Protein is an essential macronutrient, required to help you build more muscle and optimize your post workout recovery. In fact, most people are not getting enough protein in their diets, in order to reach their health and fitness goals. Hemp is a high-quality vegan protein derived from the cannabis sativa plant, not only packed full of protein, but healthy omega fatty acids and antioxidant rich phytonutrients.
What Is Hemp Protein
Hemp protein is derived from hemp seeds, then processed and pressed to remove the oils and a majority of the fat content, resulting in a fine powder. While hemp seeds are related to the cannabis plant, hemp protein does not contain psychoactive compound THC found in marijuana.
Hemp Seed Protein Nutrition
Hemp seeds contain an ideal macronutrient split and have a perfectly well balanced 3:1 ratio of essential omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids linoleic acid, and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). Hemp also contains another omega-6 fatty acid called gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects similar to NSAIDS like ibuprofen. A study published in the journal Nutrients, found that GLA supplementation reduced arthritis induced pain by 75% after nine months [R].
Hemp contains 20-25% protein and 20-30% carbohydrates and fiber. Hemp protein is also rich in antioxidants and other bioactive phytonutrients such as phenolic compounds, tocopherols, carotenoids, and phytosterols.
HEMP SEED PROTEIN (30G)
Compared to other vegan protein sources, hemp protein is higher in carbohydrates with 5g per 30g serving and higher in fat at 3.5g – but in the forms of fiber and healthy omega fatty acids. Fiber is essential for digestive health and keeping things normal and running smoothly with healthy bowel movements. The daily value of fiber is 25g per day, so with just with one single serving of hemp protein, you’re getting 20% of your daily value of fiber and only two net carbs.
Hemp Seed Protein Benefits
Classified as a complete protein and full of essential amino acids, hemp protein could be of the best plant based vegan protein options for your healthy lifestyle. A complete protein simply means that it contains all nine essential amino acids in robust amounts.
Although plant-based protein sources contain all essential amino acids, some do not have adequate amounts or ratios of certain amino acids, in order for them to be meet the definition of a complete protein, and thus are labeled as incomplete. This is perhaps the largest argument of plant vs animal protein, since animal protein sources contain adequate amounts of all essential amino acids.
Swolverine combines pumpkin seed protein, with quinoa, pea protein isolate, hemp protein, and sacha inchi protein, in a proprietary blend free mix, to ensure you’re getting an adequate amount of all the essential and nonessential amino acids you need to improve your performance goals.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT Plant Protein (25 Servings, Chocolate Cake)
1. Supports Athletic Performance
About 25% of the calories found in hemp protein are derived from protein, which is relatively high. Pound for pound, hemp provides nearly as much protein as animal protein sources with 11g per 30g serving.
Since hemp is considered a complete protein source your body is able to utilize the essential amino acids to build more muscle and aid in post workout muscle recovery. Hemp seeds contain a robust amount of methionine and cysteine, as well as arginine and glutamic acid.
Of the nine essential amino acids, hemp protein contains variable amounts of the branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. Hemp protein contains 6.8% leucine, 4.5% isoleucine and 5.6% valine.
Research has shown BCAAs can stimulate muscle protein synthesis or muscle growth and speed up post-workout recovery by reducing muscle soreness.
The amino acid score protein digestibility of hemp protein is actually quite high as well, with a score of 0.87 out of 1 putting it higher than most plant based protein sources in terms of optimal absorption rate [R].
2. May Aid In Digestion
Fiber is an essential part of your diet. The recommended daily intake of fiber is around 25g per day. Hemp protein is a good source of both insoluble and soluble fiber, containing around 80% and 20%. Soluble fiber forms a gel like material in your digestive tract, slows down digestion and helps lower your cholesterol and blood sugar level. Insoluble fiber passes straight through your digestive tract without being absorbed acting like a broom, sweeping out your system.
Fiber delivers a ton of great health benefits, such as supporting weight loss, reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, improving digestive health, and fueling gut health.
Other forms of plant protein such as pea, rice, and soy are highly refined and contain very small amounts of fiber.
3. May Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one killer and causes of death each year in the US, while 98% of all Americans fall below the optimal range of Omega-3 ideal for heart health.
Hemp seeds contain quite a few heart healthy benefits. Hemp protein contains healthy omega 6 and omega 3 fats such as gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) also referred to as PUFAs (poly-unsaturated fatty acids).
A study of more than 63,000 participants found that individuals with higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet, had a 17% reduced risk of cardiovascular events and mortality rates [R]. The Nurses’ Health Study also found a 40% reduced risk of sudden cardiac death in women who ate the highest amounts of ALA. Lastly a third Cardiovascular Health Study cohort with more than 5,000 study participants, ages 65 years and older, found a 50% lower risk of fatal ischemic heart disease with higher intakes of ALA [R].
Hemp also contains high amounts of arginine, as well as antioxidant. Arginine promotes nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that dilates your blood vessels, leading to lowered blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease. Yet another reason, hemp protein is one of the best plant based protein sources.
4. May Improve Skin Conditions
The essential fatty acids found in hemp protein, may influence immune response and benefit skin health.
Hemp seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. Studies suggest that your immune system depends on an optimal balance of omega 6 and omega 3 fats. The typical Western or American diet is saturated with omega 6 fats and severely lacks in omega 3 at an average of a 16:1 ratio and has been linked to chronic disease states such as cardiovascular disease and cancer [R]. Hemp protein provides a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered in the optimal range, helping correct the imbalance of essential fatty acids and improving overall health.
Studies have shown that hemp seed oil may improve blood levels of essential fatty acid for those that have eczema. Hemp seed oil has also been shown to relieve dry skin, reduce itchiness and the need for prescribed skin medications [R].
Hemp Protein Benefits: Takeaway
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to supplement with plant-based protein and still get all of the essential amino acids and muscle-nurturing protein you need to build more muscle, burn more body fat and optimize your body composition. Hemp protein provides an abundance of health benefits supporting body composition, weight loss, muscle gain, digestive health, and reducing your risk of chronic disease sates. In addition to be being a robust source of protein, hemp is packed healthy omega fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, to reduce inflammation and improve overall health.
Looking for the best plant-based protein to build more muscle, shred body fat, and improve athletic performance?
Veselinovic, Mirjana et al. “Clinical Benefits of n-3 PUFA and ɤ-Linolenic Acid in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Nutrients vol. 9,4 325. 25 Mar. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9040325
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Horia E, Watkins BA. Comparison of stearidonic acid and alpha-linolenic acid on PGE2 production and COX-2 protein levels in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell cultures. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Mar;16(3):184-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2004.11.001. PMID: 15741054.
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Tabassum N, Hamdani M. Plants used to treat skin diseases. Pharmacogn Rev. 2014 Jan;8(15):52-60. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.125531. PMID: 24600196; PMCID: PMC3931201.