Protein powders are popular nutritional supplements used by athletes, bodybuilders and those trying to gain or loose weight or increase muscle mass.
As more people become aware that meat and dairy farming is not sustainable, there is a push for plant-based protein sources that can meet our needs.
Hemp protein powder is one of the more popular varieties, made by grinding pressed hemp seeds into a fine powder.
It has an earthy, nutty taste and is often added to shakes or smoothies to boost protein intake.
Hemp is a high-quality vegan protein, containing
- all nine essential amino acids,
- plus fiber,
- healthy fats and minerals.
With all the confusion and misinformation, hemp is one of the most overlooked plant-based proteins. Learn more about this controversial superfood, including how you can add hemp protein powder to your diet.
For example, it is protein which helps to recover after injury, helps to generate muscle, and helps the immune system do its job. In order to survive, we need to consume a healthy amount of quality protein - it's as simple as that.
And to be sure, people who lead an active lifestyle are especially in need of protein to help their bodies keep up. Protein is of course readily available in meat and fish, so why should we find a way to incorporate hemp protein into our daily diet?
Let’s check out some of the major benefits of hemp-based protein.
1. Complete Protein Source
The Protein is a “building block” that is used to manufacture nearly every cellular component in our bodies.
Hemp and hemp products are considered to be a high quality vegan source of complete protein. Complete proteins are the ones that contain all 9 essential amino acids that are necessary for the proper functioning of the human body:
A 2004 study published in “Euphytica” found the amino acid profile of hemp protein similar to two other high-quality protein sources: egg whites and soy.
A 1/4-cup (30-gram) serving of Gramina’s Hemp Protein powder contains around 100 calories and 16 grams of protein, 10g of dietary fiber and 3g of fat (but don’t worry that is a good kind of fat).
For people who prefer less processed protein sources, hemp is the best choice.
2. Builds and repair muscles
In addition to being a complete protein, hemp protein also contains branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).
Of the nine essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine make up the three BCAAs. Hemp protein contains 6.8% leucine, 4.5% isoleucine and 5.6% valine.
Research has shown BCAAs can stimulate muscle protein synthesis or muscle growth and speed up post-workout recovery by reducing muscle soreness.
3. Improves digestion & cleanses the colon
Most animal proteins are easier to digest than plant proteins. However, hemp wins out in this one as research has shown that up to 98% of protein from hemp seeds is digestible. Further, all nine amino acids will be used by your body.
Researchers believe that hemp is so easy to digest because it contains the proteins edestin and albumin, which your body can break down quickly.
Dietary is essential to a healthy diet, as well as gut health and digestion. Whole hemp seeds contain 80% soluble fiber and 20% insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber slows down digestion by attracting water to create a gel-like substance in your gut. In addition to feeding the good bacteria in your gut, soluble fiber binds to substances like cholesterol and sugar and prevents or slows their absorption into the blood. This helps prevent blood sugar spikes and regulates cholesterol levels.
Insoluble fiber is what’s commonly referred to as “roughage” — it doesn’t dissolve in water. It essentially adds bulk to your stool and helps keep you regular by preventing constipation.
Due to the rich fiber content found in hemp protein powder, it naturally cleanses the colon by reducing constipation and removing toxins from the body.
4. Improve immune system and metabolism
Hemp proteins contain compounds called lignanamides, which have potent antioxidant properties and help protect our bodies. They also contain numerous minerals – inorganic substances, crucial for the harmonious functioning of the body.
Copper – crucial for brain development and intercellular communication, iron metabolization and oxygen supply
Zinc – stimulates the immune system, assists protein, fats and carbohydrates metabolization, and fastens wound healing
Phosphorus – promotes bone development, tissue growth and regeneration, and cell fluid balance
Calcium – responsible for bone development and normal heart functioning, maintains healthy blood pressure and prevents the formation of clots
Potassium – promotes heart health and body balance
Magnesium – activates B vitamins, mineralizes bones and promotes potassium and calcium absorption
Manganese – ensures proper brain functioning and participates in the formation of bone, tissue and reproductive hormones
Iron – crucial for the formation of amino acids, hormones, cells, neurotransmitters and is one of the main components of hemoglobin and myoglobin (hemeprotein).
5. It might reduce your risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the #1 killer in the world. But you can protect yourself (and your heart) by eating more heart healthy foods, such as hemp protein powder!
As we mentioned before, hemp seeds contain the essential fatty acids: omega-6 and omega-3. Omega-6s are considered pro-inflammatory while omega-3s are anti-inflammatory.
When it comes to omega-6 and omega-3 in the standard American diet, it’s typically unbalanced — a ratio of 16:1. Scientists believe a diet high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 increases inflammation in the body. Why does this matter? Because a majority of diseases, including heart disease, can be linked to chronic inflammation.
Consuming foods with lower omega-6 to omega-3 ratios, such as hemp seeds, can help correct the imbalance while reducing inflammation in the body and improving heart health.
Hemp seeds also contain high amounts of arginine — an amino acid that produces nitric oxide. Nitric oxide signals the arteries to relax, which promotes normal blood pressure and reduces your risk of heart diseases.
6. It fights sugar cravings
Unlike pot, which can cause the munchies, hemp has the opposite effect!
Compared to soy or rice protein, which are highly refined and contain little fiber, hemp protein is rich in dietary fiber.
Fiber, as you know, can help you regulate your blood glucose levels. But it can also help you feel fuller longer. This means you won’t suffer from energy crashes and go looking for sweets.
The Right Dosage of Hemp Protein
As a general rule of thumb, adults should consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. This translates to 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. If you exercise, you will need to consume more than this in order to support muscle growth and recovery.
For instance, according to the International Society of Sports Nutrition people who exercise regularly should eat up to 0.9 g per pound (2 g per kg) of bodyweight each day.
For optimum results, consume several tablespoons of hemp protein powder within two hours after exercising. If you are an athlete, it is best to consume 5-7 tablespoons. Regular people can consume less than that.
Where to Buy Hemp Protein Online
Hemp protein can easily be mixed into a shake or added to a smoothie, meaning you barely even have to think about consuming your daily protein.
When buying hemp protein, however, be sure to look out for cold-pressed hemp. This is the least processed, and is therefore generally considered to be the highest quality.
You can take a look on our Hemp Protein50.