Green Juice: Hyped or Useful?



GREEN JUICE: HYPED OR USEFUL?

You’ve probably heard about green juice from either TV or your favorite Instagram fitness person. Maybe that’s the extent of what you know about them, but you’ve always wondered if it was really worth it. In this article I’ll do my best to lay out things I like about them and their shortcomings. 

First of all, what is the point of taking green juice? Well honestly, if you’re eating all your greens consistently on a daily basis it may not be something of interest for you, but it’s highly unlikely that you are. 

Most people under eat their greens and not even intentionally, it’s just not something we always keep track of properly, including the more seasoned diet planners. So, generally speaking, a green juice will help ensure that you reach your proper green intake for the day. However! 

Keep in mind that because it’s been beaten to a powder there is substantially lower fiber (almost none in most cases) in green juice compared to eating the same veggie content from whole vegetables. So, just make sure to get your fiber elsewhere in the diet (otherwise that trip to the toilet is going to be miserable). 

Secondly, green juices often contain things that you’d never think to buy unless you are a super food connoisseur. While there are sooooo many, for the sake of this article I chose three. Some common superfood ingredients in green juices are, but not limited to:

  1. Spirulina
  2.  Ashwagandha
  3.  Reishi
  4.  Mushroom

Okay now, for those that havent heard of these I’m going to provide a brief overview of each of them and they’re benefits, but check the links below for more detailed info on specific products and such. The Legion Athletics link does a great job of going through a bunch more ingredients. 

ALSO! Keep in mind a lot of these things are small effects and transient help, meaning if I list that it helps with reducing anxiety (as an example), it doesn’t mean that if you have anxiety this will cure you, this is just what some data has shown to help with groups of people in the respective study. None of these compounds are miracles, and some of these effects may never be felt by you, but these are all the reported benefits (hope that's enough clarification to save my head from the critic chopping block): 

SPIRULINA

  • Improves the cholesterol profile
  • Increases muscle endurance
  • Alleviates and even eliminates nasal symptoms caused by allergies
  • Reduces muscle damage caused by exercise  
  • Helps the body eliminate heavy metals  
  •  Lowers blood pressure 
  •  Helps protect liver health  
  • Reduces systemic inflammation 
  •  Improves insulin sensitivity

Ashwagandha

  • Mitigates stress 
  •  Aids in sleep 
  •  Anti aging effects through reduction in free radicals 
  •  Helps people with anxiety Increases athletic performance 
  •  Helps control high cholesterol 
  •  May help people with diabetes

Reishi Mushroom

  • Helps protect liver health 
  •  Protects DNA from oxidative damage, which is a major factor in aging  
  •  Inhibits the creation of new fat cells  
  •  Reduces the time it takes to fall asleep  
  •  Helps protect brain health  Improves blood glucose control 
  •  Raises “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels 
  •  Boosts and balances the immune system 
  •  Helps protect kidney health 
  •  Has powerful anti-cancer effects

In conclusion, green juices are fantastic, but they are not all created equal. Some have really great ingredients, but they're hard to swallow down due to the poor taste formula. If that’s the case stop complaining and drink up. Just kidding, but for real it is green juice so don’t expect it to taste like a fruit smoothie. Out of all the green juices I’ve tried and heard of I’d say the top one in terms of taste (and ingredients oddly enough) is Organifi’s Green Juice. It is pricey though and only becomes competitive in price once you buy in bulk. Here’s a link if you’d like to check it out: 

 https://www.organifishop.com/products/organifi-green-juice-1-bottle

The second one I’d highly recommend is Legion Athletics Genesis. This is actually where I was able to do a lot of my reading on green juices as well. If you scroll down, Mike Matthews does a great job at showcasing facts about the various ingredients in the product which are also in many other green juices:

 https://legionathletics.com/products/supplements/genesis/

And just because people like options, thirdly, check out Athletic Greens 

 https://athleticgreens.com/en?gclid=CjwKCAjwg4-EBhBwEiwAzYAlsodf1DrjtmNfdJVoYAm7pyr_esCbhsfDV202BRGGb39B6IzG1luVGBoCMW8QAvD_BwE 

 Lastly, I had a very in depth podcast alllll about Green Juices which goes into the history, even more of the common ingredients, and the research behind them. Check out Bone Apple Tea episode 99. 

Writer

Randy Borruso

Certified Personal Trainer

NASM CPT 

University of Connecticut for Biomedical Engineering


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