Support your immune system | Supplements that boost the immune system | Zinc Guide | Vitamin C Guide | Vitamin D Guide | Guide to green supplements
Green supplements are one of the fastest growing supplement categories on the market. After all, who wouldn’t want a day of fruit and veg in a scoop or two of powder? These supplements allow you to consume a concentrated version of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, but they are definitely not magic.
Before we pass the green light, let’s go behind the scenes and separate fact from fiction when it comes to anything green.
Q: Can greens replace your multivitamin?
A: No. Green supplements can be full of concentrated fruits and vegetables, but most companies don’t formulate their products to meet essential vitamin and mineral levels. This is especially true for weightlifters who train hard and who may benefit from an increased intake of minerals like zinc and magnesium.
Also, as Chris Lockwood, Ph.D. points out in his article “Ask the Supplement Expert: Should I Ditch My Multivitamin If I’m Using a Superfood,” vitamins and green vegetables can be very powerful. different in how efficient your body is. absorbs them.
Even if your vegetable supplement lists all of the vitamins and minerals it contains in their total amounts and percentages of the Recommended Daily Value, a multi is still a good idea. That’s why you’ll find both types of supplements on Lockwood’s Supplements For Every Body List.
Q: Can Greens Help You Restore Your PH Balance?
A: Maybe. Some people design complete diets solely around optimizing their body’s pH or acid-base balance. It’s a bit extreme — and is based on fluctuating research — but there is some logic behind it. Grains, dairy products, and protein are acidic, while green leafy vegetables are alkaline or basic. Green supplements are also alkaline, and one of their purported benefits is their ability to improve your body’s acid-base balance.
Some preliminary research indicates that they might actually work this way. A published study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that two weeks of daily green vegetable supplementation resulted in significant improvements in urine pH, bringing subjects from an acidic pH to a pH considered optimal. Further study came to similar conclusions. More research is certainly needed, but the results of this pilot-type study suggest that a daily supplement of green vegetables may improve an acid-base balance outside the optimal range.
Pop quiz: How many fruits and vegetables did you eat today? Probably not enough! Improve your breakfast by going green!
Q: Are all green supplements created equal?
A: No. Whenever possible, it’s important to look for ingredients that you can quantify in a green product. You wouldn’t use a creatine supplement without knowing how much creatine it contains, right?
While the dose-response relationship with green supplements isn’t as clearly defined as creatine, it’s still important to be as informed as possible. If a green vegetable supplement advertises that it contains green tea extract, find out how much green tea extract the product contains and compare it to an expert guide explaining the effective dose of green tea.
Don’t take everything at face value. The company might just sprinkle enough of the supplement to say it’s there instead of adding in the amount needed for you to feel a quantifiable effect.
Q: Does eating green vegetables mean you don’t need whole fruits and vegetables?
A: No. Green supplements are not a substitute for eating fruits and vegetables! Honestly, if you’re already consuming 10 or more servings of the healthiest fruits and vegetables a day, they’re probably unnecessary. Antioxidants, phytochemicals, additional vitamins, and minerals won’t provide much more benefit than the fruits and vegetables you are eating now.
But let’s be honest: you are not.
Particularly if you are on a low-carb diet or just a small amount of fruits and vegetables, a green vegetable supplement can be a beneficial addition to your supplement regimen.
How to take a green vegetable supplement
Green supplements vary widely in terms of dosage, ingredients, and even spoon size, so it is impossible to give a precise and unique dosage recommendation. But it’s a little easier to do with the timing.
The only time to consider jumping the greens is immediately after training. There are actually a few search indicating that loading up on antioxidants after training can interfere with your ability to build muscle. So stick to protein then!
That said, green vegetables are an easy way to get nutritional improvement any other time of the day:
There are hundreds of other shake recipes in the Bodybuilding.com recipe database that could also serve as the perfect container for getting more green vegetables in your diet!