Athletic Greens Review: Is It Worth It? A Dietitian’s Expert Take
Medically Reviewed by Kelsey Masso, MS, RDN
Last Updated on April 7, 2022
Athletic Greens is a green superfood powder that is formulated to support normal energy, immunity, digestive health, and brain function. Though not inexpensive, if you’re seeking an all-in-one supplement to add to your healthy eating and exercise regimen, this could be a great option for you.
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If you’re new to the “drinking your greens” trend, Athletic Greens (AG1) may be a great product for you to try.
Athletic Greens’ products are not just for athletes. Athletic Greens formulated AG1 to be a highly effective, convenient, and nutritionally complete greens supplement for people of any activity level, supporting overall health and body functions at every stage of adult life.
Taken as a powder mixed with water, Athletic Greens claims that AG1 is more easily absorbed, gentler on the stomach, and better utilized by the body than pill-based supplements.
AG1 provides all of the vitamins and minerals of a typical multivitamin. The current formula contains a whopping 75 vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients sourced from whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Being entirely plant-based, AG1 is suitable for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Other considerations have been made to ensure that AG1 is also suitable for ketogenic, low-carbohydrate, and paleo diets.
What makes AG1 different from many supplements is the addition of raw superfoods and extracts, herbs, mushrooms, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, and two types of probiotics.
AG1 is intended to support optimal nutrition and wellness across four key areas including energy, immunity, gut health, and brain and neural function.
One scoop (12 grams) of AG1 powder provides 50 calories, 2 grams of protein, 6 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and a long list of vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients.
Athletic Greens ingredients are divided into five main categories:
Vitamins and Minerals: AG1 includes a long list of vitamins and minerals (micronutrients), making it an acceptable multivitamin replacement for most people.
Alkaline, Nutrient-Dense Raw Superfood Complex, 7,388 mg: Primarily made of green superfoods that may offer protective effects for the liver, maintaining optimal pH balance in the body, and supporting heart health.
Nutrient-Dense Extracts, Herbs, and Antioxidants, 2,732 mg: Contains high-quality pea protein, omega-3 fats, and herbs that may offer supportive benefits for brain health, blood sugar, energy, and concentration.
Digestive Enzyme and Super Mushroom Complex, 154 mg: Made with medicinal mushrooms and natural digestive enzymes that may help support gut health and normal immune response.
Dairy-Free Probiotics, 7.2 billion CFU, 38 mg: Contains two well-studied probiotics that may help support a healthy gut bacterial balance, promote digestive health, and offer antimicrobial benefits.
AG1 bears the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Certified for Sport independent testing seal, which verifies that the product is free from substances that are banned by major athletic organizations.
This seal also represents other quality components and ultimately shows that Athletic Greens has invested in unbiased third-party testing, verifying the quality of its ingredients and label claims.
There is strong evidence of the ingredients in AG1 being successful in supporting energy level, immune function, gut health and digestion, and brain and neural function.
Here are the standout ingredients from each blend that are well known for their health benefits:
Spirulina is a type of algae, a good source of plant-based protein and omega-3 fatty acids with a long history of use. It is rich in the antioxidant phycocyanin and has been observed to have blood-glucose-lowering effects. (1, 2, 3)
Organic Chlorella Root Powder
Chlorella is another type of algae that provides omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and provitamin A. It has been shown to have protective effects on the liver, being beneficial in alleviating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and lowering blood fats. (4)
Pea Protein Isolate
Pea protein has proven to be an excellent option for those who prefer to consume plant-based protein. In fact, research shows that pea protein is equally satiating when compared to whey protein. It also contains all nine essential amino acids that the body requires to maintain regular functions. (5, 6)
Ashwagandha is an herb that is known to be an adaptogen, which means that it may help the body function better under stress. Studies have shown that taking ashwagandha daily can improve resistance to chronic stress, help increase energy and concentration, improve insulin sensitivity, and even improve cognitive function. (7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
Astragalus is an herb that is used in traditional Chinese medicine for many ailments and is considered helpful in promoting longevity. (12) Antioxidants from dried astragalus root can have a protective effect on the heart, brain, kidney, intestine, liver, and lungs. Astragalus may also be effective for protecting against inflammation-related diseases, especially in the digestive tract. (13, 14)
Reishi and Shiitake Mushroom Powders
While all mushrooms are full of micronutrients, reishi and shiitake also have immune-boosting and adaptogenic properties. (18)
Reishi supplementation may be helpful in improving fatigue, anxiety, and quality of life among breast cancer patients. Both reishi and shiitake mushrooms have been studied for their immune-modulating abilities. (19, 20, 21)
This is a blend of two extensively studied probiotics, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, derived from non-dairy sources to help minimize any adverse digestive effects.
Some studies have even found that L. acidophilus can suppress intestinal pathogens, making more room for good bacteria to thrive. (25)
B. bifidum is the most abundant bacteria in the gut microbiota of healthy breastfed infants, suggesting that it plays an enormous role in overall health. (26)
Other studies have confirmed that B. bifidum is a promising enhancer of microbial diversity in the intestine and has a vital role in health. (27)
Below is a summary of the claimed benefits of AG1, with evaluations of the evidence being based on the most current, available research:
|Supports energy||Strong Evidence|
|Supports immune system||Gold Star Evidence|
|Supports gut health and digestion||Gold Star Evidence|
|Supports brain and neural function||Strong Evidence|
AG1 is made to be mixed with water as a drinkable morning supplement, taken before breakfast. AG1 is not a meal replacement shake, meaning it is not made to replace meals and should not be used to do so.
The recommended serving size for AG1 is one scoop of powder (12 grams) per day, mixed with 5–10 ounces of cold water. The instructions suggest drinking it in the morning on an empty stomach for optimal absorption.
One single pouch of AG1 provides 30 servings. However, athletes or those with significant life stressors can take up to two servings per day, according to the AG1 label.
The most commonly reported side effects with some of the ingredients in AG1 include bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and digestive issues that may range in severity.
Additional research on a few individual ingredients found that:
- Spirulina may have blood-thinning effects (28)
- Rhodiola may cause dizziness or dry mouth (29)
- Astragalus may interact with immune suppressant drugs (30)
With so many ingredients in AG1, it’s important for consumers to also scour the label for potential allergens and watch for adverse reactions.
AG1 is free from wheat, dairy, gluten, corn, eggs, yeast, peanuts, animal products, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), harmful chemicals, artificial colors, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and added sugar.
AG1 does contain ingredients derived from soy and may not be safe for those with a soy allergy.
Athletic Greens’ products are not intended for anyone under the age of 18 without the approval of a medical professional. Athletic Greens also does not recommend their products to those who are pregnant or breastfeeding without first consulting a medical professional.
It is always best to talk to your doctor before adding any new dietary supplement to your routine to make sure it’s appropriate for you.
- $99.00 – 30-day pouch
- $109.00 – 30-day supply of the travel packets
- $79.00 – 30-day pouch, plus a free starter kit which includes a premium jar and shaker bottle
- $89.00 – 30-day supply of the travel packets
AG1 can be purchased directly from Athletic Greens. (AG1 is also available on Amazon but at a much higher price.)
There is a 60-day money-back guarantee on the Athletic Greens website. This allows you to initiate a full refund process if you’re not satisfied with the product within the first 60 days of purchase.
While there are many superfood blends and green drinks, Athletic Greens appears to go above and beyond in terms of its nutritional makeup and ingredient list.
Comparing this formulation to a common daily multivitamin supplement, Centrum Women’s One-A-Day Multivitamin, most of the micronutrients are either comparable or included in higher amounts in AG1.
Another superfood powder, Vibrant Health Green Vibrance, is one competitor that has a long list of similar ingredients, including sea vegetables, antioxidant superfoods, prebiotics, adaptogens, and enzymes. It also has 500% of the DV for vitamin D and contains 20% of the DV for iron.
Organifi uses all USDA organic plant-based ingredients, and all three products emphasize superfoods, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and adaptogens as the main components in their formulation.
While these products contain some similar ingredients to AG1, their ingredient lists are much shorter. Additionally, while they may be reputable alternative products, none bear a third-party testing seal. This is notable as third-party testing is a selling point in favor of AG1.
Fewer ingredients and a lack of third-party testing may be why these products are priced substantially lower than AG1—some are one-third of the price for 30 servings.
Ultimately, AG1 is a more comprehensive greens supplement, with a greater number of ingredients and micronutrients as well as superior quality testing, compared to similar alternatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does AG1 (Athletic Greens) replace a multivitamin?
If you’re wondering if AG1 can replace your multivitamin, the answer is maybe.
As previously mentioned, AG1 offers comparable macronutrient amounts to some daily multivitamins. However, it is low or absent in a few vitamins and minerals that may be important for some people to get from a supplemental source.
If you currently take a daily multivitamin or other vitamin and mineral supplements, I recommend comparing the labels to the AG1 label to identify any nutritional differences. Not only is it important to make sure you receive the micronutrients you need, but also to make sure you’re not getting too much.
If you decide to choose AG1, you should not take it with another daily multivitamin. While there is a low risk of toxicity from the nutrients present in a typical diet, getting too much of certain vitamins or minerals from supplements, like vitamins A and E, can be unhealthy and even toxic over time.
If you’re concerned about certain nutrients missing from AG1, like iodine or vitamin D, I wouldn’t rely on AG1 in place of your current supplements unless you’ve also opted to purchase the AG D3+K2 add-on.
What does AG1 taste like?
Many consumer reviews report that AG1 is the best tasting greens product that they have tried.
Athletic Greens states that they have spent a lot of time considering the taste for the consumer. According to the manufacturer, AG1 tastes like a combination of papaya, broccoli, cherry, carrot, pineapple, and vanilla that comes together in a slightly sweet, fruity flavor.
Some consumers share that it has an earthy, grassy taste that is more typical of a green drink, which takes some time to get used to. However, taking it regularly may help with palatability, as with introducing any new flavor to your diet.
What are the benefits of Athletic Greens?
The main benefit of AG1 is that it offers a comprehensive list of micronutrients and health-promoting plant compounds in one simple scoop of powder. So, for people looking to add more greens to their diet, as well as probiotics, digestive enzymes, adaptogens, and antioxidants, this is a one-stop shop.
Athletic Greens uses many ingredients that have some scientific research with evidence supporting their inclusion. These particular ingredients may provide benefits including support for normal digestion, immune response, gut health, and overall well-being.
How do you use Athletic Greens?
Mix one 12-gram scoop of AG1 into a liquid of your choice. It goes well with plain water, but you can also add it to smoothies, juice, or milk.
For optimal mixing, always add liquid to your drinking glass or bottle before adding the power.
Athletic Greens recommends taking the product first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
The AG1 pouch should be refrigerated after opening to help keep the probiotics alive.
How can you get the most out of Athletic Greens?
The way to get the most out of your AG1 powder is to take it consistently. To remain consistent with the product, find a way to make it taste good to you.
You might like the powder just as it is, but if you want to adjust the flavor, AG1 recommends mixing the powder with 50/50 water and apple juice to add a bit of sweetness. You can also add it to smoothies, which will cover up some of the "green" flavor.
Modifying the taste to your liking will help you to enjoy it and want to keep using it.
Take AG1 first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, and keep the product refrigerated after opening.
AG1 is a nutrient-packed, all-in-one supplement with an extensive list of vitamins and minerals and a wide variety of health-promoting ingredients.
As a dietitian, I typically recommend that people prioritize getting their nutrition from a diet based predominantly on whole, plant foods before considering supplementation, unless otherwise advised by a doctor.
However, many busy adults don’t eat enough green vegetables or raw superfoods as they should for optimal health. For this reason, it is fine to complement a healthy diet with a comprehensive supplement like AG1.
Backed by research and third-party testing, AG1 seems to be a good quality choice for those seeking a drinkable product that has the potential to replace a daily multivitamin and many superfood supplements.
Ultimately, whether you consider yourself an athlete or you have a more average level of activity, at any stage of adulthood, AG1 may serve to support your overall health and well-being.
At WellnessVerge, we only use primary references for our articles, including peer reviewed medical journals or well-respected academic institutions.
- Growth and biopigment accumulation of cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis at different light intensities and temperature:
- Antiinflammatory and antihyperalgesic activity of C-phycocyanin:
- Role of Spirulina in the Control of Glycemia and Lipidemia in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus:
- The Effect of Chlorella vulgaris Supplementation on Liver En-zymes, Serum Glucose and Lipid Profile in Patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:
- The Short-Term Effect of Whey Compared with Pea Protein on Appetite, Food Intake, and Energy Expenditure in Young and Older Men:
- Isolation and study of the functional properties of pea proteins:
- An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda:
- A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults:
- Steroidal lactones from Withania somnifera, an ancient plant for novel medicine:
- Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions:
- Hypoglycemic activity of withanolides and elicitated Withania somnifera:
- Anti-Aging Implications of Astragalus Membranaceus (Huangqi): A Well-Known Chinese Tonic:
- The Antioxidant Effects of Radix Astragali (Astragalus membranaceus and Related Species) in Protecting Tissues from Injury and Disease:
- Astragalus membranaceus: A Review of its Protection Against Inflammation and Gastrointestinal Cancers:
- Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications:
- Proteolytic activity and immunogenicity of oral bromelain within the gastrointestinal tract of mice:
- Bromelain has paradoxical effects on blood coagulability: a study using thromboelastography:
- Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom:
- Cellular and molecular mechanisms of immuno-modulation by Ganoderma lucidum:
- Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life:
- Spore Powder of Ganoderma lucidum Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Endocrine Therapy: A Pilot Clinical Trial:
- The life history of Lactobacillus acidophilus as a probiotic: a tale of revisionary taxonomy, misidentification and commercial success:
- Impact of a probiotic product on bowel habits and microbial profile in participants with functional constipation: A randomized controlled trial:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus: characterization of the species and application in food production:
- Effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus on gut microbiota composition in broilers challenged with Clostridium perfringens:
- Bifidobacterium bifidum: A Key Member of the Early Human Gut Microbiota:
- Oral administration of Bifidobacterim bifidum for modulating microflora, acid and bile resistance, and physiological indices in mice:
- Anticoagulant activity of a sulfated polysaccharide from the green alga Arthrospira platensis: