Greens powder in two cups with white background

Which Is Better Athletic Greens (ag1) vs multivitamin?

I can’t be the only one to notice that AG1 or Athletic Greens is taking over the wellness community. So let’s break it down and see if it’s worth the hype versus a multivitamin.

Two cups filled with greens drink

What Is Athletic Greens

Athletic Greens is a drink mix that is a greens blend, adaptogens, digestive enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, and superfood blends with the purpose of helping you feel your best and support exercise. It says it promotes better gut health, immune support, focus and energy, and healthy aging. Let’s see what a Registered Dietitian thinks.

Is Athletic Greens low calorie and low sugar?

Yes, there is only 50 calories in one scoop or serving of athletic greens. It is fairly low calorie and with <1 g of sugar per serving. AG1 does not use artificial sweeteners, instead it uses stevia as it’s sweetening agent, which is a natural sweetener but can still have some gastrointestinal side effects for some. Compared to a gummy multivitamin that has between 10-40 calories in one serving, it is a bit higher. A gummy multivitamin typically is higher in sugar, as they use glucose to sweeten versus the stevia used in AG1.

Does AG1 boost gut health?

The website says it has live probiotics, digestive enzymes, and prebiotics to boost gut health. The first live dairy-free probiotic in AG1 is Lactobacillus Acidophilus, research shows this strand is typically used for diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, acne, eczema, and other conditions. The second is Bifidobacterium bifidum which research is used for eczema, constipation, diarrhea, IBS and more.

The digestive enzyme blend is made up of Astragulus membranaceus root powder extract, bromelain enzyme, burdock root powder, reishi mushroom powder and shiitake mushroom powder. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples and is helps to reduce pain and swelling, muscle soreness, digestive problems and cancer says a source. Burdock is a traditional chinese medicine that has been used to soothe mucus membranes, support skin health. Reishi mushroom is known to enhance immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep and lessen fatigue. Some of these do have potential side effects and risks associated with daily consumption, but it depends on the person.

Does AG1 replace a healthy diet?

Absolutely not. We digest and absorb nutrients differently from supplements than we do with food. No supplement will ever replace a healthy, well-balanced diet in my opinion. It can be nice to know that you have an “insurance” policy in Ag1 as life gets busy and not everyone eats perfectly all of the time. However, in the same way a multivitamin can do this too.

Negative Side Effects of AG1?

Are there side effects to taking AG1? Some users of AG1 have reported upset stomach, diarrhea and bloating after starting to drink the supplement. This could be related to the probiotics and high fiber content in AG1. Our bodies take time to adjust to these components. There can be the same symptoms associated with taking a probiotic, superfood or a multivitamin supplement. Your body might react to the addition of a supplement in these ways.

Who Should Avoid Drinking Athletic Greens?

Anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding, children under 18 or anyone who has mineral sensitivities should avoid consuming athletic greens. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s in best practice to contact your OBGYN or doctor to ask about the addition of any multivitamin or supplement you would like to add in to your routine.

Safety Of AG1?

AG1 is certified through the NSF (which stands for National Science Foundation) international certified for sport. This is what I recommend my athletes to look at when thinking about the addition of a supplement. Some supplements that aren’t certified have been found to be full of toxic heavy metals or things that are banned from sports. This Agency helps you rest assured that the proper measures are being taken to ensure a high quality product and safety. All that to say that yes, AG1 is safe for athletes to consume. The high levels of some of the vitamins could interact with certain medications, so always ask your doctor first before starting a new supplement.

AG1 vs a Multivitamin?

It truly depends on the multivitamin and what you’re using either for. If you’re taking a multivitamin and wanting to replace it with AG1, I would say that’s a high price point for a supplement. 1 month (if you take it daily) of AG1 is $99, while the standard multivitamin at CVS is around $13-$20 for a month supply. Either would potentially help fill nutritional gaps from diet and excess water-soluble vitamins would be peed out. However, AG1 does source it’s ingredients from plant sources like Alfalfa, Barley grass, Bilberry, Broccoli, etc. While most multivitamins are made from synthetic sources of vitamins and have excipients for forming the pill, gummy or soft gel tablet. AG1 also has the benefits of having adaptogens, probiotics and prebiotics included in them, which provide more benefit than a multivitamin alone. So if that’s something you’re looking into adding into your routine, it could potentially be less expensive to “bundle and save”.

Conclusive Thoughts On AG1

Overall, I would say there are some good features of AG1 and can tell they put some thought into their product. It truly is up to you, the consumer if you feel like the price point and benefits are what you’re looking for. You’d likely be better off implementing dietary changes for long-term health.