With all of the protein powder supplement options on the market, hemp protein is one not to be overlooked. This form of protein is extracted from the hemp plant which is a part of the cannabis Sativa family.
But unlike marijuana, there’s extremely low to no THC in hemp depending on how it’s processed so you won’t get the psychoactive properties. Therefore, you won’t get high or feel anything from hemp-based protein powder since it made from the seeds which may contain only a minuscule amount (otherwise, you couldn’t just walk into most health stores and purchase it).
Hemp protein is protein-rich and it contains many beneficial nutrients which makes it a healthy, and nutritious option for anyone.
So, we choose 12 products that make great supplement options and we’ll go more into detail on this plant-based food…
Short On Time? Here’s The Editor’s Choice…
Nutiva Hemp Protein Powder
Leading the way is a very popular hemp protein product and it’s also our top choice. Nutiva hemp protein only has one ingredient which is certified organic hemp seed protein which provides 15 grams of the muscle-building macronutrient (protein) in 3 tablespoons.
In a single serving, there are also 120 calories, 3.5g fat (2.5% from polyunsaturated), 0 cholesterol and sodium, 7g carbs (3%), 5g fiber (18%), 1g natural sugar, plus 40% iron, 8% potassium, and other healthy minerals.
Iron is essential for DNA health, physical growth, neurological development, transportation of oxygen throughout the body, hormones and more. Then you have a small dose of potassium which is an electrolyte mineral necessary for heart, nerve, and muscle health, plus maintaining water balance in the body.
The hemp is also cold-pressed (better digestibility) and chemical-free while providing a high-quality source of nutrition.
Price: About $12 for 15 servings, $22 for 28 servings, and $34 for 45 servings.
What Is Hemp?
As previously mentioned it’s a plant of the cannabis Sativa family and the seeds or powder are typically used as a vegan or plant-based source of protein.
Although, it’s also used to make commercial and industrial products such as rope, clothes, shoes, biofuel, paper, insulation, and even CBD oil.
But what’s great about hemp regarding its nutritional aspect, is that it contains all nine essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) making it a complete protein, in addition to healthy fats, fiber, and minerals.
As for the exact amounts of amino acids though, research is inconclusive at the moment but there is some evidence which suggests that hemp may not be an adequate source of lysine. However, this shouldn’t be a concern for most vegans if consuming a variety of plant-based proteins. (1, 2)
Also, hemp contains less protein than pea or soy per serving at about 15 grams per ¼ cup (varies between brands). However, hemp powder is also typically less refined than either of the previously-mentioned proteins.
Not to mention, it’s supposedly highly digestible compared to many plant-based protein sources which is believed to be due to the easy to digest proteins edestin and albumin.
Cold-pressed is also typically better overall for digestibility.
We already discussed hemp as a protein source but it contains dietary fats as well. Hemp is an excellent source of heart-healthy unsaturated fat containing omega-6 and 3 fat in about a 3:1 ratio. (3)
Both omega-6 and 3 are essential fats vital for heart and membrane health, inflammation, brain function, development, bone health, energy, and much more. However, the typical Western diet contains far too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 (15:1 ratio and often even higher) which has shown to increase the chances of developing cancer, autoimmune and cardiovascular disease. (4)
So, ideally, the healthy ratio should be more like 4:1 which can decrease mortality rates by 70% so since hemp is 3:1, it can definitely help to improve this ratio.
Hemp is also a really good source of fiber which keeps us regular. But fiber intake is also linked to improved blood sugar, gastrointestinal health, and reduced risk of developing colon cancer. (5, 6)
However, the average person in the U.S. typically consumes less than half of the recommended intake. But this is where hemp protein is really beneficial because it contains a decent amount of fiber (5+ grams per serving).
And ideally, we should be getting at least 25 grams of fiber for a 2,000 calorie diet which is what the FDA recommends. So, hemp helps to get us there a bit quicker. Also, fiber has been shown to help with the weight loss process, making it a must for obese individuals. (7, 8)
Here Are Our Best Hemp Protein Powder Picks…
‘Navitas’ is short for energy which is a testament to this quality of this product. The only ingredient is certified organic hemp powder (C. Sativa) from cold-pressed hemp seeds.
A serving (4 tablespoons) contains 120 calories, 3g fat, 11g (4%) carbs, 7g fiber, 1g natural sugar, and 13g of protein. You also get 4% calcium, 40% iron, 8% potassium, and 60% magnesium which is also an important mineral for nerve, muscle, heart health.
The product is also gluten-free.
Price: About $9 for 11 servings and $27 for 30 servings
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! (Max Fiber)
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah max fiber hemp protein is a top-notch product that stands out due to the 13g of fiber which is half of the daily recommended amount for a 2,000 calorie diet.
It’s made from solely organic hemp protein powder from the highest quality ingredients and practices seeing as it’s a certified B corporation.
In one serving, there are 130 calories, 3g fat, 0 cholesterol and sodium, 14g (5%) carbs, a whopping 13g (46%) fiber, 1g natural sugar, and 13g protein.
There’s also a decent supply of minerals like iron, thiamin, magnesium, zinc, and copper.
Price: About $9 for 13 servings and $26 for 27 servings
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! (Max Protein)
Like the previous product on our list, this hemp powder is high-quality but rather than containing plenty of fiber, it has 20 grams of protein which is great for those looking to supplement this macronutrient for the purpose of building muscle.
Although, the other products on our list still provide a nice amount of protein as well.
The ingredients are organic hemp protein concentrate and natural oregano extract.
In 4 tablespoons of Hemp Yeah, there are 140 calories which is higher than the typical hemp powder although still not significant. There’s 6g of fat (most from polyunsaturated fat, and .5g from saturated fat) which is also more than average. But there’s still no cholesterol, only 1% sodium, 2g (1%) carbs, just 3g of fiber which is lower than usual, and 2g of natural sugar.
Price: About $15 for 14 servings and $23 for 28 servings
Just Hemp Foods Hemp Protein + Fiber
This formula contains additional fiber for digestive support along with having 11 grams of protein from Canadian hemp protein powder.
One serving (4 tablespoons) 130 calories, 3g fat, 14g (5%) carbs, 13g fiber, and 1g sugar. Formula also contains 9 beneficial vitamins and minerals as well.
Price: $7 for 14 servings.
Wilderness Poets Hemp Powder
Wilderness Poets hemp protein is made from hulled hemp seeds for a cleaner flavor and it’s cold-pressed for optimal digestibility.
Organic hemp protein powder is the only ingredient.
This is a higher protein formula (19g per serving) with an ideal balance of omega 3-6-9 fatty acids. Each serving (6tbsp) also contains 127 calories, 4g fat, 0 cholesterol and sodium, 4g (1%) carbs, and 1g natural sugar.
This is a great powder for making smoothies and baking due to the more neutral flavor and smooth texture.
Price: About $12 for 7.5 servings, $27 for 21 servings, $55 for 5 pounds, and $197 for 22 pounds.
Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder
This is a great hemp protein powder from an employee-owned company that makes a wide range of top-notch products without any junk ingredients.
Their hemp protein formula contains 120 calories, 3g fat, 10g (3%) carbs, 8g (32%) fiber, 1g sugar, and 14g protein per serving (¼ cup). There’s also 40% iron which is the highest amount of minerals in the product.
Another great option for getting in a serving of daily plant-based protein.
Price: About $14 for 15 servings and $45 for a pack of 4
Hemplete Organic Hemp Protein
Not only does this product contain more protein than most options on our list with 22 grams per serving, it also contains some other ingredients to help with the overall taste.
The ingredients are organic 75% hemp protein, sea salt, and monk fruit extract.
Each serving (3 tbsp) contains 90 calories which is lower than our other picks which means there’s less fat at 1g, plus there’s 3% sodium, 3g (1% carbs), 2g of fiber, and absolutely no sugar. You also get a decent serving of iron, potassium, and magnesium.
Not to mention, the protein is cold-pressed which is ideal. And as far as the flavor, this one is a favorite.
Price: $20 for 13 servings
Food To Live Hemp Protein Powder
You’ll really love the look of the attractive packaging with this one but don’t worry the quality is not compromised as a result.
It still contains quality organic hemp protein which supplies 13 grams of protein, 113 calories, 4g fat, 6g (2%) carbs, 4g fiber, 2g natural sugar, 32% iron, 9% potassium, and other minerals.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with Food To Live Hemp Protein. It’s a simple no-frills product like many of our top picks for 2021.
Price: $3.50 for 1 serving, $10.50 for 16 servings, $20 for 32 servings, $40 for 64 servings, $72 for 128 servings, $135 for 256 servings, $384 for 800 servings.
Nature’s Way EfaGold Organic Protein and Fiber Hemp Powder
Nature’s Way EfaGold hemp powder contains a higher dose of fiber which is ideal for all of the benefits we mentioned previously. It also contains 11 grams of quality protein from organic cold-milled hemp powder (from seeds) which is the only ingredient in the formula.
One serving (4 tbsp) 130 calories, 4g fat, 14g (4%) carbs, 13g (52%) fiber), 11g protein, plus a few minerals in decent amounts. Not to mention, you also get a decent amount of Omega-3, 6, and 9.
If you want a good value hemp protein then this one surely meets the criteria.
Price: $11 for 15 servings
Sunwarrior Protein Warrior Blend
This protein powder is a little different than the others on our list simply due to the fact that it contains other protein sources in addition to hemp protein and a few additional ingredients overall.
The protein blend includes pea, hemp, and Goji berry while additional ingredients for flavor and texture include guar gum, sea salt, Stevia extract, and whole ground coconut.
In one scoop there are 100 calories, 2.5g (1g saturated) fat, 3g (1%) carbs, 1g fiber, 0 sugar, 17g protein, plus a few minerals.
Let’s talk about pea protein and Goji berry which are the other two protein sources.
Pea protein is a common ingredient in many plant-based protein powders and it’s extracted from yellow peas hence the reason why pea powder alone has that color. But besides being a great source of protein, pea provides a nice dose of iron as well.
It too is a complete protein although it’s generally low in methionine. But again, if you’re eating enough of a variety of plant-based proteins you’ll be fine. (11)
One study found pea protein to be a viable alternative to whey protein supplementation since it has adequate nutritional substance for supporting muscle growth. This was determined during a 12-week study involving 161 males who engaged in resistance training and took 50g of pea protein a day. The two proteins were compared along with there being a placebo group. (12)
Pea also contains a decent amount of the essential amino acid arginine that synthesizes nitric oxide which is beneficial for maintaining heart health since it opens up blood vessels.
And research actually shows pea protein to have the same effect of satiety as dairy-based protein powders. Not to mention, one study found that consuming 20g of pea protein 30 minutes prior to eating pizza actually reduced overall caloric intake by 12%. (13, 14, 15)
Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for a few thousand years and it’s a sweet berry as you’d probably expect.
These berries are rich in antioxidants, therefore they have many health benefits due to containing L. barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs) which are the active components in the berries believed to have therapeutic and health effects. The berries also contain 11 essential amino acids and 100g of Goji berries contain about 14.3 grams of protein along with vitamins and minerals and about 7g of fiber. (16, 17)
So, it’s safe to say that this Sunwarrior blend has some really beneficial sources of protein to support a healthy lifestyle.
Price: $21 for 15 servings and about $29 for 30 servings
Amazing Grass Protein Superfood
Like the previous protein supplement, Amazing Grass Protein also contains other protein and ingredients.
But it also has more calories per serving (190) than any other product on our list as a result, making more of a healthy meal replacement option.
There’s also 8g of fat, 0g cholesterol, 15% sodium, 9g (3% carbs), 4g fiber, 2g sugar (0 added), and 20g of protein. A dose also contains 11% potassium, 33% vitamin A, 69% vitamin K, and 36% iron.
The protein blend in this formula consists of organic peanut flour, pea protein, hemp protein, chia, and quinoa. Then you get a green food blend (organic wheatgrass, alfalfa, barley grass, spinach, spirulina, chlorella, and broccoli) plus a fruit and vegetable blend.
Additional ingredients include natural flavors, salt, xanthan gum, and Stevia.
You definitely a good dose of healthy, muscle-building ingredients in this formula.
Price: $25 for 10 servings
Is Hemp Protein A Good Option For Everyone?
Hemp protein is safe for most people but like any protein powder, it’s a question of whether or not you’ll feel any stomach discomfort since hemp tends to contain a decent amount of fiber.
Being a plant-based protein, this may likely be less of a problem so it typically shouldn’t be an issue for most people in this regard. But it’s always a possibility depending on the individual as with any other source of nutrition.
But if you’re allergic to hemp, then you’ll obviously want to steer clear. (18)
How To Take Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp protein typically has an Earthy taste to it with a little nutty flavor but it’s ideal to mix it with a smoothie that contains other ingredients especially since it can also be a little sandy and gritty texture due to it being less refined than other powders. Although, many people mix it with fruit juices and milk (variations) as well.
The product label should give you an idea of how to mix the powder for optimal consistency.
How Much To Take?
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle then you’ll need to get your protein sources from a variety of foods. So, with that being said, supplement some of your daily protein with hemp powder. One or two servings per day should be sufficient but don’t put too much thought into this.
You have plenty of quality hemp protein powder options to choose from now. Each has its own uniqueness although the hemp itself should provide equally nutritious value across all products discussed.
Some of the supplements also contain a blend of protein while others contain just hemp and the protein amounts do, of course, vary so whichever you may find more suitable for your lifestyle and curiosity should serve you well in your health endeavors.