6 Things You Should Know About AG1 Before Buying (2024)

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6 Things You Should Know About AG1 Before Buying (1)


You've probably heard your favorite podcaster hocking AG1 for years now, but is it worth the hype?

  • By Taneia Surles, MPH
  • May 31, 2024

Ever heard of AG1? If you’ve listened to the radio, any podcast under the sun, or have been on the internet in the last five years, the answer is probably yes. But what’s it all about? In our review, we found it expensive but fairly stout in terms of nutrition. When we spoke to several registered dietitians and registered dietitian nutritionists about it, they viewed it differently. So what’s the short and sweet version?

To get the real scoop on AG1, we spoke to registered dietitians and looked at the research. Here are six things you should know about AG1 before buying.

About the Expert

Catherine Rall, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist with Happy V.

Anar Allidina, MPH, RD is a Certified Diabetes Educator with a focus on healthy eating on a budget.

1. NSF Certified for Sport

AG1 is reviewed by the National Sanitation Foundation’s (NSF) Certified for Sport program. This program assists athletes, coaches, dietitians, and consumers in making safer decisions when purchasing supplements. It is currently the only independent third-party certification program recognized by several sports-related organizations, such as the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Major League Baseball (MLB), and the National Hockey League (NHL).

“When it comes to dietary supplements, where the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) usually doesn’t weigh in, getting a quality third-party certification like NSF goes a long way towards verifying its quality and efficacy,” says Catherine Rall, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist of Happy V.

2. Contains Adaptogens

Adaptogens are one of the many nutrients found in AG1. Adaptogens are herbs, roots, and other plant substances that support the body’s ability to manage stress–both everyday stress and episodes of chronic stress (2).

Research shows adaptogens can present neuroprotective, anti-fatigue, antidepressive, anxiolytic (reduces anxiety), nootropic (boosts brain performance), and central nervous system-stimulating activity (3).


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3. Great for Gut Health

These supplement powders can allegedly provide several benefits, including boosting energy, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and improving gut health (1).

AG1 by Athletic Greens contains prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes to support gut health.

Prebiotics are live microorganisms responsible for maintaining or improving your body’s “good” bacteria. Prebiotics are high-fiber foods or supplements acting as the “food” for human microflora in your gut (4).

Digestive enzymes are supplements that break down proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids to manage certain gastrointestinal or digestive disorders, such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivities. (5).

4. Has Potential Side Effects

While AG1 claims to have many health benefits, consuming this green powder may cause unpleasant side effects.

“Some say it causes nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and other digestive issues,” says Anar Allidina, MPH, RD. “This may be because your digestive tract is adjusting to having probiotics and fiber, or it could be a reaction to any of the ingredients.”


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5. Doesn’t Contain Iron or Vitamin D

Two essential nutrients you won’t find in this greens powder are iron and vitamin D.

Iron is a mineral responsible for your body’s growth and development. It is also essential for healthy muscles, bone marrow, certain hormones, and organ functioning (6).

Vitamin D, or calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that encourages calcium absorption in the gut and helps with bone growth and remodeling or skeletal change. The vitamin can also reduce inflammation, modulate cell growth processes, and regulate neuromuscular and glucose metabolism (7).

Allidina says AG1 may not include iron or vitamin D because the daily nutritional intake for these nutrients can vary from person to person.

“Iron is an essential mineral for both men and women, but the recommended daily intake is lower for men than for premenopausal women,” Allidina says. “Same with vitamin D—certain individuals need more than others.”

However, Allidina also mentions that the company claims to replace these nutrients with other vitamins and minerals, but that just isn’t true.

6. Limited Research

AG1 needs more research on its supposed health benefits.

On the company’s website, you’ll find two peer-reviewed research studies on AG1—one focusing on the powder’s effects on the human microbiome and the other comparing the powder to tablet multivitamins and mineral supplements, both of which were conducted by AG1-affiliated persons or AG1 employees (8, 9).

While this research is helpful, with the 75+ ingredients in the powder, it can be challenging for researchers to confirm the effectiveness of each individual ingredient.

“AG1 is relatively new and contains such a huge variety of compounds that it’s hard to conduct effective research about their health effects when combined,” Rall says.

The Bottom Line

AG1 is a trendy green powder supplement claiming to have several health benefits. While it does contain a lot of nutrients that may improve your health, there’s insufficient research to determine the actual safety and effectiveness of AG1.

Making adjustments to your diet may be more beneficial than supplementing with AG1. “[AG1 is] not necessary,” Allidina says. “A supplement does not replace a healthy diet. Eating a well-balanced diet full of foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, and lean meats should be your main source of nutrients.”

  1. Cleveland Clinic (2024). Powdered Greens: Do They Really Work?
  2. VA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation (n.d.). Adaptogens.
  3. Panossian, et al (2010). Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity.
  4. Mayo Clinic (2022). What Are Probiotics and Prebiotics?
  5. Ianiro, et al (2016). Digestive Enzyme Supplementation in Gastrointestinal Diseases.
  6. Medline Plus (2024). Iron.
  7. National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (2023). Vitamin D.
  8. Kirby, et al (2023). The Novel Synbiotic, AG1®, Increases Short-Chained Fatty Acid Production in the Simulator of Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME) Model®.
  9. Sapp, et al (2023). AG1®, a Novel Synbiotic, Demonstrates Superior Mineral Bioaccessibility and Bioavailability Compared to a Tablet Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement Using an In Vitro Model of the Upper Gastrointestinal Tract.

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6 Things You Should Know About AG1 Before Buying (2024)
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