Today’s review is going to cover one of the oldest, “purest” superfood powders in the industry: Pure Synergy.
It’s made by the Synergy Company, and is the flagship product of a supplement company that’s earned a very high reputation for quality over the last three decades. Needless to say I was excited to try it out and analyze its diverse ingredient list. After using it daily for the last three weeks I’m happy to declare it a very high quality product that’s deserving of its reputation.
Let’s go over this product’s most important details.
Disclosure: I don’t get paid by any of the companies I review. I make a greens powder myself, but write these reviews to inform and illustrate, and don’t want to make duplicitous accusations. In general I like all the products I write about and if I point out a feature or drawback it’s merely to help people make informed decisions, and not to demonize or glorify a company.
Pros and Cons
The ingredient list and manufacturing process for the Pure Synergy superfood is very diverse and well handled. There’s a lot to like about the product. In my opinion here are its best and worst features:
- Very diverse mixture: By my count Pure Synergy has 64 ingredients in total, and they cover a wide variety of food classes: grasses, algaes, mushrooms, herbs/roots, and digestive enzymes.
- Certified Organic: According to the label every ingredient is certified organic, and according to its website the ingredients are verified by OTCO. Not all greens powders are certified organic, and the ones that are often won’t have 100% organic ingredients. So to have 64 ingredients that are all certified is remarkable.
- Manufactured on Site: Most supplement manufacturers will manufacture their product with a third party. I’ve written before how this can potentially lead to a lower quality product. However, The Synergy Company acts as both a supplier, manufacturer, and distributor for its products, erasing steps in the production process that might otherwise contaminate the mixture.
- Very Unique Ingredients: I consider myself a little more informed than the average bear when it comes to superfood powders, but some of the ingredients forced me to my alternative medicine reference book to find out their uses and benefits. It has a few ingredients which are rarely seen else where.
So overall……this is really fantastic! By and large this is a very good product and I have very little bad to say about it. But of course…..nothing’s perfect….right?
So with that said, here are two potential drawbacks consumers might want to be aware of:
- A little pricey. As of 07/26/2013 a 30 day supply of the Pure Synergy Superfood costs $54.95 on its website. It is far better to buy a great product at a fair price than a crappy product at a bargain price, but with the economy the way it is some people might want to look for more affordable alternatives.
- Does Not Contain Probiotics: Given the diversity of the rest of its ingredient list this isn’t a deal breaker, but probiotics are a pretty popular addition to these types of supplements, and their inclusion allows people to avoid buying them separately. Given the sourcing capabilities of the Synergy Company I’d guess this omission is due to design and not negligence, but this feature may still turn some people off.
Ingredients and Sourcing
Pure Synergy has 60 organic ingredients which span the following categories: algaes, phytonutrients and enzymes, mushrooms and herbal extracts, green juices, western herbs, natural antioxidants. In my superfood powder buying guide I went over the major classes of ingredients you can typically find in these mixtures. The Pure Synergy mixture is notable for its heavy use of algaes and mushrooms and lack of brans, fibers, and lecithin. The latter are a category of ingredients that draw a lot of mixed opinions, with some being ardent supporters and others fierce opponents. For a balanced review of the inclusion of lecithin and fiber in supplements please read my articles on them here, here and here.
What’s Most Unique
In general I found the most remarkable aspect of Pure Synergy’s ingredient list to be its heavy reliance on algaes and mushrooms. You’ll often see chlorella and spirulina used in these mixtures, but Pure Synergy also uses dunalella, kelp, Klamath algae, wakame, kombu, bladderwrack, dulse and lever.
Their list of mushrooms is also fairly extensive and together they comprise about 50% of the ingredients by weight. Normally the bulk of a superfood powder is a combination of plant fibers and grasses, so this is most unusual, and in a very good way. It gives the powder a somewhat salt–water taste, but this is easily overcome if you mix it with some fruit or a smoothie.
I also found the following ingredients to be the most unique:
- Skullcap Flower: A north American flower that’s used to relive headaches, muscle tension, and stress.
- Burdock Root: A sweet flower that’s traditionally been used to cleanse the blood and heal certain types of wounds. Commonly used as a building block for certain oncology pharmaceuticals.
- Nettle Leaf: Anti-inflammatory with very high levels of vitamin K. Similar to parsley in nutrients.
Manufactured On Site
Most supplement manufacturers (myself included) come up with a formula and then work with a third party manufacturer to source the ingredients and bottle it. If done well this is fine, but additional steps in the supply chain always create the opportunity for contamination to occur.
The other side of Pure Synergy Supplements is Synergy Production Laboratories, which is a sourcing and manufacturing company. I believe (but am not certain) that the two fall under the same corporate umbrella and use each other to complement their respective businesses. For consumers who are particularly sensitive to ingredient purity this is a large selling point because this means Synergy supplements are sourced, bottled, and distributed all in the same spot.
Again, I believe this to be true, so if it’s not then please bring it to my attention in the comments.
Uses and Recipes
A feature and drawback of superfood powders is their diverse ingredient list makes it seem possible they’ll help alleviate any particular medical condition, even though it’s hard to pin down why.
Most consumers probably read the label of these types of products with great hope and a healthy dose of lingering doubt. They seem to have phenomenal promise…..but man, what are all those ingredients supposed to mean?
This is true for Pure Synergy like it is any other superfood powder. However, I’d say it’s a safe bet that it’d be useful for the following options:
- Restore energy without resorting to caffeine
- Help improve hunger levels
- Improve the body’s ability to fight off sickness and/or respond to medication
- Use as a compliment to other lifestyle changes like healthy eating and exercise
Of course your individual mileage will vary, and allergies are always a possibility with the wide list of ingredients, but this seems like a reasonable list of reasons to try it out.
The Synergy Company has a section on their website that lists recipes for its products if you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s one that I used and enjoyed, and it is oh, soooooo green!
The Kale Synergy Smoothie
1 C chopped pineapple
1 squeeze lime or lemon juice
1 1/2 C chopped kale
1 bunch parsley
2 C almond milk
stevia to taste
1 ripe banana
Directions: Blend until smooth.
A Comparison Chart
Lots of consumers are confused when they shop for superfood powders due to the sheer diversity of ingredients. Here’s a comparison table for four renowned superfood powders: Boku Superfood, Pure Synergy, Vitamineral Green and Green Vibrance.
[table id=10 /]
Important Notes: This table was updated on 07/27/2013.
I noted above that the price on Pure Synergy is higher than others, but if you limit the comparison to these four powders it looks much more reasonable.
Pure Synergy is a very good product. It’s been around for a long time and has gained quite a reputation over the years. It’s well deserved. I enjoyed using, had healthy, well maintained energy levels, and will definitely recommend it.