Do any of us eat enough greens? The answer is probably NO. With a busy lifestyle, work, commitments, and rushing around with kids, I really don’t have time to focus on eating loads of healthy greens.
The professionals tell us that we need to eat at least three servings of green veggies every day. So, instead of feeling guilty, I decided to try out two green supplements that claim to give your body all the vital nutrients and vitamins that you need.
I looked more closely at these specific powder-based green products – Athletic Greens and Super Greens.
Here is what I found.
What are Athletic Greens?
Athletic Greens is a superfood green powder that can be mixed with water, milk, low-fat milk, or almond milk. It can also be blended into smoothies.
The company was founded by Chris ‘the Kiwi’, real name Chris Ashenden, in 2009. Reading more about him on their website, I learned that he struggled for years with health issues that prevented his body from absorbing and synthesizing nutrients.
The supplement was made with the aim of providing an easily-digestible amount of essential nutrients, ideal for people wanting to improve overall health. It claims to be suitable for anyone from children to sports professionals.
In the mix are over 75 natural ingredients divided into four specific blends. Each blend targets different health requirements.
What is Super Greens?
Super Greens is a green powder that can be mixed with water, milk, or into a smoothie. It also claims to offer all the daily required doses of antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Super Greens is produced by a company called Nested. It was started in 2013 by Jeremy Sherk, an entrepreneur, speaker, world traveler, and health nut. He has a passion for fully transparent heath products that disclose exactly what ingredients they contain. Their first product was a sleep aid called Luna. Since then the product range has expanded extensively.
The company is based in Vancouver, Canada, and is run by a friendly team of people who love their sports. They are involved in yoga, climbing, and snowboarding.
The philosophy of the company is to provide a product with a flavor that is ‘fresh and honest, just like a spring day’.
How are they different?
Both products are green powders that offer a comprehensive range of nutritional ingredients.
At a closer look, there are some differences
Athletic Greens contains 75 natural ingredients that are listed on the package. The ingredient list gives a breakdown of each one with its percentage daily value.
The ingredients are divided into 4 blends.
- Alkaline, Nutrient-Dense Superfood Complex
- Nutrient Dense Extracts, Herbs and Antioxidants
- Digestive Enzyme & Super Mushroom Complex
- Dairy-Free Probiotics
Super greens has a smaller list of ingredients. They are also divided into blends. The concept of Super Greens is slightly different from Athletic Greens. You can see how they focus their blends in the following breakdown.
The 5 blends on the Super Greens Package are
- Alkalizing Blend
- Fiber Blend
- Antioxidant Immune Blend
- Probiotic Blend
- Digezyme Enzyme Blend
One of the main reasons I drink supplements is for Vitamins. I enjoy knowing that I am getting more than the recommended daily dosage. Comparing these two products, Athletic Greens offers a much higher percentage of Vitamins.
Vitamin C is needed to boost your immune system and help to ward off disease. It can be found naturally in citrus fruits, strawberries, and black currents. It is also found in large quantities in broccoli. But that is not one of my fave veggies! Athletic Greens offers a massive 700%, while Super Greens only offers 37%, a very low amount in comparison.
Vitamin B12 is used by the body to maintain healthy blood and nerves. It is also used in the formation of DNA. (1). Once again, Athletic Greens has a higher dose at 367%, with Super Greens at 79%.
Another surprising difference is that Super Greens does not list any value for Vitamin E. Athletic Greens provides 334%. Perhaps Super Greens does contain Vitamin E, but I don’t see it on the ingredient list. Vitamin E helps to boost the immune system and regenerate healthy cells. It also offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (2).
To keep your gut balanced and healthy, your body needs good bacteria, known as Probiotics. Having a well-functioning digestive system will ensure that you are less prone to common ailments like diarrhea, constipation, and Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (3).
Both products contain probiotics. Super Greens has an amount of 1.6 Billion CFU. Athletic Greens once again comes out better with a huge amount of 7.2 Billion CFU.
Digestive Enzyme Blend
The two products are quite different when it comes to the blend for digestive enzymes. The Super Greens ingredient list calls this blend Digizyme and it contains Amylase, Cellulase, and Lactase. The amount offered is 67g.
Athletic Greens got my attention because it uses the highly-sought-after Shiitake mushrooms in the blend. These mushrooms are native to East Asia and have been used for many hundreds of years in medicinal cures. Also included in the Athletic Greens blend is Reishi mushroom powder. The digestive enzyme blend for Athletic Greens is also higher at 154mg.
I enjoy the fact that Athletic Greens contains mushrooms. Mushrooms have great health properties. They contain adaptogens that help the body to manage stress, fatigue, anxiety, and improve concentration.
Iodine is used by the body to support thyroid health. Super Greens offers a large amount of Iodine at 51 percent of the recommended daily intake. Athletic Greens does not seem to contain any Iodine. So this is a win for Super Greens.
I enjoy the taste of Athletic Greens. It has a unique taste of pineapple, vanilla, carrot, and ginger. Overall, it is earthy with no bitter aftertaste.
Super Greens is very ‘green’. It has a grassy taste which I may be imagining. However, after reading reviews from many users, it seems that a lot of them also say the same thing. The company claims a ‘fresh taste like a spring day’. So perhaps the grassy hints would be acceptable!
I also noticed that Super Greens also makes the powder in a chocolate flavor. I am not sure how the green taste mingles with chocolate – I will leave that up to others to try out.
Neither drink is very sweet as the sugar content is low. However, Super Greens does contain more sugar at 3g, whereas Athletic Greens claims to have less than 1g.
I always look to see if the product contains Stevia. This is a very strong natural sweetener and is not always enjoyed by everyone. Athletic Greens claims to contain a small amount of Stevia. Super Greens claim to use Monk Fruit extract to add sweetness to their blend.
Supplement drinks with low sugar content are vital for people who are following a diet plan. You do not want to increase your sugar intake as a result of your health drink.
How are they similar?
Here are the main points of similarity between the products.
Benefits of daily use
Both products are marketed as a green superfood powder offering a good combination of required daily nutrients and vitamins. They both claim to
- Give a natural energy boost
- Support gut health via probiotics
- Support immune health
- Fuel the brain and concentration
- Support hormone function
Protein and Fiber
These are not powders designed to offer a large boost of protein. They both offer a small amount of around 2g which is only 4% of your daily requirement. If you are looking for fiber in your diet, neither of these powders provides a large amount. They are more or less the same at around 2g.
Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
Athletic Greens and Super Greens both claim to be suitable for a vegan diet. Athletic Greens also states that it is also suitable for Keto and Paleo diets.
Both websites state that the products are non-dairy and gluten-free. The products are also free of pesticides, herbicides, harmful chemicals, and animal products. They contain no artificial colorants, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners.
GMP certified facilities
GMP, Good Manufacturing Practices, facilities are independently verified and certified. Both products claim to be GMP certified and third-party tested. Athletic Greens goes one step further and claims that they audit every supplier of their raw ingredients.
I like to look at reviews and videos and the main website of the company. Both websites are very comprehensive and full of information. They both leave you with a feel-good vibe after reading all the information.
Both products have super-fans that won’t drink any other green powder. I was impressed by the overall transparency of all the information one needs. Sometimes it is a struggle to find out a lot about the business, but not in this instance.
Here are some key comparison points
|Athletic Greens||Super Greens|
|Sugar content||Less than 1g||3g|
What’s better about Athletic Greens?
Athletic Greens offers a far more comprehensive mix of vital vitamins and nutrients. The daily intake of most of the ingredients far exceeds that of Super Greens.
If I am going to go to the effort of drinking a supplement, I would rather choose a powder that offers bigger doses of essential ingredients.
The website has a lot of information about the bioavailability of ingredients. Bioavailability is the amount of the nutrient that is digested, absorbed and used in the system. Adding ingredients to a health drink is great, but if they do not have full bioavailability, the overall effectiveness will be reduced. Athletic Greens claims to have a very high level of bioavailability, giving you maximum benefit. I am sure that Super Greens does the same, but they have far less info on their website about this.
Athletic Greens is NSF Certified. This is ideal for sportspeople. NSF testing includes strict microbiological and analytical testing of every ingredient in the formula. It also requires transparency of manufacturers and suppliers. The product has approval from Olympians and professional athletes.
I like the way that this company shows care for the environment and how they go to great lengths to support deforestation.
What’s better about Super Greens?
Super Greens is a less intense formula that may suit some people better. It has a more grassy taste that will give you that ‘fresh spring day feeling’. Overall, users did not have a problem with the taste. Like anything in life, there were a few that hated the taste.
Some users made suggestions about adding in apple, lime, and mixed berries. I may give this a try. The problem I have with adding in more ingredients is the extra time needed – and the washing up! It is fine on a weekend when there is no great time pressure, but on a workday, I just want to scoop-mix-and-go.
Super Greens has a large amount of Iodine which is great for people who have thyroid concerns. The formula uses monk fruit as a sweetener, whereas Athletic Greens uses stevia. Both are found in only small amounts, but some people specifically look for supplement drinks that do not have stevia.
Who should get Athletic Greens?
The Athletic Greens formula is suitable for people of any age and any level of fitness. It is a far more intense combination of ingredients than Super Greens.
The large percentage of Vitamins will benefit people who have a vitamin deficiency, are recovering from injuries, or recuperating after an operation.
This supplement is ideal to boost your energy and concentration levels at work or while studying.
The company has invested a lot of focus on sports. Because Athletic Greens is NSF Certified, sportspeople can use this drink with no concerns. It has been approved by professionals and Olympians.
Who should get Super Greens?
Super Greens is far less intense and is better suited for people who want a milder supplement. It will certainly boost your immune system and give you a more healthy feeling without exceeding the daily intake requirements.
If you enjoy a more grassy taste, Super Greens will work for you.
To get the best results out of any health supplement, try to combine your drink with a lifestyle that includes a well-balanced meal plan and lots of exercise in the fresh air.
I enjoy both these products and use them in a type of mix-and-match combination. If I feel that I am in for a very stressful day and want a strong boost, I mix up a glass of Athletic Greens. When I am feeling energetic and just want to maintain my Vitamin levels, I mix up a glass of Super Greens.