Super greens powders have become quite popular due to their proven health benefits. Green powders provide you with vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimum health, boost your energy, enhance immunity, and lower cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, these beneficial dietary supplement powders also come with side effects.
Super greens powder side effects include diarrhea, allergic reactions, risk of contamination, and blood medication interference. Overconsumption of super green powders could also lead to adverse effects such as leaching vital nutrients from your body and toxicity.
Greens powders contain potent ingredients that offer you a wide range of health benefits. In this article, we will unpack these benefits as well as the various side effects caused by consuming super greens powders. We will also look at how to avoid or treat these side effects and how to use super greens powders safely.
What Are Super Greens Powders?
Super greens powders are plant-derived dietary supplements that work to fill any nutritional gaps. Available in powder form, these dried out fruits and vegetables are condensed into a supplement formulation that’s easy to ingest.
Super Greens powders are ideal for people with limited access to fruits and fresh produce. You can also consider taking these supplements if you travel a lot and often miss out on your daily fruit and vegetable intake. As such, you can carry super greens powders along when you travel and add them into your drinking water, smoothies, or mix them into your soups.
If you are at home, you can add them to salads and omelets. However, these green-colored powders are not the best tasting, so you might want to add natural sugar substitutes to enhance their flavor.
While they vary depending on brand and ingredients, super greens powders often contain multiple ingredients such as dried leafy greens, vegetables, high-oxidant fruits, and edible grasses.
Other additional ingredients include probiotics, seaweed, herbs, natural sugar substitutes, digestive enzymes, and extra fiber. Superfoods like ginger and turmeric also add extra nutrition, support digestion, and help lower cholesterol levels.
Super greens powders are available in vegan and organic formulations although their nutritional value differs and depends on specific brands and products.
Note that heating your greens powders might destroy some nutrients such as vitamin C and probiotics.
Why Consume Super Greens Powders?
Many people identify leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens as superfoods because they are super-rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. In addition, they contain high levels of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and carotenoids.
However, for most individuals, green vegetables top the list of their least favorite foods. As such, greens powders present them with an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and help them attain the recommended daily vegetable intake levels.
For many others, the challenge is usually limited access to wholesome vegetables and fruits due to various challenges, including affordability and availability.
Yet, is it worthwhile to invest your money in green powders?
Although greens powders are not as nutritionally complete as conventional multivitamin and mineral supplements, some are designed as meal replacements, making them more wholesome. However, if you are looking to ingest different vitamins, you are better off taking a multivitamin than greens powders.
Let’s have a look at some of the super greens powders benefits.
Green leafy vegetables form the bulk of most super greens powders. As a result, greens powders are:
- An excellent means to increase your vegetable intake.
- Rich in polyphenols that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- High in minerals like iodine, selenium, and chromium as well as vitamins A, C, and K.
- Helpful in supporting your body’s immunity and may help prevent chronic illnesses like high blood pressure.
- Low in calories but boost your energy levels hence ideal in supporting weight loss or fitness.
- Beneficial in promoting your body’s detoxification processes by providing supportive nutrients.
- May support general wellness when combined with a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle.
- Helpful in maintaining acceptable blood sugar levels.
Scientific studies conducted on super greens powder maintain that these dietary supplements contain vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your body. However, manufacturers of these products fund most of the research, so there is a possibility that the results could suffer bias.
Furthermore, the available research varies a lot; there’s plenty of information on some dietary supplements but very little on others. Therefore, more research is necessary to prove the efficacy of super greens powders.
There’s also a chance that the super greens powder supplements you buy online or from the local drugstores may differ significantly from the tested products.
Even so, super greens powders are not a substitute for whole green vegetables and fruits.
It’s advisable to consume various fresh greens, whole vegetables, fruits, and other healthy foods as part of a balanced diet. This will not only help you attain nutritional balance but also avoid a surplus of some nutrients.
Now, let’s find out the negative side of super greens powders.
Before you embark on a journey of supplementing your diet with greens powders, it’s best to consult your doctor or, better yet, a certified nutritionist. This is because supplements contain many different active ingredients, and some might cause a strong biological reaction in your body.
Moreover, dietary supplements may pose certain risks if you have a chronic condition such as heart disease or diabetes.
With this in mind, below are some of the side effects you are likely to experience:
Since super greens powders contain different ingredients, it’s possible to encounter one or two ingredients that your body might react to.
This is not very common, though, as most people know what they are allergic to, thus try to avoid the allergens.
Make sure to check the product label carefully, so you can tell if there is anything to be concerned about.
For most people, diarrhea is a common reaction to a significant change in diet. The same case applies when you start taking super greens powders.
You might experience an upset stomach as your body tries to push out unhealthy food and toxins from your system while adjusting to a new diet.
Specific ingredients in your super greens powders could also lead to a running tummy. These may include fiber, leafy vegetables, and magnesium.
Each of these can cause diarrhea depending on the quantities involved.
Interference With Blood Medication
Leafy, green vegetables constitute a large part of greens powders. They also provide your body with numerous nutrients such as vitamins A, C, antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, calcium, and iron, among others.
However, some of these vegetables like kales and spinach also contain vitamin K. High quantities of this vitamin can interfere with certain blood medicines such as blood thinners, thus rendering them inactive.
Risk of Contamination
Consuming super greens powders might also put you at risk of ingesting contaminants.
For instance, a study conducted by Consumer Labs revealed that out of a sample size of 14 products, 4 contained toxic amounts of lead. Other contaminants noted were arsenic and cadmium.
Still, most, if not all, fresh produce contains traces of heavy metals from the soil and water. As such, organic green powders have these chemicals too.
The solution is to choose products that undergo thorough testing for heavy metals and to ensure that they contain the least amount possible.
Some artificial sweeteners found in super greens powders such as sorbitol or mannitol can cause some irritation in your digestive tract. They could also result in bloating, acid reflux, and even migraines.
Once you begin taking super greens powder supplements, avoid upping your intake too soon. This is because a sudden spike in your consumption could result in adverse effects.
For instance, overconsuming antioxidant-rich components could strip your body nutrients along with the toxins.
Another challenge is that super greens powders could also result in vitamin or mineral toxicity if not checked.
The thing is, surplus water-soluble vitamins often leave the body fast. On the other hand, fat-soluble minerals are not so easy to get rid of; hence they usually build up to toxic levels.
Did you know that taking lots of fiber can also make you more prone to suffer an upset tummy?
Excess beta-carotene could also cause cancer, while too much Vitamin A could lead to liver damage. Hence, always check with your healthcare provider if your super greens powder supplements contain more than the recommended daily vitamin levels.
It’s important to note that some super greens powders are unsuitable for children, women who are expectant or breastfeeding, and people on medication. This is because the supplements contain herbs and concentrated extracts that could expose them to possible risks or interactions.
Other additional health risks or harmful effects include the following:
- Super Greens powders containing vitamins A, D, or iron could affect you before, during, and even impact your recovery
- Combining too many supplements can trigger adverse reactions in your body
- Using supplements as a substitute for prescription medicines could result in life-threatening consequences
- Mixing super greens powders with liquids such as milk, smoothies, or juice could raise the calorie content, which could lead to an increased fat intake or obesity in the long run
- Some super greens powders might contain unlisted ingredients that could be harmful or unsafe
- Some super greens powder supplements, particularly those that enhance athletic performance, may contain hidden prescription drugs or other related compounds
How to Deal With the Negative Effects of Super Greens
Still, even with the above side effects, there are many ways to avoid going through some of the unpleasant experiences in the first place. You can also treat some of these effects using quick fixes.
Read on for tips on how to do this:
- If you experience an allergic reaction soon after taking your super greens powder, stop taking the supplement, and consult your doctor. In addition, always check the label for potential allergens before purchasing or using any super greens powders.
- If you are unfortunate to suffer from diarrhea after taking your super greens powders, stop consuming them for a day. Next, drink lots of water and ensure that you rest. If diarrhea persists past three days, see a doctor.
- Interference with blood medication. If you are on medication, consult your doctor before consuming any super greens powders for advice on any possible contraindications. Besides, your doctor will advise you on the recommended super green powders in your case. But if you fail to do this and experience a negative reaction, do not continue taking the super green powder.
- Stomach irritation. If this occurs, try switching to a brand that uses a natural sweetener, e.g., stevia. Alternatively, you can opt for a product that doesn’t include a sweetener at all. As a general rule, it’s best to choose super greens powders that contain no added sugars. This is because it might not be very easy to pick out the added sugars from the label since they sport various names.
- Here the solution is simple: don’t overdose on super green powders. Note that if you are a long time consumer of these products, doubling your usual quantity might have no effect on you.
So, given the above possible side effects, how can you use super green powders safely? Let’s explore your options below…
How to Use Super Greens Powders Safely
In order to minimize the risk of negative side effects when taking super greens powders, it’s important to follow the below safety guidelines:
You might be very excited about eating healthy, meeting your daily vegetable requirements, and embracing a healthy lifestyle. As such, it is understandable that you might get carried away and start adding your super green powders to everything from juice, water, milk, and all your food.
However, don’t get carried away. Incorporate this new addition to your diet slowly and allow your body to get accustomed to it.
Start small, maybe with half the recommended dose. This will also give your body the chance to adjust to its new diet without reacting violently.
Opt for Natural Products
Go for natural products. These are products without proprietary blends, added sugars, artificial coloring, or flavors.
Avoid purchasing products that have wheat, corn, or unnecessary starches. Also, look for super greens powders that have non-GMO ingredients and have undergone freeze-drying or cold-pressing processing.
Note, however, that just because a product is natural does not always mean that it is safe.
A great option with no Proprietary Blends is SuperGreen Tonik, Read a Full Review Here
Buy Your Products From a Reputable Brand
Perform due diligence on your preferred brand before purchasing super greens powders and don’t be sold into false advertising tactics or claims. These include any claims on treating, preventing, or curing certain diseases.
Also, avoid products with exaggerated or unrealistic promises – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Check out online reviews and only buy after confirming that the brand is legit and its products are safe. You can get your information from credible sites like the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In addition, ensure that you only buy and use high-quality, super greens powder supplements approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
However, bear in mind that the FDA is not authorized to review the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplement products prior to their marketing.
The FDA only reviews new ingredients to confirm their safety. Still, the FDA can take dietary supplements off the market if it deems them unsafe, if they make false claims, or bear misleading information.
Hence, the manufacturer must ensure that their products are safe and effective before marketing them. Furthermore, they have an obligation to:
- Label their products accurately as per the labeling regulations
- Produce high-quality dietary supplements
- Ensure that their products do not contain contaminants
- Inform the FDA whenever a serious challenge or adverse effect related to a particular supplement occurs
Research on the Product Components
Be well informed about the products you wish to use before you buy them. Find out what ingredients make up your super greens powder.
Check the label for a list of ingredients and, if necessary, email the company for more details.
This will prevent you from consuming super greens powders that may contain allergens or components that might interfere with your medication.
It is worth noting that there are no regulations or set standards regarding serving sizes or the quantity of a particular nutrient in dietary supplements. The manufacturers decide on this, and they do not have to seek FDA approval either.
In general, whenever you encounter a problem, illness, or adverse reaction when taking super greens powders, do the following:
- Discontinue usage immediately
- Consult your healthcare provider on the proper remedy
- Report the issue to the FDA
Super greens powders are a convenient and excellent addition to a wholesome diet. While they cannot replace whole vegetables and fruits, they supplement your diet with key nutrients that you might not have access to otherwise. They are also great for people on the move and those engaging in an exercise regime.
Yet, consuming greens powders might be unnecessary if you have access to unprocessed produce. They could also be detrimental to your health and cause you to suffer certain side effects, as detailed in this article.
However, this should not cause you undue worry since not everyone experiences these side effects, and with proper supplement usage, some can be prevented.
Thus, do your research to see which green powders work for you, introduce them gently into your diet, and purchase your products from reputable brands.
Combine this with quality sleep, exercise, and a wholesome diet for optimal health.
Top Recommended SuperGreens Powder
My top recommended super greens is SuperGreen Tonik.
It has helped me and others with the following:
- Better Focus and Concentration
- And Immunity
Best of all SuperGreen Tonik does not contain proprietary blends, thus you know exactly how what you’re getting and how much.
- Healthline: Super Greens: Are Greens Powders Healthy?
- Pubmed: In Vitro and in Vivo Antioxidant Properties of the Plant-based Supplement Greens
- Pubmed: The Effect of Fruit and Vegetable Powder Mix on Hypertensive Subjects
- Consumer Lab: Consumer Lab Finds Lead, Cadmium, and Arsenic Contamination in Greens and Whole Food Supplements
- Eleat Nutrition: Are Green Powders a Waste of Money?
- Medical News Today: Superfoods: Health Benefits, Uses, and Risks
- FDA: What You Need to Know About Dietary Supplements
- FDA: Tips For Dietary Supplement Users
- NCCIH-NIH: Using Dietary Supplements Wisely
- The Workout Nut: Do Green Superfood Supplements Have Side Effects?
- Science Daily: Eating Green Veggies Improves Immune Defenses
- Mindbodygreen: Green Powder: Benefits, Uses, Ingredients & More