RRP: £156 for a 30 day supply (60 sachets)
purchase from https://www.oncacompany.com/en/onlineshop/onca-30-day-supply.html in Euros, US $, HK $, £ sterling, Swiss francs, or Japanese yen
--What does the promo say?--
"Onça is a natural supplement, a powder of superior quality designed for beauty, energy and anti-ageing. Its essence is to give a real sense of well being. It is a very exclusive product, but not simply for the sake of elitism. Due to the very limited availability of the fruits, combined with the unique production process necessary to retain the nutrients, output is on a very limited scale. We can produce sufficient amounts to supply 3,000 people worldwide. Onça provides a complete formula with tropical botanicals, lipids (omega), amino acids, hydrolyzed collagen, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and flavonoids as present in the fruits of the Amazon rainforest. The fruits are harvested deep in the Amazon, from the most fertile soil on Earth. None of Onça's ingredients are plantation fruits. As two drinks per day Onça gives your body what it needs. By day, it is energising, cleansing, detoxifying, creating harmony and a sense of well being. By night, Onça is supporting the bodies recovery, rebuilding health, beauty and body cells. One Onça box contains 30 activator sachets (10 grams) to mix in your morning drink and 30 regenerator sachets (10 grams) to mix in your evening drink. For the Onça community, the feeling of well being is multi-dimensional. It is not solely about the huge benefits of Onça as a natural source of beauty and energy, it is also about a spiritual connection to the rainforest. The physical manifestation of this is our partnership with Atini, a non-profit organisation formed by Indian leaders to defend the rights of the indigenous children of the Amazon. Onça donates a percentage of all revenue to support their work and specific projects."
Onça keeps things simple with white sachets, gold writing on the front (with emphasis on the brand name and on whether it's a morning or an evening sachet), and black writing on the back (only in Portuguese though!) outlining the ingredients. Brief, precise and classy-looking.
Dissolve one sachet in the morning and one sachet in the evening into a drink of your choice (250ml liquid). Onça recommends a milk-based or soya based drink, but as I'm not a massive fan of milk, and it's hardly hot chocolate season (probably the only way you can actually get me to drink milk), this was out. You can dissolve it into *any* drink, though, so this doesn't matter (more on this subject later). I'd recommend putting in the powder first (not last) and stirring throughout the addition of the liquid, and also throughout consumption. Hot drinks in general are also better (again, more on this later).
The morning supplement did not look good at all: it was the colour of chocolate, but lacked the thickness to really convince yourself it was actually hot chocolate. Plus, no matter how well I mixed it, or into what drink, there always seemed to be more lumps/sediment than in the evening. The evening drink looked more like tomato soup due to its deep orange-red colour and proved much easier to mix for some reason (thus resulting in fewer lumps). Some of the lumps are actually camu-camu fruit, which you can eat and which are delicious. To be fair to Onça, they do mention that you can prepare the drink in a liquidiser if you don't "do" lumps, but I didn't try this.
--Scent and taste--
The morning drink was like a poor man's version of a Terry's Chocolate Orange: there was a chocolatey flavour and scent, and an orangey flavour and scent, but for some reason the flavours didn't seem to blend well together. There was also a third, yeastier flavour which may account for some of the unpleasantness I felt when drinking it. Blended with water, it was not nice. I found I was best off blending it with fruit juice or a smoothie as this seemed to make the flavours work better together.
The evening drink proved a far pleasanter experience. The unusual fruit scents of mana cubio and passionfruit fused together for an intensely citrusy, but not sour hit, of flavour, and for some reason this drink had a creamier scent and taste too. Overall it was much nicer to drink, and again it can work well in fruit juice or smoothies, but this blend was much nicer just mixed with water too.
--Texture and consistency--
As mentioned, I found the morning drink unpleasant not only because of its weird taste but also because of its gritty texture: no matter what I did I just couldn't get the lumpiness to go away and there was always a layer of sediment left at the bottom of the cup that I had to force down. The evening drink went down much more easily, with there being far fewer lumps each time. To reduce lumps, I'd recommend adding the powder to the cup first, then the liquid; stirring constantly throughout the mixing and consumption of the drink; and making the drink with hot liquid (it's possible that the heat makes the powder dissolve better). You could also try Onça's recommendation of preparing the drink in a liquidiser.
--Effects on the skin--
One of the product's main advertised benefits is smoother, plumper skin due to the increased collagen provided by the product (it's hydrolysed and is the main ingredient in the evening supplement). Firstly, you are never going to see a difference in five days' supply alone (this is the amount sent to me by Onça's press team), so on that score I can't say whether it really works or not. Secondly, the fact of touting collagen as the principal benefit suggests to me that this product is not really aimed at people my age (26) - so even if I did see benefits they would possibly not be optimal or as visible as in someone older. Many of the ingredients in the supplement are packed with vitamins (including A and B) which are supposed to improve skin health and condition generally, but again, in five days I did not notice any change in my acne, even though Onça contains lycopene, zinc and selenium - all famous acne-busting ingredients. Another thing which suggests this may not be aimed at my age range is that hydration is cited as a major skin benefit from this product - which I am not convinced is something my oily skin requires.
From the morning drink, I was supposed to notice the following effects:
- an improvement in hearing and memory
- strengthened skin, hair, teeth and nails
- healthier and more youthful appearance
- the feeling of being happier and more relaxed
- the feeling of being energised
- ease in controlling weight
- greater hydration
- a boosted immune system
The only aspect of this that I can truly say I noticed was in terms of energy: although my medical-student sister believed this effect to be a mere placebo, I definitely felt more energised in the mornings and felt I had a greater spring in my step. The major fallout has to be in terms of the immune system part: this not only failed to prevent me from catching my sister's cold but also did not lessen its effects or duration. However, a lot of the effects listed above are also not really measurable, especially over only a 5-day course (when it is supposed to be taken for a minimum of 30 days).
The evening drink promised the following:
- strengthened skin, hair, teeth and nails- healthier and more youthful appearance
- the feeling of being energised
- improved sleep
- the feeling of being happier and more relaxed
- healthier eyes
- improved digestion
- pain relief
- decreased bloating
Of these, I would say that I primarily experienced pain relief (of recurring toothache due to wisdom teeth coming in - but this could also have been due to the paracetamol I was taking for my cold), and the feeling of being happier, more energised, and more relaxed. To say you instantly feel more tranquil and instantly physically better after (and even during) consumption of the evening drink is no exaggeration - but it's a temporary high, on a par to the instant stress relief you feel when eating chocolate (although unlike eating chocolate, there's no deadly sugar crash with Onça's evening remedy). I noticed no difference to my sleep, skin, hair, teeth or nails and I don't suffer with bloating or digestive problems. Other benefits would take longer than 5 days to see.
--Value for money--
At £156 for a month's supply this definitely needs serious consideration for most of us. If it's that or the gym membership, I'd say you'd get more from the gym membership. However, when you break down the cost, it comes out at around £5 a day - which is probably what many people spend on unhealthy snacks and chain-store coffee a day, as well as possibly other habits like cigarette-smoking, magazines, or lottery tickets. In this case, I would choose the Onça as it will do far more for you than these other everyday 'luxuries'. In my ideal world, though, I'd like to see Onça offer an option where you could choose the morning OR the evening supplements (or both, of course!) as different people will react differently to each of the drinks, and while others may find they benefit hugely from both, I personally was happiest with just the evening drink: it instantly destresses and makes you feel physically better in yourself. If Onça were to offer the evening drink separately (say, at £75-£80 a month - which is what some people spend on their mobile phone bill each month), I would definitely take them up on it.