The TikTok 'greens powder' trend is still growing in popularity – but is the hype really worth it?
Typical of the many other health crazes that have taken the platform by storm – from the 'internal shower' to the 'lion diet' – users have been uploading videos of themselves trying the drink out. While some reviews have been more skeptical, the reaction has largely been positive.
But what exactly is the trend and how healthy really is it? Here's what we know so far, with insight from Signe Svanfeldt, lead nutritionist at healthy eating app Lifesum.
What you need to know about the TikTok greens powder trend
What is the 'greens powder' trend? The phrase itself has reached more than 190 million views on TikTok so far, with users reporting health improvements like reduced bloating and gut symptoms, more energy and better skin. It involves mixing a scoop of powder with water, with some users having the drink daily.
What does it taste like? Greens powder products often come in different flavours, but they typically taste like fruit or vegetable juice. Some have no complaints, while others say they can be a little 'grassy'.
TikTok users have been sharing their thoughts. One user, @aliarchdeacon_, said in a video, "my hormonal acne has nearly completely gone, my eyes are brighter and wider, I feel way less bloated and have more energy". However, @rumorzachariaa said, "I'd rather have 50 cups of broccoli a day."
Nutritionists have warned it won't have a magical impact on your health. Some health experts have tried to set more realistic expectations online. "Greens powders might provide you with some extra nutrients, but they won’t make any drastic change to your wellbeing," confirms Svanfeldt.
It's not a replacement for eating your greens. Contrary to what the influencers might tell you, Svanfeldt says, "Our overall diet is what matters for our health. It is not due to one or two food items, supplements or powders but rather the whole aspect of what we put in our bodies and how much physical activity we do."
There are better ways to achieve similar health benefits. "What has been proven to provide large health benefits is to consume at least 500g of vegetables and fruits daily," adds Svanfeldt, which can reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
What about gut health? "Eating probiotics have shown to have a positive impact, although the effect only lasts as long as we continue to do so," explains Svanfeldt. Dietary fibre also provides fuel to bacteria beneficial for gut health.
Can greens powder cause any harm? "Consuming too large quantities of anything can be harmful. But a scoop of greens powder won’t do any harm to a healthy individual (unless your doctor has said otherwise), or if you have allergies to ingredients." Just don't have too much.
Getting health information online has risks. "There will always be certain trends when it comes to health, food and nutrition. You should always fact-check the statements and see if there is substantial evidence behind it," urges Svanfeldt.
Watch: TikTok trends 'perpetuate toxic diet culture' among teenagers