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The health and fitness world is ruled by animal protein sources, with whey and whey isolate protein being the most popular powder options, but as you know, there are many plant-based proteins out there that are amazing. Protein powders do come in handy, whether it’s for meal replacement or a more specific purpose like a post-workout shake.
Since the average person doesn’t consume enough protein on a daily basis, especially those that don’t eat animal products, protein shakes are an easier way of ensuring you are getting what you need in your diet.
There are a few popular non-animal protein powders that are plant or soy-based. While we love plant-based proteins around here, not everyone views this protein source the same. Soy protein is one of the most common but leaves those with soy allergies or dietary restrictions unable to consume it. Pumpkin or pea protein are two other options, though rarer, although we’ve seen the rise in pea protein recently.
Recently hemp protein has been making the rounds, and many have found it to be highly beneficial.There is other vegan protein powders out there, such as brown rice protein powder, which you can find readily available as well.
Hemp protein is made from hemp seeds, which are rich in nutrients. In fact, hemp seeds contain all 21 essential amino acids, including the 8 amino acids that are vitally important since your body is unable to produce it. Roughly two tablespoons of a high-quality hemp powder will give you about 15 grams of protein, give or take a few grams.
On top of the protein, two tablespoons of powder also give you important BCAAs, including leucine and valine, as well as other essential amino acids.
Hemp powders are typically more natural than soy powders, especially when compared to the increase of GMO soybeans used in soy powders. Another natural benefit of the hemp plant is its hardiness, which means the plants can grow without the use of chemical protection against bugs and weeds.
You can easily find organic hemp protein powder anywhere, and it’s a great vegan protein powder option as well! You’ll likely be surprised at how many brands are organic anyway, which is a pleasant discovery if you strive to avoid non-organic foods.
Even if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, you can still benefit from using hemp protein powder in addition to your regular powder. Protein aside, its other health benefits just can’t be ignored. Not all hemp protein powders are created equal, so try out one of these 3 options first.
The hemp seeds used in Navitas Naturals powder is grown in Canada. The brand doesn’t grow their hemp; they instead support local small family farms that grown this plant organically. The hemp used is grown from non-GMO seeds to ensure a pure, healthy product. Once the seeds are harvested, they are brought raw straight to a cold press which is what grinds the seeds into the final powder form.
This is all done at low temperatures to ensure maximum nutrient retention by protecting fragile enzymes and micronutrients from damage. This is a high-quality protein option that I love, especially if you are looking for an all natural, vegan protein source.
Navitas Naturals Organic Hemp Protein Powder has high protein content, with 50% of their powder being pure protein.
Many customers find it to taste delicious, with the typical nutty flavor associated with hemp protein.
This brand sells protein powder in 12 oz bags which retail for $16.99. This powder is:
- 100% organic
Nutritional content for one serving (4 tablespoons) includes:
- 120 calories
- 12 grams of protein
- 11 grams of carbs
- 5 grams of dietary fiber
- 3 grams of fat
- 5 mg of sodium
- 260 mg of magnesium
- 380 mg of potassium
- 6% calcium
- 35% iron
The Navitas Natural Hemp Powder is a great source of protein and is on the higher end of the spectrum with 12 grams. While this may seem low compared to the 15 grams you can find, this is because this is pure, fairly low processed hemp powder.
There are no fillers and no additives used to try and increase protein. At 4 tablespoons per serving, you could easily have two smoothies per day for a total of 24 grams of protein. This powder is also particularly good as a flour alternative in cooking and baking.
Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein 15g Powder
Nutiva’s mission is to provide the power of superfoods to the world, both hemp as well as others like chia and red palm. Their hemp protein powder is reasonably priced and a great product to have in your pantry.
All of Nutiva’s hemp products are:
- Certified organic
- Made from raw seeds
- Cold/Low temp processed (no hexane-processing)
- Unrefined and minimally processed
You can find this powder in a few sizes:
- 16 oz
- 30 oz
Nutritional content for one serving (3 tablespoons) includes:
- 90 calories
- 15 grams of protein
- 9 grams of carbs
- 8 grams of dietary fiber
- 1 gram of sugar
- 3 grams of fat
- 370 mg of potassium
- 60% magnesium
- 25% zinc
- 40% iron
This is another 100% pure organic hemp protein powder with no additives. It may be a pretty basic powder, but sometimes that is all you need. If you are looking for a powder for traditional protein shakes/smoothies or to mix with your current protein powder for variety, this one won’t disappoint.
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 Protein Powder
Manitoba Harvest is another Canadian company that excels in creating hemp protein powders. Their whole brand focuses solely on hemp, so you can rest assured they know how to create top notch products. They have three different hemp protein products, with the Hemp Pro 70 having the highest protein, as well as one major selling point.
This powder is available in a few options:
- Flavors – Original, Vanilla and Chocolate
- Container sizes – 1lb, 2lbs and 5lbs
Nutritional content for one serving (4 tablespoons) of Original includes:
- 140 calories
- 20 grams of protein
- 5 grams of carbs
- 2 grams of sugar
- 5 grams of fat
- 30 mg sodium
- 10% vitamin A
- 4% calcium
- 25% iron
- 800 mg Omega-3
- 2600 mg Omega-6
- 600 mg Omega-9
Unlike the other two protein powders featured, the Hemp Pro 70 isn’t pure hemp powder. Take a look at the ingredients list and you’ll see hemp powder concentrate as well as natural plant extracts. The natural plant extracts are minimal and part of how Manitoba Harvest can increase the amount of protein in this powder. It is still complete plant-based and vegan.
The way the Hemp Pro 70 powder sets itself apart from the competition is how it can be used. Manitoba Harvest specially designed this powder to be used with a shaker cup. A shaker cup sometimes called a blender bottle, is a popular tool for fitness buffs.
The cup has a built in strainer which helps to break down clumps of protein powder. This solves the gross issue of clumpy protein drinks in a normal water bottle and eliminates the need for a blender.
The Hemp Pro 70 is the first water-soluble hemp powder of its kind. The ability to use it with a shaker cup means it is perfect for the busy individual. Simply use water or juice, for better flavor. Each serving packs in 20 grams of fiber as well as all the typical nutrients you expect from a quality hemp powder. It’s water-solubility also means it blends seamlessly into normal smoothies, green or fruit juices, yogurt, and oatmeal.
The Final Scoop
They say variety is the spice of life, and it couldn’t be truer when it comes to diet. Not only does changing things up to keep you interested in eating well but it also helps in providing your body with all the nutrients it needs.
Hemp powder is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making it perfect for anyone to try. Keep in mind you aren’t just limited to drinking protein powder in a shake: Hemp protein can also be used in baking recipes, as a flour substitute or a delicious topping for yogurt. Check the best proteins out there!
Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.