Athletic Greens is leading the pack when it comes to greens powders. However, it’s important to take a critical look at a product’s pros and cons to truly understand which greens powder is best for you.
In doing so, you may discover you need an alternative to Athletic Greens (AG1).
Using my knowledge as a registered dietitian nutritionist, I’ve scoured the market to find the 5 best Athletic Greens alternatives.
What is Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens (also called AG1) is a greens powder containing a robust assortment of superfoods.
Greens powders like AG1 are dietary supplements containing blends of dried, powdered superfoods. While every brand is different, common ingredients include grasses, vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, herbs, blue green algae, probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes.
Research indicates that a diet plentiful in produce is best to help prevent chronic disease and increase longevity, and yet most Americans are falling short of the recommended daily intake of whole fruits and vegetables.
Taking Athletic Greens daily, or another quality greens supplement, is an easy way to boost your overall health and help fill in the gaps when you’re not able to fit in all the whole veggies your body needs.
Is Athletic Greens Worth It?
As one of the most familiar greens powders on the market, Athletic Greens is touted to benefit gut health, immunity, energy, and recovery. This fruit and vegetable blend is third-party tested, non-GMO, and is free of gluten, nuts, caffeine, and dairy.
Does this mean that Athletic Greens is worth it? It certainly does check off many good qualities when it comes to green powders. With over 40 whole food ingredients, including grasses, vegetables, fruit, adaptogenic mushrooms, probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes, Athletic Greens contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
With that said, there are some features that may not be ideal for your individual needs.
Why Look for Athletic Greens Alternatives
Your health and your preferences are very personal. For this reason, we can’t look at a greens powder as a one-size-fits all. While AG1 may work well for many people, it’s not for everyone. Let’s take a look at why you may need an Athletic Greens alternative.
Athletic Greens is one of the highest priced greens powders on the market.
Whether Athletic Greens’ hikes up their prices because of their popularity, or if it has to do with its ingredients, we can’t be sure; but at $99 for a single purchase or $79 for a monthly subscription, we’re looking at a steep buy-in. This comes out to about $2.50 to $3.50 per serving, and that’s without the shipping cost!
In comparison, Ensō Supergreens, an excellent Athletic Greens alternative, comes out to $1.30 to $2.00 per serving, depending on whether you choose a monthly subscription or single purchase.
Not fully organic
If you’re looking to boost your health with a greens powder, you’ll want to look at all product features that will impact your wellbeing – including whether the product is organic.
Non-organic ingredients come with pesticides and herbicides, chemicals which can produce both short- and long-term health consequences.
Since green powders are dehydrated and ground to a fine powder, you’re getting a tremendous amount of produce – and pesticides – in one small scoop.
Athletic Greens has only a few organic superfoods among their 75 total ingredients; unlike Ensō Supergreens which contains all organic superfoods.
Addition of synthetic vitamins
‘Whole’ vitamins and minerals are found in whole foods, naturally occurring in fresh vegetables, fruits, and proteins. Synthetic vitamins and minerals are those that are isolated from whole foods into a singular compound. Often, these synthetic micronutrients are not absorbed into the body quite as readily as vitamins from whole foods.
Athletic Greens add isolated vitamins to their greens powder to help make their nutrition facts more appealing. While this may seem innocuous, and for many people it may be, it means their product is a bit more processed.
Other green powders, including Ensō Supergreens and Bloom Greens & Superfoods, rely solely on the high quality, nutrient dense ingredients to impart whole vitamins and minerals.
Excessively high nutrients
This brings me to my next point: Excessively high micronutrients. Athletic Greens’ nutrition fact panel may blow most other greens powders out of the water in terms of vitamin and mineral amounts, but from my perspective this is not a benefit.
As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I look at someone’s total daily food and dietary supplement consumption to understand if they are meeting – or exceeding – their recommended micronutrient intake.
If throughout the day you are consuming vitamins and minerals in amounts hundreds of percentages higher than your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), you could be getting close to an unsafe level. Especially for fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K, which are stored in the body and accumulate over time rather than being excreted.
Athletic Greens has well above 100, 200, and even over 500% of your RDA for most of its vitamins and minerals. If your individual health needs require you to be aware of high dose nutrients, or if you are already taking high dose supplements, this greens powder may not be for you.
With such a steep price point, it’s assumed that most ingredients in Athletic Greens are quality and of highest bioavailability – meaning they can be digested and used by the body well. While it seems they do add many easily-absorbed superfoods, the type of chlorella they include may be unusable by the body.
Chlorella is a blue green algae with a plethora of health benefits, but it has strong fibrous cell walls that cannot be broken down during digestion. This is why in many greens powders, including Ensō Supergreens and Amazing Grass Greens Blend, you’ll find broken or cracked cell wall chlorella. Always look for this type to gain full health benefits.
Too many ingredients
While 75 vitamins, minerals, and superfoods sound amazing, when you pack too many ingredients into a small scoop, you’re left with only a small amount of each. Diluting all the important ingredients may cut down on how effective each one can be in imparting health benefits.
Best Athletic Greens Alternatives
There are many factors that go into finding the best greens powder for your individual needs. Below you’ll find 5 Athletic Greens alternatives to consider in your pursuit to improve your health.
1. Ensō Supergreens
After researching dozens of greens supplements, Ensō Supergreens earns my top pick as the best alternative to Athletic Greens. This product is formulated to help enhance digestion, immunity, and energy, and has all the important features that make up a great greens powder.
What makes it great
Supergreens is packed with impressive superfoods with a wide range of benefits and antioxidants, including grasses like barley grass and wheat grass; many types of blue green algae, including broken cell wall chlorella, spirulina, and dulse; as well as lots of high nutrient vegetables and herbs. Since there are 20+ superfoods (and not 75), you know you’re getting a higher concentration of ingredients that are more likely to impact your health.
If you’re looking to enhance your digestion, Supergreens contains 5 billion CFU probiotics with four different strains of beneficial bacteria, along with digestive enzyme blend. One advantage is that it uses both papain from papaya and bromelain from pineapple. Both of these plant-based digestive enzymes have been shown to be particularly helpful in reducing bloating.
And finally, you can tell Ensō cares deeply about their product and customers as they make sure Supergreens is both rigorously tested and carefully manufactured. This product is made in the USA with non-GMO ingredients, is third-party tested, and made in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified facility.
Bonus: All of Ensō’s superfood ingredients are organic and locally sourced, so you can be sure you’re leaving the pesticides and herbicides behind.
Plus, it’s one of the tastiest greens powders I’ve tried: a nice mint flavor and smooth texture without being too grassy or gritty.
What could be better
Ensō Supergreens mixes in quite well with water and other liquids because it’s ground so finely. While this is an excellent feature, helping to create a smooth, non-sandy texture when mixed, it also makes the powder a bit messy.
Additionally, Ensō Supergreens is only available on the Ensō Superfoods website.
Bottom line: If you’re looking for an excellent super greens powder and top choice for an Athletic Greens alternative, Ensō Superfoods is an exceptional investment in your health.
2. Vibrant Health Green Vibrance
Another good Athletic Greens alternative is Green Vibrance, advertising their greens powder to support gut health, nutrition, circulation, and immunity.
What makes it great
Green Vibrance’s strength lies in its probiotics, topping all other greens powders with an epic 25 billion CFUs from 12 beneficial bacteria strains (at the time of manufacture). With so many probiotics, the company recommends storing the greens powder in the fridge or freezer to attempt to preserve most of them.
Like Ensō Supergreens, Green Vibrance contains a wide variety of plants, from grasses and herbs to vegetables and fruit, as well as some adaptogens. Adaptogens are plants that may help the body respond well to environmental stress.
Green Vibrance is vegan, gluten-free, third-party tested, and non-GMO.
What could be better
Like Athletic Greens, this greens powder adds isolated vitamins and minerals to boost their nutrition facts panel. Additionally, only about one-third of Green Vibrance’s ingredients are organic.
And while they do not have the 75 ingredients that Athletic Greens touts, it does have almost 50, so the concentration of superfoods is not as dense as it is with Ensō Supergreens.
Bottom Line: Green Vibrance is a well-rounded greens powder with a competitive probiotic blend, though is a bit more processed with added vitamins and minerals.
3. Bloom Greens & Superfoods
Bloom Greens & Superfoods is presented as a greens powder that helps with gut health, energy, and bloating.
What makes it great
Like AG1, Bloom’s product has 2 grams of dietary fiber, a nutrient many greens powders fall short on. Bloom enhances its fiber content by adding chicory root fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), inulin, flaxseed, and apple fruit powder. Both FOS and inulin are prebiotic fibers, important food sources for the friendly bacteria in your gut.
Bloom includes a variety of superfoods, including grasses, leafy greens, and adaptogens, along with an attractive number of berries. These petit powerhouses are antioxidant-packed and have been linked with anti-inflammatory properties.
Additionally, Bloom Greens covers many taste needs by providing five flavors.
What could be better
Bloom Greens & Superfoods contains probiotics, but unlike Ensō Supergreens and Green Vibrance, we have no idea how many CFUs are included in the product. There could be a gut-benefiting amount, or just a sprinkling for show.
Moreover, only six of their 30+ superfood ingredients are organic. According to the US Department of Agriculture, berries and leafy greens tend to be contaminated with higher levels of pesticides than other crops.
A final note on ingredients. While this greens powder uses chlorella powder, it does not specify if it is broken cell wall chlorella for best bioavailability. Additionally, be aware that Bloom contains green tea leaf, which may impart some caffeine.
Bottom line: While Bloom Greens & Superfoods is not fully organic and may have some ingredient question marks, it does include a nice variety of superfoods and has many flavors to choose from, making it a good alternative to Athletic Greens.
4. Amazing Grass Greens Blend
Amazing Grass Greens Blend is a no-nonsense greens powder that is promoted to support your overall health, digestion, energy, and immunity.
What makes it great
Like Ensō Supergreens, Amazing Grass Greens Blend has all organic superfood ingredients, so you can enjoy this greens powder knowing it’s pesticide-free. Plus, you know they’ve done their research because it contains cracked cell wall chlorella among their 20 ingredients.
Another benefit is that Amazing Grass has multiple flavors. If the Original is not to your liking, you could try Berry or Chocolate instead.
What could be better
Unfortunately, there’s no indication of how many CFUs of probiotics are included in the Amazing Grass formula. While we’d hope there’s enough to make a difference in your gut, there’s just not enough information to confirm.
Additionally, while you can enjoy this Greens Blend without pesticides, the product is not third-party tested, so we can’t be certain there aren’t other contaminants. It also contains green tea leaf extract, so avoid taking it before bed due to the potential caffeine content.
But what truly disappoints is the added ingredient silica. When used in powders, silica is often plays the role of a bulking and anti-caking agent.
Bottom line: Amazing Grass Greens Blend has fully organic superfood ingredients, elevating its status among greens powders. Though if you’re trying to avoid fillers, you may want to look elsewhere.
5. Live Conscious Beyond Greens
Beyond Greens by Live Conscious is a minimalistic superfood blend promoted to support the immune system, gut health, detoxification, and energy.
What makes it great
This superfood powder focuses its effort on herbs and adaptogens, including ingredients such as milk thistle, echinacea, chlorella, prebiotics, as well as a mushroom blend. These may work synergistically to help bolster the body’s immune system and response to stress, though more human studies are needed.
What could be better
Beyond Greens has a very limited variety and diversity of superfoods, and only a few of them are technically greens. There are no grasses, vegetables, or fruit to provide a well-rounded boost to your overall health.
The biggest concern though is not that it is superfood-limited, or that it has very few probiotics and no digestive enzymes, but rather the inclusion of additives and fillers. Beyond Greens contains the filler xanthan gum and the colorant sodium copper chlorophyllin. It also contains xylitol, a sugar alcohol that may create digestive distress for some people. Plus xylitol has an unusual taste that may not be received well.
Bottom line: If you’re looking for a superfood blend with mostly adaptogenic mushrooms and a few herbs, Beyond Greens will hit the spot. However, if you’re looking for a versatile greens powder to help fill dietary gaps, you may need to find a different alternative to Athletic Greens.
What Makes an Excellent Green Supplement?
As you work toward finding the best super greens powders for your individual needs, here are a few key features to consider.
While it’s certainly important to get enough vegetables, fruit, and other plants for optimal health, there is growing evidence that pesticides present on conventionally grown produce can have lasting negative health effects.
Green powders are amazing because they provide so many superfoods in just one scoop, but you may want to consider a product with all organic superfood ingredients to avoid the dose of chemicals.
Look for diverse superfoods
Most people take a greens supplement to help fill in their essential nutrients gaps when life makes it tough to eat all the veggies recommended. But if the product you choose has minimal ingredients, it may not be providing the health benefits you’re looking for.
Choose a super greens powder that has several of these antioxidant-rich groups: grasses, vegetables, leafy greens, fruit, herbs, roots, and blue green algae.
Inclusion of gut health boosting ingredients
A great feature in many greens powders is the inclusion of probiotics and digestive enzymes. These are proven to boost your digestive health and provide some relief from bloating.
A greens powder should have at least a few billion CFUs probiotic blend to make an impact.
When looking at a product’s digestive enzyme blend, it’s a bonus to find a greens powder that includes those from papaya (papain) and pineapple (bromelain) for even more benefits.
Avoid excessive amounts of ingredients
Many companies try to attract customers with a jam-packed list of ingredients. To fit all those superfoods into one small scoop, only a small amount of each one can be used. Such low concentrations likely reduce the benefits to your health.
The goal is quality over quantity. Look for a greens powder with a wide variety of superfoods and between about 20 and 30 total ingredients.
Avoid additives and fillers
The best super green powders avoid additives such as bulking and anti-caking agents, colorants, emulsifiers, and preservatives. Look for a product without guar gum, xanthan gum, silicone dioxide (silica), and other ingredients that aren’t adding to your health.
Avoid added sugar or artificial sweeteners
The last thing you want is a boost of nutrients and greens with a side of added sugar. It’s best to avoid greens powders with artificial sweeteners (such as sucralose) and sugar alcohols (such as erythritol or xylitol) as both may negatively affect your gut health.
Monk fruit, a plant-derived non-caloric sweetener, is generally considered safe. Stevia is as well, though it may have the potential to lower concentrations of beneficial gut bacteria.
Safety and quality
Consider purchasing a greens supplement from a company that pays attention to safety and quality or their products. Look for third-party testing and powders being produced in a certified GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) facility.
Without these certifications, there’s no telling what else may be present (or what might be missing) from your greens powder.
Taking care of your health is important. If you’re looking for a super greens powder to boost your diet, you’re already taking an incredible step toward caring for your body and enhancing your longevity.
After researching many products, it’s clear that Ensō Supergreens is an exceptional greens powder and an excellent Athletic Greens alternative.
It has a balanced and cultivated array of organic superfoods without over-packing their ingredient list, and they care about safety with third-party testing and production in a GMP certified facility in the USA. Bonus: it’s quite tasty!
For more information on Athletic Greens, see the below frequently asked questions.
Is there a more affordable version of Athletic Greens?
While Athletic Greens does not have another product that is more economical, there are many other excellent greens powders without the high price tag. These include Ensō Supergreens, Green Vibrance, Bloom Greens & Superfoods, and Amazing Grass Greens Blend.
Is Athletic Greens as good as they say?
Athletic Greens contains 75 vitamins, minerals and superfoods. It’s advertised as promoting gut health, support immunity, boost energy, and help recovery. While no studies have been done to prove these claims, AG1 contains some ingredients that may help with these benefits.
Are Athletic Greens unhealthy?
AG1 contains a superfood blend of grasses, vegetables, fruit, adaptogens, herbs, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. Getting more plants in your diet has been proven to benefit your health, so taking a greens powder every day is a great way to enhance your overall wellness.
What does Athletic Greens taste like?
Athletic Greens customers have said the greens powder tastes slightly sweet and grassy. Some report a pineapple and vanilla flavor. Keep in mind that everyone experiences taste differently and what may taste great to one person may not be reviewed as positively by the next.
Does Athletic Greens work?
Many of Athletic Greens’ customer report that AG1 is convenient, helps regulate their bowels and enhance gut health, and helps with their energy. Other customers have not found benefit or enjoy it but feel it’s too expensive to keep in their daily routine.