Athletic Greens Review: A Deeper Look at Our 2022 Best Overall Greens Powder

AG1 review


In today's fast-paced world, it's not always easy to eat as well as we should, especially when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables. According to a 2015 Centers for Disease Control study, only 1 out of every 10 adults consumes the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables provide essential nutrients for wellness, antioxidants that help stave off disease, prebiotics that improves digestion, and many other benefits. In our grab-and-go world of nutrition bars and shakes, adding a greens powder to your routine may be one of the easiest ways to increase your consumption of these disease-fighting, powerhouse foods.

Athletic Greens, an independently produced product out of New Zealand, has recently risen in popularity due to social media marketing. It made our list of the Best Greens Powders in 2022, taking the title of "Best Overall." In this Athletic Greens Review, we'll dive further into explaining that ranking, providing background on the company, their flagship AG1 product, and the functionality of the AG1 ingredient list to help you decide if Athletic Greens is right for your health needs.

We always recommend consulting with your doctor before ingesting a new vitamin or supplement.

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ACTIVE.com’s editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated. For an in-depth look at how we evaluated these supplements, scroll to the end of the review for our rating scale.

A Quick Look at Athletic Greens

AG1

Athletic Greens was created by New Zealander Chris "Kiwi" Ashenden in 2009 to provide foundational nutrition in an easy-to-take daily powder. Athletic Greens' flagship product, AG1, is not a meal replacement powder, rather it is a whole-food greens and superfoods powder that provides a wide array of vitamins, minerals, functional herbs, therapeutic mushrooms, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and prebiotics. It is intended to supplement the diet, filling in nutritional gaps and providing nutrient-dense superfoods in a highly accessible (i.e., just-add-water) powder.

 

AG1 is a comprehensive blend of functional ingredients that, in addition to providing a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals, also contains ingredients to boost immunity, improve digestion and nutrient absorption, improve stress adaptation, support the microbiome, and more. According to the product website, AG1 contains over 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole-food nutrients and may replace other daily vitamin supplements.

Athletic Greens thrives on the idea that good nutrition is a fundamental right for everyone. To that end, they've partnered with several organizations worldwide that provide meals to people in need, such as No Kid Hungry and Mary's Meals. In addition, Athletic Greens is committed to sustainable growth and achieved Climate Neutral Certification in 2020. If company ethics resonate with you, Athletic Greens is certainly making strides.

 

SPECS

  • Price: $$$
  • Flavor options: 1
  • Calories: 50
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbs: 6g (including 2g fiber)
  • Fats: Not listed
  • Sugars: Less than 1g
  • Recommended uses: Anyone looking to support their diet and improve overall health
  • Dosage form: 1 scoop of powder (12g); just add water
  • Doses per container: 30
  • Key ingredients: 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-based greens and superfoods
  • Allergens: Soy (contains soy lecithin but no soy trypsin inhibitor or soy protein)

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What We Like

  • The superfood complex in Athletic Greens AG1 is raw, which means all of the naturally-occurring enzymes and vitamins in these plant foods stay intact and active
  • AG1 is loaded with whole-food superfoods and herbs that can truly boost your health beyond the most basic greens powders. A few of our favorites include:
    • Artichoke powder for antioxidants and inulin to improve gut health and cholesterol levels
    • Ashwagandha root extract to balance hormones and the stress response
    • Dandelion to support liver detoxification and blood sugar regulation
    • Coenzyme Q-10 to support cardiovascular health
    • Rhodiola to fight anxiety and fatigue
  • Includes digestive enzymes to aid digestion and absorption of nutrients, plus prebiotics and probiotics to improve gut health
  • Mostly allergen friendly (no gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, or crustaceans) and suitable for most specialty diets
  • Clean product that's free from GMOs, herbicides, pesticides, and artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives

What We Don't Like

  • Some of the added vitamins do not come from whole-food sources. (E.g., Added vitamin C is from ascorbic acid, which is not as bioavailable as true vitamin C)
  • There is no fat included in the product. Unless dietary fat is consumed with the powder, the body cannot absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • This is a very pricey product per serving

Who Should Buy Athletic Greens?

Despite the name, Athletic Greens is not exclusively for athletes. Rather, it is a product that can improve the nutrition of anyone looking to optimize their health and power through the demands of modern life.

Even if you are the statistical 1 of 10 people who consume the recommended daily value of fruits and vegetables, you may still be lacking in essential vitamins and minerals. Due to the declining quality of most modern food sources, it has become exceedingly difficult to get all the nutrition your body needs exclusively from food. For example, modern farming practices have depleted nutrients from our soil, leaving our crops far less nutrient-dense than they once were. While regenerative and sustainable farms are working to reverse this, most of the United States' food crops come from depleted soils.

This is where AG1, like a good multivitamin, can fill in—but unlike a basic multivitamin, AG1 also provides a plethora of nutrition beyond the standard vitamin.

This powder is a great option for anyone wanting to ensure their daily nutritional needs are met and anyone looking to boost their overall health and wellness. According to the product website, AG1 is "safe for adults of all ages and lifestyles, including athletes and those following specialty diets."

AG1 recently gained NSF Certified for Sport certification. NSF is a global certification program and is the only independent, third-party certification program recognized by the United States Anti-Doping Agency and many professional sports leagues like the MLB and NHL. This certification verifies supplement purity and safety by omitting over 270 banned substances, making AG1 is suitable for athletes at any level.

    Buy: Athletic Greens

    FAQs About Athletic Greens


    Which athletes use Athletic Greens?

    According to the company website, Athletic Greens is used by a small handful of professional athletes, including:

    • Angela Naeth - Red Bull athlete, pro triathlete, multiple Ironman/70.3 champion, @iracelikeagirl founder
    • Patrick Frost - Nike Master Trainer, FrostFit owner and trainer, fitness model
    • Tina Muir - Professional long-distance runner, and host of Running for Real podcast

    The Athletic Greens Instagram page is also frequented by Shawn Johnson, former Olympic gymnast and 2008 gold medalist, and Athletic Greens sponsor and partner with a host of other pro triathletes such as Laura Philipp and Josh Amberger, skiers such as Karoline Pichler, and other fitness professionals (and fitness junkies) across social platforms.

    Does Athletic Greens help with gut health?

    Athletic Greens contains both probiotics and prebiotics. Together, these ingredients can bolster gut health by supporting the gut microbiome. Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is one of the single most important factors in digestive health and overall health.

    The probiotic strains in AG1, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been shown to improve symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and acute, chronic, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea, as well as protect the gut against certain pathogens (bad bacteria), among other benefits.

    Prebiotics, found in Athletic Greens as added inulin and naturally occurring in the whole-foods blend (from apples, artichoke, dandelion, and more), function as food for our good gut bacteria. Prebiotics are the main energy source for our gut microbiome, making them pivotal to gut health. The International Scientific Association recommends that a healthy adult consume between 3-5 grams per day of the type of prebiotics found in AG1. Unfortunately, Athletic Greens does not list the quantity of added or naturally-occurring prebiotics on their label, making it difficult to put a true value on this benefit.

    AG1 also contains an added digestive enzyme, bromelain, naturally-occurring digestive enzymes, and digestive aids in the whole-foods blend (from papaya, pineapple, dandelion, ginger, and more). Collectively, these ingredients support digestive health and aid in nutrient absorption.

    Does Athletic Greens help inflammation?

    Athletic Greens does not directly target inflammation as one of its health objectives. That being said, the formula does contain plenty of anti-inflammatory ingredients and support. In particular, the ingredient list is heavy in antioxidant-rich foods, which combat inflammation.

    Inflammation occurs in the body due to injury, infection, certain autoimmune conditions, and a diet heavy in oxidative compounds. Inflammation can be acute and chronic, and chronic inflammation is a major contributing factor to disease. Antioxidants work by preventing and correcting oxidative cell damage, which is one cause of chronic inflammation.

    Dark leafy greens, such as spinach, and algae greens, such as spirulina and chlorella, are high in antioxidants and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Green tea extract and cocoa bean polyphenol extract are also high in antioxidants, especially a class of polyphenols called catechins, which have shown to be effective in preventing oxidative stress by contributing to the body's antioxidant defense system. Therapeutic mushrooms are another source of antioxidant-rich compounds.

    In addition to the list of antioxidant-rich ingredients, it is also worth noting that poor gut health is a significant contributing factor to chronic inflammation. Because AG1 supports gut health, it does have the potential to reduce chronic inflammation in the body.

    Does Athletic Greens have caffeine?

    Athletic Greens does not show any caffeine content on their labeling. The mix does contain green tea extract and cocoa, both of which contain caffeine. However, the amount of caffeine these two products contribute is likely negligible.

     

    Our Rating Scale

    Price/affordability (scale of $-$$$):

    Prices depend on a number of factors and tend to fluctuate over time, so we've kept our affordability rating scale simple so you can easily see how products compare:

    $ = under $1 per serving
    $$ = $1-2 per serving
    $$$ = over $2 per serving

    Flavor options (scale of 1-3):

    When it comes to dietary supplements that you take frequently, or even daily, options are important. And while your protein powder or pre-workout doesn't have to taste good to be effective, having several flavors to choose from can make it easier to stick with your fitness and health goals.

    N/A = Unflavored
    1 = 1-2 flavor options
    2 = 3-4 flavor options
    3 = 5 or more flavor options

     

    These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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