What The Super Elixir Taught Me About "Wellness" -- Whatever That Is

If you have read, like, anything I have ever written for Jane, you’ll know that I’m maybe not the spokesperson for the healthiest lifestyle out there.
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Publish date:
April 29, 2015
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wellness

So as you guys know, I am a supermodel. That’s why when I heard about the release of The Super Elixir by supermodel Elle Macpherson and WelleCo, I knew I had to try it. It’s a health supplement, instead of a face cream or serum, but oddly, it’s available in the beauty section at the department store. Its big thing is not just to promote beauty or health, but all around wellness.

That’s what got me: wellness. What a word. Let’s talk about wellness.

If you have read, like, anything I have ever written for Jane, you’ll know that I’m maybe not the spokesperson for the healthiest lifestyle out there. I’m not doing anything crazy, but I’ve spent the majority of my 20s getting paid and getting drunk. I work late nights, I work days, and I love it. I try to make good use of what free time I have. When you’re running as hard as I have been, something has got to give. It’s usually my body.

Here’s the thing: There are times when I realize that I’m treating my body like shit, and times when I don’t. I’m not sure which is worse. I would like to think that I’ve done my best to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the years when, supposedly, by body is at its physical peak, but even I can’t play myself like that. When I’m so accustomed to running on fumes, it’s hard to find my center and say I feel great, because what would that even mean for me?

I’m sort of a “go by feel” kind of guy, and sometimes it works better than others. Sometimes I think I'm living a really healthy lifestyle and, when I remove myself from it for a minute, I realize that's not the case at all. There are things that can seem great for you when they're really not. Sometimes it's food. Sometimes it's a habit. Sometimes it's a person.

I would guess that everyone has their own definition of “wellness,” though I’m still not sure what mine would be. Am I gonna find it through a supplement?

But I go to yoga or Pilates at least five days a week and I drink lots of fluids and I just bought eight chicken breasts a few hours ago so that is my definition of being healthy today and personally I think I'm killing it.

Plus, I take things! I take supplements! I take biotin and tons of fish oil! Granted, those are exclusively for my skin, hair and nails, but it’s better than nothing, right? Like, what should I be taking?

“Milk Thistle!” a friend of mine told me, as I picked up a bottle he had rolling around in his car.

I laughed. “I love that you are not only America’s Friendliest Go-Go Boy™, but also secretly a witch doctor.”

“Yea, they keep you really skinny!” He explained.

“Brian, look at me.”

“I know, but they also detox your liver.”

“SOLD.”

See? Wellness is different for everyone.

So, I spent a month taking the Super Elixir, and I kept a close eye on how it made me feel.

The Super Elixir is a powder that contains a mix of super greens, Chinese herbs, and digestive enzymes that are all-natural and can be absorbed by your body naturally, at a cellular level. This assists with energy, vitality, and to keeping your body running at an alkaline level.

But what does that mean exactly? A very simplified definition is that when your body breaks down the foods you eat, the waste left behind can either be acidic or alkaline.

When there is too much acidity in your body, you’re supposedly more vulnerable to disease. Eating more alkaline-forming foods (basically a ton of greens) is supposed to help combat this. If your body is running at an alkaline level it basically means that everything is working optimally, so in theory, you should expect a healthy immune system, increased energy, improved sleep, and better skin.

OK honestly the only reason I tried this stuff out was because of the “better skin” claim. You guys know I will stop at nothing to be hotter.

As with all supplements, especially those tied to beauty, the Elixir has been met with rave reviews and harsh skepticism alike. I emailed Claire, xoJane’s resident chef/chemist, who told me that she thinks all of this "alkaline body" stuff, and I quote, “is bullshit.”

But, I stuck with it. I spent a month taking the Super Elixir every morning. I’d hop out of the shower and, before going to Pilates or whatever, make myself a smoothie (like I said, working on my wellness) and then shotgun a glass of the Super Elixir before brushing my teeth.

I’m not going to say that the Super Elixir tastes bad, but it sure didn’t taste good. You know that kind of bitter aftertaste that you’ll get on the back end of a glass of Emergen-C? That. Only, just that. It’s kind of flavorless except for when it’s not, then it’s just gross.

Oh, and it feels terrible. After it dissolves in water, it still feels grainy and chalky in your mouth. Is this the "mouthfeel" that Claire is always talking about? God. It tasted bad, and felt worse.

I’m being honest! And this isn’t a bad review because the point of the Super Elixir isn’t to be tasty, it’s to make you healthy. And sexy. My point is that it just wasn’t something that I exactly looked forward to every day.

I was told it would take a week to really feel the difference, so I waited. Every day, I’d mix two teaspoons of the powder into a glass of water (it suggests juice or a smoothie or yogurt but don’t do any of that because the Elixir will RUIN it) and chugged.

It never got easier. It never tasted any better. But…I did start feeling better.

No shit. It wasn’t anything crazy noticeable at first. A lot of people describe it as an instant burst of energy, so much so that they’d skip coffee. It wasn’t that for me. It was something I’d notice even before my morning coffee.

When I’m closing a bar at 3 am or later every night, getting up in the morning isn’t always the easiest. I try to get right out of bed after less than eight hours of sleep, but there’s this wall of grogginess that’s hard for me to climb, even after a full eight hours.

After a week of the Super Elixir, that was gone. I didn’t even notice it until, well, I did. I’d jump out of bed, bop around my apartment starting my day as usual, only to realize that hey, I’m not tired at all! I’m thinking clearly! I feel great!

And that’s not a placebo effect, because I wasn’t looking for this stuff to work. I didn’t notice it until it actually was working. For me, it made it easier to get up in the morning, I slept better, and felt more rested, and for someone who prioritizes literally everything else over sleep, that’s big.

Did it improve my skin? Hopefully. Maybe. Honestly I didn’t see any concrete results on that, but I’m always having the newest and best in skincare show up on my doorstep, so I really don’t have any excuse not to have perfect skin in the first place. That’s not a brag, except for the fact that it is.

A lot of the reviews I read, including one from the beauty department of my favorite fashion magazine, were a lot like “I have no idea what I’m drinking or what it does, but I feel great!” (I’m not even being sarcastic there, that’s almost verbatim.) That was kind of frustrating.

Everyone’s body is different, so the Super Elixir would be different for all of us. Is this something that I’m going to buy again when I run out of my initial supply (which, yes, they sent me for free) I don’t know. $135 for the Super Elixir (and the glass bottle) is a lot, refills are $80. I’ve got no problem dropping a couple stacks on a pair of sunglasses that I might wear once a month, but something that makes me feel better and improves my quality of life? I JUST DON’T KNOW.

At the end of the day, I liked it, and it definitely worked. I think that, for me personally, the Super Elixir itself totally aside, taking it every day served as a check in for my ~wellness~. How much did I sleep? How much have I eaten? How the fuck am I doing? Things that I normally sort of steamroll past during my day to day, while pushing myself to hustle and be productive.

I’m slowly learning, much too late in life, obviously, that I’m only going to be as good as I feel, and when I take care of myself, everything around me seems to turn out better. I’m more productive, and I get more done, which is number one. I’m not saying that some $135 supplement brought me this sense of enlightenment (although what if it HAD omg) I’m just saying it’s important for me to check in with myself and make sure I’m treating myself and my body with care and respect, so maybe that’s important for you, too.

Of course, it took a beauty product to get me there.

What does wellness mean to you? What was a point in your life when you weren't being very kind to your body and didn't even realize it? Are these questions too real? Sorry. What shade of lipstick are you wearing?

Tynan is checking in with you on Twitter @TynanBuck.