If you're like me, you probably get a solid five or six ads each day for Athletic Greens.
Whether listening to YouTube videos or scrolling Instagram, it seems like I can't go more than a few pieces of content without hearing the promise that I can clear out my medicine cabinet and replace my current vitamins and supplements with a single, tasty scoop of Athletic Greens.
As someone who drank Athletic Greens daily for over two years and then decided to cancel his subscription, the ads are a bit wasted on me since I don't plan on going back to Athletic Greens in the immediate future. Their AG1 product is just a rebranded version of their original greens drink product, and consolidating my vitamins and supplements into a single product doesn't currently justify the price of an AG1 subscription.
Is Athletic Greens Actually Good?
One thing I want to be clear about is that Athletic Greens is a good product. It's very high quality and the nutrient density is ideal. The reasons I'm choosing to not go back to Athletic Greens have nothing to do with the quality of the AG1 product.
Instead, I've moved on from Athletic Greens because:
- Their price increase in 2020 made it feel unsustainable to continue repurchasing on a 30-day basis. I'm all about frugality and being conscious about my spending, and paying the equivalent of half of my car payment every 30 days for a greens supplement just added up a bit too much.
- The flavor is a bit inconsistent and not great. Athletic Greens' AG1 product doesn't taste bad, per se, but it's definitely an acquired taste. Plus, I noticed that in the months leading up to the AG1 rebranding, the taste seemed to be fairly inconsistent. Some months the product had its usual earthy flavor, and other months it was kind of flavorless and sweeter than usual. I've consistently tested negative for COVID-19, so I can't blame virus-induced loss of taste as the culprit.
- I've had negative experiences with their affiliate program. Despite sending thousands of visitors to their website each month and generating several thousand dollars in revenue for them, I couldn't get my account manager to answer any of my emails and I stopped getting paid affiliate sales commissions I had earned. I'll skip the nitty-gritty details, but to make a long story short, I was essentially told that because I'm not a professional athlete, they didn't really care how many sales I earned them or that I had missed out on $4,000 in ad revenue alone (roughly $6,500-$8,000 if I factored in lost affiliate commissions) in 2020. For me, after my disappointment in the wavering taste quality and price increase, it was the straw that broke the camel's back.
- Having to keep your bag refrigerated and spacing out when you drink your greens with when you consume your morning coffee was just a bit of a nuisance, especially while traveling.
What Are the Best Alternatives for Athletic Greens? It Depends On Your Goals.
If you don't want to spend $100+ each month on Athletic Greens, you're not out of luck! There are great multipurpose supplements you can take in Athletic Greens' place– many of which are much more affordable.
Deciding on what alternative is the best route for you will depend upon your goals. Why are you wanting to take a supplement in the first place?
No matter how high quality a product is, there's no such thing as health in a bottle. Supplements are a way to fill nutritional gaps or give you a boost in specific nutrients for a specific outcome.
Consider the following goals. Which one is the best fit for you and your nutritional goals?
I Want A Greens Supplement to Improve My Digestive Health
If you're looking for a greens supplement that is ideal for digestive health, then I would recommend Transparent Labs' Prebiotic Greens.
Together, these two ingredients, as their website puts it, optimizes "your often-overlooked microbiome and consequently [affects] all aspects of digestion and wellbeing."
It comes in an unflavored version, which does have a natural, somewhat earthy (but not overpowering) flavor from the algae-based greens. There's also a peach mango flavor if you prefer stirring a spoonful into a cup of water and enjoying that way.
Best of all, a 30-day serving will only cost you $39.99 USD. That means you could get 2.5 tubs of Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens for the cost of one 30-day bag of AG1.
Pros of Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens
- Great for digestive health– the algae and dietary fiber will contribute to bowel movement regularity, digestive efficiency, and reduced gas and bloating for most individuals.
- Very affordable. $40 per month comes out to roughly $1.33 USD per serving.
Cons of Transparent Labs Prebiotic Greens
- If you're looking for a product that has all around nutrient density, this may not be an ideal product. While it does contain decent amounts of protein, iron, calcium, and potassium, if you're looking for other core vitamins that you aren't already getting in your diet, it may not be ideal.
I'm Not Sure If I Have A Well-Rounded Enough Diet and Want to Fill Gaps
If you're primarily looking to fill dietary gaps and ensure that you're getting all of your key nutrients on a daily basis, my advice would be to not overthink it. Multivitamin pills and capsules are still great (just avoid the gummies, generally speaking).
For multivitamins, I'm a fan of Swolverine's daily multivitamin for something that's affordable (30 servings for $19.99) and high quality. Swolverine is quickly becoming my favorite go-to source of supplements though, so that's no surprise.
I should also note, however, that if your concern with getting in some nutritional insurance is because you don't know how well-rounded your diet is, analyzing and correcting your diet should be step number one before purchasing a supplement. Nobody has a perfect diet all the time, and we all have periods where we'll need to alter our food intake (such as when we travel, are overly busy, or generally have a disruption in our routines). You can't beat real food. Supplements can provide nutritional insurance to cover those irregularities, but if your regular diet isn't nutrient-dense, a pill isn't going to miraculously make you feel better.
Pros of Swolverine's Daily Multivitamin
- It's very affordable and very nutrient-dense! At $19.99 per month, if you take a full dose (2 capsules) every day, that averages out to about $0.66 per day.
Cons of Swolverine's Daily Multivitamin
- In my opinion, there's not really a drawback to this product. If you struggle with pills, however, it won't be a great fit since a full serving is two small capsules.
I Want More Greens In My Diet But Hate the Taste/Texture/Effort That Goes Into Prepping and Eating Green Veggies
I get it. There are "fitness" cookbooks out there that will tell you to dump six cups of fresh spinach into a pot, let it wilt, and sprinkle with lemon juice and sea salt as a way to get in your daily greens.
I love spinach and kale and cabbage, and it can still be hard to eat adequate amounts of such greens on a daily basis. It's harder still to enjoy eating adequate amounts, especially when I'm busy.
So, if you're mainly looking for a greens supplement to make sure you're getting enough greens and veggies in your diet, then I would recommend trying Amazing Grass Greens Blend in either Original or Berry.
I'm a sucker for berries, so I prefer the Berry version, but either way, this is a pretty solid product. Each serving contains the equivalent of two servings of fruits and vegetables, and it's fairly high in vitamins C and K. At $23.99 per 30 servings, it's also quite affordable.
Pros of Amazing Grass Greens Blend
- Contains 2 servings of fruits and vegetables.
- Very convenient– much easier way to get in a serving of greens than prepping a full spinach dish.
Cons of Amazing Grass Greens Blend
- Similar to our critique of Transparent Labs' Prebiotic Greens above, if you're looking for something with a highly well-rounded nutrient density that covers all major vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals, then this doesn't cover all of your bases.
Which Alternative Is Right for You?
At the time that I canceled my Athletic Greens subscription, once shipping and handling and taxes were factored into the cost of my greens, I was paying about $117 per 30-day supply of greens. This cost was so high that I started spreading out my shipping frequency and rationing how often I consumed my greens, which greatly undercuts their effectiveness.
If you were to purchase all three of the alternatives I mentioned in this article (which would be fairly redundant and I don't particularly recommend it), you'd still rack up a lower total cost ($83.97) than you would for a bag of Athletic Greens.
I'll try to save money whenever I can, which is why I explored these products in the first place. For the sake of transparency, my current routine includes taking the Swolverine Greens & Reds supplement every morning. This functions in much the same way as the Transparent Labs and Amazing Grass products that I mentioned. However, since I knew I wanted to include the Swolverine multivitamin as one of the alternatives, I chose to highlight other brands that will produce similar results while saving you even more money.