Anyone who has spent any time in health circles has no doubt encountered at least one supplement, usually a superfood or green infusion, that tastes terrible. No matter how healthy it is, it's difficult to bring yourself to drink a bitter, dark, green, or earthy supplement day after day.
This is part of why chlorophyll is such a good healthy green supplement. It doesn't actually have a very strong taste. However, the majority of chlorophyll supplements you'll find on the market have at least one other ingredient that adds to the flavor, either to mask the undertone of chlorophyll or to accentuate it.
What does chlorophyll itself taste like? Well, like a plant. It's almost difficult to describe, in a way; it tastes like you're drinking a diluted plant because you basically are.
Which plant? That's impossible to say. It doesn't taste like any specific plant. You can't point to it and say that it tastes like spinach, or kale, or grass, or broccoli. Chlorophyll is in all of those – it's what makes them green – but it doesn't give them their flavor.
Pure chlorophyll is relatively tasteless, but plant-like. This is, unfortunately, a flavor that some people are sensitive to. Some people who drink chlorophyll water barely taste anything other than a "clean" taste to the water. Others drink it and think it tastes strong and almost foul. It's a very personal taste, though most people are on the "clean" end of the spectrum.
Here's where things get tricky. Chlorophyll is rarely found all on its own in a supplement. This means your chlorophyll supplement likely has other ingredients imparting their flavor.
For example, here's what's in our Super Greens Powder:
- Wheatgrass (raw, earthy, vegetal, sometimes bitter-tasting)
- Chlorophyll (clean, low-key taste)
- Spirulina (green, earthy, almost like seawater with some bitterness)
- Chlorella (strong green, bitter, earthy flavor)
- Kelp (seaweed-like flavor)
- Grape Seed
- Matcha (green tea)
- Acai Berry (tangy, slightly astringent)
- Garcinia Cambogia (often sour)
As you can see, this is a very strong vegetable flavor, with some citrus to cut through the bitterness. This powder is meant to be mixed into smoothies, or it can be dissolved in water if you don't mind the flavor. Out of all of this, though, the chlorophyll is a very minor flavor; everything else dramatically overpowers it.
Take our chlorophyll liquid as another example. This is a liquid extract, concentrated, meant to be mixed with water and drank as a beverage. It includes:
- Purified Water
- Vegetable Glycerin (neutral, slightly sweet)
- Citric Acid (sour)
- Guar Gum (tasteless)
- Potassium Sorbate (tasteless)
- Stevia (for sweetness)
So this is going to have a tangy-mint flavor, akin to the many citrus mint candies you can find on the market.
This is actually a very common set of flavors for chlorophyll. Mint seems to be the most common additive because it's a plant-like flavor but it's still sweet, potent, and pleasant to most people. Citrus is a runner-up in frequency, and is either mixed with the mint or in place of it, for a fruity, tangy drink that has a very slight hint of plant-likeness to it.
Now, we're not going to name any names, but there are a lot of different chlorophyll supplements on the market, and some of them have some pretty bad reviews when it comes to flavor. We can only make guesses about what they contain if they don't list their ingredients, but here are some things you might see.
Peppermint Oil/Extract. One of the most common offenders is companies that use pure peppermint oil or extract in their chlorophyll supplement. It's one thing to use mint in its pure form, but it's quite another to use an extract. This is because extracts are typically in a carrier oil, which can separate and which can leave you with a very strong chemical taste to them. It can also mean it's a very strong mint flavor, which can be overpowering for some people.
The danger here is that some kind of chemical will make its way into the peppermint extract. Specifically, one issue we've seen a few times, is that a company might use peppermint essential oil, rather than just peppermint oil. A good, expensive essential oil is pure peppermint oil, which is very strong and not recommended to handle without care, but it's edible when diluted. Bad peppermint oil is distilled into a carrier oil, which might be mineral oil or another compound that is not meant to be consumed.
This is why you might find some reviews of certain chlorophyll supplements saying things like "it tastes like a chemical cleaner" or, one of the worst we've seen, "it tastes like how a porta-potty smells." Disgusting, right? Well, that's not the chlorophyll, that's whatever other additives the company put in their formula. Steer well clear of those.
Lemon/Citrus. Lemon or pure citric acid is the other primary flavoring compound you might see in a chlorophyll supplement. Lemon, obviously enough, is sour with that characteristic lemon flavor. Pure citric acid is all sour, with no fruit flavor to it. Now, most chlorophyll supplements aren't going to have a strong concentration of citric acid in them, so they'll be tangy or sour almost to the point of bitterness, but it won't be face-puckeringly sour. Instead, it will more likely just be a bit tangy, like the last bit of lemonade in a glass of melted ice, or like a flat La Croix.
In some instances, too much citric acid might make its way into the formula of a concentrated chlorophyll supplement. That just makes it too sour and almost chemical-tasting, but won't actually hurt you.
Quantity. There are generally three kinds of chlorophyll supplements. Chlorophyll waters, which can be consumed as-is and don't need to be mixed or diluted at all. Chlorophyll liquids or powders (like the products we sell) that you take a tablespoon or so and mix into a glass of water. And chlorophyll concentrates, where all you take is a drop or two and mix it into a glass of water.
What happens, sometimes, is people will fail to read and follow the instructions. We've heard many stories of people using a tablespoon of a concentrate that should only require a few drops, and of course, they're going to end up with a strong, overpowering, and unpleasant flavor. Any concentrated flavor is going to taste bad, especially if you're not prepared for it. Dilute it properly, and it will be fine.
How to Make Chlorophyll Taste Better
As we've mentioned above, chlorophyll itself doesn't necessarily taste bad, though some people find it stands out and they don't like it. Some people even say it tastes a bit like dirt. As such, you might want to change the flavor profile. Thankfully, you have a lot of options.
Make a green smoothie. One of our go-to recommendations for any green supplement is to go all-in with a green smoothie. A handful of different veggies with strong, pleasant tastes, and maybe some fruit to accentuate it, makes for a delicious smoothie you can enjoy in place of a meal. In fact, we wrote a whole post about meal replacement smoothies that you can try out. Focusing on the green may be a bit of an acquired taste, but if you do acquire it, it will serve you well through all manner of healthy supplements, dietary changes, and improvements.
Make a fruit smoothie. Fruit smoothies are the best option for hiding the flavor of strong-flavored supplements, like our moringa juice. That's why many chlorophyll supplements and other green supplements often have fruit juices or extracts in them, to give them that flavor. A fruit smoothie is usually powered by citrus flavors, like orange or lemon, or it might thrive on pineapple. Others like a smoother flavor with peaches and bananas. Really, it's entirely up to you. The only reason we don't fully recommend fruit smoothies is that they tend to be loaded with sugars, and sugar – even natural sugar – can be bad for some people.
Bake it into bread. One of the ways chlorophyll supplements can be found is in a powder, like our super greens powder. Powders like that can be used in many recipes. One of our favorites is to use a scoop as an additive in a simple bread recipe. Sure, your bread will turn out green, but that can be pleasant and fun in and of itself. If you're not sure what to do, simply look up any recipe that uses matcha powder (like this one) and replace the matcha with your chlorophyll or super greens powder. We promise it will turn out about the same, though with a slightly different flavor profile depending on what other ingredients you use.
Dilute it more. Chlorophyll supplements like our chlorophyll liquid recommend that you dilute a tablespoon in 8-16 ounces of water. A typical glass of water is 8 ounces, whereas 16 ounces is smaller than a typical bottle of soda. However, that's still not very much water. A healthy person should be drinking around 64 ounces of water a day.
So, why not just dilute it more? A typical water bottle might be 32 to 40 ounces. Add your tablespoon of chlorophyll to that water bottle, and it will be a much more dilute flavor than it would if it was in a smaller amount of water. Sure, you'll be drinking it longer, but it won't taste nearly as strong. The point is to get the full amount of chlorophyll in your system, it doesn't really matter if it takes half of the day to do it.
Mix it with another drink mix. There are a lot of different concentrated drink mixes on the market. Some of them are obviously not healthy for you, like kool-aid and the other sugar-laden food dyes. Others are relatively healthy and are made primarily out of concentrated fruit extracts to give your water a fruity flavor. So, why not just mix in some of that as well as your chlorophyll? As long as you get a relatively mild or unflavored chlorophyll mixture, you should be able to drink it just fine.
Make capsules. A final option is, well, to avoid drinking it at all. There's a reason that a lot of supplements come in capsule form. Chlorophyll can be found as capsules, though we don't sell it in that form. Instead, you can just buy gel caps that haven't been filled, and fill them yourself. It's a little tedious to do and can be tricky until you get the hang of it, but it's certainly a possibility.
Capsules can be found online and may be available at your local pharmacy or drug store. They're typically made of shelf-stable gelatin and can be filled by hand. Just be careful not to get them wet, or leave them out in a humid area, because they can get sticky and start to break down. We recommend picking up a silica gel packet or other desiccants to help keep them dry.
Of course, we're not the only ones with experience or opinions on chlorophyll. You are too! That is if you've tried it. So, we'd like to ask you to leave us a comment. You can leave one on this article or, if you've tried out one of our products, on the product page for that product.
What exactly should you write? Let us know what you think! Why did you get chlorophyll in the first place? What did it taste like to you, and did you need to use one of our tips to change the base flavor? Alternatively, do you personally have a favorite way to consume chlorophyll that we haven't mentioned here? Feel free to leave us all your recommendations, stories, and recipes in the comments section below. It's always nice to see our community helping one another out with tips, tricks, and recommendations.