My Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder Review

Some of my articles have affiliate links. If you buy through those, I may earn a commission at no cost to you.
Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein can on a patio with a Rottweiler

In this review article we’ll be looking at one of the more popular vegan protein powders, the organic Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder that I bought recently.

I’ll be going over all of its key features: ingredients, macronutrient & amino acid profiles, buyer ratings, & sharing what I think of its taste, texture, & mix-ability.

Along the way I’ll also be comparing Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein to a few of its competitors who produce a plant-based protein powder too — Orgain, Vega, KOS, & others — seeing how the protein powder Garden of Life makes measures up to them.


Review summary

For health-conscious people who are looking to get a very clean vegan protein into their diet, Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein is one of the better protein powders out there.

Its raw organic protein blend is mostly made up of three things: organic pea protein, organic sprouted brown rice, and organic amaranth sprout, and it is both dairy free & gluten free.

It has 22 grams of protein per serving and has 15 different plant-based protein sources that provide you with a complete protein that has the essential amino acids your body needs to get from your diet.

This product also contains ‘raw food’ fat soluble vitamins, probiotics, and enzymes which may help you maintain a healthy digestive system. 

It doesn’t mix as easily in a shaker bottle as most whey powders will, due to the vegetable ingredients in it. I had to use my blender and make a smoothie when I drank it.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B007SYSQ7K&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=heydaydo 20&language=en US


Program notes

* Any product image (like the one above) or a product name that is in blue is a link to its Amazon page if you want to check out current price or buyer reviews there, and it’ll open in a separate browser tab.

* I abbreviate Garden of Life as “GoL” on occasion.

* Also, please keep in mind that any prices I might mention today may be different when you look them up, since online supplement prices bounce around all the time these days.


green scientific beaker and test tubes green icon

Science resources included

As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science and medical resources, clinical studies, & nutritional data used in this article.


Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Powder flavors

Currently Garden of Life offers this Raw Organic Protein in four flavors: chocolate, vanilla, vanilla chai, and unflavored.

I bought the chocolate flavor since I have a strong leaning towards choosing that flavor when it comes to comparing similar products like protein powders, pre-made shakes, or protein bars.

Well, that and the fact I love chocolate…go Theo’s!

If you like to avoid the taste of stevia like I do, the unflavored version is a very good choice for using in a blender with fruit, greens, nut butters, & the like.

Drinking it plain with water isn’t bad, it’s just not an enjoyable experience for my particular taste buds.

I can’t offer an opinion on the vanilla chai flavor, but I have had a vanilla version of another “raw vegan protein powder” from GoL that is made with very similar ingredients.

It’s called Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal and it tasted pretty good, even to a chocoholic like me.


green mobile phone leaving 5 star review online icon

Garden of Life Protein Powder Buyer Ratings

In this section I’ll show you the results of compiling all the buyer ratings & reviews I could find online for this Garden of Life protein powder, and I’ll also compare its results to a handful of its closest competitors.

Speaking of — currently, these are the three biggest-selling organic + plant-based protein powder products:

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


And these three are bestselling plant-based protein powders too, but they are not organic:

Last update on 2024-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Here is a list of these protein powders, ranked by online buyer feedback:

Orgain Plant-Based Protein Powder 4.6 stars   90%  48,000+ reviews

Vega Sport Plant-Based Protein Powder 4.5   89%  10,000+ reviews

KOS Organic Vegan Protein Powder 4.5   85%  13,000+ reviews

OWYN Plant-Based Protein Powder 4.5   85%  3,500+ reviews

GoL Raw Organic Protein Powder     4.4   83%  17,000+ reviews**

PlantFusion Complete Protein Powder 4.3   82% 9,700+ reviews


A quick word about my numbers…

The star rating you see reflects the combining of all online reviews I could find, and the % you see represents the percentage of buyers who left a 4 or 5-star rating.

(80% is good not great, like a B-/B in school…and 90% & up is excellent.)

And since Amazon is the #1 seller of nutritional supplements (by a mile), their verified buyers have the biggest influence on a nutritional supplement’s rating.

Here’s the product summary for their Raw Organic Protein that Garden of Life gives to its retailers:

Garden of Life Vegan Protein Powder - 22g Raw Plant...
  • WHAT’S THE SCOOP: Rebuild broken muscle and reduce recovery time with 22g...
  • DOWNRIGHT DELICIOUS: We’re taking a stand against chalky and bringing...
  • SHAKE IT UP: Raw Organic Protein has been shaken up to improved texture and...

Last update on 2024-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Okie dokie, now let’s take a closer look at what this protein powder is made of and how it compares to its competitors.


Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein ingredients

There are a lot of ingredients in this protein powder — over 35 — and a few of them have long scientific names which may make someone wonder where they came from.

But no worries, since they’re organic ingredients all sourced from things that actually grow on Planet Earth.

Here’s a look at how they’re listed on the label, and I’ll break down this list in a sec:

Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein powder ingredients list

So you can see that all thirty eight of these raw** ingredients are part of just three food-based blends:

  • a protein blend;
  • a flavor blend;
  • and a combo of raw probiotics & an enzyme blend.

** raw – In multiple places on the Garden of Life website you’ll come across their definition of the word “raw” as it pertains to their products:

“Raw means no high heat, synthetic binders, fillers, artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors or additives commonly used…”


Raw organic protein blend

Looking over what plant sources GoL is using for their protein here, I see that everything could be classified as either a:

  • legume (peas, lentils, beans);
  • grain (amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, etc.);
  • seed (sunflower, chia, flax, etc.).

By including all these different vegetable types, Garden of Life — and the other vegan protein manufacturers — are able to create a complete protein.

In case you didn’t know, a complete protein simply means that it contains all of the essential amino acids in it.

And essential means your body doesn’t make those amino acids, so you need to get them from what you eat and drink.

The protein in a vegetable (like a pea) or a grain (like rice) by itself is not complete, because each lack amino acids that are classified as essential.

So that’s why vegan protein manufacturers use a combination of foods to get there.

Large basket of peas

A dairy free protein powder alternative

The most consumed protein powder is likely whey protein because in its one ingredient it delivers a high amount of amino acids & the branched-chain amino acids within them.

(In case you didn’t know: whey protein contains much higher amounts of essential aminos than vegan powders do.)

But what if someone wants a protein supplement with a decent amino acids profile but prefers to avoid animal products & dairy like whey protein, or maybe because they’re lactose intolerant?

Vegan powders like the kind Garden of Life makes (usually) start with pea protein and then blend it with other things like sprouted brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, chia & the like in order to boost the amino acids content.


Benefits of sprouted seeds

Sprouted seeds for Garden of Life Protein Powder article

Another thing cool about this protein recipe GoL has come up with is that all of their seed choices have been sprouted:

  • organic sunflower seed sprout;
  • organic flax seed sprout;
  • organic pumpkin seed sprout;
  • organic sesame seed sprout; &
  • organic chia seed sprout.

Sprouted seeds provide additional nutrition above what a plain seed gives you. (4)


Flavor blend

The ingredients in the flavor blend are all pretty common and are probably familiar to you.

The “gums” you see — guar gum & carob gum — are used as thickeners in lots of foods and come from trees. (5)


Raw probiotic blend

There is debate about probiotics in the medical science community over whether they are beneficial enough to consumers to be worth spending money on.

I don’t think that issue matters much in the case of Garden of Life’s protein powders, because most of what you are paying for is the plant-based proteins it has.


Enzyme blend

Our bodies make all sorts of enzymes for all sorts of things, and some foods like papaya and pineapple have trace amounts of enzymes that may help aid the breaking down of heavier foods like meat products. (2)

The blend in this GoL powder contains protein digesting enzymes as well as an enzyme or two for breaking down fats and plant-based carbohydrates.

For most people without any serious medical trouble with their pancreas, the digestive enzymes in our bodies do a great job breaking down what we eat.

So the necessity of a healthy person taking a digestive enzyme supplement isn’t highly thought of by some in the medical field. (3)

This is no big deal here, in my eyes anyway.

Like the probiotics Garden of Life includes, the man-made digestive enzymes in this protein powder cost us almost nothing.


green macronutrient icon

Nutrition & macros numbers

Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder nutrition facts label

My takeaways:

  • Mostly protein with very low fat & carb numbers which is good, since we are buying a protein powder;
  • At 220 milligrams, the sodium’s a wee bit high for me;
  • Nice mineral & vitamin numbers, and they’re plant-sourced too.


Essential Amino Acids & BCAAs

Garden of Life is the only one of those six major protein powder producers I showed you earlier who openly disclose the amino acids profile of their products, & that fact is a big plus for me.

Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Amino Acids Profile

I also like that their label points out both the essential amino acids & the branched chain amino acids, which is helpful for someone who doesn’t know the them by heart.

These essential & BCAA numbers are noticeably lower than what you’d see on a typical whey protein amino acids profile, but that’s the tradeoff for going with a clean, organic, vegan protein supplement.

To illustrate this, here’s a branched-chain amino acids comparison between this Garden of Life product & the #1 selling protein powder in the world:

Garden of Life      2.9 grams

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey   5.5 grams

The whey has almost twice the BCAAs.

green smiley face taste icon

Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein taste, texture, & mix-ability

A little disclaimer: We all have different taste buds & personal preferences, so what I say here doesn’t mean too much. A lot of people like this product more than I do.

I finished off the whole 2 lb. can (which is a good sign) of their chocolate flavor and the taste was OK, very similar to other vegan powders I’ve tried before.

I preferred it mixed in a blender (versus in a shaker) with a lot of other things added to it like fruit & peanut butter to improve its taste which I found “earthy”, thanks to all the grains & beans they use.

One thing GoL did that I really liked is that they went light on the stevia when sweetening this powder; too much stevia is a buzzkill for me.

My way of comparing powders’ tastes & textures to each other is to use a serving size with 8-10 ounces of water that I hand mix in a shaker bottle like this one:

Shaker bottle & red lid for taste testing Garden of Life protein powder

This way I get the powder’s real taste and texture undisguised by ingredients I’d use in the blender.

In that shaker bottle with their suggested 10 oz. of water the GoL powder was a little thick for me, but when I bumped it up to 12 oz. it was fine.

It works well in a blender & plays nice with all the fruit and greens I usually add to a morning post-workout smoothie.

Then I did a taste-test comparison of Garden of Life vs. Orgain vs. KOS, where Orgain won because of its nice cacao/cocoa flavor.

GoL was second; it doesn’t taste bad at all. Just has more of a grain/pea flour earthy vibe to it with less chocolate coming through.

KOS was dead last by a long shot because my taste buds couldn’t handle the stevia & other flavorings they put in it.

dumbbell green - heydayDo icon

Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder Review Wrap Up

My grade: 8.5/10

Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Powder is a clean, certified organic, and plant-based complete protein powder that has an excellent nutritional profile.

I think it can be used to effectively supplement your protein intake without milk products, soy, or artificial sweeteners.

The chocolate flavor I drank has a very decent taste & texture profile that’s consistent with — or better than — most other vegan powders on the market.

Garden of Life protein powder can on dog bed with my Rottweiler, Lil Boji

I hope that this article reviewing the Garden of Life protein powder is useful to you, and I wish you well on your fitness journey.

– greg

About The Author

heydayDo author Greg Simon

Hi, I’m Greg Simon. Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) Pro Member. MBA, B.Sc.

Author. Surfer. Organic food grower. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far). is my wellness blog that’s about encouraging a healthy lifestyle as we age. 

I share my fitness training experience as well as the sports science research I’ve done on the many benefits strength building, exercise, & good eating habits offer us. 

I also write review articles after product testing and evaluating home gym equipment & fitness supplements.

My hope is that you’ll find useful or encouraging information here on my website that will benefit your unique fitness journey.

Scroll to Top