I’m sitting here thinking about a cheeseburger. Unfortunately, I haven’t had one for months, but I miss them and still long for them. So why abstain? Because, like the typical Western diet, they are too much and too little. Too many calories, too much saturated fat and sodium, and too few healthy nutrients.
The average American consumes far too much sugar, too many refined grains, excess sodium, and saturated fat, resulting in too many calories. Yet, three-quarters of us don’t eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. The result? According to the USDA, nearly two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese and suffer from one or more preventable chronic diseases, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Poor bone health
- Some types of cancer
That’s where greens powders come in to help. And two such powders that claim to be worth using are Amazing Grass and Athletic Greens. So, which one comes out on top? In this comparison of Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens, we’ll help you figure out which of these greens powders is truly worth the purchase. Let’s learn more!
USDA Dietary Guidelines
The USDA recommends following a healthy eating pattern within an appropriate calorie level. Their diet includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and lean protein. More specifically, their guidelines include at least two-and-a-half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit per day for an average 2,000-calorie diet. Not surprisingly, the USDA recommends you source most of your calories, and fruits and vegetables, from whole foods; however, they state that fortified foods and dietary supplements may help provide one or more nutrients that otherwise may be consumed in less than recommended amounts.
One way that three-quarters of Americans could improve their consumption of fruits, vegetables, and other essential nutrients is by supplementing with a greens product. This article will define what constitutes a greens powder, why greens are crucial in supplementing your diet, and the health benefits they deliver. We’ll then compare the two previously mentioned popular brands, and their offerings in the greens supplement space, Amazing Grass and Athletic Greens. These companies have different go-to-market strategies yet formulate their products similarly. Next, we provide a reference chart that details the similarities and differences in formulations and pricing to aid you in determining which may be best for your situation. Finally, we give you our assessment of which is the superior offering.
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens: Quick Answer
Spoiler alert. For those of you seeking a quick response as to which is better, we answer that right here. As much as we love the concept of Athletic Greens and admire their corporate philosophies, in this comparison, Amazing Grass is simply a better value and easier to access. We go into great detail in our comparison, so please read on; however, the operative factors in our decision are:
- Amazing Grass addresses virtually the same health benefits as Athletic Greens
- You receive two-thirds of the dosage in Amazing Grass; AG – 8 grams per serving versus Athletic Greens – 12 grams per serving
- However, you can access Amazing Grass for one-third the cost, $32.99 versus $99.99
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens: The Companies, History, and Guiding Principles
The Amazing Grass story starts long ago, in the 1930s, when the Bert family farm in Kansas began growing wheat grass. Jump forward three generations, and Brandon Bert, along with an associate at a Bay Area tech company (Todd Habermehl), founded Amazing Grass in 2002 based on a single greens powder. Twenty years later, the company still sources greens from the same family farm.
Amazing Grass has seen amazing growth since the early days of Brandon and Todd serving smoothies to their friends and colleagues. Purchased in 2017 by the Irish food ingredient giant Glanbia Plc, the brand now enjoys a national distribution footprint in brick-and-mortar as well as its online presence. The company joins other stalwart Glanbia brands such as Optimum Nutrition, IsoPure, Slim Fast, BSN, Body&Fit (United Kingdom), and Nutramino (Scandinavia), making Glanbia number one in the world in sports nutrition.
The Glanbia acquisition allowed for more expansive sales, marketing, and advertising campaigns and helped offset legal, H.R., and Payroll costs. Product expansion included Smoothie Boosters, Protein Powders, Fizzy Green Tablets, and a Kidz Superfood Blend. Amazing Grass Green powders are now available in nine flavors and functions, Original Superfood, Energy, Antioxidant, Immunity, and Detox. For our comparison, we focus on the Original Greens Blend superfood.
All Amazing Grass products are manufactured in the U.S. in FDA-registered, GMP-compliant, food-certified facilities. The Superfood products are plant-based, certified organic and Kosher, Non-GMO, gluten-free, with no added sugars, and provide whole food nutrition.
Founded in 2010 by serial health and fitness entrepreneur Chris Ashenden, Athletic Greens still markets just one product, its AG 1 daily nutrition drink. Not just a greens drink, Ashenden refers to AG 1 as “foundational nutrition,” a comprehensive and convenient way to get nine products in one drink for optimal health. AG 1 contains 75 vitamins, minerals, superfoods, pre-and probiotics, digestive enzymes, and adaptogens in its fifty-second iteration.
Incorporated in Wilmington, Delaware, AG 1 is manufactured in New Zealand in a TGA-registered, NSF International-certified GMP facility. In addition to GMP accreditation, NSF also certifies Athletic Greens as Safe for Sport, which is certified free of banned substances.
The go-to-market strategy at Athletic Greens is a direct-to-consumer model, driving sales almost exclusively through its sophisticated website, ambassador program, and word-of-mouth advertising. The company recently completed its second round of investment funding, raising an additional $115 million, increasing its valuation to $1.2 billion. The new President and CEO of the company, Kat Cole, tells us that new money will fuel further innovation on the AG 1 formula, new product development, more marketing, and eventually expansion into additional distribution channels. So, eventually, Athletic Greens may look more like the Amazing Grass business model.
Why Greens are Essential for Your Health
Vegetables and fruits are lower in calories and provide essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber that help combat illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. The USDA tells us that an extra dose of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables has the potential to reduce oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. That’s important because NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) studies associate the normal aging process and various chronic diseases with oxidative stress and inflammation. Their studies indicate that arguably the best route to address premature aging and age-associated diseases is preventative strategies aimed at modulating these two responses, which are intricately interlinked. The studies firmly establish cumulative oxidative stress and chronic inflammation as precursors to aging and related illnesses. Even in the absence of disease, free radical damage (oxidation) is theorized to accelerate aging.
The best food sources for antioxidants include cruciferous and dark leafy green vegetables and fruits such as blueberries and grapes.
Greens Powders and Superfoods
Greens powders are dietary supplements formulated to provide energy, support your immune system, and help achieve your recommended servings of vegetables. Some brands offer both green (vegetables) and red (fruits) products; however, Amazing Grass and Athletic Greens combine both antioxidant sources in their offerings.
Amazing Grass uses Superfood in the name, and Athletic Greens has an extensive Superfood blend with some twenty-five compounds. So, what defines a superfood? Wikipedia states, “Superfood is a marketing term for food claimed to confer health benefits resulting from an exceptional nutrient density.” Harvard Education says, “A food is promoted to superfood status when it offers high levels of desirable nutrients, is linked to the prevention of a disease, or is believed to offer several simultaneous health benefits beyond its nutritional value.” Both sources note that the term is used more often as a marketing term than by the medical community.
Regardless of superfood status, these greens powders will provide the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to address potential deficiencies in your diet.
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens: About The Supplements
Amazing Grass – Greens Blend Superfood
The Amazing Grass Greens product is a dietary supplement in powdered form comprised of vitamins, minerals, a touch of protein, and four proprietary blends:
- Greens Blend
- Antioxidant Blend
- Fiber Blend
- Digestive Enzyme and Pre/Probiotic Blend
We detail the components in each blend in detail in the Formulation segment. Ingredients are all plant-based, certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, no sugar added, and Vegan friendly. Greens are still organically grown and harvested on the third-generation family farm in Kansas.
Greens Blend Superfood (formerly Green Superfood) is now available in three flavors, Original, Berry, and Chocolate. Additional Greens products include Energy, Antioxidants, Immunity, Detox & Digest, and Wheat Grass Powder.
Amazing Grass products are available on the company website as well as Amazon.com, and other eCommerce sites and in-store in specialty shops such as GNC and Vitamin Shoppe, chain drugstores like Walgreens and CVS, big box mass merchandisers Walmart and Target, and major food outlets Kroger and Sprouts.
The website goes beyond the norm in serving recommendations. In addition to adding one eight-gram scoop to water or juice, you can blend your Greens Superfood in your favorite smoothie, bake it into snacks, or add it to desserts.
The company offers a thirty-day money-back guarantee for products purchased on the Amazing Grass website. The company advises consumers that they also credit their retailers for any returned product.
While Amazing Grass has implemented a line extension strategy, Athletic Greens has followed a different path of obsessive improvement to its one product, AG 1, now in its fifty-second iteration. Athletic Greens, a nutrient-dense powdered dietary supplement, is also positioned a bit differently, designed to provide a more comprehensive “Foundational Nutrition.” The product features some 75 different vitamins, minerals, and whole-food sourced nutrients delivering the benefits of nine health products in one. In addition to vitamins (11) and minerals (10), AG 1 has three proprietary blends (Superfoods, Herbs & Antioxidants, and Enzymes & Mushrooms), plus pre-and probiotics.
AG 1 does more than ensure you achieve your five servings of fruits and vegetables, as Athletic Greens delivers the antioxidant equivalent of twelve servings in each scoop.
NSF (National Sanitation Foundation International) third-party testing certifies AG 1 as Safe for Sport, and the company’s production facilities are GMP compliant. In addition to being certified as banned substance-free, AG 1 is non-GMO and contains no artificial colors, flavorings, preservatives, or sweeteners. For those with allergies, Athletic Greens is gluten, nut, and dairy-free – and there is no soy protein, although made from components derived from soy. Those on a Keto, Vegan, Vegetarian, or Paleo program will be glad to know Athletic Greens is acceptable on their diet plans.
Although named Athletic Greens, it’s interesting to note many of the famous investors and ambassadors of the brand are celebrities from disciplines other than sport.
The recommended dosage is one twelve-gram scoop, once daily, in eight ounces of water or your favorite beverage. Each package contains thirty servings. Once opened, AG 1 should be refrigerated and consumed within ninety days.
Consumer reviews mention Athletic Greens’ unique, semi-sweet taste, naturally flavored with vanilla and pineapple, plus the fruits and vegetables in the blend, including apple, papaya, cherry, and the subtle sweetness of stevia. Still, some reviewers struggle with the grassy taste, color, and gritty texture.
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens: Comparison
So, which is better? AG 1 is more comprehensive, with its 75 ingredients and blend of nine health products. However, it’s also drastically more expensive, as illustrated below. Buying your Amazing Grass at a specialty shop such as GNC or Vitamin Shoppe helps you reduce your cost per serving to about one-third the cost of Athletic Greens.
Although in this comparison, you receive about 50% more product per dose in Athletic Greens, Amazing Grass addresses nearly each of the same components as Athletic Greens, including vitamins, minerals, superfoods, antioxidants, fiber, enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics.
With the money saved on Amazing Grass, you could invest in an amazing Multivitamin/Mineral and more potent pre, post, and probiotic product and still have money left over.
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens Comparison Chart
|Amazing Grass – Superfood||Athletic Greens|
|Serving Size 8 gm||Serving Size 12 gm|
|Vitamins (3)||Vitamins (11)|
|Minerals (4)||Minerals (10)|
|Superfood Blend 5.7 gm||Superfood Complex 7.388 gm|
|Antioxidant Blend 1.1 gm||Herbs & Antioxidants 2.732 gm|
|Fiber Blend 668 mg||Digestive / Mushroom .154 gm|
|Digestive Enzymes and Pre/Probiotic Blend 426 mg||Probiotics 38 mg 7.2 million CFU|
|Cost $39.99 website / $32.99 in-store||Cost $99.00|
|Cost per Serving $1.33 / $1.10||Cost per Serving $3.30|
Yes, you receive “more” in Athletic Greens. More ingredients, more grams per serving, a more extensive Superfood Blend, and one more probiotic, but at a significantly higher cost per serving. So, let’s analyze what each product delivers in macronutrients.
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens Macronutrient Comparison Chart
|Amazing Grass – Superfood||Athletic Greens|
|Total Carbs||5 gm||6 gm|
|Dietary Fiber||3 gm||2 gm|
|Total Sugars||< 1 gm||< 1 gm|
|Protein||2 gm||2 gm|
From this perspective, the larger serving size equates to more calories in Athletic Greens, yet one less dietary fiber and equal amounts of sugars and protein. Amazing Grass may be preferable for those on a diet with fewer calories and more fiber.
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens: The Formulations
The above comparison charts address the compounds in each product on a weight and macronutrient basis. In the following segment, we showcase the specific ingredients unique to each.
Amazing Grass – Greens Superfood
As noted in the Comparison Chart, there are fewer vitamins, three (including A, C, and K), and fewer minerals, four (calcium, iron, sodium, and potassium) than in AG 1 and lower dosages. None of the vitamins/minerals approach the recommended daily values.
All the compounds in the Amazing Grass proprietary blends are certified organic. The 5.7 grams Greens Blend includes superfoods such as wheat grass, barley, alfalfa, spinach, chlorella, and broccoli. The Antioxidant Blend contains powerhouses such as rose hips, acerola cherry, green tea extract, and acai. Once again, in smaller doses than in Athletic Greens. The EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Fiber Blend comprises two ingredients, flax seed, with its healthy fats, antioxidant properties, and fiber, and apple pectin. Amazing Grass emphasizes digestive enzymes in its formula with four types; amylase, protease, lipase, and cellulase. However, the formula’s pre/probiotic blend contains only one compound each; FOS prebiotics and Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotics. The Supplement Facts panel does not indicate the number of CFUs delivered in the probiotic.
Although Amazing Grass makes no claims relating to multiple products in their Greens drink, like AG 1, their formulation addresses many of the same functions, albeit in lesser doses.
With fifty-two iterations of the product, the Athletic Greens formula is complex and contains the finest, hand-selected ingredients in significant dosages in each compound. Reading the ingredients on the Supplement Facts panel, we encounter virtually every component cited by experts as beneficial for digestive health.
- Vitamins (11) – delivering more than 100 percent of the recommended Daily Value of Vitamin C, E, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, B6, folate, and biotin B7.
- Minerals (10) – calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, sodium, potassium, and 136% of the DV of zinc.
- The Superfood Complex is a blend of organic fruit and vegetable extracts (including spirulina, wheat grass, chlorella, and grape seed), prebiotic fiber, green tea extract, beet root powder, and ginger
- The Nutrient Dense Extracts, Herbs & Antioxidants proprietary blend includes pea protein, CoQ 10, ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid), ashwagandha, dandelion, stevia leaf powder, and vitamin K2
- The Digestive Enzyme & Mushroom Complex features bromelain (a group of enzymes from pineapple), plus Rishi and Shiitake mushroom powder
- The Probiotics are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, the two most researched and clinically supported probiotics in the natural products space
The only issue with the formulation is the inability to determine the precise dosages of the components due to the nature of proprietary blends.
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens: The Benefits of Each Brand
The primary benefit of any greens drinks is to conveniently supplement your consumption of vegetables. Athletic Greens exceeds the antioxidant benefit by delivering the equivalent of twelve cups of vegetables, versus Amazing Grass providing two servings. Other benefits claimed by the respective brands are detailed below.
Amazing Grass delivers those benefits attributable to most green drinks, including increased energy, improved digestive health, supporting the immune system, and promoting a healthy gut microbiome. As a system, additional offerings from the company address other issues, more specifically, such as their Energy, Antioxidant, Immunity, and Detox blends.
In keeping with its nine-products-in-one positioning, AG 1 makes claims associated with supporting the nervous system, cognitive health, liver function, hormonal and neural health, and anti-aging in addition to those benefits of a typical greens drink.
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens: Customer Reviews
As expected, customer reviews on the companies’ websites were overwhelmingly positive. Attempting to get a more unbiased perspective, we turned to Amazon.com.
Amazing Grass, with nearly 32,000 reviews on Amazon, received 77% five-star reviews rating a 4.6 out of 5.0. Many reviewers mentioned the need to take the product with something more than just water to improve the taste. Reduced bloating was a typical comment.
We found an Athletic Greens product, Ultimate Daily, on the Amazon site – a different name but the exact formulation/product. Given AG’s go-to-market strategy, we were not surprised there were far fewer reviews. Of the 3,000 reviews, Ultimate Daily received 4.5 on a scale of 5.0, with 74% of reviewers giving the product 5 stars. With a price of $134.99 for a thirty-day supply on Amazon, there were fewer comments relative to pricing than might be expected.
The slight differences in ratings and percentage of five-star reviews were not significant factors in our assessment of the products.
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens: Pricing
Amazing Grass – Greens Blend Superfood
The Greens Blend Superfood retails on the Amazing Grass website for $39.99 for thirty 8-gram servings. The company offers a 20% discount for those that subscribe for monthly deliveries, which, as you will see, equates to about the same price as specialty shops.
As a division of a major consumer products corporation (Glanbia), Amazing Grass has an omni go-to-market strategy, reaching consumers through online, subscription, other eCommerce sites, and broad distribution in brick-and-mortar stores.
A thirty-serving container sells for $99.00 on the Athletic Greens website. Those willing to subscribe for monthly deliveries access the product for $79.00. According to the new CEO, there are hundreds of thousands of subscribers! The subscription price drops to $149.00 for two containers each month if there are multiple people in the household using the product. Shipping and handling charges of $9.00 apply to one-time and subscription purchases. The subscription service also offers a 90-day money-back guarantee.
As mentioned in the Customer Reviews segment, Amazon.com offers Athletic Greens, Ultimate Daily, for $134.99 for a thirty-day supply. AG 1 is only available on the company website at this time.
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens: Things to Consider
Both companies are well-financed and have excellent corporate policies regarding quality manufacturing, third-party testing, and scientifically based, sophisticated formulations. TGA registration, and NSF Safe for Sport certification for Athletic Greens – GMP certification and certified organic for Amazing Greens.
Both products are safe for those with allergies, although AG 1 includes ingredients derived from soy. (Independent testing shows no soy protein present in the product.) For dieters, both products are low-carb, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, and Keto friendly.
The primary considerations in our decision were formulations, ingredient quality, dosages, pricing, and accessibility. As illustrated in our Comparison Chart, Amazing Greens and Athletic Greens both address the same blends in their formulations; however, AG 1 contains more ingredients in more significant concentrations, 12 grams per serving versus 8 grams in Amazing Grass. Amazing Grass has more certified organic compounds than Athletic Greens. Pricing is the most crucial difference between the two products, with Amazing Grass about one-third the cost per serving of AG 1, less if accessed on Amazon.com. Finally, Amazing Grass is far easier to access, with products available online and in numerous retail outlets.
Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens: Which Greens Product is Better?
Rarely do we compare two supplements competing in the same space with such drastically different price points. It’s like comparing a Ferrari 812 Competizione (MSRP $569,000) with the new mid-engine C8 Corvette Z06 (MSRP $115,000). Both are supercars, elegantly styled, wickedly fast, and will transport you where you want to go. The primary decision points become personal preference and budget.
Likewise, our greens products deliver similar benefits, comparable formulations, convenience, and quality. Like the Ferrari, Athletic Greens offers more, nine products in one, but, like the Corvette, Amazing Grass is far less expensive yet still delivers on its promises.
So, unless you are a world-class athlete or independently wealthy, we think Amazing Greens delivers the most – at the best value.
A Final Thought: Amazing Grass vs. Athletic Greens
Although we’ve declared Amazing Greens the better value in this comparison, Athletic Greens remains the superior formulation and more convenient way to address your foundational nutrition – if cost is not an issue.