Give me two minutes and I’ll tell you whether Herbalife actually works. We dove deep into the ingredients, side effects, clinical research and customer service to find out what the hype was all about. We also chose to read through hundreds of dieter experiences. After gathering all that information, we condensed it to give you the bottom line.
What is Herbalife?
First off, Herbalife is a supplement company with products for weight-loss and overall health. The ingredients may include protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and, in some cases, caffeine. There are four elements to quick-start: Formulas 1, 2 and 3 and Herbal Tea Concentrate. You have to take them all for optimal results, but at least they are portable.
Herbalife entered the supplement market in 1980. You can order products from a member or via online retailers. We like Herbalife’s positive BBB rating and the length of time in the business, but read on…
Tastes great but I had some minor stomach issues from this product.
Price – “Too Much?”
The first thing that caught our eye about Herbalife was the price. “Using meal-replacement shakes to lose weight is an effective option,” said our Research Editor. “The problem is that you will spend upwards of $92 to $95 each month and that’s just the starter package.”
“Whatever you do, do NOT try Herbalife. It will drain your bank account and you will gain weight,” says a dieter.
Another claims, “It’s an overpriced sugary weak protein powder.”
We only think it is fair to share some positive comments from dieters who felt Herbalife was a value. One buyer says, “They get everything done that the other more expensive ones do at less than half the price.”
Another claims, “I haven’t lost any weight but it the energy it gives me is worth the low price.”
One even claimed the cost was worth it even though more than the competition, “Herbalife products are of high price but it works if you have a proper diet.”
Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.
Taste – “Not So Great”
We found hundreds of reviews complaining of Herbalife’s taste. Most couldn’t make it past the first shake. “French Vanilla…not even close. This product tastes like chalk…Nothing makes it taste good,” offers up one dieter.
Another consumer says, “I don’t like the taste, I can’t even choke it down.” Yet another claims, “This drink tastes like…liquid play-doh…It’s really bad.”
The flavor was not a problem for all users. One said, “Taste pretty good.”
One more claimed, “I love the flavor, I love the taste.”
Based on our research, if a just one part of a diet program causes problems, like bad taste, the chance for long-term success diminishes. If Herbalife is as bad as dieters claim, this could be an issue.
The Science – “Clinically Proven?”
If you’re looking for science to back up weight-loss claims, you won’t find any from Herbalife. The ingredients are not listed on the official website, so the dieter can’t even look for relevant clinical studies. At DietSpotlight, we look at research as an integral part of the equation. If there is no support, that’s when we start wondering about a product.
Also: read our Leptigen Weight-Loss Kit review »
The Bottom Line – Does Herbalife Work?
So, what is the final verdict on Herbalife? We like that the company has been around for more than 30 years and has a strong BBB rating. It’s problematic that there’s no research used to connect the supplements to weight-loss. What also concerns us is the high price and poor taste reported by customers.
If it’s time to shed off the weight, why not try out a supplement delivering a great price, clinically-supported ingredients and good customer reviews?
Among the best products we’ve seen in 2016 is one called Leptigen. The four-ingredient proprietary blend is clinically shown to spark metabolism, help boost fat loss and break through weight-loss plateaus. No negative side effects are mentioned by dieters and reviews show fantastic results.
To boot, the producers of Leptigen are confident enough in the formula to offer a Special Trial Offer – always a good thing.
Previous Herbalife Review (Updated July 4, 2014):
What You Should Know
Herbalife is a company that began 33 years ago with a "mission for nutrition," according to the company website. Today, Herbalife has more than a million distributors worldwide, offering the line of Herbalife to people who want to lose weight and look and feel better. The weight management line consists of meal programs and supplements that can help dieters achieve their weight loss goals more efficiently. Supplements include those for appetite suppression, metabolism boosters and enhancers. While we appreciate that Herbalife appears to offer something for everyone, we prefer a single formula that can effectively meet all three of these needs for convenience and cost friendliness to the consumer.
The Herbalife products are sold through independent distributors and through some online retailers. We were unable to find the products for sale on the company website. To connect with a distributor in your area, you must first supply information about how you learned about the company. There is also information available on the company website about how to become a distributor.
For the purpose of this review, we will take a look at one Herbalife weight loss supplement, Total Control. For more info on Herbalife Ingredients
, click here. This product claims to boost metabolism and aid in weight loss without irritability or restlessness. The ingredients in this formula include calcium, green tea leaves extract, dried ginger root extract, dried theobroma extract, dried yerba mate extract, astragalus, celery, fennel, hawthorne berry, licorice, marshmallow, parsley, suma, dried cinnamon extract and alfalfa.
Herbalife offers a 30-day money back guarantee on all purchases. It also provides ample information about the science and research that goes into its formulas. In addition, we found customer testimonials that back the claims of the products. This is the type of information that we encourage consumers to look for; because it shows that the company has confidence in their products.
While we are pleased to see healthy ingredients on the list, the large number may reduce the potency of the active ingredients. Green tea is the only serious weight loss ingredient in the formula. The substance can boost the metabolism and suppress appetite. However, green tea is more effective with other weight loss ingredients like chromium and safe stimulants. We don't see any other active weight loss ingredients on the list.
See Our Featured
- Herbalife is a proven company with a long reputation.
- The products are reasonably priced and come with a money back guarantee.
- Herbalife Total Control does not contain many weight loss ingredients.
- The large number of ingredients may reduce the potency of the formula.
- Products are not available for sale through the company website.
Herbalife is a reputable company with a relatively long history of providing weight loss and nutritional supplements. However, we are skeptical whether the long formulas and lack of active ingredients will really be the most effective way of dropping the pounds. Any dieter considering this company should also be familiar with Herbalife Side Effects
. We believe that other options filled with more potent ingredients may be a better choice.
Herbalife Questions & Answers:
We summarized hundreds of user comments about Herbalife into this helpful FAQ.
What are the side effects of Herbalife?
Some Herbalife side effects may include swelling of the hands, stomach discomfort, nausea and vomiting, according to some dieter reviews.
What is in Herbalife?
Herbalife ingredients include caffeine, vitamins, minerals and fiber, among others. The formulas will differ from one product to the next.
What is the active ingredient in Herbalife?
The active ingredient in Herbalife is fiber.
Does Herbalife Work?
There’s no scientific research proving Herbalife is effective. The ingredients in some of the formulas have been clinically-tested, but there’s no definitive support.
How much does a bottle of Herbalife cost?
A bottle of Herbalife cost depends on the product. You’ll pay $60.70 for a mini membership. The fit and a full program costs $94.10 per month.
How should I take Herbalife?
You should take Herbalife based on the information provided with the product you purchased. The majority of the products last 30 days.
Can I take Herbalife if I have a health condition?
If you are a woman who’s pregnant or nursing, have any health conditions, a person taking prescription medications or under 18 years of age, you should contact your healthcare provider prior to using any weight-loss products, including Herbalife.
What do users like about Herbalife?
Some dieters like that Herbalife has been in business for years. Community support and the good BBB rating are two positives also mentioned in comments.
What do users NOT like about Herbalife?
Some users don’t like the side effects associated with a variety of Herbalife products. Additional concerns are the price of membership and unsupportive customer service team.
Who makes Herbalife?
Herbalife International of America makes Herbalife.
How do I contact the Herbalife customer service department?
You can contact the Herbalife customer service department by calling a representative at 1-866-866-4777. You can also send correspondence to the corporate team at Herbalife P.O. Box 80210 Los Angeles, CA 90080-0210. There’s also a feedback form on the official website.
Can I contact Herbalife through social media?
Yes, you can contact Herbalife through Facebook and Twitter.
Will you lose weight with Herbalife?
Although Herbalife doesn’t guarantee weight-loss, the company states that with lifestyle changes,dieters could lose one to two pounds per week.
Why do people become Herbalife members?
Dieters become Herbalife members to receive discounts and special promotions.
Is Herbalife a MLM opportunity?
Herbalife is a MLM opportunity requiring members to sign up additional people in order to receive compensation.
Is there a guarantee?
With the Herbalife guarantee, you have 30 days to return products. You can send back any portion for a full refund.
Herbalife User Tips:
Herbalife is a popular weight-loss line sold by distributors. You can purchase online and offline. To lose weight on this product you have to do things right. This is where user tips focus.
“I felt like I was hungry the first couple of days because I was use to eating so much more and gorging myself at almost every meal.” Hillary
“I…recommend diet and exercise with these products it can increase your weight loss even more.” Felisha
“Just remember, you do have to exercise and watch what you eat still.” Julie
“A friend told me he put some of this in oatmeal, because taking only this shake will have you hungry again in about 3 hours.” Anna
“Herbalife isn’t going to work if you just eat rubbish and drink it.” Seano
” I do not use water, however, because in that case its ot so delicious.” Amy
“Herbalife never claims to be weight loss company it does however promote optimum nutrition…” Magdalene
“To loose weight you need to exercise at least to some extent and you need to drink water to shed weight only after knowing once body weight.” Maria
“I think it depends on the coach. I have met some that are not so good and some that are great!” Chandra
“It is recommended to eat one meal a day and snack on veggies and protein bars and salads and nuts. Just don’t over due the portion sizes.” Doni
Herbalife Side Effects:
In the world of medicine, herbal supplements, and diet pills, the word “natural” and “herbal” are often mistaken to mean free of issue. With every product is the potential for some problems, though often mild. Even though Herbalife side effects are not felt by everyone, that doesn’t mean some consumers did not experience them.
Diarrhea is a condition in which an individual has loose and/or watery stools more than once a day, usually for up to two days. Sometimes, the fecal matter can be different colors or contain blood, both of which require medical attention.
What causes diarrhea?
Some causes of diarrhea include infections, food intolerances, allergies, influenza, and gastrointestinal distress. This symptom should not last more than two days. It can also be connected to dehydration, so it is important to replace the electrolytes one loses after having excessive bowel movements.
According to Medline Plus, “Nausea is feeling an urge to vomit. It is often called ‘being sick to your stomach,’ . Nausea can also be experienced with other symptoms, like headaches, vomiting, and jitteriness.
What causes nausea?
Although it can be a sign of more severe health problems, more often than not, nausea is caused by migraines, medicines, viral infections, like influenza, and motion sickness.
Jitteriness can generally be defined as the feeling of shaking without actually physically doing so. It is often a sensation most cannot describe, but many can relate it to the “jittery rush” felt after drinking too much coffee.
What causes jitteriness?
Caffeine consumption, drugs, medications, low blood sugar, and some nervous system disorders can cause jitteriness. The best way to prevent it from happening is to stay hydrated and monitor the stimulants consumed.
Headaches, also known as migraines, are very common. According to the National Headache Foundation, “Generally, migraine begins as a dull ache and then develops into a constant throbbing and pulsating pain that you may feel at the temples, as well as the front or back of one or both sides of the head,” . They are sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, pain, or sensitivity to environmental surroundings.
What causes headaches?
Many external factors can contribute to the onset of a headache, including allergies, stress, environmental changes, and medicines.
Herbalife side effects are not guaranteed, but there have been reports of diarrhea, jitteriness, nausea, and headaches, just to name a few that consumers have complained of. To protect yourself from potential problems, it is always the best idea to consult with your physician before taking any supplement, especially if you’re taking prescription medications, are under 18, have a medical condition of any kind or are pregnant or nursing.
The Herbalife products are designed to help with weight-loss and overall health. When reading through customer reviews and testimonials, we found a few side effects mentioned. It’s important to note that these are the exception to the rule.
“I started Herbalife with the shakes meal replacement: 2 shakes and a healthy meal. I also used Cellulose, Thermo Bond and tea. The Tea made me jump out of my skin, jittery and nervous.” Clara
“Not even 10 mins after finishing the shake I started to get the bubble guts. Yes, that feeling when you know diarrhea is coming.” Dee
“From the third day onwards I started feeling so tired, exhausted, severe headache, feverish, bloated stomach, constipated, legs pain and of course stomachache.” Swati
“Now I feel nausea, I have heart palpitations, headaches, back and chest pain, and more.” London
“I tried the tea for a week, and felt so nauseated. I was so dizzy, and it just made my body feel so crappy.” Anna
“Next day I had awful diarrhea and I was not told this. I could not get out of the bathroom.” Nancy
“The tea has a ton of caffeine which made me sick.” Miriam
“I’ve been gassy. I felt tired and sluggish while taking the protein shakes.” Samantha
“I tried it for two days. The shakes made me want to throw up and I was never full – it felt like I was starving myself.” Briah
“After the first 2 weeks I began feeling jittery…and my heart would beat a little funny.” Brandy
“Felt very ill after just drinking the tea and I also had one of the tablets and the shakes didn’t make me feel full.” Lisa
Herbalife is a company that gives people the chance to sell supplements and products for a profit. In terms of weight-loss, the main formula is Total Control. As is the case with the majority, there are stimulants in the mix and all ingredients are packed into proprietary blends making it difficult, or impossible, to research efficacy.
Herbalife Ingredients and Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 1 Tablet
Serving Per Container: 90
|Amount per Serving
|- Ginger Root Extract
|- Green Tea Leaf Extract
|- Oolong Tea Leaf Extract
|- Black Tea Leaf Extract
|- Pomegranate Rind Powder Extract
Other Ingredients: Microcrystalline cellulose, maize dextrin, silicon dioxide, maltodextrin, coating (sodium carboxymethylcellulose, dextrin, dextrose, lecithin), stearic acid, calcium stearate
We examined the Herbalife ingredients in order to give you the facts you want.
Gymnema is a woody shrub found in India and Africa. It has long been used for various medicines.
What Is It Supposed To Do?
Gymnema contains chemicals that can decrease the absorption of sugar in the intestines. It has been used for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and more.
In a study published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine, gymnema did not hold any real results in relation to weight-loss. In the conclusion, the article says, “According to the findings from this systematic review, the evidence is not convincing in demonstrating that most dietary supplements used as appetite suppressants for weight loss in the treatment of obesity are effective and safe.”
Ginger Root Extract
Ginger root extract is derived from the root of the ginger plant. It is native to warm areas and is often used in medicines and food.
What Is It Supposed To Do?
Apparently, ginger contains certain chemicals that can help reduce inflammation and nausea. The extract has been used commercially as a treatment for insect bites.
Ginger seems to have lots of health benefits, but weight-loss does not seem to be one of them. In an article published in Herbal Medicine: BioMolecular and Clinical Aspects, authors note that, “Ginger clearly has a vast number of components and metabolites, many of which have not been studied in detail. The lack of standardization of ginger supplements is disconcerting, and whether consumption of high levels of isolated components (e.g., -gingerol) is advisable is uncertain.”
Caffeine is a chemical generally known for its ability to increase mental alertness. It can be found in beverages and foods.
What Is It Supposed To Do?
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, heart, muscles, and blood pressure centers. It can also increase urine flow and does not cause dehydration.
Caffeine is backed by plenty of clinical research. In a study published in Obesity Research, authors noted in their findings, “High caffeine intake was associated with weight loss through thermogenesis and fat oxidation and with suppressed leptin in women. In habitual low caffeine consumers, the green tea-caffeine mixture improved WM, partly through thermogenesis and fat oxidation.”
Linoleic acid is a chemical found primarily in dairy and beef products.
What Is It Supposed To Do?
Linoleic acid has been used in the past to help treat cancer and obesity. It may also be able to improve the functionality of the immune system.
Researchers seem to note linoleic acid may have some weight-loss effects. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated, “Given at a dose of 3.2 g/d, CLA produces a modest loss in body fat in humans.”
Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the African palm tree. It is used in virtually every product and is controversial because of the unsustainable practices of those producing the oil.
What Is It Supposed To Do?
Palm oil is found in many products, including baked goods, confectionary, shampoo, cosmetics, and more. It is used a lot commercially because of its low price compared to other oils.
Sodium choleate is a crude ox bile extract. It contains various different salts as well.
What Is It Supposed To Do?
Sodium choleate is used as a protein, enzyme, and peptide source.