Without calcium, our bones would be brittle and would likely crack under pressure.
Calcium is a vital nutrient that our bodies need to maintain healthy bones, joints, and teeth. Unfortunately, calcium deficiency is quite common among vegans, as we don’t consume dairy – which is how non-vegans absorb much of the natural calcium they need.
Doctors and dieticians generally recommend that plant-based eaters add a calcium supplement to their diet to help maintain their skeletal and dental health.
Below, I’ll share some of the best vegan calcium supplements, so you can determine which best fits your needs and budget.
Calcium itself is 100% vegan.
It’s a simple mineral that’s found in a variety of different places, including:
- Leafy green vegetables (such as broccoli, kale, and spinach)
- Nuts and seeds (such as almonds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds)
- Legumes (such as soybeans, lentils, and beans)
- Fish (such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel)
- Dairy products (such as milk, cheese, and yogurt)
- Fortified foods (such as orange juice, tofu, and cereals)
- Mineral water (check out my list of the best vegan mineral water)
- Certain types of algae
On this list, dairy and fish are the only non-vegan sources of calcium. Unfortunately, the highest concentration of calcium is found in dairy – which vegans don’t consume due to the fact that it’s produced through the often-cruel exploitation of cows.
Hypothetically, you could get all of the calcium you need by consuming a healthy, balanced, natural diet. However, this may not be enough, especially for those who are aging and need higher levels of calcium.
Additionally, many find themselves so busy that they simply don’t have time to adhere to a strict calcium-heavy diet.
Consuming a daily supplement is a foolproof way to maintain your natural calcium levels so you don’t suffer from any of the side effects of calcium deficiency.
If you’re already taking a vegan multivitamin supplement, then it may already contain your recommended daily calcium intake. If not, then you may need to add a vegan calcium supplement to your daily routine.
I’ve experimented with a few different supplements over the past few years, and here are some of my favorites.
1. NATURELO Bone Strength (link)
Naturelo’s Bone Strength Plant Calcium Complex is very similar to the PlantFusion calcium supplement that I’ve mentioned below. Like PlantFusion, this supplement is made from a variety of marine algae that’s rich in calcium, iron, and iodine.
In addition to calcium, Nutrelo’s Bone Strength Complex contains magnesium, zinc, and vitamins D3, C, and K2, which all work together to help your body optimize calcium absorption and contribute to your bone health.
Although vitamin D3 is often non-vegan (as it’s derived from lanolin, which comes from sheep’s wool), the D3 used in this supplement is derived from lichen, which is similar to algae.
In addition to the other vitamins and minerals I mentioned, this supplement contains potassium and boron.
Boron helps to extend the half-life of vitamin D in your body. This, in turn, helps your body maintain healthy calcium levels by decreasing your body’s natural calcium secretion.
Potassium reduces the acidity in your stomach and digestive tract. Too much acidity can cause your body to borrow alkaline salts from calcium, which reduces the efficacy of calcium supplements.
By combining potassium with a calcium supplement, you’ll reduce acidity and ensure that your body is able to absorb the maximum amount of calcium that it needs.
It doesn’t contain any common allergens, animal by-products, preservatives, caffeine, or artificial colors/flavors.
- Affordable price point
- Balanced supplement with multiple vitamins and minerals
- Contains boron and potassium to increase absorption
- Contains vegan-friendly vitamin D3 (from lichen)
- The pills are a bit large, and may be hard to swallow if you don’t cut them
2. PlantFusion Vegan Calcium, Premium Plant-Based Calcium (link)
PlantFusion is a vegan calcium supplement made with a blend of calcium and magnesium.
It’s made using a blend of plant-based ingredients, including algae and organic sprouted brown rice.
It’s easy to digest, easily absorbed by your body, and offers 500 mg of calcium per serving.
I also appreciate that it contains other essential minerals. Magnesium, phosphorus, and boron, all of which work together to support overall bone health and increase calcium absorption, so you can get the most out of each caplet.
It’s 100% allergen-free and doesn’t contain any animal products, making it suitable for those with dietary restrictions (gluten, soy, or otherwise).
Another neat feature is that many of the minerals in PlantFusion’s vegan calcium supplement are derived from Icelandic red algae (also known as dulse). This seaweed grows in the cold waters off the coast of Iceland, and is rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, and iodine.
- Concentrated calcium and magnesium supplement
- Minerals derived from natural Icelandic red algae
- 500 mg of calcium per serving
- Fair value
- The caplets are rather large
3. Solaray Calcium Citrate (link)
Solaray Calcium Citrate is a calcium citrate-based supplement that contains 500 mg of calcium per serving. This form of calcium is known for its ability to be easily absorbed, which could reduce constipation and stomach pain in those who are more sensitive to supplements.
Solaray Calcium Citrate also contains vegan vitamin D and magnesium, which facilitate calcium absorption and retention.
It’s 100% vegan and is also safe for those with dietary restrictions, as it doesn’t contain any gluten, soy, and other allergens found in cheap supplements.
This supplement also contains dandelion root, watercress, and parsley – natural herbs which further promote calcium retention. However, this has also resulted in some negative reviews of the product, as these ingredients are written in fine print, and aren’t quite as obvious as the main ingredients.
The capsules are also easy to swallow (unlike the PlantFusion and Naturelo caplets). Solaray Calcium Citrate comes in a 120-count bottle, which should last for about four months if you’re taking it daily.
Maintaining an eco-friendly lifestyle is one of the core tenets of a vegan lifestyle, so I really appreciate that the bottles are made from PCR plastic that consists entirely of recycled plastic taken from oceans and landfills.
The brand is also partnered with One Million Trees and donates a portion of its profits to help plant trees in regions affected by deforestation.
Unlike lower-quality brands manufactured in China, Solaray’s vegan calcium supplement is manufactured in the USA at its Utah-based facility, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
- Made in the USA
- Contains vitamin D (vegan) and magnesium
- Made with calcium citrate, which is easily absorbed
- Bottles made from 100% recycled plastic
- Product labeling isn’t as clear as it could be
4. Deva Vegan Vitamins Calcium, Magnesium Plus (link)
Deva is one of the few supplement brands that’s received vegan certification from the Vegan Society. This means that the company’s facilities have been thoroughly inspected and products have been tested to verify that no animal products are involved in the production process.
Although the product labeling is a bit outdated, it’s a well-balanced vegan calcium supplement overall. Like PlantFusion and Naturelo, Deva uses a proprietary blend of calcium and magnesium.
Additionally, it features added vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin D2 (which is always vegan), vitamin K, zinc, copper, and boron. Interestingly, it also includes horsetail herb extract, which is known for being high in silica, and the amino acid l-lysine.
Last but not least, it includes inulin, which is a prebiotic that can improve your digestion and help your body absorb calcium more efficiently.
- Certified vegan
- Includes a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals
- Contains inulin – a prebiotic
- Very inexpensive
- Packaging appears outdated
- Large pills can be hard to swallow
5. BulkSupplements Calcium Carbonate Powder (link)
If you’re a purist and you don’t like taking pills and capsules, then you may prefer to simply add pure calcium carbonate powder to your smoothie or mix it with a fresh-pressed juice.
In this case, then BulkSupplements’ Calcium Carbonate Powder is the way to go. It also happens to be one of the most cost-effective ways to consume calcium, as you’re not paying for extra added vitamins and minerals or fancy packaging and labels.
Calcium carbonate is one of the most abundant forms of calcium on the planet, as it’s naturally found in chalk, limestone, and other sedimentary rocks. This is another reason why it’s so inexpensive.
I tried this product more out of curiosity than anything else, and would mix a bit of the powder in with my morning smoothie after the gym. It’s relatively tasteless, which means that it mixes well with just about anything. It has a chalk-like texture and gives a grainy texture to whatever you mix it with.
The one drawback of consuming pure calcium carbonate powder is that it’s not as easily absorbed by your body.
Unlike the other supplements I mentioned above, BulkSupplements’ calcium carbonate doesn’t contain any of the added vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin D, boron, or potassium) that help your body absorb calcium more efficiently.
Essentially, this means that you’re not getting as much out of each scoop as you would by consuming a more balanced calcium supplement like PlantFusion or Naturelo Bone Strength.
- Cheap and cost effective
- Pure, tasteless powder is easy to mix in drinks and smoothies
- Isn’t absorbed as efficiently by your body
- Doesn’t contain added vitamins and minerals
6. Hippo7 Vegan Complete Multivitamin with Calcium (link)
Vegan Complete is a plant-based supplement manufactured by vegan supplement company Hippo7. I’ve tried several of the company’s other vitamin and mineral supplements, and they gave me Vegan Complete as a freebie to try and review.
This supplement contains a full serving of calcium, along with a balanced blend of nutrients, including iron, iodine, zinc, vegan vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids (from algae), and B12 – which many vegans are deficient in.
Each bottle comes with 60 softgel capsules, which are a lot easier to swallow than some of the larger capsules offered by other brands. All batches are also third-party lab tested, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
By itself, Hippo7 Vegan Complete is rather pricey. However, you can subscribe to the product and save 30% on your order. Not only does this help you save a bit, but it also encourages you to keep up with your daily supplement routine.
- Small softgels are easy to swallow
- Contains a balanced blend of minerals and vitamins – all from plant-based sources
- You can save money by subscribing
- Without a subscription, this product is a bit expensive
Calcium is an abundant mineral that’s found in various plants, rocks, and substrates on planet earth. Here’s a quick breakdown of the various types of calcium supplements that you’ll be able to choose from, along with some of their benefits.
Easily absorbed by the body and made from citric acid, Calcium citrate is a great choice for those with low stomach acid or difficulty swallowing pills.
Looking for a budget-friendly option? Calcium carbonate, made from crushed limestone or oyster shells, might be the perfect fit.
Combining phosphate and calcium, Calcium phosphate is a less expensive choice but may be less easily absorbed by the body.
A well-tolerated form of calcium, Calcium gluconate is made from gluconic acid and is often used to treat calcium deficiencies or to prevent low calcium levels in people at risk for osteoporosis.
Calcium lactate, made from lactic acid, is easily absorbed by the body and is also commonly used to treat calcium deficiencies or to prevent low calcium levels in those at risk for osteoporosis.
Calcium orotate, made from orotic acid, is another form of calcium that is easily absorbed by the body and is often used to treat calcium deficiencies or to prevent low calcium levels in people at risk for osteoporosis.
Calcium is especially important for young adults, as their bones are still growing and developing. Consuming enough calcium (around 1,000 mg per day) between ages 19 and 24 can optimize peak bone mass, which can reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
As people age, their bones can become weaker and more prone to fractures, which makes it even more important to stay on top of your calcium intake.
Women, in particular, should consume extra calcium as they begin menopause. During menopause, the body often poaches calcium away from your bones and joints, which is why many women develop joint pain and arthritis post-menopause.
Out of everything I’ve tried so far, I have to say that PlantFusion’s Vegan Calcium is the best plant-based vegan calcium supplement I’ve tried. It features a well-balanced blend of vitamins and minerals, is 100% vegan, and is fairly priced for what it contains.
The potassium and boron in PlantFusion’s supplement also help with calcium absorption and retention.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for the cheapest option, then Deva’s vegan calcium and magnesium supplement is a good alternative. Although the packaging is a bit outdated and the caplets are extra-large, it’s low-priced and contains many of the same ingredients as PlantFusion.
Looking for more ways to optimize your health and performance?
Check out my guide to the best vegan BCAAs next!