There are many techniques and programs out there to help people lose weight. Some of these are simple and easy to follow, while others may be considerably more complex.
But, regardless of the program, there are always people trying to figure out whether the system works.
Because of that, this post offers a detailed AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge review. The challenge is often hyped as a way to lose weight effectively and it heavily relies on supplements.
But, is it a good way to lose weight? Or, is it just an expensive set of products that does very little?
That’s what we’re going to figure out.
AdvoCare is a large company and it has an extensive range of products. This includes five general types of items:
- Trim: For weight loss and maintenance
- Fit: For working out and living
- Active: For energy
- Well: For nutrition and general wellness
- Performance Elite: For muscle development and sports performance
Each area contains a different set of products, each with their own ingredients.
Beyond all of this is the 24 Day Challenge, which is designed to boost health over a fairly short period of time. To do this, the challenge uses products from multiple categories.
The AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge
To do a complete AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge review and look at whether the system actually works, we need to start with what’s actually involved. The first thing to note is that the challenge is broken down into two separate parts - the Cleanse Phase and the Max Phase.
We’re going to take a look at each of these two phases, along with how they work and what you’ll actually be doing. Doing so is critical for considering the diet as a whole.
With this review, I am only focusing on products that are part of the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. The company does produce a range of other products that complement the challenge or stand on their own. But, those are an entirely different topic and something we’re not going to consider here.
Phase One: Cleanse Phase
So then, as the name indicates, the first aspect of the challenge is a cleanse.
I know that cleanses and detoxes are fairly popular. Plus, there is a lot of hype surrounding them. Yet, there is no scientific backing behind them.
I don’t want to go into the science in much detail here but if you’re interested, you can take a look at my post on Detox Water, which also covers many of the underlying concepts of detox and some of the research.
However, the basic idea is that the body already has natural systems in place to remove toxins and those systems work well. A detox or a cleanse does nothing to help those systems work and can even be bad for your body.
In practice, you’re probably doing little, or you’re forcing your body to expel more waste than it would normally. That can sound beneficial but it really isn’t. Likewise, there is no evidence that this type of technique actually removes toxins.
There is also no evidence that doing a cleanse will actually give you a “fresh start” or make it easier to absorb nutrients, despite what the marketing for AdvoCare claims.
The company says that you take three products in this phase but really you’re talking five, as some are packaged together. Each of them is supposed to offer its own benefits.
One of these products is OmegaPlex, which is simply an omega-3 fatty acid supplement.
I entirely agree that omega-3 is critical for health and it’s actually one of the few supplements that I recommend. Ideally, you want to be getting this compound from fish rather than from a supplement but many people do find that they need to supplement it (1,2).
For the most part, omega-3 is associated with health, rather than with weight loss. But, being healthy overall and getting enough nutrients is a key part of weight loss, so I can’t discount the supplement entirely.
But, that aside, omega-3 supplements aren’t uncommon and there are many high-quality ones out there. So, there is nothing revolutionary about these.
Another product in this phase is AdvoCare Spark.
This seems to be a fairly key item in the AdvoCare range. But, it isn’t as great as it first seems. Essentially, the product is just a multivitamin supplement in the form of a drink (you can see an ingredients list on Advocare's site).
You can also find a detailed review of this product on its own at Supplement Geek.
Now, for the most part, multivitamin supplements aren’t necessary. If you’re getting enough nutrients in your diet, then supplementing with additional vitamins and minerals isn’t going to help your health.
And, once again,
Beyond this, there is the Herbal Cleanse System. This is the part that is supposed to cleanse your body and it contains three separate products, which you can see below:
In terms of health and weight loss, fiber and probiotics do both make sense. But again, these aren’t uncommon. Plus, you’re still better getting these compounds in your diet than via supplements.
For example, there are many types of yogurt that can be a great source of probiotics. Plus, the health benefits of yogurt are significant and yogurt can even help with weight loss.
That brings me to the Herbal Cleanse Tablets.
Needless to say, the idea here is to cleanse your body. But, as I mentioned earlier, that concept doesn’t actually work in practice.
Now, the tablets themselves contain the following ingredients:
I’m not going to go into these ingredients in depth but the concept of cleansing isn’t supported scientifically, so there will be little evidence for the effectiveness of these individual ingredients either.
Nevertheless, it is likely that this will increase your bowel movements. That’s something to consider before using the system. Honestly though, having more bowel movements won’t actually help long-term weight loss nor will it cleanse your body.
The Cleanse Phase is a form of detox and includes 5 different components. Yet, there is no real evidence that cleanses actually do anything useful
Phase Two: Max Phase
Now that this AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge Review has looked at the first phase, let’s take a look at the next one.
Here the focus is actually on weight loss, rather than on cleansing. However, there is some overlap between the different programs.
In particular, you do still get probiotics and omega-3 supplements in the Max Phase. Likewise, AdvoCare Spark is included. To a degree this makes sense, after all, you’re still going to want good nutrition.
One key aspect of this phase is the Metabolic Nutrition System. This is the product that contains the probiotics and omega-3 supplements, although it has other components as well.
The idea of this system is to improve energy and appetite control and the company offers three variations of the product.
Basically, you’re getting packs of supplements. This means that, once again, you’re taking dietary supplements. This includes vitamins and minerals, along with various herbs and extracts.
These are split into multiple components, which you take at different times. For example, the image below is for one of the variations called MNS C.
This pack is part the reason I don’t want to go into the individual Advocare 24 Day Challenge ingredients in this review. Simply put, there is an insane amount of them. You can actually find a pdf image for MNS C on AdvoCare’s site, which will give you some idea.
Realistically, it feels like the company has just thrown together every mineral, herb and nutrient that could possibly have any impact on weight loss.
Now, in some cases, there may be evidence for their benefits. For example, detox teas like Fit Tea tend to use green tea as an ingredient, as there is some research suggesting that it can help with weight loss and metabolism (3,4,5,6). However, the effect size is typically small and the results are far from conclusive.
Honestly, if you wanted weight loss benefits from green tea, choosing the tea itself over a supplement is probably the best place to start.
But, despite this, most weight loss supplements tend to be relatively ineffective. Likewise, you have products like the Thrive Patch, which tend to involve bold claims but have little actual impact.
In fact, throughout the various diet and weight loss reviews that I’ve conducted, I’ve found that weight loss supplements have little to no impact on weight loss for the vast majority of users. Plus, when there is weight loss, this tends to be because of other elements, like reducing calories, rather than the supplements themselves.
There is no reason to think that the various supplements from AdvoCare are going to be any different.
Besides, if supplements did truly help with weight loss, why are so many people struggling? At best, they have an extremely marginal effect and are only going to help if you’re already following practices that would help you lose weight.
Now, there is one other product I want to mention in this AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge review, which is the last piece of the Max Phase.
Meal replacement shakes are one technique for weight loss that can work well. In fact, this product is likely to be more powerful than all of the other components of the challenge.
The concept is that you replace one of your meals with a shake like this. The shake contains fiber and protein, and is designed to stop you from being hungry. It also offers a significant amount of nutrients.
Many people do find that a meal replacement shake is an easy way to cut down calorie intake. After all, you’re consuming less with the shake than a typical meal and you’re not skipping a meal.
In this case, the shake is designed to be made with water, not milk.
That technique does lower the calorie count still further. However, shakes made with milk do tend to be more filling.
Personally, I like the concept of protein shakes but that isn’t enough to make me recommend these.
The key reason is that these aren’t unique – at all.
There are other similar companies out there, like Shakeology, which also sell meal replacement shakes. For that matter, you can buy similar products at health food stores and at grocery stores.
You can also find whey protein shakes, which are even more powerful.
These don’t tend to have the vitamins and minerals that you find in a meal replacement shake and are often lower in sugar as well. This makes them powerful for weight loss – and honestly, you don’t need additional vitamins and minerals anyway.
The Max Phase reuses some of the components of the Cleanse Phase but also focuses on products to control appetite and help increase energy
AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge Meal Plan
The main focus of this diet is strongly on the various supplements and drinks. So, there isn’t an official AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge meal plan for you to follow.
However, the company does make some recommendations about what you should be eating, like the following:
There is also a daily guide but to be honest, it isn’t all that helpful. All it really offers is a range of pretty general recommendations about what you should eat and avoid.
I agree with many of the recommendations that they make, although AdvoCare does recommend low fat yogurt, while I feel that this can be counterproductive (see my post on yogurt’s health benefits for an explanation of why).
At the end of the day, you’re pretty much on your own with food when it comes to the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. The recommendations in the guide may help some people but for most, the information will probably be obvious already.
After all, for the most part, the advice is simply to eat healthy, drink water and to watch your portion sizes.
There isn't an official meal plan with the challenge, although there is a strong emphasis on eating healthy food
Advocare Ingredients and Their Impacts
There are multiple products in the Advocare Range and they all have separate (and often complex) lists of ingredients. I'm not going to go through every single one of those, just some of the most significant. These include:
Some of these compounds help support the various benefits that the challenge is designed to offer. However, others are more questionable. So, let's take a look.
Beneficial or Neutral Ingredients
Whey protein concentrate. This is an ingredient in the meal shakes and whey protein powder is a high-quality source of protein. As such, it would help to make the shakes filling and could contribute to weight loss.
Spirulina extract. Spirulina is often used as a supplement in its own right, particularly because it offers a large range of nutrients. However, you're unlikely to see many benefits from it in Advocare's products, as it is just one of many ingredients and sometimes just included as a coloring agent.
Green coffee bean extract. This is often promoted as beneficial for weight loss but the science has been mostly debunked, as the site Science-Based Pharmacy highlights.
There is no significant evidence of harm, so the ingredient isn't a bad thing. Still, the potential for green coffee bean extract to have any benefit for health is slim. And, it's one more ingredient in products that are already packed full.
Green tea extract. There is more evidence about green tea extract and weight loss than there is for green coffee. And indeed, green tea itself offers significant health benefits.
Nevertheless, the impact on weight is likely to be minimal.
After all, green tea supplements are prevalent on the market and the extract is common in most weight loss supplements. Yet, despite this, there are few reports of dramatic impacts.
Vitamins and minerals. The products contain a large number of vitamins and minerals. For the most part, this is a safe and beneficial practice. These components help reduce the risk of deficiencies.
Nevertheless, many of the products do this, so you need to be careful about your consumption. In particular, some nutrients do have upper limits as well and you will be getting many nutrients through your diet. As such, you need to be sure that you're not overdosing.
Potentially Risky Ingredients
Guarana Extract and Taurine. Both of these components are stimulants and they may help to promote some weight loss benefits. They are also common additions in energy drinks and similar products.
Nevertheless, they can also cause side effects, including tremors, rapid heartbeat and anxiety. As such, they need to be consumed with caution.
The problem is, these are included with many other ingredients in the AdvoCare products.
This makes it difficult for people to monitor their responses or determine what they are reacting to.
Senna extract.This is a commonly used laxative and is effective for that role. However, it is associated with many side effects, including diarrhea, low sodium and severe stomach pain.
Additionally, relying on laxatives is never a safe or realistic way to lose weight. Instead, it can contribute to dangerous patterns and place strain on your body.
Artificial flavors. The inclusion of artificial flavors in the products (particularly AdvoCare Spark) is a concerning pattern. For the most part, such flavors are considered safe but honestly, the amount of research is minimal.
Additionally, many people argue that artificial flavors may cause health issues, including behavioral problems in children. The site Healthy Kids Happy Kids highlights this pattern.
That aside, many people who want to use Advocare will be trying to avoid artificial additives.
Sucralose. This is synthetic sweetener and has attracted significant controversy. Some people feel that it is unhealthy and even dangerous. There is some supporting research for that impact as well.
The evidence about sucralose isn't all in yet and it is still officially considered safe. Nevertheless, it's normally best to avoid artificial sweeteners and the inclusion of sucralose is an unusual choice for AdvoCare.
There are many ingredients present. Some may have benefits but many more are unnecessary and could be a risk to your health
AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge Side Effects
Any diet or supplement is going to involve some degree of risk. As such, there is always some potential for side effects. After all, people’s bodies do tend to respond differently.
Simply from writing this Advocare 24 Day Challenge review, I could tell you that the likelihood of side effects with this system is going to be significant. That comes from the fact that you’re ingesting so many different compounds.
You just have to look at the ingredients lists for the products to see that. In fact, the list above just covers a subset of ingredients and there are multiple areas of concern.
There are also many examples of artificial ingredients, fillers and flavors. Some are necessary for the products to function as intended but others aren't.
Even if every single one of those compounds were safe (and many may not have been fully tested) there is no guarantee that there will not be interaction effects. After all, natural compounds do interact with drugs and with one another.
At the same time, you risk having too much of some nutrients, which can be just as bad as not getting enough. The sheer amount of complaints and warnings about AdvoCare suggest that my concerns aren’t misplaced.
There have even been some severe side effects reported, including gastric pain, high blood pressure and even organ failure.
Some of these side effects seem to be connected to the cleanse part of the program, which does promote increased bowel movements. It’s easy to see how that could contribute to problems with diarrhea and with electrolyte imbalances.
It’s very likely that these side effects will only affect some people.
Likewise, they might tend to affect those who are on medication or are sick in some way. Yet, it’s a fairly serious risk even then. After all, you have no way of knowing whether you will have any issues.
Now, I have no doubt that some people use AdvoCare without any problems at all and that some people even lose weight. But, there is simply too much risk, especially with how many different compounds you’re taking. It’s simply too easy for interactions to occur with your medication, your health or even just the food you eat.
There are a number of side effects connected to the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, including feeling nauseous, experiencing gastric pain and high blood pressure. Furthermore, the potential for side effects and interactions is high because there are so many different compounds involved
Buying the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge
AdvoCare itself is a MLM company. This means that you need to be connected to a distributor to be able to buy the products.
The site does facilitate this process somewhat, allowing you to search for distributors near you and order online.
If you do order via their site, then you get the entire package, which looks like this:
Additionally, you get to choose optional add-ons, which include various supplements.
We haven’t even talked about those in this post but the same concepts apply. And, again, do you really want even more supplements?
If you just get the bare minimum, then the cost is $193.70.
That’s a huge amount – especially as the products last less than a month. Seriously, that’s a lot to pay for a diet, especially when there is very little proof that it works.
Alternatively, you can buy some of the products on Amazon, although distributors probably aren’t supposed to sell on there. For the most part, the products on Amazon are sold individually, although I did see some sets of the whole bundle.
But, regardless of where you buy it, the challenge is still expensive.
Regardless of where you purchase from it is possible to contact Advocare directly.
Their current customer service number is: 1-800-542-4800, although this is only manned within their business hours. There is also a contact form on their website that you can use.
Additionally, Advocare operates through a MLM model. As such, there are many different distributors that promote the products. These individuals can be a good source of information and may be able to answer many questions.
The standard way to buy the products is through a distributor. But, regardless of how you buy them, you're looking at close to $200 for the basic package
AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge Reviews and Results
So, there is a lot involved with the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, including multiple supplements to take daily and a large number of compounds within those supplements.
But, what does all of this mean in terms of weight loss?
To see that, we’re going to take a look at some of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge reviews that are online.
Well, it’s certainly clear that some people do lose weight effectively.
Nevertheless, I do want to note that there is the potential for bias in these results. In particular, AdvoCare is a MLM company, which means that there are many people out there acting as distributors. Because of this, some of the positive reviews will come from distributors or from people who are biased.
Now when you get down to it, AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge reviews are extremely mixed and this is particularly clear on Amazon.
In fact, regardless of where you look, there are some glowing reviews for the product, along with many people who had horrible experiences.
In many ways, this isn’t surprising. After all, you’ll normally find that any weight loss product or diet works better for some people than for others. Some of that comes down to how the technique fits in with our behaviors, as well as how our bodies respond to it.
But, these reviews are important if you’re considering trying out the diet for yourself.
They suggest that there is a decent chance that it won’t work for you. In fact, there are also side effects connected to the product. As such, you may end up being worse off than when you started.
Reviews for the challenge are mixed. Some people do seem to have had success but many others find that the products did nothing or even produced side effects
Does Advocare Work? Final Thoughts
The AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge is an expensive system with little scientific support. At the same time, it comes with some pretty major risks. Honestly, there is no reason that you should be taking that many supplements and compounds – not for weight loss and not for health either.
That pattern alone makes the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge a bad choice.
In particular, you want something that means you are eating healthy and your energy intake is low enough for you to lose weight. For some people, doing this just involves eating whole and healthy food, and they may also count calories.
The idea is to find something that you personally can follow in the long-term. Doing so will allow you to consistently lose weight and to keep it off. Plus, if you’re relying on healthy food rather than processed alternatives, you’re going to get all the nutrients you need from your diet – rather than focusing on supplements.
That’s a win-win.
Want to Lose Weight and Keep it Off?
Weight loss is a huge industry, with no shortage of hype. But, long-term weight loss doesn't come from a crash diet or a popular fad.
Instead, you need sustainable habits and healthy foods.
Check out my recommended weight loss products to see where you can get started
Do you agree with me about AdvoCare’s system or do you think I’m being too harsh? Please let me know in the comments section below.
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