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What is the Best Time to Consume Greens Powder?

You've got your greens powder, but when is the best time to consume greens powder? Should you take it before breakfast, in the afternoon, or in the evening?

Key Takeaways

  • Greens powder is quite simple to integrate into your diet and provides many health benefits
  • Best to consume 30 minutes before eating a meal or consuming caffeine
  • Taking in the morning, afternoon, or evening does depend on your routine

Greens powder – it seems like everyone is talking about it!

This supplement is one of many new health trends, but even though there’s a lot of information about it, it can all be very confusing. So many people have many questions about how to use it or whether they should. 

I’m willing to bet you’ve already searched half the internet just to get to this point. First, you had to research whether vegetable powders were even effective in the first place, and you had to find the best brands to use.

And now that you’ve finally selected the best greens powder for you, you may be starting to wonder when you should actually drink it.

While there is a general answer to this question, it is important to remember that a lot depends on your situation. For example, many people like to drink their greens right before or after a workout.

In that case, taking them would depend on what time of day you work out, morning or afternoon. A less obvious example: if you’re intermittent fasting, the powder must be taken within your eating window

Should I Drink My Greens in the Morning?

The morning is one of the most common times for someone to enjoy their greens, but how exactly you choose to take them will change how this works.

First, it’s best to take them before breakfast; your empty stomach will aid in absorption.

Morning is a good time anyway, considering greens are designed to give you an energy boost to carry you through your day, so starting early makes sense.

In addition, you want to have as much of the day ahead of you as possible, so you can get the best use out of the energy and nutrition you get from the powder.

Many brands will recommend that you drink them either before or during breakfast. Others have different suggestions, though, so check the label.

Most brands create their green powders with similar ingredients, so it is unlikely that the label’s recommendations from one brand to the next will differ by much.

glass with supergreen powder

Should I Drink My Greens in the Afternoon?

This is also one of the most common choices for people because greens powders can give you the boost you need to get past that midafternoon slump!

If you do pick the afternoon, try to time your dose as close between meals as possible for the best results. This is the same reason mentioned earlier; your empty stomach will absorb the nutrients more readily.

Except for intermittent fasting, your stomach is unlikely to be as vacant in the afternoon as it is in the morning. It will still be better, but it won’t convey as much advantage.

Should I Drink My Greens in the Evening?

Some people like drinking greens after dinner, at night, or even right before bed. This can be great, but there is one thing you need to look at first.

Many of the most popular powders contain green tea and other leafy green ingredients. Green tea is caffeinated, so it is risky to keep you from getting the sleep you need.

Check the ingredients label on the back of your powder of choice before you decide to try it at night. 

Also, drinking greens give your body nutrients and energy for the day ahead. If you take it at night, these nutrients might be metabolized and gone, or mostly gone, by the time you wake up.

So it makes much more sense to use them in the morning and get the pep you need for the day ahead. And, again, you won’t get the other advantages of the optimal timing in the morning or during your first meal. 

Holding supergreen tonik

Should You Take Greens Powder On an Empty Stomach?

Actually, an empty stomach is an advantage!

If you take your powder half an hour or so before eating, your supplement absorption is likely to increase. Also, an empty stomach will more quickly and readily accept the nutrients in a greens powder. 

If you eat too quickly after taking a dose of green powder on an empty stomach, you could lose the power of this effect. The food will fill your belly and give it more to digest, keeping it from absorbing the greens powder as readily.

For the best results, you should wait at least 30 minutes before you eat any solid, “real” food. This gives your body enough time to take up the powder’s nutrients properly.

This fact means that morning will be your best time to take greens powder before you eat breakfast. If you’re intermittent fasting, that will be slightly different. Just take the powder at the start of your eating window, and then wait at least 30 minutes before you start eating.

spoon and glass with green powder

Should I take Greens Before or After a Workout?

Some brands suggest a small dose both before and after–check your label to see if yours is one. However, taking it directly before a workout might not be beneficial, as the time it takes to digest might not give you many advantages. For best results, take greens an hour before you exercise. 

Certain supplements can help even more immediately after a workout. For example, electrolytes help with muscle recovery, but according to a recent study, taking supplements high in proteins and amino acids directly after exercising can dramatically increase muscle and strength gains as well.

Although further research is needed, this post-exercise window is likely a good time to take in other nutrients that serve different functions. So if your powder is rich in amino acids and protein, be sure to take it after exercise to increase the results of all the hard work you just put in.

How Often Should I Consume Greens Powder?

Just about every brand and type of greens powder is specifically designed to be used only once a day. For most people, “once a day” is always the right answer to this frequently asked question.

The powder is meant to concentrate the nutrients from one full day’s worth of vegetable servings because that’s its purpose. 

While this is likely one of the main reasons you want to take the supplement in the first place, be sure to note that this does not mean you should only take greens power and neglect consuming real vegetables.

These powders are intended to supplement a regular diet’s worth of vegetables, not replace them.

With all of that said, extreme circumstances do sometimes call for extra energy. If you’re highly fatigued or under a lot of stress, an additional second serving might be appropriate. 

Most greens powders are packed full of phytonutrients, a class of energy-rich compounds that are less heavy than proteins or starches. You might need a double dose of those on some of your roughest days. Try to avoid making a habit of it, but it will be perfectly fine to take two doses occasionally. 

Best Time to Consume Greens Powder

Final Thoughts

Overall, greens powder is best taken in the morning quite a while before breakfast (unless you’re intermittently fasting, in which case, it’s best taken before whatever your first meal is). 

Make sure to leave half an hour after you drink your greens powder before eating “real” food since this allows for the best digestion and nutrient absorption. 

It’s also great to drink your greens before a workout, and even better after, provided they have the key ingredients of protein and some amino acids. It will probably be better to avoid drinking powder in the evening, though, if your formulation contains green tea.

And you should only take it once a day, except in rare extreme fatigue or stress situations. 

Although I didn’t mention it above, I’d also like to answer a different formulation: “When should I consume greens powder?”

For the average powder, it is recommended to use the entirety of the container within three months if stored in a dry place. 

After that period, some ingredients were degraded, and the powder began to cling together rather than being loose and smooth. However, this study is a fundamental observation and only noticed some compounds, so check your packaging for a more specifically valid expiration date and better, more precise storage advice. 

Hopefully, this article could answer your questions about optimizing the use of your new supplement!

With so much contradicting information on the internet, it can be difficult to decipher what path you should take to ensure your hard-earned money spent on supplements isn’t wasted.

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Christine VanDoren, NSCA, ACE Nutritionist
Christine VanDoren, NSCA, ACE Nutritionist

Christine VanDoren is an NSCA-certified personal trainer and ACE nutritionist, she started spending her time training in the gym and online. She spends her time working to be better, and in turn, hopes to help others better themselves too.

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