Do Athletic Greens Hurt Your Stomach? An Unbiased Investigation

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Athletic Greens has become one of the most popular greens powders on the market, with thousands of positive reviews praising its comprehensive nutritional profile and antioxidant-rich formula. However, some users have reported experiencing digestive issues like upset stomach and diarrhea after taking Athletic Greens.

In this in-depth blog post, “Do Athletic Greens Hurt Your Stomach?” we’ll take an unbiased look at the ingredients in Athletic Greens to understand if it does have the potential to hurt your stomach for some people. We’ll also provide tips on how to mitigate the risk of side effects if you are sensitive.

An Overview of Athletic Greens

Athletic Greens is advertised as a nutritional “insurance policy” to help fill the gaps in your diet. It contains a long list of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and adaptogen herb extracts.

Some of the key ingredients include:

  • Antioxidants from ingredients like spirulina and carrot juice powder
  • Probiotics and prebiotics for gut health
  • Digestive enzymes to improve absorption
  • Herbal extracts like ashwagandha, ginger, and turmeric
  • Vitamins A, C, E, B complex, potassium, zinc, manganese, and more

The green powder aims to boost energy, gut health, liver function, immune system support, and total body nutrition. It comes in single-serve packets that you mix with water or juice.

The comprehensive formula explains why Athletic Greens has become so popular. However, some of those same ingredients may also interact to cause stomach issues in sensitive users. Let’s analyze the formula more closely.

Examining the Ingredient List

While most of the ingredients in Athletic Greens are beneficial for health, there are a few components that could potentially cause digestive upset in some individuals.


Spirulina is a nutrient-dense blue-green algae that provides antioxidants, protein, and chlorophyll. However, it is also high in fiber and has been known to cause stomach upset, gas, and diarrhea in sensitive users. The high concentration of spirulina in Athletic Greens may be problematic for some.

Digestive Enzymes

The digestive enzyme blend contains bromelain, papain, and lipase. These are designed to aid digestion and nutrient absorption. But some users report the enzyme dose may be too strong, causing diarrhea.

Herbal Extracts

Extracts like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom have many benefits. But they are also natural irritants that can cause stomach inflammation in high amounts for some people.

Additionally, the greens powder contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut oil. MCT oil is known for causing digestive distress if you consume too much too soon before building tolerance.

While most of these ingredients are healthy, the combinations may interact to cause temporary stomach upset until your body adjusts. Those with sensitivities should take extra care.

Let’s continue examining the evidence behind the claims of digestive issues in the next section.

Evidence of Digestive Problems

While Athletic Greens is very popular and most reviews are positive, there are certainly people who have experienced stomach and digestive issues from taking it.

On Reddit and other forums, many users have complained of side effects like:

  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Gas and bloating

For example, one Reddit thread discussing stomach problems from Athletic Greens, one user said:

“Took one scoop on an empty stomach and had very loose stools about 1.5 hours later. I wonder if it’s just too strong to take without food for some people with sensitive stomachs?”

Another user replied:

“I have the same issue. If I take AG first thing in the morning it goes right through me! Has to be taken with food or else it causes diarrhea.”

While these complaints represent a minority of users, it shows that the ingredients may interact and cause irritation for those prone to sensitivity.

In the next section, we’ll discuss some tips to mitigate the risk of stomach upset when taking Athletic Greens.

How to Prevent Digestive Issues with Athletic Greens

If you’re concerned about Athletic Greens causing stomach problems, there are some simple precautions you can take to reduce the likelihood of side effects:

Take with Food

Taking AG with a full meal buffers the effects of the ingredients and prevents them from irritating an empty stomach. The food helps moderate the enzyme strength and fiber content.

Start with Smaller Servings

Begin with just 1/2 or 1/3 of a serving of AG to let your body adjust, slowly working up to a full serving. This builds up a tolerance and reduces the shock to your system.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water when taking Athletic Greens to aid digestion and prevent dehydration, which makes diarrhea worse. Proper hydration is key.

Be Cautious if a Sensitive Stomach

Those with chronic GI issues like IBS should use caution, start slowly, and possibly avoid certain ingredients like spirulina. Listen to your body.

While these tips can help, some users may still experience issues due to personal sensitivities. Not everyone’s body can handle the complex formula without problems.

Now let’s wrap up with some final thoughts and takeaways on the main question.

The Verdict: It Can Happen, But Usually Temporary

Based on examining the Athletic Greens ingredients, user reports, and potential mitigation strategies, we can make some general conclusions:

For most people, Athletic Greens does not cause ongoing digestive distress or stomach upset when used properly. The formula is well-tolerated by the majority.

However, due to personal sensitivities, the complex blend may cause temporary diarrhea, nausea, or stomach pain in some individuals. This is especially true when taking on an empty stomach.

The effects seem to be acute and short-term as the body adjusts to ingredients like spirulina, enzymes, and herbs. However, those with chronic GI issues should exercise caution.

While Athletic Greens are unlikely to cause lasting problems, there are no guarantees with a supplement containing this diversity of ingredients. Finding the right dose and taking it properly can prevent most side effects.

The Bottom Line: Do Athletic Greens Hurt Your Stomach?

Athletic Greens provides extensive nutritional benefits that explain its popularity. But its complexity means it won’t agree with every user’s digestive system.

By starting slow, taking with food, and staying hydrated, most people can avoid stomach issues. But some may always experience problems due to underlying sensitivities.

If you try Athletic Greens and face ongoing digestive problems, a different greens powder may be a better fit for your body’s needs. But don’t dismiss it too quickly, as the effects are often temporary.

There are pros and cons to a formula as robust as Athletic Greens. While ideal for some, it may be too strong for others. Listen to your body and adjust your usage accordingly.


Is it normal to get diarrhea from Athletic Greens?

Temporary diarrhea can happen when first starting Athletic Greens, but should not continue long-term. Take it slow and with food.

Why does Athletic Greens upset my stomach?

Ingredients like spirulina, enzymes, and herbs may irritate the stomach lining or cause excess gas for sensitive users.

Should I take Athletic Greens before or after a meal?

Taking AG with food is recommended to prevent stomach upset. Do not take on an empty stomach.

Can I prevent gas and bloating from Athletic Greens?

Sipping slowly, taking with food, and starting with small servings can help minimize gas and bloating.

Is Athletic Greens safe for people with IBS?

Those with IBS should use caution and consult a doctor, as the complex ingredients may trigger symptoms.

Angela Trusso

Angela Trusso

My name is Angela Russo, and I have dedicated my career and life’s passion to change lives…one person at a time…by using integrative and functional medicine approaches to treat the entire body, mind, and spirit.