Herbalife Formula 1 Review (UPDATED 2018) – Is It Safe?

247 Review(s)
AVG Rating: 2.9/10

Herbalife Formula 1 is a line of shakes made by the popular direct marketing company, Herbalife. This shake mix is sold as a way for busy people to meet their nutritional requirements on the go, as well as a means of managing weight loss goals.

Shoppers may purchase this product in a range of flavors such as wild berry, piña colada, cookies ‘n cream, chocolate, vanilla, and more. Herbalife claims that this product may be used as a weight loss tool or merely a tool to help deliver nutrients like protein and vitamins that sometimes are hard to come by.

See the protein shakes that best satisfy and give your body the fuel it needs to get through both the workday and your workout.

Herbalife Formula 1 Overview

Herbalife Formula 1 is made to be mixed with non-fat cow’s milk, soy or almond milk. You can mix this with water, too, but users should be warned that it may be a little thin, with a perhaps unpleasant taste.

The formula contains 9 grams of protein per serving, plus fiber, and 21 different vitamins and minerals. The powder on its own contains 90 calories per serving. According to the packaging, this product supports metabolic function on a cellular level.

Based on the brief description listed on the Herbalife website, it seems that this product might be a good source of vitamins, but it does contain a relatively high sugar content and not a whole lot of protein.

View our review archive to get insider info on the best shakes for weight loss, muscle-building, and more.

Herbalife Formula 1 Claims

Herbalife Formula 1 is marketed both as a weight loss solution and a means of delivering an extra dose of vitamins and minerals to people who don’t always have time to cook a healthy meal.

The product instructions mention that users can drink this shake to lose weight by swapping out two meals a day with the shake mix and eating one healthy (non-liquid meal per day). Seeing as the shakes contain just 90 calories when mixed with water and 170 while mixed with milk, this sounds like a pretty restrictive diet plan. Unfortunately, this program is not sustainable for the long-term and may be potentially harmful to users not getting enough calories to support their bodies through weight loss.

But, Herbalife recommends using this product alongside other items in their line—the Formula 2 Multivitamin and the Formula 3 Cell Activator.

Other claims put forth by Herbalife are vaguer. According to the official website, this product is a great source of antioxidants, fiber, minerals, herbs, and vitamins. But they fail to describe how this product works or link to any use cases that prove Herbalife's solution as a viable weight loss program.

Additionally, the Herbalife website uses language like, this formula is “proven” to boost the metabolism and promote weight loss, but outside of the doctors paid by this company, we don’t see any credible medical studies highlighting this shake’s effectiveness in long-term weight loss.

Here, we'll help you learn more about why some drink mixes are better than others.

Herbalife Formula 1 Ingredients

The official website goes heavy on claims but doesn’t list an ingredient label where potential buyers can look at the ingredients and make their judgments on whether this product even makes sense as a weight loss tool. Below, we’ve included a list of items rattled off on the website, but we can’t be sure there are no additional elements in this formula.

  • Soy protein isolate
  • Corn Bran
  • Canola oil
  • Fructose
  • Psyllium husk powder
  • Carrageenan
  • Blueberry
  • Beta-carotene
  • Papaya powder
  • Artificial flavor

The main ingredient in Herbalife Formula 1 was soy protein isolate. This plant-based protein is a popular ingredient as its both cheap and relatively rich in protein. It's also suitable for vegans and vegetarians. But, soy protein may have some negative effects on hormone levels. Soy is rich in an estrogen-like substance known as isoflavones and soy protein isolate contains far more of this substance than you'd get from tofu or tempeh.

As such, people with certain types of cancer or who are concerned with losing testosterone should avoid products with too much soy.

Additionally, the product contains a lot of filler ingredients–corn bran, canola oil, and carrageenan. Carrageenan is a red seaweed derivative that has been linked to inflammation.

Herbalife Formula 1 does contain some positive elements, too; antioxidants, vitamins, and more, which work together to give users some much-needed nutrition.

According to our experts, these are the best diet shakes on today's market. Click to see which ones made our short list.

The Science Behind Herbalife Formula 1

It seems a little strange that this brand opted to use soy protein instead of whey. The soy is not specified as being non-GMO and the product still contains casein, so it’s not a vegan-friendly product. There’s much debate in the medical and natural foods communities about whether the modified crop is safe—as it may be linked to liver damage, allergic reactions, and more.

Beyond that—some users don’t like using soy products GMO or not. The plant contains phytoestrogens, which may affect estrogen levels when taken in large quantities.

The product also seems to contain a lot of filler items. We’re talking corn, rice, and carrageenan, a seaweed-based additive with no nutritional value. Some medical experts like Dr. Joanne Tobacman of the University of Illinois have linked carrageenan to chronic inflammation, which is the root cause of many serious illnesses like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and some types of cancer.

And then there’s the sugar content. Fructose is the second ingredient listed on the product label, delivering 9 grams per serving. If you’re drinking this product twice a day, as recommended, you’re drinking 18 grams a day of added sugar.

There’s some good stuff in here, too. The plant extracts like blueberry and pomegranate bring some antioxidants to the table, and the product does contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals—most accounting for 50%+ of the average person’s recommended daily value.

Learn more about our expert-picked weight loss products. Click for the full list.

Word on the Street about Herbalife Formula 1

Herbalife Formula 1 is a relatively popular product. That said, many past users have stated that the product is not especially substantial on its own and requires some extra ingredients for users hoping to get the most out of the shake.

Some users did say they were losing weight after following the instructions on the packaging. But, if you’re replacing two meals a day with a drink that’s less than 200 calories at best, you’re not meeting your nutritional requirements.

We also didn’t like that this product essentially forces users to buy this product from a distributor. While the idea is to support these “small businesses” by buying from individual distributors, we’ve heard countless stories form people who have signed up with Herbalife only to owe thousands of dollars in inventory they cannot move.

Sure, you can buy products from Amazon, too, but it’s unclear if Herbalife authorizes these sales. Unauthorized sales through the platform pose some risks. People counterfeit product and sell expired consumer goods. We are not saying this is the case in this situation, but there’s always a risk.

See which shakes our team of experts has rated best for supporting weight loss. Click here for more information. 

Is Herbalife Formula 1 Worth a Try?

There’s very little benefit in using Herbalife Formula 1 as a weight loss tool. This product is comparatively light on the protein and heavy on the sugar and only really offers fillers and fibers that leave consumers feeling full.

Within the context of weight loss, we do not believe that the appetite suppressant aspect of this formula is a negative thing. However, consumers are not getting enough calories per day if they follow this weight loss program as laid out on the website.

Additionally, the protein comes from casein and soy protein that is likely genetically modified—this strikes us as low-quality. While the cost of this product is reasonably affordable, you’re still paying $40+ for a container.

Visit our website to learn more about the best supplements for weight loss.

Herbalife Formula 1 FAQ

  1. Where can I buy this product?
    The Herbalife website will connect you to a nearby distributor, and from there, you can purchase products directly. That said, you may be able to find this product on Amazon, though the company might not authorize those sales.
  2. Do I need to sign up for Herbalife?
    You don't need to sign up to be an Herbalife provider to get these products, but someone from the company may try to get you to sign up for their program.
    Herbalife is a well-known MLM program, and many people believe they take advantage of people by requiring them to buy stock and sell to family and friends.
  3. Will Herbalife Formula 1 cause any side effects?
    It's unclear. Most ingredients in the formula are not known to produce any dangerous side effects with use. That said, the product is made from soy protein isolate–which may contain trace amounts of pesticides (it's GMO) and it may have an effect on estrogen levels. With that in mind, it's wise to speak with a doctor before replacing meals with this product.

What Really Works?

Our team of reviewers has made it their goal to review all types of protein shakes and diet drinks. Thus far the one that has impressed them most is 18Shake, a whey-based drink miz with just 90 calories and one gram of sugar. The shake also is rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables–perfect for mixing into a smoothie or on its own with milk. Click here for more details about trying 18Shake.

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