There’s no research supporting the safety of Plexus supplements. Though you may lose weight on a Plexus diet, the weight you lose is likely water weight that you’ll gain back at the end of the diet.

Plexus is a dietary supplement company that’s best known for its “pink drinks,” such as Plexus Slim Hunger Control or Plexus Slim Microbiome Activating. They are sold as powdered supplements meant to suppress appetite and help you lose weight.

Over the past few years, the company’s product line has greatly expanded to include items like the Plexus Block, which is purported to help metabolize carbohydrates, and Plexus MetaBurn, which claims to boost metabolism and burn fat.

Despite their popularity, you may be wondering whether Plexus weight loss supplements are worth the money or even safe to take.

This article explores the effectiveness and safety of the most popular Plexus weight loss products.

Plexus is a supplement company that sells a variety of products designed to help improve overall health.

Plexus grew in popularity thanks to its “pink drink.” In recent years, Plexus has expanded its offerings to include products for gut health, weight loss, and skin care.

Even more recently, the company has begun offering Plexus Pivotal, a 90-day program that includes weekly tips, recipes, workouts, and motivation designed to help customers stay on track with the products.

Still, despite its expanded product line and program, the company continues to be known for its weight loss regimens and bold health claims.

Plexus operates using a multilevel marketing (MLM) structure. This means that products are largely marketed and sold by brand ambassadors.

Like many other MLMs, the company makes extravagant claims about brand ambassadors’ profit-making capability. However, according to the Plexus website, the average brand ambassador made just $544 over the year in 2020 (1).

What’s more, brand ambassadors are Plexus customers, rather than qualified healthcare professionals. This can be dangerous, as brand ambassadors often recommend products to new customers despite lacking proper education on nutrition and supplements.

The company is also known to make bold claims regarding the effectiveness of its products without clinical evidence or third-party testing to support them.

Furthermore, in 2020, Plexus received a letter of warning from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in regards to social media posts that claimed that Plexus products could help treat or prevent COVID-19 (2).

With such big claims, many customers are enticed by Plexus products and brand ambassadorship. However, evidence supporting the income of brand ambassadors and the effectiveness of Plexus products is lacking.

According to the website, Plexus is for individuals looking to lose weight or improve overall health and well-being.

The company also has a program called Plexus Pivotal. According to Plexus, participants will receive weekly content that educates them on building healthy habits.

The program could be helpful for someone who is independent and feels confident tackling weight loss on their own or has already sought other support.

However, research shows that strategies such as keeping a food diary, maintaining a good support system, and setting goals are some of the most effective methods for successful weight loss. So, for someone just getting started, this program may not be enough (3).

Additionally, diet and lifestyle sustainability are important for success. Research shows that adherence to a diet, rather than the specific diet itself, is important for success (4).

Anyone considering Plexus should also consider whether it’s financially feasible long-term. The packages are relatively costly, and the company provides few guidelines on how long to take the products. Therefore, you may find this weight loss approach difficult to maintain over time.

Finally, no specific research supports the safety of Plexus supplements, and they are not third-party tested. It’s best for certain individuals, such as children and people who are pregnant or nursing, to avoid these products.

The cost varies depending on which combination package you purchase and whether you’re a VIP customer.

Plexus weight management combos are designed to provide 30-days-worth of product and vary in the types of products included.

Here’s an overview of the price and what’s included for each weight management combo:

ComboProducts includedPriceVIP price
Weight Loss Basics – Lean Whey• 1 bag Lean Whey
• 30 packets Slim Hunger Control or Microbiome Activating
• 60 capsules MetaBurn
Weight Loss Basics – Lean Vegan• 1 bag Lean Vegan
• 30 packets Slim Hunger Control or Microbiome Activating
• 60 capsules MetaBurn
Weight Loss Plus – Lean Whey• 2 bags Lean Whey
• 30 packets Slim Hunger Control or Microbiome Activating
• 60 capsules MetaBurn
• 2 bags Active (15 packets) or Hydrate (20 packets)
Weight Loss Plus – Lean Vegan• 2 bags Lean Vegan
• 30 packets Slim Hunger Control or Microbiome Activating
• 60 capsules MetaBurn
• 2 bags Active (15 packets) or Hydrate (20 packets)
Weight Loss Advanced – Lean Whey• 2 bags Lean Whey
• 30 packets Slim Hunger Control or Microbiome Activating
• 60 capsules MetaBurn
• 30 packets Active or 40 packets Hydrate
• 60 capsules BioCleanse
• 60 capsules ProBio 5
• Weight Management and Beyond Booklet
Weight Loss Advanced – Lean Vegan• 2 bags Lean Vegan
• 30 packets Slim Hunger Control or Microbiome Activating
• 60 capsules MetaBurn
• 30 packets Active or 40 packets Hydrate
• 60 capsules BioCleanse
• 60 capsules ProBio 5
• Weight Management and Beyond Booklet
Plexus Slim and Plexus MetaBurn• 30 packets Slim Hunger Control or Microbiome Activating
• 60 capsules MetaBurn

VIP customers pay a $9.95 sign-up fee along with an annual $19.95 annual fee in order to receive up to 25% off products.

Additionally, all customers have the option to sign up for a monthly subscription with a 10% discount after the first two consecutive subscription orders.

Plexus offers three weight management product combinations, including Weight Loss Basics, Weight Loss Plus, and Weight Loss Advanced.

Here are the products found in various weight loss combos:

  • Plexus Lean. Lean is a protein powder that comes in both chocolate and vanilla flavors, as well as either whey or vegan protein. For weight loss, the website suggests using Lean as a replacement for two meals per day.
  • Slim Hunger Control and Microbiome Activating. These powders come in a variety of flavors and are recommended to be mixed with water and consumed 30–60 minutes before a meal twice a day. Slim Hunger Control is purported to suppress appetite, while the Microbiome Activating powder claims to support gut health.
  • MetaBurn. These capsules claim to support fat burning and boost energy levels. Individuals are encouraged to take one capsule, twice a day.
  • Active or Hydrate. These drink mixes are included in the Plus and Advanced combos and are claimed to help boost either hydration (Hydrate) or energy levels (Active). They’re designed to be mixed with water and be consumed at any time.
  • BioCleanse. These capsules are included in the Advanced combo and claim to help reduce gas, bloating, and stomach discomfort. Individuals are instructed to take 2 capsules with 8 ounces (236.6 mL) of water twice daily between meals.
  • The ProBio 5. These capsule are also included in the Advanced combo. The website recommends taking one capsule every night before bed to promote gut health and support digestion.

While there are instructions on how to take each of the products, and even recommendations for decreasing meal replacement shakes once you reach your weight goal, there are no guidelines for how long to continue taking these products for.

Here’s a closer look at the ingredients and nutrition facts of the main Plexus weight management products, including Plexus Lean, Slim Hunger Control and Microbiome Activating, MetaBurn, and Block.

Plexus Lean

According to the company’s website, Plexus Lean provides protein along with prebiotic fiber, which Plexus claims can help keep you full so that you’ll eat less throughout the day.

Plexus Lean is designed to be used as a meal replacement for 2 meals per day for weight loss, or for 1 meal per day for weight maintenance.

The nutritional information for 2 scoops (40 grams) of the chocolate Lean Whey is as follows (5):

  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 12 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Sugar: 3 grams (includes 1 gram of added sugar)
  • Protein: 21 grams

The vanilla Lean Whey is slightly different in terms of nutritional information (6):

  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 3.5 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Total sugars 3 grams (includes 1 gram of added sugar)
  • Protein: 21 grams

The nutritional information for 2 scoops (48 grams) of the chocolate Lean Vegan prepared with water is as follows (7):

  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 3.5 grams
  • Saturated fat:.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Protein: 21 grams

The vanilla Lean Vegan is nearly identical (8).

  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Saturated fat:.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 12 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Sugar: 1 grams
  • Protein: 21 grams

Below is an overview of the ingredients found in the Lean shakes.

rBGH-free whey protein

The Lean Whey shakes are made with a combination of whey concentrate and whey isolate proteins and are meant to support lean muscle growth.

Research supports the use of whey protein, or other complete sources of protein, like chicken or beef, for supporting muscle mass and benefits in body composition (9).

Vegan protein blend

The vegan variety of the Lean shake contains a protein blend made from pea and almond proteins, rather than whey protein, which is derived from cows.

Research shows pea protein to be beneficial for supporting lean muscle mass, and some studies have found it to be comparable to whey protein for improving body composition (10).

Furthermore, research suggests that pea and whey protein powder produce similar results when it comes to improving muscle thickness, strength, and overall exercise performance (11).

Prebiotic fiber

The Lean supplement contains prebiotic fiber from polydextrose, which, according to the company’s website, enhances the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

Polydextrose has been found to promote health gut bacteria and even improve cognitive function (12, 13).

Digestive enzymes

The digestive enzymes in Lean come from Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus niger — plant fungi that are used to produce digestive enzymes (14).

Plexus claims that these digestive enzymes will make it easier for you to digest the protein found in Plexus Lean.

Research shows that some individuals, such as those with a lactose intolerance or cystic fibrosis, may benefit from digestive enzymes (15).

However, it’s unclear if digestive enzymes offer the same effect in those without lactose intolerance or another gastrointestinal condition.

Other ingredients

Lean also contains 21 vitamins and minerals.

Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce the risk of some disease, such as heart disease, cancer, and some neurological disorders (16).

Both the whey and vegan Lean products are sweetened with coconut sugar and stevia leaf extract.

Plexus Slim Hunger Control and Microbiome Activating

All weight loss combos come with a choice of either Plexus Slim Hunger Control or Microbiome Activating powder.

The main difference between the two is that the Hunger Control contains polydextrose, a type of soluble fiber, while Microbiome Activating contains prebiotics called xylooligosaccharides (XOS).

The nutritional information for 1 packet of Plexus Slim Hunger Control (17):

  • Calories: 15
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Saturated fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

The nutritional information for 1 packet of Plexus Microbiome Activating (18):

  • Calories: 5
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Saturated fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

Slim Hunger Control (Polydextrose)

Plexus claims that Slim Hunger Control is designed to help individuals feel full, thanks to its polydextrose content.

Polydextrose is a soluble fiber that’s commonly used as a bulking agent and thickener in commercial food products (19).

Some research suggests that polydextrose may improve postprandial blood sugar levels (blood sugar levels after a meal), decrease overall caloric intake by enhancing satiety, and improve overall bowel function (19).

However, the review includes both animal and human studies. More human research is needed (19).

Slim Microbiome Activating (XOS)

According to Plexus, XOS is a “clinically demonstrated prebiotic that feeds beneficial microbes.”

By nature, prebiotics can feed gut microbiota and support an overall healthy gut (20).

Regular consumption of XOS, specifically in the form of a rice porridge, has been associated with an improved microbiota balance (21).

Green coffee bean extract

According to the company’s website, green coffee bean extract helps support glucose metabolism by decreasing the absorption of sugars.

There is some research to support the use of green coffee bean extract for decreasing fasting blood glucose levels, as well as insulin and triglyceride levels (22).

Additionally, a review found that green coffee bean extract may help improve weight loss, especially in individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 25 (23).

While green coffee bean extract may have some benefits for weight loss and blood sugar regulation, the research is currently inconclusive.

Furthermore, there’s currently no research supporting the company’s claim that green coffee bean extract decreases the body’s absorption of sugars.

Chromium polynicotinate

Chromium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in breaking down carbs, fat, and protein, making it a popular ingredient in weight loss supplements.

One review found that taking chromium supplements was linked to weight loss and reductions in body fat percentages in people with overweight and obesity. However, larger and more long-term studies are needed to confirm these effects (24).

Plexus MetaBurn

Plexus MetaBurn is a capsule that’s marketed as a way to boost fat burning and reduce abdominal fat.

Below is a closer look at the main ingredients found in Plexus MetaBurn.

Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta)

Plexus claims that grains of paradise — which come from a West African plant, Aframomum melegueta — have metabolism-enhancing benefits.

One small study found that regular consumption of grains of paradise induced thermogenesis, increased energy expenditure, and reduced body fat in healthy young men (25).

Another study suggested that grains of paradise, along with other herbs, may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (26).

While promising, more research, particularly in the form of large human clinical trials, is needed.

L-theanine and caffeine

According to the company’s website, the combination of L-theanine and caffeine in Plexus MetaBurn is meant to support mood and mental alertness.

Limited research suggests that L-theanine may help reduce stress and anxiety levels, though more long-term data is needed (27).

Some studies have also found that the combination of L-theanine and caffeine may improve focus and attention (28, 29).

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)

Plexus claims rhodiola supports a healthy mood.

Rhodiola is an herb that’s traditionally used as an adaptogen, or a plant that is thought to have stress-relieving benefits (30, 31).

Additionally, research suggests that rhodiola may contain anti-aging, anti-cancer, and anti-stress properties (30, 32).

However, evidence on the effectiveness of rhodiola supplements on mood is limited (33).

Plexus Block

Plexus Block is marketed as supplement that can lower the glycemic index of food and reduce the absorption of carbohydrates.

Plexus recommends taking two capsules a day, ideally before your highest carbohydrate meal.

Brown seaweed blend and white kidney bean extract

Plexus claims the brown seaweed blend and white kidney bean extract in Plexus Block reduces the glycemic index of foods, thereby helping reduce blood sugar spikes after eating.

Some test-tube studies suggest that brown seaweed may help in the prevention and management of metabolic syndrome, as well as other diseases, by aiding in blood sugar management. However, human clinical trials are lacking in quality and have shown varied results (34, 35).

White kidney bean extract contains alpha-amylase inhibitor, which blocks the absorption of carbohydrates. However, it’s unclear whether white kidney bean extract has a significant effect on carbohydrate absorption and weight loss (36, 37).

Lastly, it’s important to note that this is a proprietary blend, which means the exact amounts of ingredients are not disclosed.

Chromax Chromium Picolinate

Also present in Slim Hunger Control and Microbiome Activating, chromium picolinate is an ingredient that’s often found in weight loss supplements due to its role in nutrient metabolism.

While some research supports the use of chromium supplements for aiding weight loss, more studies are needed (24).

Plexus may be effective for weight loss, particularly because it encourages you to consume fewer calories each day. However, it’s likely too low in calories for adults.

Most adults should consume at least 1,500 calories per day, and prolonged low calorie intake can harm your metabolism (38, 39).

Even if you see initial weight loss on this type of diet, it’s most likely from water loss and you’ll likely gain the weight back once the diet ends.

Specifically, the company’s website recommends replacing two meals a day with a Plexus Lean shake, one serving of which is about 230 calories when mixed with nonfat milk, depending on the flavor.

Research shows that diets featuring meal replacement shakes are effective for weight loss, so you may lose weight by replacing two meals a day with Plexus Lean shakes (40).

However there’s currently no evidence to confirm the effectiveness of Plexus supplements for weight loss.

On a similar note, there’s no research supporting the safety of Plexus supplements.

Furthermore, Plexus products aren’t third-party tested for purity and accuracy.

Some customers complain of side effects after taking Plexus products, including bloating, gas, nausea, stomach ache, and constipation.

There have also been reports of more serious negative outcomes, including one person who developed a blood disorder known as secondary immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) after consuming Plexus Slim (41).

However, Plexus products haven’t officially been proven to be the cause of more serious side effects, such as ITP.

Due to a lack of research on the safety of the products, Plexus supplements shouldn’t be consumed by children or people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It’s also important to consult a healthcare professional before trying any new supplement.

If you’ve been trying to lose weight without success, you might consider seeking the opinion of a healthcare professional, such as your doctor, or a registered dietitian.

Because no research-based evidence supports the use of Plexus supplements for weight loss, you may have more success working with a professional who can help you set realistic goals and build sustainable habits informed by your needs and dietary restrictions.

Additionally, some individuals have reported experiencing side effects after using Plexus supplements.

If you’ve been using the products and are noticing any side effects, such as gas, nausea, or other stomach discomfort, it’s a good idea to stop using the supplements immediately and consult a healthcare professional.

Why is Plexus not FDA-approved?

The FDA regulates supplements differently from foods and medicines. Foods and medicines must be proven safe before manufacturers can make them available to consumers.

However, the FDA does not have the authority to approve supplements for safety before they are widely sold. This is true of all supplements, not just Plexus products (42).

This is because there are no legal provisions for the FDA to approve supplements before they reach consumers.

What is the pink drink?

The Plexus pink drink is officially called Plexus Slim Hunger Control. It’s a powdered supplement designed to suppress appetite when mixed with water and consumed 30–60 minutes before a meal.

The powder is made of polydextrose, a soluble fiber. In preliminary studies on animals, researchers found that the fiber may help lower overall food intake by increasing fullness. However, more research is needed (43).

Is Plexus safe to use for weight loss?

It’s unclear whether Plexus products are safe for weight loss because they have not been explicitly tested or certified by third-party agencies.

It’s also worth noting that there have been anecdotal complaints of side effects and some reports of more serious complications from taking the products (44).

Plexus is a dietary supplement company that’s best known for its weight loss products.

However, due to a lack of research and third-party testing, it’s unclear whether Plexus supplements are truly safe or effective.

The company’s suggested weight loss regimen is also extremely restrictive and doesn’t teach important skills for building long-lasting, healthy habits.

What’s more, starting at $150 per month, Plexus weight loss combos aren’t cheap.

For all of these reasons, we recommend a more realistic approach to weight loss, such as meal planning apps, healthy meal delivery services, or working with a registered dietitian.

Editor’s picks of alternative weight loss plans and tools

While we don’t recommend Plexus for weight loss, there are more realistic and sustainable alternatives worth considering. Here are our top picks:

  • PlateJoy. Customized to fit your health goals and dietary preferences, PlateJoy is a dietitian-created app that makes it easy to plan, shop for, and cook healthy meals throughout the week.
  • WW. Previously known as Weight Watchers, WW offers three flexible plans to find a weight loss solution that works best for you.
  • Prepared meal delivery services. Delivering fully prepared and preportioned meals right to your door, meal delivery services make eating nutritious foods tasty and convenient.
Was this helpful?