Protein powders are popular nutritional supplements used by athletes, bodybuilders and those trying to gain weight or increase muscle mass. Hemp protein powder is a very popular variety, which is 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.
This article reviews the pros and cons of hemp protein powder and determines whether it’s the best plant-based protein powder available.
Hemp is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that humans need to get from food.
However, research is mixed on the exact amounts of these amino acids it contains.
One study found that the amino acid profile of hemp protein is similar to egg whites and soy, which are both high-quality protein sources.
However, other studies have shown that hemp has relatively low levels of the essential amino acid lysine, making it a poorer quality option for that nutrient.
A 1/4-cup (30-gram) serving of hemp protein powder contains, on average, around 120 calories and 15 grams of protein.
That’s less protein per serving than soy or pea protein powders, which are more highly refined and contain up to 90% protein.
However, for those who prefer less processed protein sources, hemp is a good choice.
SUMMARY Hemp protein is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, but more research is needed on its quality. Each 1/4-cup (30-gram) serving contains 15 grams of protein.
Therefore your body can use almost all of the amino acids in hemp protein powder for important bodily functions, such as repair and maintenance.
Researchers believe that hemp is so easy to digest because it contains the proteins edestin and albumin, which your body can break down quickly.
However, other studies that judge proteins based on both digestibility and amino acid content consider hemp protein to be of moderate quality — roughly on par with lentils.
Research has found that heat processing can reduce the digestibility of hemp protein by about 10%, so look for hemp protein powders made from cold-pressed seeds.
SUMMARY Hemp protein is very easy to digest, but look for cold-pressed hemp protein for the highest quality.
Extract from: Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/hemp-protein-powder