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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Shopping guide for best Garden of Life protein powders

Last Updated March 2019

Protein powders have surged in popularity because of their ability to help you build muscle, improve athletic performance, and increase feelings of satiety. Today, there are hundreds of different options on the market, but few are as popular as Garden of Life protein powders. The brand, known for its all-natural whole food supplements, has gained a loyal following, particularly among those interested in plant-based protein.

Garden of Life offers several protein powders, and while it’s tempting to think that they’re all more or less the same, this isn’t true. While they can all help you to build muscle and lose weight if used regularly, some are better suited to one task than another.

Here’s a guide to help you determine which Garden of Life protein powder is best suited to your needs.

Consuming protein close to a workout can help your body to repair damaged muscles more quickly.

Key considerations

When selecting a Garden of Life protein powder, you must consider the protein source, the amount of protein per serving, and your unique goals in taking the protein powder.

Protein source

While whey protein tends to be the most common protein source used in protein powder, Garden of Life favors pea protein instead. It’s easier for the body to digest than many other plant protein sources, and it’s hypoallergenic. Vegans who prefer to avoid animal proteins, as well as those with allergies to milk and eggs, will undoubtedly prefer these Garden of Life protein powders to traditional milk-based whey protein powders.

But if you’re interested in whey protein because of its rapid absorption and proven benefits for muscle growth and fat loss, you’ll be pleased to know that Garden of Life offers whey protein options as well. This is sourced from grass-fed cows, so you don’t need to worry about unwanted antibiotics ending up in your protein powder.

Protein per serving

Garden of Life protein powders contain anywhere from 15 to 30 grams of protein per serving, with most containing about 20 grams per serving. This isn’t enough to give most people their full daily intake of protein. The Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intakes recommends 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. But you must also keep in mind that you will most likely be consuming protein through your diet as well.

A single serving of protein powder per day should be more than enough for those who are just interested in losing weight or helping their bodies get through the occasional workout. But highly active people may have higher protein requirements and may need to consume a little more per day.

Personal goals

Consider what your primary goal is in using the protein powder, and allow this to inform your decision about which Garden of Life product to choose. If you want to build muscle, for example, you may prefer to choose a product with ingredients designed to enhance muscle recovery or performance.

On the other hand, if your main goal is to lose weight, you’ll be better off choosing a protein powder that’s meant to be used as a meal replacement shake. Unlike regular protein powders, these powders often contain a number of vitamins and minerals to help ensure that you’re not depriving yourself of vital nutrients when you substitute a protein shake for a meal.

Ingredients

You may notice some of the following on the ingredients label.

  • Probiotics: Probiotics are healthy bacteria that helps to keep your digestive and immune systems functioning optimally. Some Garden of Life protein powders include a few strains of probiotics. Alternatively, Garden of Life offers several probiotics supplements for those who prefer to take this separately.

  • Enzymes: Enzymes help your body to break down foods and absorb them more effectively. Different types of enzymes work on different types of foods. For example, protease works on proteins and lipase works on fats. Some Garden of Life protein powders include these enzymes to help your body digest the protein powder more easily.

  • Sweeteners and flavoring: Garden of Life only uses natural sweeteners like stevia and sugar alcohols like erythritol. For many, this is preferable to using artificial sweeteners or large quantities of sugar, but some feel that these sweeteners leave an unpleasant aftertaste. If you dislike this, you may be better off going with an unsweetened powder.

  • Proprietary blends: Several Garden of Life protein powders include proprietary blends. You’ll notice these on the ingredient label as long lists of ingredients without a quantity listed next to each individual item. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with these, some question the usefulness of them. It’s possible that, with so many ingredients, they are all present in such small quantities that they cannot offer you many benefits.
     

Texture and flavor

The best protein powders mix smoothly into liquids without clumping or settling at the bottom of the glass. There should be no chalky or gritty texture left behind. Some users have noted that Garden of Life protein powders tend to settle after a little while, so if you don’t plan to drink it quickly, you may need to stir the powder back into the liquid before you drink it again.

The majority of Garden of Life protein powders are available in chocolate and vanilla. Some may have additional flavors or an unflavored option. Flavor is a personal preference, but your decision may be impacted slightly by how you intend to use the powder. For example, you may prefer an unflavored powder if you’re going to be mixing it into food. If you tend to grow tired of a certain flavor after a while, you may wish to purchase multiple flavors so you can alternate between them as you see fit.

DID YOU KNOW?

In addition to building muscle, pea protein, found in many Garden of Life protein powders, is an excellent source of iron and can help promote heart health.

DID YOU KNOW?

Garden of Life protein powders are gluten-free, so they’re ideal for those with gluten sensitivities.

DID YOU KNOW?

Garden of Life protein powders are an excellent and convenient way for vegans to supplement their protein intake.

Garden of Life protein powder prices

When comparing the price of Garden of Life protein powders — or any protein powders, for that matter — you should focus more on price per serving than on the overall cost. You can figure this out by dividing the total cost by the number of servings in the container.

Garden of Life protein powders usually range in price from about $0.60 per serving to $1.40 per serving. But a higher price tag doesn’t indicate a superior powder. You’re better off choosing a protein powder based on its ingredients and how well they line up with your goals.

The optimal choice for fueling your workouts

This pea protein powder contains 15 to 30 grams of protein per serving, depending on if you use one or two scoops. In addition to the protein, it offers unique performance and muscle recovery blends to help you recover more quickly after your workout. You can choose between chocolate and vanilla flavors.

Tips

  • If you don’t like drinking protein powder in water, try mixing it in with food or using it in a smoothie.

  • Meal replacement protein powders are most effective when used once per day every day.

  • If your protein powder comes in a pouch, you may wish to move it to a more secure container that’s less prone to tearing.

  • Protein powders for muscle growth work best when taken within about a half hour to an hour of your workout.

A tasty way to lose weight

The Garden of Life RAW Organic Meal Protein Powder contains 20 grams of protein per serving to help keep you feeling full for hours afterward. It’s fortified with a number of vitamins and minerals, along with fruit and vegetable blends to give you some of the benefits of these foods as well. If all that isn’t enough, it also contains enzymes and probiotics to aid your digestion.

Other products we considered

Those interested in a whey protein powder who don’t mind trading a little protein per serving for a more affordable price should check out the Garden of Life Organic Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder. It’s very similar to the Sport Whey Protein Powder, but it uses whey concentrate instead of whey isolate. Whey isolate powders are known for being lower in fat and carbohydrates and having higher concentrations of protein. But this whey concentrate powder manages to keep fats and carbs low while still offering an impressive 21 grams of protein per serving.

If cow’s milk proteins don’t agree with your digestive system, try the Garden of Life Goatein Powder. This is a unique protein powder made from goat’s milk protein. It only offers 13 grams of protein per serving, but it’s a nice alternative for those who struggle to digest cow’s milk. There are only five grams of carbohydrates per serving and less than one gram of fat per serving.

If you want to be sure of what you’re getting, choose a Garden of Life protein powder that has been NSF Certified for purity and potency.

FAQ

Q. Are Garden of Life protein powders organic?

A. Yes, many Garden of Life protein powders are certified organic. You can find this information on the product label.

Q. How do I measure out how much protein powder is in a single serving?

A. The protein powder should include a scoop to help you measure out a single serving.

Q. Which Garden of Life protein powder is best for highly active individuals?

A. The Garden of Life Sport line of protein powders is a good place to begin. You may choose from whey or pea protein powders.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Kailey
    Kailey
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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