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Hemp Protein Powder Benefits and Risks

Hemp Protein Powder Benefits and RisksHemp Protein Powder Benefits and Risks

If you’re looking to increase your protein intake from a natural, plant based source, then hemp protein powder is definitely worth considering. Hemp protein powder is Vegan, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, and has a low allergy risk.

Hemp Protein Powder Benefits and Risks

Hemp protein powder is made from hemp seeds, which provide many healthful benefits. Hemp protein powder contains 20 amino acids, including 9 essential amino acids that our bodies are unable to produce on their own. Hemp protein powder provides the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6- (including hard-to-get gamma linolenic acid (GLA)) in a healthy 3:1 ratio. What’s more, hemp protein powder also provides a healthy dose of antioxidants, minerals, fiber and chlorophyll.

Let’s take a look at some other nutritional values of hemp protein powder.

One serving (about 3 tablespoons) of natural, organic, plain hemp protein powder: 
     90 calories
     3 g fat
     8 g fiber
     9 g carbohydrates
     1 g sugar
     15 g protein
 

% of Daily Values:
     Magnesium 40%
     Iron 40%
     Zinc 25%
    Potassium 11%

Hemp protein powder has many other health benefits as well:

  • Increases Protein Intake
  • Boosts the Immune System
  • Improves Heart Health
  • Decreases Osteoporosis Risk
  • Reduces Sugar Cravings
  • Helps to Regulate Hormone Imbalances
  • Lessens Fatigue

Hemp Protein Powder Benefits and Risks

While hemp protein powder offers numerous nutritional benefits, it’s important to be aware of some potential risks.

Digestive Problems

Protein supplements (including hemp protein) can cause digestive problems–often due to high fiber content. If you are not used to eating a lot of fiber, you may experience gas, bloating, upset stomach, constipation, or diarrhea–especially after consuming large amounts of hemp protein. As with any high fiber food or supplement, to reduce your risk of digestive problems, start with small servings and drink lots of water.

Loose Supplement Regulations

Hemp protein powder is categorized as a dietary supplement. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not tightly regulate supplement manufacturers. Supplement manufacturers are not required to prove their products are safe or effective, or to prove the accuracy of ingredient labels. That is why it is so very important to buy from reputable companies.

Medication Interactions

It has been reported that oils in hemp can increase bleeding, especially in people taking anticoagulant medications.

Possibility of THC

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the component of marijuana that makes you feel “high.”Most hemp seeds and other hemp protein products don’t contain THC. However, depending on how the hemp was grown and processed, it is possible to ingest small amounts of THC when consuming hemp protein powder. Because THC metabolites in urine, if you consume large amounts of hemp, there is a slight possibility you may test positive for THC after consuming hemp protein.  The risk is very low; however, athletes should be aware of this, as hemp protein could lead to positive urine drug tests. This is another reason to buy from trusted manufacturers.

Hemp Protein Powder Benefits and Risks

Other Considerations

What brands are best?

How do you know if the hemp protein powder a manufacturer or company sells is safe and healthy?  First, I look for a hemp protein powder that comes from a reputable brand in the U.S. or Canada. Next, I look for a hemp protein powder that only has one ingredient: hemp protein.  Here are 2 popular brands to consider:

 

 

Taste and consistency

Hemp has a earthy-nutty–plant flavor. Some brands do offer hemp protein powder in flavors–such as chocolate and peanut butter. Adding flavors and other ingredients typically means adding sugar and sometimes saturated fat, however.

You can use hemp protein just like you use any other protein powder. However, because of the plant fiber, some hemp protein powders do not mix well.  When I first tried hemp protein powder, quite a few years ago, I made the mistake of adding the large full serving amount–much too much for the little bit of fruit and soy milk I was mixing it with. This particular hemp protein powder definitely did not mix well at all. It was so thick and fibrous I couldn’t drink more than the first gulp. It took me a few years to try it again!

Most hemp protein powders have much improved since then.  However, if you have not tried hemp before, I would suggest you start with 1 or 1 1/tablespoons instead of the suggested serving of 3-4 tablespoons. I often use this approach when trying out new protein powders. Some protein powders have a consultancy or taste that may take a bit to get used to. I have learned from experience that it’s better to start with a smaller amount of the protein powder to see how you like it–as opposed to going with the full amount right away and then not wanting to drink it or try it again. If you don’t want to use the full serving size, but you want to increase the protein, you can always mix the hemp protein powder with other protein powders such as  pea, brown rice, whey, egg white or soy.

Besides making nutritious smoothies, you can also add hemp protein powder to cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, pancake batter, and other baking mixes.  Again, start with a small amount. You can even use hemp protein powder to replace up to 25 percent of the flour in baked goods–giving them more protein, fiber, healthy fat and nutrients.

Hemp Protein Powder Benefits and Risks Summary 

Hemp protein powder is an easy, natural, healthy and versatile way to add plant-based protein, omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, fiber and many more nutrients to your diet. It has many healthful benefits, such as boosting your immune system, improving heart health, decreasing osteoporosis risk, reducing sugar cravings, helping to regulate hormone imbalances and lessening fatigue.

Because hemp protein powder is considered a supplement, it is not regulated the same way foods are. Therefore, it is very important to buy hemp protein powder from reputable manufacturers.

Try on of these highly rated, popular brands of hemp protein powders.

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2 thoughts on “Hemp Protein Powder Benefits and Risks

  1. I was advised to try out some protein powder to help with my energy and boost my immune system but I’ve been having a hard time finding some gluten free and preferably vegan… I’ll for sure look into hemp protein powders and I’m really intrigued. I might just try it out 🙂

    1. Hi Samiah,
      I’m glad that you are considering trying out Hemp Protein Powder. I’d like to hear what you think after trying it. If you are looking for other protein powder options, I invite you to read Best Protein Powder for Women, where I talk about some other protein powders.

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