Morning Complete is a wellness powder supplement sold by a brand called ActivatedYou, which contains prebiotics, probiotics and various other botanical ingredients. It costs about $80 for only 30 servings, so consumers are going to want to make sure they’re getting their money’s worth when buying this product.
In this review we’ll analyze the formulation of Morning Complete based on medical research to determine if it’s likely to be effective. We’ll offer some cheaper alternatives we believe are likely to be just as effective if not more.
Do Supplemental Probiotics Work?
Before we get into the ingredient review, we want to discuss some of the issues with probiotic supplements generally. As we discussed in our recent probiotic review, many strains of probiotics are very sensitive to environmental conditions because probiotics are living organisms.
The high temperatures experienced during supplement processing and transit, along with the time decay of storage, can lead to probiotics being dead on arrival.
This isn’t an issue at all with probiotics derived from fermented food sources like kimchi or yogurt, which is why we tend to recommend getting probiotics from food instead of supplements unless the supplement manufacturer has published significant research proving their supplements are still effective off-the-shelf (which they haven’t in this case).
Ingredient Review - Prebiotic Blend
Morning Complete contains a prebiotic blend at a dosage of 4.05 grams (g). This does appear to be an effective dose based on medical research, though higher levels appear to have improved effects on gut function. Most people get prebiotics from food too, so we don’t see a problem with this dose.
Prebiotics are important for overall health, because they optimize gut function by feeding the healthy strains of bacteria. This is just as important, if not more, than introducing new strains of healthy bacteria to the gut via probiotic consumption.
Ingredient Review - Probiotic Blend
The probiotic blend contains 9 individual species of probiotics at a total dosage of 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU). This appears to be an effective dose based on a review by the American Family Physician Journal, which recommended at least 10 billion CFU daily for adults.
The optimal dosage of probiotics will vary a lot based on patient need. Someone necessitating a therapeutic dose of probiotics to treat a specific medical condition like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may require much more than 10 billion CFU, but it seems to be a good maintenance dose for healthy adults.
The species used in Morning Complete are generally well-studied and safe. B. coagulans, the predominant species in this supplement, significantly improved IBS in a clinical trial.
The second probiotic species, L. gasseri, improved weight management in an animal study. The rats fed this probiotic had significantly decreased weight compared with a control group that didn’t take the probiotic.
We’ve reviewed the safety data of all of the included probiotics and believe this to be a safe and well-formulated probiotic. We would not necessarily recommend it because we favor probiotics from food sources, but for those willing to pay the price for the convenience we believe Morning Complete to be a good option.
Ingredient Review - Botanical Blends
Morning Complete contains several blends of botanical ingredients: “Green Superfoods Blend”, “Metabolic Enhancing Blend”, “Antioxidant Blend”, “Super Balancing Support”, “Adaptogens” and “Cellular Function and Liver Support”.
We don’t believe it’s worth reviewing every single ingredient included in these secondary blends because, for the most part, we believe them to exist in dosages so small as to be pointless. The “Cellular Function and Liver Support” blend, for example, contains 30 milligrams (mg) of aloe vera and milk thistle combined, or about 15 mg each.
15 mg is an incredibly small amount. Medical research has found the effective dose of milk thistle for liver protection to be 1,260 mg/day, or 84 times the amount in Morning Complete.
Supplement companies often include minuscule doses of exotic botanical ingredients to make their Supplement Facts label look more impressive and justify the high price of their products. We’ve seen this trend in other products we’ve reviewed like SkinnyFit.
Morning Complete contains 1,410 mg total of these botanical ingredients which is a decent overall dose, but we wouldn’t expect these ingredients to have any specific health benefit. We’d recommend that consumers of this product focus on the probiotic/prebiotic benefits and see the greens as a small and relatively inconsequential addition of micronutrients to the diet.
Lack of Third-Party Testing
Like nearly every supplement brand we’ve reviewed, ActivatedYou publishes no testing, in-house or third-party, proving that Morning Complete is accurately labeled and low in toxins.
This is a huge problem in the U.S. dietary supplement industry, because many supplement brands aren’t doing proper quality control and are selling potentially harmful products to consumers. We generally don’t recommend supplement brands that fail to publish any testing of their products for this reason.
Better Probiotic and Prebiotic Sources
We believe that getting probiotics and prebiotics from food is a cheaper and more effective method than getting them from supplements. There’s a much greater likelihood that the food product will contain significant amounts of probiotics at the time of consumption, because naturally fermented foods maintain an environment conducive to probiotic growth, unlike a powdered supplement sitting in a warehouse.
Yogurt, sauerkraut and pickles are some examples of naturally fermented foods you can find in a regular grocery store which can have significant health benefits at a fraction of the cost of an expensive dietary supplement.
We believe that probiotic supplements can be superior for targeted therapy, because specific strains have specific health effects, but for general maintenance for healthy adults we recommend just getting probiotics from food sources.