Are Greens Powders Worth The Hype?

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Greens powders have surged in popularity as more people seek convenient, efficient ways to enhance their daily nutrient intake.

In this blog, Meghan and I will (both FFF Nutritionists) dive into what exactly greens powders are and discuss why they’ve become a trendy addition to the modern health-conscious diet. We will also discuss our first-hand experience with them. 

For the past 30 days, we have embarked on a hands-on exploration of greens powders. We integrated them into our daily routines to offer you an authentic perspective. This trial aimed to understand the actual effects of these nutrient-packed supplements beyond the hype.

What are greens powders?

Greens powders are supplements designed to help you consume a variety of vegetables, fruits, and other nutrient-dense foods in a convenient form. These powders are typically made from dehydrated and powdered forms of ingredients such as leafy greens, algae, grasses, and fruits. They often also contain additional components like probiotics, digestive enzymes, and herbs.

Many promise a quick and easy boost of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They often provide vitamins A, C, K, and folate. In addition to minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Some of the proposed health benefits include:

  1. Improved digestion, including less bloating
  2. Healthier hair, skin and nails
  3. Enhanced energy throughout the day
  4. Improvement in overall well-being

Seems like you can be just a scoop away from potentially enhancing overall health and wellness. Sounds like an easy win, right?

What were our initial thoughts?

Meghan: Both personally and professionally I’m sceptical.

Greens powders like these are not regulated. Therefore, there’s nothing to guarantee the ingredients are as they say, or at least in the proportions they’re supposed to be. I think with this sort of supplement there’s a largely psychological placebo effect. People feel healthier because they’re taking the supplement every day, and may therefore subconsciously adjust their dietary choices and exercise accordingly, giving the perceived so-called benefits. 

That being said, I’m intrigued to see if there is any improvement to the areas that are meant to improve – skin, digestion, bloating, energy, concentration, and female hormone balance. I have certainly been having issues with energy, concentration and occasionally bloating/digestion recently, so it will be interesting to see if there is any marked improvement here.

I am also very conscious that the days are getting longer and warmer, which has a heavy impact on my energy levels, the food I eat (linking to digestion/bloating, as it tends to be lighter), and even female hormone balance. 

Georgia: Professionally dubious. Based on the way it has surged in popularity so quickly and has so many potential benefits, it does seem too good to be true! Further, many on the market make extremely bold health claims, many of which are not supported by robust research.

Although I also personally have reservations about them, I am a little interested in investigating this for myself. I suffer from IBS, so always open to trying anything that may help with digestion and bloating.

What were our thoughts after tasting?

Meghan: I’d prepared myself for the worst, but I was very pleasantly surprised! It’s nowhere near as gritty or dirt-like as I was anticipating. I think I may have mixed too much water in as the glass I had was quite large – likely under the 250ml recommended. Having a flavoured option likely helps as it makes it taste less greeny, but it was much nicer and easier to drink than I anticipated! Even towards the end when the drink was less mixed, it wasn’t as gritty as I thought it would be.

Georgia: As Meghan noted, I also prepared myself for the worst. Unfortunately, I was not a fan of the flavour or texture at all! I just had it with water and mixed it with a fork. Perhaps trying it with some lemon and mixing it with a mini electric whisk would have helped. I do think the flavoured option is a better choice than the original though.

Did we notice any changes?

Meghan: Honestly, I didn’t really notice any changes at all. I would say my bloating potentially reduced a little bit, but this was nothing that noticeable, and if anything, was more likely due to a slight shift in diet towards the spring/summer months.

I started to enjoy the greens more and more, and it definitely feels ‘healthy’ when you’re drinking it. However, I am personally of the view that the dramatic changes you see on social media as a ‘result’ of these greens are less to do with the powders themselves, and more to do with people feeling healthier when they use them, and adjusting their behaviour accordingly. E.g. increasing their intake of fruit and veg, exercising more regularly, drinking more water. I believe it’s more of a catalyst for change, rather than the sole cause of the change.

Georgia: I also didn’t really notice anything tangible. My skin seemed a little clearer, but I have also recently become more consistent with a structured skincare routine, so it’s tricky to say if it played a part in this.

I was hoping i’d get used to the taste, but that wasn’t the case – it was pretty unpleasant throughout. I found that I had to set reminders and force myself to have them each day. This sort of thing can really impact adherence over time.

Are there any potential issues with greens?

  1. Unregulated supplement: Greens aren’t a regulated food supplement. Therefore no guarantee that you’re receiving the nutrients stated on the packet, in the alleged proportions.  
  2. Unverified Claims: Some products may make bold health claims that are not supported by scientific evidence.
  3. Varied Potency: The potency and bioavailability of nutrients in greens powders can vary widely between brands and products.
  4. Excessive Intake: Over-relying on greens powders for nutrients can lead to an imbalance, potentially resulting in excessive intake of certain vitamins and minerals.
  5. Incomplete Nutrition: Greens powders should not replace whole foods as they might lack fibre and other nutrients present in whole fruits and vegetables.

What’s our final verdict on greens?

Overall, there isn’t very much evidence to show that greens powders can benefit your health. Most research conducted in this area is based on small sample sizes, over short periods of time. Therefore, research that’s longer and includes more participants is needed to determine if there are any real health benefits and test the effectiveness of greens powders.

Moreover, we didn’t really notice any clear changes during our trial. As a result, it isn’t a product we would recommend in most instances, so we wouldn’t suggest jumping on the trend. The only times it may be helpful is if you really dislike fruit and vegetables or don’t have access to much produce e.g. when travelling.

It is important to remember that no supplement will ever be a one-size-fits-all miracle cure. There is no magic pill or supplement to replace a healthy, balanced diet. Although they are a convenient way to get in extra nutrients, they’re more expensive and often less nutritious than increasing your fruit and veg intake. 

Fresh Fitness Food provides personalised meal plans delivered straight to your door, ensuring not only that you have the nutrients you need to manage your stress levels, but also that you have the time usually spent shopping, cooking and washing up, to engage in your favourite stress-reducing activity. Order today and start smashing your goals with personalised nutrition!

Get £50 off a 5-day trial with code: BLOG50. Start your trial here!

Want to discuss which nutrition plan is right for you first? Book a call with our in-house nutrition team here.

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