Ranking the best hemp protein powders of 2020

Ranking the best hemp protein powders of 2020
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Hemp protein is a plant-based protein that’s derived from the cannabis sativa plant.

It’s rich in many amino acids and is vegan and vegetarian-friendly while also being very high in fiber and very low in sugar.

It’s a great way to combine fiber and protein together, making it excellent for people looking to lose weight. Its amino acid makeup makes it well-suited for improving cognitive performance as well.

Looking to bring your weight down and your brain power up? We’ve ranked the ten best sources of hemp protein powder on the market.

Rankings

1. Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Pro Fiber

Ranking the best hemp protein powders of 2020 1

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Manitoba Harvest is a highly regarded grower and manufacturer of Canadian-grown hemp products. Their hemp protein powder is a great choice thanks to its organic certification and careful manufacturing process.

Manitoba Harvest goes the extra mile with their products: their hemp protein is derived only from cold-milled seeds and is produced with 100% wind energy, so it’s not just good for you; it’s good for the planet too.

2. Terrasoul Superfoods Hemp Protein Powder

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Terrasoul Superfoods makes an organic hemp protein powder that comes in a resealable bag that is well-regarded by its users.

It’s available in multiple sizes, ranging from one to four pounds. It’s a great bulk buy if you know you’ll go through a lot of hemp protein on a regular basis.

3. LeanHemp Protein Powder

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Lean Hemp is one of the few hemp protein powder manufacturers that offers flavored varieties of their protein. Some people find the nutty, mildly astringent taste of hemp protein a bit of a turn-off, and LeanHemp offers a good solution.

By using coconut sugar, maca root powder, and cocoa powder, LeanHemp comes up with a great-tasting supplement that delivers all of the benefits of hemp protein powder in a more palatable solution.

The only downside is that the coconut sugar does drive up the carbohydrate content—with eight grams of sugar per 20 grams of protein, it’s not the best choice for a low-carb or keto diet.

4. Nutiva Hemp Protein

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Nutiva makes a Canadian-grown, certified organic hemp protein powder that’s highly pure and has no extraneous ingredients.

It’s a very good choice if you are strict about your hemp protein purity and want something that’s certified organic. The resealable bag is a little more difficult to use than a plastic tub, but that’s about the only drawback with this hemp protein powder.

5. Sunfood Superfoods Raw Organic Hemp Protein

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Thanks to careful processing, this certified organic hemp protein powder is high in protein content and moderate in fiber content.

Sunfood Superfoods is another company that goes out of its way to ensure that its raw materials are grown and sourced in a sustainable and ethical manner, so if that’s important to you, it’s a fantastic choice. However, it does contain only 8 ounces per package, so high-volume users need not apply.

6. Just Hemp Foods 50% hemp protein powder

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Just Hemp Foods makes a Canadian-grown, certified gluten-free hemp protein powder that comes in a convenient plastic tub.

It’s a solid source of hemp protein, though the lack of an organic certification might be a disappointment to some people.

7. Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein

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Bob’s Red Mill is known for its exceptional care in sourcing and processing its ingredients so that no allergenic cross-contamination occurs.

This hemp protein powder is a good choice if you want to make sure nothing other than hemp seeds gets into your protein powder, though it is not certified organic like some of the other competitors on the market.

The 16 ounce size is also a drawback for people who go through a lot of hemp protein.

8. Nature’s Way EfaGold Hemp Protein & Fiber

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Nature’s Way, better known for its more mainstream supplement options, ventures into the hemp protein market with an organic and unflavored hemp protein powder that’s conspicuously high in its fiber content.

This is likely a result of its hemp seed source or its processing procedures. Regardless, it’s a decent choice if you want high fiber content, but a poor choice if you are primarily looking for protein content.

9. Evo Hemp Protein Powder

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Evo Hemp is a fairly new American brand of hemp seed protein, and while its hemp (like all others on this list) is non-GMO, it isn’t certified organic.

Further, users find that this hemp protein powder is difficult to mix up into a shake or smoothie, likely because the hemp powder isn’t quite the right size.

10. Foods Alive Hemp Protein

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Foods Alive uses certified organic hemp seeds in the manufacture of its hemp protein powder. It’s a fairly high quality hemp protein powder, though the small size is a major drawback.

Unless you don’t use much hemp protein powder, you’ll likely be happier with a hemp protein powder that comes in a larger size.

Who Should Buy Hemp Protein Powder?

Hemp protein powder is safe for most individuals and is exceptionally beneficial for people looking to lose weight. Some research has also shown that hemp protein can help improve cognitive performance.

Diabetics, children and pregnant women should be cautious about taking a hemp protein supplement as the research is unclear on the safety and efficacy in these populations.

If you are currently taking any medication, you should speak to your doctor before taking a hemp protein powder supplement, as it can interact with medications such as diuretics and Lanoxin.

How We Ranked

When ranking the best hemp protein powders, we first looked at the sugar content. In general, hemp protein powders don’t taste as good as whey protein powders, which is why they often contain high sugar levels. However, for our rankings, we preferred products that used natural sweeteners that minimized sugar content, as this helped further improve weight loss results.

Next, we looked at purity. Unfortunately, the hemp protein powder industry is littered with many products containing lots of fillers and additives. BodyNutrition doesn’t tolerate this, which is why every product on our list that ranked well contained no additives, or unnecessary ingredients – the main reason why Manitoba Harvest ranked so well.

Lastly, we preferred products with organic certification. This was very important since the hemp plant can be subjected to a ton of pesticides and chemicals, which can sneak their way into the protein powder as such products, like Terrasoul and Nutiva, ranked extremely well fr providing a high-quality product that is also organic certified. 

Benefits

Hemp protein’s fiber content can boost your weight loss. Protein and fiber are two of your most powerful tools when it comes to weight loss, and hemp combines both in one.

With regards to protein intake, multiple large studies have concluded that increased protein intake is an effective way to lose weight and keep it off.

A paper published in the journal Nutrition Reviews by researchers at Tufts University examined the effects of various dietary fiber intake levels on weight gain and obesity (1).

The researchers concluded that increasing fiber intake by at least 14 grams per day could be one of the most significant population-wide interventions to decrease the rate of obesity.

According to the authors, dietary fiber has a strong tendency to decrease your energy intake at subsequent meals, because it increases feelings of satiety, or fullness.

The high protein content and low sugar content in hemp protein powder helps you lose more weight. Emerging research suggests that keeping the protein content of your diet high is critical for success when it comes to weight loss.

Systematic review article published in 2016 found that older adults with at least 25% of their daily calories coming from protein lost more fat mass and retained more lean body mass when compared to adults who did not meet these protein intake levels (2).

Protein promotes satiety just like dietary fiber does, but protein also has the added benefit of increasing your body’s energy expenditure through a process called thermogenesis. After consuming protein, your body’s metabolism is turned up a notch, and as a result, you burn more calories, even at rest.

Given that hemp protein combines high levels of both fiber and protein, it’s one of the best protein powder supplements for weight loss.

Hemp protein in the morning can boost your cognitive performance. While a high-protein breakfast isn’t the most high-tech nootropic supplement strategy out there, it’s undeniably an effective one.

Hemp protein is high in an amino acid called tyrosine, which has been found to boost mental performance in high-stress situations.

Research on military cadets in the Netherlands found that a protein supplement high in tyrosine was able to boost memory during the course of a high-stress week of combat training (3).

Protein intake in the morning has also been connected to better cognitive performance in students. Research out of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland found that a breakfast with a high protein content resulted in superior cognitive performance in students compared to a breakfast that is rich in carbohydrates (4).

This suggests that taking a high-protein supplement like hemp protein powder in the morning is a great way to keep your cognitive functioning strong throughout the day.

Side effects

As with other protein powders, hemp protein is exceptionally safe. Studies on elite athletes have found that even tremendously high protein consumption (nearly three grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day) has no negative effects on your body (5).

In the case of hemp, concerns about the psychoactive compound THC (which is responsible for the high that comes along with marijuana, another product of the cannabis sativa plant) are unfounded. The strains of cannabis that are grown for hemp production have very small to nonexistent levels of THC.

One study found that even before processing, hemp seeds have less than 12 micrograms of THC per gram of raw seed material (6). That’s about 0.001% by weight.

There’s no way it would be physically possible to consume enough hemp protein powder to experience any biological effects from THC, much less a high.

The THC content is also low enough that even large, regular consumption levels are not going to result in a failed drug test, according to scientific research published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology (7).

Recommended dosage

If you are aiming for weight loss, research suggests that you should increase your fiber consumption by at least 14 grams per day—and something closer to 20 or 30 would be better.

Conveniently, this is about the right amount of protein you should consume if you are aiming to drop fat and maintain lean body mass.

Given that the best hemp protein supplements offer protein and fiber in a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio, you’ll want to take somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 to 60 grams of hemp protein every day for optimal results.

Since the fiber and protein work together to decrease your satiety, it’s best to take hemp protein powder in the morning, and possibly again about 15-20 minutes before lunch or dinner.

Athletes in training who want to fuel up should shoot for between 1.2 and 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day if they are training for endurance events, while strength and power athletes need more along the lines of 1.4 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day (8).

For large athletes, these protein intakes might get a bit unwieldy using hemp protein alone, so consider using another vegan protein powder as well if you need tremendously high daily protein intake: the high fiber content might make it difficult to get in enough calories in the rest of your diet to  hit your fitness goals.

FAQ

What is hemp protein powder? Hemp protein powder is a little different from your standard plant-based protein powder. It’s not the purest source of protein in terms of concentration—a typical hemp protein powder is only 50% protein by weight, compared to whey protein, which is more like 80% protein by weight.

However, hemp protein offers the advantage of being high in omega 3 fatty acids, as well as very high in dietary fiber. The precise fiber content depends on the processing method used, but some hemp protein powders can have equal amounts of protein and dietary fiber.

This gives hemp protein some distinct advantages when it comes to the potential benefits to your health and well-being.

Is hemp protein powder good for weight lossHemp protein powder offers cognitive and weight loss benefits thanks to its high fiber content, amino acid profile, and naturally low sugar content.

It’s a great way to combine the fitness benefits of plant-based protein with the overall health benefits of a high fiber diet without the need to resort to a dedicated fiber supplement.

Can I take hemp protein powder if I am on other medications? There are some potential interactions between hemp and Digoxin (Lanoxin), and Water pills (diuretic drugs), but this is not specifically hemp protein powder. However, if you are taking any medications, you should consult your doctor before taking any supplements. 

Can I take hemp protein powder if I am taking other supplements? There are no notable interactions between hemp protein powder and other supplements, but you should not combine hemp protein with other protein supplements for fear of overconsuming. Please consult your doctor before combining supplements. 

Is hemp protein powder suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women? While there have not been clinical trials in humans, there were some negative effects on rats that suggest women who are pregnant should use caution with hemp products (9). Please consult your doctor before taking any hemp protein powders while pregnant or breastfeeding. 

What is the best brand of hemp protein powder? Your personal preference will determine what the best hemp protein powder is for you, but there are many reputable options to choose from. Asking the advice of health store workers, a dietician or your doctor may be able to help you choose which hemp product is right for you.

Some of the most popular brands on the market include Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Hi Fiber, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro, Nature’s Way Hemp Protein and Fiber Powder, Navitas Naturals Organic Hemp Protein Powder, and Jarrow Formulas Hemp Protein.

Is hemp protein powder suitable for children? Children should be getting their protein needs met by a balanced and healthy diet. Since their protein needs are much lower than those of an active adult, they should not require supplementation unless specified by their doctor.

Hemp protein powder may be a more suitable choice for children if required, as it has extra nutrients and less protein than it’s alternative counterparts. 

Can I have hemp protein powder if I am lactose intolerant? Most hemp protein powder supplements are vegan, making them ideal for those who are lactose intolerant or don’t eat dairy. Read and review the label to ensure there are no added dairy products to the brand you purchase.

While hemp protein powder may not have as much protein as other types of plant-based powders, it’s full of fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.

Should I take hemp protein powder or whey protein powder? This depends on your goals and lifestyle. If you are looking for a plant-based protein powder that has some added benefits, you’re lactose intolerant, or you’re looking for a protein powder that is less processed than others, hemp protein powder may be right for you.

If you’re not avoiding animal products or dairy, and you’re looking to make serious progress in the gym, Whey protein may be better suited to your goals. 

What happens if I’m allergic to hemp protein powder? If you are allergic to hemp, you may experience typical allergy symptoms if you take hemp protein powder. Dizziness, nausea, headache, itchiness, rashes or hives, tingling in the throat, swelling in the throat, or diarrhea, you could be experiencing a reaction.

This can happen immediately after consumption or several hours afterward. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention. 

What happens if I take too much hemp protein powder? Overconsuming hemp protein powder can cause undesirable symptoms. Hemp protein powder is high in fiber, so it can cause some gastrointestinal distress. You may also feel dehydrated, indigestion, irritable, headache pain, diarrhea, nausea, or exhaustion. Hemp protein powder isn’t as high in protein as other powders, but that doesn’t mean you can’t chronically overconsume.

When you consistently take too much protein, over 2 grams per kilogram of body weight, you are putting yourself at risk for many ailments. You can experience liver and kidney issues, cardiovascular disease, issues with your blood vessels, seizure, and this can lead to death. Prolonged use can lead to type 2 diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis.

Consulting your doctor or a registered dietician can help prevent this from happening because they can give you a proper dose that is manageable. 

Will hemp protein powder cause me to become high? Hemp is part of the same plant family that marijuana is, but hemp seeds contain very little TCH, which is the psychoactive compound that causes a high. Evidence suggests that if you eat up to 300 grams of hemp seeds a day, it does not interfere with drug testing. 

How much hemp protein powder can I have on a daily basis? Hemp protein powder contains between 15 and 20 grams of protein per serving, depending on the brand. The RDA for protein consumption is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. If you are sedentary, this would be a typical recommendation.

As we age, we require more protein in our diets, and very active individuals will require more as well. They should be consuming 1 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram. You can consume one serving of hemp protein powder in a day safely without going over the maximum recommendation, possibly two depending on how much protein you get from your diet. 

How much water should I mix into my hemp protein powder? The individual product you choose will have instructions, and you should always read and follow the label of any supplements you choose to introduce into your diet. You may choose to add more water or use less than the recommended depending on your personal preference. Hemp protein powder is also a great addition to smoothies because it has its own unique flavor. 

When should I take hemp protein powder? Hemp protein powder is most effective when taken within two hours after a workout session to maximize the recovery benefits the powder has to offer. It’s suggested that 5-7 tablespoons would be the most effective dose for building muscle.

If you are not getting enough dietary protein, you can add hemp protein powder to your morning smoothie, or take it in the morning, due to the amount of fiber. 

Does hemp protein powder help improve my hair? Hemp protein has many extra benefits, along with being a protein supplement. Omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids are known to contribute to healthy hair growth and adding luster to your hair, skin, and nails. It’s suggested that it also promotes hair growth, but there are no clinical trials to support that claim. 

How do I know if hemp protein powder is right for me? Hemp contains all nine amino acids that are essential, making it a complete protein. It’s unknown how much of each amino acid is present in the protein, but one study suggests that hemp is comparable to soy protein and egg whites, which are both excellent protein sources (9).

In other clinical trials, there is evidence to show that there are lower levels of lysine, making it an inferior protein. Thirty grams of hemp protein powder contains about 15 grams of protein and 120 calories, making it a bit less than other common protein powders. Hemp is an excellent choice for those who prefer protein sources that are less processed. Hemp is also a great source of fiber and very easy to digest. 

Does hemp protein powder expire? Most protein powders last for around two years, and generally, once a protein powder passes that best before date, the powder loses its potency and effectiveness. It doesn’t go bad in the same way that other products do, as it’s dry and doesn’t have moisture to create bacteria growth. Please use products according to the label. 

Is hemp protein powder good for you? Hemp protein powder is very good for you. There are many additional benefits, along with extra protein. Hemp is full of antioxidants and minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, copper, zinc, and antioxidant lignanamides.

However, there’s no real evidence to show how creating hemp protein powder affects these nutrients, but many products claim to have these excellent benefits. Antioxidants can help protect the body from oxidative damage and chronic illness. Hemp seeds contain unsaturated fats, an ideal ratio of 3:1 omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, and they are excellent for promoting heart health.

They are an excellent source of fiber, which can help improve gut health, blood sugar, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. Hemp seeds that are cold-pressed are incredibly easy for the body to digest, so choosing a product that has that in processing is ideal. Hemp protein powder may keep you feeling satisfied and fuller for longer because of the combination of protein and fiber. 

Can I use hemp protein powder as a meal replacement? Hemp protein powders mixed with water are not intended to be a meal replacement. Along with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, protein is best consumed as part of a balanced diet. 

Does hemp protein powder improve focus? Hemp protein powder can help boost mental performance due to its high levels of the amino acid tyrosine.

Does hemp protein powder benefit your gut flora? Your gut flora is a collection of bacteria found in your large and small intestines and plays a vital role in your body. Specifically, it’s been known as the second brain, helping to control many functions in the human body, including weight loss, hormone output, and cognitive function. In some studies, it’s been even shown to cause more weight loss, despite similar calorie intake and exercise. 

While hemp protein can’t directly influence gut flora, its high fiber content helps feed gut bacteria, which in turn can help improve gut flora. 

Does hemp protein powder mix well? Hemp protein powder mixes fairly well, depending on the liquid you use and how you mix it. Blenders will work a lot better than shaker bottles, while simple liquids like water will work much better than thicker liquids like milk. For the best results, mix your protein powder in water for 30 seconds vigorously. If there are still clumps, use a spoon or other utensil to flatten them out, then continue mixing until completely smooth.

Recap

Hemp protein is unique in its ability to provide both protein and fiber in a high dose without a high sugar or refined carbohydrate content.

It’s great for weight loss, since the fiber and protein content both independently contribute to its ability to decrease feelings of hunger and increase your overall energy expenditure.

In addition, the amino acid makeup of hemp protein helps it boost your cognitive function, especially when you take it in the morning.

Since the weight loss benefits of hemp protein are also optimized when you consume it early in the day, starting your day with a hemp protein shake is a great way to capitalize on all the advantages of this protein supplement.

For Bodynutrition’s #1 recommended hemp protein powder, click here.





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