The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that only one in 10 adults meet their recommended fruit and veggie intake each day. Sorry, Mom.
While the best way to meet our dietary needs is by eating nutritious whole foods, “green powders” can be a great way to compensate for deficiencies in your diet and cover your nutritional bases. But with new green powders popping up on the internet every day, it can be hard to know where to start.
Especially when most greens powders have a few problems.
(Note, while we use the term ‘greens powder’ or ‘greens drink,’ these are interchangable with a host of other common names and clever marketing phrases, like ‘superfood drink,’ or whatever.)
First of all, most of them taste like wet grass. This is probably the worst-tasting category of supplement. Historically all of them tasted terrible, and it’s only in the last few years that better-tasting formulations have cropped up.
But many of the most popular greens powders still taste terrible.
Second, most of them are wet grass.
With greens powders, we assume that since they’re green and taste bad, they must be good for us. This is simply not true.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with different grasses as ingredients, most of them include a ton of grasses that are inexpensive and provide minimal nutritional value. Meanwhile, they skimp out on the real superfoods.
Along these lines many use “proprietary blends.”
A proprietary blend is a product lists all of the ingredients, but don’t share the dose. They only share the dose of the blend overall. This means they can say it has superfoods like blueberries and kale in the product, but only put a negligible amount in.
With a propietary blend, you don’t know how much of what you’re getting. Even the most popular products on the market (like the one that sponsors every health podcast out there) do this.
That’s why we’re here. In this article, we cover the health benefits of green powders, what you should look for in a green powder product, and our top picks for the best green powder supplements on the market.
Green powders supplements are powders that generally contain a mix of green superfoods (hence the name) like whole food-sourced fruits and vegetables. Many contain other ingredients too, like probiotics, prebiotic fiber, and micronutrients like vitamins C, K, B, D, and more. They also may have extra added superfoods like spirulina.
There’s a wide variance in what you’ll find in a greens powder, but fruit and vegetable powders are the foundation.
They’re largely popular because of their convenience. Just one green powder drink can help meet your recommended fruit and veggie intake for the day. In today’s fast-paced world, green powders can be a quick and easy way to ensure you are getting your nutritional needs met.
The best green powder supplements often contain various probiotic strains and are high in fiber, both of which are good for your gut. Fiber plays an important role in softening stool so it can pass through the digestive tract. Probiotics play a role in maintaining a healthy gut.
It’s no secret that vegetables are, well, good for you. Regular veggie consumption has been linked to better heart health and a lowered risk of heart disease. Since most green powders are loaded with nutrients from veggies, adding a green powder supplement to your diet might improve your heart health.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria that benefit not only the gut but the immune system too. Probiotics have been shown to help enhance immune function and prevent disease. They also can reduce inflammation, which is a leading cause of chronic illness.
Green powders might contribute to weight loss. Research suggests that consuming fruits like berries can reduce blood sugar-related hunger pangs and therefore lead to weight loss. A green powder containing fruit and berry powders might help you feel fuller for longer. However, this is more of a speculative benefit. It’s more likely to indirectly support weight loss by supporting your vitality and overall health.
All right, now let’s get into the list.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
There are a few aspects that make this greens powder the best available.
This is the best-tasting greens powder on the market. It tastes legitimately good with just water. You don’t need to mix it with other ingredients, juices, or sweeteners. Nor will you get sick of it, since all of the flavors (blueberry acai, pineapple mango, and cranberry apple) are on point. We promise, you will look forward to drinking it.
How? Nutrigen includes sucralose. Many products concern themselves with making it “all-natural” so they can include the popular marketing claim. However, sucralose has shown little actual health downsides, if any.
Next, its overall quality is bar-none, and you know exactly how much you’re getting of each ingredient. There are NO grasses in Morphogen. Their label says it all. TWO FULL GRAMS of superfood ingredients like blueberry, broccoli, kale, spirulina, tart cherry, and other superfoods, simply, you won’t find in any other greens product.
It also contains digestive enzymes and ProDURA® probiotics.
We’d go as far to say that one scoop of Nutrigen has more nutritional value than two scoops of most products.
You may pay a bit more overall, but keep in mind you’ll only need one scoop, and that each scoop is packed with nutritional value.
Kaged Outlive 100 also has the same elements that make it a top-tier greens product.
Outlive comes in apple cinnamon and berry flavors and they’re both delicious with water.
Kaged is completely transparent with their labeling. They also include dozens of superfoods at effective doses. The difference is that, if you compare it to Morphogen, the doses are smaller for most of those superfoods. But they include adaptogens like KSM-66® ashwagandha root.
Outlive is vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and NSF-approved for sport. It’s sweetened with stevia.
Okay, first of all Transparent Labs checks the first two boxes of our top two recs. First, it tastes good. Their peach mango flavor is solid, but it’s a tier below Kaged and Morphogen. It’s sweetened with stevia.
Second, it has a transparent label and no proprietary blends. But the ingredients are different, and really, different than any product out there.
Rather than green vegetables like broccoli and kale, this product uses acquatic, green algae like spirulina and chlorella. These are definitely quality superfoods, but you’re not going to get the same diversity as other products. It also focuses on fiber, sourced from chicory root, organic acacia, and organic Jerusalem artichoke.
Naked Nutrition keeps its green powder simple with just ten ingredients, including organic greens like broccoli, alfalfa grass, kale, spinach, and wheatgrass, as well as spirulina, ashwagandha, Panax ginseng, prebiotics, and probiotics. It’s made in the USA and is free of soy, gluten, additives, artificial sweeteners, added sugars, colors, and flavors. So if you’re looking for clean and transparent nutrition, Naked Nutrition Green Superfood Powder is a good pick for you.
This one, like most DOES NOT taste good on its own. It has no sweetener. It’s made to mix into a smoothie. So if you’re looking for a minimalist option to add to other drinks, this one’s for you.
Its scoop is only 7 grams, so it goes great with a protein powder shake.
It seems like anyone who’s on social media has already heard of Athletic Greens AG1. Of all green powders, it is likely the most popular among athletes and health enthusiasts. Okay, listen, Athletic Greens is a great product. We wrote about Athletic Greens way back in 2011. At the time there were very few quality greens products.
It tastes great, although our top two options are a good bit ahead on the taste front.
Another benefit, that no other product above it has, is added vitamins and minerals. In that sense AG is like a greens powder and multivitamin combined. However, greens powder always have naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, which are arguably more bioavailable, so it’s hard to say how valuable that really is.
It has a LOT of amazing ingredients, however, many of them are in a proprietary blend, so that’s the first knock on Athletic Greens. Compared to other products, we just don’t know what the doses are.
Second, it’s very expensive, and you have to get a subscription. Only 30 servings costs you just shy of $100.
Still, it’s one of the best greens products out there.
Nested Naturals Super Greens Original is another product that checks many of our “green powder supplement” boxes. It is Certified USDA organic, making it one of the only certified organic greens powders. Plus, it contains a variety of ingredients, from an alkalizing greens blend containing chlorella to an enzyme blend containing amylase. You can get a bottle containing 30 or 60 servings for an affordable cost.
However, it’s made with propietary blends, so we don’t know how much value each ingredient provides.
It has the usual green powder ingredients, like barley grass and other leafy greens (shocker), fruits, digestive enzymes, spirulina, and powerful nutrients and antioxidants.
The taste is below average.
If you’re looking for a green powder with raw, organic ingredients, Raw Organic Perfect Food Green Superfood Original Powder might be the perfect fit for you (sorry). It’s Certified USDA organic, certified gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and made of all raw ingredients. It contains a greens blend made of freshly juiced greens, a fruits and veggies blend, a sprouts blend, and a probiotic and enzyme blend. Each bottle contains 30 servings.
It tastes bad. You’ll want to mix it with something like a protein powder shake or juice.
Amazing Grass Super Greens Powder, formerly known as the highly popular Amazing Grass Green Superfood, is another great green juice option. Its ingredient list contains an array of organic ingredients, from acai berry and beet root to barley grass and wheatgrass. Plus, just one scoop provides over half of your recommended vitamin K intake. You can choose a bottle that offers 30, 60, or 100 servings.
Again, the taste is not great.
The supplement industry isn’t FDA-regulated, which can make finding a reputable supplement challenging. That’s why we only select companies that adhere to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations and have their products third-party tested. Additional certifications are a plus.
So many green powder supplements use proprietary blends. With so many superfood ingredients packed into one powder, I can see why. That being said, we prioritized companies that provided transparency about what ingredients (and how much of each ingredient) are in its product. We also made sure the products we selected were free of any junk you don’t need, like additives and preservatives.
Just because grass is green doesn’t mean it has the same nutritional value as other green superfoods. We looked for nutrient-dense ingredients, at effective doses. A full two grams of blueberry is something you’ll only find in Morphogen.
On the flip side, we avoided products that may contain excessive heavy metals and contaminants. Every product on the list is dairy-free, because dairy shouldn’t be in a greens product.
Of course, cost is a factor too. Nobody wants to spend $100 on a greens supplement, yet many companies charge close to that. The overall dose matters here too. If you need two scoops to get the same benefits as you can in one with other products, that matters.
Green powders are considered safe with no known side effects. That being said, it is important to review all of the ingredients before trying a green powder supplement to avoid any allergic reactions.
Yes! Green powders are a safe and simple way for pregnant women to add nutritional foods to their diets. However, it is always best to check with a health professional before adding supplements to your diet.
Proprietary blends refer to a unique blend of ingredients that are combined in a dietary supplement. Companies often trademark their proprietary blend and market it like a “secret” recipe you can’t get elsewhere. This is great for marketing, but not for consumers. The downside for us is that it’s impossible to know the quantity of each ingredient provided. Therefore, it’s hard to know how much value a proprietary blend truly provides.
Green powders are super popular, but are they worth it? It depends on how you use them. Green powders are a rich source of antioxidants and nutrients that you might be missing in your day-to-day diet. Because of this, they are great for compensating for nutritional deficiencies when you’re in a pinch. That being said, green powders are not a replacement for nutritious whole foods. They should be used as a way to add nutritional foods to your diet, not as a sole source of a healthy diet.
Well, first you should buy a better-tasting product. Barring that, you can make your greens with other supplements. If you have a delicious amino acids drink you like, you can mix some of that into your greens to give some sweetness. If the scoop is small enough, you can mix your greens into a protein powder shake.
“Detoxify” doesn’t actually mean anything to begin with, as it’s just a marketing term. But greens will support your overall nutrition.
Note: we are not doctors, we don’t pretend to be on the internet. Talk to your healthcare provider or nutritionist before taking any supplement.