Does grass agree with you?
January 8, 2014 11:03 PM   Subscribe

Has regularly imbibing wheatgrass drinks improved your health or energy levels? Personal anecdotes welcome.

My health nut friend insists her daily wheatgrass powder intake has made her a new woman. I'm super skeptical but she's given me a packet of the stuff to try out. I quite like the idea of a healthy start to the day, a green alternative to my three coffees with two sugars but am I subjecting myself to a grim tasting glass of bunk and hokum or something truly beneficial? I've read various viewpoints online but would like to hear personal experiences from fellow Mefites as I trust the hive mind's input...
posted by Caskeum to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My take is that it's more or less on par with a lot of greens out there but comes up short (not as nutrient dense) against kale, spinach, chard, and collar greens. It's hard to grow yourself and you're going to overpay for it otherwise versus all the other greens you can just get at the grocery store. Don't bother with the powder. Get a good blender and experiment with green smoothies or get a juicer and do something similar. Getting a juicer most definitely improved my energy levels - I usually do lime, beet, spinach, apple and carrot. There are a huge number of ideas online for both smoothies and juicing.
posted by MillMan at 11:37 PM on January 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I noticed no difference. I used the powdered wheatgrass, which tastes horrible. Most of the packet is still in the cupboard - I gave up after 3 weeks.

Like MillMan I would recommend getting a juicer and making green juices with brassicas, cucumber and some apple. Masticating juicers are much better for green juices. They are more expensive than centrifugal juicers but so last longer.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:29 AM on January 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

No, it didn't with me. And MuffinMan's right - the powered stuff is vile.

Anecdotally I'm not convinced by the importance of this stuff at breakfast time, just get plenty of greens in your diet at any time of day that you prefer, whether raw, juiced or steamed.
posted by dowcrag at 12:53 AM on January 9, 2014

I'm very allergic to all sorts of grass... hayfever nightmare. I woke up this morning itching and wheezing because a lawn a few doors down was being mowed. I was with my sister once when she got a wheatgrass shot at Jamba Juice and she offered me some... I nearly threw up when I got it under my nose. So there's that. Definitely avoid if you have hayfever or allergies.

I vote for eating kale. Yum!
posted by jrobin276 at 2:54 AM on January 9, 2014

I've been toying with the idea of making my own sprouted wheat for breakfast as a healthier alternative to oatmeal but it seem like taking on a 2nd job.
posted by any major dude at 7:22 AM on January 9, 2014

Pointing out the obvious here but... expecting anything short of speed or cocaine to improve your energy levels compared to "three coffees with two sugars" is going to disappoint. Nutrition can have a powerful effect, especially in situations where it corrects an existing deficiency, but it can never be as powerful as ingesting large amounts of a psychoactive stimulant (caffeine, in your case).
posted by rada at 7:43 AM on January 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

i have hay fever and really bad allergies and i love, love, love wheat grass - but the actual juice, not the powdered stuff. i have absolutely noticed an energy boost, but no different than other nutrient packed smoothies. we keep frozen fruit cut up in the freezer and hit them with a stick blender and a little water/oj concentrate - far cheaper and easier than wheatgrass. it doesn't replace my coffee, but it does cut down on how much i drink first thing in the morning when i have a smoothie.
posted by nadawi at 7:45 AM on January 9, 2014

Kale is even more nutritious than wheatgrass - possibly THE most nutritious green out there - and not only is it much tastier, you can do so much more with it. Kale chips! (Such an easy way to eat greens!) Kale in juices! (Combine it with pineapple juice and you'd never know you were drinking veggie juice!) Massaged to soften the leaves and used in salads!

You'd get more bang for your buck if you got a bunch of kale and your own juicer.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:48 AM on January 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

kale chips are almost too delicious when done right. drink lots of water alongside them!
posted by nadawi at 7:50 AM on January 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Years ago I worked at Jamba Juice, and fresh wheatgrass was readily available to me. The mason effect that I noticed was that they were tremendously helpful in managing my frequent hangovers.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:17 AM on January 9, 2014

viz Kale, Spinach, etc... If you really start eating a lot of it you should consider rotating which you eat, lest you succumb to alkaloid poisoning. (Pretty sure wheatgrass is alkaloid free)
posted by jcworth at 8:47 AM on January 9, 2014

expecting anything short of speed or cocaine to improve your energy levels compared to "three coffees with two sugars" is going to disappoint.

I disagree. When I started juicing my mental alertness improved in a way that stimulants can't affect, and there was an energy boost on par with one cup of coffee. I cut back on coffee as a result.
posted by MillMan at 1:51 PM on January 9, 2014

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