What Happens to Your Body When You Take Greens Powder Every Day

Many are "going green" by the scoop and adding drinkable greens to their daily routine, but are they worth it?

Sprinkled, shaken or stirred—greens powder supplements make for an easy food or beverage add-in to deliver lots of nutrients in one fell swoop. Who doesn't like convenience? It's a significant driver in why many people go for greens powders. While we may aim to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, it's not easily achieved. Raving influencers, nonstop ads and the push for better health have many produce-seekers going for green powders. And the popularity of the powders has increased their supply. According to Grand View Research, the superfood powders market rang in at $6.14 billion in 2021, and growth won't stop there.

In this article, you'll unpack greens powders, their potential benefits, drawbacks and what happens if you take them every day.

What Are Greens Powders and Are They Healthy?

Companies producing greens powders blend freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, digestive enzymes, probiotics, fiber and extracts into a fine, mixable powder. Depending on the brand, these blends may also include adaptogens and herbs like ginger and ashwagandha. While some powders may taste earthy, vegetal and downright bitter, others come in various flavors, such as chocolate and mixed berry, which can be more pleasing to the taste buds. But, some may come with many other ingredients to help improve the taste, and these may incorporate added sugars and "natural flavors."

The hype around greens powders has the health-conscious quickly adding to cart, but are they actually healthy? Greens powders are often low in calories, carbohydrates and sodium and fat-free. Companies formulate them to possess a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, as you'd see in other supplements. Many drinkable greens tout health benefits, including supporting immunity, digestion and energy; however, science has yet to back these claims fully. Plus, you can mix these powders into various foods, which may change how nutritious they may be.

Time-tested and science-backed advice tells us to fill up on whole fruits and vegetables multiple times a day, every day. Now, that's healthy! Greens powders can be taken as a supplement daily but shouldn't be used to replace fruits and vegetables, period.

Possible Benefits of Greens Powders

You Might Have Less Inflammation

In one small 2021 study published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, 18 healthy people took six capsules of berry, fruit and vegetable juice powders daily for eight weeks. Researchers saw a significant rise in blood levels of carotenoids, vitamin C, all-trans retinol (vitamin A) and alpha-tocopherol—four types of antioxidants. "Antioxidants help protect your cells from harmful free radicals and inflammation," says Pam Hartnett, M.P.H., RDN, owner of The Vitality Dietitians. Inflammation is a top driver of chronic diseases, so antioxidants are a must-have to help protect immune health.

You Might Have More Energy

Greens powders might help you say goodbye to sluggish mornings and lagging afternoons. Most greens powders on the market claim to boost your energy levels thanks to added B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine and methylcobalamin) which are responsible for energy production in the body. Because the effects of greens powders aren't well understood, it's hard to know for sure if they truly offer mental or physical vitality. But, if your B vitamin levels aren't up to par, getting them through supplementation may help fight fatigue, according to a 2020 review published in Nutrients. Moreover, some brands add green tea and black tea leaf extracts to their greens powder blends, two sources of caffeine that may or may not enhance energy, per a 2019 article in Nutrients.

You Might Lower Your Blood Pressure

According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure threatens heart health and often goes unnoticed. "If you're using greens powders as a supplement to your daily eating habits, there is a possibility that there could be an improvement in blood pressure. One study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine showed an improvement in blood pressure over a three-month period. However, this was a small study on a group of 40 people. There is not a lot of evidence out there to back up the pros and cons of green veggie powders," says Ashlee Wright, RD, at Orlando Health.

Potential Risks

You May Increase Your Risk of Toxicity

Heavy metals can enter the body through food, water, smoking and pollution. Some heavy metals are essential to human life (think iron and zinc). But others—like cadmium, arsenic and mercury—can wreak havoc when levels become toxic and impact organ systems like the brain and nerves, per StatPearls. "In 2019, Consumer Labs found trace amounts of lead and arsenic in several greens powders. If you are drinking these every day, it's very important to ensure that the company is continuously testing for heavy metals and pesticides," says Morgan Goodstadt, M.S., RD, CDN, LDN, IFNCP , at Good Nutrition.

You May Interfere with Your Medications

Chlorella, spirulina and other "superfoods" are star ingredients of many greens powders and contributors to high amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps the blood clot to reduce bleeding during times of injury. But for those taking blood-thinning medications, it can render them less effective. Talking to your medical provider before taking any new supplement is vital to your health, so never hesitate to reach out.

What to Look For in a Greens Powder

Lengthy ingredient lists on supplement labels can make it hard to know the best option. Some brands offer 75 or more ingredients per scoop, but more may not always be merrier. "With any ingredient label, always make sure that you can understand and pronounce the ingredients. Choose those without added sweeteners or artificial sweeteners. It's also wise to look for a greens powder that is third-party tested—you'll see a certification stamp on the product. The more safety testing behind the product, the better!" says Wright. It can't hurt to choose greens powders that also contain at least 3 grams of fiber, which can help inch you closer to meeting your daily fiber goals—25 to 34 grams per day per the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. "Some greens powders are made from juiced vegetables, which I do not recommend. When vegetables are juiced, the fiber is removed, and fiber is important for chronic disease prevention and maintaining a healthy gut," says Hartnett.

How to Use Greens Powders in Five Ways

  1. Mix with water, 100% juice or fruit smoothies.
  2. Add to pancake or muffin batter.
  3. Blend with berries and yogurt and freeze into popsicle molds.
  4. Whisk into your favorite salad dressing.
  5. Whip together with raw eggs and scramble.
a glass of water with greens powder added and spoon above it filled with greens powder
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Bloom healthy?

While there's no universally accepted definition of "health," this product is made up of powdered ingredients that may promote good health. That said, Bloom isn't third-party tested, so there's no way of telling if its ingredients are trustworthy or free from causing harm.

2. Do greens powders help you lose weight?

Weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you take in over a period of time. It's common for greens powders to be low in calories, carbohydrates and fat, which may help promote weight loss as long as they're part of a healthy eating plan.

3. Are greens powders good for your stomach?

Many greens powders are formulated with digestive enzymes whose main job is to make digestion easier. However, some reviews report greens powders may trigger nausea, diarrhea, bloating, constipation and stomach upset, which will vary from person to person.

4. Who should avoid taking greens powder?

You probably should avoid these supplements if you're pregnant, breastfeeding or taking medications that may not react well with a greens powder. A well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet is far more ideal for optimal health. Always consult a trusted medical provider before trying a supplement to stay safe.

The Bottom Line

It's no secret that greens powders are a convenient shortcut to loading up on many nutrients at once. But, the truth is that drinking greens in supplement form can never replace eating a diet that banks many whole fruits and vegetables. "Think of a green powder as exactly what it is—a supplement. You're always better off eating whole vegetables and fruits to get the full nutrition benefit and antioxidant power. It is OK to consume [greens powders] daily, keeping in mind that we don't have a whole lot of research to back up their effectiveness. The best investment would be on whole vegetables and fruits rather than a supplement—this is always the rule of thumb," says Wright.

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