Advocare Distributor Christopher Kimball

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When I am browsing the internet, I look for distributors that are being deceptive, or what I would like to call deflective. Deflective, to me, is a response tactic typically used by Advocare distributors to deflect any negative conversation pertaining to Advocare products. People that have truly taken the time to read my articles, all of them, know that I do not dissect the products because I am not a nutritionist. Whenever I decide to venture even remotely close to that area, I back the information with viable proof. Usually the proof leads back to Advocare International or a distributor. Or it leads to well documented research, something Advocare does not do on their website.

One of the first few things I say in my Advocare Review article is I will not use “intuitive conjectures” to make my arguments. Yesterday I came across an Advocare distributor by the name of Christopher Kimball. Did you notice I provided a link to his Advocare page? That is because I back everything I say with proof. I replied to a comment that Chris had placed on an article written by Katy Haldiman, MS, RN. The title of the article is “Why “Getting Sparked Up” With AdvoCare Is Not Healthy”. This is what Chris said:

“I guess I would take this article more seriously if the author didn't spend the first few paragraphs promoting her own services either directly or indirectly. I believe in eating clean, unprocessed foods. I also believe that modern science has evolved and has allowed us to better understand nutrition and supplementation such that the diets of 10000 years ago can be improved upon. The logic that clean eating is all that is needed is like saying that we should ignore the benefits of modern medicine. Should you not get an MRI if you feel a lump somewhere it shouldn't be? Should you not give a child anti-convulsive medication if they are born with epilepsy? Of course you should in both cases. I don't agree with all the ingredients in all AdvoCare products, but I think the comprehensive nature of the product line obviates some minor inclusions of ingredients that are less-than-perfect. Soy lecithin is a great example. Do I like that it appears in some AdvoCare products? No. Am I concerned that it is the 3rd to last ingredient in a supplement I take once a day? Nope.”

This was my response to his:

I try not to respond to distributors too often, but I think today I am going to make an exception. The author suggests eating healthy unprocessed foods over processed foods. On one hand you say that you "believe in eating clean, unprocessed foods". Then in the end you promote your advocare products the same way you claim the author did. I believe you are in fact a distributor ( I do not have a problem with people that want to use or sell the product. The problem I have with some distributors is how they chose to deflect negative rhetoric pertaining to their products, with almost crazy comparisons. Comparing clean eating to the use of an MRI to diagnose a medical condition, or the use of medication to prevent an attack is almost ridiculous. Maybe clean eating and a little exercise would coincide? The comprehensive nature of the products justifies the overlooking of less than perfect ingredients? I would love to continue this discussion at

I think I made my point clear in that comment that if he is going to make an argument, at the least, have it congruent with the conversation. Christopher decided that he would email me the following:

Sounds like a fun discussion. Open a thread on your blog with the content from the article + our discussion and I'll produce a constructive and respectful reply!” 

I replied:

“Hello Christopher.
It is apparent that you did not go to my blog and read much of anything. You could click on the spark link,  why parents should not use spark if pregnant link, or even just read to the end of my Advocare Review and you would see I also I suggest eating unprocessed foods, and exercise.

It was not my intent to sound disrespectful if that is what you got from reading my reply. But, I am certain my followers will be more than happy to hear what you have to say, especially if you continue to use non congruent arguments.

Although I have a plethora of content on my blog regarding the spark drink that you could read and respond to, I will recreate a post just for you, where you will be my guest of honor. I should warn you, my name has been bounced around the Advocare legal table a few times, so they too read my articles on a regular basis. Thank you for responding to my post and you can always check out what is going on at Advocare Review Facebook. You could also share your thoughts there as well.

Again, nothing I say is meant to be taken as hateful or disrespectful. I just like when people make viable arguments without trying to circumvent the truth with completely unrelated comparisons.

Edward Wallace

Christopher’s response: 

Don't bother dude. I don't have time for passive aggression. You go your way and I'll go mine. Good luck with your blog. 

So I replied:


Thank you for the wish of luck I do appreciate it, but your type of response is why I do what I do. This is the definition of passive aggression

adjective: passive-aggressive
1.    of or denoting a type of behavior or personality characterized by indirect resistance to the demands of others and an avoidance of direct confrontation, as in procrastinating, pouting, or misplacing important materials.
I do wish you the best in your business, and wish you and your family well. Unfortunately I will be creating the article still regardless of your participation. Unfortunately, that is why I do what I do, for free.

Edward Wallace

I accidentally deleted his last email without saving it first. He did respond telling me to send him the link to the article just in case he changed his mind.

Well, here is my spark review. It is just a simple analysis and it is not very long. Because I am working on a more important article I think I will leave it there. That will give Chris a chance to read my spark review, and give me his thoughts.

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  1. Continued...
    So at the end of the day 1. Spark tastes good. 2. It is a lesser evil to my athletes who previously consumed 200+grams of sugar a day in soda. 3. Despite having a possible poor vitamin and mineral profile (not sure about the author's generalization as I think she only identified cyanocobalamin)I do believe Spark contains other ingredients that are conducive and supportive of high-intensity physical work and neurotransmission.

    My personal interest is in the Performance Elite line of AdvoCare products. The Nighttime Recovery supplement is a great example. As we know, when we induce muscular hypertrophy, a great deal of the repair process takes place at night. As we also know, protein (and by extension, certain amino acids) play a central role in the repair of muscle tissue. However, unlike fat and carbs, our body doesn't have a mechanism for storing the amino acids. Our body will break down the protein it can and use the amino acids for a period of roughly 3-4 hours-ish. Excess protein is excreted or used in gluconeogenesis. So, even if I consume a casein protein before bedtime, 4 hours in to my 8 hours of sleep my body doesn't have any readily available amino acids to help repair the muscles. The Nighttime Recovery supplement contains high amounts of L-Arginine which is an amino acid essential to the repair of damaged tissue, and acts in a complimentary nature with L-Ornithine. The other herbs I think are supposed to help you sleep, but I don't really care about that as I sleep like a baby anyway.

    All this being said... there are products that I would NEVER recommend to anyone, let alone a client or athlete. First, I don't believe in the concept of "meal replacement", as there is no real "replacement" for a meal. I don't agree with the ingredients or the assertion that you can have a meal without dietary fat. I'm sure this runs afoul of conventionally-accepted AdvoCare behavior... so if I get any unwanted attention, thank goodness I'm only one degree of separation from another distributor who will sell me products at cost!!

    I'd type more but I have to get going. Ed, I'm sure you were looking for another blind follower of AdvoCare to fuel some juicy conversation, but you won't find that here as I don't think I'm as deep of a believer as you may have anticipated.

    1. Thank you for the somewhat respectful reply. Let me add this before I go any further. I say this with a kind heart and do not mean to sound disrespectful while we have this debate.

      I said somewhat because you did end it with "Ed, I'm sure you were looking for another blind follower of AdvoCare to fuel some juicy conversation". I am not so sure that you do not fall into that category, but I really do not know what that means. Please let me explain. You said this in the email.

      Open a thread on your blog with the content from the article + our discussion and I'll produce a constructive and respectful reply!”

      I did not include any of the information you utilized to create your comment. I included our discussion and the fact (content) she asked you to eat regular unprocessed foods. Our discussion was about your reply to her,and my belief that you utilized non similar comparisons to make your point.

      Let me say this. I provided you with my Spark review so you could offer your thought. With that, what is a blind follower? Are you indicating Advocare has something to hide or that there are secrets that you know that other do not and therefore follow the company blindly? Would you care to elaborate on that please? Again, I thank you for your response and would love to have you reply to what we were talking about in our comments section and my spark article included within.
      P.S I agree with most of what you said especially about the meal replacement.

  2. For some reason my first few paragraphs were cut off. To paraphrase... Yes I'm a distributor but only for the discount. I know the markup is high so even after 40% I'm still paying for it, but the few products I use are worth it. GNC and Complete Nutrition operate the same way with some kind of buy in or membership to get the discounted price.

    I then went on to say that I'm no stranger to harsh criticism as I am both a CrossFit athlete and coach, and that I don't believe in the AdvoCare message nearly as much as I do the CrossFit message and methods. I then defended my initial reply to the author as not a promotion of AdvoCare, but a mild defense of it as I believed her assertions to be broad in nature but with narrowly scoped specificity.

    1. Thanks for the additional information, I personally do not have a problem with people paying higher price for Advocare, that is something that seems to be a common practice here in America. What I mean by that is many of us pay more for our cars although the cars in my opinion are not worth the price they are paying. But that is their choice to make not mine. I commend you on your participation as I know it is difficult training. I wish this post would have went through prior to me placing my other comment or I would have combined them together.

      I do not believe I was being harsh, I was just pointing out that you were defending your product while beating her down for doing the same thing. Then you made some horrible comparisons (IE-MRI to good eating)that I would like you to elaborate as to why you believe they are similar or congruent. That is all,no disrespect intended. I also presented some questions in other post. Thank you for your reply, I do appreciate the discussion.

    2. I see it cut off a lot of your post so I will generate you original on another page so everyone can see what you wrote, because I think it is important to be heard. I am sorry the comments were cut off!

  3. So I'll try to sequentially address the open items that were addressed to me, starting with your review of Spark. I'll omit the areas that deal with pregnancy as when it comes to supplementation and my pregnant clients, I always defer to physicians. I'm comfortable recommending fitness and general nutrition plans, but I don't have a dog in the fight and I assume you've done your homework. As I said in my original post which you were kind to repost, many of my clients and athletes come to me in complete anarchy. 2 sparks a day is better than 2 big gulp sodas or more. I've read many studies on sucralose and find them to be conflicting and/or inconclusive. What I do see consistently however is that the levels of sucralose that must be consumed to cause the adverse side effects are significantly (I believe nearly 800 times what you find in a Spark). Most sucralose passes through our digestive tract and is not absorbed at any point. My frustration with the gut flora conclusions is that I don't find in the studies I've read how they were able to control the experiment such that the affects on gut flora could be causally related to sucralose consumption. I get very irritated with studies that fall victim to post hoc ergo propter hoc logic fallacies, or suggest that correlation equals causation. I didn't get a chance to read the studies you referenced so perhaps those were able to causally relate modest sucralose consumption to adverse side effects. Bottom line is that there aren't too many substances of any kind you can lay out there where I couldn't find a potentially adverse component, chemical, side effect, or reaction. Sucralose is no different.

    Continuing in separate post.

  4. Blind followership to me is when people believe something to be true simply because they were told it was true and reinforced with conjecture. Alternatively, failing to do one's own research before forming a conclusion or opinion. Blind followership is the close cousin and often co-associated with invincible ignorance. The latter being a belief one holds with no set of conditions that, if met, would change your mind. Both apply to some AdvoCare products. I used this test on one of the meal replacement bars. I can't stand the ingredients... Soy protein, corn syrup, fructose, sugar, soy lecithin, and more. So my question to a blind follower was "why do you believe in this product?" Answer was "well this doctor was on the board of advisors who endorse the product" Question: did you do your own research? Answer? No. Blind followership. The follow up question from me was "what body of evidence could I show you about these ingredients to convince you they were unhealthy?" Answer: I don't know. That's invincible ignorance.

    1. Chris I want to start by saying thank you, sincerely! You are only the second distributor that has willingly engages in a friendly discussion regarding Advocare products, and I appreciate you, and your thoughts. It is apparent that we are not all that different when it comes to the way we look at research. Thank you for the elaboration pertaining to your blind follower analogy, and for what it is worth I completely understand where you are coming from. I am not sure Advocare would agree, but that is up to them to decide.

      In regards to studies for or against the use of splenda or sucralose I agree that many of the studies are either inconclusive or conflicting. I also do not believe there have been any that justify the use. But I probably could find many other ingredients that many Americans eat on regular bases that fall into the same category. I believe the study that I referenced used anywhere from 1.1 - 11 mg compared to the FDA 5mg recommended daily dose. All of the rats not in the control group showed serious depletion of micro flora although some were administered the dose lower than FDA recommendations. What were the controls? I do not know about that but what I do know, Just kidding.

      The researchers used water with a regular diet in the control group (Not sure of the relevance of the water). The other group was given a regular diet with splenda. Here is a link that gives a decent breakdown of the study if you are interested. The rats were given different doses because they wanted to see the difference between a low dose (below FDA 5mg) and an extremely high dose (above FDA). It is an interesting study, but I am sure if someone wanted to, they could find something to discredit the information.

      I think you will agree that I just provide the information and let others decide what they think is right for them. I am with you, I believe a doctor that knows you and your medical condition is best suited for those answers. I do have to be a little critical about one thing you said pertaining to the spark drink. You said the following “(I believe nearly 800 times what you find in a Spark)”. Correct me if I am wrong, but Advocare does not provide that information anywhere on the spark label. That is one of the problems I see with Advocare and everyone else that uses sucralose. I believe they should provide that information as there is a daily recommended dose (5mg). But, for the most part I believe you and I are on the same page. I still am interested in hearing you reasoning for using the MRI and convulsion medication comparison as a congruent analogy.
      What is clear to me is you are an honorable man in that you followed through with what you said, and I respect that. Thank you for your response!

    2. I calculated the amount of Splenda in spark by subtracting the weight of all the other ingredients from the net weight of a serving of spark (7g) to get something like 1.2g which I assume to be sucralose. I wasn't aware of the FDA daily recommended limit of 5g. Like you, I place little credit or confidence with the FDA when it was only last year that they got around to placing a recommended intake (10% of daily calories!) on added sugar which is a known dose-dependent hepatoxin. The FDA and USDA won't be happy until we are all type 2 diabetics. The 800 times was taken by dividing the approximate weight of sucralose in spark to another study about Splenda which concluded that a dose of sucralose in mice equivalent to over 11,000 packets of Splenda a day was linked to DNA damage in mice. Of course, Splenda is mostly dextrose as a filler rather than sucralose. Funny story about that. Since sucralose is so much sweeter than sugar, the amount of sucralose it took to equal the sweetness of a packet of sugar was just a tiny pinch. Less than 1/16 of a tsp. Realizing consumers wouldn't purchase a packet of sucralose with so little volume, they decided to cut it with dextrose (which ironically is not metabolically neutral) to increase the volume of the packet of Splenda to equal the volume of a packet of sugar! I'll look into the studies you referenced. I'm not a cynic out to discredit objective research. I appreciate it as long as it is free of bias and opinion.

      As for the comparison I made to the author's rejection of non-natural food sources, I don't disagree that it was shooting a RPG at a birds nest, but the simple point I'm trying to make is that knowledge is evolutionary and progressive. We know more today about nutrition and supplementation than our primal ancestors did 5-10k years ago and we would be silly to ignore the products that result from those advances. We didn't know even 50 years ago the role Arginine plays in the repair of muscle tissue, or the role of choline in the biosynthesis of acetylcholine. We know that now, and we can harness that knowledge to create supplements that safely enhance human performance.

    3. Thanks Chris for taking the time to reply, I will take a closer look at it tomorrow. I appreciate you acknowledging that shooting an an RPG at a birds nest was probably not a good idea, but I do understand what you are saying. I will have to take some time to digest your mathematical calculations pertaining to the sucralose, not that it is really necessarily. I guess you increased my interested, and I am glad to see that you do your homework. Good discussion thank You!!

    4. I have to make a correction, the FDA daily allowance is 5g for every kg of body weight per day. So if you were 200 pounds you could consume around 455g a day according to the FDA.

  5. Finally... My comment to the author. First, I get very annoyed with many in the clean-eating, paleo, whole food community who are married to this notion that the aforementioned diets and nutrition plans are capable of helping athletes and avid CrossFitters reach the highest levels of performance. Nutrition and supplementation research has evolved in the last several decades, and for people to suggest that clean eating alone represents the apex of human potential and performance is irresponsible. The author honed in not only on spark, but on the quality of a single B-vitamin. It seems that if you are going to assail a product, you should be more comprehensive than singling out a single ingredient. Even within my own CrossFit community I deal with those who arbitrarily view supplementation as antithetical to CrossFit training all in favor of clean eating alone. Like I said... I'm a full supporter of clean eating. I'm probably a 90/10 paleo eater myself... But that's simply not enough for people who have aggressive training objectives. Whether my analogy was congruent or not didn't seem relevant, as I was trying to draw attention to the illogical nature of her argument which was ignoring advances in nutritional supplementation in favor of philosophically-driven clean eating alone.

    1. For some reason this post showed up after my last reply, so I will read it and reply to it tomorrow.