In our experience, we found that Athletic Greens’ comparatively high cost was 100% worth it based on its level of ingredients, testing, taste, and ease of use. While no greens powder or multivitamin is a replacement for a healthy diet, Athletic Greens does fill nutritional gaps and offered our reviewers a boost in energy, cognitive function, focus, and immunity. It was easy on the gut, compatible with vegan, Paleo, and Keto diets, and is free of most common allergens.
60-day money-back guarantee
Vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, and Keto-friendly
Free of common allergens, GMOs, and preservatives
Easy and convenient to use
More ingredients than most competitors
Easy on the digestive system
NSF Certified for Sport
Pricier than many competitors
Less adaptable than using individual supplements
Hard to determine how much of each ingredient you’re getting
Whether you’re an athlete, student, busy mom, or business executive, there are many reasons you might be interested in nutritional supplements–and you’re far from alone. The global dietary supplements market grew by 26.9% in 2020 and is far from slowing down. Why?
The COVID-19 pandemic set off waves of growth in the industry, as more and more people found themselves isolated and with less access to gyms and in-person therapy (not to mention food shortages). Enter greens powders, supplements made of powdered fruits, vegetables, and plant-based nutrients with easy absorption by the body and digestive tract.
While greens powders like Athletic Greens have been on the market for decades, they’ve recently catapulted to the forefront of the industry. Are these products worth it, and are they better than traditional multivitamins? Read our full review below to see our thoughts on Athletic Greens’ efficacy, taste, safety, and affordability.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.
We extensively test each health service or product we review. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health options, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate products and services based on their adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?
Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
Athletic Greens is one of many greens powders on the market offering supplements in the form of dried, plant-based ingredients that are dissolved in water and consumed daily. It promotes gut health, immunity support, increased energy, and mental clarity for athletes and non-athletes alike. Think of this powder as a catch-all for your nutritional supplementation, replacing the need for daily multivitamins, probiotics, and herbal extracts.
What makes Athletic Greens stand apart from the competition is the sheer number of ingredients (75) in its proprietary blend, including 21 vitamins and minerals, whole-food sourced nutrients, probiotics, and adaptogens.
Founded by Chris Ashendon in 2010, New Zealand-based Athletic Greens also boasts extensive testing and is NSF Certified for Sport, which means that it does not contain any substances banned by the USADA, MLB, NHL, and other professional sports organizations. All of its products are manufactured in a TGA-registered, NSF GMP Registered facility, setting its standards high above the competition.
One daily serving of Athletic Greens (AG1) provides 50 calories, 6 g total carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, and 2 g protein. AG1 powder is free of gluten, eggs, nuts, and dairy and has no sugar added. It contains no GMOs, herbicides, pesticides, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners. It is vegan, Paleo and Keto-friendly, and formulated with high-quality organic and non-organic ingredients.
Athletic Greens has several purported benefits, including boosted energy, recovery, aided digestion, and immunity support. While there are no direct studies on Athletic Greens, several of the company’s claims are supported by clinical trials on the efficacy of greens powders and vitamin and mineral supplements.
According to two studies from 2006 and 2009 that examined the effects of fruit and vegetable powder mixes, results showed that systolic and diastolic blood pressure in subjects decreased significantly after taking powder supplements for 90 days, but body weight was not affected.
In looking at Athletic Greens’ claims of increased energy and mental clarity, this 2020 study showed that supplementing individuals with vitamins and minerals resulted in health benefits in the areas of mental and physical fatigue and cognitive and psychological functions.
While supplemental products like Athletic Greens are no substitute for a healthy diet composed of vitamin- and nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and fiber, they can benefit those suffering from deficiencies and boost overall energy while helping lower blood pressure.
To take Athletic Greens, simply shake each packet with 8 ounces of water (or cold liquid of your choice) and drink it on an empty stomach to kick off your day.
One standard serving of Athletic Greens comprises a 12 g scoop, which you can blend with water or in a smoothie, juice, or milk. Athletic Greens suggests adding the liquid first and then the powder, which allows the powder to mix more easily. After opening, you should refrigerate your AG1 powder to preserve the integrity and efficacy of the probiotics within the mixture. Individual travel packs are single-use and do not need to be refrigerated. We recommend waiting 10-30 minutes after drinking AG1 before eating to ensure prime nutrient absorption.
Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients included in each serving and how they promote better health and benefit digestion, immunity, physical energy, and cognition. Athletic Greens breaks down its 75 ingredients into five categories:
The 21 vitamins and minerals included in a serving of AG1 cover the bases of traditional multivitamins, including several B vitamins in doses over 100% of the Daily Value. B vitamins have proven in clinical trials to benefit mood in healthy and at-risk individuals. Other vitamins topping over 100% of the Daily Value include vitamins C, E, niacin, and zinc.
AG1's proprietary Alkaline, Nutrient-Dense Raw Superfood Complex provides 7388 mg of plant-based antioxidants purported to equal 12 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Headlining these ingredients is spirulina, which has demonstrated anticancer, antiviral, and antiallergic effects in clinical trials, as well as organic wheat grass powder and green tea extract.
Probiotics support gut health, immunity, and enhanced nutrient absorption. Ingredients in this category include Lactobacillus acidophilus (UALa-01) and Bifidobacterium bifidum (UABb-10).
AG1's potent plant extracts, herbs, and antioxidants provide additional support, including adaptogens like ashwagandha, shown to safely reduce stress and anxiety in adults. It also includes vitamin K2, which supports bone and cardiovascular health and is undergoing studies for its positive impacts on brain, vision, and joint health.
Several ingredients in AG1's Digestive Enzyme & Super Mushroom Complex, such as astragalus extract, reishi mushroom powder, and shitake mushroom powder, comprise an entire supplement field in and of themselves for their support of a healthy immune system, stress reduction, and improvement in sleep. These ingredients are constantly undergoing new clinical trials based on their broad spectrum of pharmacological activities, including potential cancer prevention.
Our conclusion? Athletic Greens packs one great big punch in covering the gamut of supplements in a daily dose. While some customers may prefer to have more control over each individual supplement, the cost/benefit of getting all of these clinically proven nutrients in one place makes it more than worth it in our eyes.
Greens powders are not renowned for their taste, but based on our testing, AG1 stands apart from the competition in this regard. Our reviewers praised its remarkably mild taste with hints of papaya, cherry, pineapple, and vanilla, as well as notes of ginger. It is lightly sweetened with stevia.
This may not be a “pleasure beverage,” but compared with the other greens drinks we’ve tried, we found it far more palatable, and even better when blended with a 50/50 mix of apple juice and water.
In the world of supplements, which the FDA does not regulate, Athletic Greens' best selling point is its NSF Certification. This certification means that an independent third party tests each product to ensure there are no unsafe levels of heavy metals or other contaminants. While you might find a greens product for half the cost of AG1, you'll be hard-pressed to find one with such extensive good manufacturing practices.
Athletic Greens is safe for adults over 18 with a variety of lifestyles, from athletes to those following specialty diets. It is unsuitable for children or pregnant or nursing women without prior medical advice. Additionally, AG1 is free of most common food allergens, making it safer than many greens powder competitors.
A small percentage of people have experienced temporary stomach upset when beginning their AG1 regimen. For those individuals, Athletic Greens suggests starting with a lower dose (1 teaspoon) for four days, increasing to 2 teaspoons for four days, and then moving up to the full scoop each day.
Most customers discontinue taking daily vitamins with AG1, as the product contains greater quantities of nutrients than most daily multivitamins and is more readily absorbed by the body.
You can purchase Athletic Greens products individually or through the company’s subscription service, which offers significant savings. All products are available for purchase through the company website or Amazon.
Subscriptions can be personalized for delivery every 15, 30, 45, or 60 days and can be modified, paused, or canceled at any time. To alter your subscription, simply contact customer service via phone, chat, or email.
You can also purchase AG1 in individual travel packs for easy, on-the-go consumption. These single-use packets do not need to be refrigerated, making them more convenient when traveling.
Athletic Greens accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and PayPal. Delivery in the US, Canada, and Australia costs a flat rate of $9 per shipment. Shipment rates vary by country in Europe.
Athletic Greens offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you're not satisfied with the product, simply contact customer service within 60 days of your first order for a full refund.
Athletic Greens is not applicable for HSA, FSA, or health insurance.
At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service or product. But in general for health products and services, we have five broad areas that we explore in our evaluations, including:
Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telemedical or teletherapy services, is the quality of the service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not? For health products, does the product or device meet a high level of safety? Is it manufactured with high quality standards? Has it – or have its ingredients -- been subjected to effective studies that confirm effectiveness?
User-friendly: How intuitive and convenient is the service or product? Does the device, program, app, or website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?
Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure? Does a company market your information?
Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service or product ideal for you or address your individual needs?