The truth behind the viral green liquid—does chlorophyll live up to its hype?

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Nature's Way

(Nature’s Way, Chlorofresh, Liquid Chlorophyll, Mint, 132 mg, 16 fl oz (473.2 ml), n.d.)

Recently on TikTok, a mysterious green pigment has spiraled: chlorophyll. Not to be confused with chloroform, chlorophyll is a substance added to beverages that allegedly benefits the consumer in different ways, like improved digestion. I actually found out about this supplement from old neighbors and have been adding it to water on and off for years. What does it taste like? What does it do? Does it work? Here’s the veracity of the various claims spurring the media.

What is chlorophyll? Let’s start here. As some of you may know from previous science courses, chlorophyll is what makes plants green and is a necessity in order for them to undergo photosynthesis. Potentially beneficial to our bodies, this substance also includes vitamins and antioxidants. So why not just eat plants? Technically, chlorophyll is consumed when eating leafy greens; the problem, however, is that the substance may not survive digestion long enough to be absorbed—making the supplement more effective.

At this point, the question is: how does the supplement absorb any better than it would by eating green vegetables? Chlorophyll supplements are actually chlorophyllin—a chemical that contains copper instead of magnesium. Chlorophyll is used to benefit body odor, urinary odor, reduce the smell of bowel movements, and prevent bad breath, cancer, acne, and skin wrinkles from sun damage (CHLOROPHYLLIN: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews, n.d.). The credibility of these claims is lacking as there is no scientific evidence to support these uses.

I drank chlorophyll for two weeks daily—this is my experience.

For anyone looking for a new vitamin or supplementary boost, I would definitely recommend chlorophyll. ”

The supplement I drank was the Nature’s Way Chlorofresh Liquid Chlorophyll in the flavor Mint. The bottle says to drink two tablespoons per day. Personally, the flavor was not for me; it tastes similar to a minty green tea, and my sister actually loved the taste, so I’d say this just depends on personal preference. However, because of my dislike for the flavor, I definitely don’t think I added two tablespoons to my water. I sort of just eyeballed a splash of the liquid in a large glass and added water to the top to dilute the taste of the liquid. I drank about two glasses each day.

I lost a lot of weight drinking it. Within those two weeks, I lost about five pounds which, in retrospect, isn’t a lot; but considering the time span, it was. I’m not sure if weight loss is necessarily an alleged side effect of the drink, or if this was just for me, but I definitely thinned and I don’t think the correlation is coincidental. The reduction wasn’t necessarily from drinking the water, but more I think from how I felt after drinking it. The first week of supplementation I was very nauseous. At this point, I was drinking closer to the two tablespoons, which I later modified based on this response, and I felt very close to vomiting. The nausea led me to avoid food, hence the subsequent weight drop. For any new drinkers, I would definitely say start at a lower dose and work your way up.

Other than that, the only other thing I really noticed after drinking it over this span of time was my skin clearing. My skin looked great. It looked better than it had in a while. The drink truly did enhance the appearance of my skin, and this wasn’t just in my head; it cleared up and looked much more hydrated and dewy. This skin benefit might not necessarily have been from the supplement, but more from the fact that I was actually consuming more water because of it. Regardless, this side effect was reason enough for me to continue drinking this supplement, however not daily. From my fleeting two week trial, I learned more about how much to drink. To avoid any sort of nausea or further weight loss, I’ve been drinking this liquid in lower doses and every other day as opposed to daily. 

For anyone looking for a new vitamin or supplementary boost, I would definitely recommend chlorophyll. Though, do be careful not to drink it on an empty stomach or in too high doses to avoid any negative initial response to it. 

Although the TikTok claims of this drink being a cure-all may not be the reality, there aren’t any real risks to at least trying this trendy supplement. Everyone’s body is different and everyone will experience different pros and cons or maybe even nothing at all with testing out this popular additive.