Are green powders a waste of money, or do they really work? Green powders promise you can get many superfood fruits and vegetables in one convenient drink. Yet, are green powder drinks just a gimmick or are they actually effective?
Most green powders are on the expensive side, and the last thing you want to do is spend your hard-earned money on something that doesn’t work, especially when you might be able to take just a regular multivitamin without any difference.
But many aren’t eating enough vegetables daily, so drinking a greens powder could benefit someone who doesn’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Also, it would not be easy to eat dozens of different superfood fruits and vegetables daily.
Here I’ll break down whether a greens supplement is worth it or a total waste of money. You’ll discover the pros, cons, benefits, and possible side effects of taking a greens powder. Finally, and most importantly, if it really works.
Do Green Powders Replace Vegetables
According to this report, only 1 in 10 Americans eats enough vegetables daily. A lack of vegetables in your diet can result in weight gain, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. You could also have more gut issues, low energy, and worsening mood by eating enough vegetables daily.
So if you’re not eating enough vegetables, will taking a greens powder replace all the lost vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber? It’s fair to say that drinking a greens powder isn’t the same and isn’t as good as eating all the superfood fruits and vegetables in their fresh form. But it’s also fair to say that most aren’t realistically going to eat dozens of different superfood fruits and vegetables every day.
If you’re not eating enough vegetables every day and looking to optimize your health, then taking a greens supplement can be beneficial. It will surely be better than taking nothing at all, especially if you aren’t eating enough vegetables. Sure, you’re not getting the full benefits of eating the whole fruit or vegetable, but you will still be consuming their vital vitamins and minerals.
Plus, many fruits contain sugars that could take away some health benefits. However, since greens powders extract the micronutrients and leave out the sugars, you’ll be sparing your body from them. Regarding adherence, it’s a lot easier to drink one convenient super greens juice every day than to continually eat dozens and dozens of whole fruits and veggies every day.
So depending on the greens powder, it can be worth it, mainly if you aren’t already eating enough vegetables and are looking to optimize your health. Green powders aren’t a complete replacement for eating whole vegetables, but it is better than nothing if you’re not eating enough or don’t want to cook and buy them at the store.
Benefits of Green Powders
Aside from the benefits of eating enough vegetables daily, green powders offer other benefits you might not otherwise get. They are a great way to get a nutrient-dense, low-calorie meal or snack. It’s better to drink a greens powder than to eat a Twinkie when you feel like a snack.
Greens powder supplements contain abundant antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that can boost your health. Your body will have an easier time digesting and absorbing greens powder’s nutrients than a regular synthetic multivitamin. Some of the benefits of taking green powders include:
Weight Loss: Many people turn to green supplements to lose weight. While they don’t directly influence weight loss, they can support the systems in your body and promote it.
Green supplements help with weight loss in a few ways. First, they help to detoxify the body and eliminate toxins that can hinder weight loss. Most green powders have spirulina which has been found to help remove toxins, heavy metals, and pollutants from the body. Heavy metals and toxins can build up your body, throwing off your hormones and promoting weight gain.
Green powder supplements usually contain adaptogens that help your body internally adapt to stressors. Chronic stress can disrupt your hormones and cause cortisol, which will promote the storage of belly fat. The better your body can adapt to stress, the less likely it will mess with your health and waistline.
Better Gut Health: Greens powders usually contain a blend of gut-boosting ingredients like prebiotic fiber, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. Prebiotic fiber helps to create a friendly environment for a healthy gut microbiome to flourish. It will also aid in digestion and waste elimination. Probiotics are beneficial gut bacteria that improve digestion, making it easier to break down and absorb food nutrients. Digestive enzymes also help to make it easier for your body to break down foods it would otherwise have trouble with. For example, constipation, bloating, gas, and diarrhea can all be improved when taking these ingredients.
Stronger Immune System: 80% of your immune system is in your gut, so by improving your gut health, you’ll also improve your immune system. Having a robust immune system can keep you healthy and feeling strong. Your gut-brain axis will also benefit. Your gut is known as your “second brain” for the close relationship to two have. If your gut is out-of-whack, it’ll send hunger signals to your brain, craving to eat junk foods.
Better Skin Complexion: The antioxidants and polyphenols in green powders help to lower inflammation in the body and on your skin. As you strengthen your immune system, you’ll reduce skin inflammation making your skin appear better. Green powders also alkalize the body and help to fight inflammation. Antioxidants will also fight off damage-causing free radicals in your body that can break down skin collagen.
Improved Energy Levels and Mood: One of the driving causes of fatigue is micronutrient deficiencies. When you start becoming deficient in vitamins and minerals, your body will not be able to operate to its full capabilities. Then your body won’t produce as much energy as before since your mitochondria aren’t properly fueled. Your energy levels will dip, and you’ll quickly feel more fatigued. Your mood can also possibly decline with anxiety and depression. A higher intake of fruits and vegetables is linked to better mood and mental health.
Side Effects of Green Powders
So now that you know the benefits of taking a greens powder, what are the cons and possible side effects. The biggest con of a greens powder is going to be its cost. So many are quite expensive, with a higher-end supplement like Athletic Greens costing $100 per month. This isn’t going to be sustainable for many to keep paying monthly. So for me, the value isn’t worth paying these higher prices for a greens powder when you can find one just as good for less than half the price.
Your body can have difficulty getting used to the greens powder at first. Depending on the quality of the green powder, it could end up causing bloating during the first few days of taking it. This usually subsides within the first week of taking it but maybe longer depending on the person and the quality of the green powder. In the long run, they should help reduce bloating, but it may take a few days before your body adjusts.
Another big con of green powder supplements is they can taste gross and disgusting. Many green powders taste like you went out into your backyard, scooped up some grass and dirt, and then blended it up in some water. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the worst something tastes, the less likely you are to keep drinking it. So you might as well throw out that expensive green powder if it doesn’t taste at least decently good.
But overall green powders are safe and shouldn’t have any harmful severe side effects. While many doctors and health experts agree that they don’t take the place of eating whole fruits and vegetables, it can be a wise idea to take one as “nutritional insurance” to ensure you’re getting enough antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Best Green Powders
So now that you know a green powder can really work for optimizing your health… what is the best green powder on the market?
I’ll first eliminate any of the “higher-end” green powders since they’re grossly overpriced. Overpriced green powders like Athletic Greens and Organify have great marketing, and their supplement is good, but I don’t see the value of paying $100 a month for them.
The best green powder supplement will not only have the same nutritional benefits as the higher-end ones but will also taste good. But, as said earlier, if the greens drink doesn’t taste good, then there’s a good chance you won’t end up finishing it. I’ve made the mistake of recommending a greens powder with an excellent formula, but it tasted gross. Trying to blend it into a protein shake to mask the taste didn’t work. Then it really is just a waste of money.
My favorite greens powder is MetaboGreens. It contains all the essential superfood fruits and vegetables you’ll want in a greens powder at an affordable price, and it tastes just like a delicious berry smoothie.
So if you aren’t eating enough superfood fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and mushrooms daily, then taking a greens powder is a convenient way to get all their nutrients in one convenient drink. So while it’s not the same or as beneficial as eating these superfoods in the whole raw form, it’s a lot better than nothing, especially if you already aren’t eating enough vegetables.
There are a lot of health benefits of drinking green powder smoothies, such as weight loss, better gut health, improved digestion, better skin, a stronger immune system, better mood, and improved energy levels. However, some possible side effects when first taking it, such as bloating, diarrhea, and nausea, but that should go away within days of taking it as your body adjusts.
When should you drink the green powder? I personally take MetaboGreens daily about two hours before I end my intermittent fasting window. I’ve found it helps to fight off the hunger pangs, gives me an energy boost, and enhances focus and concentration for working. It makes it easier to keep fasting so I can get more of the benefits of fasting, plus the nutrients in the greens.
The problem with green powders is it’s easy to fall for the hype of overvalued and overpriced supplements. It’s not worth paying $100 every month unless money is no object to you and you have the cash to burn. You can find much more affordable green powders with the same benefits, they taste good and aren’t going to burn a hole in your pocket. So green powders aren’t a waste of money… unless you buy the wrong one.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.