Almost a full year ago, I wrote about my experiences with Athletic Greens and what I observed after my first month taking the nutritional supplement.
At that time, I had been drinking Athletic Greens every morning for a month. After those first thirty days, I noticed that I was drinking more water, being more active throughout the day, and had more (TMI warning) regular bowel movements.
But now that I've been taking Athletic Greens for an entire year, what has changed? Do I still think Athletic Greens is worth it?
Short answer: yeah, it's still worth it.
Here's what I've learned by making Athletic Greens a part of my daily routine for an entire year.
The Athletic Greens Community is Pretty Cool
This one may seem a bit out of left field. As a nutritional supplement, generally what you're going to notice and comment on is the nutritional benefit. However, Athletic Greens has also built up a community around the product that is pretty interesting.
For starters, I want to say that the folks who work for Athletic Greens have been phenomenal at each interaction I've had with them. Whether I need to contact customer support to adjust my order, ask a question of their community manager on Facebook, or exchange emails with a member of their staff who read my initial review of the product, each person on the Athletic Greens team has been really personable, polite, and excited about what they do.
That's really telling.
You can tell when someone does their job just for a paycheck and not because they're passionate about their company's mission. That's not the vibe I get from the Athletic Greens team. I'm sure it's not a perfect company (since I don't think such a thing exists), but it's a good sign that the people who work for Athletic Greens seem to enjoy their job.
On top of that, there's a private group on Facebook for customers. Folks regularly share their experiences taking the supplement and ask clarifying questions about the products, their ingredients, and shipping procedures. As with any group that involves both social media and the general public, there are a few naysayers who use the group to air their grievances with the postal service or complain, but that seems to be a minority of the group.
Athletic Greens D3 + K2 Supplements Also Rock
For the first time, I expanded my Athletic Greens intake to include their D3 and K2 supplement. It comes in a glass bottle and is dosed via a small pipet.
In the past, I had been hesitant to get the D3+K2 supplement in addition to my subscription simply because the base Athletic Greens supplement is pretty expensive, and I wasn't convinced that I needed additional D3 or K2 in my diet.
However, the pandemic shifted my thinking a bit. With my immune system being forced to the forefront of thought everywhere that I looked, it felt necessary to be more intentional about making sure my body has the nutrients it needs to operate at peak efficiency.
What do Vitamins D3 and K2 Do?
In an overly simplified explanation, D3 and K2 are necessary nutrients for bone strength and health, muscle function, and immune support.
Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 ensure that calcium is absorbed efficiently while preventing arterial calcification (a potentially dangerous medical condition in which calcium builds up in the walls of your arteries). This is why you often see milk products labeled as being fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D and calcium work together in the process of strengthening bones.
Outside of their skeletal functions, K2 regulates normal blood clotting and D3 supports a healthy immune system and supports muscle function.
Being a gym rat and working out almost daily, the muscle and bone health issues are important to me. Being a gym rat and working out almost daily during a dang pandemic, D3's immune system support skyrocketed in importance as one of my health goals.
Athletic Greens and Athletic Performance
Speaking of going to the gym all the time, I wanted to touch on the ways in which Athletic Greens have impacted my performance in the gym.
Over the last year, I've made some pretty significant progress in improving my overall fitness. As some background context, my fitness goals have been rooted in developing functional strength as opposed to aesthetics, bodybuilding, or weight loss.
About a year ago, I weight about 215lbs, with about 17-20% body fat. I know that's a wide range, but I want to leave a bit of a margin there since my home measurements and discount skin calipers may not be the most scientifically adequate. For some strength benchmarks, I was squatting 225lbs, deadlifting 225lbs, and bench pressing 135lbs.
Today, I weigh 206lbs– a drop of nine pounds may not seem like much- but I'm also down to about 12-14% body fat and have gotten significantly stronger. My squats are up to 275lbs, deadlifts are up to 315lbs, and my bench press is up to 155lbs.
Overall, I'm really happy about the progress I've made this year. I feel stronger and more competent n the gym, which is my overall goal of fitness– I work out as a way of respecting and maintaining my body.
Obviously, Athletic Greens doesn't get all the credit for my progress. I still take protein supplements, creatine supplements, micronized glutamine, and the occasionally caffeine-filled pre-workout supplement. But, I think Athletic Greens still deserves some recognition in my athletic performance progress because it creates a solid foundation for my diet. Even with social distancing and staying at home more, I've remained a very busy person.
It's difficult for me to find the time in my day to plan and prepare meals in a way that ensures I'm getting all of the nutrients that I need. I've attempted meal prepping in the past, but don't do that very often. At least, I don't do it as often as I should. It's just a personal quirk, I suppose, but I often grow so bored of prepped meals throughout the week or they just don't reheat well enough for me to stick with them consistently. Then I'm in a position where I end up low on willpower and high on the desire to order gyros and fries or burritos.
For me, it's much easier to buy whole, nutrient-dense foods to have on-hand for the week, and then do some culinary improv at lunch and dinner. By starting my day with Athletic Greens, I'm able to check off a few important boxes:
- With Athletic Greens, I know that I'm hydrating first thing in the morning and covering my dietary bases decently well.
- Starting my day with intentional nutrient intake has a decent psychological payoff. When I'm tempted to rush through lunch by ordering junk food, I remind myself that I've already started my day strong and need to focus on fueling my body, not just feeding it. It gives me a sense of positive, forward momentum.
- As I mentioned in my previous article about Athletic Greens, the fact that it is pretty expensive adds another layer of psychological reinforcement that solidifies healthful consumption. When I do want to just order food for delivery, I'm reminded of the added costs of doing so and choose to not "undo" the work of my investment in Athletic Greens.
(As a quick side note: there's nothing wrong with ordering delivery from time to time. Especially right now, a lot of local businesses need us to order food. Do it! Just do it in moderation if your budget and nutrient needs are better satisfied by preparing meals at home.)
All I need to start my day with Athletic Greens is an empty glass, 8-12 ounces of cold water, and a scoop of greens. Then, with a shake and a chug (shaking and chugging... I'm having flashbacks to undergrad), my greens are good to go for the day. I can just hop in the shower, brew my coffee, and then go about my routine with minimal interruption– all while having the vitamins, minerals, and probiotics needed to operate and feel my best, which is a critical component in determining the efficacy of your athletic performance.
Will I Keep my Athletic Greens Subscription for Another Year?
If it's not already obvious, I'm a big fan of Athletic Greens. I'll definitely be keeping my subscription for the foreseeable future. I'm super happy with the product (I'm still regular thanks to a combo of Athletic Greens and a high fiber diet... that's enough payoff for me!) and I appreciate the culture that the company cultivates for their employees.
Even though it's an expensive product, it fits into my wellness and fitness goals and continues to prove itself to be a valuable part of my daily routine. On the odd occasion where I forget to take my greens or oversleep and rush to the coffee pot instead of my greens, I definitely notice that I just don't feel as good as I do when I have them.
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