Let’s be honest - many of us don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables.
With most of us living a pretty ‘hard and fast’ modern lifestyle and fighting the temptation of processed foods and sugary delights all around us, the thought of eating healthy can seem like a chore, rather than an enjoyable (and beneficial) activity.
It’s no surprise then that many people around the world are nutrient deficient - this even includes Australians, Americans and much of the affluent Western world. In fact, around 90% of Americans have a vitamin deficiency, even if they don’t know about it.
So, in an attempt to improve our health, many of us are turning to supplements such as multivitamins and super greens powder to keep our bodies running optimally.
But just how effective are these supplements, and are there any real benefits to taking them?
This article will explore the ins and outs of multivitamins vs super greens powder, the key differences between them and whether you should take them.
What Is Super Greens Powder?
Super greens powder (or just greens powder) is a supplement made predominantly from leafy greens - mixed with a number of other health-promoting ingredients including prebiotics + probiotics, vegetables, digestive enzymes, seaweed, medicinal mushrooms and more.
Most super greens powders are designed to contain a varying blend of concentrated extracts of broccoli, celery, wheat grass, barley grass, parsley, spinach, kale, green tea, spirulina, and chlorella - with some of the top range powders such as AG1 Greens and Vital All-In-One containing many more.
Because super greens powders are loaded with vegetables and healthy compounds, they have a high nutritional value.
Super greens powders are low in calories but high in minerals and vitamins, including vitamin c, vitamin k, vitamin a, iodine, selenium, chromium, and more.
In addition, many of its plant compounds come with powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that benefit our health.
Do Super Greens Powders Work?
If by ‘work’ you mean give you a dose of concentrated highly nutritional ingredients in each serve - then yes, greens powders work.
While the exact nutritional value of each product varies from brand to brand, studies have shown that the greens and other superfoods included in these powders are rich in essential vitamins and minerals.
While they're not a substitute for a well-balanced diet, greens powders can help fill in any nutritional gaps.
Super Greens Powder Benefits
Preliminary research and studies suggest that super greens powders may be beneficial for your health in a number of ways:
1.) May Contribute To Helping Prevent Chronic Disease
Some evidence suggests that super greens powders may prevent the progression of chronic diseases.
For example, most super greens powder contains many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties from the compounds in its ingredients.
The study found that the blood levels of oxidatively damaged proteins in the body were lowered by as much as 30%.
When enzymes in the body are damaged, or risk of chronic diseases and cancer raises. Preventing damage to these proteins may help protect us against the threat of chronic diseases.
An additional study, performed on 40 people with high blood pressure over a 90-day period, discovered that taking ten grams of greens powder per day decreased both diastolic and systolic blood pressure by approximately 8%, while the placebo group documented no improvements.
However, research into super greens powder and the prevention of chronic diseases is still in its infancy. These sample sizes are very small and limited - and many more studies are needed to understand the potential benefits of super greens powder.
2.) May Help To Support Energy Levels
Many super greens powders claim to improve our energy levels, and there’s some evidence to suggest that this is true.
Although super greens powders are low in calories, they do contain compounds and nutrients that may contribute to improved alertness and performance.
Many super green powders also contain green tea extract which is made up of plant compounds and caffeine which can also support our energy levels. One study performed on 63 women confirmed that taking around ten grams of greens powder a day (with green tea extract) contributed to improved energy levels.
What Are Multivitamins?
Simply put - multivitamins are a supplement containing a variety of different minerals and vitamins. Some multivitamins may also contain additional nutrients, including gut-friendly bacteria and herbal compounds.
Multivitamins are one of the most popular supplements in the world, and the most common minerals found in multivitamins include:
- Vitamin D
- Mixed Carotenoids
Multivitamins are thought to improve memory and mood, slow the progression of certain diseases, and improve our general health and well-being.
Multivitamins are usually taken once a day, depending on the dosage, and they’re an easy way to ensure you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
Do Multivitamins Work?
Multivitamins have boomed in popularity over the past couple of decades.
Many people claim that multivitamins can improve our health and reduce the damage done by poor eating habits and lifestyle choices - but is this true?
Well, the research into the health benefits of multivitamins can be conflicting - so let’s explore some of the potential benefits and studies below.
Can Multivitamins Prevent Heart Disease?
Heart disease is generally caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries, and it’s one of the most common causes of coronary artery disease. Obesity, smoking, a lack of exercise, and a poor diet can all be risk factors for heart disease.
Interestingly, a recent study discovered that taking a multivitamin for three years may reduce the risk of dying from heart disease, but only in women. Men appeared to experience no benefits from consistent multivitamin ingestion.
Unfortunately, the research into multivitamins and heart disease still seems too conflicting to be conclusive, however, definitely warrants more research to better understand the links.
Can Multivitamins Improve Brain Function?
Preliminary research into multivitamins and improving brain function is promising.
Several studies have found that multivitamins may improve the memory of older adults. Multivitamins may also affect our mood, as research has revealed that nutrient deficiencies may contribute to poor mood, anxiety, and depression.
For example, some research has discovered that taking nutritional supplements like multivitamins may reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
However, these studies are small, and not enough large-scale research has been done to confirm the long-term effects of multivitamin ingestion on our mood and brain function.
This preliminary research is promising, though, so if you’re looking to improve your mental health and memory, addressing any nutritional deficiencies you may have could be a good starting point.
Are Multivitamins Harmful?
While multivitamins appear to be safe for most people, choosing the correct dosage is essential.
Most people can tolerate a high dosage of vitamins and minerals, but for others, it can be harmful and potentially dangerous.
Vitamins have two types of solubility: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins can be flushed out quickly in your urine, however, fat-soluble vitamins can store themselves in your tissues for significantly longer.
Here’s some general information and guidance you should be aware of when taking multivitamins:
- Vitamin A toxicity is relatively common. Pregnant people should monitor their vitamin A intake carefully when taking multivitamins. Excessive consumption of Vitamin A has been linked to an increased risk of congenital disabilities.
- Many multivitamins contain beta-carotene and vitamin A. However, if you’re a smoker, you should avoid taking multivitamins with large amounts of these nutrients in them, as they may increase your risk of developing lung cancer.
- Most multivitamins contain iron, an essential nutrient for the human body. However, too much iron can cause vomiting, fainting, stomach upset, and constipation. Consuming too much iron can also reduce the body’s ability to absorb zinc. If you’re choosing a multivitamin with iron in it, make sure the level is below your daily recommended intake, especially if you’re eating a diet that’s already rich in iron.
Basically - if you’re considering taking any nutritional supplements such as a multivitamin, you should always check in with your GP first to be on the safe side!
Greens Powders VS Multivitamins - Which Is Better?
Unfortunately, it’s hard to say which of these two supplements is better for our health.
We also need to remember that multi-vitamins and green powders come in many different shapes & sizes with different ingredients and quality standards - so it’s often hard to compare the two.
Multivitamins contain vitamins and minerals that you might be deficient in, however, super greens powders contain all of this, plus extra compounds that can help vitamins and minerals absorb more easily into the body, and facilitate our bodily functions.
The research into both super green powders and multivitamins is also lacking. Each supplement has purported benefits that have been proven (to some degree) by science; however, some results remain inconclusive.
Athletic Greens VS Multivitamins
When comparing Athletic Greens and multivitamins, it's hard to determine which one is better for overall health.
Multivitamins are convenient and easily accessible, providing a variety of essential vitamins and minerals in one capsule.
Athletic Greens, on the other hand, is a greens powder supplement that provides a wide range of nutrients from natural sources such as fruits, vegetables, and superfoods.
While both options can be beneficial, Athletic Greens may have an edge for those looking to improve digestion and gut health, support energy levels, and promote overall wellness with natural and whole food sources.
It is important to note, however, that while both supplements have some proven benefits supported by scientific studies, there is a lack of conclusive research on their overall effectiveness.
Therefore, it's important to conduct thorough research and seek advice from a healthcare professional to determine which supplement is best suited for your specific needs and goals.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does athletic greens replace multivitamin?
Athletic greens is a super greens powder that can offer many benefits, but it should not replace a multivitamin if you have specific nutrient deficiencies. While athletic greens can provide some essential vitamins and minerals, it may not contain them in the same amounts or forms as a multivitamin. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your supplement routine.
Can you take a multivitamin and super greens together?
Yes, it is safe to take multivitamins and greens powder together. However, it is important to check the amounts of each nutrient in each supplement to avoid getting too much of any one vitamin or mineral. Additionally, some powdered greens formulas may already contain some of the same vitamins and minerals as your multivitamin, so it is important to read labels carefully and not take more than the recommended daily amount.
Should I take a multivitamin with athletic greens?
It depends on your individual needs and goals. If you may be lacking certain nutrients, then it could be beneficial to take a multivitamin in addition to athletic greens. However, if you have a balanced diet and do not have any nutrient deficiencies, then taking both may not be necessary. Again, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary supplement regimen.
Can multivitamins replace vegetables?
While multivitamins can offer some of the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, they cannot replace them entirely. Fruits and vegetables contain many beneficial compounds and fibre that are important for overall health and wellness. Therefore, it is still essential to consume a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables in addition to any supplements.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, due to the poor quality of modern agriculture and soil - most of us are deficient in something.
Whether it’s vitamin D, iron, B-vitamins or vitamin C, many of us are looking for ways to give our bodies the right amount of nutrients so we can improve our health and reduce the risk of disease along the way.
Super greens powder and multivitamins are two of the most popular choices on the market for increasing your nutritional intake.
Generally speaking - both are safe when used in moderation, and although research into these supplements is limited, preliminary research suggests that both supplements are likely beneficial to our health.
Before trying greens powders or multivitamins, we recommend getting as much of your dietary needs as possible from your food.
Eating a nutrient-rich diet is always the best way to reach your recommended daily intake and keep yourself healthy and any supplementation on top of this should be to ‘fill the gaps’ on anything that might be missing.
Speaking of getting your diet right...