We take a look at Athletic Greens to find out more.
Athletic Greens Pros
- May be helpful for those seriously lacking nutrients and have the money
Athletic Greens Cons
- Expensive supplement
- Company advertising suggests this supplement is an easy way to improve your dietary intake. It is not
- Auto billing is standard practice
- No money-back guarantee
Athletic Greens Review
Athletic Greens Facts
- Sold by American company Athletic Greens (USA)
- Costs a staggering $127 for just 30 servings
- If you do not take care, you will find yourself enrolled in an auto billing agreement
Athletic Greens Superfood cocktail is a powdered supplement on sale from American company Athletic Greens (USA). It is sold around the world via various country based websites included Athletic Greens.co.uk and is also available across Europe.
The Athletic Greens website is glossy and the advertising hard-hitting and powerful. The accent is on health and providing what the company describe as nutritional insurance.
The message is that if you take this supplement it will save you hundreds of dollars, presumably in all those medical bills you won’t have to pay.
If you buy Athletic Greens, you may be offered a free trial. In addition, you will be encouraged to sign up for the “loyalty” program, which is an auto billing agreement. Do this and you will be sent new supplies each month and billed accordingly.
You will also pay for your so-called free trial unless you cancel immediately and some customers have been caught out by failing to notice this.
The true terms of the agreement are not very clear at first glance because when you get to the payment page, the box signing up to the loyalty program is automatically ticked for you.
According to the Athletic Greens information, it only takes 30 seconds a day to be healthy. That is how long it takes to mix the powder and benefit from 75 powerful natural whole foods.
You might think from the product name that this supplement is going to contain vegetable extracts such as spinach and kale but in truth, it contains some pretty weird ingredients. These include Milk Thistle, which can be dangerous and cause side effects, a range of diuretics and some laxatives.
Athletic Greens also contains probiotics and according to medical opinion, taking probiotic supplements is not good for health and can be potentially dangerous.
However, leaving that aside, we are concerned about the underlying message of this supplement.
Is it good for health to take a supplement in the belief that you can achieve in 30 seconds the same health benefits of a wide and varied diet?
Nutritionists have set the five a day optimum fruit and veg intake requirement as a way of promoting a healthy and varied diet and a way of including a wide range of fibres, vitamins and nutrition into your daily intake.
How to take Athletic Greens
Use once a day. This supplement is in powder form and presumably, you add it to water and drink it. However, the product information does not make it clear if you add the powder to water or take it dry.
According to registered dietician Karen Ansel speaking in an interview with WebMD.
It is always better to get your nutrients from food.
Food contains thousands of phytochemicals, fiber, and more that work together to promote good health that cannot be duplicated with a pill or a cocktail of supplements
According to the NHS;
Most people should get all the nutrients they need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you choose to take vitamin and mineral supplements, be aware that taking too many or taking them for too long can cause harmful effects.
Looking at the cocktail of ingredients included in Athletic Greens, it is highly possible you may get some side effects.
Worryingly, the product advertising does not recommend that this supplement should be used to support a healthy diet. It implies that you can save time and use Athletic Greens to replace a healthy diet.
Athletic Greens Concerns:
- Some people will believe that taking this supplement means they are getting the equivalent of a healthy diet in just 30 seconds.
- Could cause potentially dangerous side effects – especially if taken long term
- The advertising is misleading and the sales policy questionable.
What Does Athletic Greens Claim To Do?
Athletic Greens implies that you can use this supplement in place of a healthy diet.
Get Your Daily Fruits & Vegetables Easily with Athletic Greens Premium Superfood Cocktail.
Get up to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables in just one serving
According to Athletic Greens, this supplement is good value. The information states:
If you took all the organic superfoods, antioxidants, herbal extracts, protein, wholefood source vitamins and minerals etc in Athletic Greens® and purchased them individually at the same high quality, it would cost over $390 per month, minimum!
Signing up to the loyalty program is unsurprisingly touted as the best option;
For the best savings, enrol in our “Loyalty Program” program and you will receive a discount off the regular price of Athletic Greens®.
Athletic Greens® is designed to provide you with all your daily nutrition needs.
There is not one word on this website that recommends a healthy diet.
In view of the fact that the website is crammed with images of fit and healthy people and that it stresses the importance of health, we feel that the advice is cynically out to exploit people.
Some consumers will undoubtedly feel that all of their dietary needs will be sorted by using this supplement because this is the overriding message.
So What Is Athletic Greens and What Are The Ingredients For Athletic Greens?
There are 75 ingredients in Athletic Greens so we cannot itemised each one. However, there is a full ingredients list provided and the supplement is broken down into four separate formulas. The individual amount ingredients are not given.
Serving size is one heaped teaspoon.
Alkaline Super Dense Raw super food complex (8453mg):
Most of the ingredients are in this part of the formula and include:
- Spirulina: Edible bacteria used as whole food. It is a complete protein so called because it contains all essential amino acids and it may have health benefits. However, there are some concerns about contamination found in supplements.
- Alfalfa: This medicinal herb may act like oestrogen in the body so you should not take it if you suffer from a hormone related health condition.
What is certain about alfalfa is that it is a diuretic so will increase urination. An unusual side effect is that it can increase sun sensitivity.
- Wheatgrass powder: Very popular right now in the health food world and some people grow this young wheat and harvest the leaves as they grow. It may have health benefits but lacks evidence.
- Bilberry Extract: Also other fruit extracts including Goji berry, cherry powder, pineapple, grapeseed extract and apple powder. Powdered fruit extracts which contain antioxidants and may provide health benefits.
- Cocoa Bean Extract: Contains Theobromine, which has a stimulant effect similar to caffeine. It can increase heart rate and lower blood pressure if taken in sufficient quantities. Theobromine is found in all chocolate.
- Ginger powder: Familiar spice with culinary use, and often taken to treat stomach upsets. It may help increase the metabolism if taken in high quantities It is safe but can interfere blood-thinning medication used to treat high blood pressure
vVegetable powders: These include beetroot, carrot and spinach and broccoli powder. Much of the goodness from veg comes from the fibre content so not present here.
- Dandelion, Slippery Elm and Liquorice: Three diuretic ingredients that may see you visiting the bathroom more frequently.
- Green Tea powder: Popular supplement ingredient with health benefits. High levels of antioxidants but probably works best when drunk as a beverage.
- Kelp powder: Seaweed high in iodine so may have an effect upon the thyroid gland.
Nutrient Dense Natural Extracts. Herbs and Antioxidants (3569mg)
- Pea Protein Isolate: Food additive with a neutral taste and has a typical legume amino acid profile.
- Citrus Extracts: Citrus fruits are a valuable source of vitamin C
- Rhodiola Rosea: Wild plant known as golden root and sometimes taken to combat depression.
- Milk thistle: Natural plant that is believed to be effective for liver damage such as poisoning and alcohol abuse. It has a laxative effect and can cause side effects such as vomiting and nausea.
- Withania Somnifera: Also called Indian Ginseng and related to deadly nightshade. May increase thyroid hormone levels and reduce blood pressure. Long term safety unknown and can cause vomiting and other problems.
- Dandelion extract: Well known garden plant with a diuretic effect. Known as “wet the bed” in English folklore and “pissenlit” in France.
- Hawthorne extract: Well known folk medicine ingredient. Some clinical evidence suggests that it may be useful in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
- Stevia: Natural sweetener derived from plant species Stevia rebaudiana
Digestive Enzyme and Super Mushroom Complex (233mg)
- Astragalus Root Extract: Chinese herbal ingredient called Huang Qi. Believed to aid digestion
- Bromelain: Pineapple extract believed to reduce inflammation but medical research is unproven. May increase the heart rate and blood pressure
- Burdock Root Powder: British medicinal herb that works a laxative.
- Reishi Mushroom Powder: Chinese medicinal fungus believed to improve cholesterol levels and general health. Lacks clinical evidence. Source: http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/reishi-mushroom
- Shitake Mushroom Powder: Believed to have numerous antioxidant health benefits.
Dairy Free Probiotics
Probiotic supplements are believed to be healthy but this science is in its infancy and remains unapproved by the Health authorities.
Introducing so called good bacteria to fight bad bacteria is not without risk and can cause infection. Even the most researched strains have not yet been sufficiently developed in basic clinical research to warrant approval for health claim status. Probiotics for weight loss remain largely un-trialled and untested.
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus (3.6 billion): Lactobacillus acidophilus lives in the intestine, vagina and your mouth and helps the body’s immune system fight off infection. May reduce antibiotic side effects.
- Bifidobacterium Bifidum (3.6 billion): Believed to benefit the intestinal tract.
The supplement also contains a wide range of minerals including magnesium, zinc selenium, copper chromium and manganese.
So What Does All This Mean?
Athletic Greens contains a LOT of ingredients and these are supposed to promote good health and wellbeing but this supplement is no alternative for a balanced healthy diet. Taking fruit and vegetables in powdered form is no substitute for eating fresh produce. Probiotic supplements come with the risk of introducing infection and remain unapproved by the health authorities.
Some of the ingredients are a cause for concern. There seem to be a high proportion of ingredients with a diuretic and laxative effect. In addition, some ingredients are known for other side effects and may raise heart and blood pressure.
Many physicians warn against taking mineral supplements unprescribed. Trace minerals are only required in extremely small quantities and can come with a range of potentially dangerous side effects if this is exceeded.
This supplement does not look very healthy to us it taken on its own, and could be an expensive way to get the nutrients you could already receive in a healthy and balanced diet.
Does Athletic Greens Have Any Side Effects?
The greater the number of ingredients the greater the risk of side effects and with 75 listed ingredients, the list of potential side effects is long.
In addition we are not told the precise ingredient quantities.
Potential side effects may include;
- Elevated blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Stomach cramps
- Increased urine output
- Laxative effect
Athletic Greens do not provide any health warnings.
Avoid if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Do not take if you have a blood pressure or heart related medical condition. Avoid if you have a thyroid related medical condition or if you have or have suffered from a hormone related medical condition such as breast cancer.
Avoid this supplement if you are taking antibiotics and ask your doctor for advice if you are taking prescription medication because Athletic Greens will cause drug interactions.
If you experience side effects, cease taking and consult your doctor.
Any Athletic Greens Reviews From Customers?
There are numerous impressive customer testimonials on the Athletic Greens website. Unsurprising, these are all positive and come from professional looking people such as Isabel Del Rios the author of a book called Beyond Diet.
“I know I’m getting the highest quality vitamins, minerals and nutrition in just one delicious tablespoon each day.
Opinion is divided on the My fitness Pal website. Some customers are pleased to take this supplement long term.
A month ago I started taking AG and am now a believer in it.
My energy level is up, I haven’t gotten sick, and I always get sick in January, and my workouts are at a higher intensity which I attribute to the energy.
However a high number of people are dissatisfied.
One customer said;
Seriously, don’t waste your time or money. It doesn’t work, it taste like crap and the company is SHADY as hell.
Many customers have fallen foul of the so-called free trial too.
I ordered the trial and was instantly charged $8.95 for shipping on the trial, and another $105.90 for what I guess is another package as well.
The order form said the only thing I would be charged for was the $8.95, and after that, I had 21 days to cancel. I ordered several hours ago, and now have two charges on my Amex.
So Does Athletic Greens Work?
It will not replace a healthy diet and lifestyle as the advertising implies.
It may cause side effects which are not mentioned in the advertising. According to medical advice, it is not advisable to take supplements long term because of potential health risks.
If you are unable to eat a healthy balanced diet and don’t mind spending the money then this supplement may be worth it.
Where Can I Buy Athletic Greens?
You can only buy Athletic Greens direct from one of the Athletic Green websites.
If you are in the USA or Canada, you can buy the supplement from Athletic Greens (USA)
1 package of 30 servings of Athletic costs $127.00. This price is for a one off purchase and does not sign you up to auto billing.
If you sign up to the Loyalty Program you receive a 24% discount making the cost of 30 servings $97.00.
The company will send you fresh supplies and bill you each month.
When you reach the sales page, the box that signals the 60 servings loyalty plan option is automatically ticked for you.
This provides you with 60 servings for $177.00 and a regular order each two months. Shipping costs are extra.
UK customers can buy Athletic Greens via Athletic Greens.co.uk. Surprisingly when we looked at this, the price was calculated in Euros.
1 packet of 30 servings costs $109 (single one off payment).
Alternatively, 1 package of 30 servings costs €87 if you sign up to the loyalty programme.
60 servings of Athletic Greens costs €167.00 with the loyalty programme discounts. Shipping is an additional €6.95 send via Royal Mail.
These prices also apply to customers in Europe.
According to the product information, you can cancel the loyalty programme at any time by phone.
What About A Guarantee
We were unable to find a guarantee on offer.
Although we were initially excited about this supplement in the end we are really unimpressed with Athletic Greens.
This supplement is masquerading as healthy and the implication is that it is a replacement for a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is not and it may cause side effects that you would never experience if you just improved your diet and spent the same money on buying good quality produce.
In addition the company is very quick to sign you up to its so called loyalty programme and this does encourage you to this supplement take full time. The company sometimes offer a free trial too, which has caught people out. Not good.
You should never take supplements long term and if the Athletic Greens company are so desperate for customers they have to resort to tricking people into buying, this supplement company is obviously not quite as reputable as it claims to be or as wholesome as it looks.
Make no mistake. Athletic Greens may not be as great for your health as you think and will potentially be bad for your pocket.
All this leads us to only one possible conclusion. Do not bother with this supplement.
We reject Athletic Greens.