Greens powders are all over the supplement market, as you will be able to tell if you’ve ever taken a look at my reviews of super green supplements and my many articles about supplementing with these powders!
Although most greens powders contain a wide range of ingredients, from grasses, algae, fruit, and herbal extracts, one of the most frequently added types of ingredients that brands love to shout about in recent years are probiotics.
If you’re looking for a greens powder, whether online or in a supplement store, you will definitely come across greens powders that contain probiotics.
The brands that produce these formulas use the presence of probiotics as a great marketing tool, making people feel like they’re getting a lot more for their money, but the concern is that it could just be “window-dressing” and not serve much nutritional and health benefits.
So, perhaps you’re thinking of purchasing a greens powder for gut health, you’re trying to weigh up whether you should spend more money on a powder with probiotics, or you’re simply curious as to whether greens powders with probiotics are actually as powerful as they appear.
In this article, I’m going to tell you all about the pros and cons of probiotics in greens powders, coming to a conclusion about whether you should be choosing a probiotic greens powder! Let’s get into it.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that benefit the gut and provide health benefits, for most people. The gut contains around 100 trillion bacteria cells, most of which are useful and benefit your health daily, and probiotics are also this ‘good’ type of bacteria.
Probiotics can be found in fermented foods, such as kimchi, cheese, and yogurt. If you have a healthy diet, and you’re consuming foods that contain probiotics, you probably won’t need to consume probiotic supplements. However, a lot of people consume probiotics in a supplement form.
The Claimed Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics are supposed to help balance the bacteria in the gut, help prevent diarrhea and constipation, reduce symptoms of IBS and other digestive illnesses, and might even boost heart health and mental health.
There are 6 commonly used probiotics in greens powders – B. animalis, B.breve, B.lactis, B. longum, and L. acidophilus, and you can learn about the benefits of each of these probiotics by checking out my in-depth probiotics for men’ article here.
The Fragility of Probiotics
One of the biggest problems with probiotics and specifically probiotics that are added to supplements such as greens powders is that they’re very fragile, meaning that it’s actually unlikely that they will reach your gut and provide benefits.
Probiotics will find it very difficult to survive throughout the manufacturing process, the storage process, and even the digestion process. Heat, which is a key element in the manufacturing of most greens powders, is one of the worst things for probiotics.
So, it’s actually unlikely that the probiotics within a super greens powder will actually reach your digestive system properly and provide you with health benefits.
They May Not Work, and They’re Not Suitable For Everyone
Research has shown that probiotics don’t actually live in some people’s guts, depending on the individual’s microbiome and gene expression, so probiotics in a greens powder might actually be useless for you, depending on your gut.
As well as this, research has shown that although probiotics are safe for most people, they’re not suitable, and can cause illnesses in those with weakened immune systems, autoimmune conditions, and severe illnesses.
People on antifungal medication should also avoid probiotics as they will interfere with them.
Look Towards Synbiotics…
One of the main issues with probiotics is survival, through manufacturing and into the gut. So, if you are intent on consuming a probiotic supplement, you might want to look to synbiotics.
Synbiotic supplements contain probiotics and prebiotics and are specifically designed to survive.
Although unfortunately, people tend to class probiotics and prebiotics are the same things, they’re very different. Prebiotics are compounds in foods that provide energy for the ‘good’, healthy bacteria in your gut. They promote the growth of ‘good’ bacteria.
So, with synbiotics, you will benefit from both probiotics and prebiotics, and you are much more likely to actually provide the consumer with benefits, meaning they’re a much better option!
The popularity of synbiotics is growing exponentially, and it’s clear why.
So, Should You Choose a Greens Powder With Probiotics? – No and Here’s Why!
Although I’m all for mixing greens powders with protein and other powdered supplements, I don’t think there’s much point in producing greens powders with probiotics, let me explain.
- The probiotics in a greens powder may not have survived the manufacturing process, so it could be a waste of money.
- Even if the probiotics survive, they might not survive in your gut, depending on your microbiome and gene expression.
- Lastly, there hasn’t been extensive research done on probiotics in greens powders, and quite frankly, I think some brands may just add them into formulas so they can claim it’s the “complete” and only supplement you need.
If you want to add probiotics to your diet, I would suggest either taking a look into synbiotics or taking a high quality, heavily researched and tested probiotics supplement.
However, as long as you’re eating a healthy diet and consuming essential nutrients, including consuming foods and nutrients that benefit the gut, you will probably not even need probiotics.
In my opinion, buy a greens powder that’s a greens powder primarily for the greens and vitamins/minerals and if you’re keen on having brain nutrients or adaptogenic herbs too.
If you want to buy a greens powder that’s going to benefit your digestive system, select a greens powder with potent ingredients that specifically benefit the digestive system (although most do contain ingredients that will). You can always look for a proven symbiotic too!
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 )