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The Best Greens Powders of 2023 (Plus an Actual Nutritionist’s Advice on When to Take Them)

The internet loves few things more than glomming onto a new health fad and obsessing about its laundry list of benefits. These trends always have advantages and numerous “medically”-backed reasons why you should invest heavily to immediately improve your dismal existence.

“Oh, you’re not lying on a crystal-infused heat mat each night to relieve your text neck? Trust us, your neck will thank you for spending $1,000+ on this innovation…”

Have you tried this mushroom coffee alternative? Caffeine is soooo bad for you this drunk will carry you through your afternoon slump without ripping your gut microbiome to shreds.”

“You’re not slugging your face each night? Why even… have a face?”

The latest health trend being whisked into submission up and down social feeds? Greens powders. Ground-up, processed infusions of nutrients that come in the form of emerald talc with a chalk-like consistency you down each morning in 8 ounces of water. They’re a convenient way to absorb vitamins without swallowing a bunch of pills, sticking an IV in your arm or eating kale — but are they effective?

We’re going to explore that question in this piece, talk to some experts and recommend a few powders to try if you’re averse to anything that doesn’t come from a can, bag or cardboard box.

Read More: The Best Vegan Protein Powders of 2023

The Best Greens Powders of 2023: At a Glance


Garden of Life Perfect Food Greens Powder

Buy Now On Amazon $44.95 Jump to Details

Thorne Daily Greens Plus

Buy Now $68.00/30 Scoops Jump to Details

Ancient Nutrition SuperGreens Powder

Buy Now On Amazon $38.21 Jump to Details

BioSteel Sports Greens Powder

Buy Now On Amazon $38.10 Jump to Details

Are Greens Powders Good For You?

These powders tout abilities that range from giving you your daily vitamins and minerals to curing bloating and indigestion, improving sleep, raising energy levels and even getting that charming fuck boy with a heart of gold to text you on your birthday. If you didn’t know any better you may think they’re the cure-all for any ailment.

If you consult basic nutritional advice, however, you’ll pick up that these powders are a nice addition to a healthy diet but on the whole shouldn’t be used to replace whole foods. Since we’re not doctors here at SPY* we asked Dr. William Li, a medical doctor and bestselling author of Eat to Beat Your Diet: Burn Fat, Heal Your Metabolism, and Live Longer.

“The greens powders may contain the natural bioactives and fiber from vegetables, which can support the body’s health defenses and benefit your metabolism. So these nutritional benefits make the powders worthy of considering if you are unable to find fresh vegetables in your locale,” said Dr. Li.

“But keep in mind, there are no standards for these products, and there is little transparency as to the exact greens, where they come from, how they are grown, and what processing was applied to create the powder.”

So it sounds like greens powders could be effective at getting you some of the nutrients you’re looking for, if their ingredients don’t also contain a bunch of junk. When in doubt fresh is best, as they say, and while these powders won’t necessarily harm you they’re formulated with efficiency in mind and are not a 1-1 equivalent to real fruits and vegetables.

The medical science behind the internet’s next great cure is nearly always mixed, so it’s crucial to do the right research before putting money towards any trendy thing you see online. Keep reading to find our top picks for greens powders in 2023 as well as buying advice from Dr. Li and a certified nutritionist.

Our Top Picks for Greens Powders in 2023

Courtesy of Athletic Greens

Starting at $79.00/30 Servings

Buy Now

When it comes to greens powders, Athletic Greens is the brand to beat. Their AG1 formula is an ad on every health-related podcast out there, and for good reason. SPY Senior Commerce Editor Taylor Galla has tested their powder and while the taste is acquired, it lives up to the hype for its convenience and vitamin-packed formula.
They’ve squeezed a ton of nutrients into their daily serving including vitamins and minerals, a superfood complex, dairy-free probiotics and enzyme and mushroom complex and loads of antioxidants.
Greens powders are all pricey, but AG1 is the priciest of them all. It’s also worth it if you’re dead set on adding a greens powder to your diet. Their ingredients are top-notch, their packaging super convenient and the taste is palatable enough for most to make it work.

Courtesy of Garden of Life

Garden of Life also makes a top-notch greens powder loaded with raw organic greens, vegetables juices and nutrient-dense veggies like sprouts. It’s formulated to supplement key phytonutrients like antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, essential fatty acids and other naturally-occurring nutrients in whole foods. It’s made to support key bodily function like a healthy immune system, digestion, blood sugar levels and metabolism.

Courtesy of Thorne

$68.00/30 Scoops

Buy Now

Thorne is known for optimal transparency and top-notch standards when it comes to all of their vitamin formulations, and this Daily Greens powder is no different. Similar to AG1, it contains 28 different nutrient-dense ingredients for promoting better cognitive performance, physical endurance and cellular energy production. It’s foundational daily nutrition designed to support healthy aging through adaptogens, a mushroom complex and plenty of antioxidants for strengthening the body’s defenses.

Courtesy of Amazon

$38.21 $44.95 15% off

Buy Now On Amazon

Ancient Nutrition makes a greens powder packed with vitamins and nutrients that also comes in a few different flavor varieties, so if you’re averse to anything that tastes “healthy” this might be the pick for you. The mix comes in a Greens flavor as well as Mint and Watermelon, two flavors that mask the “healthy” flavors well.

Courtesy of Amazon

This Greens Powder from BioSteel is formulated specifically for athletes, with antioxidants and amino acids for muscle development and growth. It’s sweetened with stevia and contains 20 different whole ingredients with only 25 calories and 5 carbs per serving.

Should You Start Drinking a Greens Powder Every Morning?

In addition to Dr. Li’s expertise, I also wanted the advice of a nutritionist who could speak to exactly what you need to know about these grinchy powders donning pantries all over the country. Stephanie Nelson, MS, is a registered dietician and MyFitnessPal lead nutritionist, and came down pretty hard against greens powders when answering my questions via email.

While greens powders may look like an easy way to pack nutrients into your diet and start your day on the right foot, Nelson explained “There is nothing superior about greens powders compared to whole foods, and getting your vegetables from your diet compared to greens can be cheaper and more accessible.”

She also cautioned that “Additionally, many greens powders do not have verified ingredients, so the powder may not have all the ingredients it claims it does.”

This makes sense to me, as there’s not much you can speculate when it comes to the ingredients in your plastic container of spinach from Whole Foods or bundle of kale from the farmer’s market. I’m indifferent to the ingredients in my Cool Ranch Doritos, I know there’s stuff in there I don’t want to see, but if I’m making a healthy choice I want to make sure it’s actually healthy.

When asked if he recommends green powders to clients trying to reach their health and nutrition goals, Dr. Li noted that “As a general rule, it is best to get your daily intake of “greens” from whole foods because they are unprocessed and you can know and control the ingredients with which they are combined, and how they are cooked. Whole foods may take a little more effort to buy and prepare, but they taste much better than greens powers.”

It depends on who you ask when it comes to taste, but I agree that eating whole foods is certainly more enjoyable than choking down mealy green sludge

What Should You Keep in Mind When Shopping for Supplements?

Nelson explained that if you’re in the market for a greens powder, and want to attempt to ensure you’re actually getting the nutritional benefits it says you are, you should look for something that’s been third-party lab tested. (Psst… the first three picks on this list have been!)

“I recommend looking for a powder that is third-party tested at the very least. A product that has been third-party tested will have everything that’s claimed on the label.”

Thankfully, you can tell if a product has been third-party tested with a fairly cursory glance.

“It will have the independent lab’s logo on it, like NSF Certified for Sport or Consumer Labs. Keep in mind that a GCP logo on a product is NOT third party testing; that’s a requirement for supplements going on the market, but plenty of supplements with the GCP certification have ingredients violations,” said Nelson.

* Editor’s Note: SPY’s editors are just that, editors, we’re not medical professionals and cannot provide medical advice. All information in this article is meant for research purposes only, and we’ve tried to cite reputable sources when medical claims are made. Please consult your healthcare professional before making any changes to your mental or physical routines, including adding a greens powder to your diet.