Herbalife is a range of weight loss and nutritional products which has been designed to treat everything from obesity to anemia. The most popular item, Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix, is a protein based shake formulated to be used as a meal replacement. Before starting the Herbalife weight management program or consuming any other snacks and supplements, it is important to clearly understand the possible negative health impacts and side effects that they may have.
Like any weight loss solution, all Herbalife products have been extensively tested to ensure that they are both safe and effective. Clinical studies have found that, though the products do not have any direct side effects, there are a number of possible negative reactions that can come as a result of the fast weight loss process, a sudden change in nutrition, or allergy to one of the shake’s ingredients. The following are a few of the potential Herbalife side effects that you should be aware of:
Skin irritation is a common side effect of a detoxing diet, and as a result, it is one of the most frequent complaints made by those using Herbalife products. Rashes usually come in the form of a redness, irritation, or blotchy skin. Fortunately, they are normally mild and last for only a short period of time. In the meantime, you can use a herbal aloe soothing gel to relieve any irritation.
Caffeine is one of the key ingredients used in Herbalife products because the substance is an effective tool for increasing metabolic function and it provides much needed energy to dieters. Unfortunately, when caffeine is consumed in any form, it has the potential to cause headaches, jitters, anxiety, increased heart rate, and sometimes hypertension.
The standard serving of a Herbalife shake contains 75mg of caffeine, a completely safe amount, which is actually less than the 85mg found in a regular cup of coffee. However, everyone’s tolerance to caffeine is different, and only you can decide on the amount that is suitable for you. You can reduce these caffeine-based symptoms by cutting out any other sources of caffeine in your diet, such as coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks. If this symptom persists, reduce your Herbalife intake gradually until they disappear. N-R-G Tablets and Liftoff Energy Drinks are a few of the Herbalife products that contain the highest caffeine levels.
Switching to a liquid based diet on the Herbalife meal replacement plan can be a shock to your digestive system resulting in constipation or diarrhea. In normal circumstances your digestive system is used to high levels of solid food containing soluble and insoluble fiber to keep your gut in good working order. Most digestive problems will quickly disappear once your body gets used to the new eating plan. To alleviate the problem in the short term, you may find it effective to eat a healthy, high fiber snacks like rice cakes, fruit, or granola bars between meals.
There are a number of everyday ingredients in Herbalife that could lead to an allergic reaction, including shellfish (present in Herbalifeline, Tri-shield, and Joint Support), caffeine and soy. These allergic reactions can take many forms and some are more serious than others:
- Itching and eczema
- Swelling of the lips, mouth, and throat
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea
- Nasal congestion and wheezing
It is important to read the ingredients of each specific Herbalife product carefully before buying the item. These are all listed clearly on the label and in the buying information online. If you have a known allergy to any of the ingredients in Herbalife, do not consume the product. If you have an allergic reaction after consuming the product, consult your doctor immediately and discontinue any further use.
Any sudden changes to your diet can cause bloating, so with a rapid weight loss program like Herbalife, this side effect is not uncommon. To prevent this symptom from occurring, try to adjust your portion sizes and eating habits gradually. Eating small healthy snacks between meals is also an effective method which many people use to avoid this side effect.
Guar gum and psyllium husk exist in a small amount in some Herbalife products and most other weight loss shakes. If consumed in a large enough quantity, these substances can cause slight dehydration. Fortunately, a dry mouth is a good sign the detox process is working because sweating and urination are both ways in which harmful toxins leave the body. To make sure that your water levels are kept sufficiently high, drink water regularly and monitor your water intake carefully.
Swollen legs are a somewhat serious allergic reaction, and if you suffer from it, you should seek advice from your doctor immediately.
Like any weight loss product, Herbalife has the potential to react with or affect the results of any other medication you are taking. If you are currently taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs or have an existing medical condition, it is very important to consult your doctor for guidance on possible interaction before purchasing any Herbalife product.
So is Herbalife Safe?
It can take up to three weeks for the body to be completely cleansed of toxins, and during this time, skin rashes, digestive issues, dry mouth, and bloating are a few of the possible reactions your body might have. In fact, the majority of herbalife side effects reported are actually the natural result of the detoxification process or fast weight loss rather than a reaction to the substance itself.
In general, the likelihood of suffering Herbalife side effects is incredibly rare, and in the few reported cases when they do occur, they have been found to be very mild. The majority of side effects associated with Herbalife are actually caused by either an allergy to one of the ingredients or the effects of rapid weight loss. After the three week detoxification is completed and related side effects should quickly stop. However, if symptoms persist longer than this period of time, discontinue use of Herbalife shakes, snacks, and supplements.
For further reading, you can view: Herbalife side effects which is also a great detailed read on the subject.