Organic protein powders are derived from ingredients that are grown and raised without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.
These compounds often contain toxic chemicals that can make their way into your foods—including your protein powder.
As a result, organic protein powders are popular among people who want the fitness benefits of protein and the health benefits of organically sourced food ingredients.
If that’s up your alley, you’re in the right place. Our research team has combed through the wide range of protein powders on the market to come up with the best organic protein powders that you can get.
1. Natural Force Organic Whey
Most protein powders that are organic default to using plant proteins, because it’s more difficult to raise organic cows for dairy products, like the milk that whey protein is derived from.
Not Natural Force, though. This organic protein powder is highly pure, with just three ingredients: organic whey protein, organic cocoa powder, and organic stevia leaf extract as a natural, non-caloric sweetener.
No emulsifiers, additives, or artificial ingredients to be seen here. This supplement is an excellent choice because it lets you gain all the benefits of whey protein (i.e. rapid absorption, balanced amino acid profile, and unique muscle strengthening abilities) along with the benefits of going organic. As such, it’s our top pick.
2. Kos Organic Vegan Plant Based Protein
Kos uses a unique blend of pea, flax, quinoa, pumpkin seed, and chia seed to get an unparalleled level of variety in its protein sources.
On top of this, it uses a combination of coconut sugar, agave, monk fruit, and natural flavors to sweeten and improve the taste of its protein powder.
Add to this the presence of several digestive enzymes and you’ve got a high-quality protein powder that is both vegan and organic, making it one of the best options for plant-based organic protein.
3. Ora So Lean & So Clean
Ora makes an organic protein powder that uses a pea, rice, and hemp protein base, but adds in over a dozen superfood ingredients, like turmeric, artichoke, coconut, and kale.
It’s flavored only with the purest natural ingredients, like vanilla bean extract and monk fruit extract. It even includes three enzymes for easy digestion and rapid absorption.
Thanks to its high protein content and the inclusion of a wide range of superfoods, it’s a top pick.
4. Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein
Garden of Life offers a protein powder that’s primarily made up of by brown rice and pea protein, but a large proportion of its protein content comes from the huge range of seeds and grains included alongside these protein concentrates.
Garden of Life specializes in supplements derived from ingredients as close to their natural form as possible, and that’s certainly the case here.
The value of Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein isn’t just in the protein content; it’s in the wide range of organic superfood ingredients that come alongside. Even the flavorings are derived from organic plant extracts.
5. Orgain Organic Protein
Orgain makes a good all-around protein powder with a pea, brown rice, and chia seed protein base.
Added to this is a mixture of emulsifiers (all organic) that make it easy to blend and froth up this protein when it’s added to water.
It is flavored only with natural flavors, stevia, and cocoa, so it achieves taste without diluting the supplement with excessive and artificial ingredients. It’s still a bit much for people who want a strict, minimalist protein supplement, but for people who value usability, it’s a great choice.
6. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Plant Protein
Optimum Nutrition is a leader with many of its protein products, and its plant based protein does well to cater to the organic crowd.
It uses pea protein, brown rice protein, and sacha inchi protein, alongside a blend of grains like amaranth and buckwheat for a more balanced amino acid profile.
It’s a solid organic protein powder without any real distinguishing features, but without any real downsides either.
7. Organic Valley Organic Fuel Protein
Organic Valley, better known for their high-end organic dairy products, makes another organic protein powder that uses whey.
The protein content is high, and it’s flavored with natural flavoring and stevia. It’s got some emulsifiers in the form of sunflower lecithin, which is not a big deal, but the small canister size (only 12 ounces) could be a drawback if you tend to go through a lot of protein on a regular basis.
Still, for the occasional whey protein user who wants an organic protein powder that will mix up easily in a shake, it’s a solid call.
8. LivFit Organic Plant Protein
LivFit makes a simple and straightforward protein powder with just three ingredients: pea protein, quinoa powder, and agave inulin as a sweetener.
This is very appealing to fans of minimal supplement design, though the amino acid profile won’t be quite as strong as if it had another source of plant-based protein to balance out the pea protein powder.
It may be slightly more difficult to mix up into a shake due to the lack of any mixing aids, but it’s still a pretty good product.
9. Purely Inspired Organic Protein
Purely Inspired Organic Protein uses a combination of pea protein and rice protein for a solid amino acid balance. It has a blend of vegetable extracts and concentrates for some superfood power, but it also contains a few too many additives and emulsifiers.
The use of cane sugar, albeit in only a small amount, won’t make low carb enthusiasts happy either. Still, despite these drawbacks, it’s not a bad protein powder all things considered.
10. Aloha Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
Aloha is somewhat unique in its use of coconut derivatives alongside pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, and hemp seed protein in its organic protein blend.
As a result, it’s got additional vitamins and minerals you won’t find in other proteins, albeit at the cost of more sugar than you’d typically find in a protein powder.
The sugar content isn’t outrageous—just 7 grams per serving, but since each serving also only contains 18 grams of protein, you’ll be getting a fairly high dose of sugar if you use Aloha for a large proportion of your daily protein intake.
This might be enough to turn off low carb and low sugar fans from this product.
Organic protein powder benefits and side effects
Protein powder is so tremendously useful that it hardly needs an introduction. If you want to gain muscle, lose fat, tamp down on your appetite, or increase your speed, strength, and power, protein powder is the way to do it.
However, one concern with traditional protein powders is that they aren’t sourced from organic ingredients. This means that they could have trace amounts of pesticides or fertilizers, which you likely don’t want getting inside your body.
Organic protein powders offer a solution to this–the primary ingredients in an organic protein powder must be grown and raised according to strict legal standards, and organic farming operations must pass an inspection before they can advertise their products as organic.
In turn, any food product that labels itself as organic must contain at least 95% organic ingredients to legally carry the “organic” label.
Organic protein powder contains fewer harmful pesticides and more nutrients. Because organic foods are grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, they have a strong tendency to be more nutrient dense and are less likely to contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to your body.
This was the conclusion of a 2010 study by Walter Crinnion in the Alternative Medicine Review that examined the nutrition and health implications of growing food organically (1).
By looking at dozens of comparative studies on organic versus conventional means of growing foods (like the plants that eventually make their way into protein powders), Crinnion concluded that, in general, organically grown plants are more dense in nutrients and have lower levels of pesticides.
The pesticides angle is easy to understand—since they aren’t used in the growing process, they don’t end up in the final product.
In terms of nutrients, Crinnion argues that the soil that organic plants are grown in tends to be less depleted than it would’ve been in conventional farming practices, leading to a greater uptake of nutrients by the organically grown plants.
Organic whey protein might be more nutritious than standard whey protein. No research has specifically examined whey protein derived from organic versus conventional milk, but there has been scientific investigation into the differences between organic versus conventional milk, and of course whey protein is derived from milk.
On that front, research by K.A. Ellis and fellow researchers at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom compared the nutrient content of organic and conventional milk raised by 36 different farms across the UK (2).
The researchers took samples of the milk from each farm and ran a series of chemical tests to evaluate their nutrient content. They found that the organic milk contained greater levels of polyunsaturated fats, and particularly notable increases in levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
This suggests that the base material for organic whey protein (i.e. organic milk) is healthier and more nutritious than conventional whey protein.
Organic protein powder offers all the benefits of traditional protein powder. This includes everything from speeding up muscle healing after tough, damaging workouts at the gym to maintaining body fat while dieting and decreasing your appetite.
Protein powder supplements have been shown to aid with everything from decreased muscle soreness (3) to increased muscle mass gain over long-term weight training programs in the elderly (4) to decreasing body fat mass among overweight and obese people (5).
Organic protein powder can help you achieve all of these benefits with all of the above perks.
Like all protein powders, organic protein powder is exceedingly safe. The only known side effects occur when you are taking a protein powder derived from something your body doesn’t tolerate well—the classic example here being lactose intolerance or dairy allergies and whey protein.
Even though people with mild to moderate lactose intolerance can usually handle whey protein (most whey protein powders are less than 1% lactose by weight), it’s easy to completely eliminate this problem: just use a lactose-free protein powder.
The standard dosage for protein powder is fairly well-established, at least in the exercise physiology literature.
According to a scientific review by Peter Lemon at the University of Western Ontario, endurance athletes should strive for 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day, while strength, power, and speed athletes should aim for 1.6 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day (6).
More recently, other researchers have suggested that athletes with the highest protein needs, such as those looking to gain muscle mass, may see benefits of up to 2.5 or even 3 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day (X).
Given the excellent safety profile of protein powder, even at high doses, there does not seem to be any major downside to aiming for the high end of the recommended protein intake levels.
Organic protein powder offers a number of advantages over traditional protein powder for the health-conscious fitness enthusiast.
For both plant-based and milk-derived protein, the base material from which the protein is derived appears to be more nutritious and lower in pesticides compared to ingredients grown and raised through conventional methods.
Given that an organic protein powder has the chance to be more nutrient-dense, healthier, and have fewer pesticides and other toxic chemicals, and that they offer all the same benefits as a traditional protein powder, making the switch to organic makes sense for a lot of people.