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The 8 Best Greens Powders Reviewed in 2020

We've landed on the best greens powder for digestive health, antioxidants, value, and more.

We receive free products to review and may receive commissions on purchases made through our links. See our disclosure page for details.

Chugging a glass of neon green vegetable powder isn’t always pleasant, but it may be one of the most effective ways to enhance your vitamin and nutrient intake. Before you trade in your multivitamin for a greens powders, however, you should ask yourself a couple of questions. Namely, are greens podwers worth the money? And if they are, then which are the greens powder is the best? 

We wanted to know, too. And after testing dozens and dozens of the best-selling greens powder brands (as well as the underdogs that maybe don’t sell as well as they should), we think we’ve figured out which of them are worth your money and which are about as effective as drinking soil. In addition to listing the best greens powders, we’re going to explain how greens powders benefit you — because we wouldn’t expect you to take something unless you know it works. 

Best Greens Powders

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for the diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. 

Best Greens Powder Overall

To pick the best greens powder overall, we considered several factors: micronutrients, phytonutrients, adaptogens, and ingredients for digestive health. 

Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily

Athletic Greens is an absolute nutrient powerhouse. One serving provides 700 percent of your daily Vitamin C, and 100 percent or more of most B vitamins (including B12), K2, and zinc. It also has the antioxidants of twelve servings of vegetables, 7.2 billion probiotic bacteria, digestive enzymes, adaptogens, and even ingredients linked to mental health, like Rhodiola Rosea and ashwagandha. The downside, though, is that a lot of those ingredients are wrapped up in blends, so you don’t really know what you’re getting. 

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Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily
Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily
Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily

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!

Who Should Buy Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily

  • People who like greens powders for the digestive benefits: the probiotic bacteria and digestive enzymes in here have some interesting links.
  • Those who take greens for their antioxidant content. There’s a huge variety of ingredients known for their antioxidant content, such as spirulina, wheatgrass juice powder, and chlorella.
  • Customers in the market for adaptogens that might help with stress levels.Tthe Rhodiola Rosea and ashwagandha, in particular, are often used for this.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily

  • Those who prioritize transparency: many of the ingredients are in proprietary blends, making it tough to know the exact amount of each component you’re consuming.
  • Those looking for inexpensive greens. This one is pretty pricy, though it’s worth noting the cost drops if you sign up for a monthly subscription.

We’ve tried dozens, and Athletic Greens ticks the most boxes, consisting of a huge variety of healthful ingredients that may affect the body in myriad beneficial ways. 

Best Greens Powder for Protein

One thing almost every greens powder has in common is that it’s low in calories. They’re seldom over 40 per scoop. This means they aren’t great sources of calories or protein, but Kylea took a different approach.

Kylea Health & Energy 

Kylea Health & Energy Total Living Drink is a combination of greens powder and protein powder, offering a solid dose of key vitamins and minerals along with 11 grams of protein per serving. It also contains four kinds of probiotics and, as a bonus, tastes like blueberry tea. That said, if you’re shopping for a greens powder to replace your multivitamin, then the extra calories may not be welcomed. 

Best for Protein
Kylea Health & Energy
Kylea Health & Energy
Kylea Health & Energy

Kylea offers up 11 grams of protein along with a multitude of minerals and probiotics in a delicious-tasting greens powder. 

Who Should Buy Kylea Health & Energy

  • With 11 grams of protein per serving, this is a good option for those who have trouble hitting their daily protein goal
  • Sticklers for complete dosing. Kylea lists the full weight for each ingredient. 
  • Those who want a greens drink that doubles as a multivitamin. This has a wide variety of well-dosed micronutrients.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kylea Health & Energy

  • Anyone who wants low-calorie supplements. This provides 120 calories.
  • Penny pinchers: this is considerably more expensive than the average greens powder.
  • Athletes looking for a protein supplement. While 11 grams is more than any green powder on this list, it’s still less than half of most whey protein powders

For a supplement that touches on two different categories, Kylea Health & Energy does a good job maintaining ingredient quality and dosing. 

Best Greens Powder for Vitamins/Minerals

It’s not uncommon to see a greens powder that’s strong in a particular area — probiotics, enzymes, adaptogens, antioxidants — but then lack in others. In that sense, this pick stands out from the rest. 

PlantRise SuperGreens72 

With seventy-two ingredients (hence the name), PlantRise’s SuperGreens72 has blends for digestion, antioxidants, probiotics, and “superfoods.” And while we don’t love that some of the inclusions are proprietary blends, the nutritional label discloses the vitamin and mineral content, which we’ve found lacking in some other brands. 

Best for Vitamins/Minerals
PlantRise SuperGreens72
PlantRise SuperGreens72
PlantRise SuperGreens72

A greens powder with a huge variety of ingredients. Also has a pleasant, creamy taste and gets high marks in vitamin content, which some competing products leave out.

Who Should Buy PlantRise SuperGreens72

  • Customers who want multiple types of ingredients for a broader range of reasons (digestive health, antioxidants, vitamin intake, and so on).
  • People who want a wide range of ingredients in a daily greens supplement. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy PlantRise SuperGreens72

  • People who shy away from ingredient listings containing proprietary blends.
  • Customers who want something with higher Calcium and Vitamin D

SuperGreens72 is pleasant as far as taste and pretty comprehensive as far as ingredients. We wish they had disclosed all of the amounts in their blends, but we like that this supplement covers such a broad range of potential health benefits.

Best Greens Powder for Antioxidants

If you’re looking for a greens powder blend that delivers antioxidants, you want a brand that measures antioxidant doses using the ORAC (oxygen radical absorption capacity) scale.

ORAC-Energy Greens 

ORAC-Energy Greens has a score of 40,000 ORAC per serving — about 10 times what you find in a hundred gams of blueberries. Plus, it contains 42 ingredients that include wheatgrass, alfalfa grass, a blend of seaweeds, and various adaptogens. Two more bonuses: it has a very mild taste, and it just costs a dollar per serving.

Best for Antioxidants
ORAC-Energy Greens
ORAC-Energy Greens
ORAC-Energy Greens

One of the very few greens powders that actually measures its antioxidant content, this is a very transparent and effective greens drink.

Who Should Buy ORAC-Energy Greens

  • Those who prioritize antioxidants: ORAC-Energy Greens is one of the few greens powders to actually measure its antioxidant content, and it’s higher than you’ll get in several servings of blueberries.
  • People on a budget. At about a dollar a serving, this is a pretty inexpensive greens powder.
  • Those looking for some adaptogens with their antioxidants. This product includes eleuthero root, Rhodiola, holy basil, ashwagandha, and ginseng.

Who Shouldn’t Buy ORAC-Energy Greens

  • Customers who focus on digestive health: ORAC-Energy Greens isn’t especially high in probiotic bacteria.
  • For people who want minerals out of their supplements. There’s not much information on the nutrition label about their content.

Many greens powders contain ingredients high in antioxidants, but they don’t actually measure their potency in this regard. ORAC-Energy Greens is one of the few that use the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity scale, and so it got our top spot in this category. 

Best Greens Powder for Digestion

There’s interesting evidence that combining probiotic bacteria with prebiotic fiber helps to maximize both of their benefits for improving digestive health. That’s why Digestive Vibrance is our top pick in this category. 

Vibrant Health Digestive Vibrance 

Digestive Vibrance delivers 100 billion CFU (colony forming units) probiotic bacteria per serving. They’re from eight different strains. More bacteria from more strains may mean more benefits for the gut, as a diverse population of bacteria is often considered important for digestive health.

Best for Digestion
Vibrant Health Digestive Vibrance
Vibrant Health Digestive Vibrance
Vibrant Health Digestive Vibrance

This greens supplement comes with heaping servings of vegetables and fruits, along with a whopping 100 billion probiotic bacteria per serving — all of which can improve your gut health.

Who Should Buy Vibrant Health Digestive Vibrance

  • Anyone wanting more probiotics — at 100 billion CFU per serving, this has far more than any competitor we’ve seen.
  • Customers who want transparency. The ingredients label is extraordinarily transparent, providing the precise weight of everything you’ll get in a scoop.
  • It includes a series of micronutrients, like B6 and selenium, which also have links to digestive health. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Vibrant Health Digestive Vibrance

  • Those with sensitive stomachs may want to take it slow with this supplement; you may need to build up to taking all those probiotics at once slowly.
  • If you’re looking for a substitute for a multivitamin, you should know that Digestive Vibrance isn’t a great source of vitamins and minerals outside of B6, selenium, and iodine.

Digestive health is an interesting area of research that’s continuing to grow by the day. While a well-rounded diet and plenty of fiber are also key, evidence points to Digestive Vibrance being a good addition to your regimen.

Best Tasting Greens Powder

It’s no secret that many greens powders taste…earthy. And if you hate the taste, you’re never going to drink the stuff. 

Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily

We thought Athletic Greens tasted the best of all the powders we tried. It leans on stevia and added flavorings like pineapple, papaya, carrot, and cherry powder to produce an actually enjoyable drink. We found ourselves sipping and savoring it, which isn’t something we’ve been able to say about any of its competitors. 

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Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily
Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily
Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily

Most greens drinks taste like grass. We like Athletic Greens because it uses natural flavors and stevia to deliver a delicious, chug-worthy blend. Get 20 free travel packs with your order!

Who Should Buy Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily

  • Anyone tired of opening up a greens powder to find a powder that tastes like dirt.
  • Those who want a well-rounded greens supplement. It doesn’t just taste great. Athletic Greens is full of vitamins, probiotics, and adaptogens. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily

  • If you object to the natural sweetener stevia, you’ll want to pass.
  • Regardless of your adherence to flavor as a virtue, anyone wanting an inexpensive greens powder may be disappointed by the price.

With tropical notes that taste like a creamy fruit punch, don’t look past Athletic Greens if you want a tasty and effective green drink. 

Best Greens Powder for the Money

The cost of greens powders can add up — fast. If you want to prioritize this supplement, there are budget options available.

MacroLife Naturals 

For being the cheapest powder on our list, MacroLife Naturals delivers a substantial 18 billion CFU of probiotics from five different strains, four kinds of digestive enzymes, 720 percent of your daily Vitamin C, 330 percent of your Vitamin E, 50 percent of your B12, and eight percent of your iron. Though it has an antioxidant blend, it’s not quantified. 

Best for the Money
MacroLife Naturals
MacroLife Naturals
MacroLife Naturals

One of the tastiest and most nutritious greens powders on the market, this also delivers more probiotics than almost any of its competitors — and it's very inexpensive.

Who Should Buy MacroLife Naturals 

  • If you want to save cash while reaping all the benefits of greens powders.
  • Focusing on digestive health? This has 18 billion CFU probiotic bacteria and four kinds of digestive enzymes.
  • If you’re looking for adaptogens, MacroLife provides them in the form of astragalus, echinacea, and ginger root powder.  

Who Shouldn’t Buy MacroLife Naturals 

  • If your focus is antioxidants, little information is provided about the antioxidant content or the B-vitamins.

Many cheap greens powders give you wheatgrass and a nutrition label with nothing on it, but MacroLife pulled through with a huge range of ingredients and a surprisingly tasty berry flavor.

Best Greens Powder for Weight Loss

This is not a weight loss product, but Prebiotic Greens has ingredients with links to appetite control and weight management.

Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens 

Transparent Labs keeps the ingredients simple: three grams each of just spirulina, broken cell chlorella, acacia fiber, and green banana flour, plus a gram each of artichoke fiber and chicory root. These sea greens are extremely dense chlorophyll sources, which have links to managing appetite and reducing body weight. (1)(2)  The prebiotic fiber here also has links to weight management as they may improve your gut microbiome.

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Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens
Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens
Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens

A simple but effectively dosed supplement that emphasises sea greens and prebiotic fiber, both of which have links to weight management. Use the code BARBEND10 for 10% off!

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens

  • If you’re on a dedicated weight loss journey and you’re making sure to keep an eye on your calories and maintain your overall health, Prebiotic Greens may aid your efforts.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens

  • If you’re looking for many micronutrients and adaptogens with your greens, this isn’t the product. Prebiotic Greens has a short, simple ingredients list that focuses on antioxidants and chlorophyll.

It’s easy to get lost in the weeds when it comes to weight loss, and the most important component is your calorie balance. But given the links to appetite control and weight management, Prebiotic Greens is our favorite greens supplement to add a little help in this area.

What Are the Benefits of Greens Powders?

When greens supplements burst onto the scene in the mid-2000s, they were marketed as the evolution of multivitamins. They’re not just sources of vitamins and minerals, however. Greens powders often contain antioxidants, probiotic bacteria, digestive enzymes, and naturally-derived compounds that are linked to everything from better-functioning livers to improved mental clarity.

best greens powders
Momentum Fotograh/Shutterstock

But the biggest selling point is that those benefits come from naturally-occurring foods. Usually, there are no isolated vitamins injected into the supplement — the nutrition comes entirely from whole foods taken straight from the ground, sea, or trees. 

In most cases, the base of greens powders is made from a combination of grasses (like wheatgrass and barley grass) and algae (like spirulina and chlorella). The rest of the ingredients could be vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, roots, herbs, leaves, stems, fiber, probiotic bacteria, digestive enzymes, and royal jelly. Compared to multivitamins, greens powders aim to harvest the benefits of whole food ingredients that can sometimes be excluded from a daily multi. 

Plants don’t just contain the isolated vitamins and minerals you might get in other supplements. They’re also a source of fiber, chlorophyll, and phytonutrients like indole-3-carbinol (which may help with estrogen balance), isothiocyanates (which may decrease inflammation), and glucosinolates (which may lower the risk of heart disease). 

However, one potential issue with greens powders is that they’re relatively new. There aren’t many studies that have been performed on their potential benefits. That said, a couple of small studies published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine found that green superfood products caused study participants to experience a significant reduction in hypertensive symptoms, like better blood pressure. (3)(4)

These ingredients sometimes result in a tremendous amount of nutritions that vastly exceeds what’s offered in a multivitamin. Some greens powders can substitute for antioxidant supplements, digestive health supplements, adaptogen supplements, and natural herb supplements like Rhodiola Rosea or milk thistle.

How We Decided the Best Greens Powders

To measure the different greens powders’ effectiveness on this list, we paid attention to the four areas below. 

green drink
Lukas Gojda /Shutterstock

Micronutrients in Greens Powders

We know that many feel the point of greens powders is that they offer more than a multivitamin.  And many greens powders make claims such as “equal to four servings of vegetables” and “a great source of vitamins and minerals.” We feel that it’s important to gauge a product’s vitamins and minerals contents. It’s a surprisingly difficult task, as many of these products state that they’re full of everything the body needs while leaving most vitamins and minerals off of the nutrition label.

Antioxidant Content in Greens Powders

Perhaps the most common claim made about green superfood powders is how jam-packed they are with antioxidants. There’s no line for ‘antioxidant strength’ on a nutrition label. However, there are some methods of measuring a product’s antioxidants, like the ORAC score, which lets you measure the antioxidant content against, say, a cup of blueberries. Very few products do this, so we don’t mark them down too heavily if they don’t include their score, but it’s a big bonus when they do.

Adaptogens and Herbs in Greens Powders

A lot of the most exciting research in nutrition is on adaptogens, which are compounds that may alter the way the body responds to stress. One adaptogen that is often seen in greens powders is Rhodiola Rosea, which may improve focus and exercise performance. Reishi mushrooms, which have been linked to everything from subjective well-being to better immunity, is another. (5)(6)

Probiotics and Enzymes in Greens Powders

Maintaining a healthy population of gut bacteria — the trillions of little critters that live in your digestive tract and help you break down food — may tamp down inflammation, boost immunity, and positively impact your mood. Digestive enzymes and prebiotic fiber are also tied to a healthier gut and often find their way into greens powders as well. We look for these ingredients in our selects.

What to Know Before Buying a Greens Powder

Before you click “order” on your new greens powder, consider these three points.

mad drinking green shake
Maridav/Shutterstock

These Don’t Replace Vegetables

There are way too many green superfood drinks that advertise themselves as the equivalent of a serving of fruits and vegetables (or three). That’s not how it works. Fresh fruits and veggies contain far more ingredients and phytonutrients than you’ll find in an average scoop of greens, in addition to fiber and water. Eat your fruits and veggies!

Know Why You’re Buying

As you can see, greens powders can have many different focuses: antioxidants, digestive health, and adaptogens, to name a few. Do some research and know the strengths and weaknesses of your product before you commit.

Consult With Your Doctor

Always speak with your physician before undertaking a new supplement regimen.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a greens superfood powder?

A green superfood powder, also just called a greens powder, usually refers to a supplement that contains a base of antioxidant-rich algae or grasses, typically wheatgrass, barley grass, spirulina, and/or chlorella.

Usually a greens powder will also contain ingredients for digestive health (like probiotic bacteria), adaptogens (plants that can help improve stress levels), and/or added vitamins and minerals.

What are the benefits of greens superfood powders?

Greens powders typically contain ingredients high in antioxidants, which may slow certain aspects of aging. They may also improve nutrient absorption (especially when they contain probiotic bacteria, prebiotic fiber, and/or digestive enzymes), and help the body respond to stress (when they contain adaptogenic herbs or mushrooms).

Note that greens powders don’t usually contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, but there are plenty of exceptions — check the nutrition label for more.

Do greens powders detoxify my body?

No. The liver is what removes toxins from your body, and neither cleanses nor juices nor eating extra vegetables will detoxify your body.

However, some greens powders contain ingredients that support the body’s natural detoxification processes. The most notable and common example is milk thistle, a flowering herb that has been linked to liver health. (7) (It’s sometimes used to help treat hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver.) Most greens powders contain milk thistle to support using the word “detox” on their label.

Can a greens supplement boost my immunity?

Many greens powders do contain ingredients that are linked to a healthier immune system. In particular, most are a source of antioxidants, which protect the body’s cells from free radicals, harmful molecules that may contribute to the risk of cancer. Therefore, it can be argued that antioxidants may reduce your risk of disease.

The same can be said of many nutrients that are often found in greens powders, like Vitamins A, C, E, B-6, zinc, selenium, iron, and copper. Any supplement that contains any amounts of any of these micronutrients could be said to potentially improve immunity.

Final Word

Of all of the health and wellness supplements on the market, green superfood powders are among the newest — and they’re also among the toughest to scrutinize. We get it: many of them make outlandish claims and barely try to support them with information on their nutrition label. But while you can’t “out supplement” a poor diet, many of the best greens powders may well confer benefits to some areas of your health. After digging through a lot of muck, we’ve uncovered some truly excellent supplements. We think you’ll be as impressed with them as we were.

References

  1. Montelius C, Erlandsson D, Vitija E, Stenblom EL, Egecioglu E, Erlanson-Albertsson C. Body weight loss, reduced urge for palatable food and increased release of GLP-1 through daily supplementation with green-plant membranes for three months in overweight women. Appetite. 2014 Oct;81:295-304. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.06.101. Epub 2014 Jun 30. Erratum in: Appetite. 2016 Jan 1;96:645-6. Erratum in: Appetite. 2016 Jun 1;101:239. PMID: 24993695.
  2. Miczke A, Szulińska M, Hansdorfer-Korzon R, Kręgielska-Narożna M, Suliburska J, Walkowiak J, Bogdański P. Effects of spirulina consumption on body weight, blood pressure, and endothelial function in overweight hypertensive Caucasians: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2016;20(1):150-6. PMID: 26813468.
  3. Zhang J, Bateman R, Metzger S, Lanigan K. Taking nutritional supplements for three months reduced blood pressure but not blood lipid levels in students. J Chiropr Med. 2006;5(2):53-59. doi:10.1016/S0899-3467(07)60133-5
  4. Zhang J, Oxinos G, Maher JH. The effect of fruit and vegetable powder mix on hypertensive subjects: a pilot study. J Chiropr Med. 2009;8(3):101-106. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2008.09.004
  5. Ishaque S, Shamseer L, Bukutu C, Vohra S. Rhodiola rosea for physical and mental fatigue: a systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 May 29;12:70. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-70. PMID: 22643043; PMCID: PMC3541197.
  6. Bhardwaj N, Katyal P, Sharma AK. Suppression of inflammatory and allergic responses by pharmacologically potent fungus Ganoderma lucidum. Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov. 2014;8(2):104-17. doi: 10.2174/1872213×08666140619110657. PMID: 24948193.
  7. Abenavoli L, Capasso R, Milic N, Capasso F. Milk thistle in liver diseases: past, present, future. Phytother Res. 2010 Oct;24(10):1423-32. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3207. PMID: 20564545.
     

8 thoughts on “The 8 Best Greens Powders Reviewed in 2020”

  1. You’ve done an amazing job. I’ve decided to buy 2 powders & rotate them every other day so I can get a high protein with Kylea one day, and a high probiotic/digestive formula next day. If you suggest a better mix of 2, I’d love to hear.

    Any thoughts about storage? Refrigeration?

  2. Green powder products seemingly are just a more expensive way to receive nutrients available in fresh vegetables and fruit. I will continue to purchase, prepare and eat fresh vegetables and fruit and save some money. Respectfully shared.

  3. Is there a greens product that doesn’t react with blood pressure medication? They all seem to have green tea, some form of ginsing/ginko which speed up the heart/epinephrine and licorice which raises blood pressure.

    • Hey Karen, you’re right. The thing is the bag says it uses organic vegetables, but I contacted Kylea to learn this is actually untrue. I amended the text, thank you for pointing that out!

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