Hemp Protein vs Whey Protein - Which is the real heavy lifter?

Jul 31 , 2020

Hemp Protein vs Whey Protein - Which is the real heavy lifter?

Whether you’re running, lifting, playing, dodging, dipping, ducking, diving, or dodging - whatever physical activity you’re into these days - you’ve surely noticed a need to take particular care of yourself. We always recommend CBD for aches and pains, but things like stretching, warming-up, and a change in diet can all be helpful steps in minimizing damage and maximizing progress when working out too.

If you’ve gotten to this point, you’ve probably turned to the experts, and you’ve probably heard about protein powders: what they are, why you need them for this, that, and the other, and so on. But it can be a lot to digest (so to speak), so we’re going to break it down to just two of the leading protein powders around whey protein and hemp protein.

What is whey protein?

Whey protein is sort of the “big name” in protein powders. You see it on shelves, in ads, in infomercials - it’s everywhere. Whey protein didn’t gain its popularity without good reason, as it can be manufactured with up to 80% protein. Pound for pound, whey protein has a bit more protein than hemp protein, although both contain all nine essential amino acids. There’s more to consider when picking the better of the two protein powders, but we’ll get there in a minute. 

More directly, whey protein is a byproduct of the cheesemaking process. The proteins come out of solution and are then dried into a powder form, et voila, you have whey protein. Whey protein contains up to 24g of protein per serving, and just 1g of fat (this isn’t the sort of unhealthy fat found in hemp protein powders, either).

What is hemp protein?

Whereas whey protein is an animal byproduct (and possibly a source of an allergic reaction, if you have problems with dairy), hemp protein is an all-natural plant-based protein source. It’s got all the same essential amino acids as whey protein, and it has the added benefits of being high in fiber and heart-healthy fats.  The acid profile of the two is very comparable, and the protein in hemp rivals that of whey protein in composition, even if there is slightly less protein in hemp by comparison.

Is hemp a complete protein?

Hemp is absolutely a complete protein, as it contains all nine essential amino acids. The exact ratio of each amino acid (and its importance in your muscle gain) is still a subject of heavy debate. What’s not debated, however, is that protein powder, hemp, or otherwise, should have all the essential amino acids whenever possible. 

Is hemp protein good for you?

In short, yeah, hemp protein is actually very good for you. It provides a great source of complete protein, dietary fiber, and healthy fatty acids. It’s also plant-based and hypoallergenic, making it a great option for those that have to avoid things like soy and dairy.

Hemp protein vs whey protein

When it comes to hemp vs whey protein, the benefit of hemp protein makes it our first choice every time. The plant-based protein powder is easier to digest, which means you’ll get more of the healthy fats, fatty acids, essential amino acids, and protein than from whey protein powder. Even though whey protein powder has been the big name for a while now, the debate of hemp vs whey protein powder is hardly a question anymore. 

 

MOCU Organic Hemp Protein Powder - $29.95

 
  • Cold-pressed
  • High protein content
  • Great bulk price


If you’re ready to start getting your protein in hemp powder form, we couldn’t recommend a better starting point. Cold-pressed, full of amino acids and fatty acids, and made up of 60% protein, this plant-based protein is guaranteed to give you great results when added to your diet. Don’t be scared by the price - this is a great deal on a tremendous 3lb bag!

 

Dr. Forest Organic Hemp Protein Powder - $23.97

 
  • Boosts immune system
  • Helps liver health
  • Certified organic


This is another affordable way to get your plant-based protein in bulk. Not all protein powders are created equal, and this product is a great example of that. Including things like milk thistle for liver and kidney health, and pumpkin seed powder for additional nutrients and a broader amino acid profile, this protein powder really packs a punch.

 

Nutiva Cold Pressed Hemp Seeds Protein - $14

 
  • Delicious nutty flavor
  • Cold-pressed for quality
  • Affordable


Nutiva packs a ton of protein into this powder, clocking in at 15g per serving. It also boasts a high level of dietary fiber to keep your gut happy and healthy. It’s gently extracted from hemp seeds, ensuring you get every last bit of the amino acids, fatty acids, and protein (vs some products which are extracted more harshly, ruining some of the nutrients as they’re extracted).

 

Just Hemp Protein + Fiber - $9.54

 
  • Great source of protein
  • High in fiber
  • Great price


If you want to really up to your fiber intake with your protein, this is the product for you. It has a tremendous 13g of dietary fiber per serving, alongside the 11g of protein. All in all, it has more protein and fewer net carbs than a comparable serving of flax or chia!

 

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Protein Powder - $12.43

 
  • Highest protein content
  • Great price
  • High in fatty acids


If you just cannot get enough protein, look no further. This is the granddaddy of all protein powders. It has an unmatched 20g of protein per serving and only has two ingredients: hemp concentrate and oregano extract. Other plant-based proteins wish they could stand up to this stuff.

 

Nature’s Way EfaGold Hemp Protein and Fiber Powder - $16.99

 
  • Balanced fiber and protein
  • Delicious
  • Organic


This is another product that balances protein and fiber content. Cold milled for quality and flavor, we love putting this one in shakes and smoothies. It’s certified non-GMO and organic, so you know you’re getting nothing but the best.

 

Foods Alive Hemp Protein - $12.69

 
  • Smaller size
  • High protein content
  • The full amino acid profile


Foods Alive hemp protein is made up of 50% protein, so for every two grams you eat, you get a whole gram of protein. This one is available in a smaller 8oz bag if you’re still hesitant to dive in too deep with a huge jug of something you may or may not use. Make sure to check out the protein shake recipe on the back of the bag!

 

Navitas Organics Hemp Protein - $9.65

 
  • Energizing
  • Plant-based wellness
  • Solid price


Navitas designed this product to keep you going through even the toughest day. And why wouldn’t they? “Navitas” is Latin for “energy,” which is exactly what you’ll get when you use this in your morning smoothie. This is another small size product at just 12oz, but that price is still incredible!

 

Hemplete Organic Hemp Protein - $19.99

 
  • High protein content
  • Raw-vegan friendly
  • Low net carbs


This is another of our favorites with, particularly high protein content. Whereas many others have been around 50%, this product has an impressive 75% protein. It’s also raw-vegan friendly and gluten-free, so your dietary needs aren’t compromised.

 

Humming Hemp Protein - $11.99

 
  • Dietary friendly
  • Affordable
  • Made from Colorado hemp


This one is sure to match any dietary restriction you may have. Raw-vegan, keto, paleo, gluten-free, low carb - seriously, it ticks all the boxes. Don’t let your dietary choices keep you from awesome plant-based gains.

 

Conclusion

Whether it’s dietary choices or dietary needs, plant-based proteins are generally the way to go for those with concern about where their protein comes from. With the myriad lactose issues our digestive systems can face, whey just isn’t always practical. But most of all, hemp isn’t just naturally sourced and hypoallergenic, it’s also one of the very best proteins for your muscle-building needs. Try switching up your protein routine with hemp and you’ll see why it’s our number one choice.

If you’re still not sold on hemp protein, try these topics and see if your mind is changed:

  • Hemp protein vs pea protein
  • How much hemp protein powder can I take daily?
  • Which is a better source of protein - red meat or hemp powder?

 

Author bio:
Nick Branson is a writer and longtime smoker with a passion for science and education. His hope is to destigmatize the use of marijuana, both medicinally and recreationally

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