This product caught my attention when, in one week’s time, my cell phone exploded with texts from people I don’t regularly talk to trying to “sell” this product to me. 1st, if your only contact with me is because you are trying to sell me something, maybe we should evaluate “us”.
Don’t worry, it’s me and not you, baby.
I wasn’t even convinced it was anything more than another dieting gimmick. What grabbed my attention next was when I was dropped from every single one of the conversations when it was apparent I wouldn’t be contributing to profits from these little pyramid-scheme-esque discussions. I wasn’t initiated into the cult of advocare. Bummer.
I did discuss these products with my dietitian- you know, a real professional rather than someone who simply buys this stuff with no thorough understanding of health and nutrition. I had a sample packet. She generally likes advocare products, so I considered her biased towards advocare. That being said, the feedback I got was fun.
The first thing she pointed out was that, unfortunately, some of the vitamins can put you at toxic levels if you aren’t careful- since it’s not FDA regulated, that’s a bit difficult to assess. For example, dietitian mentioned this and I’ve read some reviews of Niacin overdose (300% for *each* spark supplement, and it’s recommended consumption is 1-3 per day: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/niacin-overdose/AN01644). I saw on forums where people complained of feeling sick during it- some responses of those without any medical or nutrition training whatsoever were “oh, those are the toxins leaving your system”- It’s funny that those specific symptoms of the sickness just happened to mirror the symptoms of Niacin OD. The world has a funny way of telling you things, dontchaknow.
When processing this with the dietitian (who specializes in sports health and fitness) I was advised that I would get the same effects from the Spark by drinking a cup of black coffee. A good quality multivitamin captures the rest, and then to boot, when we have excess vitamins in our system (well, the ones that don’t attack our organs) they tend to get urinated out. We joked that in the end, the 750% of B6 and B12 from this product generally just created expensive urine in the end, which tends to be a neon yellow. My urine could have gone to a rave and be perfectly suitable. That’s just with one pack.
I like that it advocates for a more active and healthy lifestyle- but quitting coffee, meals, dairy consumption, and using the spark as an expensive substitute to get the caffeine? Nah. Most of these vitamins can be obtained with good dietary balance, which most of us are lacking.
Meal replacements: Eat a balanced meal. Adjust for protein or add a protein supplement
Herbal Cleanse: Laxative effect. I mean, if you are just going to crap out everything you take in, suck it up and accept that you would save money by using a laxative, or other vitamins with a laxative effect. In the weight loss billion dollar business, we can translate “cleanse” to mean “poo until the cows come home’’- but don’t drink their milk- no dairy on this diet…”
MNS: Probiotic food item- typically found in dairy (which you can’t have on this diet plan, apparently)… protein, vitamin
Omega Plex: Fish Oil supplement- avoid mercury.
Spark: Coffee/caffeine + multivitamin. Taurine is something you can find in Red Bull and other energy shots.
My biggest beef (so to speak):
It doesn’t seem to teach lasting lifestyle changes- instead it’s a “let’s take away your normal sources of nutrients and put them in powder and pill form instead.”
I see that there are results, and if that’s what’s needed to get started, great *cough-placebo-cough* Most people aren’t working out 5+ days a week like this product recommends (that change alone will give you results). It won’t do much good, though, if you are returning to old patterns after the cleanse is over.