Can You Replace Vegetables With Green Powders & Stay Healthy?

Can You Replace Vegetables With Green Powders & Stay Healthy?

Green powders are becoming increasingly popular in the fitness and wellness space.

When you’re training at a high intensity and volume, it’s crucial to ensure you get all your micronutrients in so you can avoid illness or exhaustion.

Supplements can help with that. Some people take things to the extreme, though, cutting out fruit and vegetables completely.

But is it a good idea to replace natural food sources with green powders? Built for Athletes takes a look.

What Are Green Powders?

Green powders are usually made of dried ingredients that have been ground down so they can be mixed with water.

A single powder might contain around 30 different ingredients, and these will vary depending on the brand you use.

They’ll usually include things like spinach, beetroot, broccoli and various herbs.

All this is to give you a catch-all range of essential vitamins and minerals so nothing is left out in your diet.

What Are The Benefits Of Green Powders?

There are loads of claimed health benefits of green powders. One of the most common is that they give you a boost of energy without delivering many calories.

One small trial did show that taking green powders with green tea extract can make you feel more alert.

Another benefit is the anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties in powders. These can help lower overall stress markers in the body and protect you against chronic disease.

Powders are also often used with detoxification because they lower blood acidity, something regular vegetables also does.

Green Powders Lack Water Content & Dietary Fibre

The main problem with using green powders is that they lack the water content and dietary fibre that regular vegetables have.

This extra water and fibre are what help keep us feeling fuller for longer. So if you stop eating vegetables altogether, you’ll miss out on this element of your diet.

Having high amounts of fibre in your diet has been linked with all sorts of good health outcomes, like length of life and risk of heart disease. So if you swap vegetables for green powders, you might miss out on these benefits.

Supplement, Not Substitute

The bottom line is that green powders are designed to be a supplement for a healthy, balanced diet.

You should be very wary of getting all your vitamins and minerals from powders alone. They are designed to supplement your nutrition intake, not to work as a substitute for regular vegetables.

That’s not to say that green powders can’t be part of a wider diet though.

Other common supplements that can help athletes perform and stay healthy include ZMA and probiotics. Pre-workout supplements like creatine and caffeine can also lead to better results.