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Complete Herbalife Review 2023: The Truth Behind the Hype

Are you a health and fitness enthusiast or nutrition coach wondering what all the fuss is about Herbalife? If yes, you are in the right place.

Herbalife is a well-known brand in the world of health and wellness, offering a range of nutritional products that aim to support healthy living. With over 40 years of experience, this company has gained a reputation for producing high-quality supplements, shakes, and snacks designed to help individuals meet their health and fitness goals.

While many people swear by Herbalife’s products, some nutritionists question the effectiveness and safety of the company’s offerings.

This article will review Herbalife and all its offerings by examining its history, products, and customer feedback. This way, you can decide whether or not Herbalife is right for you. So, let’s get right to it.

All about Herbalife

Herbalife is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that produces and sells nutritional and dietary supplements. The company uses multi-level marketing as its business model and tracks the number and retention of distributors as vital financial parameters.

Herbalife products are exclusive to individual distributors trained to market the Herbalife system. Often, these distributors are also consumers because a considerable part of multi-level marketing is giving positive first-hand reviews to make sales. Loyal dieters and customers can earn while working remotely as full-time or part-time distributors and salespeople.

Is Herbalife Legitimate?

In 2016, the USA Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled with Herbalife. This settlement required Herbalife to prove that 80% of its sales were made to customers outside its distributor network. Distributors had to provide receipts as proof of sales to legitimate customers.

They faced allegations of operating as a pyramid scheme without giving distributors satisfactory results. Hence, the 2016 FTC settlement required the company to restructure its MLM operations and tie distributor rewards to verifiable retail product sales instead of only recruitment.

Difference between a Herbalife Customer and a Distributor

Herbalife has two types of customers and differentiates them by their motives for membership.

Herbalife Customers

These customers are individuals who buy Herbalife products from other members and distributors.

Herbalife Distributors

This is for the people joining the Herbalife network as distributors. They become members and distributors by entering the Herbalife Member Application and Application with Herbalife. This membership allows them to buy products from Herbalife at a discount, resell them to make a profit, and recruit new Herbalife members to build a network.

These are the two categories of Herbalife customers in all countries except the USA and India, where they have Preferred membership.

Herbalife Preferred Members

This category of customers is wholesale customers. They can purchase directly from Herbalife at discounts of 25% and can also qualify for higher discounts. They do not have the same membership status as distributors and therefore have no right to resell products or build a network in Herbalife’s multi-level market tree.

They are not allowed to do business with Herbalife products except directly with Herbalife. They can upgrade their Herbalife membership to become distributors and have the same benefits as Herbalife distributors.

Herbalife Products

Herbalife offers products that help dieters achieve their goals by limiting calorie intake through supplements that boost metabolism. The products are sold by distributors online and offline. Herbalife groups its products into the five categories mentioned below:

1. Core Nutrition

Herbalife Core Nutrition is a product line that offers a range of nutritional supplements designed to support overall health and well-being. These products contain essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that the body needs to function correctly.

The Herbalife Core Nutrition product line includes multivitamins, meal replacements, protein shakes, and Formula 1, 2, &3 supplements used in a balanced diet and exercise program.


2. Healthy Weight

Herbalife Healthy Weight is a product line that offers a range of nutritional supplements and meal replacements designed to support weight management goals. The products within this category are prepared with a blend of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to provide the body with the necessary nutrition while reducing calorie intake.

The Herbalife Healthy Weight product line includes protein shakes, snack bars, and supplements that can be used in a balanced diet and exercise program.

3. Specialised Nutrition

Specialised nutrition products are designed to meet the specific dietary needs of individuals with unique nutritional requirements due to various medical conditions or lifestyles. This Herbalife service includes meal replacements, supplements, and specialised formulas that cater to heart health, digestive health, sleep and relaxation, immune support, brain health, healthy ageing, and men, women, and children’s health.

When considering these products, remember to research their ingredients and efficacy and consult a healthcare professional to determine if they are appropriate for your needs.

4. Energy and Fitness

Herbalife Energy and Fitness is a product line that offers a range of nutritional supplements designed to support energy production, stamina, and athletic performance while keeping you hydrated. These products are produced with essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that help the body’s energy needs during physical activity.

Additionally, the Herbalife Energy and Fitness product line includes pre-workout supplements, hydration products, and recovery formulas that can be used by athletes or individuals looking to improve their fitness levels.

5. Skincare and Hair

Herbalife Skincare and Hair is a product line that offers a range of cosmetic and personal care products designed to support healthy skin and hair. These products are crafted with botanical ingredients, antioxidants, and vitamins to protect, nourish, and rejuvenate the skin and hair. Besides, the Herbalife Skincare and Hair product line includes cleansers, moisturisers, and hair care products.

Benefits of Herbalife

Herbalife offers a wide variety of products that offer different benefits. Highlighted below are a few of these benefits.

  • Products are easy to prepare

Herbalife shakes are fast and easy to prepare. You don’t need any meal prep or even a trip to the supermarket. The meal replacement shakes are convenient for on-the-go movement to work, on the bus or at the gym.

  • Multiple options for people with allergies

Herbalife meal replacement shakes are soy-based. A protein from soybeans that supports low cholesterol. However, they have alternative meal replacement shake options made from pea, rice, and sesame proteins that cater to the needs of people with restricted diets, like vegetarians and others with allergies to soy milk or cow’s milk.

  • Supports short-term weight loss

The suggested meal plan for weight loss using Herbalife meal replacement shakes is to replace two meals daily with the shakes and eat one low-calorie meal. These shakes contain meagre calories, and sticking to this will cause a calorie deficit which will consequently lead to weight loss.

Dieters attest to weight loss at the beginning of their meal plan but do not report much difference afterwards.

  • Improves metabolism and digestion

Herbalife replacement shakes and supplements contain ingredients that aid faster digestion and metabolism. This helps to build energy and weight loss.

Limitations of Herbalife

Even though Herbalife products have all these great benefits and reviews, there are a few things that could be improved with the products. Let’s discuss some below.

  1. Shakes are highly processed

Herbalife meal replacement shakes are produced with few natural ingredients and depend on highly-processed elements, like proteins, sugars, artificial flavours, and colours.

These shakes contain more than the recommended amount of sugar and pose a concern for diabetics and others that are conscious of sugar intake. In addition, artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives can cause reactions in some people. The reactions can lead to side effects like headaches, constipation, or fatigue.

  1. The shakes are low in calories

Although Herbalife shakes are meal replacements, they need to contain more calories to constitute a proper meal.

When mixed with non-fat milk, each shake has just 170 calories, likely leaving you hungry throughout the day and making sticking to the diet difficult.

Plus, blending the shake with fruit can help increase the calorie and fibre content but won’t add any protein or fat to satisfy you.

  1. Products are a bit pricey

Overall, Herbalife products may be considered pricey compared to similar products. Still, the cost may be worth it if you find the products effective and can afford them as part of a more extensive weight loss or nutrition program.

The cost of Herbalife products can vary depending on the product and the location where it is purchased. Some products may be more affordable, and discounts may be available for bulk purchases or special promotions.

  1. The diet programs are not generic for everyone

The Herbalife diet program may only suit some for several reasons.

  • It may not be appropriate for individuals with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or kidney disease, as some products contain high amounts of sugar or protein, which can exacerbate these conditions.
  • The Herbalife diet program may not be proper for individuals with food allergies or intolerances, as some products contain common allergens such as soy, dairy, and gluten.
  • The diet programs and other Herbalife products may be unsuitable when pregnant or breastfeeding, as certain products may contain ingredients that are not safe for these individuals.
  • If you are underweight or have any pre-existing eating disorders, like anorexia, starting a Herbalife diet program is inappropriate. The program promotes restrictive eating patterns, and this can exacerbate such conditions.
  • Lastly, if you are not ready for a lifestyle change or long-term commitment to the program, there may be better steps than starting.
  1. Supplements may cause liver damage

There have been some reports of liver damage associated with using Herbalife products. While these cases are rare, they are a cause for concern and have led to some controversy surrounding the safety of these products.

For example, in 2007, the Israeli Ministry of Health issued a warning about Herbalife products after multiple cases of liver damage were reported in individuals who had used the products. In 2008, the Spanish Ministry of Health issued a similar warning after liver damage was reported in an individual who had used Herbalife products.

In 2011, a case study was published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology in which a woman developed a liver injury after using Herbalife products for four months. The study’s authors noted that the woman had no other known risk factors for liver disease and concluded that her liver injury was likely due to the Herbalife products she had been using.

Some Herbalife products are also suspected of containing heavy metals. It is important to note that while these cases are concerning, they are also few and far between. However, consult a healthcare professional before using any dietary supplement or weight loss product, observe for side effects, and discontinue use if any adverse effects occur.

  1. Weight loss plan is not sustainable

Even though several dieters have reported some weight loss while following some of Herbalife’s weight loss programs and using their products, there is no evidence to show that these products will sustain weight loss or a healthy lifestyle in the long run.

Instead, it may cause dependence on the products for continuous short-term weight loss rather than a traditional low-calorie weight loss plan or lifestyle change of healthy eating and exercise.

Restrictive eating patterns are nearly impossible to maintain over time. When there is a change in our daily activities, our bodies may require more calories, and the shakes and supplements don’t provide the calories needed for a daily hustle and bustle lifestyle.


The pricing of Herbalife products varies depending on the specific product, the region where it is purchased, and the individual distributor. The products are sold through independent distributors who increase the price. You can also buy products directly from the company if you are a Herbalife Preferred Customer. Besides, you may also get lower prices depending on the quantity purchased and if there are promotions or discounts available from the distributor or retailer.

On average, Herbalife products are more expensive than that of its competitors.

The Herbalife Trial Pack costs $18.20, the meal replacement shakes $80, and the supplements cost $30.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are Herbalife Products FDA Approved?

Herbalife products are not FDA-approved because FDA doesn’t approve non-drug cosmetics, food, or dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness. However, Herbalife products are certified by National Science Foundation (NSF).

  • Are Herbalife products safe?

Herbalife products are perceived to be safe for adults to use. Certifications and several positive reviews from existing customers back the safety of the products. However, consulting your healthcare provider to ensure the products are right for you is best. Particularly if you have any pre-existing medical condition like kidney disease or diabetes or if you are on any medications or supplements

  • Is Herbalife a legitimate company?

Herbalife was established in the 1980s and has a rich history as the world’s largest nutrition company. It is a legitimate company. You can find more information on the Herbalife official website.

  • How do I become a Herbalife distributor?

You can become a Herbalife distributor by registering on the Herbalife website. Unfortunately, without providing a sponsor’s information, Herbalife will not permit you to complete your membership registration.

  • Can Herbalife products help me lose weight?

Herbalife can help you lose weight because the nutritional shakes create a calorie deficit that can result in some weight loss. However, many customers have complained about initial weight loss and stagnancy of weight afterwards.

Remember that Herbalife products are not realistic as a long-term solution to weight loss. Herbalife products are highly processed, and lots of nutrients may be lost in a bid for weight loss, so an extended use of the products may lead to health complications like constipation.

  • Can I use Herbalife products while breastfeeding or pregnant?

Herbalife explicitly states that its products have not been tested for safety of use during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Mothers should contact their doctors before using the products to avoid complications or an imbalance in nutrients and necessary hormones.

  • Are Herbalife products safe for children?

Herbalife products are formulated to meet the needs of adults. It is possible for children of 4 years and above to occasionally take some products but ensure you consult a paediatrician first.

  • How do I know which Herbalife products to use?

You can use a combination of Herbalife products depending on your goal and health needs. Some dieters have developed some helpful product combinations and supplementary meal plans. You can also consult a nutritionist to ensure you’re going the right way to achieve your weight loss goals and stay healthy.

  • What are the potential side effects of using Herbalife products?

Some dieters have reported mild to serious health complications after using Herbalife products. Some complications include constipation, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, and jaundice. 

  • Can I use Herbalife products if I have a medical condition or take medication?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before taking Herbalife products to avoid health complications.

  • Are Herbalife products safe for vegans?

Currently, Herbalife does not produce anything suitable for vegans.