24 Day Challenge Review

AdvoCare, the creator of the 24Day Challenge, wants people to know this “cleanse” is not a diet where you dramatically restrict calories or completely replace meals with shakes and energy drinks. The AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge “jumpstarts a healthier lifestyle.” [1]

Worth noting up front: AdvoCare is a multi-level marketing operation (MLM, also known as a “pyramid scheme” in less generous circles) based out of Plano, Texas. So they’re just as much, if not more, interested in signing up new people to “get rich” selling their products and as they are about the products themselves.

AdvoCare International, LLC, has an A-plus rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, but that’s mostly because they have resolved all the complaints lodged against them. It doesn’t mean there are no complaints. The thing about MLMs, though, is the corporate tip of the pyramid can cover their behinds quite effectively by simply blaming the individual distributors, so an A-plus isn’t really worth much when they’ve had to resolve complaint after complaint about fraudulent practices, rude sales reps (really rude), and lengthy silences when customers tried to get information. [2]

But let’s take a look at the program itself.

AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge Claims

There are no set-in-stone claims about the amount of weight one could lose while doing the 24-Day Challenge, but AdvoCare maintains that if you follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly and take all the supplements required (of course), your body will respond by more efficiently absorbing nutrients and be free of toxins and waste. AdvoCare says 24-Day Challenge results achieved after following the plan to the letter will be “maximum.”

It’s a two-phase program: days 1 through 10 are the “Cleanse Phase” and days 11 through 24 are called the “Max Phase.” Advocare describes it as a “comprehensive supplementation and nutrition program designed to give your body the jumpstart it needs to help you reach your goals. There’s something for everyone – whether you are looking for weight management, energy, overall body composition or overall wellness.” [1]

The 24-Day Challenge instructions are a bit of a challenge, although the plan includes a handy app and a virtual support coach. The 24-Day Challenge Daily Guide is almost 20 pages of instruction on getting to know its products so you know which supplements go with which phase. A big part of this process of getting to know what to do is understanding the actual diet—what you can and cannot eat, portion size including 24-Day Challenge recipes, and importantly, how much water you’ll need. (A lot). I bet most people don’t read the whole guide; rather they just take the supplements and eat per the meal plan guidelines.

24-Day Challenge Plan [1]

During the first 10-day Cleanse Phase, you’ll use AdvoCare’s Herbal Cleanse System which includes

  • ProBiotic Restore capsules
  • Herbal Cleanse tablets
  • Spark (more below)
  • AdvoCare Fiber
  • AdvoCare Omega blend of fatty acids for heart, cardiovascular and immune and nervous systems health.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important in the diet, there’s little doubt; they transport nutrients and, as is suggested, “aid in weight management by supporting healthy metabolism, and providing and storing energy for the body.” [1]

The standout supplement—or at least the one many reviewers talk about, both positively and critically—is Spark. It’s essentially an energy drink with lots of caffeine, a bunch of vitamins and minerals, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) thrown in to balance out the jitters that often accompany high doses of caffeine. These supplements, AdvoCare claims, will give you a “boost,” and help with energy, mental focus and alertness. [3] [4]

After day 10 you’re on to the Max Phase, adding two more supplements to control appetite, provide core nutrition and increase energy and strength.

The appetite suppressant and energy boost comes from the Metabolic Nutrition System (MNS) supplement. You can choose varying strength levels of this supplement for a “higher level of appetite control.”

You’ll also add meal replacement shakes.

It’s suggested that people include “companion” supplements to increase the effectiveness of the challenge.

  • Catalyst is an amino acid with L-glutamine for muscle strength.
  • ThermoPlus kicks up the metabolism and is another appetite suppressant.
  • Carb-Ease supposedly blocks carb absorption
  • ProBiotic Restore does just what its name says: healthy gut bacteria maintenance.

All of this is at least what AdvoCare claims.

The 24-Day Challenge kit that comes with the Daily Guide, an herbal cleanse, the fiber blend, the OmegaPlex, Spark, the MNS supplement and a box of meal replacement shake mix. That runs you, on average, around $200-plus. If you purchase the suggested add-ons it can run as high as $600.

I am not a supplement buyer, so not quite sure if that’s a deal or not, but nearly $600 for 24 days worth of product in the hopes of losing 10 pounds or so is not cheap—far from it.

24-Day Challenge Ingredients

On the 24-Day Challenge website there’s a pretty comprehensive list of the ingredients they call “nutrients.” But surely caffeine is not a nutrient, nor are artificial sweeteners. But let’s look at two other ingredients in particular; one likely effective and another questionable.

The probably good:

A study published in the 2010 Lipids in Health and Disease journal has found that LeptiCore may protect against oxidative stress, helps support healthy cardiovascular function and promotes healthy weight management and metabolic wellness” and “has considerable efficacy on weight loss in patients with metabolic syndrome.” [5]

The maybe not:

L-Carnitine is a popular ingredient in energy drinks with the claim it’ll greatly boost your metabolism. The problem is, we do not need it because our bodies already produce more than enough, unless of course you have a very specific metabolic medical condition and certainly in that case you wouldn’t down energy drinks, you’d see your doctor. [6]

The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind The 24-Day Challenge

Good luck finding any objective independent scientific research on the 24-Day Challenge, though health care practitioners that have posted online advise people to avoid a number of the ingredients found in AdvoCare supplements, including caffeine and sucralose. But as noted in the ingredients section about LeptiCore, the science says this stuff may work. [5]

So-called “carb blockers” have never been proven to have any effect whatsoever. The only effective way to prevent excess carbs from taking up residence in your fat cells is to not eat the excess carbs in the first place.

Word on the Street About The 24-Day Challenge

It’s important to note again that AdvoCare is a multi-level marketing (MLM) business where the salespeople are paid in product and funds for sales they generate, but also for getting others on board, resulting in a hierarchy of distributors. Some MLM’s have been accused of being akin to a pyramid scheme, but there are no doubt many successful and reputable MLM businesses like Mary Kay, Avon, and Tupperware, for example.

AdvoCare claims the average earned by distributors is $1429 a year, but when you take a look at the income disclosure statement, you see the way the math is skewed. I’m no mathematician, far from it, but right at the top you see that of all distributors, 72% earn nothing and it appears that when you factor in the overwhelming and vast majority of active distributors, they earn far less than almost $1,500 a year—more like $500. [7]

Regardless, if someone signs on as a distributor to make money, you can bet they’re going to do their best to sell the product. That’s the chief issue with finding unbiased Advocare 24 Day Challenge reviews: there’s a chance anonymous positive reviews may come from distributors.

Also, there’s no shortage of sports celebrity endorsers, all of whom, from ballers to coaches, are paid. [8]

I went to the Better Business Bureau to check on complaints about the product, not the service. I also looked at reviews on Amazon.com (the problem with Amazon is that AdvoCare only backs products sold on its site, so reviews here might be dicey as well) and PissedConsumer.com.

AdvoCare is not a BBB-accredited company. That in and of itself doesn’t mean a lot, but the number of complaints do raise eyebrows, albeit most are related to issues with billing, refunds, and distributors.

What did catch my attention was the AdvoCare response to a customer complaining about the product and its side effects but also about the distributor s/he ordered from. AdvoCare responded: “… hard to supervise all of the ethical and unethical behaviors conducted by all of our distributors.” [2]

That pointed out, this response from “Brandon L.” (2016) is interesting:

I have been taking the products for over 2 months and they are absolutely amazing. Not only do they work, but the people behind them are equally terrific. The individual distributors were extremely educational and transparent. The company itself is outstanding. The shipping was fast. The prices are very competitive. There is nothing to complain about. In fact, I have signed up for the business side. That has also been a wonderful experience. There is no major startup cost. You have no minimums or requirements. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to experiences with networking marketing companies. I’ve come to learn the difference between a MLM and a direct selling company. Direct selling does not have the restrictions and requirements as a MLM. It comes down to providing a product and allowing people to make money by sharing their stories and helping others get on the product. [9]

Let’s talk 24-Day Challenge results. Does it work or not?

Review number 591414 on PissedConsumer.com is the most comprehensive I have seen on the 24-Day Challenge, because not only is the review itself extremely detailed and a well-written documentation of this user’s experience, it has 37 comments—the most on the site—and 62 “helpful” likes; 20 people found it “not helpful.” Regardless, the anonymous review and the comments provide a seemingly candid look at the 24-Day Challenge, and it’s not a pretty picture. [10]

This is my very real, very FRANK review on the Advocare 24 Day Challenge, Meal Replacement Shakes, and Spark.

I got sucked into the Advocare recently, because I know quite a few people personally who have taken it, and yes, they apparently got results from it. … I have followed it very strictly for the past month and have lost not one pound…or inch… First let me start off with the positive aspects of this diet…I went into it, with lots of support and cheer-leading. That was nice. … I cut out junk food, processed foods, etc. I replaced all of my foods with REAL food. You know, fruits, veges, foods that have only one or two ingredients in them, and not a bunch of fillers, chemicals, andbyproducts.

I started with the cleanse. I did exactly as I was told. … And Spark. Spark was great! The first day I took Spark, I got a million things done, and didn’t stop until midnight. And then I got no sleep. The rest of the cleanse has been a nightmare. I have pounding headaches every single day. I am super tired. Something just isn’t right with my body. I take Spark twice a day. Once in the morning, and then again at 2:00pm. It’s hit or miss. Sometimes it works in giving me that boost, other times I just feel tired and head-achy. … Also, I’ve been feeling sick to my stomach daily. I’ve had to go home early from work 4 or 5 times since I’ve started Advocare. …

While all of my friends were losing these inches and showing of [sic] photos of their jeans stretched out because they have lost so much, here I am, feeling like ***. I feel fatter than ever. … Yes, I could very well have some sort of health problem … I will be visiting my doctor …

BUT!!! And here’s my BIG BUT (pun intended!) – Look at the ingredients, people! I am no doctor, nutritionist, or dietician. But I do know that whatever is in this stuff…are not natural. Things I can’t pronounce. … I sure did fall for this gimmick…all because I was desperate to lose weight.

… Advocare may have been the jump start that I personally needed to take charge of my body and my health! However, I do not think that this expensive product is worth it. … [10]

The Bottom Line on the 24-Day Challenge

Definitely not.  Side effects: headaches and major gastrointestinal issues are a big no. (Drink water and eat good food.) Unnecessary supplements: we already know that L-carnitine is something we don’t need to ingest since our bodies make it. Why pay for that?

Questionable effectiveness: besides the LeptiCore, there are few ingredients that can back their claim. Plus, it’s just incredibly expensive. Anywhere from $200-plus to nearly $600 for the 24-day process is ridiculous.

As per my usual, I suggest investing what you would have spent on the 24-day challenge on something useful and beneficial to your health. How about a mini-trampoline? Jumping is amazing for your health. [11]

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*Individual results will vary.

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