In the US, spirulina has long been relegated to pill or powder form, stuffed in smoothies or swallowed with a gulp of water. But that’s not the ideal way to access all of the nutrients that spirulina provides. Live, fresh spirulina — like SP2 Life — boasts 95 percent bio-availability, meaning that 95 percent of the nutrients like all the B vitamins, a full range of amino acids, and all of the antioxidants are actually absorbed when you use a cube of SP2. Compare that to the 2 to 3 percent bio-availability of powdered forms, and it’s easy to see why swapping powder for fresh makes sense.
A fresh sample of Spirulina showed better results in bioactive compounds compared to that of dried sample. Spirulina contains chlorophyl and carotenoids as well as phenolic and flavonoid compounds, which can act as natural antioxidants. Compared to a dry sample, a fresh sample of spirulina boasted much higher levels of phenolic and flavonoid compounds. The differences in the fresh and dried sample were mainly due to the different in water content between the two, since the fresh sample had water content almost 12 times higher than the dried sample—but adding water to a dry sample won’t bring the antioxidant compounds back.
Some people who remember spirulina from the nineties or who’ve gotten a bad batch of powdered spirulina will wrinkle their noses when they recall the earthy smell that the powdered form can take. But the fresh forms don’t have the same smell and taste issues. With frozen SP2, though, the end product is odorless and tasteless, so other than turning your smoothie a gorgeous shade of dark teal, you won’t even notice that it’s there.
When spirulina goes through a drying process, essential enzymes are removed, making it harder for our bodies to breakdown to access all of the nutrients in it — and there are so many nutrients that we need in there! From more iron than spinach to calcium to more antioxidants than strawberries, it’s a nutritional powerhouse… But only if your body can get to those nutrients.
You’re probably not currently living in a tent doing a massive thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. So why are you opting for powdered, dehydrated supplements? Save the dehydrated meals for the trailhead, and when you have kitchen and freezer access, use fresh food when available. This isn’t just advice for spirulina consumption, it’s good to remember about any type of fruit or vegetable. Use the entire plant when possible, for the best blend of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, fruits and veggies (including spirulina) are packed with water, so increase your hydration status by eating fresh and frozen, not dehydrated and packaged.
While fresh spirulina is clearly the best option, the quality of fresh spirulinas available now varies widely. The proprietary SP2 blend is grown exclusively in fresh water, involving food-grade minerals, even though spirulina is tough enough to be grown in even the worst water conditions. It’s rigorously tested to make sure that it’s entirely pure spirulina, free of any other microalgaes as well as toxins. Once the spirulina is ready for harvest, SP2 is then shock-frozen, in order to produce an odorless and tasteless product that retains a 95 percent absorption rate of vitamins, minerals and protein even as it’s shipped all over the US.