What to Know About Greens Powders, According to a Functional Nutritionist

TikTok has brought under-the-radar health and wellness tips—think protein coffee, liquid chlorophyll and rice water for hair growth—to the forefront of daily routines. However, the platform’s latest trend is greens powders, and videos of their benefits have been popping up all over our FYP. To get to the root of the trend, we reached out to holistic nutritionist Jennifer Hanway, who told us that many of her clients and friends have recently asked about the benefits of greens powders, too.

“Greens powders, which are consumed in water, are typically a blend of dried fruits and vegetables, made into a powdered supplement that can be mixed into water,” says Hanway. “In addition to the fruits and vegetables, many products also include antioxidant- and phytochemical-rich ‘superfoods’ such as chlorella and spirulina, mushrooms and adaptogens, pre and probiotics and even protein powders.”

But, why the sudden rise in popularity? Hanway says its most likely due to one specific product that brought the trend to fruition: AG1 by Athletic Greens ($99). “It’s currently being promoted by everyone, from functional medicine doctors to Peloton instructors—it pops up on my Instagram feed at least three times a day.” Another possible reason for the sudden rise in popularity: “They are easy to use and incorporate into your daily routine. They are ‘bang for your buck’ in regards to the amount of ingredients the powders contain.

While greens powders contain a boatload of vitamins and minerals, Hanway warns against using them in replacement of real fruits and vegetables. “These products do not contain fiber, which most Americans fall short of in their diets on a daily basis. Fiber is essential for blood sugar balance, optimizing our hunger hormones, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and keeping our gut health and digestion in check. It is definitely much easier to drink a glass of water with powder mixed in than eat a large bowl of broccoli, but it can not replace a fiber-rich diet.”

With this stipulation in mind, let’s take a closer look at popular greens powders, and how you can use them to enhance your diet.

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AG1 by Athletic Greens ($99)

Starting with what Hanway says is the most popular greens powder supplement, AG1 by Athletic Greens is a powder that contains 75 ingredients, including zinc, vitamin C, grape seed extract and alpha lipoic acid. Together these vitamins and minerals are said to enhance focus and mental clarity, aid with post-workout recovery, support immune health and promote hair and nail growth.

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Ancient Nutrition Organic Super Greens ($45)

Made with real grass juices and adaptogens, this super greens powder is made for those with digestive issues and low energy. If you don’t have access to a fresh green juice, this is about as close as you can get. If you do have a blender, we like to add a scoop or two into our fruit-packed smoothies for an added green punch.

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8 Greens Original Fizzy Tablet ($39)

A powder in tablet form, this water-enhancer is packed with eight real greens, including aloe vera, wheatgrass and kale. According to the brand, one tablet contains as much vitamin C as six oranges, vitamin B6 as six cups of spinach, vitamin B5 as 15 cups of broccoli, vitamin B12 as seven cups of milk and zinc as three cups of peas.

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Garden of Life RAW Protein & Greens ($39)

Get the benefits of greens with an added boost of protein with this all-in-one powder, which contains six organic greens and veggies along with chickpeas to keep you fuller for longer.

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