Should you buy Herbalife? Is it worth your money or a scam?
If you are reading this Herbalife review, chances are you have watched the ads for Herbalife and wonder if it really delivers what it claims.
Over the past few weeks, I have done thorough research about the Herbalife to help you make an informed decision. I can tell you everything you need to know before you buy.
At the end of this review, I will also tell you the best alternative of Herbalife so that you can enjoy the same benefit at a lower cost.
In this Herbalife review, I’ll cover the following topics to assist you in making an informed decision:
What is Herbalife?
Among American consumers, Herbalife is a household name when it comes to health and nutrition products. Herbalife offers a wide range of supplements, including shakes, teas, weight loss products, protein powders and more, all sold primarily by independent retailers.
In this article, we will take a look at the ingredients in some of Herbalife’s best-selling products and give our opinion on whether or not we think they are healthy and whether or not the health claims (e.g. weight loss) are likely to be true based on medical research.
We will discuss the Herbalife protein powder, Herbalife collagen, and Herbalife pre-workout, as well as the Herbalife tea, Herbalife Liftoff (the energy supplement), and Herbalife smoothies.
We will also address the $200 million settlement Herbalife paid to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over misleading statements and the company’s refusal to provide key nutritional information on its website.
Herbalife Shakes Review
Marketed as a healthy alternative to fast food, Herbalife’s “nutritional shakes” are a big seller.
Given that it has only 90 calories per serving, we disagree with the description of this smoothie as a “meal replacement” Dieters still consume at least 500 calories per meal on average.
We chose soy protein isolate as the main ingredient in this drink because we think it is a good alternative. It is a suitable alternative for vegetarians and vegans because it is a complete protein (i.e. it contains all nine essential amino acids).
For safety reasons, we do not advise you to use this formulation because it contains a number of questionable substances.
First and foremost, it’s all that extra sugar. Obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer are linked to the consumption of added sugars, according to medical studies.
Even though the 4 grams of added sugar per serving is not much, we still find it strange that an expensive “nutritious” beverage contains sugar.
According to animal studies, the artificial flavoring in this smoothie is also potentially harmful. All six artificial flavorings studied in the linked article published in the Brazilian Journal of Biology were found to be dangerous to animals.
In addition to a balanced source of protein and carbohydrates, Herbalife nutritional shakes also contain a proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals. Isagenix, a health food company, had to pull its shakes from shelves in early 2022 because some shoppers suffered vitamin poisoning. Instead of taking vitamin and mineral pills, we recommend a diet rich in real foods.
Due to the dubious quality of some of the additives used, we cannot recommend Herbalife’s shakes.
Naked Nutrition Grass-Fed Whey Powder is our first choice when it comes to protein powders because it contains only pasture-raised whey protein. All potentially harmful ingredients have been omitted.
At the time this page was updated, a container of Herbalife Formula 1 Shakes cost $50.90 and contained 22 servings, which equates to $2.31 per serving. A container of whey protein powder from Naked Nutrition contains 76 servings, making the price per serving $1.25. The container costs $94.99.
Herbalife Tea Review
The following ingredients come from Herbalife’s Raspberry Herbal Tea Concentrate, one of several tea concentrates the company sells that it believes can help with weight loss, as they are referred to as “Weight Loss Enhancers” on the Herbalife website
A 2019 medical study found that caffeine can help with weight loss, but neither the ingredient list nor Herbalife’s website reveal how much caffeine is included.
Because caffeine overdose can cause symptoms such as temporarily elevated blood pressure and anxiety, we consider this a risk to consumer safety. If there is no indication of how much caffeine is in a product, customers should avoid it.
Green tea extract may help with weight loss, but we advise customers to avoid it due to concerns about hepatotoxicity (possible liver damage). Green tea extract was called a “possible cause of acute liver failure” in a review article published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, and Health Canada has issued similar warnings.
The natural taste of this tea is another reason to avoid it. As we discussed in our post on Smart Sweets, this term is vague and does not reveal the exact chemical substances used to create the flavor. Consumers and scientists like us would not be able to determine the safety of flavoring agents without this knowledge.
Although the addition of caffeine and green tea extract makes Herbalife tea a possible weight loss aid, we do not recommend it because there is no dosage list for these ingredients and we discourage the consumption of green tea extract and “natural flavoring” in any form.
Because of its single active ingredient (green tea leaves), Pique Japanese Sencha Green Beverage is our first choice for a weight loss tea. It does not contain natural flavors or caffeine.
Medical studies have linked both green tea and green tea extract to weight loss, with green tea being the safest option.
Herbalife Liftoff Review
The dietary supplement “Liftoff,” available as an effervescent tablet that dissolves in water, was recently launched by Herbalife.
The caffeine content in Liftoff is 75 mg, which is slightly less than the amount contained in a cup of coffee. According to a 2017 analysis of medical literature, this is an optimal dose to boost performance in mental and physical tasks.
Liftoff also contains the herbal ingredient Panax Ginseng, which boosts your energy and concentration. However, the medical studies we looked at all used Panax Ginseng extract, which is more effective than the one Herbalife uses (raw Panax Ginseng root).
Herbalife Liftoff contains some helpful active ingredients for energy and concentration, but it also contains some unnecessary additives that you should avoid. First, there’s citric acid, which serves as both a preservative and a flavor enhancer.
According to a medical report we frequently cite on Illuminate Health, citric acid can trigger systemic inflammatory reactions in rare cases. Due to its lack of nutritional value, we advise you to avoid this ingredient. Such an adverse reaction to citric acid is uncommon, but given the facts, it makes sense to avoid this chemical.
Corn syrup, a processed sweetener that has been linked to obesity and negative health outcomes, is also present in this product. Even though the amount of added sugar in this product is manageable, we still advise you to avoid all forms of sugar and corn syrup.
Natural flavors, sucralose and sodium benzoate are just a few of the questionable additives found in Liftoff.
We find it odd that sucralose, which has been linked to impaired cognitive performance in a clinical study, is included in an energy supplement at all.
To keep you going, we recommend taking Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract, a Panax Ginseng supplement we manufacture. Panax Ginseng has been shown to increase both physical and mental vitality, and this product contains no problematic additives (links to studies on our product page).
Herbalife Liftoff is priced at $246.55 for 100 tablets, or $2.47 per serving. Each bottle of Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract, which can be purchased by subscription for $15 and contains 60 servings, costs only $0.25 per serving.
Herbalife Protein Powder Review
When it comes to protein powders, Herbalife has everything you need.
This product is similar to the Herbalife smoothie we just reviewed, except for the higher calorie and protein count, and follows a similar formula (15 g).
Powders with a protein dose of 20 grams or more are the ones we typically offer our clients, as this appears to be the optimal range of protein intake for maximum hypertrophy (muscle building) in clinical studies.
For the above reasons, we do not recommend using this supplement because it contains additional vitamins and minerals.
Herbalife’s protein powder contains both natural and artificial flavors, corn syrup and sucralose.
Herbalife’s protein powder is much more expensive than the company’s shakes. If you buy the above protein powder through our regional distributor, you will pay $62.35, and you will receive only 22 servings. The price per serving is $2.83.
As for our recommended shakes, we think that Naked Nutrition Grass-Fed Whey Powder is superior to Herbalife’s protein powder because it does not contain any problematic additives and costs only $1.25 per serving.
Herbalife Collagen Review
Herbalife’s collagen supplement “SKIN”, taken orally, is advertised as a wrinkle-reducing agent. Medical studies show that collagen helps soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while increasing skin suppleness and hydration. However, we do not believe Herbalife’s product is very effective.
Based on the above research analysis, the effective dose of collagen in Herbalife SKIN appears to be 2.5 g per serving. A dose of 10 g has been shown to be the most effective, so we recommend this dose.
Vitamins, minerals, citric acid and natural flavor are just some of the questionable ingredients in this supplement.
For those who want to improve the appearance of their facial skin with collagen, we recommend Bulletproof collagen powder. The only component is isolated collagen peptides from the meat of grass-fed animals. Nothing artificial or questionable has been added.
At $58.65 for 30 servings, Herbalife SKIN ‘s price of $2.50 per serving is reasonable for its 2.5 g collagen. For $39.95, you can get 50 servings of Bulletproof Collagen Powder’s 10 g collagen, which is $0.80 per serving and provides four times as much collagen.
Herbalife Pre-Workout Review
Herbalife offers a “Prepare” pre-workout powder that seems to be well formulated. Nitric oxide (NO) precursors such as L-arginine and L-citrulline are included. Nitric oxide improves performance by relaxing blood vessels, which can increase endurance during exercise.
Although both substances support nitric oxide synthesis, blends containing only citrulline are more effective as a pre-workout supplement. When it comes to generating NO, arginine is inferior to citrulline.
According to clinical tests, the 2.1 g of creatine in Herbalife’s pre-workout supplement is an effective dose. Creatine supplements can make you stronger and help you work out longer.
We appreciate that Herbalife has given its Prepare product NSF certification for sports. To ensure that a sports supplement does not contain illegal chemicals such as steroids, NSF tests the supplement for inaccuracies in labeling and the presence of contaminants.
Prepare’s caffeine content is a strong 100 milligrams per serving.
In general, we think this is a solid blend that will help you get more out of your workout. Although it is the best formulated Herbalife product we have reviewed, we cannot recommend this pre-workout due to the additional vitamins and minerals it contains.
Almost since the company’s inception, Herbalife has been plagued by legal problems.
In 2016, Herbalife reached a $200 million settlement with the FTC, as we mentioned in the introduction to this article. Due to the “misleading money-making claims,” the FTC demanded that Herbalife refund $200 million to its brand representatives.
According to an exposé published in Barron’s, Herbalife settled allegations that it tried to bribe Chinese regulators by paying $123 million to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Herbalife also paid $15 million to dismiss a class action lawsuit alleging the company was a pyramid scam that made it difficult for independent distributors to make money.
In light of this information, we cannot stress enough how strongly we discourage becoming a Herbalife brand ambassador.
No Ingredient Labels on Herbalife’s Website
When this article was last updated, Herbalife still did not offer ingredient or nutritional information on most of its products sold online. We find it very questionable that this company is conducting such a dubious business.
For this report, I did not use the Herbalife website, but looked up ingredient information on other websites, such as those of independent Herbalife distributors.
Without complete data, consumers cannot make informed decisions about their health. If the formulation of a pre-workout supplement is hidden, how can one judge its effectiveness?
Consumers should always avoid purchasing supplements from manufacturers who do not provide a full list of ingredients, and we urge Herbalife to do the same on their website.
Benefits of Herbalife
1. Product Quality is acceptable
Herbalife’s product quality is satisfactory. It’s well-designed and serves its purpose well. Some customers may, however, receive defective products from them. As a result, I would recommend that Herbalife inspect the products before shipping them to customers. Customers are less likely to receive subpar or defective products as a result of this.
2. Customer Service is Available
Shopping in stores that provide poor customer service is extremely inconvenient. As a result, it’s critical to shop at stores that at the very least provide a phone number and an email address for after-sales service.
Herbalife’s customer service is adequate but not exceptional. You may contact them if you have any questions or concerns about your order, but it may take more than 48 hours to receive a response. This is not ideal, especially in some emergency situations.
3. Herbalife meets the product description
Many stores use exaggerated marketing tactics in their advertisements to increase sales. This does not always imply that the product is a scam.
Herbalife’s advertisements are quite impressive and can catch the attention of customers. Some may believe they are overhyped. However, you cannot conclude that it is a scam because Herbalife does, to some extent, deliver on its promises.
4. Door-to-door Delivery
Many people prefer to shop online because it saves them time. Simply place an order and wait for the product to arrive. You are not required to drive to a physical store to obtain the product.
Herbalife is an online retailer that offers door-to-door delivery. Even if you live in a remote location, you can still purchase from Herbalife.
5. Easy to Place an Order
Herbalife’s website design is appealing. It is very simple for people to place an order. Simply click the “add to cart” button and proceed to the payment page with your credit card. Unlike a physical store, Herbalife’s website accepts orders 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Herbalife Cons and Complaints
1. Herbalife is Overpriced
Herbalife is not inexpensive. Many people complain that it is too expensive. Because the quality of Herbalife is not superior to that of other similar products, the higher price is not justified.
You will be able to find a similar or identical product at a lower cost elsewhere. Let me tell you where at the end of this Herbalife review.
2. Inefficient logistics
Herbalife is a small company with insufficient capital to invest in logistics. They are forced to rely on inefficient third-party logistics. They have minimal control over the shipping speed.
Therefore, you may see a lot of customer complaints about their slow delivery. If you want fast shipping, go with a large marketplace like Amazon. Unlike Herbalife, Amazon can ship products in a matter of days.
3. Herbalife Has Few Positive Reviews
I looked for positive Herbalife reviews but came up empty-handed. While the product is excellent, customers may be dissatisfied with their service.
Because Herbalife is a small company, you should not expect them to provide world-class service. It is preferable to purchase from a large marketplace such as Amazon if you want to ensure good after-sales service. There is much better customer protection there.
4. Herbalife does not offer unconditional refunds
Herbalife does not always issue refunds to customers. Although there is a refund policy, Herbalife has complete discretion over whether or not to issue refunds.
Some customers may find it unjust. However, this is a disadvantage when purchasing from an independent online store. Personally, I prefer purchasing from marketplaces such as Amazon, where the refund policy is reasonable. When requesting a refund, you will have Amazon’s backup.
5. Difficult to Return the Product
If you don’t like Herbalife, it’s difficult to return it to them. You would be responsible for the shipping costs.
That is why I dislike shopping at independent stores. If you want to avoid this problem, I recommend purchasing from Amazon. If you don’t like the product, you can easily return it. Later, I’ll tell you where you can get a similar or identical product to Herbalife on Amazon.
6. Some Good Reviews are Written by Herbalife’s Affiliates
You probably have found some other reviews of Herbalife and all of them are saying good words.
But some of them are actually paid to write, meaning they are sponsored posts. Therefore, their words are often biased and not trustworthy. Those reviews are simply sales pages and do not tell you the downsides of Herbalife.
By common sense, should you trust someone who has a conflict of interest that receives huge compensation by “reviewing” Herbalife? Probably not. They are not reviewing, but selling!
Therefore, I recommend reading the reviews of those written by the non-affiliates of Herbalife.
7. Herbalife Spent a Lot of Budgets on Advertising
Herbalife spends a lot of money on advertisements. There is nothing wrong with marketing their products via paid advertisements.
But the problem is how can they make a profit with huge marketing costs? It’s common sense that Herbalife passes the costs to customers. So that explains why Herbalife is more expensive than other similar products you can find on Amazon. The higher price doesn’t mean their quality is better. They are just trying to cover their marketing costs.
As a smart customer, you should only pay for the quality of the product, but not the marketing costs of the product. That’s why I recommend purchasing from a large marketplace like Amazon, which I will tell you more about later.
Is Herbalife a Scam?
I cannot say Herbalife is a scam for legal reasons. I researched them thoroughly, including their social media pages, review sites, forums, and so on. And while I see nothing suspicious about their business, I cannot find any verified positive reviews.
If Herbalife is a genuine and well-established company offering high-quality products, you should be able to find numerous positive customer reviews about them online.
But, strangely, I can’t find any. This could be due to the company’s service quality rather than its product quality. As a result, I have less faith in them. That’s why I looked for a similar or identical product on Amazon for you. Let me elaborate later.
How to Contact Herbalife’s Customer Service?
Herbalife does not have great customer service. It may take more than 48 hours to get a response from them. Here are the contact details:
Contact form: https://support.herbalife.com/s/contactsupport
Herbalife Reviews: Final Verdict
Herbalife is a fantastic product that delivers on the promises made in their advertisements. However, I would not recommend purchasing from them. Instead, you can find a similar or identical product on Amazon.
Because Herbalife is a small company, I am hesitant to purchase from them. Personally, I always try to find an alternative on Amazon. Every time, I can find a similar or better one at a lower price on Amazon. In the following section, I’ll tell you where you can get it on Amazon.
Where to Get the Best Alternative of Herbalife?
If you’d like to get the best alternative for Herbalife, you might go to Amazon.
I just found a very similar product on Amazon that can produce the same or even better results. It is also more reasonably priced!
That’s why I bought one from Amazon, and I don’t regret it because of the excellent customer service and quick delivery.
You should look into it so that you won’t regret it later.