There is almost always a new health craze going on, and with every bit of real information that you get there are also people who are trying to mislead you. This is no less true of “green drinks,” which can both be good for you and be scams if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Considering that a container can cost anywhere from $10 to $150, it’s important to know what makes a particular drink worth the money.
Green drinks are juices and smoothies that are made with a number of different fruits and vegetables, specifically green veggies like kale, Swiss chard, and spinach, and are designed to give you the nutrients that these contain without the time- and space-consuming hassle of actually eating them in their whole form. For many people, this is the quickest and easiest way to get the nutrition that they need.
What To Look For
There are a number of different things that you should be aware of when buying green drinks to avoid wasting your time and money.
The first thing to understand is that price does not necessarily equate to quality, but they are not entirely unrelated either. Often the price change happens because of the process used to make the powder for the drink. More expensive drinks often use an air drying process to remove the moisture from fruits and vegetables and then powder them, a system that maintains most of the nutrition. The cheaper ones often use heat-dried plants rather than the foods themselves, making so that they have some of the nutrition of the food, but not nearly as much.
That being said, it is possible to have a very nutritious drink without having to worry about getting the most expensive one out there. What you want to be able to find is a drink that provides you with at least the required daily minimums for various categories. There are also a lot of other words that you may see, here is what some of them mean.
Green drinks claim to be able to provide a lot of different things. Here are some of them so you can decide whether they are worthwhile.
Base – When a talks about this, they are discussing ingredients that are usually grasses like wheat, barley, alfalfa, and dandelion, but can also include soy lecithin and beta glucans. Green drinks are generally mostly composed of these, and since they all have different properties, a mix with more than one is going to be more beneficial.
Digestive Enzymes – These help break down things in your gut and improve absorption of nutrients. They can be incredibly helpful, especially if you have sensitive digestion.
Fibers – These are good to have in that they aid digestion, but if there is more than about 750mg per serving, it may actually hinder your absorption of nutrients.
Mushrooms – Mushrooms are becoming more popular in green drinks, but their nutritional value can vary wildly. In most cases, these are used as filler, especially since many drinks don’t mention the proportions of ingredients.
Greens – Obviously, this is present in most green drinks, though keep and eye out for those that don’t list something like spinach, kale, bok choy, parsley, or broccoli sprouts.
Seaweeds & Algae – Many novices recoil at the idea, but experts in green drinks will tell you that a good combination of these can really improve the nutritional value. At least 300 mg of spirulina, chlorella, and another seaweed is a good rule of thumb to get a notable effect.
What This All Means
If you really want to find a green drink that will improve your health and get you the nutrition that you need, it requires a lot of research and checking to see what is available, how much is in the drink, and what else it claims to do for you. The ideal drink will balance price, nutrition, and in most cases taste in order to make sure that you’re going to keep drinking and it will provide you with the benefits it says.