Chlorella Vs Spirulina: Differences, Benefits and Which is Better


Superfood supplements have become all the rage in the health and fitness world for good reason.

By ingesting a small capsule or a scoop of powder in your morning smoothie, you can ward off infection, detoxify your liver and digestive tract, and help ensure that you’re the best version of yourself!

Of all of the superfood supplements on the market nowadays, spirulina and chlorella are two of the most talked about by a landslide.

Chlorella vs Spirulina

If you’re familiar with chlorella and spirulina, you know they have a lot in common: they’re both different types of algae, they’re both green in color, and they’re both densely packed with a variety of nutrients and can do your body a world of good when you incorporate them into your daily nutrition regimen. That being said, they have plenty of differences, too!

If you’re trying to decide which superfoods to incorporate into your daily routine, chances are you’re wondering what the differences are between the benefits of chlorella and spirulina, and which supplement aligns the most closely with your personal health and fitness goals.

There’s a lot of information out there, and we’re here to help you sift through that information and make an informed decision about which of these two algae you’d like to make a part of your diet.

Read on for more information about the benefits that these two algae have in common along with what makes them different.

It’s time for the showdown of chlorella vs spirulina!

What is Spirulina?

If you pay attention to health and nutrition headlines, chances are you’ve heard raves about spirulina and the good it can do for the human body.

Spirulina is a type of algae that is a fantastic source of both protein, B-vitamins, and other vitamins and antioxidants that it can be difficult to get from other foods featured in your day to day diet.

On a cellular level, spirulina is shaped like a spiral and is a deep blue green color. Spirulina is grown for consumption in fresh water that gets lots of sunlight, and it does best in an environment where it isn’t competing for resources with other organisms. Spirulina also doesn’t have a tough cellular exterior (unlike chlorella), so it’s very easy to turn into a digestible powder.

If you’re looking for an easy way to get your body a bunch of nutrients with a single supplement, you should be considering spirulina! It is so densely packed with vitamins and anti-oxidants that its reputation as a superfood is very much deserved.

It’s also very easy to incorporate into your diet — you can blend the powder into a smoothie or take it in tablet form depending on which method is easiest for you.


Spirulina also doesn't have a tough cellular exterior, so it's very easy to turn into a digestible powder. Click To Tweet

What is Chlorella?

Chlorella has many similarities to spirulina.

Like spirulina, chlorella is a type of green, freshwater algae with a wide variety of benefits that is ingested in powder form. While they’re both forms of algae, chlorella is different from spirulina in that it is a single-cell organism whereas spirulina is a multi-cell organism.

Chlorella also needs to undergo a special process that makes it digestible by humans, because in its untreated form it has a tough casing that prevents the human digestive tract from extracting all of the vitamins and antioxidants it contains.

Due to the extra processing that chlorella requires, chlorella supplements are usually slightly more expensive than spirulina supplements because it requires additional time and equipment to convert the algae into a powder that can be easily digested.

Chlorella and spirulina are similar in the sense that they’re both tiny sources of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that we need on a daily basis to keep our bodies running in top shape, so depending on your unique health goals you can most likely benefit from adding one or both of these powerhouse algae to your diet.

How Do Chlorella and Spirulina Measure up to Each Other?

While spirulina and chlorella are both increasingly popular ways to get vitamins and minerals in one easy to take supplement, they both offer different nutritional benefits. Spirulina is the more ancient of the two superfoods — there are indications that the Aztecs used it as a source of nutrition  as early as the 16th century! Make sure you share that fact with the next person that tells you superfoods are a new phenomenon — spirulina has been well-known as a super powered food source for over five hundred years.

Spirulina is densely packed with vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. It also boasts an incredible four grams of protein per tablespoon of powder, so it’s a terrific addition to post-workout smoothies.

With all of these vitamins and minerals packed into one food source, spirulina is an easy way to protect your body. People that take spirulina have reported that it helps fight infections and minimize allergic reactions. (Source) If you feel as if you need some help fighting off the sniffles and keeping yourself feeling your best, definitely consider adding spirulina to your diet to reap those benefits.

Chlorella is also a great source for a multitude of vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, and zinc as well as vitamins B, C, D, and K. Like spirulina, chlorella is a great source of protein and has extremely positive effects on the body when consumed regularly.

Rather than helping you fight off infections, chlorella is best known for being a detoxifying agent. Chlorella’s unique properties and cellular shape mean that it can easily bind to heavy metals in the body, and over time help reduce the amount of heavy metals in the body. For this reason, chlorella is a popular supplement for patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, both which drastically increase the heavy metal content in the bloodstream.

Chlorella is also a popular supplement for those looking to increase the natural detoxification processes of the liver. Studies show that taking small doses of chlorella over an extended period of time may help prevent heavy metals building up in the body, keeping them from doing harm. (Source)


Chlorella Vs Spirulina: Differences, Benefits and Which is Better Click To Tweet

Chlorella vs Spirulina: Which One Is Right for Me?

If you are ready to commit to adding one of these superfoods into your diet to reap the benefits, you’re probably wondering whether chlorella or spirulina is a better fit for your needs and goals. While both chlorella and spirulina have their benefits, some health goals and concerns have a better fit between the two.

If you’re taking a supplement primarily for protein…

You should incorporate spirulina into your diet over chlorella. Spirulina is higher in protein than chlorella, with four grams of protein per tablespoon. Whether you’re looking to add more protein to your diet because you’re a vegetarian who isn’t getting enough from your other food sources or because you want to boost muscle repair and recovery after a tough workout, spirulina is the superfood supplement that will meet all of your protein needs!

If you’re taking a supplement for detoxification benefits…

You should take chlorella over spirulina. Chlorella has double the chlorophyll content of spirulina which aids in its detoxification properties in the digestive tract and the liver, and it also has distinct cellular properties that make it more effective at binding to heavy metals in the bloodstream on a cellular level. If you’re actively trying to remove heavy metals from your body for medical reasons, talk to a medical professional about incorporating chlorella into your daily regimen and how it can effect your individual health-related goals.

If you’re taking a supplement to fight infection and allergies…

You should consider taking spirulina. While both supplements have significant benefits, spirulina has higher levels per serving of cancer-fighting phytochemicals and anti-inflammatory fatty acids. Gamma linolenic acid (or GLA) plays a big part in fighting inflammation in the body and the pain associated with it, and spirulina is one of the rare foods that it naturally occurs in. If you’re interested in taking a nutritional supplement to increase general health and decrease sick days, spirulina may be your best bet.

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A Final Word from Energetic Lifestyle

If you have a variety of health goals and you can’t decide which of these two superfood supplements to commit to, we have great news — you don’t have to choose between them! Taking spirulina and chlorella are not mutually exclusive, and they can do wonders for your body when taken in tandem.

You can purchase spirulina and chlorella separately if you intend to ingest them in different ways (smoothies vs. capsules) or at different times, but if you’re looking to simplify your health routine you’ll be happy to know that there are superfood capsules on the market that contain both spirulina and chlorella, so with one quick capsule to start off your day you’ll be ingesting two different superfoods that are ready to take your health to the next level. What a perfect way to start your day!

Do you take spirulina or chlorella? Let us know which benefits you’ve noticed in the comments below! What is your take on the chlorella vs spirulina showdown?

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Article by:

Energetic Lifestyle Team

Our detailed review has been contributed to by multiple members of the Energetic Lifestyle Review Team to ensure the best research and highest standard of quality. Have a good or a bad experience with one of the products? Please let us know, we love the feedback!

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