Most greens powders straight up suck. I’ve tried a number of them over the years and while they typically each possess some good qualities, I’m yet to encounter one that doesn’t have something that’s wrong with it. For example, the ones that actually have a good ingredient profile typically taste awful, and the ones that taste half-decent are lacking in the ingredient profile. That’s why I was pumped when I recently tried out the highly touted Athletic Greens; it is the first greens supplement I’ve tried that tastes pretty good and has a great nutritional profile. Before we get into the specifics of that product, let’s talk briefly about why greens supplements can be useful.
If you’re anything like me, chances are that you’ve probably consumed a ridiculous amount of meat and protein in your quest to get jacked. This is typically a good thing and you should absolutely keep it up if your goal is to gain muscle. But it isn’t always the best thing for your body if you are doing it without consuming an appropriate amount of other healthy foods such as vegetables and fruits. While this imbalance may not result in an immediate problem, it will ultimately lead to less than optimal health and not so stellar results in the gym.
Nowadays I’m generally better about eating a more balanced diet, but there are still times when I’m not so good and don’t eat as well as I should. That’s part of the reason I’ve always been fascinated by greens powders. These powders typically contain a crapload of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more healthy ingredients than you can name. They can be a great alternative or “insurance policy” if you aren’t eating as many fruits and veggies as you should be because they will help provide some of the nutrients you’d normally get from the whole foods. Let’s be clear-they are by no means a replacement or substitution for a healthy diet, but they are a great supplement to ensure you are getting your body the fuel it needs to perform.
I’ve tried several powders in the past few years and have yet to find one I wanted to stick with for a long period of time until now. I recently finished my first bottle of Athletic Greens and it is without question the best greens powder I’ve tried. What makes it the best? Let’s start with a few simple bullet points and then get into more detail for anybody who cares to read.
Top notch ingredient profile – 70+ whole food derived ingredients in more significant dosages compared to most greens supplements. No artificial anything, no GMO, etc.
Decent taste – Most greens powders are repulsive; this one is decent when simply mixed with water (don’t expect an ultra high quality greens powder to taste amazing…if it does it likely doesn’t have as many of the nutrients as it should)
Noticeable improvement in energy – I’ve been working too damn much recently and haven’t been as energetic as normal. After about 7-10 days of taking this stuff my energy levels improved despite my sleep (or lack thereof) remaining the same.
As I mentioned above, greens powders typically taste awful and that’s part of the reason I was so pumped on Athletic Greens; it actually tastes halfway decent when mixed with just water. I opted to try a few different recipes that ended up making it substantially more tasty. I stuck with the recommendation on the bottle and consumed AG first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
My favorite mix is: 1 tablespoon (12g) of Athletic Greens, 8 oz. of water, 2 oz. of Odwalla Original Superfood (their greens smoothie that actually tastes really sweet), and 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder. That ends up being pretty tasty and makes taking down the greens a treat and not a pain in the ass. Plus it’s a kick ass way to start the day!
The toughest thing to swallow with Athletic Greens is the price. Such a high quality product does NOT come cheaply. A single bottle without signing up for subscription is $127. If you sign up for the loyalty program (aka monthly subscription), it comes out to $97/month. Still not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.
Before you stop reading one thing to take into consideration: because it is such a comprehensive formula you don’t need to spend money on any complementary products like you do with other greens formulas. I don’t feel the need to take any multivitamins or probiotics while on this stuff. That alone would cost me $60+/month for high quality products, so it isn’t as daunting as it sounds. And when you think about it in terms of cost per day (~$4.23/day or $3.23 on subscription) it isn’t nearly as bad. Hell, that’s actually relatively cheap compared to the fancy juices they sell at Whole Foods that will run you $6+/bottle.
Let me make it abundantly clear that you should always aim to get in the vast majority of your nutrients from organic whole foods in their natural form. The important word in that previous sentence is should; you and I both know that despite our best efforts we are almost never perfect. And that’s totally cool. Not many people have the time, resources, or willpower to be perfect 100% of the time. And that’s when high quality supplements can be very effective; they help us make the best out of an imperfect situation by giving us the nutrients we need to accomplish our goals.
I think Athletic Greens is a fantastic product for general health and wellness. Will it boost your bench press or help you pack on 10 lbs of muscle immediately? Hell nah. Will it make you into a superhuman? Definitely not. But I can say that it will definitely boost your energy levels, improve digestion, and supply you with a solid amount of excellent vitamins, minerals, superfoods and nutrients that will make you feel great and get sick less often.
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