Face it: you’re not eating enough fruit and vegetables, and you certainly aren’t getting enough variety. Greens powder is your backup plan – throw it in a shake once a day and rest easy.

RECOMMENDED: The Best Supplements

What is it?

Vegetables, fruits, algae and grasses smashed into powder form, often including things you’d otherwise be loath to include in your diet such as wheatgrass, spirulina, alfalfa and the like. Think of it as a backup for when you’re not hitting your five-a-day, which isn’t just government nannying – it’s the baseline for protecting yourself against cancer, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke and a host of other problems. Greens powder can also help to counteract the acidic effect of all the protein you’re eating.

How do I take it?

You can drink it straight, but it isn’t always the best-tasting solo drink. One option is to blend it into a shake with protein, yogurt/kefir, a spoonful of nut butter and a banana or handful of berries for a morning blast of all-round nutritional power. The only time not to take it is immediately post-workout, when it will disrupt the process of inflammation and oxidation that aids recovery.

RECOMMENDED: Protein Shake Recipes

Which do I choose?

Every product has its own formula, so read the label carefully. If you’re buying it for a specific effect – green tea or spirulina, say – make sure there’s more than a sprinkling in there.

Browse greens powder on amazon.co.uk

Can I stop eating vegetables now?

We asked sports nutrition expert Ross Edgley and the short answer: no. Research and experience shows that we should eat our nutrients as nature packaged them. For instance, a study published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition found that having fruit in liquid form can dramatically change how your body processes it. But we all know it’s hard to consume enough fruit and veg to get all the micronutrients we need – not to mention expensive – so why ignore something that would help?

The bottom line

Don’t think a supplement can replace actual broccoli and green beans, but since few of us eat the variety of green vegetables we should, greens powder is useful as a top up.

Browse greens powder on amazon.co.uk