I tested Hemp protein for two months, during which time I used it as my sole protein supplement. Read about my experiences with this new kid on the protein block here.
If you’re anything like me, when you hear the word ‘hemp’ the last thing you think about is protein! However, hemp is far more than a psychoactive drug. It is, in fact, a complete food, and its time you learnt about it.
Like I said above, for two months I used hemp protein powder as my only protein supplement and, after years of using a whey protein supplement, this was not an easy change to make. Nevertheless, I needed to know whether the hype was true or not, so I decided to give hemp supplement a fair trial.
It’s a shame about poor old hemp and its bad press because the reality is that it is one of the most adaptable plants in the world. It’s used in the manufacture of cloth and clothing, for fuel, and it even goes into Mercedes/Chrysler door-panels, thanks to its flexibility. For the purposes of this article, though, we’ll concentrate on the nutritional properties of hemp.
Even though it’s a plant, hemp is, unexpectedly, a complete protein. It consists of all twenty known amino acids, including those ten that are designated as essential for human health. Just to get our terminology right, a protein is considered complete when it not only contains the ten essential amino acids, but when those amino acids are in the correct quantity and proportion for the body to utilize them. So, in terms of complete protein, hemp is up there with the best.
But, it doesn’t just end there. Hemp also contains the essential fatty acids needed for good health in the perfect balance – that is one of Omega 3 to each three of Omega 6.
And, if that wasn’t enough, the insoluble fiber content of hemp organic protein powder works to keep your blood sugar level stable, as well as ensuring that your bowel movements are regular. If you look on the ingredient label, you’ll see that all the carb content is fiber, making it perfect for a low carb diet.
Anyway, enough of the science, below you can read what I discovered about using a hemp protein powder during my two month trial.
Benefits Of Hemp Protein
No loss of muscle mass
Having spent so long building muscle mass, my biggest worry when I switched to hemp protein powder was that I’d lose what had took so long to develop. I needn’t have worried, though, because muscle growth with hemp protein was as good as with whey or other protein blends, in fact, it might even have been slightly better!
Superb quality and utilization
I was concerned that this plant protein wouldn’t be as digestible as other blends. I’m happy to report that I was wrong again! Because hemp is a whole-food supplement, it contains the correct enzymes in the correct ratio for the body to use easily.
I’m sure I’m not the only person to experience the protein-bloat that happens when you’ve had a big protein shake. That familiar ‘getting bigger’ feeling is particularly unpleasant. It did not happen at all with the organic hemp powder. Maybe because its not milk-based, or maybe because its derived from a plant – I don’t know, I just know that I was pleasantly surprised not to fill my stomach expanding.
No bad breath
If your ‘significant other’ moans about your breath after a milk-based protein supplement, you’ll be in the clear with hemp. I was amazed and, it has to be said, delighted to discover that not only didn’t my breath smell after taking the hemp protein, but that I didn’t have that disgusting taste in my mouth either.
No added extras
The product that I used for that two-month test contained one thing only – hemp meal. No artificial sweeteners, no added flavors, no added anything. Just pure hemp ground into meal. If you’re concerned about additives for one reason or another, the way forward for you seems to be hemp protein.
It’s to do with the fiber you see. As I said earlier, all the carb content in the supplement I used was fiber, and fiber cleans the digestive tract. Not only that, a clean and clear digestive tract means that you can absorb nutrients more effectively. This more effective absorption leads to increased muscle growth and fat loss.
Of course, nothing in life is perfect and there were a few downsides, which I’ll tell you about here. In my personal opinion, though, the benefits far outweighed the disadvantages.
Disadvantages Of Hemp Protein
Well, I won’t beat about the bush here. Hemp protein powder is pure plant stuff – greens if you like – and it tastes of what it is, plant stuff. If you’ve been on the sweetened protein powders for a few years, it’s a bit of a shock to the system.
However, I actually found the natural taste a positive change. After many years of taking whey-based supplements, my palate was a bit jaded by that fake, over-sweetened taste and I found the nutty flavor of hemp protein a pleasant change. In fact, I took to drinking it straight, just mixed with water. It tasted good when mixed with orange juice as well.
Cheap it ain’t! The reason for it being expensive when compared to other protein supplements is the care that must be taken to maintain the nutritional content. The essential fatty acids, in particular, need a bit of work to maintain in the correct quantity and ratio. The contents of the hemp powder I used were fresh and preservative free and, because of the oxidizing process of plants, it ‘goes off’ more quickly than the usual protein supplements. For this reason its only sold in 1llb or 2llb containers. I found that a 1llb container kept me going for between eight to ten days, and I was having it fairly frequently throughout the day.
BUT, to get benefits equivalent to whey-based protein supplements and others, you need to take less – ten to thirty grams at a time, as opposed to forty to sixty grams. (Take the higher dose, that is thirty grams, after your work-out).
Taking the reduced amount needed into account, I thought it was well worth the price.
Because I promised to ‘tell it like it is’ I have to mention the tidiness factor, which to be honest was more a problem for my girlfriend than for me.
Because the bags are relatively small and because the scoop has a longish handle, every time I pulled the scoop out of the bag, I spilled some powder onto the work-top.
I said it was minor, but I learned to clear it up quick, before my girlfriend made it a major!
Well, like I said at the beginning, I was a bit hesitant when I started my trial. I’d used whey-based and egg-based supplementation for years and, like they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
But, I am so glad I curbed my fears and went for it. Hemp protein ticked all the right boxes and, if you’re looking for something that’s going to maximize your health, as well as all that hard work in the gym, I heartily recommend it to you.
Do a search on google and you will find some very interesting discussion points about hemp protein powder versus whey protein and you may think that the tone is a little controversial. I certainly did, and my recommendations for using organic hemp protein powder are a little different from what you will read. However, I very much recommend hemp protein as a supplement.
Where to Buy Hemp Protein?
The best place to get Hemp Protein would have to be Amazon.com. Whichever supplier you go with you get the chance to see what other people have experienced, and the Amazon prices are more often than not cheaper than any other supplier.