The 8 Best Red Powders of 2023, According to a Dietitian
Mar 20, 2023
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Boost your nutrient intake and support your workout with these red powders
Verywell Fit / Alli Waataja
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and eating a wide variety of colorful produce—including those that are red—is linked to many health benefits. The ingredients in red powders vary, but they often contain a mix of berries and beets. These red fruits and vegetables can provide unique benefits for athletic performance, heart health, and protect the brain against cognitive decline. They’re also a good source of vitamin C and other nutrients that can support your immune system.
Red fruits and vegetables are a good source of lycopene—a type of carotenoid that's been linked to reduced cancer risk, improved heart health, reduced inflammation, and better blood sugar control, explains Andrew Akhaphong, MS, RD, LD. Red powders may be a convenient way to reap some of these health benefits. Preliminary research suggests that fruit and vegetable powders can offer a significant source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but we don't know if powders offer all of the same benefits as whole foods. Red powders, particularly those with beetroot and tart cherry, may be especially helpful to athletes, as both of those ingredients may reduce soreness, increase time to exhaustion, and support recovery from training.
You'll also notice we included one blue powder with our best red powders. This unique option could be a convenient way to get the phytonutrients and health benefits from blueberries—like red powders does from red fruits and vegetables.
Some red powders contain additional ingredients such as adaptogenic herbs, probiotics, and prebiotics that may or may not be beneficial for you. When selecting the best red powders, our dietitian closely reviewed ingredients and looked for ones that are third-party tested, including testing for substances banned by sport, which is essential for any competitive athletes.
Our team of registered dietitians reviews and evaluates every single supplement we recommend according to our dietary supplement methodology. From there, a registered dietitian on our Expert Review Board reviews each article for scientific accuracy. 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.
Buy at Amazon.com
Buy at Nowfoods.com
Tested for purity and potency
Vegan and free of most food allergens
No added sugars or other sweeteners
Best when added to a smoothie or other beverage
Now Foods Beetroot Powder is our top overall pick because it's suitable for most people, has been rigorously tested for purity and potency, and is Informed Sport Certified—an organization that tests for over 220 ingredients banned by sport. It's simply made of beetroot powder, and one serving (1 tablespoon) is equal to about 2.5 whole beets. We particularly like that it doesn't contain added sweeteners or unnecessary ingredients that may not be safe for certain populations.
Beetroot has health benefits partly from their nitrates, which have been shown to improve endurance sports performance. Beets have been shown to lower blood pressure and may be helpful for people with cardiovascular disease due to both the vascular effects of nitrates as well as the antioxidants found in beets. They’re also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Now Foods beetroot powder is vegan, gluten-free, and free from any of the major eight food allergens. It's also relatively budget-friendly compared to other red powders on the market. You can mix it with water, but because it's simply made from beetroots, it tastes best when blended into a fruit smoothie or mixed into another beverage.
Price at time of publication: $22 ($0.61 per serving)
Key Specs:Form: Powder | Type: beetroot | Dose: 1 tablespoon | Third-Party Certified: Yes | Servings Per Container: About 36
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Buy at Organifishop.com
Contains blend of red fruits and vegetables
Contains adaptogens which may not be best for all
If eating organic is a top priority for you, we recommend Organifi's Red Juice. It contains a blend of powdered fruits including pomegranate, cranberry, blueberry, raspberry, acai, and strawberry as well as beet powder. These pack in a strong blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may be beneficial for health. You can mix it with water to make a juice-like drink or add it to a smoothie for an extra nutrient boost. The berry-flavored powder does not contain any added sugars, but it is sweetened with the no-calorie sweetener monk fruit extract.
This powder is vegan, certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO project verified, and certified gluten-free. Organifi tests all of their products, including Red Juice for harmful contaminants, heavy metals, and more, to ensure purity and potency of the powder. The company prioritizes transparency and provides the certificate of analysis (a confirmation of lab results) for each of their products.
In addition to the fruits and vegetables, it's important to note this powder also contains adaptogenic mushrooms, rhodiola, cordyceps, and ginseng. These ingredients may not be safe for certain populations including people that are pregnant and breastfeeding as well as those with bleeding disorders or taking immunosuppressants. We recommend checking with a healthcare provider before taking this powder especially if you are on medication.
Price at time of publication: $70 ($2.33 per serving)
Key Specs:Form: Powder | Type: Fruit, vegetable, and adaptogens | Dose: 1 scoop (9.45g) | Third-Party Certified: Yes | Servings Per Container: 30
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Buy at Goto.walmart.com
NSF Certified for Sport
No artificial colors or flavors
May not be best for those sensitive to inulin
May interact with certain medications
Biosteel'sSport Greens Pomegranate Berry combines greens like kale, spinach, alfalfa and spirulina with berries, tart cherry, pomegranate and camu camu. It may be a good option for anyone who really struggles to consume enough fruits and vegetables since it contains a wide variety of produce to give both red and green powder. It may also support recovery for athletes as it includes tart cherries, which some research has shown can help speed up the muscle recovery process. It's also NSF Certified for Sport, which means it's third-party tested for any ingredients banned by sport, impurities, and label accuracy. It's vegan, gluten-free, and doesn't contain any artificial colors or flavors, but it is sweetened with stevia.
This powder also contains some caffeine from green tea and matcha, which may support endurance athlete's performance, or just be helpful for anyone who is looking for a little pick-me-up. Just be mindful of this if you’re sensitive to caffeine so it doesn't disrupt sleep or cause other side effects.
If you’re considering this product, look carefully at each of the ingredients and speak with your healthcare provider before starting it. Some of the ingredients including alfalfa may interact with certain medications. It also contains inulin, a prebiotic fiber that may cause gas and other digestive symptoms in some people, though most people can tolerate it well.
Biosteel advertises the amino acids in the product for recovery, though research on the benefits of leucine and glutamine are not conclusive.
Price at time of publication: $30 ($1 per serving)
Key Specs:Form: Powder | Type: Fruit, greens, antioxidant mix | Dose: 1 scoop (10.2g) | Third-Party Certified: Yes | Servings Per Container: 30
Related: The 10 Best Greens Powders of 2023, According to a Dietitian
Buy at Vejo.com
No added sweeteners
Made from a mix of freeze dried berries
Individual packaging is not environmentally friendly
Not third-party testing
Vejo mixed berry powder is a great way to get the benefits of berries when you’re on-the-go or don't have access to a refrigerator. It's made of freeze dried blueberry, strawberry, marionberry, and raspberry and doesn't contain any added sweeteners. In addition to giving you 80 percent of your daily vitamin C needs, it's also packed with antioxidants (like lycopene) that may offer numerous health benefits.
If you have a Vejo blender, you can use that to blend the powder with water for a quick berry shake. You can also add the powder to any blender with water, ice, or other frozen fruits and vegetables. The individually wrapped pods are great when you’re on-the-go or need something pre-portioned, but note they aren't very eco-friendly.
Vejo has some products that are NSF Certified for Sport, but note this specific product does not have any clear third-party testing.
Price at time of publication: $12 for a 4 pack ($3 per serving)
Key Specs:Form: Powder | Type: Berry blend | Dose: 1 pod, 8 floz prepared | Third-Party Certified: No | Servings Per Container: 4
Related: The 12 Best Vegan Protein Powders of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Buy at Amazon.com
Buy at Goto.walmart.com
NSF Certified for Sport
Gluten-free, soy-free, Non-GMO, and caffeine-free
Not all may like stevia taste
Beetroot has been shown to improve performance in both endurance sports and high intensity interval training. Therefore, a red powder that is mainly made from beets may be especially appealing to athletes. All athletes, especially those that are competitive, will want to prioritize products that are third party tested for any banned substances, which is one of the reasons we recommend humanN SuperBeet. It's both NSF Certified for Sport and Informed Sport Certified—two rigorous third party certifications that test for banned substances and ingredient purity.
SuperBeets Sport also contains 240 milligrams of sodium, which may help with electrolyte balance during your workout, especially if you’re sweating a lot in your workouts. They are vegan, gluten-free, caffeine-free, and sweetened with stevia. Because they do have an added sweetener, some people enjoy drinking the powder mixed with just water. However, as pre-workout fuel, you may benefit from adding them to a fruit smoothie for some additional carbohydrates. If you don't like stevia, putting it in a smoothie can also help mask the flavor.
It does contain coconut water powder, so if you’re allergic to coconut, this product is one to skip.
Price at time of publication: $40 ($2 per serving)
Key Specs:Form: Powder | Type: beets | Dose: 2 scoops (10.5g) | Third-Party Certified: Yes | Servings Per Container: 20
Related: The Best Sports Drinks, According to a Dietitian
Buy at Amazon.com
Buy at Gardenoflife.com
NSF Contents Certified
Gluten-free, soy-free, vegan
Longer list of ingredients
Garden of Life Beets Beauty Blackberry Melon is a budget-friendly red powder that combines beets with fruit and probiotics, is NSF contents certified, and is gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan. One ingredient that stands out in this mix is tart cherry, which may offer benefits ranging from better sleep to faster workout recovery.
It's referred to as a beauty blend because of the combination of vitamin C and silica. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production and is an antioxidant that may lessen sun damage. There isn't any convincing research suggesting consuming silica actually provides any significant health benefit, and safety isn't entirely known, so we recommend speaking with a healthcare provider before taking this supplement.
This powder contains 2 Billion CFU of probiotics, which is about as much as you’d get in a serving of yogurt. It contains a specific strain known as bacillus subtilis DE111, that has been shown to survive the gastrointestinal tract of humans, but more research is needed to understand actual benefits. In general, there is limited evidence to suggest that the general population benefits from daily probiotics.
Like other red powders, you can add it to water or blend it with other fruits and vegetables in a smoothie. It's sweetened with both stevia and monk fruit extract, giving it an ultra sweet taste. Note other ingredients in this powder besides the no-calorie sweeteners are tapioca starch and natural flavors.
Price at time of publication: $24 ($0.80 per serving)
Key Specs:Form: Powder | Type: beets, fruit, probiotics | Dose: 1 scoop (3.5g) | Third-Party Certified: Yes | Servings Per Container: 30
Buy at Oiamperformance.com
NSF Certified for Sport
Easy to consume
Not in form tested in the research
Tart cherries have gained attention with athletes for their support in athletic recovery as well as potential improvement in endurance exercise. Other research suggests that it may improve mobility and relieve joint pain in people with arthritis. OIAM Tart Cherry capsules are one way to get the potential benefits of cherries and could be a good alternative for those who don't want to drink a red powder. They are NSF Certified for Sport, an important consideration for any competitive athlete.
Each capsule contains 500mg of tart cherry powder, and the directions suggest one to two capsules per day. While a capsule is much easier to consume than juice for many people, it is important to note that most of the studies on tart cherries have used the juice. So, keep in mind the dosing and potential health benefits for the capsule form needs more research. Juice also offers hydration benefits as well as some carbohydrates, which may play a role in the recovery benefits.
Price at time of publication: $17 ($0.57 per serving)
Key Specs:Form: Capsule | Type: tart cherry | Dose: 500mg | Third-Party Certified: Yes | Servings Per Container: 30
Related: The 11 Best Pre-Workout Foods and Supplements of 2023, According to a Dietitian
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Buy at Vimergy.com
While not a red powder, we wanted to include Vimergy's Organic Wild Blueberry Powder as a good choice to get the health benefits of blueberries in powder form. This form may be an easy way to get some of the health benefits of blueberries while traveling or on-the-go. We like that this powder is only made from whole, organic, wild blueberries grown in Canada with no additives, fillers, or sweeteners. We also appreciate Vimergy does third-party testing on all raw ingredients and finished products for ingredient purity, heavy metals, and microbial contamination.
A single scoop serving can be easily added to a glass of cold or hot water. We like that it has a subtle flavor without having any added sweeteners. It's also easy to add to a smoothie, yogurt, oatmeal, baked goods, or other ways red powders can be used.
Price at time of publication: $58 ($0.94 per serving)
Key Specs:Form: Powder | Type: blueberry | Dose: 4 grams | Third-Party Tested: Yes | Servings Per Container: 62
While you do not need to have red powders, red powders may be beneficial for certain populations including:
People who don't consume enough fruits and vegetables. If you have trouble eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, red powders may be one way to increase your intake. Akhaphong notes that some people may struggle to consume enough red fruits and vegetables due to texture or flavor issues, while others may not have the time, accessibility, or ability to cook these foods.
Athletes: certain ingredients found in red powders such as beet and tart cherries have been shown to improve workout performance and recovery. If you’re a competitive athlete, be sure to choose a powder that has been tested for banned substances. Look for one that is NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport Certified.
People with absorptive disorders. According to Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, red powders can be a good source of Vitamins A, C, and E as well as potassium and folic acid. Some may have minerals such as iron as well. If you have a digestive disorder that decreases your absorption of nutrients, red powders may help you meet your nutrient needs.
People with inflammatory conditions and circulation problems. One study showed that berry and vegetable powders, along with a moderate exercise routine, improved circulation among women.
People with cardiovascular disease. Beetroot, a common ingredient in red powders, has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve outcomes of cardiovascular disease.
The ingredients in red powders vary significantly from one product to another. Some may be as simple as beetroot powder or tart cherry powder, whereas others contain adaptogenic herbs, prebiotics, probiotics, sweeteners, and other ingredients in addition to the fruits and vegetables.
These products are often looked at as "food," but they are supplements. The whole food ingredients in the quantities found in some powders may not be safe for certain individuals. Some red powders are also very high in vitamins, and it may put you over the recommended amount of certain nutrients if you take other supplements.
If you have any medical conditions or take any medications or supplements, we recommend reviewing any powder you’re considering adding to your routine with a healthcare provider first. The following groups of people should be especially cautious for taking red powders:
People taking prescription medications. Some red powders include ingredients that can interact with prescription medications. This may include green vegetables, alfalfa, acerola and nettle root, which Akhaphong notes can interact with blood thinners, diabetes medications, and other prescription drugs.
Pregnant or breastfeeding people. Many ingredients such as adaptogenic herbs, amino acids, and others are not well studied in pregnant and breastfeeding people and the risks to the fetus and baby are unknown. In addition, if you’re taking a prenatal vitamin, a red powder could lead to getting too much of certain nutrients.
People with kidney disease: Red powders can be very high in potassium, which people with chronic kidney disease may need to limit.
People with digestive disorders. Some red powders contain prebiotics and probiotics, which can actually make some symptoms of certain digestive disorders worse. This doesn't mean you need to avoid all red powders, but we recommend working with your healthcare provider to choose the best one for you.
People taking other vitamin and mineral supplements: If you take a multivitamin or individual vitamin or mineral supplements, review your supplements with your healthcare provider before adding a red powder to ensure you’re not consuming too much of any one nutrient.
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. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. We prioritize products that are third-party tested and certified by one of three independent, third-party certifiers: USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab.com.
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.
Expert sources we interviewed for what to look for in red powders includes:
Andrew Akhaphong, MS, RD, LD, registered dietitian for Mackenthun's Fine Foods
Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, registered dietitian and certified personal trainer
Gianna Beasley, MS, RD, CPT, registered dietitian and certified personal trainer
Supplements that are third-party tested are sent to a lab where they are tested to ensure they contain what they say they contain and are not contaminated with specific high-risk, common contaminants. However, it's important to note:
Third-party testing does not test to see if a product is effective or safe for everyone, and it does not ensure the supplement will not interact with other supplements or medications.
Not all third-party testing is created equal. It is not uncommon for supplement companies to pay labs for certificates after conducting minimal to no testing.
The third-party certifications we can trust are ConsumerLab.com, NSF, and USP. However, these certifications are difficult to obtain and/or expensive for manufacturers, so many companies choose not to get their products tested by one of these three organizations.
Sometimes products tested by these three companies are more expensive to try to offset the cost they pay for certification.
Just because a supplement is not tested by one of these three companies, it does not mean it's a bad product. We recommend doing some research on the reputability of the manufacturer and calling up the manufacturer and their testing lab to determine their protocols and decide if you feel comfortable consuming the supplement.
Most red powders come as a powder that you can add to water or another drink like juice or a smoothie. Some are also available as capsules.
It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included, relative to the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.
Red powders vary widely in ingredients. Some ingredients to be cautious of include:
Stinging Nettle: Some red powders add nettle root or stinging nettle, which interacts with both over-the-counter and prescription medications. In general, it's probably best to avoid powders that have this ingredient, but always check with your healthcare provider if you are considering a product that contains it.
Adaptogens. Some red powders contain adaptogenic herbs, which can interact with a wide variety of prescription medications. For example, reishi mushrooms may interact with blood pressure medications, diabetes medications, and certain cancer treatments. Rhodiola or ashwagandha may interact with several antidepressants, blood pressure medications, diabetes medications, thyroid medications, cholesterol medications, immunosuppressants, and many other drugs that are broken down in the liver.
Probiotics and prebiotics. Some red powders add prebiotic fiber and probiotics. While doses are typically low (about how much you’d find in yogurt), some people may find that certain strains of probiotics exacerbate digestive conditions. In addition, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the general population needs to consume or gain any benefit from probiotic supplements on a regular basis. Check with your healthcare provider before starting any supplement that contains probiotics.
There is no standard dosage of red powders, and ingredients and nutrient amounts vary between products. It's important to review the Recommended Dietary Allowance and Tolerable Upper Limits as set by the NIH for each ingredient to make sure you’re consuming safe levels of each nutrient.
There is no defined upper limit for red powders. However, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not consuming too much of any vitamin or mineral that may be in these supplements. Your body filters and eliminates water soluble vitamins including B vitamins and vitamin C, so you’re less likely to experience side effects from those.
Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and some minerals can be dangerous in excess. Review your red powder with your healthcare provider and, when available, compare the supplement facts panel with the upper limits as established by the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements.
Are red powders as good as fresh vegetables?
While red powders do usually contain some vegetables such as beets, and some contain greens. It's not quite the same as eating fresh vegetables, ans they shouldn't replace getting fruits and vegetables in your diet, recommends Chun. One of the biggest differences is that red powders lack fiber that vegetables contain.
Red powders do likely contain just as many—sometimes more— vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as their whole food counterpart. However, red powders serving size is smaller, and you are missing out on the fiber and water content from whole fruits and vegetables.
How do I make red powders taste better?
The best way to make red powders taste better is to blend them with other drinks or food. An easy option is to mix it into a smoothie as a nutrient boost. You can also turn those smoothies into popsicles for a refreshing, cold treat. Other ideas might include blending them into energy bites, adding it to homemade granola, or other ways you could use greens powder.
Are red powders worth it?
It depends on your individual situation. If you truly have difficulty eating enough fruits and vegetables or are an athlete looking to reduce soreness and improve recovery, they may be worth the investment. However, most people don't need to consume red powders to be healthy, and they are an added expensive.
Do red powders help with bloating?
There's no research to suggest that red powders would help with bloating. In fact, it may be the opposite. "Some red powders contain fiber from sources including pea, apple, chia seeds, flax seeds, and other varieties. These sources are often in the form of soluble fiber which is fermented by gut bacteria and acts as a prebiotic. Due to their ability to ferment by gut bacteria, it may worsen bloating," says Akhaphong. In addition, some red powders contain inulin or other added fiber, which can also contribute to bloating for some people such as those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
How much do red powders cost?
Red powders cost anywhere from $35 to $70 for a 30-day supply. You do not need to use red powders daily in order to reap the benefits. It may be helpful from a budget perspective to use them on days when you aren't able to consume as many fruits and vegetables as you’d like, such as when you’re traveling.
Sarah Anzlovar, MS, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian with a master's degree in nutrition communication from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She owns a private practice in the suburbs of Boston, where she helps women ditch diets and learn to eat foods that help them feel their best and achieve optimal health. Sarah is also a freelance writer, where she lends her expertise in translating research on a wide variety of nutrition topics into relatable and approachable recommendations for consumers. She combed through the research on red powders and all the options on the market to find the ones with the highest quality ingredients and ingredient purity.
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