As any vegan will tell you, finding alternatives to popular foods is a challenge. Being a vegan requires finding plant-based replacements for products that traditionally utilize animals in their production. We’re examining a popular alternative to one of the most touted supplements on the market – protein powder. More specifically, we’ll be looking at hemp protein powder by examining the top hemp protein products on the market. Then, we’ll give you a buyer’s guide that contains everything you need to know to make your decision.
What is Hemp Protein?
Before we get started, let’s look at exactly what hemp protein powder is. As you might expect, hemp protein powder is derived from hemp – more specifically, hemp seeds. Hemp protein is a popular alternative to non-vegan options such as whey protein powder. Hemp is a great source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids, along with other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Hemp protein powder is a great protein substitute for a vegan lifestyle. Let’s examine the top products on the market:
1. BEST OVERALL: Hemp Yeah!
First, we have Hemp Yeah! We’re starting with a bang because Hemp Yeah is our favorite vegan hemp protein powder.
This protein powder has a lot going for it. We love it because it’s so simple. It only has two ingredients – organic hemp protein concentrate and natural oregano extract. It’s a no-nonsense solution, free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, and the like! It’s certified USDA Organic, Certified Non-GMO, and (of course) dairy-free!
The natural ingredients in this formula make it a very effective protein powder. It contains 20g of organic plant-based protein per serving (each serving is 34g of powder or four scoops). It also has only 140 calories, which means you can load up on protein without packing on the calories. It is an effective option if weight loss is among your primary goals.
This product also contains 4.5g Omegas 3 & 6, more commonly known as good fats, and 3g of fiber per serving.
Hemp Yeah! also proudly touts its digestion benefits, which are a big benefit of any hemp protein powder. Hemp Yeah! is also allergen-free.
We also love Hemp Yeah! because it is a company that cares. This protein powder is carbon neutral and B Corp Certified, which means it was made with renewable energy.
The one thing that might turn some people off this product is that there are no additives, which means it is unsweetened. This might be less than ideal if the flavor is a big consideration, but it is recommended to be consumed by mixing into your favorite drink.
- Pure hemp protein powder
- Great source of protein and Omegas
- Ethical company
- Unsweetened may not appeal to many
2. Nutiva Hemp Protein
Here’s another great protein option for you to consider. Nutiva Plant protein is a great source of raw organic protein. Each serving has 15g as well as organic branched-chain amino acids.
This was made with raw cold-pressed organic hemp seed. Cold pressing is a great way to process hemp seed without using chemicals. There are no preservatives, additives, or added sugar.
We also like this protein powder because it’s a great source of fiber. Each serving has 8g, which is roughly 30% of your daily value!
Overall, it’s a great option, and the three-pound bags give you great value!
- Good source of protein and fiber
- All-natural production process
- Great value
3. Dr. Forest Organic Hemp Protein
Dr. Forest Organic Hemp Protein contains 20g of protein per serving. The protein isn’t derived from purely hemp seeds as it also contains pumpkin seed powder and milk thistle powder. The ingredients are combined without artificial flavors or colors.
Dr. Forest promotes this product for its healthy kidney & liver functions, which is a claimed benefit from the added milk thistle.
This protein powder is a bit on the high side calorie-wise at 140 cals per serving. That said, we still really like it for its great blend of all-natural ingredients. It’s priced fairly, and each package has great value!
- 20g protein per serving
- Contains milk thistle
- Great value
- Calories are slightly high
4. Just Hemp Protein & Fiber
As you can probably tell from the name, this product emphasizes protein and fiber. This isn’t a traditional hemp powder like many products on our list. Instead, these are hemp hearts, which are similar to small seeds. They have a nutty taste, similar to a pine nut, and are meant to be sprinkled on your favorite foods. They’re popularly used on salads, oatmeal, cereal, and more.
Hemp hearts aren’t as great a source of protein as pure hemp protein powder, but they’re still pretty good. They contain about 11g of protein per serving. What they lack in protein, though, they make up for in fiber content, containing about 14 per serving, or over half of your daily value!
The calorie content is similar to hemp protein powder, at 130 per serving.
Overall, we think this is a great product, but it depends on your preference for whether this product is for you. If you want a product that is high in fiber and still a great source of protein, you will enjoy this product.
- High in fiber
- Natural, nutty taste
- Not as high in protein as hemp powder
5. Perform Pea & Hemp Protein Blend
This is a great protein powder that derives its protein from both pea and hemp. The result is a protein powder that is veryhigh in protein, at 25g per serving. Each scoop also contains 6g of plant-based BCAAs, which are great for facilitating digestion.
This product also puts special emphasis on taste. There are a few flavors to choose from, with our favorite being banana & cinnamon. There is no added sugar for flavor.
Overall, we think this is a great product, but it’s definitely on the expensive side.
- Very high in protein (25g)
- Great source of BCAAs (6g)
- Very expensive
6. Nutiva Hemp Protein Hi Fiber
Here’s another great choice from Nutiva. Their Hi Fiber blend sacrifices some of the protein content for higher fiber.
One serving of this blend contains 10g of protein and 12g of fiber. If you’re looking for a high fiber supplement, this might be exactly the product for you.
Nutiva is a reputable company that has a clear commitment to quality. They partner with farmers in Canada to source organic, non-GMO, sustainably grown hemp seeds, and maintain strict adherence to USDA organic guidelines and non-GMO guidelines. Then, they package it all in BPA-free packaging. Overall, we like the brand and the product, and that’s why we’ve included it on our list twice.
- High in fiber
- Sustainable company you can trust
- Organically sourced hemp seeds
- Not as great a protein source
7. Wilderness Poets Hemp Protein
Wilderness Poets are a premium quality brand that focuses on 100% plant-based products. A notable feature of this hemp protein is that it is made of hulled hemp seeds rather than seeds with shells. This has a notable impact on the flavor of the blend while still maintaining all of the nutritional benefits.
This protein powder contains 19g protein per serving. Hemp is a complete protein, containing 9 essential amino acids and Omega 3, 6, & 9 fatty acids.
We like Wilderness Poets as a company. This product is USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO, and has no added ingredients. It’s purely organic hemp protein powder.
- One ingredient
- Great source of protein
8. Hemp Hearts Shelled Hemp Seeds
Here is another variety of hemp hearts and a great choice if you prefer this type of hemp protein. Although hemp hearts aren’t quite as high in protein (10g/serving), they make up for it with 12g of Omegas 3 & 6.
While they aren’t quite as protein-dense as hemp protein powder, hemp hearts contain quite a bit more protein than comparable foods, such as chia and flax.
The main appeal of hemp hearts over hemp protein powder is the taste and texture. Because they aren’t just concentrated hemp protein, they retain a lot of the natural, nutty flavor of hemp. Enjoy salads, cereal, sandwiches, smoothies, and much more!
- Great source of Omegas 3 & 6
- Tastier than hemp protein
- Not as high in protein
9. BEST VALUE: Pure Protein Superfood Powder
PureProtein Superfood Powder contains 20g of protein and 140 calories per serving. This is a pretty standard blend in comparison to many of the options on our list.
We particularly like this brand because it tastes great. It is sweetened with real sugar, but only contains 3 grams which give it a more natural flavor. We prefer unsweetened, but it’s very much a subjective choice. Choose from vanilla, dark cocoa, and mixed berry.
This protein powder is an excellent value as well, and one of the more economically priced varieties on our list.
- 20g of protein
- Great taste
- Excellent value
- Some may prefer unsweetened
10. Navitas Organics Hemp Powder
Nativas Organics is another organic hemp powder that we like a lot. This was made with cold-pressed hemp seeds, which means that it contains 50% complete protein by weight.
We also like that this brand comes in a variety of flavors, with some varieties mixed with cacao powder, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.
The one downside of this product is that it is surprisingly low in protein. It only contains 14g per serving. It’s up to you whether this is enough to meet your daily goals.
- Milled from cold-pressed hemp seeds
- Not quite as high in protein as other options
There you have it! A complete list of the top products to consider when shopping for hemp protein powder. As you can see, there’s a lot to choose from, so we’re going to round out the list with some of the most commonly asked questions about hemp protein powder. We want to give you everything you need to know to help make your decision.
Hemp Protein vs. Whey
One of the top questions surrounding hemp protein is how it compares to the unquestioned king of the protein market – whey. Whey is a great source of protein, but it contains ingredients that are not vegan-friendly. As a result, vegans have searched for a suitable substitute for whey, and hemp is a close comparison.
The notable difference between hemp and whey is that hemp contains less protein per serving. For equal-sized servings, whey protein contains about 20g protein, while hemp protein contains about 12.5g protein. This is a notable difference, but hemp protein does have some other notable factors that whey protein lacks. Hemp protein powder is notably higher in fiber, iron, calcium, and healthy fats & Omegas. Hemp protein powder also tends to contain more antioxidants.
Both hemp and whey contain all 9 essential amino acids.
Overall, hemp protein may lack the high protein content of whey, but this is balanced in other ways.
Hemp Protein vs. Pea Protein
Pea protein is probably the most popular vegan protein option. A comparable serving of pea protein contains about 24g protein, while the same sized hemp protein portion would contain about 15g protein.
Once again, hemp protein isn’t quite as protein-dense; however, it makes up for this in other ways. Hemp contains about 8g of fiber per serving, while pea protein contains close to 0g of fiber. Additionally, hemp protein tends to be lower in calories per serving.
Overall, hemp isn’t the most efficient source of protein on the market, but it depends on how much protein you are looking for in a supplement. It’s also worth noting that most people prefer the nutty taste of hemp protein over the grainy taste of pea protein.
Buying a hemp protein leaves you with a lot to consider. As you can see from our above list, there are a lot of choices on the market. To help simplify your decision, here are the top factors you should be considering.
The first factor to note about hemp protein powders is taste. The most obvious distinction is between flavored and unflavoured varieties. Many prefer the natural, unflavored variety of hemp protein powder. It has a natural, nutty taste, and blends well with many drinks and foods.
You can also find it in all sorts of flavors. It is generally sweetened with fruit, sugar, or other ingredients such as monk fruit.
This is very much a subjective choice, and our list contains many flavor options that you can choose from.
Of course, protein content is a major factor that should guide your decision. Sometimes, it’s easy to think that higher is better, but that’s not always true. Hemp powders that are lower in protein tend to put more emphasis on other important ingredients such as fiber. Some powders are fortified with other ingredients entirely.
Be sure to learn to read the nutritional information on the labels so that you can evaluate each and compare them to your nutritional goals!
Of course, you should focus on value. A lower price is good, but it shouldn’t always be the deciding factor. Weigh the price against the factors above to decide how much value you are receiving with your purchase. Find a protein powder that has the ingredients you want, the flavor you like, and the texture you prefer. After all, value is only determined by how much value you receive for the price-tag.