Metamucil is one of America’s most popular fiber supplements. Most Americans don’t get their daily recommended amount of fiber. By taking Metamucil, anyone can easily boost their fiber intake, resulting in softer, bulkier stool that passes through the digestive system more easily.
Metamucil has recently started advertising itself as more than just a fiber supplement: it’s started to call itself a weight loss supplement.
You may have seen the recent advertisements on TV featuring Michael Strahan. Stahan claims that Metamucil helps him feel fuller between meals, which ultimately helps him stick to his diet and avoid eating unhealthy snacks.
How exactly does Metamucil work? Will it help you lose weight? Does it still taste weird? Today, in our Metamucil review, we’re going to answer all of the questions you might have about Metamucil.
How Does Metamucil Work?
Metamucil contains just five different ingredients. Four of those ingredients are for color and flavor, while the fifth ingredient is the most active ingredient which leads to the weight loss benefits.
Here are Metamucil’s ingredients in descending order of appearance: sucrose, psyllium husk, citric acid, natural and artificial orange flavor, Yellow 6.
Sucrose, citric acid, orange flavor, and Yellow 6 all give Metamucil its distinctive orange color and sweet taste, making it easier and more appetizing to drink.
Psyllium husk, however, is what gives Metamucil its true power: psyllium is a bulk-forming fiber laxative. After ingesting psyllium husk, it passes through your stomach and enters the intestines, where it begins to swell and absorb liquid.
Ultimately, this gives you bulkier, softer stool that is easier to pass – which is why Metamucil works as a powerful laxative.
Basically, Metamucil is just a psyllium husk formula. Since “psyllium husk” isn’t a very attractive or marketable name, someone decided to package it up and sell it in the form of Metamucil.
Psyllium husk has actually been shown to be superior to other forms of fiber: several studies have indicated that psyllium fiber is effective at lowering blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels, for example, while another common fiber, methylcellulose, does not have those same effects.
Health Benefits of Metamucil
Metamucil is primarily a laxative: it boosts your daily intake of fiber and helps you expel waste from the body more easily.
In more recent years, Metamucil has advertised some other potential health benefits. Here are some of the suggested benefits of using Metamucil:
— Improve Heart Health By Lowering Levels Of “bad” (LDL) Cholesterol
— Suppress Appetite And Enjoy Better Weight Loss Results
— Cure Constipation
— Improve Digestive Health And Ensure Regular Bowel Movements
Each serving of Metamucil contains 6 grams of dietary fiber, which is 24% of your daily recommended value. The daily recommended value of fiber is 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams of fiber for men. A recent study from the Heart & Stroke Foundation indicated that the average person gets about 14 grams of fiber per day, which means that most of us don’t get nearly enough fiber in our diets.
By supplementing your diet with Metamucil, you can easily increase your fiber intake.
Weight Loss and Metamucil
Metamucil has recently started promoting its weight loss benefits. Metamucil claims to promote weight loss in two ways:
— First, it helps your digestive system expel waste from the body by acting as a laxative
— Second, the fiber helps you feel full longer, which means you avoid snacking and overeating at meals
Each serving of Metamucil contains just 45 calories, which is why Metamucil claims to be an effective way to snack between meals without overindulging.
In the recent TV commercials, Michael Strahan calls this “the Meta Effect”. Taking Metamucil can help you feel fuller between meals, which ultimately discourages unhealthy snacking. The Meta Effect isn’t a real scientific term: it’s just a branded slogan Metamucil created to advertise itself as a weight loss aid.
Scientific Evidence for Metamucil and Weight Loss
No peer-reviewed studies have bene performed on the connection between Metamucil and weight loss. However, Proctor & Gamble – the creators of Metamucil – claim that clinical studies have reinforced Metamucil’s weight loss benefits.
In addition, studies have been performed on the weight loss benefits of fiber, which is the primary component in Metamucil.
One 2001 study on the weight loss benefits of fiber indicated some powerful results. Specifically, those who added 14 grams of fiber to their diet per day experienced a 10% decrease in calories consumed and lost an average of 4.7 pounds of weight over 4 months without changing any other aspects of their diet or exercise routine.
Ultimately, fiber can be found in many different weight loss supplements, including Bystrictin, Lipozene, and Skinny Fiber, among many others.
Many of these fiber-based weight loss supplements use a form of fiber called Konjac root, also known as glucomannan. Just like psyllium husk, this fiber swells in the stomach and helps us feel fuller.
How to Take Metamucil
Taking Metamucil is relatively straightforward. You pour the powder into an empty glass, then add 8 ounces of water or “other cool liquid.” Then, you stir the mixture briskly and drink promptly.
You can take up to three servings of Metamucil per day. Those who have just started taking Metamucil are advised to start with 1 serving of Metamucil per day before gradually increasing their intake.
Metamucil also provides different usage instructions according to your desired health benefits:
How to Take Metamucil for Feeling Less Hungry Between Meals: Take two rounded teaspoons of Metamucil with 8 or more ounces of liquid with meals, up to three times per day.
How to Take Metamucil for Lowering Cholesterol and Improving Heart Health: Take one rounded teaspoon in 8 ounces of liquid, three times per day.
How to Take Metamucil for Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels: Take one rounded teaspoon of Metamucil in 8 ounces of liquid, three times per day. Talk to your doctor before taking Metamucil if you’re already taking medication to manage blood sugar levels.
How to Take Metamucil for Promoting Good Digestive Health: Take one rounded teaspoon in 8 ounces of liquid up to three times per day.
All of the above instructions are for “adults 12 years and over”, so Metamucil is not recommended for children below the age of 12.
Psyllium husk might also affect how well certain medicines work, so it’s recommended that you take Metamucil at least 2 hours before or after medications.
Side Effects of Metamucil
Metamucil isn’t a new supplement. The brand has existed since 1934 and the current formula has remained more or less unchanged since 1985 (aside from changes to the color and flavor).
As a result, millions of people have taken Metamucil over the years. We know that Metamucil is a well-tolerated health supplement that typically produces no harmful side effects in users.
That being said, there are some side effects of Metamucil that users should be aware of:
— Taking Too Much Fiber Can Give You Diarrhea
— Not Mixing Metamucil With Enough Water Could Lead To Choking Or Trouble Swallowing
— Bloating, Cramping, Nausea, And Vomiting Could Occur When Taking Metamucil In Large Doses
Ultimately, many of the harmful Metamucil side effects can be avoided simply by drinking enough water and staying within the recommended daily allowance.
It’s also important to note that Metamucil is classified as gluten free because it contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. The package does state, however, that Metamucil may contain trace amounts of gluten in amounts lower than 20ppm.
Conclusion: Who Should Take Metamucil?
Metamucil is just a branded name for psyllium. Psyllium is a powerful fiber supplement designed to help you pass stools more easily.
Recent marketing efforts by Metamucil have tried to brand the supplement as a weight loss aid and cholesterol-lowering solution. Scientific studies have indicated that fiber has a powerful effect on weight loss: specifically, it helps us feel fuller between meals, which means we avoid snacking and overeating.
Some of the people who would enjoy Metamucil include:
— Those Who Have Trouble Maintaining Regular Movements
— Those Who Are Constipated Or Experiencing Other Digestive Problems
— Those Who Want To Avoid Overeating And Snacking While Following A Diet
— Anyone Who Doesn’t Get Their Daily Recommended Allowance Of Fiber (25 Grams For Women, 38 Grams For Men)
Whether you’re interested in the weight loss benefits of Metamucil or just need more fiber in your diet, Metamucil is one of America’s most popular fiber supplements for a reason.