Instagram Finally Got Me—Here’s What I Learned From a Week on Athletic Greens

Graphics by: Kirra Wallace
Graphics by: Kirra Wallace

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 can be sure you don’t like it.” Though the exact numbers vary, there’s some science to back up the adage. I expected this to apply to seafood, wine, and anything else considered an acquired taste. But, I was surprised to discover that it also described my experiment with the wellness supplement du jour: AG1, by Athletic Greens

While I’m not one to fall prey to influencer marketing, I have to say Athletic Greens’ partnering with all my favorite social media personalities worked its strategic magic. If they were hooked, I’d have to imagine that I might also benefit from the stuff.

So, with one too many aesthetically pleasing Reels of pretty people prepping the green stuff, a few five-star recommendations from friends, and a podcast promo code, Athletic Greens had broken me down. I, too, was curious whether this seemingly miraculous, science-backed blend of 75 vitamins and minerals could do my mind and body some much-needed good. I placed my order and dove in, prepared to be amazed—or potentially disappointed. This is my honest review.

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What is Athletic Greens and how does it work?

Founded in 2010, Athletic Greens is most known for its flagship product, AG1. The greens powder combines vitamins, minerals, and nutrients designed to promote gut health, support immunity, boost energy, and help you recover faster from workouts and physical activity. According to CEO Chris Ashenden, the brand’s focus is on “foundational nutrition.” I assume this speaks to the product’s role in supplementing a healthy lifestyle, helping to fill the nutritional needs our everyday diet might not satisfy. 

I began to take note of the brand a couple of years back when it seemed like every health site and wellness influencer was taking AG1 daily. I can pinpoint the exact moment my interest was fully piqued, and I gave the brand a follow on social media. I was deep into one of my favorite podcasts, “The Blonde Files,” when host Arielle Lorre called AG1 one of her “wellness non-negotiables.” And though I felt the power of influence at play, I held onto the memory of that minute-long ad. If all I had to do was buy, mix, and drink liquefied powder for enviable energy, maybe I was being naive, but I wanted in.

AG1 Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

While I’m referring to the supplement as a greens powder throughout this article, Athletic Greens is adamant about being much more than simply a substitute for your dark leafy greens. The recommended daily serving (a single scoop) supplies: 

  • vitamins and minerals to support immune health and strengthen your nervous system
  • prebiotics and probiotics to provide digestive support
  • superfood-derived phytonutrients that support the microbiome
  • immune-supporting mushrooms 
  • adaptogenic herbs and antioxidants to relieve stress and provide metabolic and energy support

How much does AG1 cost?

AG1 is pricey. Athletic Greens offers a variety of packages and options for their viral AG1 product. The most popular option is the monthly subscription which is $79 a month that includes 30 servings, or 60 servings for $149 a month (a good option if a roommate or significant other also wants to partake). The first subscription order also comes with a canister, shaker, a handful of travel packs, and a year’s supply of Athletic Greens’ vitamin D3 + K2 product. Not ready to commit? A one-time 30-serving packet is $99. On top of that, my shipping cost was $9. While it might not seem like much, I had to grit my teeth in this heyday of free shipping. Thankfully, you can cancel your subscription anytime, so the commitment was relatively minimal.

Source: @drinkag1

Review from our editor

I set out to see how AG1 would fare with my already-established wellness routine. That meant working out on the same schedule as I always do, 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 by simply adding the supplement to my everyday habits.

Day 1

As suggested, AG1 was the first thing I consumed in the morning. Before my coffee and avocado toast, I mixed a scoop of AG1 with eight ounces of water. My package came with a branded wide-mouth water bottle exclusively designed for getting my greens in liquid form. After securing and shaking the bottle, I undid the lid to uncover a frothy, mossy green beverage. 

Hesitant but curious to consume the vanilla flavor reviews claimed, I took a sip. My first thought? There’s no way I’m finishing this. IMO, the taste was far too sweet. Though it had a slightly fruity, tropical tang, the dominant 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 carried on with my workout as planned. Because this was my first day, I didn’t notice any shift in my energy or how I felt overall. My main takeaway from the kick-off of my experiment was: How the heck am I going to make it through this week?

Day 2

I woke up feeling a little more determined to discover the crave-worthy flavor of AG1 that everyone’s been touting. Adopting a different approach, I shook up my scoop with water and ice. That 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 sludgy than the day before. (Though I swear, I shook it as hard as I could.)

Feeling like a wellness girly, I plopped my AG1 down next to my laptop as I started my day sifting through my inbox. Though the placebo effect was obviously at play, something about having that green bottle next to me made me feel a bit more productive. There are worse things.

Day 3

At the tail-end of my period today, I woke up and noticed that my skin was significantly clearer than it had been the day prior. It was brighter than it usually is at this point in my cycle. I went to the kitchen, shook up my AG1, and found that I was already beginning to get used to the flavor. My initial impression was that of a slightly thinner green juice. It felt like the flavor had been engineered to mask something particularly unsavory. But I was coming around to it. 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 little getting used to. For most, they began to look forward to their daily dose of AG1 between their third and seventh day—props to me for being on the early end.

Day 4

Athletic Greens’ Instagram is full of ideas for consuming their product beyond the ol’ H20 standby. So, I tried their ultimate summer smoothie bowl recipe to mix things up halfway through my trial. I found that the previously offending flavor was completely masked by adding almond butter, banana, apple, dates, and oat milk. I could see this becoming a go-to breakfast. And while the blood-sugar-balancing enthusiasts might protest this smoothie’s glucose overload, pairing your fruits with the almond butter’s healthy fats is a solid way to mitigate the spike.

This was the first day I noticed a subtle physiological change. I had more energy during my afternoon barre workout and—day five spoiler—wasn’t at all sore when I woke up the next day. 

Day 5

The wake-up this morning was one of the best I can recount in recent history. With little effort, I got up immediately to my 6:30 a.m. alarm and went straight into a few morning stretches 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 transition to my to-do list.

I made the same AG1-infused smoothie as I did the day before and discovered an additional burst of energy after finishing my glass. I made it through my morning to-dos while staying on-task and focused. Thanks, AG1.

Day 6

While my wake-up call wasn’t as miraculous as yesterday’s, I did sleep soundly and awoke feeling 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 had disappeared entirely. Instead, my single cup sufficed in terms of both my energy levels and feeling satiated post-breakfast.

I often fall victim to the dreaded 3 p.m. slump, but today, I managed to push through all my end-of-day tasks and even enjoyed a 45-minute workout. To say that my energy levels stayed steady throughout the day would be an understatement. I’m not an evangelist of wellness (meditation aside), but when something solves my dwindling energy, I have to shout it from the rooftops. I noticed an easy wind-down after dinner and was able to fall asleep quickly and soundly. That’s a lot to be said for someone who deals with occasional bouts of insomnia.

Day 7

I started this journey unsure of how I’d make it to this point. In hindsight, however, things turned out for the better on day three. By now, my daily rhythms came to expect the AG1 before all else, and I have to admit: There is something comforting and ritualistic about sipping on it first thing. 

While I said I wouldn’t make any significant changes to my diet, I did notice that the supplement naturally inspired me to make nutrient-dense choices. I kept up a consistent pattern of greens throughout the day: a protein-packed salad for lunch, a green smoothie for a snack, and a tall pile of roasted broccoli to accompany that night’s meal. Something about doing good things for my body in the morning inspired me to keep up the momentum all day long. Can AG1 inspire a mindset shift? The correlation likely isn’t strong enough to call it fact, but after a week on the greens powder, I can confirm with confidence: The results I saw this week were enough to keep me going.

Is Athletic Greens worth it?

I still have about 20 servings left in my first shipment of AG1, and I will see it through to the end. Admittedly, a week isn’t enough time to feel the long-term benefits build up. Of course, the price point marks a steep barrier to entry, and as many nutritionists will confirm, you don’t need a fancy supplement to meet your daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. But with the positive results I experienced, I can confirm that it’s worth the money. 

Ultimately, this is a convenient product that played into my brain’s positive reward centers—and that’s not a bad thing! The routine of prepping AG1 each morning before breakfast (or as a part of my morning meal) signaled that I was doing something good for my body. It helped set the foundation for those habits to continue throughout the day. A transformed perspective and more energy? That’s what we like to call a win-win.

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