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Will Athletic Greens Really Make You Healthy and Fit?

What is Athletic Greens?

Touted as “the only whole food supplement that truly unlocks your body’s true potential”, Athletic Greens provides 11 supplements, improved alkalinity, improve digestive health, and the equivalent to 12 servings of vegetables in each scoop of the powder.

Sounds too good to be true? We think so too.

athletic greens

One of their boasts is that in order to buy all of the ingredients separately, it would cost over $400 per month. But, if you were to purchase the vegetables and herbs, you wouldn’t need all of the extra supplementation, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and expensive herbs. The nutrients would be there in your fruits and vegetables, not in the package.

Calling Athletic Greens a superfood cocktail stretches the terms of super and food. Yes, there are a lot of ingredients in this mix. There are a lot of herbs and foods in there that contain antioxidants. But, just because it comes from food, does not mean it is food. This is a food like product with a lot of chemicals added to it.

Tim Ferris promoted Athletic Greens and here’s what he has to say about the product:

I get asked all the time, If you could only use one supplement, what would it be? My answer is, inevitably, Athletic Greens. It is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in the #1 NY Times - The 4-Hour Body, and did not get paid to do so. I take it in the mornings to ensure optimal performance. And I travel with it to avoid getting sick. It just covers all my bases, if I can’t get what I need through whole food meals throughout the rest of the day. It’s tasty, but more importantly it will help you not screw up when you’re doing your nutritional planning. For me, it.... covers my bases, takes a load off my mind, and puts a lot in my body.
Tim Ferris

Remember, Tim Ferris is a blogger. He has no nutritional or exercise education or experience.

Does Athletic Greens Help with Weight Loss?

athletic greens weight loss

On its own, no, this will not help with any kind of weight loss. When you combine this with exercise and a healthy diet, not only is this unnecessary, but it is the exercise and proper diet that will help you lose weight. All this product is that a token bit of nutrients and vitamins to your diet.

But, even saying all this negative stuff, we still think this is an alright product that can add nutrients to your diet. We just don’t want you to think this is a good total supplement or a meal replacement.

Does Athletic Greens Taste Good?

does athletic greens taste good

To answer this question we’re going to rely on testimonials of others who have tried this product. And, the consensus is this product does taste good. One website said they were able to hide the taste of grass with just a hint of chocolate. Another says they didn’t try and smother the bitterness with sweeteners; and there is also a hint of ginger, which lends itself to a slightly tangy and spicy beverage.

Since you have the ability to mix this with your beverage of choice, you’ll be able to further change the flavors to match your desires.

Does Athletic Greens Work?

athletic greens does it work

Maybe. And this supplement might help people who do not eat any vegetables, but it’s not enough to help people to be healthy. And if you are already eating a healthy diet, this had such minute quantities of each ingredient, it’s not worth it.

How Does Athletic Greens Work?

how does athletic greens work

Well, we’re not quite sure. If the quantities of ingredients in Athletic Greens were much higher, we would say it was providing a lot of nutrition and a lot of antioxidants. However, there is just not enough of any one component to provide total healthy nutrition.

Here’s one other thing to keep in mind. Many of these nutrients will require other nutrients, especially fats, in order to be absorbed properly. Just adding this powder to water or juice means most of the nutrients and herbs are passing straight through your digestive system without being absorbed. Your digestive system cannot absorb many of the nutrients as served.

Another vital nutrient for proper absorption is magnesium. While they do include a high-quality form of magnesium, magnesium glycinate, they only added 26 mg. This equates to a paltry 7% of the recommended daily value, and less than 1% of the optimal daily value. The majority of the herbs and vitamins on this chart require at least 10% magnesium within the digestive system in order to be absorbed properly.

Health Benefits of Athletic Greens

athletic greens health benefits

Despite the claims of being one of the best supplements, and having a ton of ingredients, this product isn’t widely used by nutritionists. We see this is another fad that will fade out in a couple of years. They will have their money and you still don’t have the Magic Bullet.

There are a lot of claims of people feeling better and being healthier after using this product, but there are no studies to back it up. Each individual ingredient does have studies to show it works, but most of those studies were conducted using dosages much higher than what is found in the product. In fact, many of the dosages for the herbs exceed what the entire package contains, not just one serving.

Athletic Greens Complaints

athletic greens reviews

Are there negative reviews and complaints about this product? Emphatically yes.

There are no complaints about side effects or damage done, so that is a benefit. At least we know if you try this product, the only thing that you’ll hurt is your wallet.

The high cost is the biggest complaint. Most people see little to no benefit when taking this product, yet spend a tremendous amount of money for it. Many of the people who try this product, go on to change their diet to include more fruits and vegetables and only then see new benefits. After discontinuing use of this product, they do not see a reduction in their health, energy, or any other improvement.

The biggest complaint seems to be the expense for so little return.

Athletic Greens Ingredients

athletic greens ingredients

We believe the variety of ingredients is why Athletic Greens is so expensive.

To start off, most of those vitamins and minerals they hyped up are single added chemicals. Vitamins A, D, K and the slew of B vitamins are broken down into forms that are not easily absorbed nor do they cover the full range of that vitamin. For example, vitamin A can come in 18 different forms, but this supplement only provides beta-carotene. However, many studies have linked taking beta-carotene alone to an increased risk of cancer. And it doesn’t matter how much you take, your body will only convert as much of this supplement to form and quantity it needs. If you are eating a diet that has locally raised, natural meats and eggs, you’ve already gotten all of the vitamin A you need.

Fats and fatty vitamins are severely lacking in the supplement. Athletic Greens contains no Omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin D. It is very hard to get these fatty acids into powder form, which is probably why they have left it out. They include only one version of vitamin E out of the eight available. Without these fatty vitamins, it’s difficult for the body to absorb the other nutrients.

Though a lot of herbal supplements that are provided in a serving, they’re all at quantities that are negligible and does very little for the body. For example, Hawthorn root is one of the last ingredients. This is a very healthy and positive herb for people with heart issues. However, taking just a few milligrams of this herb doesn’t help anything. Herbalists tend to give out several grams of this herb to take every day. We’re looking at needing 50 to 100 times more of this herb for it to be effective.

Athletic Greens contains some caffeine, mostly from the green tea extract. However, like everything else in this product, it is in such small quantity that we doubt you will feel any stimulation from the caffeine. Only the most extremely sensitive to caffeine will experience the boost.

On the positive note, Athletic Greens may not be FDA-approved, however, it is not necessary as a dietary supplement. Athletics Greens is kosher, gluten free, and contains no soy. Athletic Greens contains no whey protein, which is a dairy source and they claim to be dairy-free.

Overall, everything within Athletic Greens is healthy, but the quantity is not sufficient.

Athletic Greens Side Effects

athletic greens side effects

There are not too many side effects with this products, mostly because the ingredients are not in sufficient quantity to cause side effects. You will want to read the ingredient list carefully, as some people could be allergic to various items. Things like the mushrooms, certain fruits, and herbs, like the milk thistle, could cause an allergic reaction certain individuals.

Athletic Greens could give you gas when you first start taking it, but that’s your digestive system becomes used to this product. It should subside within a few days.

Athletic Greens Dosage

You take Athletic Greens by mixing 1 heaping tablespoon with water or juice. The product states you can mix Athletic Greens with just about any beverage.

From there, you can drink Athletic Greens as you wish. Many people use it first thing in the morning, while others sip during the day. For those of you who cringe at sipping a drink like this, and wonder how to make Athletic Greens taste better, we talked earlier about this is one of the green drinks many people find taste good. Using a good tasting, strong flavor juice could help overcome some of the more unpleasant tastes.

How to Make Your Own Athletic Greens

If you don’t think Athletic Greens is worth the price, we have to agree with you. But, you’re not going to be able to make your own drink exactly like this. There are far too many ingredients and many of them are in chemical supplement form.

The good news is a healthy diet will eliminate the need for most of this product and the supplements. It’s actually better to visit an herbalist or nutritionist to get a mix of herbs that will work best for your body. Not everybody needs all of these herbs, even though they are popular.

There are better Athletic Greens alternatives.

Product Comparisons

Athletic Greens vs Texas SuperFood

athletic greens vs texas superfood

Texas SuperFood is a supplement, in pill form, that contains 55 different ingredients of fruits and vegetables. It is vegan and has a good reputation online. It is a bit expensive, cost of nearly as much as Athletic Greens. There are several different varieties that focus on different areas of health, with some focusing more on antioxidants, while others focus on vitamins. There are specialty supplements for brain health, joint support, immune system support among others.

Athletic Greens is a more expensive supplement, but it has more ingredients. However, we believe Texas SuperFood * is slightly better when it comes to their focus on different areas of the body and price.

Athletic Greens vs Patriot Power Greens

athletic greens vs patriot power greens

Originally believed to be developed for the US Military, although there is a debate on this, Patriot Powder Greens focuses on reducing inflammation in the body. The ultimate focus is providing the body with a lot of antioxidants and vitamins that fight that inflammation. It has a lot more probiotics and digestive enzymes that have been proven to work and at quantities that are usable. It does contain appreciable amounts of various fruits and vegetables, especially the sea vegetables like spirulina and seaweeds. It is much lower in cost at $60 for 30 day supply.

This product might have an edge over Athletic Greens, especially in price and the focus on inflammation.

Athletic Greens vs Garden of Life

athletic greens vs garden of life

Garden of Life * is a brand name for a line supplements that you can purchase over the counter. There are many similar ingredients that each product has, but we really can’t compare it to Athletic Greens.

Athletic Greens vs Shakeology

athletic greens vs shakeology

Shakeology falls under the category of supplemental drinks that have gone the way of many others: sub standard nutrition, hyped up multi-level marketing and promises with no substance. In this case, Athletic Greens definitely has the edge. We recommend Athletic Greens for the fact it has so many more nutrients.

Athletic Greens vs Amazing Grass

athletic greens vs amazing grass

Amazing Grass is an organic supplement designed originally to be a beauty supplement. Their focus is grasses, such as wheat grass, barley, and many of the other greens. They have many products to focus on different areas, such as detoxification, digestion, immunity, and just general supplementation. They even have a line of flavorings for water the provide nutrients as well as flavor.

The prices are very good as well, with most of their products being $30 for 30 servings.

For the price and variation you can get, we believe Amazing Grass * to be the better bargain. You do get more nutrition from Athletic Greens, however.

Athletic Greens vs Green Vibrance

athletic greens vs green vibrance

If you can roll all of the supplements we have talked about so far into one, we have to say it was Green Vibrance*. While low on some popular vitamins, it packs a very high amount of herbs and supplements into one drink. It has more digestive enzymes and supportive herbs than Athletic Greens, a better variety of vitamins, but not as focused on brain boosts and energy as Athletic Greens. It is also about half the cost.

What we don’t like about Green Vibrance is there a large mix of herbs with little care of interaction or allergies. For people taking no medication or have few allergies, this product will be good. But, we do not recommend it for people on medication, had allergies, children, or pets.

Athletic Greens vs ItWorks Greens

athletic greens vs itworks greens

Despite being an MLM corporation, we actually like ItWorks Greens *. Their greens product is not nearly as potent to this Athletic Greens, but has a cleaner list of ingredients. It is cheaper, however, you will have to take more of this product to equal Athletic Greens. Comparing the two, we say they are about equal.

Athletic Greens vs Juice Plus

Juice Plus is another MLM company, however, this one actually focuses on the people, not just on making money. Having taken Juice Plus in the past myself, I can testify their products taste good, are cost-effective, and are nutritionally sound. They do not focus on the amount of variety as Athletic Greens, but focusing on being easier to take and more reliable.

This company is also one of the few that has actually published clinical research showing their product is effective. Many supplements claim to have this research, but many of them are done on studies with just a few people. Juice Plus has been published in over 20 Medical journals and has over a hundred clinical studies.

Athletic Greens maybe more potent and contain more ingredients, however, Juice Plus * has the scientific evidence to back up that it works.

Athletic Greens vs Multivitamin

athletic greens vs multivitamin

And finally, we’ll talk about the good old multivitamin. Well, it is a good standby, most multivitamins are cheaply made and poorly absorbed. Even the more expensive and better ones do not provide the nutrition required to keep people healthy. Most nutritionists have moved away from using multivitamins because of their poor track record. Doing the quick Google search will turn up multiple references to sewer plants that fish out millions of multivitamins because they passed through people’s system completely undigested.

If you do choose to use a regular multivitamin *, go with the more expensive varieties that will readily dissolve in a glass of orange juice. At that point, you know the vitamin will break apart in your stomach and you will be able to absorb some of the nutrition. Otherwise, it is a waste of your money.

Where to Buy Athletic Greens

You can buy Athletic Greens products from their official website or from Amazon.com *.

As we mentioned before, Athletic Greens cost a lot more than other supplements. You can get a discount on Athletic Greens by signing up for their monthly program. As far as we’ve been able to find, or a trial before purchasing this product. You can contact customer support at this number: 1-888-390-4029.


We don’t think Athletic Greens is worth the money. At $97 for a 30-day supply, it is very expensive. Too few people have seen true benefits.

Our biggest issue with this product is too few of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals come in quantities that are helpful for the body. Many of the herbs and antioxidants listed are trivial amounts that will do nothing for the body.

If your diet is truly lacking in fruits and vegetables, where you are going on a long trip where reliable, healthy food is not available, this may help you. Otherwise, stick to your healthy fruits and vegetables and don’t worry about this product.

If you liked our article, please share it and use the comment section below for any questions. Thank You!

About the Author: Christina Major is a Holistic Nutritionist, Traditional Naturopath, and Herbalist. She has a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition and an advanced degree in Traditional Naturopathy. Further certifications in herbalism and metabolic typing. She owns and operates Crystal Holistic Health Consulting based in PA, the USA since 2010.

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Leave a Comment:

  • Ryan Noronha says:

    Doesn’t look like you tried it though – or any of the other greens powders (apart from Juice plus).

    • Dima Stukota says:

      Hi, Ryan Noronha!

      Yes, you’re right. We didn’t try and won’t try any kind of powders. The human body isn’t designed to get vitamins and minerals from any kind of powders. It’s designed to get them from fresh fruits and vegetables (the best source). So all the promoted powders neither bring you any benefits but also will harm your body with different harmful toxins.


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