Is Plexus safe? Is it worth your money and will it help you lose weight? Find out below in an unbiased review of Plexus!
Before it’s asked, this is the protein I use and recommend. I couldn’t find one good enough on the market, so I made my own. Grass-fed collagen with six organic superfoods: kale, spirulina, wheatgrass, broccoli, spinach and turmeric. I drink it in my daily smoothies and it gives me LIFE. Aka a healthy gut, glowing skin, strong digestion and energy for DAYS. Use code 10OFF for 10% off!
An unbiased review of Plexus
Back when I wrote this original review, Plexus was using incredibly dangerous stimulants linked to serious side effects. And while they still sort of are, the ingredient list has admittedly improved a bit.
Don’t get me wrong – I still do not support or recommend these products. But I am at least thankful that the company has cleaned up the ingredient list.
What concerns me about products like Plexus is how far we have come from real, natural food. We don’t eat whole foods anymore, and now we turn to supplements with sketchy ingredients designed to squash our hunger signals? This is not health. This is not sustainable.
First off, what is Plexus all about?
So what is Plexus? Plexus sells weight loss supplements manufactured by the network marketing company Plexus Worldwide Inc.
Especially popular, Plexus Slim ( the so-called pink drink), a product for those who think that some powder/shake/magif pill will help them lose weight.
It is clearly targeted at people who frustrated with their (probably unsustainable) diet program, on the lookout for an “easy fix”.
Let’s look at the ingredients used in Plexus products:
Green Coffee Bean Extract
While Green Coffee Bean Extract (GCBE) is not inherently unhealthy, it is not something anyone should be taking regularly or long-term. This is not how to effectively, safely lose weight. It’s essentially diet pills.
Side effects of GCFBE include:
- Heart palpitations
- Sleep disturbances
- Increased heart rate
- Upset stomach or worsened irritable bowel syndrome
GC is said to block fat and decrease appetite. Let me make something very clear: hunger is normal. In fact, hunger is GOOD. Hunger is the body’s way of signaling to the brain that it needs more nutrients. When we block this pathway, we are setting ourselves up for nutrient deficiencies, gut issues, hormone imbalances, a weakened immune system and so much more.
In fact, garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid, an ingredients banned by the FDA in 2009 for causing liver failure. In 2017 the FDA warned the public to stop using a popular product containing garcinia cambogia due to it causing liver complications.
Garcinia cambogia, even without obvious side effects like liver failure, may still cause negative effects on the body and liver in particular, such as elevated liver enzymes.
Garcinia cambogia is not recommended for anyone with liver issues, pregnant, breastfeeding, on certain pain or psychiatric medications.
I take issue with anything listed as “natural flavors.” Because chances are, it’s not all that natural. Hell, even monosodium glutamate (MSG) can be masquerading as a natural flavor. The labeling is loosely regulated. In Food Rules: A Doctor’s Guide To Healthy Eating, Dr. Shanahan discusses a study in which 95% of ingredients listed as “natural flavor” contained MSG.
As for “natural” flavor, it could even be secretions from a beaver’s butt. Beavers secrete castoreum, which smells and tastes remarkably similar to vanilla.
Castoreum is a chemical compound that mostly comes from a beaver’s castor sacs, which are located between the pelvis and the base of the tail. Because of its close proximity to the anal glands, castoreum is often a combination of castor gland secretions, anal gland secretions, and urine…Still concerned you’re chowing down on beaver-bum goop? Because of its FDA label, in some cases, manufacturers don’t have to list castoreum on the ingredient list and may instead refer to it as “natural flavoring.” Yum. Source
I’m not saying Plexus definitely uses beaver butt, but without transparency in labeling…there’s really no way to know.
Whey protein that is not organic or grass-fed
So what’s the problem with whey that isn’t organic or grass-fed?
For starters – it’s not healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of whey protein. You can check out the protein shake I make using it here. The majority of whey protein (and I’m assuming what Plexus uses in their products) comes from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
These animals are not on pasture, eating grass as they were meant to. Cows are meant to eat grass, the bovine consumption of corn and soy – which are two of the highest genetically modified crops – causes infections in the cow and raises the omega-6 content while lowering the omega-3 content (making the whey much more inflammatory).
In fact, this study demonstrated how organic dairy contains 62% more omega-3s and 25% less omega-6 fatty acids than inorganic dairy. Vitamins, particularly A, E, D, and K are also higher in grass-fed dairy.
I’m actually almost impressed by what an absolute rip-off the whey and collagen protein are. They whey costs $35 for 14 servings and only contains 15 grams of protein! That is INSANE.
Let’s break down why this is so absolutely ridiculous.
First, they whey used in Plexus products is not even grass-fed or organic, meaning it’s the bottom of the barrel, cheap stuff. This whey costs the company next to nothing, yet they charge top dollar for it. It is not high quality whey, but you’re definitely pay high quality prices.
Second, there is only 15 grams of protein per serving. It should, at the very least, be 20 grams to make this an adequate serving of protein. Closer to 25g for women and 30g for men.
So not only are you paying top dollar for cheap protein, you’re not even getting an adequate amount of protein!
I wanted to touch on the Plexus omega-3 supplement because I’ve done a lot of research on omega-3s and I would never waste my money on this product for one big reason: plant based omega-3s are not nearly as healthy, effective or useful as animal-based omega-3s.
This is because plant based omega-3s are in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), not docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
ALA does not provide the anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular or brain benefits that EPA and DHA do. You’re better off using the fish oil I recommend. Using an ALA based omega-3 is basically a huge waste of money.
Let’s sum up this Plexus review:
Whatever happened to eating real food? Have we become so lackadaisical and disconnected as a society that we constantly search for quick fixes – even at the cost of health?
I understand the need and desire to lose weight, but it is not worth the cost of your health. It is not worth filling your body with dangerous stimulants and appetite suppressants. It’s not worth drinking mystery whey. Know what you’re eating and where it comes from.
There’s a simpler and cheaper way to lose weight: eat real food. Eat unprocessed, whole, organic foods. Wouldn’t it be nice to not just eat healthy food, but enjoy it? It’s possible and it’s the healthiest thing you can do for your body. But this, these products, this is not healthy.
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Most are not. Many contain Green Coffee Bean Extract and Garcinia Cambogia, which has been linked to liver issues.
Many Plexus products contain Green Coffee Bean Extract and Garcinia Cambogia which are essentially the ingredients in diet pills. They both have been linked to serious health complications.
No. The Plexus products are extremely expensive for what they are and while the gut health products aren’t terrible, there are several better options that are more affordable.
Some are, some are not. The collagen protein contains wheat yet says it’s gluten-free. As a person with celiac disease, this is not something recommended for celiac sufferers or those with gluten intolerance.
Yes, ingredients in Plexus products have been linked to hepatoxicity, liver failure and elevated liver enzymes.