We all need protein one way or another. Foods rich in protein will be your best source, but some people might struggle to consume enough on a daily basis. This is where protein powders can become your best friend.
Most powders will give you anywhere from 10-25 grams of protein per serving. They can be added to a beverage, smoothie, or food to increase the amount of protein and other nutrients. Believe it or not, there are over 10 kinds of protein powders such as whey, casein, soy protein, and – the one we’re talking about today – hemp protein.
Hemp protein powder is commonly known to be one of the best plant-based (vegan) protein powders on the market today. Aside from being a good source of protein, hemp protein powder is filled with various nutrients which can be beneficial for your health.
Hemp protein includes the nine essential amino acids, dietary fiber, and other nutritional benefits. So, if you are looking for a plant-based nutritious protein powder, you may want to consider checking out hemp protein powders.
But what are hemp protein powders? What are their key benefits? Above all, what are the best hemp protein powders brands to try out? These are just some of the things that we will discuss in this article.
So, without any further ado, let’s get into it!
What Is Hemp Protein?
We’ve all heard of the hemp plant by now, yet many don’t fully understand its versatility. It’s utilized in food, nutrition, fuel, plastic, linens, milk, soil, and pet food. The medical industry has even learned of hemp’s benefits.
The benefit we’ll be talking about today is the nutritional value. As you can already tell, hemp protein powder is made from hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are packed with various vitamins and minerals. Aside from that, they are also packed with healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which are very beneficial to both heart and brain health. Hemp seeds are also good sources of fiber, antioxidants, and chlorophyll. Furthermore, they are free of sugar, saturated fats, sodium, and cholesterol.
These hemp seeds can be ground up into a powder, mainly for its protein content. A typical serving of about 30 grams will contain around 15g of protein, 120 calories, 11g of carbs, as well as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. Hemp protein powders actually contain complete protein – that is, it contains all the 9 essential amino acids.
While hemp protein powders are usually marketed as vegan nutritional supplements, anyone can really try it out. For instance, if you have allergic problems with whey or soy protein, you may want to consider trying out hemp protein powder and see if it will be a good alternative for you.
Like most protein powders in the market, hemp protein powder is simple and easy to use. You can simply blend it into your smoothie or juice, or even just add it to water. You can even use it in baking if that’s what you’d prefer. But when it comes to choosing a hemp protein powder supplement, it’s important to first know the different benefits that can come with it.
What Makes Hemp Protein Special?
There’s a lot to love about hemp protein, especially for those looking at plant-based, vegan options. Let’s take a look at some of the things that make hemp protein special:
- It contains edestin and albumin while lacking trypsin inhibitors, making it easy to digest (unlike most plant-based proteins)
- It’s a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids, unlike most plant-based proteins
- Of the nine essential amino acids, it contains a high amount of tyrosine (cognitive boost) and arginine (blood flow)
- Contains a 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 fatty acids and Omega-3 fatty acids, making it a heart-healthy option
- You’ll receive half the needed amount of daily fiber in your diet with just one serving
- Calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, manganese, and copper are present
Hemp protein provides a lot of nutritional value that other protein powders can’t match. Most of the ones that can, like whey protein, aren’t able to boast it being plant-based.
Hemp Protein Powder Benefits
When it comes to consuming hemp powder, there are a plethora of benefits one could experience. It all comes down to your body and the way it interacts with the protein powder and protein intake. Before we address the best hemp protein powder options, let’s go over the benefits.
1) Complete Protein Source
As mentioned earlier, hemp protein powders provide us with complete protein – that is, it provides us with all the 9 essential amino acids that our body needs.
That being said, research still does not agree on the exact amount of amino acids that hemp provides. For instance, one research shows that the amino acid profile of hemp is similar to that of egg whites while other studies show that hemp has relatively lower levels of the amino acid called lysine.
Regardless, given that getting protein via plant-based sources is relatively challenging compared to animal-based sources, hemp protein powders will be very valuable when it comes to your protein source, especially if you’re actually following a strictly plant-based diet. It also includes dietary fiber which is great for your health too.
2) Good for Cardiovascular Health
Hemp contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are known to be very beneficial for heart health. Some of the benefits that omega-3 fatty acids can provide for your cardiovascular health include: reduce triglycerides levels, reducing the risk of developing arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), and slowing down the buildup of plaque on your blood vessels, which would otherwise cause narrowed blood flow.
Hemp also contains tocopherols, which are compounds that can naturally lower your risk of certain cardiovascular diseases.
3) Good Source of Minerals and Antioxidants
Aside from protein, taking a hemp protein supplement can provide you with a good source of minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Hemp seeds are rich in certain minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. These minerals play a vital role in our overall health. For instance, iron is responsible for developing hemoglobin, a type of protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to the different parts of your body; calcium is important for keeping your bones strong, and; magnesium plays various roles for your body such as regulation of muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
Aside from minerals, hemp seeds are also a good source of antioxidants in the form of lignanamides. Antioxidants are very important for our health because they fight off oxidative stress, which would otherwise cause subtle but long-term damage to our health if left unmanaged.
4) Its Protein is Easy to Digest
Generally, animal proteins are more digestible compared to plant proteins, but hemp protein is an exception. According to studies, around 91-98% of the protein in ground hemp seed is digestible. This means that your body can absorb and use much of the amino acids it offers.
Experts believe that the relatively high digestibility of hemp protein can be contributed to the hemp’s albumin and edestin, types of protein that our body can quickly break down and digest.
- The fatty acids can help relieve skin irritation caused by Eczema
- The fatty acids are also converted into energy, but over a sustained amount of time
- A healthy balance of antioxidants and fatty acids can help relieve inflammation
- Restore and repair lean muscle tissue
- The fatty acids help improve hair health
- Reduce your chance of getting osteoporosis
- Increases the rate of metabolism in the body
- Hemp protein isn’t just cholesterol-free, but it can help regulate cholesterol levels as well
What you’ll end up getting is a source of protein that does so much more for your body than your typical protein powder. It continues to grow in an industry largely dominated by whey protein, so it’s only a matter of time before more people turn on to it.
Is Hemp Protein Powder Safe?
The good news is a majority of people see no side effects when consuming hemp protein powder. Of course, there will always be some potential side effects that are experienced by a small group of people.
Following the instructions on the product label is your best bet at avoiding side effects in any product. Taking too much in a short period of time can cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea. There’s also the worry of harmful reactions in those allergic to hemp.
How To Choose The Right Hemp Protein Powder
If you’re thinking about purchasing a hemp protein powder, you want to ensure you select a quality one worth your hard-earned money. Protein comes from a wide range of sources, but each one has its own unique way of benefiting your body.
Things to look for:
- What’s the protein content?
- How it was processed?
- Does it contain hexane?
- What are your priorities with the hemp protein powder?
When looking at different brands, you’ll first want to look at the protein content. After all, that’s the main reason you’re after it. You’ll want around 10-20g of protein per serving, but some will provide more. You also want one that’s all-natural and organic.
Another important thing to consider is how the protein is processed. This is because the method of processing the hemp’s protein can make or break the overall product (ex. some processes can destroy the nutrient quality of the hemp).
Generally, the best processing method of processing hemp protein is called “cold milling”. Cold milling is a process that does not use high temperatures when processing hemp protein. This ensures that aside from processing the protein, the nutrients that hemp has to offer are also preserved.
The next thing to consider is whether or not the hemp protein powder contains hexane and pesticides. Hexane is a compound that is commonly used in processing hemp, but this is also harmful for human consumption as it releases harmful chemicals when processed. As for pesticides, we all know that pesticides are simply nasty for our bodies. Therefore, looking for hemp protein powders that are both hexane- and pesticide-free.
Once you got those two checked, then you’ll want to consider your personal priorities. For example, if you’re looking for a hemp protein that contains a particular amount of protein, then look for that. If calories are your concern, then consider looking for the lowest-calorie hemp protein in the market. If you are a very active person, consider getting a hemp protein that is formulated for people like you.
The taste will also play a role. While most people aren’t too fond of the original hemp flavor, companies will often give you several options — hopefully. Also, consider if you want an organic hemp protein powder. Or if you want the protein powder to include other ingredients, as some brands will add in things like pea protein, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, almond milk, brown rice powder, acacia fiber, etc.
Lastly, make sure the price is within your budget and double-check the reviews or customer feedback.
When you can find yourself a quality hemp protein powder, you’ll never go a day without it again! It’s ot just the perfect addition to your diet, but it’s extremely easy to consume and can be added to the things you already eat or drink daily.
Best Hemp Protein Powder
We’ve talked a lot about hemp protein, but now it’s time to take a look at some of our favorite powders available today. The number of brands is growing rapidly as more people demand it, making your decision even more difficult.
We hope to make this decision a little easier for you with our picks for the best hemp protein powders.
ONNIT Powerfood Active
ONNIT is one of the most popular supplements brands in the market for its high-quality supplements such as Shroom TECH Sport, Total Human, and New Mood. When it comes to hemp protein powder, ONNIT has a product for that, too – ONNIT Powerfood Active!
ONNIT Powerfood Active is made from organic hemp, pea protein, and rice protein. It is a vegan, plant-based supplement that is packed with amino acids, antioxidants, and fatty acids, making it very ideal for both very active people and those who just casually work out.
The main goal of ONNIT Powerfood Active is to help you build big muscle mass, as you can see from its protein content, but you’ll also get a lot of benefits from its fatty acids and antioxidants.
MRM Veggie Protein
MRM Veggie Protein is a hemp protein shake that is made from hemp, pea, and rice. MRM Veggie Protein is all-natural – it contains no additives nor any sweeteners.
The main selling point of MRM Veggie Protein is that it is relatively easy to digest compared to other hemp protein powders. This is because the lack of additives makes this hemp protein easier to digest compared to others.
Aside from that, MRM Veggie Protein also contains 22 grams of protein per serving, which is great protein content. If you are in search of a protein powder that will help with building muscles or even assist in weight loss, this can be a great option. While there are dozens of hemp powders on the market, this one comes from a well-respected brand.
Evo Hemp Protein
If you are looking for an affordable hemp protein, you may want to consider checking out Evo Hemp Protein. For only $11.99, you can get a 450g bag of Evo Hemp Protein! But just because Evo is priced lower compared to other supplements does not mean that this supplement is cheap.
To begin with, Evo is processed using cold-press technology, which means that the nutrients of hemp are finely preserved for our enjoyment and health use. Aside from that, Evo is also hexane-free, so it is clean to consume.
Evo is also non-GMO and it is also organic. As for protein, it offers 15 grams of protein per serving– not much compared to others, but considering its overall value and its price, it is still a great deal. This protein supplement is a great alternative to whey protein powder if you are trying to switch protein supplements.
Manitoba Hemp Yeah!
Manitoba is one of the best brands when it comes to hemp products. If fiber is important to you (aside from protein), then Manitoba could be the hemp protein powder for you!
Unlike other hemp protein powders, this hemp protein blend offers 13g of fiber, which is relatively high for fiber. However, it may not offer much protein – 13 grams of protein per serving, just similar to fiber – but this amount is still enough to enjoy its benefits.
Hemp Protein +Fiber by Just Hemp Foods
Just Hemp Foods has a hemp protein powder that also includes fiber. Each tub has 14 servings, with each serving containing 130 calories, 11 grams of protein, 13 grams of fiber, 280mg of potassium, and 0.6 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Hemp Protein +Fiber by Just Hemp Foods will also contain high traces of manganese, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, magnesium, and copper. The only downside is it’s only available unflavored, but it is Non-GMO certified and gluten-free.
Organic Hemp Powder by Navitas Organics
Navitas Organics’ hemp protein powder is a gluten-free, cold-pressed product. It will come in a little more expensive than the previous, and you’ll get about three fewer servings per tub (11 total). Each serving will contain 120 calories, 13 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber.
This is a good option for someone looking for less calories, but a little more protein. It’s not as rich in minerals but does contain high traces of Magnesium and Iron. It’s a USDA Organic, Kosher, Non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free product.
Hemp Seed Protein by Nutiva
I really like this hemp protein powder by Nutiva. They have several different options, including vanilla and chocolate flavors in a 15g formula and a Hi-Fiber formula. In their 15g formula, you’ll get 15 grams of protein per serving, as well as 120 calories, 8 grams of fiber, and a high amount of iron.
If you’re more after the fiber, their Hi-Fiber formula has 12 grams of fiber. The catch is it will only contain 11 grams of protein, but that’s the trade-off.
Hemp Protein Powder by Lean Hemp
If you want a little extra calories in your protein powder, Lean Hemp provides 160 calories per serving. It’ll also come packed with a whopping 20 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and 520mg of potassium.
As far as vitamins and minerals go, it contains high amounts of manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, niacin, and thiamin. It’s truly my favorite out of the ones we’ve listed today but is also the most expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Is hemp protein as good as whey?
The short answer is, yes, hemp protein is as good as whey – at least, in terms of effectiveness. Unlike other plant-based proteins, hemp protein is as effective as whey protein when it comes to providing us with our dietary protein needs.
2) Can anyone use hemp protein powder?
While hemp protein powder is safe for most people, there can be potential side effects. Hemp protein is generally considered safe for most people. That being said, it can still cause some side effects.
Most of the side effects of hemp protein come from its fiber content – it can cause digestive-related side effects to some such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating. Also, if you are allergic to hemp, you should avoid hemp protein powders.
3) Do you have to buy organic hemp protein powder?
When it comes to purchasing a hemp protein powder it’s important to buy an organic brand. Organic hemp protein powder tends to be safer to consumers, higher quality, and trustworthy. Whereas with a non-organic brand, you might come across contaminants in the powder. The best hemp protein powder will come as organic and usually promotes the benefits of amino acids as well.
Should You Give Hemp Protein Powder A Try?
Do you want to give one of the best hemp protein powder options a try? When it comes to protein powder, hemp powder is easy on the gut and likely does not have adverse effects. It’s a great option when it comes to organic protein powder, as it has more protein than many other protein powders and contains an amino acid blend, and is high in fiber.
While it is up to you to determine what the best hemp protein powder is for you, this list should get you started!