Updated: 09/12/2017
By Summer Banks Aug 20, 2017

I did two things this week. I obsessed over every aspect of Catalyst. Then I wrote this review about it. There are people talking about this one, so we delved into ingredients, side effects, scientific support and customer service. Furthermore, we dissected hundreds of consumer comments and forum posts. We then refined and condensed to give you the info you need.

Catalyst Readers: Click here to find out why we're giving away samples of our product, Pronabolin.

What is Catalyst?

First off, Catalyst is an amino acid supplement that may help with muscle growth and recovery. The ingredients include l-glutamine, l-leucine, l-isoleucine, l-valine, l-arginine, betaine and taurine. The recommended serving is three capsules prior to a meal, up to three times per day, supposedly helping users improve strength and endurance.  A benefit is ease of use. [1]

The supplement, introduced in 1993 by AdvoCare, doesn’t use artificial ingredients, a good decision. You can purchase the product on the official website or through trusted retailers. We do like that Catalyst is available directly from the company and that the business has been around for more than 20 years, but read on…

Ineffectiveness – “Are You Worried?”

The first negative aspect we noticed was the ineffectiveness of Catalyst ingredients. “Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue and protein, not weight-loss,” said our Research Editor. “If dieters take supplements like Catalyst expecting to lose weight, they may not be happy with the results.”

“I started Catalyst a week and a half ago. Changed my diet. Tons of water and I gained 7lbs,” said a dieter.

“I’ve changed my diet. Drinking tons of water. Exercising. Everything I’m supposed to do. 2 weeks into taking Catalyst I step on the scale… I gained 10 pounds,” reported a user.

You have to look at both sides of the coin. As one dieter claims, “This is an effective supplement for people that work out.”

Another says, “Suppressed appetite a bit – def helps build some muscle.”

Catalyst Customer Testimonials

Catalyst Side Effects – “A Major Concern”

According to comments on the web, Catalyst side effects can be an issue. “I started by taking two (instead of three) as directed between meals. Within 15 minutes I became fidgety,” said a customer.

“This made me feel dizzy and just overall not right. I tried to keep taking it so I would get used to it, but I never did,” one dieter explains.

“I started having stomach problems,” according to a consumer.

Though we say these reactions may be a concern, there are those who didn’t have the same issues. As one person who took it said, “Good product, with no side effects.”

Another said something similar, “I get no side effects from this.”

Our research has found if any part of a supplement is deemed problematic, like side effects, it could hinder chances of long-term success. If Advocare Catalyst causes the dieter to feel off, that’s one reason to leave this one behind.

Is the Science Good?

According to the Catalyst website, the formula is created based on “scientific knowledge”, but we can’t find any published clinical studies supporting the claims of toning muscle or improve strength. At DietSpotlight, locating support is critical. If a company can’t offer science as evidence, why would dieters want to use it? [3] [4] [5]

Also: read our Pronabolin Testosterone Booster Kit review »Catalyst Ingredients

The Bottom Line – Does Catalyst Work?

We’ve got something to say about this one, so listen closely. After an extensive review of Catalyst, we like that the company has a foothold in the industry and some favorable customer comments were found, but we’re skeptical about it because there’s clinical research backing up the claims. [6] We also have concerns about comments from customers talking about it not producing results and the negative side effects. [7]

If you’d like to build on your strength gains, we suggest going with a supplement with no mentions of harmful side effects and containing clinically-tested ingredients shown to work.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is our product called Pronabolin. The nine clinically-tested ingredients in the formula have results often found in publications such as The Aging Male.

Also, we’re offering multiple-bottle discounts and a 120-day money-back guarantee, a great sign that you’ll love our supplement.

Previous Catalyst Review (Updated March 14, 2014):

What You Should Know about Catalyst

Catalyst is an amino acid dietary supplement produced by AdvoCare, who also makes ThermoPlus. The product appears to be marketed toward athletic men and women looking to preserve and repair muscle tissue, similar to Animal Pak. Among other products that are recommended for athletes, GNC Total Lean CLA is a proven fat burner to help retain lean muscle ass and support healthy body composition. Catalyst promises to maintain muscle mass during exercise and weight management, and preserve energy during times of low caloric intake. This supplement is recommended to be taken along with another weight loss formula because of its potential ability to preserve "lean body mass".

List of Catalyst Ingredients

L-Glutamine, L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine, L-Arginine, Betaine, Taurine, Gelatin, Rice Flour, Magnesium, and Stearate.

Product Features

Lean body mass is the mass of the body minus the fat (storage lipid). When caloric intake is reduced the body can lose lean body mass especially if the body is deprived of protein. Since body weight and overall health rely on the condition of our muscles it is important to keep up a steady intake of protein during a weight loss program that involves exercise. Similar to weight loss programs, Xyngular markets individual supplements high in vitamins, proteins and minerals, which are all conducive to health and wellness. The importance of protein found in food and supplements comes from amino acids. However, protein rich foods like meat, fish, and eggs can contain too many calories and too much cholesterol. In order to maintain and repair muscles, essential and non-essential amino acids not found in these foods are needed. Non-essential amino acids (despite the name, they are necessary) cannot be produced without essential amino acids. The Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine found in Catalyst are essential to the restoration of muscle and produce Arginine and Glutamine. Some clinical studies suggest that consumption of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine (Branched Chain Amino Acids) during and after exercise can result in a reduction of muscle loss.

Advantages of Catalyst

  • Betaine is suggested as a reducer of a potentially toxic amino acid (Hcy).

Disadvantages of Catalyst

  • Contains small amounts of its amino acids compared to other supplements.
  • Taurine has not been proven to boost energy levels.
  • Expensive compared to other products containing amino acids.
  • Only contains 3 of the 9 essential amino acids.
  • Must be combined with other weight loss programs in order to show results.
  • Produces no thermogenic effects.
  • No customer testimonials are available on the website.


The website for Catalyst suggests taking it along with an AdvoCare Spark Energy drink and one of their Metabolic Nutrition Systems (MNS). This and more trustworthy info can be obtained on the official site, as opposed to others like Pink Magic. The combination of these three elements could possibly be beneficial through protein synthesis, an energy boost, and a complete supply of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, this combination would be expensive (approximately $100 a month) and lacks a thermogenic (fat burning) effect. Not quite as pricey as Test Reload though. Some of the most efficient weight loss supplements trigger thermogenesis and/or suppress the appetite. This product does neither and would only be effective when combined with exercise and a proper diet.

Catalyst claims to help with muscle growth and recovery.

Catalyst Ingredients and Supplement Facts

Serving Size: 3 Capsules
Serving Per Container: 30
Amount per Serving% DV

Other Ingredients: Gelatin, Stearic acid, magnesium stearate, silicone dioxide.

We dug deep into the Catalyst ingredients to give you the details you need.


L-Glutamine is an amino acid, which is a building block of protein. It can be found naturally in the body, making it a non-essential amino acid.

What is it Supposed to Do?

Beyond helping to build muscle, it is also used to counteract some of the side effects of medical treatments, including those associated with chemotherapy such as pain and diarrhea. Some use it to treat digestive system disorders, depression and mood disorders, and to enhance exercise performance.

Clinical Research

According to a study published in Alternative Medicine Review: A Journal of Clinical Therapeutic, “L-glutamine use has been found to be of great importance in the treatment of trauma and surgery patients, and has been shown to decrease the incidence of infection in these patients. Cancer patients often develop muscle glutamine depletion, due to uptake by tumors and chronic protein catabolism. Glutamine may be helpful in offsetting this depletion; however, it may also stimulate the growth of some tumors.”[1]

Clinical research is an important part of the equation when it comes to choosing a diet supplement. You may want to take a look at a product like Pronabolin, which is formulated with clinically tested ingredients.


Another amino acid, L-Leucine, is one of the three branched chain amino acids, which helps build muscle.

What is it Supposed to Do?

It is supposed to assist bodybuilders in increasing mass since it is metabolized in the muscles rather than in the liver like other amino acids.

Clinical Research

According to a study published in The Journal of Physiology, “The present experiment demonstrates that dietary leucine supplementation improves postprandial muscle protein synthesis in old humans.”[2]


This is another one of the branched chain amino acids responsible for building muscle.

What is it Supposed to Do?

Like leucine, this is metabolized in the muscle rather than the liver, so it is beneficial to body builders.

Clinical Research

According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, “The data demonstrate that leucine is unique among the BCAA in its ability to stimulate protein synthesis in muscle of food-deprived rats. We show for the first time that leucine-dependent stimulation of translation initiation in vivo occurs via a rapamycin-sensitive pathway.”


This is the final branched chain amino acid associated with building muscle.

What is it Supposed to Do?

Valine is also metabolized in the muscles directly rather than the liver, making it an effective amino acid to build mass.


This is an amino acid that must be obtained from the diet as it cannot be manufactured in the body. It can be found in red meat, fish, and poultry, as well as dairy products. It can be made in the lab for supplementation and medicinal purposes.

What is it Supposed to Do?

L-Arginine is used to treat a number of conditions, such as congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, and male infertility. There are some people who use it to boost the immune system and improve athletic performance. It is sometimes used in combination with over-the-counter and prescription medications to treat things like cancer, migraines, and AIDS.


This is a chemical made in a lab that’s used in medicine.

What is it Supposed to Do?

It used to be included in over-the-counter medications to help digestion. In 1993, it was removed after a federal law went into effect as a result of not finding enough evidence that it was safe and effective. It is now used only as a dietary supplement, and is used to treat everything from low levels of potassium to hay fever, anemia, and gallstones.


Another amino acid, this is used to build protein. It can be found in the brain, heart, retina, and platelets in the blood. It is found in meat and fish, though it can be manufactured in the body.

What is it Supposed to Do?

It is supposed to help boost athletic performance, but can also be used to treat a number of conditions including eye problems, diabetes, liver disease, congestive heart failure, and high cholesterol.

Is There Anything Out There That TRULY Works?

If you’re looking to build muscle, we’ve got something that may help. Pronabolin, made with clinically tested ingredients, can help you naturally raise testosterone levels in your body without acting as a hormone replacement therapy. All customers can take advantage of a multi-bottle discount, currently available. Click here to give it a shot.

Catalyst Side Effects:

Catalyst is a weight-loss supplement that is used to increase muscle and mass and help your body recover. We understand that side effects don’t happen all the time. But, we wanted to provide you with user comment to prove to you that they still can.


“This made me feel so dizzy…”    Nicole


“Within 15 minutes [of taking it] I became anxious, fidgety, and had to take deep breaths.”    Robert


“I actually gained weight back, was truly bloated and sluggish.”    Donalda


“Gives me upset stomach and indigestion.”    Jennifer


“3 hours [after taking Catalyst], the gastritis pain started and I was starting to feel so terrible. ”    Pam


“…the side of my face and ears were so itchy…”    Randy


“[I had] intense sweating and pain in my abdomen…”    Megan


“By the third day I was having chest pains, dizziness, blurred vision and my blood pressure was sky high.”    Lisa


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  • References
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Learn More About Pronabolin »
Summer Banks Dietspotlight Author
About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.

Rating: 3.7. From 128 votes.
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What are the side effects of Catalyst?

Catalyst side effects reported by customers, may include rash, anxiety, dizziness , bloating, sluggish feeling and shakiness.

What is in Catalyst?

Catalyst ingredients are l-glutamine, l-leucine , l-isoleucine, l-valine, l-arginine, betaine, taurine, gelatin, stearic acid, magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide.

How do I know if Catalyst is right for me?

Choosing the right product is the #1 question asked by DietSpotlight readers. We recommend trying any product before buying it and know that finding a product with a sample offer is near impossible - so we created our own product, Pronabolin, with scientifically backed ingredients.

Click here to get your sample of our powerful testosterone booster today.

What is the active ingredient in Catalyst?

The active ingredient in Catalyst is l-glutamine.

Does Catalyst work?

The amino acids in Catalyst may help maintain and repair lean muscle tissue to some degree. However, there are no clinical studies presented on this product to suggest it works as well as claimed. Furthermore, there is no scientific proof that it increases strength and energy levels.

How much does a bottle of Catalyst cost?

A bottle of Catalyst costs $31.50.

How do you take Catalyst?

You should take three Catalyst capsules, up to three times daily. Depending on the dosage you use, a single bottle lasts for 10-30 days.

Who makes Catalyst?

AdvoCare makes Catalyst.

Is Catalyst safe to take with blood pressure medications?

You must consult your doctor before taking Catalyst with a blood pressure medication.

Can Catalyst cause weight gain?

Some users have reported weight gain while taking Catalyst.

If you want to improve your results, you may consider combining Catalyst with a product shown to work and containing clinically-tested ingredients, like Pronabolin.

Catalyst Reviews

Leave a comment or review


Would the catalyst help with abdominal muscles stretched out from pregnancies and years of being overweight?

Victoria (Editor)

Hello. All users are different and can experience different results.

  Questions about expiration
Crystal (Verified User)

hello, I am on the 10day cleance with advocare, and after the cleance I want to use the bottle of catalyst that i have, but Ive had that bottle of Catalyst for almost 2 years, does it expire??

Stephen (Editor)

There should be a date either on the base or along it’s lid.

Is it safe to take Catlyst with a CLA dietary supplement?

Is it safe to take Catlyst with a CLA dietary supplement?




I like it. I just want a cheaper alternative. Can someone give me another brand with close to the same blends of amino acids?

Montana (Editor)

Hi Sarah! You might like Pronabolin, which contains 100% natural ingredients shown to improve testosterone.


I’ve lost over 100 lbs starting with the 24 day challenge. Catalyst has worked great for me and I notice faster gains with it. No side affects in over a year.


I just started taking it today so I can’t report my results yet. I do have a question though. I’m terrible at taking pills especially this one because it is so large. Can I put powder in applesauce or something?

Victoria (Editor)

Hi Abby! There shouldn’t be a problem with this.


Hi I’m taking Nighttime Recovery after game night and Catalyst during the day at the min dose and not consently but just when I feel like my muscles need that extra help for recovery and to repair my muscle weight in between volleyball and soccer matches. I do a lot of physical activities so I want to keep healthy muscles to prevent injuries. But after starting those two supplements I’ve noticed a quick pain in the back of my nick at the same time that my vision starts to go black and a feeling of dizziness with a tight sensation in my chest when I start to sprint after the soccer ball. Should I just stop taking them. It’s not like I take them all the time either. But I really want to keep my healthy muscle weight. Any suggestions?

Victoria (Editor)

Hi. Please make sure to consult with your physician before continuing to take this product and let them know about the side effects you were experiencing. You might want to also switch out this testosterone booster for one with 100% natural and safe ingredients, like Pronabolin.


The thing a lot of people need to understand is that the product promotes muscle toning and strengthening. Of course you will gain weight if you are gaining muscle, because muscle weighs more than fat. It’s not that the product is making them fatter, it’s just helping them build muscle, and working out alongside this is what burns the fat. To really lose “weight” aka fat. You have to use this product alongside healthy diet and workout. There is no pill out there that magically makes you lose weight without changing dietary habits and workout habits.

  knew how to stop the side effects.
Karen Lewis (Verified User)

I just started using the Herbal Cleanse and taking the catalyst 3x a day. On day 5, I woke up with a rash all over my face. I am not the type of person that usually has a reaction to anything so this is very odd to me. I don’t know if it is something in the cleanse or if I’m taking the catalyst too much. I have a co-worker who is taking other products as well but is only using the catalyst once a day. She has been on it for over two weeks now and the only side effect she has seen is that the top of her right hand has gotten extremely red and dry. Other than these side effects, I feel like the product is helping control my appetite and lose weight, I just wish I knew how to stop the side effects.

Victoria (Editor)

Hi Karen. Please make sure to consult with your physician before continuing to take this product and let them know about the side effects you were experiencing.


you take catalyst with the cleanse. If you have a rash you are allergic to Niacin and having a flush.


The cleanse lists the catalyst as an option


According to the handout it can be taken during the cleanse


I had the same thing happen to me I was taken them 1tab 3time a day and the side of my face and ears were so itchy, then I stopped takeing them it went away for a few days Ive just started taking them again and woke up this morning and I’m itchy all over my face and now my forearm with a rash, I think it’s a allergic reaction so I won’t be taking them abain

  I started Catalyst and GAINED 7lbs!! ????
Daisy (Verified User)

I started Catalyst a week and a half ago. Changed my diet. Tons of water and I GAINED 7lbs!!


Daisy, your 7 lbs gained was it in muscle or fat? Remember that muscle weighs more than fat. After I did the 24 day challenge and supplemented catalyst with other products into my diet I burned fat but gained weight in muscle mass while burning fat.


A pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle. If you laid a pound of fat and a pound of muscle size by side that’s where the difference is; the muscle has less size than the fat does


I’ve been taking it for a month and I’ve definitely noticed a difference. Muscle and fat weights depend on the density or size required to reach a pound I believe.


How can muscle weigh more than fat? 1 pound equals 1 pound. Think about it.


How can lead weight more than a feather? Think about it.


You think she gained 7 pounds of muscle in a week and a half? Please. (It IS likely to be water and not fat, though.)

  I havent recieved my order...
Almudena Di Gregorio

i have purchased the cleansr catayst on the 15/12/14 and i still havent recieved my order,

Cameron (Editor)

Hi, Almudena. Please contact Advocare, the parent company. We have all their info in the Q&A section of this review.


Can I use it while i breastfeed


I am not a doctor, but I’m confident a doctor would tell you it’s not worth the risk, even if it was deemed safe. I believe all the Advocare products say not to take if pregnant or breastfeeding. If they don’t, they should.

  It makes my pain go away
Kimmi (Verified User)

I have taken catalyst and spark for years. I am on my feet for my whole shift at work. A few months back I had to routinely work double shifts on the weekends for about three months. I found that once I started getting tired and my feet, knees, and legs would start hurting if I took some catalyst the pain would go away so I could finish my shift. I love the stuff!


After having my 2nd child I put on 60 pounds. I started Advocare an lost all the weight, back to my old self, feel amazing!! For me it has done wonders!! I’ve had friends join an they like it. U have to exercise, eat good, just like anything else if u want results. I only have 1 spark a day an that seems to do the trick for me. Every body is different an can respond differently too. What works for one person may not work for the next!

  Can taking catalyst cause fatty stool?

Can taking catalyst cause fatty stool?

Cameron (Editor)

Hello, Drea. Some dieters report upset stomach but not fatty stool. This product does not contain laxatives nor diuretics. We recommend you take a slight pause from this product and consult with your physician.

  Love it but had issues
Pamm (Verified User)

I had been taking Catalyst and the Spark For Over a Month, & I Love That the Catalyst Helps You Not Be Sore If You Work Out, & I Love The Taste of The Mango Spark However My Complaint Is I Started Experiencing High Blood Pressure (never had a problem before) I am in my 40’s, My Main Complaint Was I developed Gastritis With The Spark, Excessive Stomach Acid. Worst Indigestion Ever. So Be Careful, Its Very Painful. I Wanted this program to work for me. There Is Just Too Much Caffeine In Their Products So I am going Elsewhere. More Natural…

Vanessa Davis

Have you tried the v-16? If you are sensitive to caffeine, this is the best option. It offers all the same vitamins and amino acids and for me all the same energy just without the caffeine.


I just went to the dr and was told to stop taking catalyst because its making my liver enzymes go up.From all the protein that amino acid has in it.


Got some oils for that


Caffeine is 120 mg. which is equal to one large coffee. It wasn’t the caffeine


I was on meds for high blood pressure and took all he info and ingredient list of Advocare products to my dr. She said it was fine to take the products. I am now off my meds and have been on Advocare for 30 days. I was afraid the caffeine level was too high and would make my blood pressure rise, but it has no more than the diet coke I was drinking!


What a crappy response – some products actually do what they are advertised to do. This is one of them

  Wants to know more about side effects

what are the side effects of catalyst

Cameron (Editor)

Hi, Gina! Dieters sometimes report feeling an upset stomach and nausea, and slight discomfort with dizziness.

  This works for me!
Candee (Verified User)

I’ve been using Catalyst & Spark. I don’t have any complaints. Any weight loss success requires a healthy diet & exercise the catalyst & spark are there for assistance. Everything isn’t good for everyone but for me I love my catalyst, spark & thermoplus regardless of the price.

Roland Appassamy

Hi Candee, please let me know if you did obtain any results

  I am taking Catalyst by itself and I feel great.
Wanette (Verified User)

I am taking Catalyst by itself and I feel great. I have only been on it for almost a month. I have not been on a scale yet, but I am excited to see what I have lost.

  Blood pressure
Al (Verified User)

Wife takes the above products and she has quit taking her blood pressure pills. Her blood pressure got back to normal.

  I highly recommend it.
Jennifer (Verified User)

Catalyst has made a huge difference for me, I highly recommend it.

  Can I take it with other medication?
Sam Player

Is it safe to take while taking blood pressure meds.


my boss found that it is not safe while taking blood pressure meds she was taking the mns max 3 and the spark and catalyst and she had to stop because he blood pressure shot up to 163/99 she felt scared and almost like she was drunk. I would suggest if you have high blood pressure not to take these supplements.


Always consult your primary doctor before starting any diet.My Mother has high blood pressure and the Doc said that Advocares BioRQ is safe to take or even look into Advocares BioTools


I had the exact opposite experience, went from 140/100 to 123/70 in two months of using MNS3 and spark. Perhaps something else was going on with this person’s BP?


I agree my dr cut my bp meds in half so something else is happening!!!


I am not completely off my blood pressure meds due to Advocare! I have been checking my blood pressure and it has not gotten too high!

  Went through a total transformation
Andrew (Verified User)

I Spark and Catalyst before exercising consistantly. What I’ve found is that when I work out with Catalyst, I’m seldom sore the next day. I’ve seen myself go through a total transformation thanks largely to the effect of these products. I’ve tried other amino acid products and they don’t work near as well as Catalyst. The price tag may look steep, but you get what you pay for.

   improve my performance

I don’t know how to take your review on catalyst but, as a 46 year old who loves to run and improve my performance tha advocare plan worked better than I thought it would. Recovery time at my age is somewhat slow but now I recover by the next day and have taken off 2 plus minutes on a 5k. Some of this is a good diet but recovery hasn’t ever been this good.


I’ve lost over 100 lbs starting with the 24 day challenge. Catalyst has worked great for me and I notice faster gains with it. No side affects in over a year.