Acai Powder: Benefits & How to Use It

Acai powder may be less popular than frozen acai, but its extended shelf life, ease of use, and adaptability makes it a practical choice for anyone who enjoys making acai bowls.

Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, acai powder offers a convenient way to infuse your diet with the remarkable health benefits of acai berries.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about acai powder, including its nutritional content, health benefits, and ways to incorporate it into your diet.

Acai Powder: Benefits & How to Use It

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What is acai powder?

Acai powder is a concentrated, dried form of acai berries — small, dark purple fruits from Brazil that have gained immense popularity in the United States.

To make acai powder, acai berries are freeze-dried and ground into a fine powder. This process removes the moisture while preserving the fruit’s nutrients and most of its flavor.

Compared to frozen acai pulp, acai powder has a milder flavor. It tastes sweet and tart, with an earthy or bitter undertone similar to blackberries and dark chocolate.

Acai powder has several advantages over frozen acai. It’s shelf stable, easier to transport, doesn’t need to be thawed, and can be used in smaller quantities.

Incorporating acai powder into your diet is a convenient way to harness the nutritional power of acai berries and infuse your meals with their distinctive flavor. 

Acai powder nutrition

Acai powder is high in fat, low in carbohydrates and protein, and provides a small amount of fiber. It is also a rich source of antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals like manganese, vitamin A, potassium, and copper.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of acai powder nutrition:

Calories and macronutrients

Here’s the calorie and macronutrient content for a 1-tablespoon (10-gram) serving of acai powder (1):

  • Calories: 59
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 5 grams

Vitamins and minerals

Here’s the vitamin and mineral content for acai powder, based on a 1-tablespoon (10-gram) serving size (2, 3, 4):

  • Manganese: 4.5 mg (196% DV)
  • Vitamin A: 1170 IU (23% DV)
  • Potassium: 1100 mg (23% DV)
  • Copper: 0.2 mg (22% DV)
  • Iron: 2 mg (11% DV)
  • Magnesium: 32 mg (8% DV)
  • Vitamin C: 6 mg (7% DV)
  • Calcium: 46 mg (4% DV)
  • Zinc: 0.4 mg (4% DV)

Provides >100% of your daily manganese requirements: A single tablespoon of acai powder delivers 196% of the Daily Value (DV) for manganese, a mineral that acts as an antioxidant and plays an important role in metabolism (5).

Excellent source of vitamin A, potassium, and copper: Acai powder also provides nearly one-fourth of your daily needs for vitamin A, potassium, and copper in a single serving.

Good source of iron and magnesium: Just one tablespoon of acai powder provides around 10% of the DV for iron and magnesium, two minerals with key roles in the cardiovascular system (6, 7).


Acai is well-known for its high concentration of antioxidants — compounds that help protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases (8).

Interestingly, acai powder’s characteristic dark purple color comes from a group of antioxidant plant pigments called anthocyanins, which are found in many fruits and vegetables (9, 10).

Compared to other antioxidant-rich fruits, acai is among the most concentrated sources of antioxidants. In fact, acai antioxidant capacity is about 85% higher than blueberries (11, 12). 

Additionally, acai powder tends to contain more antioxidants than frozen acai pulp due to the freeze-drying process, which helps stabilize and preserve its nutrients (13).

Benefits of acai powder

Few studies have evaluated the potential effects of acai powder, specifically, on health. However, research on frozen acai pulp or acai juice suggests the following benefits.

1. May lower cholesterol

Acai may promote heart health because it contains compounds, like anthocyanins and sterols, that lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels (14).

According to animal studies, acai lowers total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol levels (15, 16, 17).

Research in humans, on the other hand, is less impressive. Some have shown slight improvements in cholesterol levels with acai consumption, but others have failed to find any benefit (18, 19, 20, 21, 22).

2. May protect against cancer

Antioxidants found in acai may help protect against cancer by triggering cancer cells to die and slowing the growth of tumors (23, 24, 25).

So far, only one human study has been published. In a clinical trial of people with prostate cancer, participants who were given acai juice had slower increases in prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker that increases when prostate cancer is present (26).

Based on these results, it’s possible that acai could play a role in treating prostate cancer, but many more studies are needed.

3. May regulate blood sugar

Due to its low carbohydrate content, acai is an excellent choice for people with diabetes or anyone who needs to manage their blood sugar levels.

In one study, people with a higher weight BMI (between 25 and 29.9) who consumed acai pulp daily had lower blood sugar following a meal after 1 month (18). However, other research hasn’t produced the same results (19, 27, 28). 

On its own, acai may not be powerful enough to bring down high blood sugar levels. Instead, combining acai with a balanced diet high in protein and fiber is likely to give you the best results (29, 30).

4. May promote brain health

Compounds in acai may promote brain health by combating inflammation and oxidative stress, a process that damages brain cells over time and increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (14, 31, 32). 

Several animal studies have shown that acai may improve memory and cognition (33, 34, 35). Anthocyanins, like those found in acai, have also been linked with faster processing speed (a measure of how quickly we can take in and respond to information) (36, 37).

However, there hasn’t been any human research looking at acai’s effect on memory, cognitive function, or diseases like Alzheimer’s.

5. May protect against liver disease

Acai may reduce the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition in which excess fat builds up in the liver and can eventually lead to permanent liver damage.

Researchers believe the antioxidants in acai protect the liver from fat buildup and cell damage by reducing oxidative stress and lowering inflammation (38, 39).

In animal studies, acai extracts have been shown to slow the progression of liver damage caused by NAFLD, but so far there hasn’t been any research in humans (38, 40).

6. May enhance exercise performance

If you’re looking to up your exercise game, consider adding acai to your routine. It may provide the energy needed to power through your workouts while helping you recover more quickly afterward.

In one study, athletes who drank acai juice one hour before running on a treadmill were able to exercise longer (41). In another study, acai juice reduced exercise-induced muscle damage (x).

More research is needed, but the antioxidants in acai are likely responsible for these performance-enhancing effects (42). 

Where to buy acai powder

Acai powder is not available at most supermarkets. However, you can easily find it at health food markets, supplement stores, or through online retailers.

Here are some of the acai powder products available on Amazon:

How to store acai powder

Keep acai powder in an airtight container and store it in a cabinet or pantry away from direct sunlight. If properly stored, acai powder can stay fresh for up to 2 years.

How to use acai powder

Acai powder is a convenient and versatile ingredient that can be effortlessly incorporated into a wide range of recipes.

1. Acai bowls and smoothies

Acai bowls are the most popular way to enjoy acai. They are based on the traditional Brazilian recipe, açaí na tigela, which means “acai in the bowl” in Portuguese.

Although frozen acai pulp is more commonly used in acai bowls and smoothies, acai powder is an excellent substitute if you don’t have any on hand. 

Whip up an acai smoothie by blending acai powder with frozen fruits like bananas and mixed berries, along with milk or yogurt. You’ll want to use 1-2 tablespoons of acai powder per serving. 

To make an acai bowl, simply pour your acai smoothie into a bowl and top with fresh fruit such as sliced strawberries and blueberries, as well as granola, coconut flakes, and a drizzle of honey. 

2. Dressings, sauces, and marinades

Acai powder can be a delightful secret ingredient in dressings, sauces, and marinades to add a burst of fruity flavor and a nutritious boost to your dishes.

To create a zesty acai dressing, whisk together a teaspoon of acai powder with ¾ cup olive oil, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, a drizzle of honey, and a pinch of salt & pepper. 

For a fruity twist on barbecue sauce or glaze, stir acai powder into your homemade sauce mixture, combining it with ingredients like tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and spices. 

Or, you can make an acai-based meat marinade by mixing acai powder with olive oil, minced garlic, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Marinate your protein of choice for at least an hour.

3. Baked goods and desserts

Try adding acai powder to your favorite baked goods and desserts, such as muffins, brownies, cookies, and energy balls, for a subtle berry twist. 

To infuse your treats with its unique flavor, start by adding one to two teaspoons of acai powder to your dry ingredients, like flour or cocoa powder, before incorporating them into your batter. 

Additionally, acai powder can be stirred into creamy desserts such as yogurt, ice cream, or pudding, providing an antioxidant-rich boost and a gorgeous purple color.

Final thoughts

Acai powder is a dried form of acai berries that’s low in carbs, high in fat, rich in antioxidants, and packed with vitamins and minerals like manganese and vitamin A. 

While research is limited, acai powder has many potential health benefits, including protecting against cancer, lowering cholesterol, and protecting brain health.

Use acai powder to replace frozen acai in acai bowls and smoothies, or add a teaspoon to your favorite salad dressings, meat marinades, baked goods, and desserts.

Amy Richter is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Missouri. She is an experienced nutrition writer and medical advisor for Healthline and Medical News Today.  Amy is passionate about all things food-related and enjoys translating complex science into easy-to-understand articles.

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