Muscle Recovery

Hemp protein powder: A complete guide to a complete protein

Nowadays, protein powders play an important part in the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. No matter who you are: An athlete searching for an easier way to consume your proteins or if you’re an ordinary person just trying to lose weight or gain some muscle.

Hemp protein powder is one of the fastest-growing protein powders on the market. It is a plant-based protein that is made from the seeds of the hemp plant.

Exactly like other protein powders, you can put hemp protein in a shake or add it to your food. A simple way to add protein to your diet and make those gains.

What is hemp protein powder?

There are some misconceptions about hemp-based products. So let’s take a minute to understand what hemp protein powder actually is.

To make hemp protein powder, you will need hemp seeds, a highly nutritious part of the hemp plant. The seeds of the hemp plant contain the highest concentrations of protein within the plant.

After the seeds are collected, they are ground and pressed into a fine powder. This powder is the protein powder, usually seen being scooped into a shaker by a fitness fanatic at the end of a gym session.

Now that we have a hemp protein powder, we can add it to shakes, smoothies and other foods. You can take it in the morning or after a workout as an added supply of protein. You can also have it as a shake as a healthy snack to suppress the niggling urge to eat.

Hemp protein is entirely plant-based and one of the most nutritious and protein-dense vegan proteins you can find.

Is hemp protein powder good for you?

Using or switching to hemp protein powder has countless benefits. Not only is hemp protein great for your health, but it is also an eco-friendly protein powder.

First, the positive health benefits:

A lean source of protein

First and foremost, hemp protein powder is a protein-dense supplement. In fact, protein makes up about a quarter of hemp seed. Interestingly, hemp protein powder has more protein than beef, chicken or pork.

In addition, hemp seeds have a low-fat content. All this means you can build lean muscle and not worry about gaining fat.

Consuming lean protein is extremely beneficial for a healthy lifestyle. Incorporating a lean protein, like hemp protein, can help you reach your fitness goals of building a more toned and defined physique. Furthermore, lean proteins are great for your overall health too.

Improved cardiovascular health

Hemp seeds, and thus hemp protein powders are a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both of these fatty acids are important to include in a diet to maintain good cardiovascular health.

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People who do not eat fish regularly can struggle to incorporate enough omegas into their diet. So, hemp protein powder can be a great way to integrate them into your diet.

The essential fatty acids that are abundant in hemp protein can help reduce cardiovascular disease. They can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce high blood levels. Overall, they will leave you with a healthier heart.

Brain health and functioning

A healthy heart is not the only organ hemp protein powder can help.

Hemp protein can maintain good brain health. As a matter of fact, it improves brain functioning and can prevent the onset of brain disease.

Again the compounds found in hemp protein are the source of its powers. The fatty acids mentioned above, and amino acids help maintain a healthy functioning brain. In sum, hemp seeds have all the necessary amino acids which facilitate brain function and a healthy nervous system.

An easy to digest plant protein

When it comes to plant proteins, one issue commonly arises. It is that plant protein can be quite difficult to digest.

In comparison to animal protein and whey protein, plant-based protein takes longer to digest. This may make a person feel bloated or even a little lethargic after having a plant-based protein shake.

Nonetheless, hemp protein seems to be one of the easiest plant-based proteins for humans to digest. Hemp protein has a biological value of 87, very similar to egg protein. This means your digestive system can easily absorb the protein and amino acids in hemp powders.

This suggests that the bloating and the tiredness induced by being too full may not occur when having a hemp protein smoothie. Additionally, hemp protein has high levels of fibre which can prevent constipation which is common for people with high protein diets.

For the lactose or gluten intolerant

Nowadays, we are unfortunately seeing a rise in autoimmune diseases. Some of the most relevant in our society are lactose intolerant and have celiac disease.

The latter, coeliac disease is more commonly known as gluten intolerance. Fortunately, hemp protein powders do not contain gluten. This makes them an excellent choice for anyone who suffers from celiac disease or mild gluten intolerance.

In the world of protein powders, lactose intolerance is somewhat of an issue. This is due to the reason that whey protein is the most common protein bought on the market. Whey is a by-product in the dairy industry.

However, with a growing population that cannot consume dairy products, alternative options are required. Hemp is one of these products. It does not contain any dairy and can be an ideal alternative to someone who struggles with an intolerance to dairy.

Is hemp protein good for the planet?

So far we have only spoken about the numerous benefits of hemp protein for you at the individual level. However, we can take a step back and look at the grander picture. Not only do hemp products make a healthier person, but they also make a healthier planet.

Hemp protein powder like all plant-based protein powders has much lower carbon footprints than animal-based protein powders.

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Whey protein powder, the most commonly used protein powder, is ultimately an animal-sourced protein. It is extracted from cow’s milk. And cow’s are the most carbon-intensive and resource-draining farm animal on the planet.

Hemp protein powders, on the other hand, are an eco-friendly alternative. Due to being a protein sourced from a plant, it is considerably more environmentally friendly. Hemp, like many plants, needs significantly fewer resources such as water, cultivable land and food.

In fact, hemp is an amazingly sustainable crop. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • The hemp plant is regenerative. This means hemp fertilizes the soil it is cultivated on.
  • It is a carbon sink. This refers to the extraordinary ability of hemp crops to soak in a lot of carbon from the atmosphere, more than a large number of commercial crops.
  • Hemp grows anywhere, on bad soil and in numerous climates. Hemp crops can grow all across the world. If organized correctly, hemp can be grown near manufacturers and near the customers. This will reduce the transport carbon footprint of hemp products.

Organic hemp protein powders

If you want your diet to be even more eco-friendly. Organic hemp proteins are an even more environmentally-friendly choice. When farmers grow hemp organically, they do not use fertilizers or pesticides.

Any hemp product created from organically grown hemp gets extra brownie points for helping in the mission to save planet Earth.

Hemp protein powders also give you more assurance of their health benefits. You can be certain organic hemp protein powder has all the extra vitamins and minerals.

However, regular hemp protein powder contains all the compounds, vitamins and minerals you need.

Can hemp protein powder be heated?

There is a misconception that protein powders denature when you heat them up. ‘Denature’ basically means that the protein in the supplement is damaged. Thus reducing the amount of protein in the powder and making it less effective.

Denaturing is a myth and is not true when it comes to hemp protein powder. With hemp protein powders you can heat them up and cook with them. Even heated powder still contains the same high protein levels.

With this in mind, there are countless delicious vegan dishes you can add hemp protein powder to. You can add hemp protein to give a dish an extra protein boost.

In addition to the extra protein levels, hemp protein is delicious. Hemp has a natural nutty flavour. The flavour is natural and not overpowering making it a great addition to numerous dishes.

Here are some examples of delectable, mouthwatering dishes you can make with hemp protein powder:

  • A hot bowl of porridge with honey and your favourite fruits.
  • Chocolatey hemp protein brownies
  • Hemp protein pancakes or waffles
  • Dark chocolate chip hemp protein cookies
  • Savoury hemp protein crackers

Another misconception is that you cannot freeze protein powders. This is another fallacy. So if you make some hemp protein brownies, you can put them in the freezer. The freezer will keep your brownies fresh to eat and not affect the protein levels in the cookie.

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An added note to mention is that you can add ice to your hemp protein smoothies. The ice will not affect the protein levels of the smoothie. The ice will only make the smoothie more refreshing on a hot summer day.

Does hemp protein powder contain THC?

Hemp protein powders contain trace amounts of THC. Legally in the UK, an entire packet of a product cannot contain more than 1 mg of THC. This includes hemp protein powder.

1 mg of THC in an entire packet of protein is an insignificant amount. When you buy hemp protein powder from a reputable source, you can rest assured that the THC content is at a legal level.

Trustworthy hemp protein powders do not have enough THC in them to bring about psychoactive effects. You can have a hemp smoothie wherever and whenever and it is not going to bring on any heady symptoms.

Does hemp protein powder show up on a drug test?

If you are a competing athlete or bodybuilder, you could be concerned whether hemp protein can give you an unwanted result in a drug test. People who have random drug tests at work may feel worried too.

So does hemp protein appear on a drug test?

The short and simple answer is ‘No’. Hemp protein powders do not affect drug test results. Let’s explain why.

As we know, hemp protein powders only contain trace amounts of THC. The levels of THC are so small it will be impossible to fail a drug test due to the THC levels. One study has shown that eating 300 grams of hemp seed will not affect a urine test.

Noteworthily, the cannabinoid CBD is found in the hemp plant. However, in the UK, you can legally consume CBD. Considering this, you will not fail a drug test due to consuming CBD.

In the UK, the highest standards for tested supplements does not test athletes for CBD.

Does hemp protein powder expire?

Like all great things, hemp protein does not last. Hemp protein like all food products will have an expiry date.

The good news is that if you keep your hemp protein powder well-sealed and in a dry place, it will have a long life expectancy. Seal the lid tight when you finish using it and put it away in a high cupboard and it will be fine.

If you want more details about the expiry date of your protein you can check the package. On the packaging, you should find a best before date. And then you will know exactly when to use up the protein powder.

Most likely, you will have the entire packet eaten and long gone before the expiry date comes around.

To conclude

Hemp protein powder is a plant-based protein worth considering. Especially if you are vegan, planet conscious, intolerant to gluten/lactose or want to improve your overall health.

Hemp powder is a complete protein that has an array of amino acids and essential fatty acids. All of these can help you build muscle, lose weight and improve your overall health.

Hemp protein does not denature when you cook with it. With that in mind, there is an endless list of savouries and sweets hemp protein recipes to try your hand at.

Competitive athletes and others can take hemp protein supplements and not worry about failing a drug test. Hemp-based products are growing in popularity in the world of sports including bodybuilding and rugby.

All in all, high-quality hemp protein powders from trustworthy sources are safe and effective to use.

Darren Clarke

Darren can skim a stone a solid 50 metres and write top-quality content. He has a Masters in the Psychology of Behaviour Change where he has acquired rigorous research skills. Darren has a passion in understanding behaviour and encouraging people to act healthier and more sustainably. He has worked across the globe as a teacher. And he has been active in the school communities aiming to encourage the students to be their best selves.

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