Wellness Myths

A Dietitian’s Review of Athletic Greens

April 07, 2022 Season 3 Episode 2
Wellness Myths
A Dietitian’s Review of Athletic Greens
Show Notes Transcript


The girls of Wellness Myths are back from a brief hiatus and ready to tackle a product that they just can’t stop hearing about- Athletic Greens!

You’ve probably seen their A+ marketing all over your podcasts, targeted Instagram ads, and on your fave influencer’s page. We’re here to discuss exactly what’s in this new supplement, how it can and can’t help you, and the story behind it.

Expect to hear scientific research, how to spot red flags in supplements, and even more about the cast of Netflix’s Cheer (see last episode).

Reviews in the podcast directory of your choice are greatly appreciated!

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You can find a computer generated show transcript at https://wellnessmyths.com

Hey Nass. Hey ma'am. So it's been a really long time since we recorded an episode together. Yeah. Well I recorded the solo and I called you my little sidekick. W what did you think of that? I loved it. No, I mean, I got like a personal note from my family member being like, are you the sidekick? Like, I can't believe, I don't think you're the sidekick. Like I have a funded by that. I'm definitely not the sidekick. Well, I corrected it and then I called you my partner, but then I was, I had to go past it because I was going to spend too much time talking about that because I was like, partner feels like sexual, kind of Yeah. Right? Yeah. We're partners and like a lot of things, but yeah, I know what you mean. I also wanted to talk about, and I don't know if this happens to anyone but today. So I work from home and I was just having like a case of the giggles. And so I was literally like working on my. By myself in my home. And then it would just like burst out in laughter and then like continue working. And I stopped for a minute and was like, I look bat shit right now. Like if someone was watching me through my window, which if they were, they'd be a peeping, Tom. So like, I mean. who, who are you to judge me? But I was looking real wild too. well, that'll be kind of like the excuse of our weird energy. I had like a lot of cold brew this morning because I had signed up for Pilates, but I was really tired, which I already told Vanessa VALIC in depth. I mean, we haven't recorded an episode in a long time, but we still talk about. A long time every day. So, our report will be the same, but basically we're coming in here with a lot of really intense energy today and hopefully y'all can match it to listen about athletic greens. Cause I'm really excited to talk about this topic. Yeah, let's get into it. Welcome to this week's episode of wellness missed today, we are going to be talking about athletic greens. So this is kind of a, not a hot topic, but a hot product. And something that Emily has been dying to talk about. I feel like. Well, I'm kind of excited to talk about this because I feel like we're going to have differing opinions, which is like really rare. You know, you saying that you keep saying that I don't think our opinions are going to be so different. I just feel like you feel more intensely than I do. And I'm kinda like chill about it, you know? Yeah, that can be said for a lot of things. I think like, I think like, yeah. Okay. What should we talk about first about it? Like I just overflowing with. Okay, well, first I just want to say this is, has nothing to do with the nutrition profile of athletic greens, but they're based in New Zealand. And for some reason that really makes me like them more Yeah, and I think they're banking on that. They're banking on that. Well, you know what they won me over with. There you go. I think like a lot of people might not know what athletic greens are. So I think we could probably start there. Athletic greens is a green powder. And you might be familiar with other brands of this that you might see in the store. I don't really know like what the other popular brands are because athletic greens seems to have like edged everything out. But I remember like back in the day when I was. Definitely more in like a diet culture phase. I would like take them with me on trips. Like if I knew, okay, I'm not going to get like tons of produce this day. And they can be used for good, for sure. But athletic greens specifically claims that they have a lot of benefits in their green powder. Some of the claims are they, it boosts energy, it helps recovery. It promotes gut health. It supports immunity. A lot of promises here. And also a lot of messages surrounding like taking control of your body and control of your health. They even have a tagline own your health own your day, which felt to me like the Greek life gym bro version greens powder is a little bit but. Yeah. So basically they're just reporting that you can take this powder every day and it will make up for any nutrition gaps that you might have. And it'll give you all of your essential vitamins and minerals. And so I was looking at this a little bit deeper. I pulled up their supplement facts most just going through, because I was thinking know. It's kind of just like a multivitamin, like, could you replace your multivitamin with athletic greens? And The answer is now, The answer is surely. quite, it's not quite complete enough to be a multivitamin. It just doesn't have enough of anything. You have to remember, they're packing a lot into this. And you know, they're not going to tell you that you have to do 30 scoops of something. They have to make everything fit into. Scoop. So it's kind of just like a little bit of everything, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But it's not going to replace anything. I mean, we'll talk about that more. But this is truly an added. Yeah. One thing that I noticed is that there's huge doses of like vitamin C vitamin a things that are like more commonly found in foods. And then there's lesser doses of things that are less commonly found like magnesium or selenium. There's not even like your daily full, a hundred percent need of that. And so that was kind of threw me off cause I was like, okay. I mean, you're going to get enough vitamin C in a day, especially because a lot of the people that are drinking these powders are people that already have pretty nourishing diets. I mean, this is really, it's a very expensive product. So people with access to athletic greens specifically definitely have access to proper fruits and vegetables because it comes in at $3 and 30 cents for just. Serving of the product. It's like $99 for a bag. just want to interrupt you there to say that is much more expensive than other greens powder. So, and I think I was looking at, I was looking at average prices of greens powders and average is 22 cents to 99. So. Per scoop. So would you say It's 3 99, 30. 30. Okay. So that's substantially more expensive. And I'm going to go ahead and say it, you know, I don't think athletic greens is necessarily The best greens powder out there. I do think that they are the greens powder that has the most clout and the most The best marketing team, the best the best marketing team and the most support from the, some of the most influential people in our society, which are celebrities. I was going to tell you that some of the people from cheer, which was like two episodes ago, and we talked about cheer, some of those people use, and while I don't know if they really use, but they definitely are supporting it. And posting ads like on Tik TOK for athletic greens. So they're definitely like a company that engages with a lot of sponsorships and through celebrities, like you're saying, I've seen them firsthand. So my my thoughts on this. Okay. I will give them a little bit of credit here because I feel like that's my job in this, in this particular podcast, because I don't think Emily is going to particularly have a lot of good things to say. You know I've already mentioned this isn't complete. It's not something that complete can replace your multivitamin. It's not something that can necessarily replace greens in your diet. I mean, it is really low fiber. There's only two grams per serving, so that's not a great amount of fiber at all. They're really falling down there. Yeah. Like they couldn't add some psyllium husk or something. I was like, this is crazy. And fiber is such like, I think a hot topic too. So I was surprised by that, but also not really, because it's just a simple greens powder. Like you're not going to find absolutely everything that you need. right. They do have, you know, some probiotics in there, which obviously are good for the gut has some digestive enzymes, which can be helpful. But again, I'm not sure that they have a substantial. Amount of anything to make too much of a difference. Now I said I was going to keep this positive. So I will say if you're already eating a pretty good diet and you add this on, it's not a bad thing to add on. If you have the money and you want to add it on. Saying that it's not going to make you feel like you maybe have a little bit more energy. It might you know, those are good. It has good stuff in it. So it's not a terrible thing to add. It's not going to do you harm, which is the main thing. There's not a ton of studies on athletic greens specifically, but other greens powders, they have found that you know, there's been really, really small studies, like 10 people that after four weeks of supplementing with greens powders, they found less oxidative lead, damaged proteins in their blood. They also found some cholesterol lowering effects in some really small studies as well. So it's not as if there's no benefits. But. I do want to remind everyone, you can't just take a greens powder and not eat any vegetables at all. Now I would recommend a greens powder for someone who or I should say I would potentially recommend a greens powder for someone who is very, very picky and has a low acceptance of vegetables. And I'm not saying as a full replacement, but just to help them get there. So the greens powder would be. Okay, we're going to introduce more stuff into your diet. We can introduce this to, and kind of slowly up your fruits And veggies. Nothing's going to replace eating fruits and veggies. I'm sorry to tell you this. I know it's not a fun or sexy answer, but it's just the truth. There's no pill formula. Anything that you can take, that's going to replace your diet completely. Everything is just an add-on. And also too, I think like this is just really coming to me when you're mentioning all this stuff is it's like, these companies are really trying to sell you that your diet is inadequate. And that is not always the case. Like a lot of the people that I think are the target market for this, like I said before are already eating. And you know, they might be, you know, athletes who are engaging in, I mean, I've seen people drinking this who are already drinking, like tart cherry juice for recovery. Like, you're a good dude. Like you might not need this. So the thing is like, I think being really mindful of like the red flags of them telling you like, oh, you need this and this and this and this. Well, they don't know anything about your diet, number one, their marketing team. And also like. Simply false. Like a lot of people don't need all of those things and don't need all of that help. So I think getting clear about like what your current circumstances are, is really important to your point. Yeah. I mean, I just can't stress enough that the things that you would really want to have high amounts in there just are not, They're not. hitting the mark They're not. all. I, so they, they list like a nutrient extract, herbs and antioxidants section of the supplement and they list the total milligrams, but we don't know how much of each thing is in there to even make it like statistically significant or not statistically. So, and I'll say that We don't know how much of each supplement is in there. If it really makes a difference. You know, I was reading this thing where people were talking about, you know, adding vitamin C to iron and it helps your absorption. Okay. Yeah. But people like squeeze half a juice of lemon or half a Lemon's worth of juice onto your greens. Well, yeah, but that's not really a significant source of vitamin C. Like you need like 50 milligrams, but half a lemon is not cutting it. So it's just kind of like. You know, those things might be true and it might be true that like, you know, there's this fact and these supplements and these products can help you, but at what amounts, and does it matter if they're mixed with all this other stuff, there's just a lot more questions. It's not nearly as straightforward as I think they're purporting it to be. And I think to kind of sum all that up, they call themselves the originator of the essential list, nutrition movement. And I feel like that's almost like a good descriptor for them because it's like, yeah, these are just like their bare essentials. And what they've decided is that, but it's truly like, The very bare bones kind of version of what you need, right? Like with all the fiber take now and all of the other parts of the food that, you know, we are meant to consume when we're saying, get your servings of fruits and vegetables in. I think it's also interesting to think about, so. Things like when you look at their story of athletic greens. So their founder was someone who had like, they just have issues in gut issues. And that was why they wanted to create this powder. So I don't know what the founders situation is like now, as far as their digestive issues, but I can, 100% promise you if their digestive issues. We're fixed. It's not just because they started drinking greens powder like any supplement. It can be part of the solution, but it is not the whole solution it's like saying I have indigestion. So I'm going to start taking a probiotic. Okay, cool. That might do nothing. It, well, it will do nothing. Well, not nothing. It will do little and it might potentially cause harm depending on why you're having indigestion. So there's always more to the story. You can't look at one thing and be like, this is the solution to everything. Like all of my problems are going to be solved with this. In marketing, we'll always have you believing that. Right. And I think that's like where our listeners can be like, oh, like, if they're saying it's going to restore my energy boost recovery, do my immunity. Like everything's going to be taken care of in this one product. That's just where you kind of have to be like, oh, like red flag. That's not, you know, not one product can address all these issues for every single person that drinks it. This is just not, this is. And I mean, if that was true, then Emily and I would be out of a job because if we could just tell you to drink. Supplement and all your problems will be solved. Then what would you need us for? Exactly. And it's not like, like Vanessa said there are some benefits. I had even found another study that they did again, very small. Like I think we're talking 40 people and it left. It was with nano greens 10, which is a different brand of greens powder, but it had phytonutrients Alovera powder, green tea, all that stuff. And it was led to lower blood pressure. But again, they don't talk about like what their behavior was before. Like, we don't know if these people never met an antioxidant in their life and then started drinking it and then all of a sudden, yeah, like that would make a little more sense. So just being really cautious when you look at the research like that and athletic greens, I say like any particular research is associated with their product, which is good. I mean, they've researched like the specific supplements that they put in there, which is cool, but also like, yeah, they haven't researched it in the context of their powder. So they don't really know if you'll achieve the same results. That's another thing to like, put on your critical thinking cap. something I do like about athletic greens though. So their website, you can go through and look at each ingredient and they tell you what that vitamin or mineral or probiotic or adaptogen, whatever category it's under, it will tell you its benefits and what it does for your body, which is just kind of. Yeah, Yeah, like Emily said it might be not, it might not be giving you like the exact results. It says it can, because it might be in a really small dose. But it's, it's still cool. Yeah. It's, it's interesting. And I mean, I'm all for people getting more involved in their health in that way. I think that's like a really great idea. It's just once again, are you someone who needs to be more involved in your health or do you need to like relax and calm down about your health? I don't know. And I think most of the athletic greens people are people who are like. Looking for this kind of like utopia of like perfect health and achieving athlete, which is also fine, but it's just, I think a fine line of like, you know, who needs this product and who doesn't. I think also another thing I really like about them is that they have a couple different safety standards. They're a GMP registered facility in New Zealand plus that heart. And so that just means they have good manufacturing practices and that can be good for avoiding any contaminants in their product. And then they also are NSF. just a, note on GMP supplement companies do not have to have that GMP stamp. That's not required. It's the wild, wild west in supplements. So, that is an extra thing they don't have to do. So it's good when you see. Totally. Yeah, they definitely hit the mark on that one and because a lot of them aren't like that FDA does not regulate these supplements. Supplements. Yeah. It's the wild, wild west for sure. So they're also NSF certified. Sport, which basically means that they independently test for unsafe levels of contaminants and that the label matches what's actually in the product because so often, you know, it says it has a, you know, five milligrams of melatonin and it really has a, I mean, you really can't trust it. So I like that they have two different kind of testing avenues. It is kind of funny, like the verbiage that was in the website is like NSF tested for only clean ingredients. And it's just like, there's no, it's just a funny word to use. The NSF doesn't really even use that and neither does GMP. So they just kind of like have their own spin on it. And I think that's just another thing of like, oh, they know who their customers are. These people are definitely familiar with clean eating and that kind of terminology. So I don't think athletic greens advertises as well, I know they don't advertise as like a meal replacement or anything like that, but that's something else that I do worry about with supplements like this, especially when it's something you mix in a drink, I feel like someone might look at this and be like, oh, this can be my breakfast. This can't be your breakfast. Okay. It has 50 calories. It has two grams of fiber. It has two grams of protein. This is not a breakfast situation. If you want to add a couple of scoops to your smoothie, great, or one scoop is a serving. So if you want to add a scoop to your, your smoothie, But this is not a replacement. I mean, if you're adding this to a smooth, even you should still be like, if your protein source is going to be a protein powder, you should be adding that protein powder as well. Definitely is not something that can replace really any source of food. Definitely. And I, I just get nervous in situations like this. Cause I feel like people start looking at it as like, oh, this can be breakfast. And it's like, no, this is just, I mean, basically like not like pulp popping a multivitamin, cause it's not as complete as a multivitamin, but same kind of concept as if you were like popping a capsule, you wouldn't count that as breakfast. So I think our opinions are pretty clear on this product, but I kind of wanted to close with some reviews of the product. I don't know if you've looked at any of like the consumer reviews when you're. Okay. So it's kind of funny because one of the top. Don't believe the influencer hype $99 a month for an absolutely terrible tasting product has a weird bubble gum pineapple after taste, which I was like, that sounds kind of good for a green powder book. Okay. And they're like based, based on the Instagram hype and the two to three times higher price point, I expected great things. Sadly, this one is disappointing. Like, so a lot of the one star reviews it's expensive. It's expensive and I can't is the subject. And it's like, they put, I cannot shut this down without gagging. So I do not drink it anymore. So like, there's definitely a lot of people that say the taste is not good. And I've seen that from like a lot of people. But most of the reviews are really just all about, you know, The terror, the absolute terrible taste. But I think again, if you're used to drinking green products or bitter things like that, like you wouldn't, you probably wouldn't be that shocked by it. I don't think that this is a product that's developed to taste. You know, I think it has a specific function, like it's not supposed to taste good. So I'm not really sure why people would expect that. totally. And they're not saying like, oh, it's like a great, yummy, dry. I mean, there's definitely some greens powders that are marketed as like they taste good. But it's definitely, there is quite a lot of people who think it's disgusting. And there's a lot of people also who report no results. Like literally people are like, there's nothing like, I, I. Taking it every day for two months and I feel nothing. And it's like, okay. Yeah. I mean, you know, I'm not surprised by that, especially because like we said, I mean, people who are having this are probably already eating fruits and vegetables as it is. But yeah, I just thought that was kind of interesting. And a lot of the five-star reviews are all just talking about like, Great product. Like, I look forward to giving my drinking my vitamins every morning. A lot of people also said that it helps them drink more water because you have to pour it in water and like, dissolve it in there. So I think that's like another big thing. Like if you're like, oh my God, I have a great like, change in digestion. And it's like, well, yeah, because you know, you're all of a sudden drinking a glass of water And that's, I mean, if that's something that encourages you to drink more water, even gets you in the habit of drinking. More water in the morning. I mean, it's an expensive way to learn that habit, but Hey, if you've got the funds go by all means, go at it. So Emily, I have a question for you as we close this out. So guns to your head, you have to pick whether to tell a client that they need to drink athletic greens every morning, or they need to drink celery juice every more. Oh, head? What do you tell them? I'm just weighing all, all of the things. I mean, I think. If price and privilege was not notwithstanding, I would say athletic greens. I think if I had to pick Yeah. You know, I probably would too. I would pick athletic greens as well, just because there is more in it. And also you don't have to clean the freaking blender or the freaking juicer, which we all know, you know what I love. That's why I don't own one. I think juice is an enjoyable thing to drink, but boy, is that a pain to clean The blender or I keep calling it a blender juicer juicer. But yeah, I think I would pick athletic greens as well. Well, that was a fun little exercise. Yeah, it was, and I think it gives you context to that. Like, you know yeah. And celery juice is very similar. Like there's, there's not so many risks to be consuming it every day. Unless you do have like some kind of issue, like you can't have too much vitamin K because of a drug or something like that, then yes, you do need to be aware. And that's the same with athletic greens. But Yeah, it probably won't do you harm. You'll probably be out a lot more money. And maybe you'll see a benefit. So every anyone who listens to this, if you've tried athletic greens, they'll have to let us know what you think about it, how many stars you would give it. And we'd love. And if you love athletic greens, that is awesome too. If it's working for you, go at it. I mean, we're not here to stop. Absolutely.