Spirulina is a superfood that you can effortlessly add to smoothies, juices, or even salads and soups for a nutrient-packed boost. But despite how many spirulina powders are on store shelves, they aren’t all created equal. “When looking for spirulina, and this goes for all powders/supplements, I try to look for brands that have minimal ingredients, or only one ingredient,” registered dietitian and functional medicine nutritionist Nathalie Rhone, MS, RDN, CDN, and founder of Nutrition By Nathalie, tells Bustle. The best spirulina powders contain no fillers, are transparent about where they are sourced, and are non-irradiated, which means they haven’t been exposed to radiation.
There are two main types of spirulina: green and blue. Both contain protein, B vitamins, and phycocyanin, an anti-inflammatory phytochemical. But, whereas green spirulina is a whole cell algae that has a fishy scent and taste, blue spirulina is an extract with a more neutral smell and taste that isn’t quite as nutrient-dense. Regardless of which you prefer, Rhone says it’s important that your spirulina powder has a deep matte color. “If your spirulina has a shiny appearance it was likely treated with a coating,” Rhone says. Reading labels and avoiding fillers is also important. “Harmful ingredients and fillers look something like high fructose corn syrup; oils like corn, cottonseed, canola; artificial food coloring, flavors, sweeteners; natural flavors; sodium nitrate/nitrite; BHA; MSG; and caramel coloring.”
Unless it is grown in safe conditions, some spirulina can become contaminated with toxic metals and harmful bacteria. In addition to keeping ingredients clean and simple, a quality spirulina brand is clear about where it sources its algae and is free from contamination from pesticides, herbicides, and radiation — look for a spirulina that is labeled “non-irradiated” to be sure.
“Another thing to keep in mind is that like other dietary supplements sold in the U.S., there is no active regulation of spirulina,” Rhone says. “If you aren’t sure about a product reach out to a registered dietitian who can help you find a product that’s properly manufactured, contains the listed ingredients, and does not contain harmful levels of contaminants.”
Below you’ll find five of the best spirulina powder options for your budget and taste buds — just remember to always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.
1. The Overall Best Green Spirulina Powder
With nearly 5,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, this Hawaiian high-quality green spirulina powder is not irradiated and was grown without pesticides and herbicides. It has 3,900% more beta carotene than carrots and 31 times more antioxidants than blueberries. Cultivated in a Good Manufacturing Practices-certified facility in Kona, Hawaii that provides a third-party level of testing to ensure that it is free of bad bacteria and toxins, this pick contains no fillers, preservatives, or dyes. Each pond in which the spirulina is sourced is filled with 100% potable drinking water from Hawaiian aquifers and blended with pure deep ocean water to incorporate beneficial trace minerals. As a result, this spirulina powder is nutrient-dense, as well as vegan, and gluten-free. Each container provides 151 servings.
Helpful Review: “I haven't found a better quality spirulina. My advice? RESEARCH yourself and see if you find something you think is more pure or better quality. Check where it comes from, what kind of checks are done on it and go with what you feel is best. After well over a decade, best I have found.”
2. The Best Value: A Large Container Of Green Spirulina Powder
At only $0.98 per ounce, this green spirulina powder is the most affordable pick on the list that doesn’t compromise on quality. The non-irradiated spirulina is grown in natural mineral water in the U.S. and meets USDA organic standards. The vegan powder is free of additives, preservatives, fillers, and gluten and each container has 303 servings. It’s free of pesticides and herbicides and is third-party tested by an independent lab so you can feel confident about its contents. It has a 4.6-star rating and more than 2,900 reviews.
Helpful Review: “I can't tell how long, I have been investigating to find the right source of spirulina product that I cant trust. I must be totally convinced before, I put anything in my mouth. This product has everything that I have been looking for in spirulinapowder. More than anything it is made in America and it is organic. It dissolves in the water very easily and tastes just fine without adding anything to it [...]”
3. The Best For Trying Out The Trend: An Affordable, Small Jar Of Green Spirulina
This green spirulina powder stands out because it is grown in in remote California ponds and nourished by high-quality minerals like nitrogen potassium, iron, and essential trace elements from Colorado river water that is pumped through canals and filtered into the ponds. Even better, the closed-loop production system ensures that everything is recycled. The powder is free of additives, preservatives, fillers, and artificial colors or flavors and each container provides 48 servings. There is no information provided about specific third-party testing, but this pick is non-irradiated and grown without pesticides and herbicides.
Helpful Review: “As an expert in natural health this is my new favorite spirulina product on Amazon. Clean mean & green ; ) there's a freshness to this product that several others at similar price points are missing.”
4. The Overall Best Blue Spirulina Powder
The overall best blue spirulina powder is this non-gluten pick that is made in the U.S., vegan, and contains absolutely no fillers. The manufacturer does not state that the ingredients are USDA certified organic, but the brand tests all of its products for purity and each container has 30 servings. Many reviewers said the taste is barely noticeable and they can easily add this to smoothies and recipes without it affecting the flavor.
A helpful review: “What's not to love about Doublewood? Clean, quality, supplements at a reasonable price. This spirulina is at least as good as the blue-green I've used before but with a dare I say pleasant flavor? Kind of a nutty flavor? Big energy and clarity boost. Good stuff!”
5. The Best-Tasting: A Blue Spirulina Powder With Other Energy-Boosting Ingredients
Like the first pick, this one was sourced was Hawaii and is a delicious-tasting blue spirulina powder that’s perfect for anyone who prefers a berry flavor over a fishier one. It was produced in an NSF-certified factory that has strict standards for public health protection and is USDA-certified organic and vegan. Available in three different flavors, it also combines 70 milligrams of caffeine for a natural pre-workout supplement. Even more, it’s great for cognitive clarity with ingredients like rhodiola rosea, cordyceps, ashwagandha, and lion's mane. Although Kos’ green spirulina is non-irradiated, the manufacturer does not specify if the same applies to its blue spirulina. Each container provides 30 servings.
Helpful Review: “I LOVE this product! I had to subscribe monthly. I used to love sour apple candy when I was younger and now this flavor is in a healthy supplement form?!?! LOVE this! You gotta try it if you already take Super Greens supplements in other brands, which I have. I'm not a fan of chocolate greens and the normal greens are hard to take down, and this GREEN APPLE flavor is the best by far! So glad I found this brand!!!!”