Is hemp rich in protein? Is it better than whey protein powder?

How much protein do we need daily?

The recommended daily intake of protein is 0.8g per kg of body weight (or 0.36g per lbs). For instance, a 150 lbs person needs about 55g of protein daily.

Active people need more protein, though. The protein dose depends on the activity level. Athletes can consume up to 2g of protein per kg of body weight safely.[1]

Acivity levelProtein dose
(g/kg BW)
Daily intake of protein.

Nutritional value of hemp vs whey protein

Whey protein provides a much higher dose of protein per serving size compared to hemp powder. A tbsp of hemp protein will give you only 4g of protein. On the contrary, 1 scoop of whey protein will provide you with 24g of protein. You have to consume at least 5-6 tbsp of hemp protein to consume the same amount of protein from just a scoop of whey protein.

hemp protein
32g (3 tbsp)
whey protein
32g (1 scoop)
protein (g)11,724
fat (g)4,32,5
fiber (g)4,50
sugars (g)12
iron (mg)4,80,4
magnesium (mg)1490
potassium (mg)256114
zinc (mg)2,40
Nutritional value of whey vs hemp protein.[2,3]

On the other hand, hemp protein is richer in nutrients. It contains lots of fiber, healthy fats, iron, magnesium, zinc, antioxidants, and many more. For instance, hemp powder is pretty high in omega-3s. Recent studies have shown that omega-3s can boost muscle growth!

Therefore, hemp protein provides more than just protein. It’s helps muscles recover faster and fights inflammation. Hence, hemp protein helps you exercise harder, boosting athletic performance.

Amino profile of hemp vs whey protein

You can build muscle mass, even if you’re eating plant-based. Most plant-based foods aren’t complete protein sources, though. Proteins are made of amino acids. The human body can synthesize some amino acids, but it depends on food for 9 amino acids. These 9 amino acids are called essential amino acids. Protein from animal sources is considered complete protein, as dairy, eggs, and meat contain all the 9 essential amino acids.

On the contrary, only a few vegan foods are complete protein. Hemp protein for instance, as hemp protein contains all the 9 essential amino acids.

Whey & hemp protein contain all 9 essential amino acids

There are countless studies that have shown that whey protein is great for building muscle mass. It contains all 9 essential amino acids and it’s a cheap protein option.

whole hempseeds
per 32g
whey protein
per 32g
9 essential amino acids in whey protein & hemp seeds.[4,5]

On the other hand, hemp seeds are also a complete protein, as they contain all 9 essential amino acids. Only a few plant-based foods are complete protein. For instance, chia, quinoa, soy and pea protein are also great complete plant-based proteins!

Furthermore, hemp seed protein has good amounts of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine. Also, hemp protein is high in arginine and glutamic acid.

Moreover, the amino acid profile of hemp protein is almost identical to egg white’s and soy’s amino profile! Hemp protein is comparable to these other high-quality proteins.[4]

Plants are good sources of protein, but plant-based proteins are less absorbable than animal proteins. Also, most plant-based foods are incomplete proteins. This isn’t a problem if you combine different foods, though. Eating a variety of food sources is good for building muscle mass. For instance, combine beans with whole cereals, or nuts with veggies to create complete proteins.

Another disadvantage of hemp protein compared to whey is that is pretty low in lysine.[6] Lysine is one of the 9 essential amino acids. So, it’s necessary for building muscle mass. Soy protein or whey protein contain much higher amounts of lysine. Furthermore, you could eat foods high in lysine, such as peanuts, peas, and lentils to boost building of muscle mass.

If you’re a vegan or following a plant-based diet, prefer vegan proteins that contain mixed plant-based protein sources. For instance, this vegan protein on Amazon has a great amino acid profile, as it contains proteins for many plant-based sources.

Both whey and hemp protein contain BCAAs

Of the nine essential amino acids, three are particularly important for building muscle mass. They’re called BCAAs. These are isoleucine, leucine, and valine. BCAAs increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis while simultaneously preventing the loss of muscle tissue. Hemp and whey protein include all these muscle-building amino acids.

Whey & hemp protein boost metabolism

According to studies, a diet that contains high amounts of protein is great for weight maintenance and weight loss without losing lean mass! High-protein meals are better than meals high in carbs or fat, as protein provides increased thermogenesis and satiety.[7] So, boosting your daily protein intake with whey or hemp protein can help you lose weight, protecting your precious lean mass!

Why should you prefer hemp powder protein?

Although, whey protein is an excellent source of cheap protein, hemp powder provides much more than protein. Hemp powder is rich in so many nutrients that can help you build muscle mass, stay lean, recover faster, and protect from inflammations!

Iron for muscle metabolism

Hemp seeds are an excellent source of iron. Consuming lots of foods high in iron is vital for building muscle mass, as iron supports muscle metabolism and healthy connective tissue. Unfortunately, iron deficiency is pretty common, causing fatigue. Most people need up to 18 mg of iron a day. Just a serving of hemp protein (30g) can provide you with up to 9 mg of iron, or 50% DV.[8]

On the contrary, most whey proteins contain up to 0.7 mg of iron per serving.[9]

Calcium in whey vs hemp protein

Calcium is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion. Furthermore, calcium deficiency may cause muscle cramps! A scoop of whey protein contains up to 140 mg of calcium while a serving of hemp powder contains about 45 mg of calcium.

You don’t need dairy for calcium. Plants contain calcium, as well. You can see the list of the richest plant-based sources of calcium here.

Hemp protein for people with lactose intolerance

Lactose is the sugar in milk, dairy, and whey protein. People with lactose intolerance don’t produce enough lactase which is the enzyme that breaks down lactose. Plant-based proteins, such as hemp, pea, or soy are great alternatives to whey protein.

Hemp protein is high in fiber

We should consume about 30g of fiber daily. Consuming enough fiber is vital for overall health! Many studies have shown that consuming at least 14g of fiber per 1000 calories, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Moreover, high fiber intake significantly lowers risk for developing:[10]

  • coronary heart disease,
  • stroke,
  • hypertension,
  • diabetes,
  • obesity,
  • certain gastrointestinal diseases.

According to a study, foods high in water, fiber, and protein are the most filling ones.[11] Just a tbsp of hemp protein has about 1.5g of fiber and 4g of protein. So, hemp protein can help you lose weight fast, protecting your lean mass!

Hemp protein contains good fats

Hemp seeds are particularly rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), the good-for-the-heart fat. Although most fat content has been removed, hemp protein still contains about 4g of fat per serving (30g or 3 tbsp).

Most noteworthy, hemp seed is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp seeds have the best ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. It’s about 2.5.[12] The lowest this ratio is, the better. A diet high in omega-6s with zero omega-3s can cause inflammation and chronic disease. Modern Western diets have a ratio of omega-6:omega-3 more than 15. This can be dangerous for health. So, eating foods high in omega-3s, such as hemp protein, is good for your health.

Finally, hemp protein contains almost no saturated fat. On the contrary, whey protein contains about 1g of saturated fat per serving. According to the American Heart Association, we shouldn’t consume more than 13g of saturated fats per day. Saturated fats raise the level of cholesterol in your blood and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.[13]

Hemp protein fights inflammation

If you’re working out, you should consume foods that fight inflammation. Hemp protein contains antioxidants, such as lignanamides that they’re good against inflammation.[14,15] So, hemp protein may help you with knee & shoulder pain or even joint stiffness. Certainly, hemp protein is packed with powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants, promoting faster muscle recovery.

On the contrary, whey protein and other foods from animal sources are low in antioxidants.

Furthermore, if you’re an athlete or have joint pain, you should start eating pineapple. Bromelain in pineapple is a powerful enzyme that relieves joint pain and promotes faster muscle recovery. Other food supplements, that can help you boost your athletic performance are maca powdermoringa powderwheatgrass powder, ginger powder, and amla powder!

Hemp protein has a low risk of causing allergies

Hemp protein is less likely to cause allergic reactions than whey protein. Most compounds that are known allergens are removed during processing. For instance, the most well-known hemp allergens are thaumatin-like protein and LTP. They aren’t even detectable in hemp protein isolate.[16]

Is plant protein harder to digest?

As a rule of thumb, plant-based proteins are harder to digest than whey protein. On the other hand, hemp protein is absorbed more easily than other plant-based proteins, as it’s high in edestin and albumin. These are the main proteins in hemp seed. Edestin and albumin are easily digested. Also, they provide significant amounts of all essential amino acids!

You can take hemp protein before and after your workout, or even before bedtime to provide your muscles with a steady dose of protein for hours, building more muscle mass while you’re sleeping.

Can you get high from hemp protein?

Hemp protein has a negligible dose of THC. Certainly, you won’t get high from consuming hemp protein. Moreover, it’s rather difficult to fail a drug test, even from extensive consumption of hemp foods.[17]

Whey vs hemp protein: what’s the winner?

Whey protein is the gold standard for athletes for years. It’s easily digested, stimulates muscle growth, maintains lean mass, and provides a pretty high dose of protein per serving!

On the contrary, hemp protein is ideal for vegans, people who follow a plant-based diet, and people with lactose intolerance. Also, hemp is an easily digested plant-based protein. Most noteworthy, hemp powder provides much more than protein. It provides fiber, minerals, omega-3s, and antioxidants that fight inflammation and may protect you from joint pain!