Athletic Greens is considered by many as the gold standard in green superfood drinks: it has a wide variety of ingredients that perform just about every function you could want from a greens drink. There’s grasses and algaes that are jam-packed with antioxidants, there are adaptogens that might help with stress, there are probiotics that might help with digestive health, there are even — believe it or not — lots of actual vitamins and minerals.
But while Kylea’s Total Living Drink Greens isn’t quite as well known, it’s also remarkably effective as far as these products go. Part protein shake, part greens superfood drink, it has almost all of the same ingredients as Athletic Greens and often they’re in the same quantities, too.
I was surprised by how hard it was to pick a favorite. Read on for the final decision.
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.
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.MoreLess
Athletic Greens: In an industry where the average product tastes like lawn clippings, both of these products were real delights.
Athletic Greens’ main flavor was a creamy vanilla and a tropical pineapple. There’s also a little ginger flavor in there so it’s complex and warm, and really enjoyable.
[Check out our full Athletic Greens review!]
Total Living Drink Greens: It’s blueberry flavored but it also tastes strongly of green tea. In that regard it’s almost like açai berry, but it’s an even earthier flavor. It’s nice enough for a green superfood drink, but I definitely preferred Athletic Greens.
[Check out our full Kylea Total Living Drink Greens Review!]
Winner: Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens: This is a company where if you like the product, it’s worth subscribing to monthly shipments. This drops the price down to about $2.50 per serving, whereas if you’re getting a one-off shipment the cost is almost $3.50 per serving.
Total Living Drink Greens: One bag of 30 servings is between $95 and $105, so the cost comes out to somewhere in the area of $3.30 a serving. Kylea also provides a monthly subscription service which drops the price to 84 dollars a bag or $2.80 a serving. These two are very close in price, but Athletic Greens is cheaper on a per serving basis.
Winner: Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens: There are seventy-five ingredients in Athletic Greens and they’re all linked to some kind of health benefit. There are the grasses like wheat grass and alfalfa, the algae spirulina and chlorella, and an assortment of powdered fruits and vegetables that all come together to provide a big hit of antioxidants and micronutrients. The algae in particular have been pretty strongly linked to lower blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease, according to studies published in Nutrition Journal and the Journal of Medicinal Food.(1)(2)
There are also a lot of roots and herbs linked to everything from mental clarity to stress management, better immunity, liver health, better blood sugar, and general longevity. These include astragalus, rhodiola rosea, eleuthero root, milk thistle, reishi mushrooms, beta glucans, and rosehip. These mushrooms are considered “adaptogenic” and are drawing the attention of a lot of researchers — evidence in Mediators of Inflammation found that they may have anti-cancer effects in addition to improving immunity and lowering inflammation.(3)
There are also 7.2 billion probiotic bacteria from two strains to boost digestive health and possibly immunity.
Total Living Drink Greens: Kylea’s product has almost all of the same ingredients as Athletic Greens and in roughly the same quantities as well. They both have spirulina, chlorella, and wheat grass, which are something of a holy trinity in the greens powder industry — practically every product worth its salt contains the three of them in some measure.
Total Living Drink Greens also has medicinal roots and herbs like astragalus, rhodiola rosea (for stress management), eleuthero root (for immunity), milk thistle (for liver health) and green tea (for antioxidants).
(We tried 47 brands: check out our best green superfood powder picks!)
It’s also worth noting that that Kylea has four kinds of probiotic bacteria while Athletic Greens only has two. That’s actually important, as having a diversity of gut bacteria is important for gut health and may even help to reduce body fat, according to a 2010 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.(4)(5)
But it doesn’t have adaptogenic mushrooms or ashwagandha, two ingredients that are coveted in greens powders for their immunity boosting and stress busting effects. Athletic Greens is also more transparent, noting that it has 7.2 billion probiotic bacteria but while Kylea doesn’t mention the probiotic count.
It’s tight, but Athletic Greens has more ingredients with a wider variety of benefits.
Winner: Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens: As we said above, Athletic Greens has more ingredients linked to more benefits, and unlike some of its competitors the ingredients are in sufficiently high quantities to make a difference. We’re talking antioxidants to slow and repair some of the effects of aging, a slew of ingredients linked to immunity, more than a few roots that may lower stress and anxiety, a dose of beta glucans to help control blood sugar, and more.
The nutrition profile is also impressive: 700 percent of the RDI of Vitamin C, 332 percent of the daily Vitamin E, 466 percent of your daily Vitamin B12, and about 100 percent of the RDI of B1, B2, B6, B12, K2, biotin, and zinc.
Total Living Drink Greens: We noted in the “ingredients” section that while Kylea’s product shares a lot of the same ingredients as Athletic Greens, it falls short in adaptogenic mushrooms, ashwagandha, beta glucans, rosehip, and other specialty ingredients.
But in the vitamin and mineral department, Kylea comes ahead. It has more vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, selenium, manganese, chromium, and a few other trace minerals. These vitamins and minerals have been added into the product — they don’t naturally occur from the powdered plants and vegetables, making this more of a greens-powder-plus-multivitamin than a true greens supplement.
It’s also worth noting that there are 11 grams of protein per scoop of Total Living Drink Greens, making it more anabolic but also three times higher in calories (120 calories) compared to Athletic Greens.
So, ultimately it’s tough to compare the two products because Kylea has made a combination greens-mutlivitamin-protein drink, putting it in a different category to Athletic Greens.
I would argue that if you want a supplement that’s extremely high in vitamins and minerals like Kylea, you’re more likely to simply buy a multivitamin. If you want an all-natural drink that provides a lot of more intangible benefits like stress reduction, cognitive benefits, immunity, and so on… you’ll likely get more out of Athletic Greens.
Winner: Athletic Greens
Overall Winner: Athletic Greens
This was a really tight race and these are both excellent products. But Athletic Greens is cheaper, it tastes better, it’s closer to what you expect from a greens powder, and it provides more ingredients that deliver a wider range of benefits.
1. Ku CS, et al. Health benefits of blue-green algae: prevention of cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. J Med Food. 2013 Feb;16(2):103-11.
2. Ryu NH, et al. Impact of daily Chlorella consumption on serum lipid and carotenoid profiles in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Nutr J. 2014 Jun 11;13:57.
3. Lull C, et al. Antiinflammatory and immunomodulating properties of fungal metabolites. Mediators Inflamm. 2005 Jun 9;2005(2):63-80.
4. Bäckhed, F. et al. The gut microbiota as an environmental factor that regulates fat storage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Nov 2;101(44):15718-23.
5. Kadooka, Y. et al. 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.