is Advocare healthy?

Any time a company doesn’t clearly disclose all of the ingredients in a product I can’t help but find out what they are hiding.

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www.advocarenergy.com

As I heard more and more folks talking about this company, I got the same feeling from it that I had when a friend tried to get me on Herbalife about 10 years ago…thank goodness I knew better!

While I realize that people may be experiencing some benefits due to weight loss, energy, etc. you have to consider at what cost that is coming at.  And yes, it does give you the warm fuzzies to see that it is endorsed by Drew Brees, Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Jason Witten…four of the quintessential “good guys” in pro football, I think they’re even Christians so obviously, you can trust them, right?

But we all know that’s no reason to use something.  So, I started researching one of their most popular products: Spark.

“Spark” is advertised as a low-cal energy drink that is sugar free and doesnt give you jitters.

Just the words “sugar free” and “low-calorie” raised a red flag in my mind.  So, I started digging.

The products list on the advocare website lists the “key” ingredients, but it is by no means a full list, which made me think they had something to hide.

It turns out they have a lot to hide.  That is, if they want to continue advertising this garbage as healthy!

I finally did find it.  In a small tab under the “key ingredients” is “all ingredients”.  You click the tiny button to the left and it will reveal the actual, comprehensive list, revealing the top offenders: “natural and artificial flavors, sucralose.”

Here is the Link

Wah..wah…there they are are: the nasty little ingredients that they don’t really want you to know are in there.  The ones you have to dig to find.

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Just because something is a “natural” flavor doesn’t mean that it is good for you, and artificial flavors cause a host of issues and illnesses:  including headaches, ADD, hyperactivity, tumors, neurological disorders….I could go on.

Sucralose is just the generic name for Splenda, a toxic artificial sweetener.  Take sugar (often derived from GMO sugar beets) process it with chlorine, and voila: sucralose.  It was actually originally created as an insecticide, but once chemists discovered that it was so sweet, they abandoned the insecticide idea and marketed this chemical as a healthy sugar alternative. Seriously.  Why? Because the diet & weight loss industry is way more profitable than the pest-control industry.

“But sucralose is FDA approved!  It even says so on the Advocare website!” you might say.  Honestly, that means nothing!  The FDA has approved a host of horrible chemicals (including asparame!!) that are killing us.  They give the thumbs up to lots of other chemicals posing as food that other, healthier countries have long ago banned. Plus, the study that they did before approving sucralose included 23 humans for only 4 days…how irresponsible is that when passing off an insecticide as a food product?

***Since writing this post, Sucralose has been downgraded from “safe” to “caution” because of it’s link to leukemia***

I’ll go further in-depth about the dangers of artificial sweeteners in a future post but for now, here are the most common side effects of this sweet chemical:

it reduces the good bacteria in your intestines (which causes a cascade of other problems) and raises the Ph in your body.  It also…wait for it…is linked to weight gain because of it’s propensity to cause carb cravings, stimulate appetite, and increase fat storage in the body.  It is also linked to a laundry list of other symptoms like migraines, dizziness, kidney stones, seizures, rashes, stomach pain and diarrhea, anxiety and depression.

So, I am not even going to go into the rest of the questionable ingredients, or bother with researching how they derive the vitamins and minerals in their products.  I don’t see anywhere where they are “raw” or “live” or “food-sourced” or “organic” so they may just be synthetic or derived from GMO plants laden with pesticides.  Honestly, I don’t care, because the presence of artificial flavors and sucralose is enough to convince me that these products are not only unhealthy, but not designed with whole body long-term health in mind.

And, in my opinion, any company who would make finding all of the ingredients in their products difficult and who markets harmful chemicals as health products is lacking in either integrity or basic knowledge of long-term health.

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I also looked into the protein powders.  Every one I saw contained artificial flavors and sucralose.  Many are made from soy protein (they don’t list their products “non-GMO” which means that there is a 90% chance that this stuff is made with GMO soy!)  Also, soy, when not fermented mimics estrogen in the body…man boobs and infertility anyone??

The solution?  Eat FOOD, real food.  Not processed, packaged, multi-level-marketed chemicals.  This means organic, local if possible, fruits and vegetables, pastured bird products, grass fed red meats, raw dairy from grass fed cows…When you fuel your body with the things that it was naturally designed to run on, it functions properly for you, and you stay trim.  In the same way that a gasoline vehicle will not function well on diesel, your body will not run well when you put the wrong stuff in it.

The chemicals found in products like Advocare may yield short term benefits like energy and weight loss, but the long-term effects of consuming these things can truly be devestating to one’s health.

If you need an energy boost in the morning try kombucha, lemon water, chia seed, or organic coffee. Also consider why you are lacking in energy.  This is often because of a mineral or vitamin deficiency that can be healed through proper diet or quality supplementation rather than suppressing the symptoms with a powdered chemical drink.

Alright, I’m really not wanting to step on any toes.  I’m just looking out for ya!

live well. be well.

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References:

The Secret Dangers of Sucralose: Mercola.com

Food Renegade:  The Dangers of Splenda

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Comments

  1. says

    We are all going to die someday. That being said, I’ve decided to opt for Spark rather than my coffee because of the way coffee makes me feel. Coffee has a whole host of bad effects. There has been a lot of research suggesting that an alkaline body is better anyway, as to the comment of it raising your PH. With food science, nothing will ever be perfect and on the other hand, good luck getting even half your daily RDA of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and omega 3s with just food. Most of us are too busy to eat that much or that often.

    • says

      I LOVE what AdvoCare has done for me; I am down 31 pionds, and 3 pounds away from my target weight! My energy is amazing, I love these products, I eat healthy now and exercise, and AdvoCare has changed my life for the amazing. People will show nasty stuff and their deragatory info all the time no matter what. Just ignore it, make your own informed decisions, and be happy with yourself. These people can do what they want for themselves, and we can do what we want for OUR selves. Be happy, be safe, be AdvoCare!

  2. Kevin says

    Ok let’s see everyone here bashing and obviously didn’t research themselves … here is about sucralose … Sucralose may have the strangest “accidental discovery” story of all the sweeteners. Tate & Lyle, a British sugar company, was looking for ways to use sucrose as a chemical intermediate. In collaboration with Prof. Leslie Hough’s laboratory at King’s College in London, halogenated sugars were being synthesized and tested. A foreign graduate student, Shashikant Phadnis, responded to “testing” of a chlorinated sugar as a request for “tasting,” leading to the discovery that many chlorinated sugars are sweet with potencies some hundreds or thousands of times as great as sucrose. (Walters, 2000)

    From here http://www.kon.org/urc/frank.html

    It was in fact being made as a chemical compound as an insecticide … and its not just the sucralose that’s the problem … anything that list ” and other natural flavors” isn’t so natural … read here http://www.ryot.org/natural-flavorings/478825

    Then the vitamins that advocare list is nothing more than fractional vitamins which means they are synthetic which long term use can have adverse health affects

  3. Jo Moody says

    I have been on Advocare Spark for about two years. Just recently I have had migraines, very lethargic and extremely tired and bordering being depressed. I was researching if it could be the Spark because honestly, I don’t feel the same on the days I forget it. This post helped me to make a decision. I know that all of us are different and don’t have the same reactions. I am chiming in because I have been on their products for a while and these symptoms did not appear right away. At first I was energetic, lost 35lbs on my challenge and felt amazing. Still on the products and do not feel the same. Almost like a quick high then a plummeting drop.
    Thank you for posting this :)

      • Melissa says

        Not necessarily, sometimes it takes awhile for things to accumulate in our bodies and cause a reaction. Our bodies are amazing at trying to get rid of the things we don’t need, when it can’t figure out where a specific proponent of our diet should go it kind of holds on to it until it can figure out where it should put it, which means chemicals that our bodies don’t need can sit in our system for a long time, until the body finally says, I don’t know what to do with it and “ejects” it out!
        The same thing can happen with heart disease, our hearts build up the plaque that can block our blood flow, and then one day… boom… no more blood flow!
        Just saying, it might not happen over night, it could be a build up over time and then finally the body says, I can’t deal with this anymore!

      • skeptic says

        If it was the asbestos, agent orange, etc, wouldn’t it have happened right away? There is such a thing as a delayed reaction to a chemical as well as effects that only occur after long term use.

    • says

      Unfortunately, those are the symptoms people are experiencing with Advocare. I have been taking Yoli better body products for over 2 years now and I am so blessed that I found Yoli. All Yoli’s products aim to alkalize the body and replace deficient vitamins and minerals. We have a strong probiotic that helps boost the immune system and keep a healthy gut. Our whey protein shakes are made from grass-fed, hormone/antibiotic free cows. We pair this with a clean eating food plan and a huge support system, and BAM, you have a whole new perspective on life. Yoli by far the best thing that has ever happened to me and I want to spread the word!!! Go Yoli!

  4. betty says

    Reading this was exhausting … All the comments… I agree with u 100 per cent. Eat. Real. Food. I had a neighbor who drank 2-3 sparks a day. His liver began to shut down and he was becoming jaundice. Luckily, the docs figured out it was spark. Advocare is junk in my opinion. I will continue to eat real food and get my vitamins and minerals from food. Not a bottle or box. And I agree…. Drink kombucha not spark!

  5. says

    Yes! When all the buzz started about Advocare I took a look into it – well I just turned the container around and read the ingredients. What do people not understand about artificial sweeteners!? This stuff is ALL THE RAVE and it is terrible for you!

  6. says

    Lindsay, I appreciate your vast knowledge on how terrible Spark is. But I come from the perspective of a person who has seen Advocare products help me tremendously. I had a broken neck, compound fractured femur, crushed rib cage, collapsed lung, and hemotomas on both sides of my brain. I spent a month in a coma and was in a wheelchair when I came out. I had a long fight ahead. Half way thru my recovery, I was introduced to AdvoCare products. One in particular that I’ve taken daily since then is Spark. My brain was not supposed to fully heal to the point it has today. I’ve written a book about my experience without any assistance. I have to give credit to God for sure. However I honestly believe that the B vitamins and GABA in Spark helped heal my brain and helps me be crisp in my thought processing today. Although I live with a paralyzed arm, I’m not any wheelchair and I’m down to a 13 minute mile. And I honestly feel healthier then I ever have in my life, and I don’t intend to die young. I’m sorry you’re so sour on AdvoCare products, but they have worked for me.
    proof: http://www.mattpotratz.com.

    • skeptic says

      If it’s the B vitamins and the GABA, which not simply take those supplements or eat a diet rich in B vitamins. It’s these sort of miraculous stories that make logical people immediately question this product. The ridiculous thing is that people keep saying “Be healthy, be advocare”, as if advocare is the lynchpin of healthiness. People have said the same miraculous nonsense about every single diet and every single supplement. It’s always, “I wan’t able to do X, but then I began using Y and now, I can do it!!”. Bottom line, you can get all the of the beneficial (whatever they may be) stuff in Advocare products from other cheaper sources without the additives. Eat well, eat clean and exercise and leave the chemicals in the lab.

  7. Samantha says

    I got suckered in the Advocare about a year and a half ago with their whole “You can make so much money! Here, sell and take our products!” line. I’ve since given up on everything advocare except Spark. But I’m now realizing that I’m way too reliant and depending on spark to get me through the day. I was taking medicine for anxiety before I did my 24 day challenge over a year ago, and I stopped taking it before the cleanse. The Spark really helped me to feel less hazy after discontinuing my medicine. But the whole reason I stopped taking the medicine was to be in control of my life and not be dependent on a pill, but now in this case, a daily energy drink! It took me a full year and a semester of nutrition and health classes to figure it out, but I did. 20 times out of 10, a balanced, healthy diet with variation and moderation is the way to go for weight loss. And something natural should be giving me an energy boost, not something pumped full of vitamins and minerals way above your daily value. I’ll admit that it definitely helped me focus when in class or studying, but there are other natural ways to find that focus. Unfortunately, we look for the easy convenient solutions for our problems, and advocate supplies that. I’d rather wake up a half our earlier, make a cup of coffee, lemon water, and a healthy, balanced breakfast to start my day that drink some powder and grab a “meal bar” because it’s easy. Sometimes it’s better to take the “harder” path especially when it comes to your body and health.

  8. Cyndi says

    I had a friend try to sign me on with advocare. When I began raising questions about the ingredients, her response as was her mentor’s was “I don’t wanna play Mr. Microscope. We have leading scientists ensure it’s safe and good for us!!!”
    Well I don’t buy that when it comes to any the area of health, that someone “smarter” knows better. I certainly don’t buy it here. Their website even had the sentiment “don’t get caught up in playing Mr. Microscope,” when I began digging.
    Any company that feeds a line like that to fend off true research is lacking in integrity in my opinion. Glad I figured it out instead of blindly trusting a company that masquerades as “healthy.”

  9. says

    Thank you Lindsay for writing this. I have been searching for ingredients and can not find all the ingredients listed on the Advocare website. I also looked at EWG.org and can find no info there too. I finally found a company I can trust to be the cleanest out there and joined forces with them. The are totally transparent. Thanks.

    • says

      Not sure if I can mention other companies but this site is where I found the cleanest and transparent products. http://www.kareng.beautycounter.com IF you have heard of the company you will know how clean ALL (not some) their products are and the importance of their mission to get get safe products into the hands of everyone. :)

  10. Katie Ennis says

    I started reading but realized you started this misinformed so stopped reading. I can only imagine it was going to get worse.

    • skeptic says

      If you are so informed that you can judge the posts of others without reading them in their entirety, then why are you even on the internet? Moreover, why not do something worthwhile with your post, like set the record straight? Tell us why she is misinformed and tell us why you are so correctly informed and why you are qualified to judge.

  11. Cal says

    You’re spot on about sucralose. The thing I will never understand is that we’re taught in organic chemistry 101 that halogenated organic compounds ARE very very often carcinogens (for someone who doesn’t understand the big words: organic chemicals (carbon based) that have chlorine or bromine groups cause cancer…) to break that down further, sucralose falls into a category of chemicals that are known to cause cancer. Why this doesn’t raise more alarms and automatically halt approval until very LONG term studies can be done is ludicrous to me.

    I do know people who swear by spark (and have lost weight), but no thank you, I prefer not to poison myself. I can get my vitamins and energy from actual food.

  12. Ashley says

    I am an advocare user. I for once am following a program, where I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything. Not only do they teach you what to eat and how to eat. They provide you with a full list of ingrediants on the product. So there are no surprises. I have never felt like I was on crack while using the product. I have a motivated sense of getting things done energy level. I have lost 35lbs in 3.5mo. following this program. I have even started training for a 5k. There will always be disbelievers and naysayers. But I would recommend this product to anyone, it is high quality. They say eat clean and exercise. It is meant to be used as a tool to help you.

    http://www.advocare.com/science/

  13. Jolene says

    I looked up above under the ‘about Lindsay’ tab and didn’t see your credentials.. Just curious what your credentials are, ie a scientist/nutritionist/dr/etc. Thx!

    • Barb says

      I saw “a place for encouragement and inspiration”, yet what I read was someone going out of their way to bash a reputable company.

  14. austin blackwell says

    “What is sucralose? Is it safe?
    Sucralose is a sweetener made from table sugar (sucrose) by chlorinating it in three positions on the molecule. This provides a substance which is approximately 600 times sweeter than sucrose and is very poorly absorbed. Therefore, the body does not metabolize it for energy, and only a small amount is needed to effectively sweeten a substance.

    Sucralose has the closest sweetness profile to sucrose, the “gold standard of sweeteners”. It also has exceedingly good solubility and stability properties, making it an excellent choice among non-nutritive sweeteners.

    Sucralose has over a twenty-year history of safe and effective use. It carries no warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is approved by the FDA as well as the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives. It is approved by food and health agencies of over 40 countries. It can be used by pregnant and nursing women since very little is absorbed. Thousands of food and beverage products around the world contain sucralose. AdvoCare® is not aware of any peer-reviewed human research studies published in reputable, well-recognized scientific journals demonstrating toxic or adverse effects.

    The scientific consensus of over 200 research articles affirms the safety of sucralose. The research studies which have been conducted to investigate the safety of sucralose have demonstrated no effects on organs, growth weight, blood chemistry or fertility, and sucralose is not carcinogenic, teratogenic or mutagenic. Sucralose does not produce diarrhea, affect the immune system, alter hormonal systems, cause headaches, produce fatigue or skin conditions. In well-controlled studies, no adverse effects have been found.

    The small amount of chlorine present on the sucrose molecule is a tiny fraction of the amount of chlorine already present in our stomachs in the form of hydrochloric acid which aids digestion. Furthermore, the amount of chlorine present is an even smaller fraction of the amount consumed daily in the form of table salt (sodium chloride).

    There are a number of prominent websites that contain extensive amounts of misinformation regarding sucralose and other substances. The information provided is not based on sound scientific studies. All of the information on these websites is anecdotal and has never been published in any reputable journal, does not involve any reputable research studies, and has never been demonstrated in research studies. Furthermore, the websites reference each other in an effort to create credibility.

    AdvoCare does not use products that are not demonstrated to be safe and well studied. AdvoCare does not use any ingredient deemed to be unsafe or harmful based on sound scientific evidence.”

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