Updated March 23rd 2023
Athletic Greens, or as it is known now as AG1, has managed to position itself as one of the most popular green powder food supplements on the market.
The product makes bold health claims by being formulated with 75 whole food ingredients. They claim the supplement boosts energy levels, supports recovery from exercise, and improves the immune system and digestion. Which considering athletic greens contains a whole lot of vitamins and minerals there's definitely enough scientific backing to them off to a good start.
Many of the ingredients contained in the AG1 formula will be difficult to consume in your average diet. But does that mean we should be going out of our way to consume absolutely all of these foods? If it is not part of our national or cultural diet to seek out and consume Lycium berry fruit extract or ginger rhizome powder, why do we suddenly need it now?
And the reality is that we don't, at least not to try and get so many of them all at once. In fact having 75 ingredients is the biggest downside to AG1.
If all the ingredients are high-quality, provided in the most bioavailable form, and delivered at beneficial doses then greens powders can do an awful lot of good, beyond just getting vitamins and minerals into your diet.
And here in lies the problem with AG1. It simply uses far too many ingredients and hides behind a proprietary blend. Almost none of them can be effectively dosed for their health benefits.
And now there are other, better, greens powders that do manage to offer transparent formulas with extracts in their correct dosages to be effective. So, there really isn't any reason for Athletic Greens AG1 to do this aside from marketing. They do however make up for this somewhat with a fantastic vitamin and mineral profile, even if they do miss out on a lot of other benefits.
It's not that Athletic Greens is a terrible product, it sneaks into our best greens powders list , even if that is last place. It's just a dissapointing one, seeing as it's most people's first greens powder we'd have liked it to be better so as not to put people off what can be a really beneficial product.
The main problem that plant-based food supplements have always
had is that they can look unappealing, smell like a compost heap, and have a
bitter taste and chalky mouth feel. As the years have passed, many green-based food supplement
manufacturers have spent time improving their formulations to look, smell and
taste better. AG1 tastes pretty good compared to other green-based supplement
alternatives on the market.
The company have worked on smoothing out the mouthfeel, and it does taste less grassy or chalky compared to other green-based powder drinks.
The powder does blend well in water and combines well when added to smoothies without overpowering the flavour.
Want to find the best greens powder for you? Not sure if AG1 is what you're looking for, then check out our list of the best on the market in 2023.Best Super Greens
As part of our research, we took a look at customer feedback
for those using AG1 daily across several different platforms as well as their
Of course, we found the customer feedback somewhat biased and cherry-picked for the AG1s website because that tends to be standard practice when you have a product to sell. But looking at other feedback sources, we found more honest comments about the product, with a common one being - this is rather pricey!
There are also enough negative reviews about customers experiencing gastric problems that we would caution anyone using it if they suffer from IBS, leaky gut, gastritis or other digestive issues.
Plant-based powder supplements can be very hard on digestion and are known to cause bloating, flatulence and digestive discomfort, so if you have a sensitive stomach or have any plant sensitivities, there are better options on the market that would suit you better.
We answer some of the most commonly asked questions in AG1 Reviews.
There are better value options on our best greens list, but AG1 is a good greens powder. It's not our number one, but if you're new to greens powders in general and asking whether or not it's worth trying out, then we'd say yes.
Yes athletic greens should be safe for pregnant people unless they have any allergies, that said if you've never had AG1 before, we wouldn't recommend trying it for the first time if you're pregnant.
The benefits of athletic greens are functionally the same as
taking a good multivitamin and eating some leafy greens. Which all in all isn’t
a bad thing. If we remove some of the more out there health claims the realistic
- AG1 aids digestion
- Supports your immune system
- Promotes brain health
- Improves recovery
- Boosts energy
- Tackles common vitamin deficiencies
There are also a lot of claims about detoxification and anti free radical benefits, which there is some evidence to support, but it’s not the main benefit of taking a greens supplement. AG1 do really nail the vitamin profile, being probably the second best greens powder for your daily vitamins and minerals.
Athletic Greens Side Effects
The most common side effect of athletic greens as far as customer complaints go is digestive issues, this isn’t all too surprising seeing as the product contains Ashwagandha and whilst this has a host of health benefits, it is also known to cause this in some people. Other than that a few people have reported allergy reactions.
Athletic Greens Heavy Metals Contamination
Athletic greens (AG1) has not been shown to be contaminated with heavy metals although a study conducted by consumer labs found that several of the 13 greens powders they tested did exceed lead levels, so it is a concern for several green powder supplements.
According to the marketing information, AG1 contains 75
whole-food ingredients. The manufacturers claim it will give you an antioxidant
load equal to 12 servings of green vegetables in a single scoop. Looking at the label on the packaging, while it may seem
like great value for money because it is packed with a lengthy list of
ingredients, you have to question whether or not many of the elements are
beneficial or add any value to the formula.
Also, wouldn't adding more things to the formula dilute the effectiveness of any nutrient-dense ingredients and lower the amount contained in each scoop? While there may be some good quality ingredients in the formula, getting too little of them isn't going to help you meet your health goals.
We also question the need to cram 75 ingredients into the formula. We don't think there will ever be space to fit everything you need into a single 12g serving. And when in history did humans ever go to the length of consuming 75 different foods every day of their lives?
What does AG1 contain?
AG1 is primarily made up of three proprietary blends:
Alkaline, Nutrient-Dense, Raw Superfood Complex (7388mg)
Nutrient-Dense Natural Extracts, Herbs, and Antioxidants (411mg)
Digestive Enzyme & Super Mushroom Complex (154mg)
The apparent issue we have with this is that although AG1 claims to be made up of 75 whole-food ingredients, they are counting each component contained in each of the three proprietary blends like it is a substantive and notable element of the formula.
In reality, some of these ingredients may be present in such low trace elements in each scoop of AG1 that they could be considered negligible. They would hardly contribute any of the health benefits they may be able to deliver in higher doses.
Alkaline, Nutrient-Dense, Raw Superfood Complex: 7.3 grams
Organic spirulina, lecithin, organic apple powder, inulin, organic wheatgrass juice powder, organic alfalfa powder, organic chlorella powder, organic barley leaf powder, acerola fruit juice powder extract, broccoli flower powder, papaya powder, pineapple fresh fruit concentrate, bilberry fruit extract, beetroot powder, rosehip fruit powder, carrot root powder, spinach leaf powder, cocoa bean polyphenol extract, grapeseed extract, green tea leaf extract, liquorice root powder, Lycium berry fruit extract, ginger rhizome powder, slippery elm bark powder, kelp whole plant powder.
This blend is the bulk of the AG1 review as pretty much everything after this contains so little of each ingredient that it's simply not going to do anything. Ingredients are listed from largest to smallest as is a requirement for most countries that AG1 sells in. Meaning that they do get one thing right here in having Spirulina being the largest ingredient, it's an anti inflmatory with brain protective properties as well as being a rich source of vitamins and minerals and generally has the most overall health benefits of any green powder ingredient. The problem is it's all down hill from there. Organic apple powder which does have some benefit to digestion, but little else beyond it's vitamin content. And by the time we get to alfalfa we can't be dealing with enough to get any of it's unique health benefits. And if that weren't bad enough when we get to things like ginger (which has been shown to work effectively as an anti inflammatory, boost joint health, and even have positive impacts for the heart and brain) you need 3 grams of it for it to work as has been evidenced in numerous studies. As a result we have too many ingredients, with hidden doses, laid out for marketing AG1.
Nutrient-Dense Natural Extracts, Herbs, and Antioxidants: 411mg
Alkaline pea protein isolate, citrus bioflavonoids extract, artichoke extract, citric acid, Rhodiola Rosea root dry extract, Eleuthero root extract, Gotu kola extract, rosemary leaf extract, milk thistle seed extract, R, S alpha-lipoic acid, ashwagandha root extract, dandelion root dry extract, hawthorn berry root extract, beta-glucans, policosanol, co-enzyme Q-10, stevia rebaudiana leaf powder.
Most of these ingredients don't have any major health benefits beyond the vitamins and minerals they contain, but the ones that do such ash Rholdoia need to be dosed at over 200mg, which is simply impossible in this blend which caps out at 400mg. Ashwagandha for example, whilst great for stress, sleep and a host of other things requires 400mg by itself. All in all this is again an overstuffed blend that actually does very little for AG1.
Digestive Enzyme & Super Mushroom Complex: 154mg
Astragalus root extract, bromelain, burdock root powder, reishi mushroom powder, shiitake mushroom powder, stevia.
The main negative here is that the only one of these ingredients that can be dosed under 200mg and be effective is bromelain, and seeing as the entire blend consists of less than that, most of these athletic greens ingredients are pointless.
AG1 also boosts its health claims by including 38mg of dairy-free probiotics from Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium Bifidum. However, questions have been asked about the stability of non-dairy probiotics in a green-powder-based environment and whether they deliver any practical digestive benefits.
Through our own research and product testing of AG1, we
agree with those customers who report this product having an artificial flavour
with a lingering aftertaste. The product isn't bad, but at the same time we can't give it top marks when it uses a prorietory blend that uses more ingredients than can possibly be correctly dosed. The vitamin profile is good, and there's the benefit of them being in a more bio available form. But, the potential benefits from herbs like Ashwagandha or Ginger won't be felt from Athletic Greens Ag1.
We think this is an expensive product compared to other green-based food supplements on the market. We also feel that cramming 75 ingredients into a product is overkill. It is like throwing a bucket of plaster at a crack in a wall in the hope that some of it will stick. We think most of the ingredients contained in AG1 simply won't be absorbed.
It is certainly not the best greesn product for those on a budget. We recommend you choose one of our better choices if you want to benefit from a plant-based food supplement that is better for your purse or wallet.