Athletic Greens vs Amazing Grass, Choosing the Right One
It finally seems as if our generation has come to the age where we are willing and mature enough to finally admit that our parents were right. The sudden surge in popularity of greens supplements is proving that, despite our childhood protestations, we now know that mom was right: we need to eat our veggies.
Perhaps its that our generation has finally come into adult and parenthood, and found ourselves uttering the same mantras that mom did to our own children at the dinner table, or perhaps it was the constant barrage of health-related news over the past decade that told us an obesity epidemic was overtaking the western world.
Whatever the reason, people are beginning to realize the need for a healthy, balanced diet, and greens supplements are an excellent way for even the busiest or pickiest eaters among us to ensure that they are getting their daily dose of plant-based nutrition.
In this article, we will be covering two popular greens supplements: Athletic Greens (now AG1) and Amazing Grass Green Superfood. Both greens supplements provide plant-based nutrition, but there are multiple elements of the products that make them quite different. Below we will help you figure out which one is right for you, or if there is another option that you should try instead.
What are Athletic Greens and Amazing Grass?
As greens supplements, both Athletic Greens and Amazing Greens are meant to provide all of your day’s necessary fruits and vegetables in a single, drink-based serving. Both supplements provide the basic nutrients that you need, and both also provide others that you won’t typically get in a regular diet. These additional ingredients are meant to help supercharge various aspects of your health, whether that be mental clarity, your immune system, aiding weight loss, or strengthening your skeletal system.
Despite both products being greens supplements meant to aid your daily nutritional intake, they are very different in several important ways. We will go through those differences below to help you better understand those products and to determine if Athletic Greens or Amazing Grass is the right greens supplement for you.
Are Athletic Greens and Amazing Grass Healthy?
In short, yes, both Athletic Greens and Amazing Grass are healthy. Each of these greens supplements provides the “table stakes” of nutritional benefits - the daily recommended allowance of the most vital nutrients and minerals.
One of the aspects in which they differ, however, is the additional nutrients that they also add. Athletic Greens includes over 70 different ingredients overall, while Amazing Grass has 25. One of the biggest drawbacks of each of these greens supplements, however, is that both list each of the ingredients included in their formulas as “proprietary blends,” meaning that you don’t know exactly how much of each is included in a serving.
This is pretty important, especially for the additional items that each company includes in their product. Certain essential vitamins and minerals have long been studied by the FDA and dietary associations, meaning that it is well known how much is needed daily to live a healthy life with a well-balanced diet.
Other ingredients that are often called superfoods don’t have daily allowance requirements, as they are not as widely used and are seen as great additions to your diet, but not something that won’t cause nutritional deficiencies if you don’t get them.
Many of the health benefits claimed by both Athletic Greens and Amazing Grass are touted on the basis of these additional ingredients that don’t have daily recommended values. Even though they haven’t been closely studied by the FDA, there have been scientific studies on most of them, so we know how much of each is needed to attain the full suite of benefits that they can provide.
Because both Athletic Greens and Amazing Grass list their ingredients as “blends” rather than line items, we don’t know how much of these additional ingredients - Spirulina, for example - are included in each serving of the greens supplements.
Scientific studies meant to monitor the effectiveness of certain compounds on specific symptoms or health outcomes are used to “dial in” the exact amount of the compound needed to achieve the desired results. So while studies have shown that certain superfoods like Spirulina or others can provide a wealth of benefits to your health, we don’t know if enough is included in each serving of either of these greens supplements to know if they can achieve the stated results.
Which is Right for Me? Athletic Greens or Amazing Grass?
The main differences between Athletic Greens and Amazing Grass can be boiled down to price, flavor options, “bang for your buck,” and the depth of the ingredients list.
Athletic Greens is the most popular greens supplement available today, but much of that may be attributed to its massive advertising campaign and celebrity endorsements. Neither of those comes free, which is perhaps why Athletic Greens is not only the most popular greens supplement on the market, but also the most expensive.
The advertisements are not the only difference between the two greens supplements, however:
Although it is seen as pleasant by many, Athletic Greens comes in one flavor, and one flavor alone. This greens supplement is naturally flavored by the fruits included, so there is neither artificial flavoring nor extra added sugar. The taste is often described as papaya, pineapple, vanilla, and a slight spicey kick from the ginger root. Some reviewers have noted that they felt it tasted like lawn clippings but for the most part the people who like Athletic Greens quite enjoy the taste. As the most expensive greens supplement on the market, it may be prudent to find a way to have your own taste test before you fork over a lot of cash for your first bag.
Amazing Grass comes in 10 different flavor varieties across their different versions of the product. The original blend is a tad on the grassy side, which some people enjoy because it really lets you know that you are getting a lot of natural, plant-based nutrition in each serving. The original blend can also be purchased in chocolate or berry flavor, and the energy blend can be found in either lemon-lime or watermelon flavors.
The Amazing Grass immune-boosting blend can be found in sweet berry, elderberry, and tangerine flavors if that is what you are looking for. Lastly, their detox blend is available in simply pure and clean greens flavors.
The nutrition from greens supplements can be imbibed in a variety of ways. Some prefer to drink them along with shakes, add them to soups or sauces, and some prefer them as standalone drinks. Whichever method you prefer, Amazing Grass certainly offers a wider variety of choices.
When looking at a product that you should be taking every day, the price point is pretty important as it can add up quickly. Athletic Greens is pricey, with their 30-serving bag costing $99, or roughly $3 per serving. You can save a little money by signing up for their monthly subscription option, which brings the price down to $79 for a 30-day serving, which puts you at about $2.63 per drink.
Amazing Grass, on the other hand, is affordable. It is available in 30, 60, and 100-serving canisters, or 15-packet boxes. The 30-serving canister will run you $32.99, the 60 costs $54.99, and the 100 is $79.99. The largest canister is the most cost-effective at $0.79 per serving, while the smallest is their most expensive per serving at $1.09 per drink - all far more affordable than Athletic Greens.
It should also be noted that Athletic Greens offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, while Amazing Grass provides no refunds once the package has been opened.
Depth of Ingredients List
Advertising and endorsement costs aside, the depth of the ingredients list also makes these products substantially different from one another. Athletic Greens has a list of 75 different ingredients including multiple superfoods, while Amazing Grass only offers 25. Let’s go through some of the important ingredients to show why that can matter:
Athletic Greens Ingredient Highlights
- Superfood complex (antioxidants, digestive enzymes, probiotics)
- Cereal grasses
- Milk thistle
- Reishi and shitake mushrooms
- Pea protein
Amazing Grass Ingredient Highlights
- Cereal Grasses
- Acai berry
- Organic maca root
- Digestive enzyme & active culture pre/probiotic blend
If you’re not a health food guru, let us break down what that means for you: both greens supplements provide the basics of plant-based nutrition, and both provide many additional ingredients that each have multiple health benefits of their own like Spirulina and Chlorella. Neither, however, tells you exactly how much of any ingredient is in their product.
If your choices were only between Athletic Greens and Amazing Grass, it would be up to you to decide whether the additional ingredients - that you don’t know exactly how much you’re getting - are worth a 3x price with Athletic Greens. We have another greens supplement that we prefer over both of these options, which we’ll outline below.
Health Benefits Touted by the Companies
As we stated above, without knowing how much of certain crucial ingredients are included in every serving, there’s no way to truly validate the veracity of the health benefits claimed by these companies. But it’s worth noting that they claim the following benefits if you take their greens supplements daily:
Athletic Greens Health Benefits
- Improved energy
- Boosts immunity
- Helps your body cope with stress through adaptogens
- Supports digestive health
Amazing Grass Health Benefits
- Improves your natural energy
- Aids your digestive health
- Enhanced immunity
Is There Any Better Greens Supplement than Athletic Greens or Amazing Grass?
While both Athletic Greens and Amazing Grass can provide you with all of the basic greens-based nutrition that your body needs (and then some), as we’ve repeatedly mentioned we have an issue with everything being labeled as a “proprietary blend.” If you’re just looking for a general health supplement and don’t care too much about exactly what you’re getting (and are willing to pay a lot for it), that’s up to you. As people who spend a lot of time delving into the specifics of nutrition, those specifics are pretty important to us - especially when we’re paying for it.
One company that we like because of their ingredient transparency, the bang-for-the-buck provided by over 60 different plant-based and ultra-healthy ingredients as well as their non-GMO, vegan-friendly, plant-based, and gluten-free ratings is Vibrant Health.
Their product Green Vibrance provides all of the benefits that Athletic Greens claims to (with more variety in key areas), at a better price point with absolute transparency of their ingredient list. With ingredients including three different cereal grasses in two different formats each, plant-based micronutrition, antioxidant life preservers, immunity-supporting compounds, adaptogens, nutrients meant to strengthen your skeletal system, fiber, liver support, enzymes, and even 25 billion CFUs of probiotics from 12 different strains (far more than either Athletic Greens or Amazing Grass), Green Vibrance is the greens supplement that we prefer.
Westerners have finally decided to start listening to their mothers and making an effort to get all of their necessary vegetables into their bodies every day, and that’s a good thing (even if it came several decades too late).
Greens supplements are an excellent way to ensure that you are getting all of that plant-based nutrition that your body needs, even if you still decide to push your peas and carrots to the side of your plate in preference for meat and potatoes.
No matter how picky an eater you are or if you are too busy to eat the healthy & balanced meals that you know you need, greens supplements come in a variety of tastes, and textures, and can provide all of your necessary nutrients that can be prepared and imbibed relatively quickly.
Not all greens supplements are created equal, however. Both Athletic Greens and Amazing Grass provide the basics that your body needs, and while they have a lot of additional ingredients, they hide just how much you are getting in every scoop behind their “proprietary blends.” When you’re paying $3 per glass of Athletic Greens, we feel that you deserve to know exactly what you’re paying for - especially if you are using it as an addition to your health and wellness goals.
Because of the ingredient transparency, flavor choices, price point, and a wide variety of benefits provided by the ingredients, we suggest Green Vibrance over Athletic Greens or Amazing Grass.