This article compares two “greens powder” products, AG 1 by Athletic Greens and Beyond Greens from Live Conscious. The essential function of a greens dietary supplement is to help people reach their daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables to achieve the nutritional requirements of a healthy diet. However, as you’ll see in this review, both subject products go beyond superfood formulas. They are multi-ingredient supplements (75 components in AG 1 and 14 in Beyond Greens) designed to deliver even more health benefits than a traditional green drink. So which product is superior, “the multivitamin reimagined” by Live Conscious or the “foundational nutrition” of Athletic Greens?
We review the formulations, the components, and the dosages of each to determine the product that best achieves its advertised benefits, with an analysis of the price/value relationship.
The Products: Beyond Greens vs. Athletic Greens
Greens have become one of the hottest health trends in recent years as people supplement their food intake, providing a safety net to ensure they achieve the macro and micronutrients needed. The foundation for most green products is superfoods; think Blueberries, Pineapple, Grape Seed, Spirulina, Wheat Grass, Chlorella, and Alfalfa, among others. These superfoods provide essential nutrients extracted from various food sources, which positively affect human health and are helpful for illness prevention.
Both subject products include additional ingredients such as pre-and probiotics to support the microbiome and immune system, plus herbs and adaptogens, with cognitive, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Beyond Greens by Live Conscious
Beyond Greens is a powdered dietary supplement that Live Conscious refers to as the “multivitamin reimagined.” This green superfood contains fourteen ingredients, including a blend of four mushrooms, herbs, adaptogens, prebiotics, and a patented probiotic, all formulated to provide health benefits to the entire body:
- Gut health
- Immune support
- Stress reduction
The product is manufactured by Live Conscious (formerly LiveWell) of Burbank, CA, in the U.S. in federally registered, GMP-compliant facilities. The company’s products are independently third-party tested for quality. Beyond Greens does an exemplary job of label transparency, with each ingredient and dosage listed separately on the Supplement Facts panel. Each jar contains thirty 3.8 grams servings of lightly matcha-flavored powder. Beyond Greens has no hidden additives or fillers, is Vegan and Keto friendly, non-GMO, and gluten-free, with no dairy, soy, shellfish, or preservatives.
The company states Beyond Greens is a potent, concentrated mix featuring ingredients in clinical dosages. We review each component and dosage on the supplement Facts panel, compared to recommended dosages in our Formulation segment, as several compounds may be underdosed.
How to Take Beyond Greens
As the company states, “how to take and transcend,” simply stir one 3.8 grams scoop in eight to twelve ounces of your favorite beverage – once daily.
AG 1 by Athletic Greens
In business since 2009, AG 1 is still the only product marketed by Athletic Greens. In their quest to deliver the perfect daily nutritional foundation, the product is in the fifty-third iteration of its continuous improvement cycle. A powdered dietary supplement, AG 1 promises to provide the health benefits of nine products in one twelve-gram serving. The Supplement Facts panel, one of the most comprehensive we have reviewed, includes three proprietary blends (Superfoods, Herbs & Antioxidants, and Enzymes & Mushrooms), eleven vitamins, ten minerals, and pre-and probiotics – in total, 75 different components. Each scoop delivers the antioxidant equivalent of twelve servings of fruits and vegetables.
Incorporated in the USA, Athletic Greens manufactures AG 1 in New Zealand in a TGA-registered facility. The Therapeutic Goods Administration, basically the equivalent of the FDA, is the Australian regulatory arm responsible for approving medicines and vitamins. Adhering to the highest industry standards, Athletic Greens’ manufacturing facility is certified as cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) by the National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF). The NSF, a third-party, non-profit organization, also certifies the AG 1 product as Safe for Sport (free of banned substances).
Designed to achieve whole-body health and provide your necessary daily nutrients, the company’s founder, Chris Ashenden, claims the company has created a new category, “foundational nutrition.” AG 1 is formulated with the athlete in mind and is Vegan, Keto, Paleo, and low-carb friendly. The product is free of gluten, dairy, eggs, and nuts. The non-GMO ingredients contain no herbicides, pesticides, preservatives, animal byproducts, sweeteners, added sugars or flavors, and no artificial colors.
AG 1 comes in only one slightly sweet flavor, picking up its flavor from vanilla, pineapple, and other fruits and vegetables. The texture is smooth when mixed with plain water; however, for those who do not like the taste, adding a bit of lemon or juice may help.
How to Take Athletic Greens
The company recommends one 12-gram scoop in eight to ten ounces of water. One scoop, once a day every day, preferably on an empty stomach, before your first meal.
Beyond Greens vs. Athletic Greens: Which Superfood Supplement is Superior?
When reviewing or comparing products in the natural product space, there are specific minimum requirements we seek:
- Are the products made in a federally registered facility?
- Is the company cGMP compliant?
- Are products third-party tested/certified for safety, quality, and purity?
- Are ingredients organic and/or non-GMO?
- Label Transparency – no proprietary blends?
- Does the company offer a money-back guarantee?
Both Athletic Greens and Live Conscious score well against this criterion, with their products manufactured in federally registered, GMP-compliant facilities. Both products are non-GMO, contain some organic compounds, and are Vegan, Paleo, and Keto-friendly.
Beyond Greens has an advantage in that its label is fully transparent versus the proprietary blends in AG 1; however, this is a double-edged sword as the transparency highlights the dramatic disparity in dosages – which favors AG 1. Live Conscious also offers a superior 365-day money-back guarantee. Although Live Conscious states its facilities are GMP compliant and its products third-party tested, Athletic Green’s facilities are “certified” GMP, and its product “certified” Safe for Sport – overall edge – AG 1.
When comparing products in the greens space, our review includes an analysis of the formulations, ingredients, dosages, benefits, taste, cost, efficacy, and value. Unfortunately for Beyond Greens, this is where the comparison diverges significantly. Starting with the glaringly obvious, the serving size of AG 1 is 12 grams per serving versus 3.8 grams in Beyond Greens, and Athletic Greens’ 75 compounds dwarf the 14 ingredients in the Live Conscious product.
The AG 1 formula addresses vitamins, minerals, superfoods, herbs and antioxidants, digestive enzymes, adaptogens, and pre-and probiotics. The Beyond Greens’ approach pales in comparison.
Although Beyond Greens positions itself as the “vitamin reimagined,” there are no added micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals in its product – versus AG 1 with eleven vitamins and ten minerals, many contributing to significantly or exceeding the RDAs (Recommended Daily Values).
The AG 1 Nutrient Dense Superfood Complex, at 7388 mg, is nearly double the Beyond Greens serving size and includes most superfood compounds (except Echinacea) found in the Live Conscious formula. The mushroom blend in Beyond Greens is better with four types (200 mg) of organic mushrooms; however, the product does not address digestive enzymes, as does AG 1 with its Bromelain. Further, as noted in the more in-depth review of ingredients in the Formulation segment, the mushroom dosages in both products are insufficient to derive the purported benefits.
Neither product would receive particularly high marks as a stand-alone probiotic – there simply aren’t sufficient strains or CFUs. Once again, however, the AG 1 formula exceeds Beyond Greens’ with its two strains delivering 7.2 billion CFUs, versus one strain (albeit patented), delivering only 300 million CFUs – more details about the Beyond Greens probiotic dosage in the Formulation section.
Clearly, AG 1 is the more comprehensive and superior formula, with more appropriate dosages, than Beyond Greens.
Taste is so very subjective that we only give a strong preference if a product has issues with mixability. That said, the best greens product is the one you will continue to use, so the taste is important. Unless you are a tea lover, the matcha flavor of Beyond Greens is probably sub-par versus the slightly sweet taste of AG 1. In either case, doctoring the product by adding it to your smoothie or adding lemon or another flavored juice should make the products palatable.
Finally, we look at cost. AG 1 is at the upper end of the greens powder pricing spectrum at $99.00 per month or $3.30 per serving. Signing up for the subscription, auto-ship service, or purchasing multiples can reduce your cost. This compares to Beyond Greens at only $36.99, $1.23 per serving. To equalize the price/value relationship, we computed the cost per gram (divide the cost/serving by the grams/serving). The result, Beyond Greens is $.323/gram, versus AG 1 at $.275/gram. Surprised? Regardless, Beyond Greens may be a potentially lower cost-per-serving alternative to AG 1.
So, this comparison produced a definitive winner in the AG 1 product for the reasons stated. In the remainder of this article, we delve more deeply into the data that informed our decision, the promised health benefits, individual ingredients and dosages, and the companies’ founders, co-founders, and philosophies.
Beyond Greens vs. Athletic Greens: Health Benefits
The original intent of greens products was to supplement your consumption of fruits and vegetables, driven by the fact that only a small percentage of adults in the United States meet the recommended intake of five cups per day. Our subject brands do this as Beyond Greens equates to two cups of vegetables, and AG 1 delivers an outstanding equivalent of twelve servings of fruits and vegetables. But, as we have seen, both brands go beyond greens to incorporate other ingredients designed to provide additional health benefits.
The primary benefits cited by Live Conscious include increased energy, improved immunity, gut health, and detoxification. The Formula section explains which ingredients contribute to delivering the purported benefits.
Athletic Greens AG 1
AG 1 promises to deliver the health benefits attributable to nine products in its once-daily product delivering overall health. Areas of emphasis include immune function, energy, digestive health, the nervous system, hormone balance, and healthy aging.
To their credit, neither product engages in hyperbole or marketing speak to promise exaggerated or unsupported health claims.
Beyond Greens vs. Athletic Greens: The Companies and Their Founders
Live Conscious, Jake and Hannah Eagle
Jake and Hannah Eagle are the co-founders of Live Conscious. In addition to being the company’s President, Jake is an author, coach, mentor, and health counselor. Hannah Eagle is also a coach and alternative health counselor. Together they conduct their Reology Retreats, guiding people on how to live and love “consciously.”
Located in Burbank, CA, the company positions itself as where traditional wisdom meets contemporary science. Its mantra is, “my mind is sharp, my body healthy, my spirit at ease.” Products are manufactured in cGMP facilities in the U.S. and are third-party tested for quality and purity. They have a wide range of different supplements available today, Beyond Greens being one of the most popular.
The brand offers products in two broad categories, Master Blends and Wells. Blends include Collagen Peptides, plant-based proteins, a coffee substitute, and Beyond Greens. Wells are things such as MoveWell and DigestWell, plus other ingredient-specific products such as CoQWell and CurcuWell. In addition, the company offers an industry-best 365-day Money-Back Guarantee.
Athletic Greens, Chris Ashenden
Native New Zealander, Chris Ashenden, founded Athletic Greens in 2009 to address his health issues, but more importantly, to bring comprehensive daily nutrition to the masses. A serial entrepreneur in the health and fitness space, Ashenden likes to say his company created an entirely new supplement category, “foundational nutrition.” A daily serving of AG1 eliminates the need for other supplements, such as an MVM (multivitamins/mineral), pre-and probiotics, adaptogens, and digestive enzymes.
The company, considered a “unicorn” in the finance world, is now valued at more than $1.2 billion after its latest round of funding. Investors include celebs such as Hugh Jackman, Cindy Crawford, and musician Steve Aoki. As previously noted, the company adheres to the highest quality control protocols, produced in a TGA-registered and NSF GMP-certified facility. AG 1 is also third-party tested and certified as Safe for Sport, an important consideration for competitive athletes. The company prides itself on being certified as Climate Neutral.
From a go-to-market perspective, the company is still an online, subscription-driven entity. Their consistently excellent marketing has dramatically expanded reach in both traditional and digital formats. AG 1 is only available on the company website.
Beyond Greens vs. Athletic Greens: The Formulations
The formulations, ingredients, and dosages were the primary factors in our selection of AG 1 as the superior product. In this segment, we highlight the most critical components of the Athletic Greens product and explain the role of each ingredient in Beyond Greens.
Beyond Greens – 14 ingredients
Beyond Greens contains what they refer to as fourteen superfood ingredients. Technically they are correct as the compounds in the product provide superior nutritional properties and may positively affect health. However, in a greens product, one assumes superfoods include more compounds such as the Spirulina, Alfalfa, and Wheat Grass in AG 1.
- Matcha Leaf, 200 mg. More powerful than traditional green tea and with greater antioxidant properties, Matcha is the best source of catechins such as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which may aid in weight loss. Matcha also has cognitive benefits and may help protect the liver.
- The 200 mg of Milk Thistle in Beyond Greens has detoxifying benefits to aid liver health.
- Chlorella, 500 mg. A true superfood, chlorella is an antioxidant-rich algae with anti-inflammatory properties. It enhances the immune system, lowers cholesterol, and helps to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar.
- Rhodiola Root, 50 mg – an adaptogen that is known for its ability to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety.
- Echinacea, 900 mg. Echinacea is a popular herbal supplement from flowering plants, used primarily to support your immune system. Additional benefits include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Acacia Gum, 190 mg. A prebiotic dietary fiber, its role is to support the healthy bacteria in your microbiome for better digestive health.
- Ceylon Cinnamon, 314 mg – A very potent antioxidant, Cinnamon reduces oxidative stress and chronic inflammation and may help control blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Organic Mushroom Blend, 100 mg – 25 mg each of Reishi, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail, and Lion’s Mane. These four adaptogenic mushrooms have numerous health benefits – designed to support the immune system, reduce inflammation, alleviate stress, cognitive function, and may be anti-cancer and anti-diabetes.
- Lactospore (Bacillus Coagulans), 3 mg, 300 million CFU – This is the previously discussed patented probiotic for digestive and immune health. Clinically tested, yet a far higher dosages.
- FOS 190 mg and XOS 20 mg (Fructo- And Xylo-Oligosaccharides) – Two additional prebiotics to enhance the benefits of the Lactospore probiotic.
Beyond Greens is not the most comprehensive formula in the category, certainly not as complete as its competition, resembling more of a matcha and adaptogenic mushroom formula. Further, the dosages are far below the recommended levels, such as:
|Ingredient||Beyond Greens Dosage||Recommended Dosage|
|Matcha Leaf||200 mg||1500 – 3000 mg|
|Milk Thistle||200 mg||200 – 500 mg|
|Chlorella||500 mg||1500 – 3000 mg|
|Rhodiola||50 mg||400 – 600 mg|
|Mushroom Blend||200 mg||1000 mg (each)|
Echinacea is the outlier, as it meets or exceeds the recommended dosage.
Athletic Greens AG 1
Although AG 1 comprises some seventy-five ingredients, a twelve-gram scoop (triple the serving size of Beyond Greens) has only 50 calories, six grams of carbs, including two grams of fiber, and less than one gram of sugar.
The vitamin and mineral profiles are robust, with ten vitamins and eleven minerals, with many vitamins meeting or exceeding the recommended Daily Value.
The Superfood Complex, nearly 7.4 grams alone, totally eclipses the Beyond Greens formula, including ingredients such as Wheat Grass, Chlorella, Alfalfa, Spirulina, Grape Seed, Green Tea Leaf, and more. We cannot determine the exact dosage of the Green Tea in the proprietary formula but assume it is at or more than the 200 mg of Matcha Tea in Beyond Greens.
The 2732 mg Herbs and Antioxidant blend contains the same Milk Thistle, and Rhodiola found in Beyond Greens, plus Ashwagandha, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Coenzyme Q10, and Dandelion Root.
AG 1 has essential digestive enzymes (Bromelain), with Astragalus and Burdock Root. The Mushroom Complex is the one area where Beyond Greens has an edge with four types at 50 mg each versus only Reishi and Shitake in AG 1.
On its own, AG 1 would not be considered a potent probiotic product with only two strains, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum, delivering 7.2 billion CFUs. However, it outperforms the Beyond Greens probiotic with only one strain and a minuscule 300 million CFUs. We researched clinical studies on the patented Lactospore in Beyond Greens. Results indicated the compound is an effective probiotic when used with coffee or green tea; however, the test dosage was three grams versus 3 mg in Beyond Greens.
Two items give us pause with the AG 1 formulation. First, the proprietary blends, and second, the sheer number of ingredients introduces the potential for interactions with prescription medications – more on this issue in the Word of Caution segment.
Beyond Greens vs. Athletic Greens: Price Comparison
The one-time purchase price on the Live Conscious site is $36.99. A subscription/auto-ship program (one jar each month) reduces the cost to $31.99 – two jars, $28.99 each, or four jars, $24.99 each. There is free shipping with any option except the one-time purchase. The company has a category best 365-Day Money-Back Guarantee.
Athletic Greens AG 1
- One-time purchase price, 30 servings – $99.00
- Single subscription, 30 servings, (delivered monthly) – $79.00
- Double subscription, 60 servings, (two pouches delivered monthly) – $149.00
There is a $9.00 shipping and handling charge on all deliveries.
AG 1 is only available on the company website, except as previously noted, Amazon.com offers Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily for $127.99 for a thirty-day supply.
A Word of Caution
Some of the adaptogens in these products may interact with prescription medications, so we recommend you consult with your healthcare provider before adding either to your supplement regimen. In addition, the products are not recommended for those breastfeeding, pregnant, or under 18.
In Summary: Beyond Greens vs. Athletic Greens
In our opinion, Athletic Greens AG 1 is the superior multi-ingredient greens supplement in comparison to Beyond Greens. If you are not achieving your recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables from your diet – the preferred method – AG 1 is an excellent insurance policy to ensure you get your essential nutrients, plus much more.