Complete Guide to Greens Supplements
Greens supplements are becoming super popular and for good reason as far as supplements go.
More and more often, you'll encounter claims detailing how greens supplements are the answer to the chronic fruit and vegetable intake deficiency you have or are your answer to losing weight and better health. That sounds super appealing when it means you don't have to eat your broccoli or (insert hated vegetable here).
When you see that kind of claim for a supplement, it's usually best just to click to something else, but in the case of greens supplements, there is actually some truth backing up the marketing hype.
In total, Commando Boxing approves of the use of four supplements (there used to be five, but I found a way to replace the synthetic multivitamin), and a high quality greens supplement is one of them.
Supplement marketing being what it is - you're going to encounter claims that seem too good to be true when looking to see what a greens supplement can do for you. You'll find claims such as:
Our greens supplement can replace your daily multivitamin.
Careful - it's only true in specific cases.
All greens supplements are the same.
Nope, not true at all.
Greens will restore your body's Ph - making it more alkaline.
Yep, they can and I'll cover why this is important below.
Greens supplements mean you don't have to eat your 10-12 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Nope - it's a supplement - supplements supplement real food, they don't replace them.
Like the other three supplements I recommend, a greens supplement can help you achieve your health and fitness goals if you use it right. If you don't, at worst you can negatively affect your level of insulin sensitivity and ability to build and repair muscle post workout. At very least you may as well flush your money down the toilet as the greens supplement won't do a thing for you.
What are Greens Supplements?
Greens supplements are made of dried fruits, vegetables, algaes, mushrooms, herbs, and grasses that have been dehydrated and ground into powder form. In some cases vitamins, minerals, and probiotics are also added to the formula.
Ingredients you'll find include spirulina, apple, wheatgrass, alfalfa, chlorella, barley, cherry, broccoli, green tea, peas, artichokes, and a wide variety of other super foods depending on the product you look at.
They are usually mixed with water or other liquids prior to drinking them or come in pill form. You can pretty much eliminate any pill based products from your potentials list right now, as you'd have to take several pills to match the same amount of greens intake you'd get from a powdered product.
The best greens supplements aim to pack as much nutrition as possible into a formula that you would mix into a drink that you take daily or at times when you don't have access to a regular 10-12 servings of real fruits and vegetables.
Oh and most of them taste like crap...
Why is a Greens Supplement Important?
A whole host of health benefits are associated with increased fruit and vegetable intake and people who switch to a primarily plant based diet often even eliminate and control harmful health issues. Measurable benefits include:
- reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- reduced risk of some cancers
- lowers blood pressure
- lowers bad cholesterol levels
- deals with Type 2 diabetes
- combats obesity
- reduced risk of stroke, eye disease, asthma, osteoporosis, and more...
With that many benefits, it's a wonder we're not all vegetarians, but quite the opposite is true. According to a research based article on Precision Nutrition- when it comes to getting our 10 servings of fruit and vegetables each day, it happens in:
Based on those stats, it's clear that the majority of the population could benefit from taking a daily greens supplement that can deliver in one drink, an equivalent level of nutrients and phytonutrients found in 12 servings of fruit and vegetables.
However, before thinking that you can eliminate fruits and veggies altogether by taking a spoonful of greens powder, a greens supplement is a supplement and is meant to supplement or augment real food intake not replace it.
Greens Supplements Can Help Maintain Body Alkalinity
We have a tendency to eat a lot more protein than fruits and vegetables. This contributes to a state of low grade acidosis in the body.
To understand the effects of acidosis, you need to know that your body has a bunch of systems that work together to keep Ph (which is the measure of alkalinity/acidity) constant at a slightly alkaline level in the body.
Your kidneys play a big role in maintaining this Ph by secreting or filtering things (keeping it very non-technical).
In the case of alkalinity vs acidity, what you eat really does matter. If you continually consume foods that require acid neutralization by your kidneys, it forces your kidneys to find buffering substances. If they do not have enough available from your diet (like you would get by consuming lots of vegetables), they get them from deposits already in your body to combat the acid.
Calcium and phosphorous are two prime possibilities and your bones are a good source of both - so a high acid diet can lead to osteoporosis among other things. It's usually not a lack of dietary calcium that causes osteoporosis in most people in the US - it's this buffering activity going on in the body as a result of not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
Taking a daily greens supplement has the added benefit of helping to keep your body in an alkaline state.
Not All Greens Supplements are Equally as Effective
Ok, so you're at the point where you realize that a greens supplement is actually a good supplement to take. Now make sure you understand what a good greens supplement consists of so you don't end up buying a dud and not getting any of these benefits.
Further, if you take your greens at the wrong time, it can actually hinder your health and fitness goals.
To get these benefits - you must buy and consume daily the highest quality greens supplement that you can afford.
When going out looking for a greens supplement, the first thing you have to keep in mind is that you're dealing with the supplement industry. Nothing is regulated and what the label says is not always what is in the bag or bottle so you should stick to reputable brands that have verifiable quality control processes in place. Greens supplements are expensive enough. The last thing you want to do is buy something that is totally useless.
Once you've narrowed down the available greens supplements to a potential list of companies to deal with, you should compare the labels of similar sized products to see the amounts of each nutrient you are getting. Some of the ingredients found in greens supplements are very expensive to procure and put into powdered form while still maintaining nutrient value. Some lesser quality greens supplements may substitute larger amounts of cheaper ingredients to keep costs down which obviously affects the overall quality of the greens supplement.
There are greens supplements that can replace a multivitamin because they have had those various vitamins and minerals added to their formulas. If you can eliminate the need for a daily multivitamin and get the same or more benefit from a daily greens supplement - it's a win-win situation.
For Boxers, Athletes, and the Fitness Minded - It Matters When You Take Your Greens Supplement
When you train hard you introduce free radicals into your body through the process of oxidation. Anti-oxidants are marketed to combat the damage done by the oxidation process so it would seem that taking a greens supplement that is loaded with anti oxidants immediately after working out would be a good idea to speed up repair.
Taking your greens supplement immediately after working out disrupts your body's natural repair process that has kicked in to deal with the added oxidation that occurred. As the repair process progresses, muscle is built and you get stronger. Interfere with that and you will experience less muscle growth and/or benefit from the hard training session you just did.
Training also improves insulin sensitivity but anti-oxidants can screw with that too.
The moral of the story? Take your greens supplement well before or three or more hours after you train.
Is There a Greens Supplement that Commando Boxing Recommends?
Yes - Athletic Greens - but before you click through try what I recommend - be aware that I make a small commission off any sales that Athletic Greens makes as a result of my recommendation. When I find a product that has real benefit and that I use (and I do use this greens supplement daily), I often join the company's affiliate program so that if someone like you decides to buy a product based on my recommendation, then Commando Boxing makes a little money to keep things running. You have my word that I do not recommend any product or service on Commando Boxing that I have not personally used and believe to be of benefit to my readers. If there is no benefit to you, I will not recommend a product to make a commission - it's as simple as that.
Now that you understand my relationship with the company, the greens supplement that Commando Boxing recommends is Athletic Greens. To my knowledge, there is not a higher quality product, made with the same stringent manufacturing process that provides anywhere near the amount of nutritional benefit this product does.
In each serving you'll get:
- 8453mg/serving of alkaline, nutrient dense, raw superfood complex to help combat that low grade acidosis I covered earlier
- 3569mg/serving of nutrient dense, natural extracts, herbs, and antioxidants - which is the equivalent antioxidant capability of 10-12 servings of fruits/vegetables. Hard training increases the damage done in your body due to the oxidation process and these antioxidants help repair that damage.
- 233mg/serving of digestive enzyme and super mushroom complex and 7.2 billion/serving dairy free probiotics. It's not enough to just put the right nutrients into your body. Your body needs to be able to use those nutrients and these digestive enzymes and probiotics keep your gut healthy to increase nutritional uptake.
In total, every serving of Athletic Greens gives you optimal amounts of over 70 specially selected nutritional ingredients where every single one provides nutritional benefit.
It's also one of those greens supplements that can replace your multivitamin, but the best thing about it is....
....it tastes friggin great. Seriously, I wake up craving my dose of greens every day. Given that it mixes up dark green in the glass, the first time I tried it I was expecting to drink something that tasted like feedlot manure. Man I was happy when my taste buds reported back.
The Coles Notes form of what we just covered:
- Greens supplements are a fast growing market.
- Greens supplements can deliver the nutrient value of 10-12 servings of vegetables in one dose but should supplement, not replace real food.
- Most people would benefit from a daily greens supplement.
- Not all greens supplements are the same - be sure to use as high a quality supplement as you can afford from a reputable company.
- Don't take your greens supplement immediately after exercise or it may interfere with your progress.
- I recommend Athletic Greens be your greens supplement of choice. Now is the best time to try it out for yourself.
Enjoy your Greens...(and still eat your veggies). Boxon.