The 7 Best Organic Protein Powders, According to a Dietitian

How to choose an organic protein powder that’s right for you

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Best Organic Protein Powders

Verywell / Chloe Jeong

With so many protein powder options on the market, it can feel overwhelming to select the best product. Choosing an organic protein powder, when possible, ensures that you are getting a high-quality protein from a clean source. Specifically, the term “organic” means that protein powder is free of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides.

“When shopping for a protein powder it is best to start by evaluating your health goals and needs. For example, if you are looking to build muscle primarily then a whey protein would be helpful," says Dr. M. Kara, founder of KaraMD Natural Supplements. "Once you take a look at your goals and needs, the next best step is to look for protein powders that are organic or locally sourced” she adds.

Even though organic protein powder may have a higher price tag, the health benefits and taste will likely outweigh the price in the long run. While it's debated whether or not organic foods contain higher levels of nutrients than the non-organic variety, it's believed that exposure to pesticides through diet has a potential association with cancer and may cause neurodevelopmental issues.

Whether you're looking for whey or plant-based protein, a flavored or natural variety, there are many organic options to suit your individual needs.

What to Look for in Organic Protein Powders

Certifications:

Look for the USDA Organic Certification seal or the term "Organic" on the packaging. Foods labeled as "Organic" must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients (except for water and salt).

Taste:

As nutritious as protein powders may be, some are far from delicious and can have chalky aftertastes. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there that contain all the protein you need but taste good as well. Many are available in a wide variety of flavors, or even an unflavored variety, so you can find what works best for you.

Protein:

The amount of protein you want in a powder will depend on your goals. Some are designed for weight loss, while others are designed to bulk you up, so you want one that helps you reach your goals rather than impedes them. There are also various types of protein sources to consider as well, including whey and those made from plant-based ingredients like peas, brown rice, or hemp.

Other ingredients:

Beyond protein, protein powders can contain vastly different ingredients. From those with just a few ingredients to those that contain added nutrients, you’ll want to find one that helps you meet your goals. If you have any dietary restrictions, there are many alternatives out there that are free from common allergens, such as soy, wheat, and nuts, too.

Organic Protein Powder Dosage

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.

The DRI for daily protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for adult men and women, and it is widely accepted that protein needs increase with activity level. Studies have shown no safety concerns at daily recommended intakes up to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are organic protein powders safe?

    Organic protein powders are generally safe to consume for most people. Studies have demonstrated no safety concerns with recommended daily protein intakes for athletes taking up to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day.

    It’s important to consider if the protein powder you choose has other ingredients added besides the protein source. For example, some protein powders may have caffeine added. Studies have shown caffeine to be reasonably safe up to 400-500 milligrams per day for some adults, but in excess it may cause unwanted symptoms including nausea, vomiting, arrhythmia, and tachycardia.

    Read the ingredients label and nutrition facts panel for information about all ingredients in your protein and the amount added. 

  • How are organic protein powders produced?

    Organic protein powders can come from plant or animal sources, and are produced from certified organic ingredients. Protein powders come in three main forms: concentrates, isolates, or hydrolysates.

    To make protein concentrates, heat or enzymes are used to extract the protein from a starting material, such as liquid whey. Protein concentrates contain some carbohydrates and fat. 

    Protein isolates are made by processing out the carbohydrates, fiber, and fat from the protein source. Isolates contain at least 90 percent protein and are the purest form of protein powder to purchase. 

    To make protein hydrolysate, heat or enzymes are applied to the long amino acid chains of a protein concentrate or isolate. This breaks down the amino acid chains into shorter molecules for easier digestion


  • What is the difference between organic protein and regular protein?

    There is little to no nutritional difference between organic protein and regular protein. But the ingredients used to make organic protein must be Certified Organic. There are several agents authorized to certify businesses and farms according to USDA organic regulations.

    No organic foods and food products have been grown using genetically modified organisms, synthetic fertilizers, or pesticides. 
    For processed foods and products with more than one ingredient to be certified organic, they must not include artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and all ingredients must be organic. This applies to protein powders, so if you prefer products without artificial ingredients, Certified Organic ones are a good choice.

  • Do organic protein powders expire?

    It’s important to understand the food product dating posted on protein powders to understand if they’ve expired or have gone bad. These dates are not based on food safety, but rather they are based on the quality of the food product.

    A “use by” or “best by” date indicates when that product will provide the best flavor and quality. A “sell by” date indicates to stores how long to display the product in their inventory.

    Since organic protein powders are low in moisture, they are not likely to spoil with potentially harmful microorganisms like bacteria and mold when stored in a cool, dry environment. However, to ensure the best taste and quality, it is recommended to enjoy your protein powder by the “use by” or “best by” date, if provided.

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science, as well as clinically tested and approved for use in humans. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. These attributes include non-GMO, Organic, and allergy-friendly products that are free of most artificial ingredients including colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners. When possible, we recommend products that are third-party tested and certified.

It's important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.

Here, the best options for organic protein powders:

Best Overall: Sprout Living Epic Protein Powder Original Flavor

Sprout Living Epic Protein Powder Original Flavor
Pros
  • Zero grams of added sugar

  • Vegan

  • Paleo

  • Gluten-free

  • Dairy-free

Cons
  • Small package, just 13 servings per bag

Sprout Living’s Epic Protein is a fantastic USDA organic option that appeals to everyone from vegetarians to omnivores. The paleo-friendly (gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free) plant-based protein powder is great tasting and packs a ton of protein. Each 2-scoop serving provides 26 grams of plant-based protein and boasts 5 grams of dietary fiber.

Many vegan protein powders include grain-based proteins such as quinoa, amaranth, and brown rice (although quinoa is technically a seed). Epic Protein is made from yellow pea and a mix of sunflower, pumpkin, sacha inchi, and cranberry seeds. The super clean vegan protein comes in four flavors: chocolate maca, green kingdom, vanilla lucuma, and original. Of note, the product is free of fillers and gums.

We trust Sprouted Living because it is certified vegan and certified organic, although it is not third-party tested.

Key nutrients: Organic pea, organic sunflower seed, organic pumpkin seed | Vegan: Yes | Gluten-Free: Yes | Organic: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Additives: None

Best Whey: Garden of Life Certified Organic Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder Vanilla

Garden of Life Certified Organic Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder Vanilla
Pros
  • Provides probiotics beneficial for gut health

  • Grass fed

Cons
  • Sugar alcohol erythritol may not be well tolerated by some consumers

Garden of Life's Certified Organic Whey Protein takes the top spot among organic whey protein powders because of its high-quality, pasture-raised, grass-fed protein. With 21 grams of easy-to-digest protein in each serving, the creamy vanilla flavor adds a delicious taste and a protein boost to your post-workout beverage.

The USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified protein is sweetened with stevia and is free of added sugars. Each serving contains 4.7 grams of branched-chain amino acids to help you refuel and repair muscles post-workout. The Certified Gluten-Free product contains 130 calories per serving with only 7 grams of carbohydrates. It's also good for the digestive system, as each serving contributes 2 billion CFU probiotics from Bifidobacterium lactis.

Although not third-party tested, we like this whey protein because it is grass-fed, certified organic, and provides beneficial probiotics.

Key nutrients: Organic whey protein concentrate | Vegan: No | Gluten-Free: Yes | Organic: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Additives: Gum acacia, erythritol

Good to Know

Note that the term grass-fed is not synonymous with organic. Grass-fed is fairly often organic, but organic is not necessarily always grass-fed.

Best Plant-Based: Sunwarrior Organic Vegan Protein Powder Warrior Blend

Sunwarrior Natural Warrior Blend
Pros
  • Provides 6 grams of branched-chain amino acids

  • Zero grams of added sugar

Cons
  • Unflavored; may not be palatable for some consumers

The USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Certified Sunwarrior Warrior Blend takes the top pick among organic, plant-based protein powders with 19 grams of plant-based protein per scoop. Each scoop also provides 6 milligrams of iron, which is helpful for those following a vegan diet that is commonly low in iron. The high protein blend is allergy-friendly, as it is free of soy, gluten, and dairy.

It comes in five flavors, including berry, chocolate, mocha, vanilla, and natural. The natural flavor doesn’t taste overly sweet, so it won’t overpower your favorite beverage. With only four ingredients: pea protein, hemp protein, goji berry, and ground coconut, Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend Natural is a great choice. Note that the flavored versions contain additional ingredients, including the specific flavor and stevia.

Although not third-party tested, Sunwarrior Organic Vegan Protein Powder has other notable certifications including organic, non-GMO, and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Key nutrients: Organic fermented pea protein, organic hemp protein | Vegan: Yes | Gluten-Free: Yes | Organic: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Additives: None

Best with Greens: Amazing Grass Plant Protein Superfood Powder Vanilla

Amazing Grass Protein Superfood Powder
Pros
  • Vegan

  • Dairy-free

  • Gluten-free

  • Grain-free

Cons
  • Small package has just 11 servings per container 

Amazing Grass boosted their regular greens superfood powder with plant-based protein. The USDA Organic greens protein powder contains seven types of alkalizing greens and two servings of fruits and vegetables per serving.

The protein powder boasts 20 grams of complete vegan protein from sources including pea, quinoa, chia, and hemp. Additional fruits and vegetables include organic açai, goji, pineapple, and sweet potato. The slightly sweet vanilla blend is sweetened using stevia.

Each scoop provides 3 grams of dietary fiber with less than 1 gram of sugar and only 4 grams of carbohydrates. Superfood ingredients in this protein powder include spirulina and chlorella. Spirulina is celebrated for its anti-inflammatory powers, and chlorella contains plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.

While it’s not third-party tested, we like this certified organic protein powder for its nutrient-dense ingredients.

Key nutrients: Organic pea protein, organic hemp protein | Vegan: Yes | Gluten-Free: Yes | Organic: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Additives: Natural flavor, xanthan gum

What Experts Say

"Although an organic protein powder comes at a premium, the high-quality protein will likely benefit the body in the long term. Don’t forget to throw in other top-notch ingredients in your smoothie, so the body is filled with pristine nutrients to help optimize your health." Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, MS, RD

Best Budget: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Organic Max Fiber Protein Powder

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Organic Max Fiber Protein Powder
Pros
  • Excellent source of dietary fiber, iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc

  • Zero grams of added sugar

Cons
  • High fiber content may not be desirable for pre-exercise supplementation

If you’re looking for an organic protein source that is affordable (and has a ton of dietary fiber), Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Fiber contains 13 grams of plant-based protein per 4-tablespoon serving. The Certified Organic and Kosher protein is made up of only one ingredient: organic hemp protein powder. Research shows that hemp seeds are a good source of protein that is easily digestible.

This versatile protein checks the box as a fiber and protein supplement, so you won't need to purchase both products. Each serving contains 13 grams of fiber or about half of your recommended daily intake of fiber. The majority of the dietary fiber in the protein is insoluble fiber (12 grams), which speeds up digestion and adds bulk to stool. This is great to promote regularity and prevent constipation.

This product is not third-party tested, but we like it for its single ingredient list and high fiber content. 

Key nutrients: Organic hemp protein | Vegan: Yes | Gluten-Free: Yes | Organic: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Additives: None

Best-Tasting: ALOHA Organic Protein Powder

Aloha Organic Protein Powder
Pros
  • Excellent source of both dietary fiber and iron

Cons
  • Advertised as providing MCTs, but not a significant source

Aloha’s USDA-Organic plant-based powder uses coconut sugar monk fruit as an alternative to erythritol or stevia. While stevia is declared “generally accepted as safe” by the FDA, some people prefer to avoid the natural sweetener. Aloha’s protein blend mixes pea, brown rice, hemp, and pumpkin seed protein to provide 18 grams of plant-based protein per serving. The blend contains 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving likely attributed to acacia fiber, which is rich in soluble fiber.

The vegan powder also contains medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil. Made with simple, whole-food ingredients, Aloha protein comes in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and banana. It’s a great option to add to your favorite smoothie, baked good, or oatmeal.

We like this ALOHA organic protein powder because it is high in fiber and iron (a nutrient that can be hard to get enough of on a plant-based diet), although it is not third-party tested.

Key nutrients: Pea protein, brown rice protein, hemp seed protein, pumpkin seed protein | Vegan: Yes | Gluten-Free: Yes | Organic: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Additives: None

Best Unsweetened: Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Powder Unflavored

Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Unflavored
Pros
  • Excellent source of iron, manganese, zinc, and selenium

  • Zero grams of added sugar

Cons
  • Flavored powders have stevia and gums added

Many protein powders, including organic versions, have intense flavors that don't appeal to all tastebuds. Choosing an unsweetened, unflavored protein like Garden of Life's Raw Organic Protein Powder may be the best option if you want to boost the protein content of your favorite beverage, without altering the taste. 

Made from a raw protein blend featuring grains, seeds, and 22 raw and organic sprouts, the powder is a great plant-based alternative to soy and whey proteins. Each scoop provides 110 calories and 22 grams of protein, as well as probiotics with 3 billion CFU of Lactobacillus.

While it is not third-party tested, Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein has other notable certifications including Certified Vegan, NSF Certified Gluten-Free, kosher, and Informed-Sport Clean for Sport

Key nutrients: Organic pea protein, organic sprouted brown rice protein | Vegan: Yes | Gluten-Free: Yes | Organic: Yes | Non-GMO: Yes | Additives: None

Final Verdict

For an excellent organic protein powder, try Sprout Living's Epic Protein (view at Amazon). It has minimal ingredients and is also plant-based.

For an affordable, single ingredient, high-quality organic protein, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Organic Hemp Protein (view at Amazon) is a great option. We love this protein even more for its high fiber content. 

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Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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