How Athletic Greens Is Innovating AG1
Founder Chris Ashenden started Athletic Greens 10 years ago. He was experiencing a lot of health issues, from gut distress to low energy to nutrient deficiency and insufficiency. Experts recommended supplements—a whole lot of ’em—but taking 20 to 30 tablets a day to rectify the problem didn’t seem logical.
To get all those vitamins and minerals, pre- and probiotics, and phytonutrients, “you’d need a whole cabinet and refrigerator,” says Ralph Esposito, a naturopathic physician and functional medicine practitioner specializing in integrative medicine at Athletic Greens. “If you look at nature, though, it does this organically. In ancient Indian culture, Ayurvedic medicine and cooking has a lot of yogurt, botanicals, herbs, and spices. Yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and apples—they have a lot of these pre- and probiotics and phytonutrients. Ashwagandha was a food first, then became a supp. When you boil it all down, it comes to establishing essentials of nutrition for proper gut health and looking at the body as a whole.”
That’s where the idea of AG1 came in. Ashenden wanted to create a green drink that went beyond a multivitamin. He wanted it to contain herbs, nutrients, phytonutrients, flavanols, pre- and probiotics to make foundational health as simple as starting your day with a beverage, much like the ritual of having tea or coffee.
When you’re experiencing a malady, like IBS, it’s not just one root cause of the problem. There are a multitude of systems communicating with one another—your gut, adrenals, vascular, skin, etc.—that need to find a sense of equilibrium to not flip the switch and short-circuit the whole system.
So when it came to formulating AG1, Ashenden took the same symbiotic approach. There are nine synergistic products by way of vitamins and minerals to keep your immune system and nervous system chugging along; a superfood complex comprising fruits and vegetables picked at peak harvest times for the most potent phytonutrient count; dairy-free probiotics to support the gut microbiome and aid nutrient absorption as well as digestion; antioxidants and plant extracts with adaptogens that help minimize stress at a cellular level; and an enzyme and mushroom complex to further aid digestion.