As a Personal Trainer my clients quite often ask me questions about their nutrition, what they should or more often shouldn't be eating, and whether or not they should be taking supplements. In fact, as part of my transformation packages it's important that we take some time to understand what is being eaten as part of the person's "normal" everyday diet so we can get to grips with what changes need to be made to get them on the right track for a healthy diet in the long-term.
I've said it before and I'll say it again no doubt but it really does come back to 80% diet 20% exercise! But just as one 'bad' meal won't make you unhealthy, one 'good' meal won't make you healthy.
In recent weeks I've seen a huge increase in people mentioning or talking about Juice Plus+ with a number of statements of weight loss, improvements in skin conditions and even (and I'm not making this up) a reason for a recovery from Cancer. Crikey. That's huge and if scientifically backed I'm recommending we all get involved in Juice Plus+ pretty bloody rapidly.
Juice Plus+ can be bought through their website or, as has been the case on my Facebook feed recently, is sold direct to people through franchises. It is through the franchisees that I have seen most of the claims about the improvements people have had after taking Juice Plus+ capsules or tablets but the official website is actually fairly vague as to what benefits you can expect to get!
The problem with anecdotal stories is that nothing else is taken into consideration. An improvement in any condition is put down to the tablet rather than looking at it holistically and asking what else changed in that person's life? Could that have had an effect? Correlation does not imply causation!!
So what is Juice Plus+? I've cut and pasted the explanation from their website below:
Next Best Thing To Fruits and Vegetables
Juice Plus+ is whole food based nutrition, including juice powder concentrates from 30 different fruits, vegetables and grains. Juice Plus+ helps bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat every day. Not a multivitamin, medicine, treatment or cure for any disease, Juice Plus+ is made from quality ingredients carefully monitored from farm to capsule to provide natural nutrients your body needs to be at its best.
Juice Plus+ also has 30 published studies into the product. I'll hold my hands up now and admit I've not read all of these studies so I'm sure the science is GREAT, but I will always look at these with an element of doubt as each study appears to have been funded by Juice Plus+, the equivalent of a turkey voting for christmas.
With any product like this that, let's be honest, needs to sell as much as possible to stay alive, my bullshit-o-meter is always ramped and set to stun. I delved a bit deeper to look at the marketing language used and note as follows:
WHY DO I NEED JUICE PLUS+?
Everyone wants to eat right and maintain a healthier lifestyle—whether you're a busy mom hustling to feed on-the-go children, a business traveler trying to stay fit, or an active boomer keeping up with grandkids....... healthy eating takes time, planning, and can cost a lot of money. Most of us suffer from a daily fruit and vegetable consumption gap as a result. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, Juice Plus+ products can help you fill that hole in your diet.
"a business traveler trying to stay fit"..... Really? Forget the gym people, pop a tablet. If only we had known!
"Healthy eating takes time, planning and can cost a lot of money"...... But not our capsules that you can take in a click of a finger and will cost you a mere $180 every 4 months. And planning - REALLY?! Planning a meal, frick me! Chicken, veg, cook. You're right, that took ages.
'Rich in vitamins and antioxidants'....
Good point, let's look at the ingredients of these miracle pills and capsules.
The orchard & garden blend capsules include various amounts of Vit A, C, E and Folate. Not hugely rich in vitamins. There are ingredients used for a reduction in the symptoms in constapation that will help with weight loss I'm sure.....
The chewables are terrible. The first ingredient is tapioca syrup, another name for high fructose corn syrup (the really shit stuff); the second is maltodextrin an easily absorbed carb that gets into your bloodstream really quickly and spikes sugar levels and then inevitably ends up as being stored as fat; and then thirdly evaporated cane juice - a fancy name for yet more sugar. Amongst all that there is again a limited amount of Vit A, C, E and Folate.
The absolute worst thing about the chewables? They're even selling a children's version. Amazing. Here kids... Have some MORE SUGAR!
'Juice Plus+ products can help you fill that hole in your diet'. And here's one of my biggest problems with this product. It sells itself as a catch-all tablet that will hit every nutrient requirement so there will be some people who will take this in isolation without looking after the rest of their diet. It suggests it's filling a hole in the diet that is caused by healthy eating taking time and planning whilst not actually giving you the required vitamins & minerals you need to be a healthy person functioning on the highest level!
The other thing with this product and those similar to it is that people are able to sell it without any regard to the person they are selling it to. Does that person need the product? Will it really help them? Are there things in the ingredients that will actually do more harm than good? The supplement market is like the wild west with people doing whatever they want to make a quick buck.
My advice, don't buy it. Don't waste your money. You need a wide ranging diet of fruits and veggies so spend your money on fresh, actual whole foods as that's the best way to hit all of your nutrient requirements. If you really are struggling for time then you're better off popping a multi-vitamin but even that isn't perfect!
And get some exercise be that a 30 minute walk for a few days a week, to playing football with your kids, to being intense and training for a marathon!