Plexus is a multilevel marketing company that’s focused on weight loss and weight loss management. It’s easy to remember for its catchy marketing phrase “Drink pink!” which refers to its flagship product, Plexus Slim, which is a weight loss drink that is, of course, colored pink.
Plexus has been steadily trending upward in popularity over the past several years. It reached peak popularity midway through last year, but interest in Plexus looks to be in the midst of another uptick according to the latest search engine traffic.
Did I get on board? This explains everything:
Their catchy marketing phrase, “Drink pink,” rocketed to popularity around the time Plexus hit peak popularity, and is again trending upward.
This is the result of a concerted marketing push by the company, and you might be able to jump on the bandwagon and pick up customers with relative ease if the trend takes off.
If you’re pitching Plexus products, the first thing anyone is going to ask you about is what, exactly, “drink pink” refers to. This is an easy segue into their core product, the Plexus Slim drink.
It comes in individual pouches and can be mixed with water or any other liquid of your choice. At its core, the product is a combination of a few focused weight loss supplements: green coffee bean extract, garcinia cambogia, and alpha lipoic acid.
These are combined with a heavy dose of chromium and a few flavoring, sweetening and coloring agents. If you were wondering, the pink coloring comes from beet extract!
Green coffee bean extract is a reasonably popular weight loss supplement in its own right following the publication of a 2012 scientific study by researchers at the University of Scranton and in Bangalore, India.
The study examined the efficacy of green coffee bean extract in sixteen overweight subjects. The subjects were randomly assigned either a green coffee bean extract or a placebo, then took the supplement for six weeks.
Thereafter the subjects switched to a different supplement (with those on placebo getting a green coffee bean extract, and vice versa). The study actually tested both a high dose and a low dose of green coffee bean extract, in addition to the placebo.
The researchers found that the green coffee bean extract led to significant fat loss and a reduction in body mass, but there’s a pretty big red flag: the study was later retracted after two of the authors admitted they could not verify the validity of the data.
So, while studies in rats suggest there’s some benefit to green coffee bean extract, excitement about it has been muted since the retracted study.
Garcinia cambogia is another trendy weight loss compound. Studies on its efficacy are similarly contradictory.
On one hand, a randomized controlled trial published in 1998 found no effect: researchers split a large sample of subjects into two groups, one of which received Garcinia cambogia, while the other received a placebo.
The researchers followed the subjects over the course of twelve weeks. At the study’s conclusion, the group taking Garcinia cambogia had lost no more weight or body fat than the group taking the placebo.
A later review study, on the other hand, found a mild positive effect for Garcinia cambogia. A team of researchers in the UK pooled data from several studies and found a positive but small effect for the herbal extract, to the tune of about two pounds of weight lost, at the cost of an increase in gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
Alpha lipoic acid, the third active ingredient in Plexus Slim, might actually have the best evidence for its weight loss efficacy.
A study in the American Journal of Medicine found that alpha lipoic acid had a modest positive benefit in a sample of obese individuals.
Unfortunately, again, this study found that the weight loss benefit is paid for in an increase in side effects. This time, alpha lipoic acid seems to cause rashes and itching, though the authors noted the effects were typically short-lasting.
This complicated mess of science makes pitching Plexus’ feature product a little more complicated than “drink pink.”
To become a distributor (or “ambassador” in company lingo) you must pay a fee of $34.95. You also must sign up for an auto-ship in order to be eligible for being paid and earning bonuses.
This autoship must be at least $100 per month, or the autoship plus your personal volume must exceed $100 of product.
You can’t earn any retail profit on your first $100 of product either; afterwards it’s a paltry 15% until you hit $500, then it jumps to 25%.
Commissions on your downline also don’t kick in until each downline distributor hits $100 either. This is all detailed in their compensation plan, and even compared to other MLMs, these stipulations are a pretty poor deal.
As you can probably guess, there’s a lot of good reasons to avoid Plexus. While their flagship product has a lot of hype, it doesn’t quite have the substance to back it up.
The ingredients that it includes have conflicting evidence with regards to their efficacy as weight loss supplements, and the ingredients that do seem effective only have a moderate weight loss effect.
On top of this, there are some irritating side effects, according to the scientific studies.
Add to this a very unattractive compensation plan and you’ve got a recipe for an MLM to avoid. Even if weight loss is your business model, there’s better options out there that have superior products and a more profitable compensation plan.
Basically, if you’re just doing it for the money, there are much better ways to kill your day job. You might like our coaching because it shows you the good life without peddling overpriced products to your family and friends.