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.
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.”
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.
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?
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.
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.
For protein powders: I love this one by Garden Of Life. It’s raw, organic, contains very few ingredients, is sweetened with stevia, and the soy is fermented.
Alright, I’m really not wanting to step on any toes. I’m just looking out for ya!
**NEED MORE PROOF? Check out THIS ARTICLE that I recently found. While I’m not a big fan of the way she describes her view of the average Advocare demographic, she really goes into depth with unearthing the other nasty ingredients found in Spark, as well as exposing the Doctor (not medical Dr. mind you) who is at the forefront of ensuring that these products are safe.***
live well. be well.