On Thursday I tried Facebook Live for the first time ever.
Lessons learned: Hold the phone vertically when you go live or people watching you on a computer will need to lie down. Don’t think naughty, you dirty minds! But this article is not about the Facebook Live, but about what I had shared in it – Juice Plus+.
I had a variety of responses from people after the video was posted. Questions ranged from “All the best. See you in 4 months” to “This is all a scam, be careful!”. So where do I stand? If you know me, I love trying new things. So here am I trial running the Juice Plus booster pack for the next 4 months.
So… What is Juice Plus+?
Juice Plus+ is a branded line of dietary supplements containing concentrated fruit and vegetable juice extracts fortified with added vitamins and nutrients. On their website, it states that the Juice Plus+ capsule contains 30 kinds of fruits, vegetables and berries that allegedly gives you all the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals you need.
Other products from Juice Plus+ also includes Vanilla and Chocolate shakes, chocolate and mixed fruit bars, vegetable soup and the booster sachets. Apart from the booster sachets, the remaining products are meal replacements (i.e. you have a shake, soup or bar for your breakfast, lunch or dinner).
What are Meal Replacements?
Meal replacements are drinks, shakes, bars, soups etc. intended as a substitute for a solid food meal (i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner). They usually have controlled quantities of calories and include the required vitamins and minerals.
I think the weight loss success stories you hear about are mostly because of the meal replacements, where you replace two of your three meals with Juice Plus+ products which automatically results in a reduction in calorie intake.
But in my current lifestyle, where the morning begins with a cappuccino with Mr Logan and dinner time is our family time, meal replacements don’t feel like the best thing to introduce. But that being said, I have not tried the shake yet. It could easily replace my morning cuppa if I enjoy it! My friend has shared a couple of recipes that I am planning to try out this weekend.
What is special with the Boosters?
The key ingredients of the Juice Plus+ Boosters are glucomannan (33%), green tea extract (3.3%) and caffeine (< 0.3%). It includes a corn syrup based oil emulsion, fruit flavouring and sodium polyphosphate.
Glucomannan is a sugar made from the root of the konjac plant. Glucomannan, like many soluble fibres, absorbs water in the stomach and intestines to form a bulky fibre (like a gel) which can slow down the absorption of sugar and cholesterol which helps with lowering both blood sugar and cholesterol. I have also seen this ingredient in the context of treating constipation.
What’s with the negativity around Juice Plus+?
I have had a few people write to me warning me about the product, the company and everything surrounding it. Here are some of the most common negative comments I received and my thoughts.
#1 Juice Plus+ Boosters are not safe
Glucomannan is like many other fruit-based sugars out there; there is nothing “dangerous” about it. However, it may not be the best thing for people who already have low blood sugar or digestion issues (read more details in the section above). Also, since maintaining the right blood sugar is important for pregnant and breastfeeding women, this may not be best suited for them either.
Also, the bulky fibres can sometimes lead to slightly uncomfortable side effects such as gas, bloating, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
I noticed someone advertise that the boosters are good for diabetes patients. But I think if they are already on a diabetes medication, taking glucomannan along with it may result in extremely low blood sugars which can be really dangerous.
Glucomannan can slow stomach emptying, so I believe it will interfere with some medications. So that is something you will need your doctor’s advice on.
Finally, let’s take the caffeine aspect. Sensitivity to caffeine varies from person to person. But the quantity of caffeine in the booster is pretty low at 25mg in total (i.e. 3 sachets) which is equivalent to that in a cup of tea.
You can find the full ingredients details of all the products here:
#2 All MLM products are fake
MLM (or Multi Level Marketing) is a controversial marketing strategy where distributors and sub-distributors sell products and retain a small percent of the sale as their commission. Juice Plus+ has received a lot of negative publicity because of its alleged network marketing strategy. My husband was really wary when I mentioned the company.
Are Juice Plus+ products marketed through MLM?
Juice Plus+ website has stated the below regarding their business model:
The Juice Plus+® Virtual Franchise® is a unique business model combining the best elements of traditional franchise marketing, direct sales, network marketing, and consumer goods marketing. It is designed not only to help us share Juice Plus+ and the healthful benefits of better nutrition with as many people as possible, but also to help as many people as possible realize their dreams through our flexible compensation plan.
You can draw your own conclusions through these videos explaining the Juice Plus+ Marketing Plan:
Now, most of us associate MLM/Network Marketing to scams (yours truly, inclusive). We think it’s like one of the many failed pyramid schemes and scams out there. I don’t think Juice Plus+ is a pyramid scheme. There are no bonuses for recruitment and all compensations are based on sales performance. I think it is only fair that if you disagree with the marketing strategy, leave it at that. It is unfair to target the products! MLM or not, the important thing is if the product is effective or not.
Also, people are very wary of anything advertised extremely. A couple of friends recently asked me if I am paid for writing on my website. The truth is I don’t. But I guess they asked this question because they saw me actively share my website content on social media (like “marketing” the content). My true ulterior motive is to share what I learn with other like-minded people.
I am also an affiliate member of various companies/products where I get a small commission if someone buys a product through me. But I don’t shove those products to anyone. Because I only share what I believe in and would use it myself. And I would like to think most of the people involved in MLM or Network Marketing are like that – only taking part in what they believe in and use themselves. So it is unfair to target the marketing strategy instead of focussing on the product.
#3 They are Pricey!
This is one I actually agree with. Typically 1 gramme of Glucomannan powder would cost around 4-5 pence in many health stores. So you would expect the cost of the 90 booster sachets (3g each containing 1g Glucomannan) to be well within £5.00 (or maximum £15.00 pushing it). But nay, you aren’t even close. Go five times up! The price is probably set by the company taking into account all the commissions involved.
What’s my plan with Juice Plus+?
I will put my honest reviews on this website through my 3 month trial of Juice Plus+ boosters. I will also use a replacement in the fourth month. You can be my judge. 🙂