In 2023, there are many ways to get your greens. You could throw some veggies into your morning smoothie, stop by a salad bar on your lunch break, or opt for a scoop of greens powder. The latter is certainly the trendiest means to support that inside-out wellness approach—but what exactly can they do in your diet?
It’s not uncommon to see formulas by Athletic Greens or Sakara stocking the pantry of the wellness-obsessed—many of its users claim that the leafy elixirs are the secret to looking and feeling good. Is it a fad, or can the best greens powder actually make a difference in our overall health? Here, two acclaimed nutritionists, plus two brand founders leading the supplement charge, explain the benefits of greens powders with some helpful guidance on choosing the best for you.
The Best Greens Powders
- For Whole Body Health: Athletic Greens AG1, $99
- For Protein: Sakara Protein + Greens Super Powder, $90
- For Digestion: Primal Harvest Primal Greens, $50
- For a Green Juice: Garden of Life Raw Organic Green Superfood, $45
- For Beginners: Nested Naturals Super Greens, $26
- For Mind & Body Function: Thorne Daily Greens Plus, $68
What are greens powders and why are they so beneficial?
Sakara’s coveted greens powder supports the brand’s philosophy that greens should be featured in every single meal. Danielle DuBoise, certified holistic health coach, nutritionist, and founder of Sakara, notes that the standard American diet under-delivers an adequate amount of daily greens. “They are critical for promoting beneficial bacteria in the gut, providing essential minerals and antioxidants and sulfurous compounds that bind to toxins and help the body eliminate them,” she says, citing research on how greens can support not only natural detoxification but modulation of oxidative stress—plus an array of physical health benefits.
Think of greens supplements as powdered fruit and vegetable blends. According to celebrity nutritionist Dr. Charles Passler, these can be an easy way to add nutrients and minerals that might be missing from your diet. “While getting your nutrients from real whole foods is always ideal, receiving all the desired nutrients from food alone has become increasingly difficult,” he says. “Green supplements can work in a real way to deliver nutrients a person may be lacking.”
What to Look for in a Greens Powder
Experts explain that the best greens powders include leafy greens like spinach, kale, and parsley, vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, alongside wheatgrass, barley grass, spirulina, and chlorella. “A good greens powder is going to be free of artificial dyes, additives, thickening agents, and genetically modified ingredients,” Passler explains. Celebrity nutritionist Oz Garcia, echoes this and further advises choosing supplements backed by science and research. For example, Athletic Greens’s AGI uses the NSF for Sport certification to test and verify each batch of the cult-favorite powder. “Supplements are not strictly regulated in the U.S., so it’s important for people to make sure they’re seeking out products that come from a vetted brand, and that have been tested and certified by a third-party organization,” says president of Athletic Greens Kat Cole. That being said, consider how brands are sourcing and manufacturing their blends before buying.
Who can benefit from greens powders?
Passler believes that today, everyone could benefit from increasing the amount of greens in their diet. “We all face exogenous and endogenous toxins each day that are impossible to avoid (think air, water, etc.), so supporting our gut health and detox pathways is critical to our health and longevity,” Cole adds.
Ready to incorporate a green powder into your diet? Read on to discover the best supplements to consider.
Athletic Greens AG1
- Why We Love It: “With 75 high-quality ingredients, the inspiration behind AG1 was to create a science-driven foundational nutrition supplement that supports whole body health,” says Cole. “The best supplement is the one you’ll actually want to take every day.” This philosophy is certainly something the AG1 consumer resonates with—many of its fans rave that it tastes good, is easy to use, and delivers an improvement in conditions from energy levels to gut health. What’s more, Garcia reveals this as his greens powder of choice.
- Key Ingredients: AG1 is a blend of vitamins, minerals, superfoods, probiotics, plant extracts, antioxidants, and an enzyme and mushroom complex.
- How to Take It: According to Cole, “mix one scoop of AG1 (or one AG1 Travel Pack) with 8-10 oz of cold water and drink.”
Nested Naturals Super Greens
- Why We Love It: Why do the pros recommend Nested Naturals Super Greens? Garcia says it has “quality ingredients,” while Passler describes it as “a good non-GMO, organic, and vegan option.” Not to mention, one can score a 30-day supply for just under $30—making it an affordable solution for beginners.
- Key Ingredients: Formulated to support gut health, bloating, and overall body function, this powder delivers the leafy greens and grasses you’d expect with probiotics, enzymes, powders, and antioxidants—from spirulina and ginkgo to acai and broccoli.
- How to Take It: One scoop per day is all you need to experience the benefits of this powder.
Sakara Protein + Greens Super Powder
Protein + Greens Super Powder
- Why We Love It: ‘We believe in the power of plants, and everything we do is rooted in honoring plants as medicine,” DuBoise explains as Sakara’s nutrition pillars. The brand’s powder pairs 12 grams of protein with alkalizing greens and detoxifying algae to support lean muscle, satiation, and proper liver detoxification.
- Key Ingredients: “We harness the cleansing and rejuvenating powers of organic spirulina, organic wheatgrass, organic barley grass, and organic chlorella that provide key nutrients such as magnesium, antioxidants, and polyphenols,” she continues, citing research on the relationship between diet and chronic diseases and the effect of greens on human biology. Passler gives it his stamp of approval for “an added boost of protein that’s organic and completely plant-based.”
- How to Take It: Sakara recommends mixing a scoop of its vanilla-flavored powder with your favorite milk, smoothie, or even baked recipes.
Primal Harvest Primal Greens
- Why We Love It: “Primal greens utilizes many superfoods we’re otherwise missing as well as probiotics and digestive enzymes,” Passler details. In its GMP-certified facility, the brand creates its super greens blend of over 50 vitamin-rich ingredients that support a healthy immune system, improved digestion, and increased energy levels.
- Key Ingredients: Alongside a handful of fruits, vegetables, and plant extracts like chlorella, ashwagandha, and wheatgrass, there is a 3.5 bil CFU probiotic blend plus two types of mushrooms.
- How to Take It: According to Primal Harvest, its best to mix one scoop with 8 oz of your favorite beverage or smoothie once or twice per day.
Garden of Life Raw Organic Perfect Food Green Superfood
Garden of Life
Raw Organic Perfect Food Green Superfood
- Why We Love It: Garcia describes Garden of Life’s powder as a “very complete formula that has many of the properties of a green juice with added sprouts, enzymes, and antioxidants.”
- Key Ingredients: Its blend is certified USDA Organic, NSF Gluten-Free, and Non-GMO Project Verified, with 40 traceable, raw greens, sprouts and vegetables—like barley, buckwheat, apple, broccoli, and wheatgrass—plus pre and probiotics.
- How to Take It: According to Garden of Life, mix one scoop into 8 oz of your favorite water, juice, or smoothie.
Thorne Daily Greens Plus
- Why We Love It: According to Garcia, Thorne is a trusted brand that uses high-quality ingredients—making its greens powder one to consider. It blends 28 ingredients that promote enhanced mind and body function—from improved physical endurance to cognitive performance.
- Key Ingredients: To achieve this, Thorne’s powder utilizes an array of mushrooms, spirulina, spinach, kelp, CoQ10, moringa, and ashwagandha. Not to mention spearmint for a refreshing taste.
- How to Take It: Thorne recommends mixing one scoop with 12 oz of water or your preferred beverage.
How to Take Greens Powder
Instructions certainly vary by formula, but in general, taking a green powder can be as simple as mixing a scoop in with water. However, if taste is a factor, you’ll likely want to explore other recipes. Passler suggests “blending your green powder with ice, unsweetened almond milk, and fresh berries for a more enjoyable experience.”
Meet The Experts
- Kat Cole is the president and chief operating officer of Athletic Greens
- Danielle DuBoise is a certified holistic health coach, nutritionist, founder and co-CEO of Sakara.
- Oz Garcia is a celebrity nutritionist, known for his approach to nutrition and aging.
- Dr. Charles Passler is a nutritionist to the stars, specializing in detoxification, digestion, metabolic rate, and other nutritional needs.