In fact, protein is known as the building block of our body, allowing us to develop and function as optimal human beings.
Generally speaking, when one thinks about protein powder, they typically think of Whey, the most popular and most accessible form of protein powder on the market. Whey is a dairy-derived protein source that is extremely effective at its job of building and repairing muscle tissue.
It contains all the essential amino acids required of a complete protein, and it tastes mighty delicious as well!
In recent years, however, plant-protein powders have made their way onto the scene, paving the way for a new generation of protein powder supplements. From soy, pea, rice, and hemp, the variety of options when it comes to plant protein powder are several.
Of the options mentioned above, hemp has become one of the more popular options, providing those who consume it with a high-quality protein source packed with vitamins and minerals.
In this article, we’ll be discussing all things hemp protein powder. From what it is, how it’s made, and when to use it, to the benefits, disadvantages, and comparisons between its top competitors.
So, for those thinking about investing in a hemp protein supplement, or you’re simply curious to learn more, this article is for you! First, what is hemp protein powder?
What is Hemp Protein Powder?
In order to answer this question, we first need to understand what hemp is. In short, hemp is one of the fastest-growing plants on earth, living in the same class of plants as marijuana.
While hemp can be utilized in a variety of ways for a variety of purposes, its extracts typically come from the fibres or the seeds of the plant itself.
Hemp protein powder, then, is simply a derivative of hemp, usually derived by grinding the edible hemp seeds into powder form. This begs the next question: how is hemp protein powder made and when should you use it?!
How it’s Made
At its most basic, hemp protein powder is made by simply milling and grinding up the edible hemp seeds into a fine powder-like form.
In more specific terms, manufacturing hemp protein powder requires an in-depth process that includes extracting and removing the fat and oil, removing the excess fibre, and grinding up the seeds.
The end result is a tightly curated, high-quality protein powder supplement made exclusively from hemp.
When to Use it
Like all protein powder supplements, plant-based or not, consuming it is really up to the discretion of the consumer. Whether you consume the shake at breakfast, as a midday snack, or for a post-workout recovery drink, that decision is up to you!
With that said, it’s recommended, dependent upon your goals, of course, to consume it within 1-2 hours after a rigorous workout for optimal recovery and absorption.
With respect to dosages, it’s recommended to consume 2-4 tablespoons per day, on average. Not only will this suffice for the greater majority of individuals based on weight and protein requirements, but it will allow you to hit your daily protein needs without concern.
How to Use it
As mentioned above, it’s truly up to the consumer how he or she wants to consume it. With that said, the options are truly endless. Whether you want to mix it up into a protein shake with milk or water, add it to a smoothie of your choosing, or exercise it as a baking ingredient for pancakes, muffins, or bread, hemp protein powder is a surefire, versatile protein source for your daily needs whatever they may be.
Benefits of Hemp Protein Powder
The benefits of supplementing with hemp protein powder are abundant. Whether you’re opting for this superior plant-based option because of a dietary restriction, or because you choose to for environmental or health purposes, hemp protein and its accompanying nutritional facts are certain to meet your needs.
Not only is hemp protein powder packed with amino acids, but it also contains a generous amount of vitamins and minerals, and promotes several health and immunity functions, among other benefits.
Below is a list of the several health and fitness benefits of supplementing with hemp protein powder. Following, we’ll dive a little deeper into each benefit separately:
• Rich Amino Acid Profile
• It’s a High-Quality Protein Source
• May Reduce the Risk of Several Health Biomarkers
• Boosts Immunity
• Improves Digestion and Absorption
• Effective at Building Lean Muscle Tissue
• Curbs Cravings
As you can tell, hemp protein powder doesn’t lack in the benefits department. While hemp tends to be a popular choice among vegans and vegetarians for obvious reasons, it can truly be enjoyed by all.
Is it a superior choice to the more dominant whey protein? We’ll answer that shortly. However, before we settle the debate, let’s first dive a little deeper into each benefit of the plant-based protein powder, hemp.
Rich Amino Acid Profile
This popular plant-based protein source contains all 9 essential amino acids, including but not limited to leucine, a powerhouse amino acid known for its muscle-building, bone healing, human growth effects.
Moreover, hemp protein powder also contains an additional 20 amino acids, including branched-chain amino acids, incredible for muscle recovery and repair. This is largely why hemp is such a high-quality protein source!
High-Quality Protein Source
As we discussed in the preface of this article, protein is known to be the building blocks of our body. In contrast, amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
The good news is that hemp protein powder contains all 9 essential amino acids, 20 in total. making up for a high-quality, plant-based protein source.
May Reduce Risk of Health Biomarkers
As shown in several research studies, hemp has been linked to the maintenance and control of cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, among other biomarkers of health.
Moreover, it’s been shown to be effective in promoting healthy kidney function. Hemp protein powder is an incredible tool for improving one’s health, strengthening the heart, and reducing the risk of any early-onset chronic illness.
Hemp protein powder contains high amounts of several vitamins and minerals, including but certainly not limited to iron, magnesium, and other antioxidant-rich micronutrients.
Not only is this beneficial for boosting immunity, but it’s also beneficial for one’s overall health and the reduction of chronic illness.
Improves Digestion & Absorption
Unlike other protein sources, hemp is extremely digestible. 98% digestible, in fact! Not only is this good news for your gut and digestive tract, hopefully avoiding any of the unpleasant symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort, but it also allows for optimal absorption of the proteins and amino acids, ultimately resulting in the repair and building of the muscles.
Effective at Building Lean Muscle Tissue
Segway! Like all complete protein sources, hemp protein powder is fantastic at building lean muscle tissue. This is, as discussed because it contains all essential amino acids necessary for protein synthesis.
With a packed nutrient profile and an optimal amount of protein per serving, hemp protein powder is undeniably one of the best protein sources for building muscle and repairing muscle tissue.
Because protein, and hemp protein, in particular, is known to be a satiating agent, supplementing with optimal amounts will result in a suppression of hunger and the killing of cravings.
Not only that, but hemp is quite low in calories in comparison to its alternatives. As such, a combination of appetite suppression and low caloric intake makes hemp protein powder a great option for those looking to cut out sugary cravings and lose weight.
Disadvantages of Hemp Protein Powder
To summarize before diving deeper, hemp protein powder is a widely used protein source that’s safe and effective for the majority of individuals supplementing with it. With that said, like everything, there are some exceptions.
Below is a list of a few potential disadvantages of supplementing with hemp protein powder. Following, we’ll dive a little deeper into each disadvantage separately:
• May Result in Gas or Bloating
• May Trigger Allergenic Symptoms
• May Be Unsafe For Specific Small Populations (strong emphasis on the “may”)
First and foremost, by supplementing with any type of protein powder supplement, you run the risk of becoming gassy or bloated depending on how your body responds. Everyone’s body reacts differently to different protein sources.
With that said, while hemp protein powder is known to be highly digestible and absorbable, it may cause gas and bloating in a small subset of individuals, especially if you consume too much in one sitting.
Secondly, although it’s an uncommon allergy, some may experience allergenic symptoms from consuming hemp protein powder. This, for obvious reasons, would only be a concern for those with a hemp allergy.
Lastly, while hemp protein powder, and hemp in general, is generally safe to consume for the majority of people, research suggests that it may be unsafe for small subsets of populations. These populations include pregnant women and individuals who are immunocompromised. More research needs to be done on this subject before conclusively stating its dangers.
The good news? Hemp protein powder is not a cause for concern for the majority of people. It provides little in the disadvantage department and provides a high-quality protein source for those who choose to consume it.
How Does Hemp Protein Compare to Whey Protein?
While whey protein, the most popular protein supplement on the market, is unarguably the most effective protein source available, plant-protein powders have made a case for being the best in recent years. One of those plant-based protein powders is hemp.
With that being said, it’s difficult to choose a favourite between hemp and whey protein, or any of its top competitors for that matter (casein, pea, soy, etc.). With similar caloric and nutritional profiles, similar amino acid profiles, and on-par with taste, texture, and digestibility, you really can’t go wrong with either.
In short, for those seeking a more nutrient-dense, healthy alternative, hemp is likely your go-to. Although it contains less protein, it encompasses more fibre, iron, calcium, and magnesium than its counterpart, as well as boasting an incredible amount of antioxidants.
In contrast, whey is simply the superior choice if your primary goal is protein consumption and muscle growth.
To conclude this comparison, the debate continues to persist. Why? Because it really depends on the consumer’s preferences, goals, dietary restrictions, and budget, among other things. If you want to get to the bottom of the debate, you’re going to have to try them both for yourself!
The benefits of hemp protein powder are undeniable, it’s no surprise that it’s a superior plant-based choice for many. In addition, the disadvantages and potential side effects of supplementing with hemp are few and far between.
If you’re concerned for any reason, consult with a professional before use, however, hemp protein powder is safe for the majority of individuals who consume it.
When it comes to your health and wellness, lifestyle choices are in the hands of the controller. In other words, only you know what’s best for YOU. Nevertheless, hemp protein powder is an incredible plant-based protein source and competes with the best of them, whey included.
If you’re still unsure whether or not it’s the protein powder for you, try it and see for yourself! This popular protein source is one of the best protein supplements on the market, and for good reason.