What’s the Scoop on Greens Powder Supplements?

by Marissa Sheldon, MPH

Greens powders, such as AG1 by Athletic Greens, have experienced a surge in popularity, largely due to endorsements from social media influencers. These supplements contain a blend of various “superfoods” and additional nutrients, claiming that a single scoop mixed into a beverage provides at least one full serving of vegetables along with an array of vitamins and minerals. The promoted health benefits of such products include increased energy, enhanced immunity, improved gut health, and clearer skin. 

AG1, in particular, boasts a formula with over 75 ingredients, ranging from basic vitamins and minerals to superfoods like alfalfa, artichoke, and spirulina, as well as probiotics, digestive enzymes, and adaptogens such as ashwagandha and shiitake mushroom. However, concerns have been raised about the safety of these products. According to MD Anderson Cancer Center, greens powders like AG1 may contain heavy metals and provide an excessive amount of nutrients that could surpass what is safe for the body to handle. In addition to these potential risks, some users of AG1 have reported experiencing digestive issues such as an upset stomach, bloating, and diarrhea, which might be attributed to the inclusion of probiotics or inulin in the powder. To minimize these effects, it is recommended to start with a smaller quantity of the powder and gradually increase to the full serving. 

Despite their popularity and various health claims, the effectiveness and safety of greens powders, including AG1, remain under scrutiny. Therefore, it is advised to proceed with caution and consult healthcare professionals before incorporating such supplements into your diet.

What are greens powders?

The pros and cons of AG1
Please note: The majority of peer-reviewed research articles on AG1 and other greens powders are industry-sponsored.

What are the purported health benefits of greens powders?

What are the best brands out there?

* = industry-sponsored research

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