AG1: The Ultimate Nutritional Supplement Or Hype?

Athletic Greens, or AG1 (as it more recently has become known) has been a part of the ever-popular nutritional supplement market for more than a decade. More than likely, you have seen an AG1 advertisement, as the company has heavily touted its product as a more palatable alternative to pills and capsules. Using expert reviews, we wanted to find the consensus opinion on whether or not AG1 really lives up to the health benefits that it claims to provide.

Athletic Greens LLC, a private New Zealand-based company, owns AG1. According to the product website, AG1 contains “75 vitamins, minerals, whole-food sourced superfoods, probiotics, and adaptogens in one convenient daily serving.” Citing proprietary trade secrets, AG1 officials keep the exact quantity of ingredients in its assorted drink mixes close to the vest to fend off competitors, though the company does disclose, in general terms, what is in the drinks.

Importantly, AG1 is NSF Certified for Sport and made in a TGA-registered facility. These certifications are important because they help to ensure that sports supplements and other products are safe and free of banned substances. They also help to ensure that products are manufactured in facilities that meet high-quality standards.

AG1 claims it contains an impressive list of 16 vitamins. Some of the more readily known ones include niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K2. AG1 drinks also include such minerals as calcium carbonate, copper, potassium, sodium, zinc citrate, among others. Also in the mix are whole food sourced nutrients — alfalfa, apples, artichokes, and carrots among them — with probiotics and adaptogens rounding out the list.

On the surface, AG1 has the appearance of a healthy option for most people’s daily diets. As with many proprietary products, reviewers have gone to the Internet to give their take on AG1 and have shared the pros and cons of purchasing the product.

Reviewers Love AG1’s Convenience, Nutrient Density

A review by Heathline describes AG1 as a “convenient but expensive way to help fill nutrient gaps in your diet.” While the analysis notes that studies had not been conducted on the product, there is published research that indicates the benefits of consuming AG1.

“Happy customers note that they’ve noticed a boost in energy levels since trying the supplement,” the review states. “While it should not be a replacement for eating whole fruits and vegetables, AG1 may be worth trying if you’re looking for an easy way to boost your intake of important vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds.”

A write-up on The Everygirl notes AG1 could be an ideal “grab and go” option for busy people on the move who are in search of supplemental nutrition: “Ultimately, this is a convenient product that played into my brain’s positive reward centers — and that’s not a bad thing! The routine of prepping AG1 each morning before breakfast (or as a part of my morning meal) signaled that I was doing something good for my body. It helped set the foundation for those habits to continue throughout the day. A transformed perspective and more energy? That’s what we like to call a win-win.”

Athletic Greens (AG1) in a bottle
(Photo by RicoPatagonia on Shutterstock)

Positive Effects

A number of AG1 reviewers reported positive effects from making AG1 a regular part of their regimens during trials. A number of users, for instance, experience higher energy levels after drinking the product on a daily basis.

“I also noticed the immune system benefits AG1 promises,” a review for VeryWell Health states. “I never felt sick during the month, even though I was around sick people, traveled around, and I usually get a cold or some illness when the seasons change. I can’t necessarily attribute this to the product, but I felt healthy and strong, so I would say I’m a believer when it comes to the immune system boost.”

A review on Athletic Insight points out AG1 could be beneficial to athletes and people who make physical fitness activities a regular regimen in their daily lifestyles.

“Athletic Greens may also be beneficial for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who need to fuel their bodies with essential nutrients to support performance and recovery,” the review states. “The product is designed to provide a comprehensive blend of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can help support energy levels, immune function, and overall health and wellness.”

Taste Also Gets High Marks

While there were users who critiqued the overall taste of AG1 in reviews, others gave the drink a favorable nod — particularly in light of the nutrients packed into the product.

A review on Life Hacker Guy asserts that AG1 “is super easy because it tastes pretty good.” It adds, “Sipping a glass is pleasant without the grassy or chalky taste common with other green powder drinks. I have even rated Athletic Greens the best tasting greens powder.”

In addition to a pleasant taste, the Life Hacker reviewer gave a thumbs up for a concoction that was gentle on the belly: “I experienced no side effects with AG1. Athletic Greens powder in the morning drinking on an empty stomach.”

Green drinks in a glass
Some green powder drinks have a chalky or off-putting taste to them, but AG1 reviewers love the product’s flavor. (Photo by Alex Lvrs on Unsplash)

AG1 Might Not Be For Everyone

As with any product touting healthful benefits, users might want to consider consulting with a medical professional before making AG1 a regular part of their diet. This is especially true for people taking medications, as noted in a review in Forbes Health.

“Many of the adaptogens in AG1 interact with medications — such as dandelion, which interacts with numerous medications including diabetic medications, lithium, diuretics and certain antibiotics,” the Forbes review states. “I could not find a warning or caution listed on the website, so check with your medical doctor or registered dietitian before starting this supplement. Note that the company does state that it does not recommend taking AG1 if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without first consulting your doctor.”

It also should be noted AG1 should never be considered an outright substitute for eating whole fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, legumes, and lean meats. AG1 instead should be viewed as a supplement.

Dr. Raj Dasgupta weighed in on this issue in a review on SI Showcase: “AG1 contains a variety of ingredients that have been shown to support gut health, focus and energy, healthy aging, and immune health. However, AG1 is not a magic bullet for improved health and well-being. It’s important to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and prioritize quality sleep in order to achieve optimal health.”

There Are Unknowns About The Product

Athletic Greens LLC’s close-to-the-vest approach to disseminating information about AG1 drink mixes could be a downfall for people looking to integrate specific nutrients into their diet. The lack of granular information was cited as a potential drawback in a number of reviews.

The Balanced Nutritionist writes, “We don’t know how much of each ingredient is in each scoop of AG1, because it’s a proprietary blend — essentially a secret recipe. Is it enough milk thistle or wheatgrass to make a difference in your health? We don’t know because we don’t know how much of each ingredient you’re getting per serving. But it’s pretty clear you get very small amounts of each one when you compare the scoop size to the number of items on their nutrition label.”

A review on Medical News Today offers a cautionary take on over-consuming AG1. It could lead to a bevy of side effects if consumed in large quantities: “People should always try to get their recommended daily intake of nutrients from a diet rather than using supplements. Using a dietary supplement that contains vitamins and minerals can lead to a person consuming too much. This can lead to side effects, some of which can seriously harm health. For example, consuming too much vitamin C can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Too much copper can cause nausea, cramps, and vomiting, and may even lead to liver damage.”

Cost A Prevailing Drawback

While AG1 has nutritional benefits, to some degree, for most users, one of the prevailing deciding factors might come down to dollars and cents. The product is costly — particularly if users choose to buy it on a recurring, regular basis.

Athletic Greens LLC makes AG1 available as a one-time purchase or through a subscription model. Each has different price points. A one-time purchase is $99 and comes with 30 servings. Two subscription models also are available: a single one, containing 30 servings, at a monthly cost of $79, and a double, containing 60 servings, at a monthly cost of $150.

A reviewer in Illuminate Labs succinctly weighed in on why AG1 might not be the best option for meeting nutritional requirements: “I would not personally purchase this product again because I avoid supplements with added vitamins and minerals and I consider the price too high. I’d rather just buy whole fruits and vegetables.”

The Takeaway

Big picture, AG1 might be worth considering for people with the financial means to give it a try — either on a trial basis or as a regular part of a healthy, balanced diet. It could be especially beneficial to people with busy lifestyles who are in need of a quick nutritional supplement. That said, the Illuminate Labs reviewer makes a smart point when it comes to dishing out big bucks for products like AG1: you can just as easily consume all the vitamins and minerals your body needs through your diet. Of course, that can take some research and planning, which is why products like AG1 are created: to make that process much easier.

And of course, since Athletic Greens LLC keeps its precise ingredient list under wraps as a trade secret, the conclusive evidence is clear that the product never should be viewed as an outright substitute for consuming whole foods.

If you’ve tried or currently take AG1 and would like to leave your own opinion, please do so in the comments section below!

Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This page contains affiliate marketing links.

Comments

  1. Irrespective of price and transparency — both of which are issues when considering this product — there is no controlled research-based evidence, or even good correlational evidence, to suggest that consuming this powder will produce the same beneficial blood and gut chemistry for which considerable evidence exists for dietary consumption adhering to the Mediterranean and similar diets that emphasize the consumption of vegetables.

    Consume certain fresh vegetables and secure researched benefits in health and potential longevity. Consume this powder, for a price that could equal or exceed the cost of the fresh vegetables, and wonder.

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