated. Thanks!

  36. Ray

    I friend has just mentioned selling Advocare products, we were both high level atheletes in our day and come in contact with many of the same.

    Reading what you wrote has given me a huge “pause”.

    Thanks so much,

    Ray

  37. Pete

    I do think Dani means well, but should be upfront about her own extreme purists views about food….which puts her in a very small group, considering the obesity group dwarfs it. She would get far more followers if she took a less ‘zero tolerance strict adherence’ approach, but at this point it’s apparent that zero tolerance is so deeply woven into her identity that her pride keeps her a prisoner of reaching a larger audience.

    AdvoCare actually teaches healthy eating, but recognizes that people are busy, so they give them a healthy alternative vs grabbing comfort food from a vending machine. It’s easy to attack any product with the strict adherence checklist Dani carries around in her pocket, but you’re missing a big part of what the company actually teaches. A plan that is admirable and is a sustainable step towards being healthier. Same with the beach body products, I have my preferences, but there are a lot of good starting points for people…dani is dismissing them all.

    Scaremongering everyone with your opinions and beliefs that everyone is equally unhealthy eating a burger vs an occasional well designed meal replacement shake is a poor advocate for health. Acknowledge that AdvoCare and some of these other companies may be providing an intermediary step to health. It’s like you’re telling smokers that using the patch or other alternatives are going to kill them anyways. What good does that do? It keeps them right where they are. Part of me wonders if that’s your point…to keep others right where they are, so you can look superior. If someone where to have success some other way besides yours…I think you would feel threatened by that. You shouldn’t….if you are a true advocate for health.

    Bravo that you can make such drastic and immediate changes in your life. Most people can’t. Recognize that dani. And do more people good by giving them a good, better, best solution an applaud their efforts instead of tearing them down with your extreme ultimatum of food choices.

    1. dani stout Post author

      Way to make sweeping generalizations about someone you’ve never even met.

      I’m don’t adhere to a strict zero tolerance policy. I follow an 80/20 rule – eat well 80% of the time and do you best the other 20%. This leaves me room for wine, fries, chocolate, etc. And I’d eat a burger over an Advocare shake anyday – at least I know what’s in a burger. Plus, I regularly eat grass-fed burgers.

      The changes in my life were not immediate or drastic. They occurred over YEARS of trying different diets.

      Please do not make assumptions about me, my journey, or anyone who you have never even spoken to.

      1. Charles

        I just wanted to add that I am going to take your 21 day transformation link and send it to my wife. Let her mull it over and see if it’s something she would be willing to try. 🙂 Because, it starts a lot of times in the store. What you buy is obviously equally as important as what you eat…since those things go hand in hand. And that’s where the problem happens. The food purchased doesn’t end up being the food desired, it was more expensive than the “normal” food we got, etc etc. I’m sure you’ve heard all of those before.

  38. Andrea

    First of all I am at a 40% discount with AdvoCare. I have used the products for 2 years. I would like to share my experience.

    Was sold Advocare 24 day challenge at a craft fair of all places. Decided I would try it as I was trying to lose that last 20 pounds. Started the challenge which was the 10 day cleanse. Was told it was gentle and I would not have to be on the pot all day. For me that was only partially true. I was told the reason is I must be very toxic and needed a cleanse for a long time and it was getting rid of all the junk. I bought it hook line and sinker and finished the cleanse. Then came the next 14 days where I felt wonderful and lost 7 pounds.

    My husband and I went to a “mixer” and he was sold on the money to be made by helping people. We went all in bringing us to a 40% discount.

    We helped a few people, husband did a challenge and lost 10 pounds.

    I did another cleanse 4 mo after the first and could not finish it as it made me very ill. Was on the MNS3 system and started gaining weight.

    I stopped the MNS and just went with their multi vitamin, still drinking Spark.

    I completely changed my diet and completely changed my workouts and lost a bunch of weight. Was told by my upline it was all AdvoCare that did it for me.

    Then the food intolerances and allergies hit. I spent the next year figuring all of that out. Still drinking Spark and still on multi vitamin from AdvoCare. I gained around 45 pounds back. Got the intolerances mostly figured out and started losing. Lost 25 pounds by Paleo diet. Only thing artificial I was putting in my body was Spark.

    Had surgery and gained that 25 pounds back over a period of 10 months.

    Just like the pain of child birth becomes a distant memory that did not seem so bad was the rememberance of what the Advocare cleanse did to me.

    So recently (beginning of Jan) I went “All in” and started a cleanse. I had to stop short of the 10 days as I could not tolerate the bloating (yes I was drinking enough water) and the diarrhea. I have said goodbye now to not feeling sick and not having to run to the potty every 20 min to go. The cleanse did something to me that I will pay for, for months now. I ruined everything that I had worked so hard to get back (normal BM’s). I am back on MNS3 to see if I would lose anything and so far even tho I have constant diarrhea I have lost NOTHING other than my health. This weekend I stopped the MNS and Spark and am just taking a probiotic and multivitamin and am feeling somewhat normal again.

    I no longer believe in AdvoCare. I have asked for help from my upline (who by the way is a Diamond) and he will not answer my questions. Why you might ask?? It is because I am no longer making him money so he has written me off.

    The main reason people see a big loss on the challenge is because they stop eating at fast food resturants, stop drinking for the first 10 days and start eating a healthier diet. That is the real reason. Like I said I am no longer a believer that the products other than a few do any good and I can no longer promote something that has made me so ill.

  39. Madi

    The diet program market is huge. Advocare teaches people to eat better.. That’s why you lose weight, not because of the products.. Well, in a way the supplements/shakes/etc act as a placebo for someone wanting to lose weight… Because of course proper diet and exercise is a key factor (news flash: when you eat better and exercise you lose weight–it’s a miracle!) . Not everyone has the discipline to be Dani, unfortunately….but we can still make better choices and sometimes ridiculous companies like Advocare help push people in the right direction. I understand that Dani doesn’t like the idea of something like Advocare being better for someone than their crap fast food diet… Because in here eyes it is just as bad–understandable with how she eats.. But, as said before, isn’t it better than they are on something that is encouraging them to make healthier choices than for them to continue their take-out, drive-thru lifestyle? 🙁 Also, kind of weirded out by soy now……… I’m going to have to research on my own so that I can understand.. I always thought soy was good. :/

    1. Andrea

      Just a FYI some of the crap I see that distributors and or advisers post on the all in page on how and what to eat is ridiculous. One spear of broccoli and 1 oz of fish for dinner? Seriously? Than post that you have lost 20 pounds in 24 days? Seriously?? Advocare DOES NOT teach how to eat right.

      1. Madi

        That’s funny because when I did Advocare in the past, I was always told to have a well-balanced meal with a complex carb, protein and vegetable…as laid out in the cook books as well as in their 24 day challenge. I was never told to eat that little. But that’s what you get when you have a company like Advocare so definitely another con; people that don’t read the material and give bad advice. I have since not bought anything from Advocare but I did learn to eat well-balanced meals and plan for the week… I guess having to do that for nearly a month made a habit for me. Also, those that advised me were very adamant that this wasn’t meant to have you drop a ton of weight in a short time.. Instead they focused on changing how we looked at food and how healthy living can fit into any lifestyle no matter how busy.

        1. Edward

          This is a great article and one of the most logical and well cited blogs I have ever read. Advocare is a con, and a good one because this generation is jumping in head over heals. I do not have the strong eating habits as Dani but I agree that many people past and future will, and or have, health issues that were not justly accredited to advocare.

  40. jaicelle

    hi Dani,
    I’m interested in getting a review of mynt. I personally have enjoyed the products so much I promote them. But I would like to know if what I’m being told “all natural, non GMO, gluten free” is reality It’s a fairly new nutrition line, that thrives on changing a lifestyle not a diet. The #coreundiet if you will. I’m interested in a review of the 8 week kit, it comes with everything you need for 2 months. It wouldn’t let me link the specific kit but it can be found at http://www.jsmith.gomynt.com

    1. dani stout Post author

      I would need a link to the specific ingredients you’d like reviewed. They have a lot of products, not sure which you’re interested in.

  41. Jillian

    I just came across your site because a friend of mine is selling/promoting Advocare, and the gym I started going to promotes/sells Herbalife. After five minutes of researching, I came to similar conclusion – seems like putting a lot of fake/tasty products into your body.

    I wanted to see if you have ever heard of or looked into Amazing Grass products? I understand the point of eating REAL healthy food to fuel your body vs. trying to substitute with manufactured artificial powders. However – I found Amazing Grass products at whole foods and after reading up on them, I really can’t find anything negative! Am I missing anything? I’d be interested to hear your opinion.

    I like using the Amazing Grass Raw Reserve/Amazing Meal as a way to fit in lots of fruits/veggies/probiotics when I know I have a busy day ahead and won’t have time to prepare multiple well rounded meals for the day. Just curious if you’ve heard of or tried any of them!

    1. dani stout Post author

      I like Amazing Grass, but they’re best used as an addition to diet, not a meal replacement.

  42. Brian

    Hi! I have recently bought into the Advocare products but have become increasingly skeptical, especially after I can’t get the smell of their “Spark” drink out of my blender bottle. I don’t think something like that should have a permanent “stained smell” that I can’t get rid of. Are there any natural energy drinks you would recommend?

    How about the whey protein from this site?
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/opt/oatsandwhey.html

    Thank you!
    Brian

  43. Tori Buchanan

    Hi! I was wondering how you feel about Dr. Mercola’s pure protein powder? It seems to be grass fed and no soy??
    Also, which flavor is best in the protein powder you recommended?

    1. dani stout Post author

      Can you provide a link to the ingredients you’d like reviewed?

      I like vanilla the best, but that might be because I hate chocolate.

      1. Suzanne Lee

        Hi there!

        First off I am really exited I came across your site!
        I recently was using Isagenix products but did phase them out because I saw the bigger picture. The products aren’t great and it’s more of a money maker for your up line. I recently tried some supplements and a vegan protein shake from Ariix. Their brand is Pure Nourish. I enjoy it, but would really appreciate a non biased opinion on it. They claim to be far above everyone else- health wise…

        Thanks,
        Suzanne Lee

  44. Annie

    Hi, Dani,

    I’ve enjoyed reviewing your site and the comments from others. I have a friend who is very high in the Arbonne company and is consistently promoting their nutritional line of products. Do you know anything about those? Here is a link to their protein shake info page: http://www.arbonnemarketing.com/PK/dl/pk/2069_us_eng.pdf. There are other products too, but this would be a start. Thank you!

    1. dani stout Post author

      Sugar, corn, rice, sunflower oil. Not a good start. This would be especially bad if they’re not certified GMO-free.

  45. laureen

    I was looking into just advo care fiber capsule.. Would you know how it compares to the Skinny Fiber product that is on the market? Ingredients below.
    Thank you for any information/advise you can supply.

    Cha de Bugre: Cha de Bugre is a tree that is native to Brazil and can also be found in the tropical forests of Paraguay and Argentina. The tree produces a red fruit that looks a lot like a coffee bean. This fruit is often roasted and brewed into a tea as a substitute for coffee. One of its names is “cafe do mato” or “coffee of the woods.” Cha de Bugre is a popular weight loss aid in Brazil and is a common ingredient in “Brazilian diet pills” that are also becoming popular in North America. The source of this information is WebMD, click here to Read more.

    Glucomannan: Glucomannan is a food additive used as an emulsifier and thickener. Products containing glucomannan, marketed under a variety of brand names, are also sold as nutritional supplements for constipation, obesity, high cholesterol, acne vulgaris and type 2 diabetes. Although there is some clinical support for potential health benefits, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any product containing glucomannan for the treatment of these medical conditions. Health Canada has authorized some products containing glucomannan for the purposes of appetite reduction, weight management, treatment of constipation and management of high cholesterol levels. The source of this information is Wikipedia, click here to Read more.

    Caralluma: Caralluma is a succulent plant (cactus) from India. In India it grows wild and is often used as a border in gardens and as a roadside shrub. It is also found in the wild in Africa, Saudi Arabia, Canary Islands, Afghanistan, and Southern Europe. Traditionally, Indian tribes chewed chunks of caralluma to keep from being hungry during a long hunt. These days, a solution that contains chemicals taken from the plant (extract) is used to decrease appetite for weight loss. It is also used to quench thirst and to increase endurance. In foods in India, caralluma is cooked as a vegetable and is used in preserves such as chutneys and pickles. The source of this information is WebMD, click here to Read more.

    Amylase/ Protease/ Lipase powder: is a digestive enzyme combination. Helps relieve symptoms of indigestion that occur after meals. It enables the body to digest protein, starch, and fat.

    Glucoamylase powder: It helps to break down starch that is found in most vegetables. It is a type of digestive enzyme that breaks off glucose molecule from sugar, maltose etc. The free glucose molecule then can be used as a source of energy for the body.

    Papain powder: Papain is extracted from the fruit of the papaya tree. It contains enzymes that help break down proteins. It is mostly used as a digestive aid for treating parasitic worms, inflammation of the throat and pharynx.

    Cellulase powder: Cellulase is produced naturally by symbiotic fungi, protozoa, and bacteria. Helps keep cholesterol in the blood stream at optimal levels.

    Bromelain powder: It is extracted from pineapple juice and pineapple stems. It enables the body to produce substances that fight pain and swelling inflammation.

    HOW SAFE ARE SKINNY FIBER INGREDIENTS?

    Skinny Fiber is a composition of 100% natural plant extracts. Skinny Fiber is free of corn, dairy, gluten, soy, wheat, and yeast. It contains no harmful chemicals, caffeine, and any artificial stimulants. The product is a mixture of proprietary blend and proprietary enzyme blend. Each bottle contains 1160mg proprietary blend and 260mg proprietary enzyme blend. The 3 main ingredients are Cha de Bugre, Glucomannan, and Caralluma. Cha de Bugre is a popular weight loss Brazilian plant extract that burns excess fat deposits. Glucomannan is a natural plant fiber which expands 50 times its size in stomach and gives you feeling of fullness and less craving. Caralluma is an Indian and African cactus like plant that suppresses the appetite and helps burn excess fat deposits.

    1. dani stout Post author

      I recommend getting fiber from fruits and vegetables, particularly raspberries, artichokes, avocado, etc.

  46. Felix

    I enjoyed reading your website. My fiancee wants to get on this advocare trip and I realized that – surprise – someone is pushing it on her! SMH

    Anyhow, I was a paleo guy (I was a regular Crossfit guy) until I faced cholesterol issues. I was a by the book paleo guy – haven’t had processed foods in eons, no sodas, eat clean, etc.. I became much more focused on the health aspects of plant based diet. Effects of plant diet on my overall health has made me a believer and I’ve also really started looking into the body’s pH levels and how to keep that in balance. I’ve only now started to understand the acidity affects that the paleo diet has on the body (for reading, Alex Guerrero’s “In Balance for Life” was an eye opener. Thoughts?

    Keep up the good work!

    1. dani stout Post author

      I suggest getting checked to see if you have the E4 genotype. My husband has it and it affects how your body processed fat.

    2. Nolan

      My thoughts: the body regulates it’s own PH pretty well, you don’t need to be worried about that. Also there is little evidence today (in contrast to 15 years ago) that suggest dietary fat or cholesterol are correlated to blood cholesterol levels or body fat.
      MY final thought: stick to scholarly articles. They’re boring and dry, and only report the facts, Just like science should. No self help books from now on.

  47. Doc

    I agree with your assessment that Advocare is not healthy but pretending you’re concerned with science, then taking an Anti GMO stance is not coherent with actual science. I guess as a ‘Holistic”, it should be expected.

    1. dani stout Post author

      Actually I rely on science. I recommend keeping up with the latest.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20011136 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10657055 http://www.salmone.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/seralini-2012.pdf http://www.biosicherheit.de/pdf/aktuell/zentek_studie_2008.pdf http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/09/argentina-gmo-crops.aspx – See more at: http://ancestral-nutrition.com/an-unbiased-review-of-isagenix/#comment-339390

  48. Brian

    Great post. I used to think the AdvoCare products were high quality but now I realize it is just more smoke and mirrors. AdvoCare actually had to pay $197,000 to several California health organizations because they weren’t complying with Proposition 65 which states that products with lead in them have to be disclosed to the customers and the fact that they can cause birth defects and other reproductive harm. I personally think that AdvoCare spark is the least of the worries with these other products such as Meal Replacement Shakes and ThermoPlus having lead in them. Check out the link and you can see a picture of the warning and also click on the lawsuit where they had to pay the money to California.
    http://shouldijoin.org/is-drew-brees-endorsing-a-cult/

  49. Brian

    I apologize, but beginning any realistic critique of any sort of supplement with “it contains GMOs” means you have no idea what a GMO is, that nothing today is GMO free, because it happens naturally; you know, in nature. Scientists have learned how to do it in the lab, it’s 100% safe, and any “article” or “evidence” you provide, has already been thoroughly debunked and cited as pseudoscience.

    If you are going to take a stand against replacement meal shakes, that’s just fine. I even agree with it, but to make any statements on the premise of GMO being harmful means you are horribly scientifically illiterate and need to strongly consider doing some real investigating, and reading the overwhelming amount of scientific data that GMO is perfectly safe. In most cases it is even healthier than organic food.

    1. dani Post author

      Actually, anyone who even has the slightest grasp on GMOs knows that there’s a different between genetic modification, which happens in a lab and hybridization, which happens in nature. Get back to me when you educate yourself on the difference.

  50. Steve lowe

    You’re an idiot, unbiased huh, I’ve been taken these product for over a year and nothing works better, and I am a martial artist,ex kick boxer, ex police officer and ex military. I know how to stay in shape and I have never felt better than I do on these products.

    1. dani Post author

      Damn, your diet before switching musta been real shitty. I’m an idiot? I’m not the one chugging GMOs, rancid vegetable oils, corn syrup and processed soy.

      Also being a martial artist, ex kick boxer, ex police and ex military has nothing to do with being knowledgable about nutrition.

  51. Jeff

    How can this be unbiased when you sell your own weight loss plan? Unbiased would be if you had no skin in the game, Advocare, Herbalife, Usana, and others take money out of your pocket. Sorry don’t buy the unbiased angle nor the “research”. There are scientist who claim global warming is real. Studies and research can make any product beneficial or harmful. If we were to follow all the “experts” advice then we should all just shoot ourselves in the head because everything will kill us, including living.

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