The Best Greens Powders For Digestion, Fiber, Value, and More

Discover which greens powders can help with your daily vitamin and nutrient intake.

Expert Verified By: Gianna Masi, RDN, CISSN
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 green vegetable powder isn’t always pleasant, but it may be one of the most effective ways to enhance your vitamin and nutrient intake. Greens powders are often made of dried leafy greens and other vegetables, grasses, fruits, herbs, seaweed, and sometimes even probiotics and digestive enzymes. But before you trade in your multivitamin for greens powders, you should ask yourself a couple of questions. Namely, are greens powders worth the money? And if they are, then which greens powder is the best for me?

After testing dozens of the best-selling greens supplement brands (as well as the underdogs that maybe don’t sell as well as they should), we’ve determined which of them are worth your money and which are about as effective as drinking soil. In addition to a list of the best greens powders, we explain their benefits and how they might affect your daily nutrition. 

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 Video Review

Get a closer look at our experience with our top picks for greens powders in our video review, done by BarBend’s one and only Nutrition Editor, Nick English.

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 AG1

Athletic Greens is a 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 the exact proportions of what you’re getting. 

Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens

This nutritious greens powder is NSF certified for sport and includes 75 absorbable ingredients and is free of gluten, sugar, dairy, eggs, and nuts. It is compatible with vegan, keto, and paleo diets.

Who Should Buy Athletic Greens AG1

  • People who like greens powders for the digestive benefits: The probiotic bacteria and digestive enzymes in this formulation have some interesting links.
  • Those who take greens for their antioxidant content. There’s a huge variety of ingredients known for their antioxidant content here, such as spirulina, wheatgrass juice powder, and chlorella.
  • Customers in the market for adaptogens that might help with stress levels. The Rhodiola Rosea and ashwagandha, in particular, are often used for this.
  • Athletes — Athletic Greens is NSF Certified for Sport®, meaning it contains what it says it contains and has been tested to be free of banned substances.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Athletic Greens AG1

  • 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 pricey, though it’s worth noting the cost drops if you sign up for a monthly subscription.

We’ve tried dozens of greens supplements, 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 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. This pick, however, has a great taste, masking the greens flavor almost entirely.

Swolverine Greens + Reds

We thought Swolverine tasted the best of all the powders we tried. It leans on Stevia and natural flavors to produce an actually enjoyable drink that comes in a Natural Orange flavor. We found ourselves sipping and savoring it, which isn’t something we’ve been able to say about some of its competitors.

Plus, it’s free of proprietary blends, and contains greens like wheat grass, spirulina, and chlorella, as well as antioxidant reds, like beets, and pomegranate juice. However, since many people look to greens powders for help with digestion, it’s worth noting that this product does not contain any probiotics nor prebiotics. 

Swolverine Greens + Reds
Swolverine Greens + Reds
Swolverine Greens + Reds

Swolverine leans on Stevia and natural flavors to produce an actually enjoyable Natural Orange flavor. Plus, it’s free of proprietary blends, and contains greens like wheat grass, spirulina, and chlorella, as well as antioxidant reds, like beets, and pomegranate juice.

Who Should Buy Swolverine Greens + Reds

  • Anyone tired of opening up a greens powder to find a product that tastes like dirt.
  • Those who want a well-rounded greens supplement. It doesn’t just taste great — Swolverine is packed with both greens and antioxidants.
  • If you prefer mixing your greens with water (rather than within a smoothie), the flavor here is ideal on its own. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Swolverine Greens + Reds

  • If you are seeking probiotics or prebiotics, you’ll want to look elsewhere. 
  • Folks who don’t like orange or want more than one flavor option are better off opting for another pick on this list. 

Swolverine’s effective greens powder offers not only great flavor, but plenty of green superfoods and red antioxidants to create a well-rounded blend.

Best Greens Powder for the Money

The cost of greens powders can add up — fast. If you want to prioritize this supplement, this is one of the better budget options available. 

Kaged Muscle Outlive 100

According to some studies, adults should incorporate two to three cups of vegetables into their dietary regime a day to ensure a healthy diet (1). Kaged Muscle Outlive 100 contains 26 organic superfood fruits, vegetables, plants and herbs to deliver a serving of whole food nutrition to your day. Not only is this supp stacked with tons of nutrients from plants, it also contains extras such as apple cider vinegar, turmeric, quinoa for fiber, and ashwagandha, a known adaptogen.

This greens powder also contains 50mg of organic black pepper, which may help with absorption. One study suggested that black pepper improves turmeric’s bioavailability by 2000 percent when they’re paired together rather than taking turmeric on its own (2). 

For a greens powder that contains fruits and vegetables, additionally beneficial ingredients like black pepper and ashwagandha, and only costs $1.66 per serving, it’s tough to beat the high quality and price point here. They also provide a subscribe and save option which brings the price down even more to $1.49 per serving. Kaged Outlive is available in Berry and Apple Cinnamon flavors to deliver all the green goodness to your day in a tasty way.

Kaged Muscle Outlive 100
Kaged Muscle Outlive 100
Kaged Muscle Outlive 100

This greens powder contains 26 superfoods, and includes Activloe, which is aloe vera extract that can act as a prebiotic in the gut. You'll also find 100 milligrams of Actazin, which can ease digestion, and apple cider vinegar, which can potentially aid in metabolic health. 

Who Should Buy Kaged Muscle Outlive 100

  • Anyone who wants a greens supplement that delivers more than just vegetables will be happy with this rich ingredient list that includes extras like black pepper and turmeric.
  • Those who want to get their greens in without paying a fortune. These greens are $1.66 per serving, while some other greens on the market can cost upwards of $4.00 for the same serving size.
  • Athletes who value whole food, organic ingredients — this list contains only organic ingredients.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Muscle Outlive 100

  • If you want more flavor choices than Berry and Apple Cinnamon you’ll want to look elsewhere. 
  • People looking for a straight greens supplement without the extras 

Many greens powders that are lower on the price range tend to be limited to ingredients that allow the manufacturer to keep their product at a lower price point. If you want high quality greens with additional potential benefits and an organic ingredient list, this is a great low cost option for you.

Best Greens Powder for Energy

Drinking a greens powder first thing in the morning can help set you up with the energy you need for the rest of the day. This powder has magnesium and reishi mushrooms which may help boost your energy levels even higher. 

Athletics Greens AG1

Athletic Green’s AG1 formula is robust with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, enzymes, mushrooms, and antioxidants to promote overall wellness and energy. The greens powder contains 26g of magnesium which is an important mineral for over 300 bodily processes including energy production (3). AG1’s formula also contains reishi mushrooms in a proprietary blend, so the exact amount of the ingredient isn’t noted.

 Reishi mushrooms have been utilized since 1590 A.D. starting with the Ming Dynasty for enhancing vital energy (4). These two ingredients may enhance the general increased energy that many experience from hearty vitamin and mineral consumption. 

Due to the stacked sugar-free formula in this supplement, the price is a bit higher. If you pay the one time purchase fee it comes out to $3.30 per serving, while they have subscription options that offer $2.63 per serving and $2.48 per serving price points making it a bit more affordable. 

Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens

This nutritious greens powder is NSF certified for sport and includes 75 absorbable ingredients and is free of gluten, sugar, dairy, eggs, and nuts. It is compatible with vegan, keto, and paleo diets. 

Who Should Buy Athletics Greens AG1

  • People who want a greens powder that has the added benefits of magnesium and reishi mushrooms for potentially better energy levels.
  • Anyone who wants a robust ingredient list — this formula offers vitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotics, mushrooms and antioxidants. 
  • Anyone looking for a greens supp without any added sugars in it.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Athletics Greens AG1

  • People who want a more straightforward list of ingredients in their greens powder. AG1 is a powerful blend, but the ingredients list is long, and it includes proprietary blends.
  • Folks who want a cheaper formula can find it elsewhere on the market as this one is on the pricier side. 

While this greens powder can help you reach your micronutrient goals for the day, it may also boost your energy supply through magnesium and reishi mushroom supplementation.

Best Greens Powder Vegetable Blend

Many greens supplements are made from powdered vegetables that lack the nutrients that real vegetables contain, but Onnit is not one of those — this pick contains real, whole organic vegetables in each serving. 

Onnit Shroom Tech Greens 

Each packet of Onnit Shroom Tech Greens contains one serving of vegetables. And each serving of vegetables includes 14 kale leaves, four spinach leaves, and one broccoli floret. This is much more specific than many brands that just boast powdered vegetable blends, and don’t divulge exactly what and how much is in them. What’s better is these powders are sourced from whole organic vegetables.

This product also contains a mushroom blend, which can help provide energy during exercise. However, it’s worth noting that this powder is unflavored, which means it may not taste great in water, but you can add it to a smoothie or other flavored beverage virtually undetected. 

10% Off
Onnit Shroom Tech Greens
Onnit Shroom Tech Greens
Onnit Shroom Tech Greens

Each packet of Onnit Shroom Tech Greens contains one serving of vegetables. Each serving of vegetables includes 14 kale leaves, four spinach leaves, and one broccoli floret, as well as a mushroom blend.

Who Should Buy Onnit Shroom Tech Greens 

  • Customers who want organic whole vegetables in their greens supplement — this powder boasts 14 kale leaves, four spinach leaves, and one broccoli floret per serving. 
  • People who want to mix their greens into a smoothie without altering the flavor will appreciate that this powder is unflavored. 
  • Anyone who travels a lot will like that these greens come in small, transportable packets. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Onnit Shroom Tech Greens 

  • People who want a sweet flavored powder that tastes pleasant with water will want to look elsewhere as this formula is unflavored. 
  • Customers who are on a budget. This product is a little pricier than some others on our list, though it’s still not the most expensive option. 

Onnit’s formula is unique in that it contains whole vegetables and comes in easy-to-transport packets you can bring with you anywhere you go — you literally have no excuse not to eat your vegetables. 

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 Athletic Greens is our top pick in this category. 

Athletic Greens AG1

Athletic Greens offers ideal ingredients to aid your digestive health. It has 7.2 billion probiotic bacteria, prebiotic fiber, and digestive enzymes. Prebiotics are the food source for the good probiotic bacteria — combined with digestive enzymes to potentially help everything digest a little easier, these ingredients can create the optimal environment in your gut.

In addition, AG contains 700 percent of your daily vitamin C and 100+ percent of the majority of B vitamins, zinc, adaptogens, and antioxidants. However, it’s worth noting that a lot of these ingredients are listed in blends, which means you may not know exactly how much of each individual nutrient you are getting. But a huge plus — it tastes delicious. 

Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens

This nutritious greens powder is NSF certified for sport and includes 75 absorbable ingredients and is free of gluten, sugar, dairy, eggs, and nuts. It is compatible with vegan, keto, and paleo diets.

Who Should Buy Athletic Greens AG1

  • People who have digestive issues and want a formula that may ease tummy trouble will appreciate the probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes here. 
  • Anyone who wants a high dose of vitamin C and B vitamins in their greens powder.
  • Folks who prioritize flavor will appreciate that AG tastes nothing like dirt (which you may expect with greens powders). In fact, it’s actually quite tasty. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Athletic Greens AG1

  • People who don’t want proprietary blends in their greens powders will want to look elsewhere.
  • If you’re on a budget, you’ll be able to find much cheaper options on this list. 

With specific ingredients geared toward easing digestive issues, Athletic Greens may be your answer to a healthier and happier gut.

Best Organic Greens Powder

A lot of greens powders — including high quality picks on this list — use blends of fruits and vegetables. This pick goes a step further and uses whole vegetables and only organic ingredients. 

Kaged Muscle Outlive 100

Kaged Muscle’s all-organic ingredient list offers an array of leafy greens, grasses, superfoods, types of fiber for digestion, system cleansers like lemon and ginger, and the adaptogen, ashwagandha. The formula includes beet root powder, wheat grass powder, blueberry powder, turmeric powder, kiwi, and cinnamon, to name a few.

This supplement doesn’t stop at organic fruits and vegetables; every single ingredient in this formula is organic. It’s also naturally flavored, GMO-free, gluten free, soy free, and dairy and lactose free. This is a solid supplement choice for anyone who suffers from allergies or digestive discomfort from lactose and dairy. 

Outlive 100 comes in two delicious flavors — Apple Cinnamon and Berry — and costs $1.66 per serving. They offer a subscribe and save option which results in a $1.49 price tag making it an extremely affordable greens supplement which is extra noticeable with its high-quality organic ingredient list. 

Kaged Muscle Outlive 100
Kaged Muscle Outlive 100
Kaged Muscle Outlive 100

This greens powder contains 26 superfoods, and includes Activloe, which is aloe vera extract that can act as a prebiotic in the gut. You'll also find 100 milligrams of Actazin, which can ease digestion, and apple cider vinegar, which can potentially aid in metabolic health. 

Who Should Buy Kaged Muscle Outlive 100

  • Anyone who values organic ingredients in their greens powder will appreciate that every single ingredient in this formula is certified organic. 
  • Folks who want a blend of veggies, fruits, plants, herbs, and extras like apple cider vinegar and ashwagandha will love this stacked ingredient list. 
  • Folks who want a high-quality organic greens powder without breaking the bank will appreciate this price point. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Muscle Outlive 100

  • Folks who want more flavor options as this only comes in Apple Cinnamon and Berry.
  • Those who don’t care about extra ingredients can find a simpler greens powder elsewhere, which may cost less, as well.

Kaged Muscle Outlive 100 contains 26 whole food ingredients and they’re all organic. The list of ingredients avoids many allergens including soy, dairy, lactose, and gluten, and may be a great choice for those who suffer digestive consequences from consuming those allergens.

Best Greens Powder for Fiber

Fiber can help with digestion and help you feel fuller for longer. This pick offers more fiber than what’s found in your standard greens powder. 

Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens 

In addition to four grams of fiber, which is four times more than some other brands, Transparent Labs also contains three grams each of 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 helpful links to managing appetite and reducing body weight. (5)(6) The prebiotic fiber here may improve your gut microbiome, which may also help with weight management. What’s nice is this modest label is extremely transparent, and every ingredient is listed with the exact amounts.

10% off!
Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens
Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens
Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens

A simple but effectively-dosed supplement that emphasizes sea greens and prebiotic fiber, and contains other ingredients in full doses backed by science. Use the code BARBEND10 for 10% off!

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens

  • People who want a greens powder with more fiber to help with satiety. 
  • Folks who want to buy a greens powder that lists each ingredient in the full dose, as opposed to a blend.
  • Buyers who want a supplement with ingredients linked to improved digestion will appreciate the prebiotic fiber in this product.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens

  • If you’re looking for a bunch of 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.
  • Folks who don’t mind blends may be able to find a cheaper alternative.

Transparent Labs offers up a short yet sweet ingredient list that is fully dosed and backed by lots of research (made available on their website). And, let’s not forget why we named it for this list — it contains more fiber than most other brands.

Best Greens Powder with Spirulina

This greens + reds powder has an impressive micronutrient profile with the addition of 2,500mg of the “superfood” spirulina which may lead to some recovery and weight loss results.

Swolverine Greens + Reds

Swolverine’s Greens + Reds formula contains 23 vitamins and minerals and includes the digestive enzymes papain and protease. The standout ingredient here is the 2,500mg of spirulina which is an antioxidant that may work as an anti-inflammatory and may promote better cellular health (7).

It may also benefit those whose main goal is weight or fat loss. Spirulina supplementation was suggested in one study to reduce body fat, decrease waist size and BMI and increase blood lipids (8). Whatever your reasoning might be, spirulina may benefit you for a myriad of goals. This formula comes in a Natural Orange flavor and at $1.76 per serving, this greens formula is delicious and fairly priced.

Swolverine Greens + Reds
Swolverine Greens + Reds
Swolverine Greens + Reds

Swolverine leans on Stevia and natural flavors to produce an actually enjoyable Natural Orange flavor. Plus, it’s free of proprietary blends, and contains greens like wheat grass, spirulina, and chlorella, as well as antioxidant reds, like beets, and pomegranate juice.

Who Should Buy Swolverine Greens + Reds

  • People who want a greens powder that includes a solid dose of spirulina will like the 2.5g here.
  • Folks who want a robust greens powder will be happy to see 23 various vitamins and minerals alongside the digestive enzymes. 
  • Customers on a budget will be impressed with the quality and the price of this supp.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Swolverine Greens + Reds

  • If you are interested in a flavor outside of Natural Orange, you will have to look elsewhere.
  • Anyone who likes to buy their supplements in bulk as this only offers a 30 serving option. Though you can select subscribe at checkout to receive a regular supply. 

If you specifically want a greens powder that contains spirulina, Swolverines Greens + Reds packs a diverse profile of micronutrients, the added benefit of digestive enzymes, and a healthy dose of 2.5g of spirulina. 

Best Greens Powder with Protein

Many people opt to throw their greens or greens powders into a protein shake. This pick does the work for you by combining your greens and protein into one powder. 

Kylea Total Living Drink Greens

This whole foods blend combines 12 grams of protein and the nutritional equivalent of 7 to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables. It also contains 2,000mg of spirulina, which can help boost immunity, probiotics that can help promote digestion, and a B-complex that can help with absorption. It comes in a convenient ziplock bag that you can easily transport and store.

It’s worth noting though that since this blend contains such a wide array of ingredients (including added protein, which can potentially nix the need for a separate protein powder altogether), it’s one of the more expensive greens powders on this list. 

Kylea Total Living Drink Greens
Kylea Total Living Drink Greens
Kylea Total Living Drink Greens

These greens contain 12 grams of protein and the nutritional equivalent of 7 to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables, along with 2,000mg of spirulina, probiotics, and a B-complex.

Who Should Buy Kylea Total Living Drink Greens

  • Anyone who wants to combine their greens powder with their protein supplement — this product contains both. 
  • Those who want added spirulina may like the potential immunity boost from this supplement. 
  • Folks who like having probiotics in their greens supplement to help with digestion. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kylea Total Living Drink Greens

  • Customers who want a cost effective greens powder may find this product to be a little too expensive. 
  • Those who aren’t looking for an added dose of protein with their greens.

While this greens powder is more expensive than some others on the market, this protein and greens blend can be a great investment if you’re already using separate protein and greens supplements.

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 grams of blueberries. Plus, it contains 42 ingredients: 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, which is much less than some other options on this list. 

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.
  • People who want minerals in 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 On the Go

Most greens powders come in large tubs or bags of 30+ servings that are difficult to bring with you when you travel — Onnit, however, comes in individual packets.

Onnit Shroom Tech Greens

Onnit Shroom Tech Greens makes traveling and getting your veggies in a breeze. These greens come in individual packets, each containing one serving of Shroom Tech Greens — this means you can quit scooping your greens into travel bags to bring with you, or skipping your greens altogether because it’s too much of a hassle to bring them along.

Each serving of Shroom Tech Greens contains 2.6 grams of greens, including 14 whole kale leaves, four whole spinach leaves, and one whole broccoli floret per packet.

In addition, this product also contains a mushroom blend that can help with energy, but it doesn’t contain any other added vitamins and minerals, nor does it contain probiotics or digestive enzymes. However, if you’re always traveling and struggle to get your greens in on the go, Onnit can be a solid solution. 

10% Off
Onnit Shroom Tech Greens
Onnit Shroom Tech Greens
Onnit Shroom Tech Greens

Each packet of Onnit Shroom Tech Greens contains one serving of vegetables. Each serving of vegetables includes 14 kale leaves, four spinach leaves, and one broccoli floret, as well as a mushroom blend.

Who Should Buy Onnit Shroom Tech Greens

  • Frequent flyers who need a greens powder that comes in individual packets they can throw in their carry-on bag. 
  • Folks who value a greens powder that’s made from whole organic vegetables rather than blends of powdered vegetables. 
  • Athletes who want a greens powder that contains mushrooms that can help with energy during exercise. These greens contain two grams of an organic mushroom blend. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Onnit Shroom Tech Greens

  • Anyone looking for a flavored greens powder they can mix in water — this powder is unflavored, and tastes better mixed into flavored beverages or smoothies. 
  • Buyers on a budget — this greens powder is not the cheapest option on our list. 
  • Customers looking for a greens powder with additional vitamins and minerals will want to look elsewhere as this greens powder only contains vegetables and mushrooms. 

Onnit comes in individual packets that are easy to throw in a bag and bring with you when you are on the road. Plus, Onnit uses whole organic vegetables, and each packet contains one whole serving of them. 

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. 

“I love whole food sources as a means to get our nutrition and vitamins and minerals, so I like that a lot of the greens powders are derived from whole foods and plants,” says Gianna Masi, RDN, CISSN, CPT.

“I really encourage everyone to pick one meal a day that’s non-negotiable to get vegetables in. That’s a great place to start consuming more. Then, to add more antioxidants and polyphenols you could have a greens powder. It’s so important to remember that while powders can be great insurance, it shouldn’t take the place of trying to increase your veggie consumption.”

As Masi implies, 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, and there could be potential issues with ingesting such high levels of antioxidants at once, but more research is needed to determine if there’s a downside there.

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. (9)(10)

These ingredients sometimes result in a tremendous amount of nutrition 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.

When it comes to gut health, Masi suggests using a greens powder or a stand-alone probiotic. Otherwise, you risk digestive trouble. She also adds that greens powders or probiotics shouldn’t be considered a fix for gastrointestinal disturbances, and to always seek out a doctor if you have intense GI issues.

When to Take Greens Powders?

You can generally take a greens powder whenever it is right for you. However, some companies will recommend you take their greens powders in the morning on an empty stomach so that your body has the best opportunity to absorb all the nutrients before working to digest other foods.

Greens powders can be used the same way as a vitamin supplement, and therefore, they can be taken as you would take a daily vitamin. As with any vitamin, greens powders can show the best results if you take them regularly — so no matter when you choose to take your greens throughout the day, make sure it’s a time that you can maintain consistently. 

How Much Do Greens Powders Cost?

Greens powders fall into a wide range of prices. On the lower end, you’ll find greens powders that cost just 20 cents per serving. On the higher end of the range, you may find greens powders that cost over $3 per serving. 

Best Greens Powder Overall Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily $97.00

$3.23 per serving

Best Tasting Greens Powder Swolverine Greens + Reds $52.99

$1.76 per serving

Best Greens Powder for the Money Kaged Muscle Outlive 100 $49.99

$1.66 per serving

Best Greens Powder for Energy Athletic Greens AG1 $49.99

$1.67 per serving

Best Greens Powder Vegetable Blend Onnit Shroom Tech Greens $59.95

$2.00 per serving

Best Greens Powder for Digestion Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily $97.00

$3.23 per serving

Best Organic Greens Powder Kaged Muscle Outlive 100 $49.99

$1.66 per serving

Best Greens Powder for Fiber Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens $39.00

$1.30 per serving

Best Greens Powder with Spirulina Swolverine Greens + Reds $52.99

$1.76 per serving

Best Greens Powder with Protein Kylea Total Living Drink Greens $99.00

$3.30 per serving

Best Greens Powder for Antioxidants ORAC-Energy Greens $39.99

$0.67 per serving

Best Greens Powder On the Go Onnit Shroom Tech Greens $59.95

$2.00 per serving

The most basic greens — and generally less expensive powders — are typically a blend of vegetables without any added vitamins, minerals, or extra supplementation. The more expensive powders typically contain added vitamins and minerals (like a B-complex), additional supplementation (like protein and/or probiotics), and… they tend to include more ingredients to make them taste better. 

Overall, for pricing, be sure to consider the price per serving, rather than the price of the tub or bag itself, to evaluate how much you are getting for your money.

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 vitamin and mineral contents. It’s a surprisingly difficult task, as many greens products state that they’re full of everything the body needs while leaving most vitamins and minerals off of the nutrition label.

Even if a label claims a certain number of servings worth of vegetables, Masi says to not accept that as your daily veggie consumption. “I’m still going to encourage real food sources due to their bioavailability (how much of them are absorbed) and fiber content,” she says.

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, some methods of measuring a product’s antioxidants, like the ORAC score, let you measure the antioxidant content against, say, a cup of blueberries.

Very few products do this, so we don’t notch 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. (11)(12)

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 picks.

Greens Powders vs. Multivitamins

As we mentioned above, greens powders are supposed to be more complete and nutritious compared to a general multivitamin. Here’s the rub though: Greens powders are also A), considerably more expensive, and B) may not be absorbed as effectively. 

An article published by the Cambridge University Press asserts that plant-based diets can result in micronutrient deficiencies, but not just because a plant-based diet is naturally low in nutrients found in animal products (such as iron and magnesium).

According to the article, plant-based diets are also associated with “poor micronutrient bioavailability,” meaning they’re not absorbed as efficiently. (13) While Johns Hopkins found multivitamins to not be an effective solution against heart disease, cancer, or mental decline, it also didn’t say anything against its absorption rate. 

While prices do vary based on brand, multivitamins are generally cheaper than greens powders. So, if you’re looking to simply take in extra vitamins and minerals, then a multivitamin may be both more cost-effective and better absorbed.

That said, a greens powder contains more antioxidants and nutrients, as well as adaptogens and other possibly holistic herbs. Ultimately, the decision will come down to your preference and priorities. If you already eat a solid diet but want more nutrients, then the greens powder could be for you. 

Here’s the thing, though: Articles and studies on both multivitamins and greens powders say that nothing can replace a balanced diet that consists of raw (or cooked) greens and healthy whole foods. A plate of fresh broccoli is better for you (not to mention more filling) than a glass of dehydrated, ground-up greens. 

Here’s a summary since we threw a lot at you:

  • Talk to your doctor about what minerals and/or vitamins you need, because you may be better off taking a multivitamin over a greens powder.
  • Greens powders contain more antioxidants, nutrients, and herbs compared to a multivitamin. (Though, one article says that plants aren’t as bioavailable.) 
  • The best way to get more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, according to research, is a diet abundant with whole foods such as vegetables and fruits. 

What’s in Greens Powders?

Greens powders are notoriously robust, often containing nearly 75 different vitamins and minerals per serving. However, each brand takes a different approach to their formulation. While you’ll see a lot of different ingredients across the market, there are some big-hitters you’ll see in many of the top greens powders. 

Prebiotics and Probiotics

Prebiotic fiber and probiotics make for the golden combo when it comes to gut health. You’ll find prebiotic fiber in foods like legumes, beans, berries, and asparagus. Prebiotics are the fuel for probiotics, which are the good bacteria that line your gut. Greens powders often contain one or both of these ingredients to potentially help with digestion and gut health. (14)(15)

Spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that may boast antioxidant properties. It contains a high amount of vitamin B12, and it may also be helpful in balancing the gut microbiome, and boosting immunity. Spirulina is often a key ingredient customers search for in greens powders. (16)

Digestive Enzymes

Your body naturally produces digestive enzymes, which are proteins that can help you break down the food you eat. However, many greens powders contain an additional dose of these proteins to potentially help optimize gut health. (17)

Vegetables and Fruits

Most greens powders are made of powdered versions of — you guessed it — greens, like spinach, kale, chlorella, broccoli, and wheatgrass. Some even contain fruits like pineapple and apple. Though the powdered versions of these vegetables and fruits still contain plenty of nutrients, some of their nutritional benefits are lost in the powder processing.

So, though nothing beats eating these foods fresh, greens powders can be helpful in adding nutrients on top of your daily salads, or in instances when you’re traveling and it’s hard to follow the same dietary regimen you do when you’re home.

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

Greens Powders 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.

Different Ways to Take Greens Powders

Don’t think you have to just mix greens powders into a glass of water and slam it (though you can). Here are a handful of creative ways to get in your greens (powder).

  • Mix them into your shake: If you’re the type of person who prefers a more elaborate protein shake, then you may want to consider tossing a greens powder into the mix. Assuming you add protein, some milk, and various fruits, you may not even taste the greens powder. Of course, you may be thinking, “What if I already add veggies to my shake?” Well, that’s great, but a greens powder may contain a more broad and varied ingredient profile than what you’re getting from just a handful of kale. You can cut the serving in half and add the powder if you’re concerned about veggie overload. 
  • Bake a frittata: A frittata — a dish that consists of eggs (and/or egg white), veggies, proteins, and cheese that’s baked in the oven — is a convenient grab-and-go meal, packed with protein. With all of those flavors intermingling, chances are you won’t notice two scoops of your greens powder thrown in for a nutrient boost. That said, it’s possible that baking the powder may kill off some of the nutrients (though, this isn’t confirmed). 
  • Make a pesto: The same logic applies to the above two suggestions. The next time you whip-up a pesto, a sauce that’s already green and earthy, try adding a scoop of greens powder to give it an even more earthy flavor and color. Then, go ahead and slather that onto chicken or beef, a hearty flatbread, or a salad.
  • Bake brownies: Ok, this isn’t the healthiest suggestion, but brownies present a strong chocolate flavor that can mask the greens. Also, you can try making protein brownies, where you can add whey protein powder to a brownie recipe for more protein. 

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.

FAQs

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.

References

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  6. 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.
  7. Sorrenti V, Castagna DA, Fortinguerra S, Buriani A, Scapagnini G, Willcox DC. Spirulina Microalgae and Brain Health: A Scoping Review of Experimental and Clinical Evidence. Mar Drugs. 2021 May 22;19(6):293. doi: 10.3390/md19060293. PMID: 34067317; PMCID: PMC8224803.
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