Athletic Greens was founded in 2010 with one product that went on to lead the industry: their green superfood powder. Nine years later they’re expanding their product line and their original greens product has been rebranded to Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily.
In this article we wanted to give a rundown of their complete product line and give our thoughts on each of them.
Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily
- More transparent than most greens powders
- Contains adaptogens
- Good source of probiotic bacteria
This is what’s called a green superfood powder (see our list of the best greens powders), which a lot of people use to replace a multivitamin, and there are a few reasons why. One is that it’s made from powdered whole foods so most of the nutrients are naturally derived, but more importantly this doesn’t just contain micronutrients.
Extraordinarily nutritious greens powder with quantified health benefits. Also one of the best-tasting greens powders on the market. Get 20 free travel packs with your order!
Athletic Greens is full of other ingredients that might be good for your health. For example, there’s a wide range of adaptogens, which help the body manage the effects of stress — both stress from work and stress from work outs. The ones in Athletic Greens include rhodiola rosea and reishi mushrooms, which have been linked to everything from subjective wellbeing to better immunity, both things that stress can affect.
Finally, there are also more than 7 billion probiotic bacteria in here. Those are intended to add to the trillions of bacteria you have living in your digestive tract, which not only help you to better absorb nutrients but may also improve immunity, reduce inflammation, and possibly contribute to mental health.(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)
We like this supplement. It’s not crazy high in minerals, but it’s got a lot more vitamins than your average greens powder. Our only complaint is that you don’t get the exact weight of all the ingredients so it’s a bit hard to know the dosage, but it’s still more transparent (and much better tasting) than most of its competitors.
[Check out our full Athletic Greens review!]
Athletic Greens Omega 3 Fish Oil
- Made from wild caught Icelandic fish
- May help to combat inflammation
Omega-3 fatty acids are a kind of polyunsaturated fatty acid in which fish are very high, though it’s also found in lower amounts in grass-fed meat and some plant sources. If you consume too many Omega-6 fats (which are found in the kinds of oils we typically use to fry food) and not enough Omega-3 fats, it’s linked to a pretty wide range of problems that stem inflammation like impaired immunity, heart health, and bone strength.(8) Because of the potential inflammation effect they’re commonly taken for arthritis, though you should speak to your doctor if you’re experiencing issues in that area.
No fishy burps and made from wild caught Icelandic fish, Athletic Greens's Omega 3 is more sustainable and user friendly than some competitors.
There are a few cool things about this product that makes it stand out from the crowd of competitors: it comes from wild caught fish (which are typically a little better for Omega-3s,) it’s third party tested for contaminants, it’s not stored for very long before they’re shipped to you (so the fat’s less likely to oxidize), and it’s guaranteed to be made with sustainable fishing practices.We didn’t experience any “fishy burps” after taking them, which is always a nice bonus.
The downside is the pills are made from bovine gelatin, so if you don’t consume beef then that may not be welcome, although they are free from pork.
[See where Athletic Greens landed on our list of the best Omega-3 supplements!]
Athletic Greens Vitamin D3 + K2
- Both nutrients appear to act synergistically to improve bone health
- Vitamin K2 may also improve heart health
- Vitamin D3 has links to optimal testosterone levels and lower depression risk
These are two nutrients that practically nobody gets enough of. While small amounts can be found in some foods (like salmon), for most people their best source of Vitamin D is sunlight, which makes your body produce it. Vitamin K2 is even harder to get: the best sources are fermented foods and egg yolks.
Many people don't get enough of these vitamins on their own, but they may also act synergistically to improve bone and heart health.
Vitamin D has a lot of links with hormonal health, mood, and bone strength.(9) While K2 is less researched, it also appears to help with bone strength by helping to make sure more calcium winds up in your bones and less in your soft tissues.(10) Indeed, the two nutrients appear to act synergistically: the Vitamin D seems to enhance how much calcium you get from your food and Vitamin K2 helps the body deposit it in the right places.(11) Since it may help to reduce calcium winding up in your arteries, there’s also evidence that K2 improves heart health.(12)
This supplement also contains some Vitamin E, an antioxidant that also helps to act as a preservative, and it’s delivered in medium chain triglyceride oil.
Athletic Greens Whey Protein
- Whey from grass fed cows from New Zealand
- Contains no artificial ingredients or sweeteners
Finally, there’s the whey protein, and this is the kind of product that is designed to appeal to the all natural crowd. It really is all natural: there are no artificial flavors or sweeteners, sure, but there’s also no soy, sucrose, dextrose, peanuts, GMOs, preservatives, none of that stuff.
A whey protein sourced from grass-fed cows in New Zealand, it's a protein that's about as close to "all natural" as you can get.
It’s also cold processed, so none of the protein is denatured. (It gets denatured when you consume it anyway, so it’s not really a big deal, but this is important to some folks.) The whey is also grass-fed. Grass-fed dairy and meat is higher than the conventional kind in beneficial fats like Omega-3s and CLA.(13)(14)
Now, I should emphasize that this has just two grams of fat per scoop, so it’s not as though Athletic Greens Whey Protein is actually a good source of fats. Still, grass-fed cows spend more time outdoors and might have a lower carbon footprint, so you may find those valid reasons to pursue grass-fed whey.
My only complaints here are that it’s quite pricy at about 7.5 cents per gram of protein, it might not be great for lactose sensitivities, and the chocolate flavor didn’t taste great. The vanilla flavor I quite enjoyed, although note that it tastes more like caramel than vanilla.
[Learn more about the benefits in our Athletic Greens Whey Protein review!]
The four of these products together cover a very wide area of your nutritional needs and we were especially happy with the Vitamin D3+K2, which is one of the more cutting edge areas of nutrition research. They’re a tad pricey, but otherwise these are pretty remarkable additions to the supplement industry and we found the ingredients to be effective and well sourced.
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2. Carvalho, B.M. et al. Influence of gut microbiota on subclinical inflammation and insulin resistance. Mediators Inflamm. 2013;2013:986734.
3. Plaza-Diaz, J. et al. Evidence of the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics in Intestinal Chronic Diseases. Nutrients. 2017 Jun; 9(6): 555.
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6. Regulation of abdominal adiposity by probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055) in adults with obese tendencies in a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun;64(6):636-43.
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8. Simopoulos AP. Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Dec;21(6):495-505.
9. Nair R. Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2012 Apr;3(2):118-26.
10. Schwalfenberg GK. Vitamins K1 and K2: The Emerging Group of Vitamins Required for Human Health. J Nutr Metab. 2017;2017:6254836.
11. Kidd PM. Vitamins D and K as pleiotropic nutrients: clinical importance to the skeletal and cardiovascular systems and preliminary evidence for synergy. Altern Med Rev. 2010 Sep;15(3):199-222.
12. Theuwissen E, et al. The role of vitamin K in soft-tissue calcification. Adv Nutr. 2012 Mar 1;3(2):166-73.
13. Hebeisen DF, et al. Increased concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in milk and platelet rich plasma of grass-fed cows. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1993;63(3):229-33.
14. Dhiman TR, et al. Conjugated linoleic acid content of milk from cows fed different diets. J Dairy Sci. 1999 Oct;82(10):2146-56.