Athletic Greens is one of the most popular greens powders and the first brand that caught my attention. I was intrigued at the prospect of getting all my greens and more in one easy to take a drink, literally the ultimate daily supplement.
I was excited to be taking Athletic Greens superfood complex. With the best will in the world taking the right amount of veggies, vitamins and minerals, digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics each day is never easy.
Packed with 75 whole food sourced ingredients, Athletic Greens breaks down the benefits of their powdered greens into four key areas; boosting energy levels, supporting recovery from exercise, improving the immune system, and digestion.
There is no shortage of superfood supplements but this daily greens powder is well regarded and is popular amongst consumers, both athletes and regular joes like you and me.
I was keen to see how Athletic Greens stacked up. I have been using it every day for the last 14 days, here is my Athletic Greens review.
Background on Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens has been on the market for over 10 years now. During this time the formula has been tweaked to improve its efficacy 51 times in its lifespan with the help of researchers and nutritionists.
Manufactured in New Zealand, the formula is Gluten and dairy-free and has low allergen levels with less than 1g of sugar per serving. This means the Athletic Greens formula is Paleo, Keto, and vegan friendly.
The company make no other supplements and focus on their superfood greens that are available in either pouches or the travel packs.
Athletic Greens Travel Pack
Athletic Greens is also available in convenient travel packs. Instead of having a carry around a large tub or pouch, you can simply grab a few 12g travel sachets of the powder for your travels [see picture].
This is a great option, but you will pay another $10 for the privilege and when you considering the rather hefty up-sell is it worth it – YOU could of course just pack your own into a small resealable plastic bag.
[If you still keen to try the Travel Packs – see Amazon product listing here]
Athletic Greens Ingredients
There are 75 ingredients in total in Athletic Greens, they claim this gives you the antioxidant equivalent of 12 servings of vegetables in one scoop.
There are some great ingredients in the formula but I am a little skeptical of the huge number ingredients listed in their whole food greens supplement. This is especially because having a serving size of 12g means that some ingredient amounts would likely be in low dosages. (See above).
At best there may be one or two ingredients with the amount at a very low level to have much if any of an effect. At worse it’s possible the ingredient amounts are too low all round to have much of an effect.
Either way, you need to be mindful that some under-dosing for some ingredients is likely with any formula that contains 50 plus ingredients or more in a 10/12 gram serving.
Although Athletic Greens is not organically certified it does contains some organic ingredients.
Let’s take a look at each of the proprietary blends:
Alkaline, Nutrient-Dense, Raw Superfood Complex (7388mg)
Organic spirulina, lecithin (95% phosphatides), organic apple powder, inulin (FOS prebiotics), organic wheatgrass juice powder (leaf), organic alfalfa powder (leaf), organic chlorella powder, organic barley leaf powder, acerola fruit juice powder extract (4:1), broccoli flower powder, papaya (Carica papaya) powder (fruit), pineapple fresh fruit concentrate (9:1), bilberry fruit extract (100:1), beetroot powder (fruit), rosehip (Rosa Canina) fruit powder (4:1), carrot root powder, spinach leaf powder, cocoa bean polyphenol extract, grapeseed extract (120:1), green tea leaf extract (10:1), licorice root powder, Lycium berry fruit extract (4:1), ginger rhizome powder, slippery elm bark powder, kelp whole plant powder.
Nutrient Dense Natural Extracts, Herbs, and Antioxidants (411mg)
Alkaline pea protein isolate, citrus bioflavonoids extract, artichoke extract (15:1), citric acid, rhodiola rosea root dry extract (15:1), Eleuthero (eleutherococcus senticosus) root extract (10:1), gotu kola extract (10:1), rosemary leaf extract (4:1), milk thistle seed extract (70:1), R,S alpha-lipoic acid, ashwaganda root extract (5:1), dandelion root dry extract (4:1), hawthorn berry root extract (10:1), beta glucans, policosanol, co-enzyme Q-10, stevia rebaudiana leaf powder.
Digestive Enzyme & Super Mushroom Complex (154mg)
Astragalus root extract (4:1), bromelain (dietary enzyme), burdock root powder (4:1), reishi mushroom powder, shiitake mushroom powder, stevia.
Dairy Free Probiotics (38mg)
Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Bifidum.
[Ingredient profile correct as of October 2018]
How does Athletic Greens Taste?
Drinking Athletic Greens is super easy because it tastes pretty good. Not the grassy or chalky taste of other green powder drinks.
Any Side Effects
I experienced no side effects with Athletic Greens powder in the morning drinking on an empty stomach.
This was to be expected though as there isn’t anything in this powder that should cause a problem. I stuck to the recommended one serving of approximately 12g in a glass of 200ml of water per day.
There are no stimulants or an excess of an ingredient that could cause unexpected side effects.
My Experience with Athletic Greens
I have purchased and tried Athletic Greens on two occasions.
The first time buying from Amazon (UK) in 2018 when it came it was surprisingly in a tub with the old Athletic looking branding. Checking the official United States website at the time showed Athletic Greens in a dark blue pouch instead of tubs.
It turns out that the company had recently rebranded (July 2018) to using the much better and more cleaner looking pouches to look more healthy lifestyle brands.
It’s not easy buying supplements to send to Malaysia, so the second time I purchased from the official USA website I had it shipped to me via a different company. This made it super expensive for me – I ended up paying $125 USD for one pouch that lasted just 30-days!
I was excited to be trying out Athletic Greens, and right from day one I enjoyed the taste and experienced no side-effects. At the time of writing my review I had only consumed it for 14-days straight, I haven’t noticed any massive changes to my well-being or necessarily with my energy levels.
This could be that I simply haven’t taken it long-enough to kick into action though.
Psychologically it was nice to drink first thing in the morning and I felt reassured that I had a healthy dose of green superfoods.
- Contains 75 ingredients, including probiotics
- Vegan friendly
- Tastes great in water or smoothies
- Popular with athletes
- Proprietary blend, no full disclosure of ingredient amounts
- Not the most affordable
Do Athletic Greens Work?
Taking Athletic Greens is not going to give you superhuman strength overnight or even after a few weeks of taking it. So, understanding exactly how much healthier or vibrant you will be from taking Athletic Greens daily is hard to gauge.
Many of the ingredients in the formula are going to be tricky to consume in your average diet, and we know that taking a greens power is going to supply way more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than just a multi-vitamin, even a good one!
The question over effectiveness comes down to the nutritional breakdown of the formula and this is where Athletic Greens is a little disappointing. The lack of full transparent labeling due to the use of proprietary blends for most of the formula means it’s impossible to know precisely how much of each ingredient is present.
This is a big deal, it is for me and should be for you too.
Ingredients don’t just work because they are present in a formula, they need to be in the right amounts, e.g. proper effective dosages.
I am confident in the vitamin and mineral content as this is clearly stated on the label (700% daily dosage of Vitamin C, 300% daily dosage of Vitamin E, etc).
But that’s not the case with the Alkaline, Nutrient-Dense, Raw Superfood Complex or Nutrient Dense Natural Extracts, Herbs, and Antioxidants blends.
One simple example, the Reishi Mushroom powder in the “Digestive Enzyme & Super Mushroom Complex” is certainly going to in my opinion too low.
One simple example, the Reishi Mushroom powder in the “Digestive Enzyme & Super Mushroom Complex” is certainly under-dosed in my opinion.
Well the blend of six ingredients is only 154mg and according to Examine, Reishi needs to be consumed in quantities of 1.5g to 1.9g depending on the portion of the extract is used.
Another example is, it’s unclear from the label if the organic Chlorella is of the “cracked cell” variety. This is important as Chlorella is really hard to digest due to its tough cell wall, so if you don’t consume the “cracked wall/cell” variety the bioavailability (amount digested) would most likely very low.
This is why I like taking supplements that fully disclose their formula on their label, and was one of the main motivating factors behind me developing my own greens powder, SuperGreen TONIK.
The last word on gut health, having both probiotics and prebiotics present may not be as effective as suggested. This is because combining probiotics within a greens powder can make them inert and therefore of little use.
So, if you’re keen on the digestive health you may be best of buying a separate prebiotic/probiotic supplement.
Athletic Greens Reviews
I took a quick look online at reviews of Athletic Greens, this included their official website and Amazon.
As you would imagine the official site has glowing reviews, everyone rates the supplement a 4 or 5 stars. Common statements like “great product”, “pricey but worth it”, “drink Athletic Greens every morning”, “amazing flavor” etc etc.
Athletic Greens has a few famous brand ambassadors too such as Tim Ferriss who recommended it in his 4-Hour Body, Joe de Sena CEO, and Founder of the Spartan Race, Dagmara Wozniak, a Nike Athlete, and 2 x Olympic Fencing Team and 2016 Bronze Medalist.
Checking Amazon feedback can be a little less biased shows an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars from 822 reports when I wrote my review.
I took a quick look at the one-star ratings to see what negatives come up. Most of these consumer reviews reported “gastric problems”, “didn’t notice any difference”, “Ingredients are not worth 4x what similar products cost.” and “arrived with a hole in the bag”.
Interestingly a few customers reported they taste as having a “Very artificial flavor” and “tastes absolutely horrible and the aftertaste is even worse”. The funniest one being “It tastes like forest droppings and vanilla whey procreated with some lawn clippings thrown in” – just goes to show that taste is very personal!
Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy
There is a 60-day money-back guarantee but I found the information lacking on the site that outlines the conditions for this. Reaching out to their support team they explained I could return my Athletic Greens within 60-days either opened or unopened.
This is great news!
Where to Buy Athletic Greens?
You can buy a one-off or monthly subscription of Athletic Greens.
Out of all of the Super Greens, I have tried so far, Athletic Greens is on the high price end.
Is It Worth The Price?
Super greens at super high prices!
This is one of the most expensive greens powders around – certainly from the products I have seen. At $97 daily servings cost $3.23 with the subscription serving slightly better at $2.56 per day.
You should also consider that shipping will also be added to the overall cost, pushing the daily price to over $3.
If you’re on a budget then you’ll probably find this supplement a bit of a stretch and so may wish to check out other green superfood supplements.
Athletic Greens FAQs
Here are the most popular frequently asked questions about Athletic Greens ultimate daily supplement.
Is Athletic Greens a meal replacement?
Athletic Greens is not meant to be used as a meal replacement. There is no reason why you can’t include your serving within a meal replacement shake though. You may need to experiment to see what works best in terms of flavor though.
Are Athletic Greens safe?
Yes for most consumers it will be 100% safe as long as you take in the recommended dosage. There is a caveat here though as we don’t know the exact breakdown of the ingredients in the proprietary blend, so if you have a particular allergy or sensitivity to any ingredients then you may need to choose an alternative.
Is Athletic Greens keto and vegan friendly?
The formula is 100% keto and vegan friendly. Each 12g serving contains less than 1 gram of sugar and so if you’re following a strict keto diet (e.g. less than 20 grams of carbs per day) then you won’t be consuming many carbs with each dosage of Athletic Greens.
Can I easily cancel my Athletic Greens subscription?
The cheapest way to buy Athletic Greens is via their monthly subscription plan. Many consumers are concerned with auto-billing subscriptions but Athletic Greens makes it easy to cancel with a “click of a button”. The company is reputable and so I am confident of their customer service team.
The Bottom Line
I am a fan of Athletic Greens, the company focus on ingredients and not on overhyped marketing.
The greens powder is easy to mix and it tastes great, but I do have some reservations though.
The formula uses proprietary blends that means we don’t get to see how each ingredient is dosed. Without a fully transparent label and ingredient list, we don’t get to see if the correct dosages are within the formula.
With the focus on so many ingredients in the formula, there will certainly be sacrifices in some ingredient amounts. Ultimately this means some ingredients will be less effective.
To pay out nearly $100 for a monthly supplement you want to know exactly what you’re consuming and to be confident the dosages are sufficient.
So, even though I am a fan of the taste Athletic Greens powder doesn’t do it for me and was why I started my search for the ultimate greens powder.
LifeHacker Guy Greens Recommendation
Please give me a few moments to shamelessly introduce my brand, SuperGreen TONIK.
I have researched a lot (and I mean a lot) of super greens out there but was disappointed with most of the ones I tried.
So, I went out and created my own with the help of a USA manufacturer because I wanted to ensure I got all my veggie goodness in the right amounts, and of course within a no-fuss single serving each day.
None of the other brands offered that.
Its the best out there (of course I would say that about my own), but let me tell you why...
- No hidden ingredient amounts - we have full disclosure labelling, so you know EXACTLY whats inside
- Sufficient ingredient amounts to make a difference - we include at least (if not more of) the minimum effective amounts supported by research
- Ingredients that also could boost mental clarity and shake off brain fog - to boost my at work and home
After many months I finally got a greens formula that fuels my body and mind for the day ahead.
But please dont JUST take my word for it, make up your own decision by checking out my review. (I TRY BE BE AS UNBIASED AS POSSIBLE )