Spirulina is a dietary supplement derived from sea algae that is valued for its incredibly high vitamin, mineral, and protein content, as well as its powerful antioxidant effects.
Because of the “superpower” properties, it is found in many superfood green drinks.
It’s been studied for use in fighting cancer, allergies, high cholesterol, and for fighting inflammation. It’s even been used by NASA as a nutrient-rich source of sustenance for astronauts on space flights.
It creates energy from sunlight using photosynthesis, just like plants do, so it offers many of the same health benefits as leafy green vegetables.
Our researchers have evaluated and ranked the best spirulina supplements on the market, ranking them according to quality.
Last updated: December 29, 2022
Spirulina supplements considered: 25
Hours of research: 38
Experts reviewed: 10
Scientific papers referenced: 32
1. Athletic Greens
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Take your health to the next level with Athletic Greens. It’s so much more than just a spirulina supplement. With over 70 powerful ingredients (including spirulina) Athletic greens packs anti-oxidants, immune system support, digestion help and more into one delicious drink (kind of a minty taste).
On top of that, it’s ultra-clean.
- No chemicals
- No artificial flavors
- No GMO’s
- No Wheat
- No Dairy
- No animal products of any kind
Full of spirulina and other similar superfoods like blueberries and green tea extract; the drink is a probiotic, digestive enzyme and multivitamin all in one.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more complete supplement.
2. Micro Ingredients Organic Spirulina
For those seeking a high dosage of spirulina, tablets aren’t going to cut it. The powder-based spirulina supplement from Micro Ingredients is organically grown, and the powder is independently tested for purity.
Add to this the fact that you can calibrate your dosage as low or as high as you’d like, and you’ve got all the makings of a great pick.
4. Nested Naturals Super Greens
Nested Naturals packages spirulina alongside chlorella, another algae, for extra antioxidant and heavy metal scavenging properties.
This spirulina supplement is ideally suited for people looking to take advantage of the detoxifying abilities of spirulina and chlorella; thanks to their ability to bind with heavy metals like lead and mercury, this is a popular choice for detox regimens.
4. Terrasoul Superfoods Spirulina
Terrasoul makes a fantastic powder-form spirulina supplement with just one ingredient: certified organic, non-GMO spirulina. It’s an excellent choice for shakes, smoothies, and taking on its own. The resealable bag isn’t quite as convenient as a screw-top plastic container, but that’s the only complaint you could lodge about this spirulina supplement.
5. BulkSupplements Spirulina
For massive spirulina doses, there’s no other way to go than BulkSupplements. With 1000 grams of spirulina per bag, and no ingredients aside from spirulina, if you take large doses of spirulina every day, this should be your choice.
Other spirulina supplements have a leg up when it comes to organic sourcing, so it’s not our top pick, but for bulk users it’s still a winner.
6. Pure Hawaiian Spirulina
Each tablet of this spirulina supplement contains half a gram of pure spirulina, derived from a special farm in Kona, Hawaii.
This promises better purity control than supplements sourced elsewhere, and the nutrient content of this spirulina is excellent. Silica is the only binder or filler in the capsule, and it’s made from vegetarian-friendly cellulose, making this a very solid choice.
7. Perfect Aquatic Greens
This powder-based spirulina and chlorella supplement is certified organic and provides a 50/50 mix of each, by weight.
The supplements are solid, but unfortunately the total dosage contained in a tub is barely half of what’s in many of the other powder-based spirulina supplements on the market. Still, for a powder-based algae supplement, this is the best choice if you want chlorella as well as spirulina.
8. Now Spirulina
Now Foods makes a pretty solid spirulina supplement whose sole ingredient is certified organic spirulina.
The manufacturer gets around the problem of a capsule for delivery by pressing the powder firmly into dry tablets that provide one gram of spirulina each. While it’d be nice if the source of the spirulina was disclosed, the fact that it’s organic is a good sign.
9. Natural Nutraceuticals 100% Organic Spirulina
This supplement provides an American-sourced, certified organic spirulina supplement. Each tablet is a half-gram pressed powder, meaning there are no other ingredients aside from spirulina.
The downside is that the intense pressure from the tablet pressing process might slow or hamper the absorption of the spirulina, and it would be better if the dosage was higher.
10. BioOptimal Organic Spirulina
BioOptimal Organic Spirulina provides spirulina tablets with a moderate dosage. While it’s nice as far as tablets go, most users will be better-suited by a powder-form spirulina supplement.
Best spirulina overall: Athletic Greens
Athletic Greens takes the crown thanks to its broad-spectrum antioxidant ingredients, including spirulina alongside over 70 other all-natural compounds.
Best spirulina for smoothies: Micro Ingredients Organic Spirulina
If you’re adding spirulina to a smoothie with lots of other ingredients, you want something that’s ultra-concentrated. Micro Ingredients is top-notch in this regard, providing a high dose in a powder that’s easy to mix into smoothies and shakes.
Best spirulina for skin: Pure Hawaiian Spirulina
People using spirulina for skin health should opt for something that’s powerful and easy to take. That’s why we chose Pure Hawaiian Spirulina: it comes in high-dose capsules that are easy to take but that don’t skimp on spirulina dosage.
Best spirulina for fighting inflammation: Micro Ingredients Organic Spirulina
To cut down on inflammation, go for an ultra-pure spirulina supplement like Micro Ingredients. The powder form mix allows you to mete out exactly the dose you need to fight inflammation in your body.
Best spirulina for antioxidant supplementation: Terrasoul Superfoods Spirulina
It’s 100% pure, certified organic, and easy to mix up—what more can you ask when it comes to fighting oxidative damage? Whether you are mixing your spirulina in with other antioxidant compounds or taking it alone, Terrasoul Superfoods Spirulina is the perfect choice.
Best spirulina for athletic performance: Athletic Greens
As the name suggests, Athletic Greens delivers when it comes to boosting recovery, giving you more energy, and fighting inflammation. On top of the antioxidant power of spirulina and the other superfood ingredients, you also get crucial minerals for athletic performance, like zinc, copper, and magnesium.
Who should buy spirulina?
Spirulina is an incredibly versatile superfood, but it’s especially good for the following applications.
People who want to boost their antioxidant levels. Spirulina contains powerful antioxidant agents and phytonutrients, which make it a great option for anyone looking to gain the anti-inflammatory benefits of naturally-derived antioxidants.
People who don’t get enough vegetables in their diet. Spirulina can help keep your phytonutrient levels high, even if you don’t have quite enough veggies in your diet. People in this category might especially benefit from some of the long-term health benefits of spirulina, like reduced risk factors for heart disease.
People who want an overall boost to their diet quality. Even if you aren’t looking for a specific biological mechanism of action for any particular health condition, spirulina is still a great addition to a healthy diet.
It’s a core ingredient in many green superfood drinks, and is an easy addition to a protein shake for an added antioxidant boost.
How we ranked
When formulating our spirulina rankings, we quantified supplement quality with the following criteria:
A premium on purity. We only included supplements that had spirulina as their primary ingredient. General green vegetable extracts and powders didn’t make the cut.
Solid supplements only. We also eliminated any liquid-based spirulina supplements, since the relatively fragile antioxidant compounds and micronutrients in spirulina will last longer when dried in a powder.
Plus, this means there’s less of a need for preservatives to maintain the integrity of the other ingredients.
No synthetic preservatives, binders, or fillers. Speaking of preservatives, we dropped supplements from our list that used synthetic ingredients as preservatives, flavoring agents, binders, or fillers.
Simple, minimal ingredients. We made allowances for ingredients necessary to make capsules, but even so, our top-ranked capsule based product, Nested Naturals Super Algae, has only one ingredient other than spirulina, and it’s a plant-based compound that makes up the capsule.
Potent spirulina dosage. When it came to the spirulina itself, we used slightly different criteria to evaluate powder versus capsule-based spirulina supplements.
With capsules, products with a higher per-capsule dosage scored higher than those with less spirulina per capsule. The same was true for the total amount of spirulina per bottle: we wanted our top-rated products to deliver the best value.
Easy to use packaging. With powder-based products, we also had a strong preference for more spirulina per pouch or per tub, but we also factored in usability concerns.
Large plastic resealable bags can provide great value, but can be messy when you are working with a finely powdered substance like spirulina.
Q: How long does spirulina last once opened?
A: Like many antioxidants, spirulina has a shelf life that’s a bit shorter than other supplements. This is due to the fact that exposure to air, light, and oxygen rapidly degrades the very compounds in spirulina that make it beneficial.
Before you open a spirulina supplement, it will last for at least a year, but once it’s been unsealed, you should toss it if it’s been more than three months.
Q: Why is spirulina called a superfood?
A: Spirulina is known as a superfood thanks to its incredibly dense concentration of phytonutrients.
As you can guess from its dark green color (a property shared with other superfoods like kale, spinach, and broccoli), spirulina is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
This makes it an excellent supplement to combat inflammation and oxidative damage. In this context, its ability to reduce many of the risk factors for heart disease is not surprising.
Thanks to its powder format and dense concentration of nutrients, spirulina is one of the most common ingredients in high-quality green superfood drinks.
Q: Where can you buy spirulina?
A: Spirulina is pretty easy to find at any health foods store, but if you want a top-rated supplement, you’ll probably want to shop online.
Spirulina is fairly popular, so there are a lot of products out there. However, you want one that has a high dosage and not much in the way of other ingredients.
Q: How should you eat spirulina?
A: If your spirulina comes in a capsule, it’s pretty easy to figure out how to take it. But if it’s powder-based, the story is a little different. Many people like to mix their spirulina powder into protein shakes and smoothies.
You can even add it to oatmeal or hot cereal if you don’t mind the taste. Since it’s powderized so finely, it usually mixes up fairly well in a liquid, but if you try mixing it with just plain water, you might need to put some extra effort into mixing up the solution, since it isn’t technically soluble in water.
Q: How much protein is in spirulina?
A: Spirulina is surprisingly high in protein for a green superfood; a seven-gram serving of spirulina powder has four grams of protein.
That means that spirulina is almost 60% protein by weight. Since the recommended dose of spirulina is between one and ten grams, it’s hard to get a significant contribution to your diet in terms of absolute protein content, but it does make it even easier to justify adding spirulina to a protein shake.
We hear a lot about “superfoods” and how they can make positive contributions to health; while many contenders may not deserve the status, spirulina is truly a nutritional star.
It’s readily available and reasonably priced, making it simple and easy to add to your health program.
Spirulina is a water plant loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals; it is effective in lowering cholesterol, preventing oxidative damage, discouraging the growth of cancerous lesions, and may prove to be helpful in managing a range of other health conditions.
For BodyNutrition‘s #1 spirulina recommendation, click here.