My grandfather always said a few words that have guided and haunted me throughout my life: “You have to try something 12 times before you’re sure you don’t like it. Although the exact numbers vary, there are a bit of science to back up the saying. I expected this to apply to seafood, wine, and anything considered an acquired taste. But I was surprised to find that it also described my experience with the daily wellness supplement: AG1, by Athletic Greens.
While I’m not one to fall prey to influencer marketingI have to say, the Athletic Greens partnership with all my favorite social media personalities worked its strategic magic. If they were addicted, I would have to imagine that I could also benefit from it.
So with too many aesthetic reels of pretty people cooking up the green stuff, a few five-star recommendations from friends, and a podcast promo code, Athletic Greens had me broken. I, too, was curious if this seemingly miraculous, science-backed blend of 75 vitamins and minerals could do my mind and body any good.
I placed my order and dove in, ready to be amazed or potentially disappointed. This is my honest opinion.
What is Athletic Greens?
To start, let’s break down the history of Athletic Greens. Founded in 2010, Athletic Greens is best known for its flagship product, AG1. Green Powder combines vitamins, minerals and nutrients designed to support gut healthsupport immunity, boost energy and help you recover faster from workouts and physical activity.
According to CEO Chris Ashenden, the brand is focused on “fundamental nutrition”. I guess this speaks to the product’s role in supplementing a healthy lifestyle, helping to meet nutritional needs that our daily diet may not be meeting.
Anecdotally, I started taking note of the brand a few years ago when it seemed like every health site and wellness influencer was taking AG1 daily. I can pinpoint the exact moment when my interest was fully piqued and I followed the brand on social media. I was immersed in one of my favorite podcasts, The Blonde Files, when I hosted Arielle Lorre (whom I can thank for my promo code) called AG1 “non-negotiable well-being”. And even though I felt the power of influence at play, I retained the memory of that one-minute commercial. If all I had to do was buy, mix, and drink liquefied powder for enviable energy, then maybe I was naive, but I wanted in.
How is AG1 different from other green powders?
Although I refer to the supplement as powdered greens throughout this article, Athletic Greens is adamant about being more than just a substitute for your dark leafy greens. The recommended daily serving – just one scoop – provides:
- vitamins and minerals to support immune health and strengthen your nervous system
- prebiotics and probiotics to provide digestive support
- phytonutrients derived from superfoods that support the microbiome
- immune support mushrooms
- adaptogenic herbs and antioxidants to relieve stress and provide metabolic and energy support
My AG1 ritual
AG1 is dear. I purchased the one-time 30-day subscription for $79. With your order, you get a month’s supply of AG1, a storage jar and shaker, and five “free” travel packs. On top of that, my shipping cost was $9. While that may not seem like much, I had to grit my teeth in this heyday of free shipping. Fortunately, you can cancel your subscription at any time, so the commitment was relatively minimal.
I set out to see how AG1 would perform with my already established wellness routine. That meant training on the same schedule as usual, aiming for the same amount of sleep, and not making any major changes to my diet. While my week on AG1 was by no means a deeply scientific study, I wanted to know if I would feel any different just by adding the supplement to my daily routine.
As suggested, AG1 was the first thing I consumed in the morning. Before my coffee and avocado toast, I mixed one scoop of AG1 with eight ounces of water. My package came with a brand name wide mouth water bottle exclusively designed to get my greens in liquid form. After securing and shaking the bottle, I opened the lid to discover a frothy, frothy green drink.
Hesitant but curious to consume the claimed vanilla flavor reviews, I took a sip. My first thought? There’s no way I’m going to finish this. IMO the taste was way too sweet. Although it had a slightly fruity and tropical flavor, the overriding taste was unmistakably artificial and, frankly, gave me a headache. All in all, it took me about two hours to finish the whole thing (baby sips, folks).
I continued my training as planned. Because it was my first day, I didn’t notice any change in my energy or how I felt in general. My main conclusion from the launch of my experiment was: How the hell am I gonna do this week?
I woke up a little more determined to experience the envy-worthy flavor of AG1 that everyone was raving about. Taking a different approach, I shook my scoop with water and ice. This drop in temperature made a significant difference. When I drank the AG1 this time, it had a clearer, crisper flavor and mouthfeel. It was less muddy than the day before. (Although I swear, I shook it as hard as I could.)
Feeling like a feel-good girl, I laid my AG1 down next to my laptop as I started my day browsing through my inbox. While the placebo effect is obviously in play, something about having that green bottle next to me made me feel a bit more productive. There is worse.
At the end of my period today, I woke up and noticed that my skin was noticeably clearer than it was the day before. It was brighter than usual at this point in my cycle. I went to the kitchen, shook my AG1 and found that I was already getting used to the flavor. My first impression was of a slightly thinner green juice. It was as if the flavor had been designed to mask something particularly unpleasant. But I was getting there. At this point, I may have even liked it.
That morning I texted a few friends who had tried Athletic Greens. They confirmed that the taste takes a bit of getting used to. For the most part, they started looking forward to their daily dose of AG1 between their third and seventh day – props for me to be at the start.
Athletic Greens’ Instagram is full of ideas for consuming their product beyond the old H20 watch. So I tried their ultimate summer smoothie bowl recipe mix things up halfway through my trial. I found the previously offensive flavor was completely masked by adding almond butter, banana, apple, dates and oat milk. I could see it becoming a breakfast staple. And while blood sugar balancing enthusiasts might object to this smoothie glycemic overloadpairing your fruit with the healthy fats of almond butter is a solid way to lessen the spike.
It was the first day I noticed a subtle physiological change. I had more energy during my afternoon barre workout and – spoiler day five – wasn’t in pain at all when I woke up the next day.
This morning’s awakening was one of the best I can tell of in recent history. With little effort, I got up immediately at my 6:30 a.m. alarm and went straight into some morning stretching and a brief meditation. While I would consider myself a morning person, this level of alertness was out of the ordinary. Mentally, I felt sharp, aligned, and motivated to push through my to-do list.
I made the same AG1 infused smoothie as the day before and discovered an extra burst of energy after I finished my drink. I made it through my morning chores while staying on task and focused. Thank you AG1.
Although my awakening wasn’t as miraculous as yesterday’s, I slept well and woke up rested. Craving my usual savory breakfast (a slice of avocado toast with a poached egg), I opted for AG1 and ice water. Interestingly, it took until today to notice that my craving for a second mid-morning coffee was completely gone. Instead, my one cup was enough for both energy levels and feeling full after breakfast.
I often fall victim to the dreaded 3pm depression, but today I managed to complete all of my end-of-day tasks and even enjoyed a 45-minute workout. To say that my energy level remained stable throughout the day would be an understatement. I am not a wellness evangelist (meditation aside), but when something resolves my low energy, I have to shout it from the rooftops. I noticed an easy relaxation after dinner and was able to fall asleep quickly and soundly. That’s a lot to say for someone who deals with occasional bouts of insomnia.
I started this journey not knowing how I was going to get to this point. Looking back, however, things looked up on day three. By now, my daily rhythms have come to expect AG1 above all else, and I have to admit: there’s something comforting and ritualistic about sipping it first.
Although I said I wouldn’t make any significant changes to my diet, I noticed that the supplement naturally inspired me to make nutrient-dense choices. I kept a constant pattern of greens throughout the day: a high-protein salad for lunch, a green smoothie for a snack, and a big pile of roasted broccoli to go with dinner. Something about doing good things for my body in the morning inspired me to keep the momentum going all day. Can AG1 inspire a change of mentality? The correlation probably isn’t strong enough to call it a fact, but after a week on the green powder, I can confirm with confidence: the results I saw this week were enough to keep me going.
The take-out sale
I still have about 20 servings left in my first shipment of AG1, and I’ll see it through. Admittedly, a week is not enough to feel the long-term benefits accrue. Of course, price marks a barrier to entry and, as many nutritionists will confirm, you don’t need a fancy supplement to meet your daily vitamin and mineral needs. But with the positive results I’ve experienced, I can confirm that it’s worth it.
In the end, it was a convenient product that played into the positive reward centers of my brain – and that’s not a bad thing! The routine of making AG1 every morning before breakfast (or as part of my morning meal) signaled that I was doing something good for my body. This helped lay the groundwork for these habits to continue throughout the day. A transformed gaze and more energy? It’s what we like to call a win-win.
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