According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.7 million deaths worldwide are attributable to low fruit and vegetable consumption. Fruit and vegetables contain powerful plant compounds, antioxidants, and vital nutrients that can help reduce the risk of age related chronic disease states. Compelling evidence also exists that consuming high-energy, low nutrient, processed foods that are high in sugar and fat promotes obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Adding a quality greens and reds supplement is an effective way to enhance your nutrient and vitamin intake to help improve overall health and wellness.
We’ve found the best greens supplements according to the ingredients, dosage, and transparency in labeling to help you power your athletic performance and promote overall health and wellness.
What Are Greens Powders?
Greens powders are derived from nutrient-rich dehydrated fruit and vegetables that provide the same vital vitamins and nutrients as raw veggies. Most greens powders contain a greens blend, where you will often find a blend of grasses. Common ingredients include wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa, and blue algae super greens like chlorella and spirulina. Some greens powder also contain reds or antioxidant rich blends consisting of pomegranate, beetroot, raspberries, cranberry, and or blueberries. Some greens include prebiotics for fiber, probiotics for a healthy gut microbiome, and medicinal mushrooms, or adaptogens for mental focus. Most greens powders contain the same type of nutrients, including vitamins, antioxidants, powerful phytonutrients, and minerals. The one thing greens powders lack comparison to raw veggies, however, is their fiber content.
Make Sure Your Greens Powder Is Proprietary Blend Free
Before you buy your greens powder, make sure you look at the ingredients and ensure that it does not contain a blend or complex.
It’s important to find a greens powder supplement that is transparent and tells you how much of each ingredient is in your product. Most greens powders use proprietary blends and combinations which do not disclose how much of each ingredient they use. Without knowing the amount you're ingesting, you won’t know how much of each essential nutrient you’re really getting in your greens powder. Manufacturers do this so that they can save money and cut corners, by only sprinkling the ingredients you truly need. A greens powder with a 5g serving size compared to a 12g serving size, will sell for roughly the same price, yet deliver 50% less of the active ingredients you need. Size matters.
Pay attention to the supplement label and make sure the amounts for each type of greens are listed. Most greens powders will place each category, of ingredient, greens, reds, or probiotics into their own mix and do not disclose how much of each ingredient it has.
BEST GREENS POWDERS
BEST GREENS POWDER OVERALL: Swolverine Greens+Reds
BEST GREENS POWDER FOR THE MONEY: Kaged Outlive
BEST GREENS POWDER FOR SIMPLICITY: Bucked Up Organic Greens
BEST GREENS POWDER FOR INGREDIENTS: AG1 Athletic Greens
BEST GREENS POWDER FOR ENERGY: Gnarly Nutrition Sports Greens
BEST GREENS POWDER FOR PREBIOTICS: Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens
BEST GREENS POWDER FOR DIGESTION: Astroflav Greens Superfoods
Best Greens Powder Overall: Swovlerine Greens+Reds
Swolverine’s Greens+Reds check’s all the boxes when you’re looking for a high-quality and great tasting greens powder. Greens + Reds contains powerfully rich organic super greens from land and sea like Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheat Grass, and reds including Organic beets, Pomegranate, Bilberry, Blueberry, and Organic Turmeric to improve your energy levels, power your athletic performance, bridge the gaps in your daily diet, and promote overall health and wellness.
One of the biggest features of this product that sets it apart, are the doses. Unlike competing brands, Swolverines’ Greens + Reds contains higher doses of the organic and potent super greens and reds you need to improve health and wellness. With 12g per serving Greens + Reds has 30% higher concentrated ingredients than other greens powders.
Best Greens Powder For The Money: Kaged Outlive
Kaged Muscle Outlive contains a robust mix of 26 different ingredients for a hefty 17g per scoop. What’s great about this greens powder, is that the label is completely transparent, and the dosing is much higher than competing brands using all organic ingredients. Kaged Outlive contains a great greens mix, as well as antioxidant rich reds, such as acai, blueberry, beet root, and cranberry, for better nitric oxide delivery promoting better athletic performance.
The stand out feature of this product however, is the fiber and digestion mix as well as the added 300mg of KSM-66 Ashwagandha, to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Best Organic Greens Powder For Simplicity: Bucked Up Greens
I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of the Bucked-Up brand, but their Organic greens supplement definitely earns a spot on this list.
What I like about this greens powder, is that it’s clinically dosed, completely transparent, and is simple and straightforward. If you are looking for a straight-up greens powder Bucked Up Greens includes 8 ingredients, Organic Wheat Grass, Barley Grass, Kale, Alfalfa, Broccoli, Spinach, Spirulina, and Chlorella.
If you’re looking for a greens powder with a great mix of grasses, Bucked Up greens powder is a great choice. The only thing I don’t like, is that the highest quality ingredients with robust nutritional value, such as spirulina, and chlorella are underdosed at 300mg, which makes sense since these are the most expensive ingredients. But comparatively speaking, this is still higher than most.
Best Greens For Ingredients: Athletics Greens AG1
Athletic greens AG1 is packed with vitamins, nutrients, probiotics, mushrooms, and antioxidants for optimal health, energy, and wellness.
AG1 has a ton of great active ingredients, 75 in total. However, the formula is listed in blends, which makes it difficult to know the amount of each ingredient listed. Additionally, with so many different ingredients, it would be impossible to provide a clinical dose of each one. Therefore, as far as the mix of ingredients, vitamins, and overall nutritional value, AG1 is a great choice. You’ll definitely get more energy from this greens powder, but without clinical doses, you will miss out on any proven benefits outside of just the vitamins of these powerful phytonutrients.
Best Greens For Energy: Go Gnarly Greens
Gnarly Greens is a proprietary blend free and fully transparent greens formula. With 100% of key essential vitamins like Vitamin A, C, D, E, K and stacked with B-vitamins for energy, this greens power provides a hefty amount of clinically dosed ingredients for optimal health and wellness.
What I love about this greens powder, is that Gnarly places more emphasis on nutrient dense and antioxidant rich ingredients placing 1000mg of Chlorella, and 750mg of Spirulina, with smaller doses of greens ingredients like kale and broccoli. This is what a great greens powder should do.
Additionally, you can find organic beet root, pomegranate and tart cherry for optimal athletic performance and recovery. And to top it off, Gnarly adds some Organic cordyceps, Reishi, and Asian ginseng for focus and energy, as well as probiotics, turmeric, and flax seed for healthy digestion and better recovery.
Best Greens For Prebiotics: Transparent Labs
Transparent labs takes a different angle to greens, focusing on prebiotics aka fiber. This greens powder formula keep things simple with only 6 key ingredients, yet provides a mega dose of each one with 3000mg of Chlorella, 3,000mg of Spirulina, and 8,000mg of prebiotics from green bananas, chicory root, artichoke, and acacia fiber.
Considering that Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens contains such a hefty amount of prebiotics, it only delivers 4g of fiber or 16% of your daily recommended value. However, this formula is especially great for digestive health, heart health, and does deliver more fiber than other greens powders.
Best Greens Powder For Digestion: Astroflav Greens Superfoods
Astroflav delivers a comprehensive and solid formula with their greens powder. Although this product contains blends, it does deliver a robust amount of ingredient dosages, based upon the number of ingredients in each mix.
For example, Astroflav contains a super greens blend, which contains Organic Barley Grass, Organic Wheat Grass, Organic Alfalfa, Organic Moringa, Organic Spinach, kale, and broccoli.
Per the FDA labeling requirements, ingredients with the higest doses must be listed first, whether in a blend, or when listed on the supplement facts. With 6g in this mix, that means, the highest doses come from barley grass, wheat grass, alfalfa, and moringa, with the smallest doses from less nutrient rich ingredients like spinach, kale, and broccoli. It also delivers a decent amount of blue green algae, from Aquamin, digestive enzymes, and probiotics.
Overall, at nearly 13g per serving, this greens powder does deliver some vitamin and mineral rich ingredients. The major downfall however, is that the micronutrients are not listed on the supplement facts panel.
Greens Powder Benefits
Contain Powerful Antioxidants
Antioxidants can help reduce free radical damage and oxidative stress which have been linked to chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between the production and accumulation of oxygen reactive species (ROS) also known as free radicals in cells and tissues and the ability to detoxify these reactive products with antioxidants. The process of oxidation occurs when your body metabolizes the oxygen you breath. Free radicals have a role in several physiological functions such as cellular signaling and is generated as a byproduct of oxygen metabolism. This process creates oxidative stress – a harmful process that can cause cellular damage and contribute to several different disease states.
Fruit and vegetables are rich with powerful antioxidants called polyphenols and flavanols. For example, Pomegranates contain punicalagins, which account for more than 50% of pomegranates antioxidant effects and have also been found to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea [R], Pomegranates, blueberries, bilberries and turmeric also contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that belong to a flavonoid family, which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects [R, R]. Make sure your greens and reds contain pomegranate, as a key ingredient.
Chlorella is classified as a microalgae, and is rich in bioactive compounds, carotenes, astaxanthin, lutein and fucoxanthin. It also contains several antioxidant compounds including chlorophyll, beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein.
A study published in the journal Nutrition investigated whether 6 weeks of chlorella supplementation is protective of oxidative damage to smokers. The study found that chlorella increased vitamin C levels 44%, and significantly decreased lymphocyte DNA damage [R].
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Studies have shown that eating more antioxidant rich foods will contribute to a healthy aging process.
Greens And Reds Improve Energy Levels
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of greens and reds powders, is that they initiate more natural energy. Greens and reds powders are stacked with B-vitamins, vitamin a, c, and k and minerals which help generate energy levels, improve mental processing, decrease fatigue, and help regulate blood sugar. With key vitamins added to the mix, you can ensure improved and consistent energy levels.
Chlorella has over 200% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin A and Iron, and over 100% of the daily recommended value of Zinc in just one, one ounce serving. Spirulina is also one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet providing protein, b-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids potassium, niacin, calcium, and iron.
Chia seeds are a must-have ingredient in your greens and reds powder. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that ingesting chia seeds was equivalent to the energy boost obtained by drinking Gatorade [R]. Chia seeds also have the highest protein content of any plant-source.
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Spirulina, another amazing greens and reds ingredient, contains polysaccharides (Rhamnose and Glycogen) and the essential fat (GLA), which work to naturally promoting energy. Spirulina also increases healthy gut bacteria lactobacillus in the intestine, enabling the production of Vitamin B6, which also helps in energy production.
In a randomized, double-blind controlled study, conducted by the Ohio State University Department of Human Nutrition, a group of men were administered 3g of Spirulina per day before performing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on a cross trainer machine. The study showed a statistically significant improvement in physical and mental fatigue within the first four hours after ingestion, thus giving some significant clinical evidence that Spirulina can benefit individuals with chronic fatigue symptoms. [R]
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