Greens powders seem to be the hype recently, and Athletic Greens seems to be leading the pack. Whether it’s sponsored on a podcast, or a friend and/ or client brings it up, it is certainly a name I keep hearing. So, the timeless question: is AG1 by Athletic Greens worth it? Let’s dive a little deeper.
Here’s what AG1 by Athletic Greens claims to do – and what it actually does
For most greens supplements, it is helpful to be mindful of the claims, as some can be false or gimmicky. On their website and packaging, Athletic Greens claimed that AG1 promotes gut health, boosts immunity, boosts energy, and helps recovery. Here’s a line-by-line comparison of how their claims stack up against their ingredients.
Does AG1 promote gut health?
Yes. AG1 by Athletic Greens contains both prebiotics from the whole food sourced nutrients and two strains of probiotics for gut health.
Does AG1 boost immunity?
Yes. Zinc and Vitamin C are added for immunity, along with vitamin D added as a bonus in certain subscriptions. One common problem with zinc supplements is sometimes it is too high and not paired with copper (these nutrients compete for absorption). In AG1, zinc is not in too large of a dose that it would interfere with copper, and copper is also added to the product.
Does AG1 boost energy?
Yes. AG1 by Athletic Greens contains varying amounts of B vitamins to help with energy metabolism on a cellular level.
Does AG1 by Athletic Greens help recovery?
Maybe. AG1 by Athletic Greens contains magnesium and specific adaptogens such as ashwagandha and reishi mushroom for recovery and stress response support. Magnesium content does, however, seem low compared to what is recommended daily. It is important to look into other supplements and magnesium intake with a trusted practitioner to see if more would be beneficial.
One last thing to note here: AG1 is NSF Certified for Sport, which means it is third party certified that what’s on the label is actually in the product (an important piece when shopping for any supplement).
AG1 by Athletic Greens powder vs. real fruits and vegetables
The biggest difference here comes down to fiber, which is present in real fruits and vegetables but much lower in greens powders. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, 90 percent of Americans do not meet the recommended intake for dietary fiber. I can second that for the most people I see initially in my practice. Fiber has so many benefits including managing blood sugar (it does not spike it because it is not digested by the body), supporting digestion (can add bulk to your stool to make elimination just a bit easier), and hormonal support (can flush out excess estrogen).
The issue I see here is that some people think a greens powder is a complete replacement of fruits and vegetables. In turn, their fiber intake suffers. It is important for consumers to know why fiber is important, and to know that “real” greens can be helpful as an addition to a diverse and balanced diet.
Bioavailability, amounts of nutrients, and quality
There are many aspects that I look for to ensure products contain quality, absorbable nutrients. For B vitamins, I like to ensure that it is methylated for quality absorption. This is because many Americans have difficulty breaking these down due to a genetic variant. This product does contain methylated B12 (methylcobalamin) and folate (5-MTHF).
I also look for chelated minerals, which means it is bound to an amino acid for absorption. This does contain magnesium glycinate, a chelated mineral. All in all, this product contains bioavailable forms of each nutrient, and the powder form makes for a quick absorption.
The bottom line
I just scratched the surface for all of the AG1 by Athletic Greens benefits. It’s comprehensive and really can help you in multiple aspects of your health.
Due to the complexity, consult with your physician to determine any interactions with medications. Like all supplements, it is a nice addition to eating real foods, and it would be helpful to assess over intake and other supplements before starting. Although AG1 is quality and comprehensive, it might not totally be necessary depending on the rest of your nutrition program. Greens powders aren’t magical, but they can certainly be a helpful piece of the puzzle regarding health.