I was recently alerted to a new vital TikTok weight loss trend *sigh* called ‘snaps.’
Made by an MLM company called Velovita, snaps are little packets of serums that promise to do things like ‘clear brain fog,’ ‘boost mood,’ and ‘burn stored body fat’ while you sleep.
I don’t know about you, but this all seems a little too good to be true.
What is Velovita?
Like a lot of nutrition MLMs, Velovita is a company that hits all the marks:
Flashy website with images suggestive of wealth and ‘transformation.’ Velovita’s site opens up to the tagline, ‘It’s all about freedom’ with videos of limos, parties, and people .
A product that has a hook – in this case, little packets of serums.
Claims that seem pretty outrageous.
Lots of talk about their ‘scientists’ who have developed these products.
No science to be seen on their site. Just claims of a ‘cutting-edge, silver-bullet’ ingredient.
Verbiage that oversimplifies LIFE. Here’s an example:
If you could make yourself better, 24 hours a day, with one small decision and 2 simple snaps, what would stop you?
Feeding your cells properly means more energy, more stamina, more life to your day, and a radiant, more powerful you!
Marketing 101, people. The promise of a better life, a simple solution, and a vague claim.
But ‘feeding your cells properly’ generally requires a halfway decent diet and not ‘snaps’ to make up for what you think you aren’t getting.
Also: your cells are ‘fed’ when you consume anything. It’s basic physiology.
Velovita’s snaps come in three formulations. Of course, Velovita tries the ever-present upsell:
Use zlēm® alone, or better yet, combine it with brān® and you have a recipe for an unstoppable you!
Let’s take a look if that’s really true.
What is Velovita Zlēm?
Taken in two stages, Zlēm contains ingredients like aloe vera, which the company admits is a laxative; and senna, another laxative. I guess that takes care of the ‘detoxification/cleanse’ aspect of Zlēm.
Just poop all night long, then.
The company claims that the digestive enzymes in Zlēm, when taken in between meals, ‘may have the potential to stimulate the immune system, manage arthritis, reduce inflammation, improve liver health, and more.’
Really? Where’s the research to back that up? Digestive enzymes are sold by many nutrition MLMs, but are mostly useless for healthy people.
And ACV, which they say ‘inhibits the ability to digest starch,’ except taking a tiny amount in a packet twice a day will probably do no such thing.
And because Zlēm is sold with the active ingredient in a proprietary formulation, we have no clue as to how much of them we’re getting. This is a problem because:
- Taking certain ingredients with medications can be dangerous. You want to know how much of something you’re actually getting and
- If any of the ingredients in a product are actually effective at what the company says they do, you want to make sure that the product contains enough of them to have an effect.
The proprietary formula is an MLM classic. And it’s not okay.
But it gets better.
Apparently, Zlēm can help us burn fat while we sleep, which is pretty much what everybody wants. It also sounds from the following text on the Velovita site that Zlēm can provide the benefits of exercise…without exercise:
With its advanced blend of biohacking ingredients, zlēm® helps your body restore itself to a refreshed and more balanced state. Taken in two stages, each naturally assists with deep relaxation and healthy body composition, while providing many of the benefits from rigorous exercise while you sleep.
There’s no other way to say this, so I’m just going to come right out with it:
There is no drink, food, supplement, f*cking unicorn rainbow fart magical whatever that gives us the benefit of exercise without EXERCISE.
It’s a huge red flag that a company is even suggesting that this can be true. The mention of ‘biohacking’ is just a marketing ploy to make you think that this product has something going on…but taking a look at Zlem’s ingredient list, it may just be smoke and mirrors.
Velovita Zlēm contains a lot of herbal ingredients that we’ve all seen before (and none that have ever been proven to do much for weight loss), plus some sleep-promoting ingredients like melatonin, L-theanine, and GABA, and most importantly, the ‘silver-bullet’ ingredient, Mitoburn.
What is Mitoburn?
Mitoburn, is the name Velovita has given what is otherwise called aminoisobutyric acid. (BAIBA for short)
There is certainly some interesting research on aminoisobutyric acid, but it has mostly been done in mice or lab dishes.
One human study shows inverse relationship with BAIBA and fasting glucose and insulin levels, but doesn’t prove causality.
It also doesn’t show anything that Velovita is claiming happens when we take Mitoburn.
You might sleep better with Mitoburn, which in turn may help your mood and your workouts, which then in turn might benefit you (although wait…do you need to exercise if your supplement claims to do it for you while you sleep?). But the ‘burn fat while you sleep’ and ‘has the benefit of a strenuous workout while you sleep’ things appear too good to be true.
And so do many of the other claims that come along with Zlēm.
What is Velovita brān?
Velovita says this about Brān:
Brān®, pronounced [ breyn ], is a well-rounded nootropic with leading-edge nanotechnology for maximum impact to deliver an instant boost to the central control unit of your body – your brain. Amplify your overall wellness and conquer each day!
Sounds great. Nootropics, which are supplements that supposedly enhance cognitive function, are very popular with biohackers. There’s that ‘leading-edge’ claim again.
brān® contains a blend of 16 nutrients for a clean and long-lasting energy boost and mood enhancer, while helping the body to burn glucose and stored body fat.
Let’s see what Velovita brān contains.
Another proprietary blend, of course, containing green coffee bean, PEA (Palmitoylethanolamide), Uridine-5-Monophosphoric Acid Disodium Salt, Alpha-GPC, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12.
PEA is an amine that may be neuroprotective. Uridine may improve cognitive function, and Alpha-GPC is a cholinergic compound that may aid in preventing cognitive decline.
But what’s this about burning glucose and stored fat?
Velovita says that’s the effect of the green coffee bean. Well, except that every single nutrition MLM on the planet has a supplement with green coffee bean in it, and this ingredient has never been proven to be reliable in terms of fat loss.
The company also claims that the PEA in brān ‘is also known to increase both norepinephrine, and epinephrine levels in the body, which in some cases, has shown to boost metabolism and assist with appetite.’
That’s quite the reach there, Velveeta. Or Velovita. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
In ‘some cases?’ Which ones? Show me the research, please.
The funniest claim about bran comes from how Velovita describes the water in this product:
Water can help boost your metabolic rate and in turn help you lose weight. It also helps you by making you feel fuller.
Water doesn’t boost your metabolic rate at. all. In fact, nothing we eat or drink can boost the metabolism so much that weight loss results. And making you feel fuller – well, the minute amount of water in a snap is probably not going to do that.
Brān may help with cognition, I’m willing to give it that. But again, the fat burning claims appear to be a reach.
What is Velovita uüth?
Velovita uüth is called their ‘time eraser,’ so you know exactly what they’re going to target and how: collagen.
Velovita says that collagen is ‘vital to include as part of our daily diet,’ but this is unfounded. Collagen is made by our bodies from the proteins and vitamins we eat. When we consume collagen in supplemental form, it’s broken down into individual amino acids just like any other protein is, then reconfigured into whichever amino acid chains the body needs at that moment.
In other words, the collagen we eat doesn’t necessarily go on to behave like collagen in our bodies.
As far as the research around collagen, there are some studies that suggest that supplemental collagen may help with joint pain. But as far as the anti-aging claim, those studies are mostly sponsored by the very companies that make the collagen products they’re testing.
Case in point: Velovita cites a research article on its uüth page:
A recent study showed that women consuming collagen peptides saw a 91% increase in skin hydration (after 8 weeks) and prevented deep-wrinkle formation.
~Journal of Drugs in Dermatology Original Article, January 2020
That sounds all science-y, but first of all, how did researchers assess the prevention of deep wrinkle formation – in only 8 weeks? Deep wrinkles don’t jump up your a*s as you walk down the street; they’re a product of years. This is a red flag for this study’s methodology.
Here’s the study they’re talking about, and funny enough, it’s for another product called ‘Skinade’ – not uüth. The other product is of a completely different formulation.
Soooooo, not comparable (and IMO not exactly a great study anyhow).
But let me ask you all this:
The dosage for these snaps is 1+ a day. How much of the active ingredients do you think they contain?
Even if, say, you have joint pain, and even if uüth was all collagen protein, which it’s not,
will the 3.5g proprietary formula in a tablespoon-sized dose of a snap even come close to having enough collagen to reach therapeutic levels?
Will it ‘improve muscle tone, strength, and endurance,’ as the company claims?
Not more than just eating protein…which you hopefully do with
They’re non GMO, gluten and dairy free, but the collagen comes from beef tendon.
Or, are snaps just all about marketing and social media fame?
I’m not seeing anything different with Velovita snaps as I have with any of the other MLMs I’ve reviewed.
Aside from a bunch of talk about silver bullets and some testimonials, there’s:
No transparency with research
Gimmicky delivery of the product (think: THRIVE – I reviewed that here)
Velovita snaps are expensive, too – they range from $79.95 USD to $99.95 USD, for what number of snaps I have no idea, because their site is so sh*t that the e-commerce page won’t load.
(Read my post about chlorophyll drops, another TikTok trend, here)
Velovita snaps in short:
As I’ve said probably a million times before:
Don’t get your nutrition advice or information on TikTok, especially from someone or a company that’s trying to sell you something
If it seems too good to be true (like a tiny packet of gunk doing everything it says it will), it probably is
If it’s mostly gimmick and no substance, it’s a red flag
If the science isn’t there, and the company relies on testimonials or before and after photos as ‘proof’ that their product works, beware. These things are easily fabricated (not saying that Velovita did this…but a lot of companies do)
Just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s safe and effective. Treat your body with respect, and don’t just jump on the bandwagon with nutrition trends.