Are Powdered Greens Good For You?


It seems like every day now there’s some new fad superfood that will improve your life in uncountable ways if you add 2g of this random green powder to your morning smoothie/ pre-workout/whatever you drink in the morning. It’s very confusing why these things help, getting thrown nonsensical buzzwords such as “detox” all over the marketing of these products. The thing is, the nutritional content of a lot of this green stuff can actually be substantial, and of course a lot of it is rarely helpful at all with questionable research at best behind them. That’s what we’re here to discuss today, are the supposed health benefits of these green powders fact, or fiction?

Greens powders

Let’s be clear first of all about exactly what we’re discussing, as there’s many a green powder on the market that simply are not part of the conversation, such as Matcha. We’re talking about the best greens powder supplements that actually have something to offer.

As much as it may vary by brand, greens powder is a dietary supplement in which the nutritional value is derived from such ingredients as:

  • Leafy Greens and seaweed
  • Grasses and other vegetables
  • Antioxidant rich foods
  • Probiotics
  • Nutritional extracts and herbs

This is then most commonly mixed with smoothies and/ or juices with the intention of providing your body with all the nutrients required for a healthy diet, as well as providing other benefits such as supporting the immune system and improving energy levels.

Now you might be thinking it sounds kind of disgusting to put all of this stuff into your favourite drink, and there is an admittedly grassy taste to a lot of these brands. However there is usually some course correction in the inclusion of stevia extract and other natural sugar substitutes included to improve the flavour.

There’s also generally a consideration to make these products from non genetically modified and organic sources and ingredients.


Now there’s plenty of brands on the market and each has their own formula that is apparently better than the others. We’ve looked at what the most commonly included ingredients and found that the average is:

  • Calories: 45
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Iron: 18th of your daily value
  • Carbohydrates: 6 grams
  • Vitamin A: 60% of your daily value

There’s of course much more usually included, this is just the average for the most substantial and common ingredients. Many Greens powders also include:

  • Chromium
  • Iodine
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Selenium

It’s all good stuff that you can’t really complain about, and that’s kind of the point. Greens powders aren’t going to fix your life, and they’re not going to particularly help you lose weight or “detox”, whatever that means. In fact, specifically, they’re not really going to help with anything.

What they do instead is offer you a fair amount of peace of mind, by being a bit of a catch all. See, nutritional deficiencies can often be difficult to spot, as an example lets say you’re deficient in Vitamin D; what would that look like? Well if you look online you might find that your testosterone levels will drop giving you less energy and motivation, and your mood regulation will become difficult, leaving you more likely to snap and otherwise be difficult to be around etc. Most of the time, however, you just might feel a little bit extra lethargic and be a little bit snappy, and without prior knowledge it’s not really easy to link the issue to a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. Greens powders help by giving you a defence to these deficiencies, so while it might not be wholly necessary to maintaining a healthy diet, you can see the health benefits they do provide.

Are there any drawbacks?

As with any helpful product, for some of us they’ll do more harm than good and powdered greens are no exception here. It’s important to always discuss with your doctor, especially if you’re experiencing adverse effects. These green powders are supposed to help you feel better, not worse. We should also mention it’s not overly likely that you’re going to have any of the drawbacks. The most common one is usually not liking the taste although there are ways to make greens powders taste better.

Vitamin excess

As important to proper functioning as these vitamins are, as with everything in life moderation is key. This is why we encourage you to speak to our doctor before implementing powdered greens into your diet, as the excess can sometimes lead to health risks, or possibly interact poorly with medications you’re on. For example, Vitamin K can interact with antibiotics, cholesterol medications, and can seriously affect blood thinners.

Dietary fiber

One of the most important parts of our diets is fiber. It helps support gut health by feeding the good bacteria that resides within, whilst also helping to add weight to stool, helping it to pass, whilst simultaneously binding and softening the stool. This is all unfortunately lost in most green powders, as the fruits and vegetables used to source the important nutrients may contain fiber, but the way the nutritional value is extract unfortunately loses the fiber. It’s the same reason why eating a fruit is better than drinking it’s juices, the fiber is in the fleshy part. With this in mind it’s important to think of green powder as additional to the fruits and vegetables you would normally eat, not as a replacement of them.


If you’re aware that you have an allergy then looking out for it is probably the first thing you do before purchasing any product, but just incase you thought “there’s no way they put nuts in by greens powder!” then you should definitely check the label. Among other things, green powders can often contain wheatgrass and green tea extract, as well as other herbs than can have adverse effects on particular individuals such as headaches and nausea.


Some greens powder can contain heavy metals such as lead. In larger doses these heavy metals can reduce energy levels and even cause damage to your internal organs.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women

It might be best to lay off the powdered greens if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, as the added herbal and nutritional supplements could pose risks. Though there’s not much known about how these interactions will take place, it’s best to play it safe.

Health benefits

Support immune function

Green powders contain nutrients and minerals that are generally associated with the maintaining of healthy immune function. As an example, Selenium is a very common ingredient. Nutrition expert have found that Selenium has a positive effect on how our immune system operates and can help fight infections. Vitamin A, also a very common inclusion in greens powders that has anti-inflammatory properties, supporting immunity.

Cognitive health

A common worry among many of us is to do whatever we can to help maintain our cognitive health. There’s a relief to hear then that the inclusion of Vitamin K into powdered greens has been found to be very beneficial in this area. Now there’s lots that this vitamin does in our body, maintaining healthy blood vessels helping to lessen the risk of developing heart problems. Recent studies have however found Vitamin K being helpful in reducing incidence of age related dementia.

Chronic disease prevention

You’ve probably heard a lot about anti-oxidants but never really seen much go into detail about exactly why they work. Well, there are these things called free radicals that damage our cells, and this damage is known as oxidation. Anti-oxidants, like Vitamin C and K found in greens powders, help to fight these cell-damaging free radicals, which in turn helps to prevent the chronic diseases they bring about, such as heart disease and diabetes. There’s been a study that found a 30% reduction in the cell oxidation of participants when taking a daily dose of green powders.

Healthy blood pressure

For good blood pressure management you want to look at minerals such as calcium and potassium, and these are commonly found in green powders. A daily serving of green powder found a reduction in both systolic and diastolic pressure in candidates.


Are powdered greens good for you? Well the answer is yes, mainly. If you use a reputable brand and maintain a healthy diet, then most of us will see some benefit from green powder. So they can be good for you, but are they really necessary? To be honest, we don’t think so. Green powders certainly aren’t a replacement for a healthy lifestyle, and therefore we recommend that before anything else. Then there’s the fact that the likes of AG1 greens doesn’t actually have most of the ingredients in high enough volumes to even get the supposed health benefits you’d need to do a lot of research before buying anything.

If you’re extremely health conscious and want to make sure you’re getting all of your daily vitamins and minerals then absolutely look at adding greens powder to your daily routine, but with the potential risks and the ease at which we can add whole foods etc. to our morning smoothies instead, we find it just unnecessary.