The Best Hemp Protein Powder

According to a nutrition expert and recipe writer

By Lizzy Briskin
Lyfe Fuel, Unsplash

Hemp is a popular plant-based protein option for good reason. Hemp is naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, making it a great allergy-friendly and vegan protein option.

If you’re ready to give hemp a try, it can be overwhelming to choose the best protein powder from a taste, versatility, and sustainability perspective.

From pure ground hemp to multi-ingredient blends, there are plenty of options to consider. We’re digging into everything you need to know to choose the best hemp protein and our favorite brands.

What Is Hemp Protein?

If you’ve tried other protein powders and are curious about hemp, here’s what you need to know about this unique ingredient.

Though it’s often called hemp seed, hemp actually technically a nut. Therefore, like almonds and walnuts, hemp contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help regulate heart rhythm and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Hemp seeds are also naturally high in dietary fiber, which promotes digestion and a healthy gut microbiome. A 30-gram serving of whole hemp seeds contains 1.2 grams of dietary fiber. Fiber content varies between brands of protein powder, so always check the label if you’re aiming to increase your fiber intake.

Hemp seed is also considered a complete protein because it naturally contains all nine amino acids that the human body needs. Most other edible complete proteins come from animal sources, so this is great news for vegans and vegetarians.

When it comes to taste, hemp is fairly mild. You can expect a slightly nutty flavor from your protein powder, but it certainly won’t compete with fruit smoothie ingredients. In fact, most pure hemp protein powders can be used to replace flour in baking recipes.

Best Hemp Protein Powders 2021

Navitas Naturals Organic Hemp Powder

Cost:  $16.99 for 14 servings

Unique features: Organic; Paleo-friendly; Vegan; Third-party lab tested

Our take: We love that this all-purpose protein powder from Navitas Naturals contains one simple ingredient: certified organic hemp powder. You won’t find any additives, preservatives or flavoring agents in this clean powder. For that reason, that you can just as easily blend the powder into your morning smoothies as you can bake with it.

When a product like this comes from a Certified B-Corporation like Navitas Naturals, it always goes straight to the top of our list. We love that this brand is committed to using regenerative and organic agriculture and promotes a plant-based lifestyle for consumers’ health and the health of our planet.

Hemp Yeah! Max Fiber Unsweetened Hemp Protein from Manitoba Harvest

Cost: $16.99 for 13 servings

Unique features: Carbon-neutral company; Organic; High fiber; Vegan; Recyclable container

Our take: We love that this hemp protein from Manitoba is another single-ingredient product. What’s more, each serving of this vegan and organic-certified hemp protein contains 13 grams of dietary fiber, which is 46% of your daily recommended intake according to the FDA.

This product is also fully shelf-stable. Other brands, including Navitas Naturals, recommend storing their hemp protein in the fridge for freshness. But Manitoba Harvest products have a 12-month shelf life from their manufacturing date. This makes Manitoba Harvest products perfect for travel.

Manitoba Harvest is also a Certified B-Corp. And the real cherry on top? As of 2018, all of the company’s facilities, including offices and packaging plants, are certified carbon-neutral, thanks to offsets from wind energy.

Sunwarrior Organic Hemp Protein

Cost: $24.95 for 25 servings

Unique features: Organic; Non-GMO

Our take: We love that Sunwarrior hemp protein is higher in protein than other hemp products. With 15 grams of plant-based protein per serving, this is a great option for anyone looking to amp up their protein intake after a workout, for example.

In addition, all Sunwarrior products come in fully recyclable packaging to reduce waste and environmental impact. The larger container size also means fewer reorders or trips to the store, which is a win on the sustainability front.

Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder

Cost: $13.19 for 15 servings

Unique features: Non-GMO; One ingredient

Our take: We love that Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder is formulated with a baker in mind. This light and fine powder dissolves easily in liquid and also works great in your favorite baked goods. In fact, the company website includes recipes for Hemp Cinnamon Muffins and Protein Truffles.

This product is a great option for hemp first-timers. It has a very mild flavor and texture that fades into the background of smoothies and baked goods while providing 14 grams of protein and 8 grams of dietary fiber per serving. We also love any product from Bob’s Red Mill, thanks to the company’s sustainability pledge, which includes the removal of most single-use plastic items, composting, and local ingredient sourcing.

NOW Foods Hemp Protein Powder

Cost: $12.99 for 11 servings

Unique features: Organic; Peanut-free facility

Our take: We love that NOW Food’s organic hemp protein comes from a family-owned company that has paved the way when it comes to sourcing and developing the highest-quality natural food products.

NOW products come in recyclable packaging as much as possible. When recyclable materials aren’t available, NOW has partnered with Terracycle®, which makes packaging from non-recyclable and hard-to-recycle materials. NOW’s sustainability commitment includes outfitting its facilities with energy-efficient lighting and solar panels, which have eliminated 12,3666 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Laird Superfood Renew Plant-Based Protein

Cost: $29.95 for 12 Servings

Unique features: Added functional mushrooms; Preservative-free; Non-GMO

Our take: This protein powder from Laird Superfood goes beyond hemp. In fact, every serving of the Renew Plant-Based Protein offers benefits from functional mushrooms, including chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane. The 19 grams of protein come from a blend of hemp, raw organic pumpkin seeds, and sacha inchi. This blend will add a creamier texture to your smoothies thanks to freeze-dried coconut water, which also provides extra electrolytes for hydration.

Form Nutrition Performance Protein

Cost: $39 for 13 servings

Unique features: Dessert flavors; 30 grams of protein; Designed for post-workout recovery

Our take: We love Form Nutrition Performance Protein blend for its delicious flavor and impressive nutrition facts. Choose from Chocolate Peanut, Tiramisu, or Vanilla flavors. Each serving contains 30 grams of plant-based protein, along with immune-boosting curcumin and 5 grams of BCAAs.

And if that’s not enough, this protein powder also comes in a beautifully-designed package that happens to be fully compostable. No plastic scoops here! This protein blend is made with organic pea, brown rice, and hemp protein. In addition, this Certified B-Corporation runs the Form Feeding Fund, which provides food to hospital patients and their companions at the Bansang Hospital in Gambia.

Vivo Perform Raw Plant Protein & BCAA

Cost: $35.99 for 14 Servings

Unique features: Large flavor selection; 6 grams BCAAs; 100% raw; Fermented protein for better digestion

Our take: We like that Vivo’s plant-based protein covers nearly all of your needs from a protein powder. This blend of hemp, fermented pea protein, reishi, maca, and more, contains 25 grams of protein, 6 grams of BCAA, and over 8 grams of dietary fiber, plus over 50% of your daily recommended value of iron.

The blends are also flavored with acai berry, lucuma, raw cacao, and sweetened with stevia leaf. These flavorings make this a great option for mixing into a quick protein shake with water or milk, rather than blending into a fruit smoothie or baked good. All Vivo ingredients are tested by a third party for heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides for the highest-quality product and flavor.

What are the benefits of hemp protein?

Many health experts consider hemp protein to have a superior nutritional value compared to other plant proteins.

For one, hemp protein is full of amino acids. Twenty of them, to be exact, including the nine essential ones that the body is unable to produce on its own.

“Whenever we’re discussing plant-based proteins the main concern is always, it is enough protein? Unlike other plant-based protein, hemp protein is a complete protein, offering all nine essential amino acids, where other plant-based proteins do not,” registered dietitian Brigitte Zeitlin, owner of BZ Nutrition and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods RD Partner, told Remedy Review.

“This makes hemp protein a total protein powerhouse,” she added.

Thanks to all those amino acids, hemp protein is highly digestible. And the easier a protein can be digested, the more efficiently the body can use it to build and repair tissue.

It’s also packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber, which, according to the Harvard Public School of Health, can reduce the risk of heart disease, diverticular disease, and constipation. Aka, it can provide you with a bit of a colon cleanse, if that’s what you’re after.

Most hemp protein powders contain at least 10 grams of fiber per serving, which accounts for approximately half of the FDA’s 20-35-gram recommended daily value. On the contrary, soy, pea, and rice protein powders tend to be highly refined and, consequently, contain limited amounts of fiber.

That’s not all.

A study found that hemp seeds contain strong antioxidant properties, which protect your body from oxidative damage—you know, the cellular damage that leads to aging, cancer, and other diseases.

Hemp seeds are also rich in essential fatty acids and contain an ideal 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, making them a heart healthy supplement.

“Hemp protein powder is great to add to your diet when you’re looking to increase your intake of all those nutrients, especially omega 3 and 6,” Zietlin said, “and is also a wonderful source to get your daily protein.”

Who is hemp protein powder good for?

Hemp protein isn’t just for our vegan and vegetarian friends.

Dr. Olivia Rose, a naturopathic doctor at Vitarock, has seen her fair share of meat-eaters adopt a more plant-based diet for health reasons.

“Hemp protein may not only appeal to vegetarians and vegans, but also to the carnivores and omnivores who are looking for healthy additions to their diets,” Rose said. “Dairy and legume sensitivity is also common in my practice, which means that hemp protein is a more digestible option over whey and pea protein supplements for these individuals.”

She’s also seen many people swap out the meat-based proteins for environmental reasons.

“Meat-focused or omnivorous diets generate more green house emissions mainly from the methane gas produced from animal manure,” Rose explained. “Plant-based diets don’t generate as much green house emissions, require less water, and lead to less rain forest destruction.”

Lastly, because hemp protein is stacked with amino acids, it’s a healthful supplement for athletes. That’s because athletes require more protein to maintain their muscle mass.

During intense workouts, the body breaks down protein in our muscles and—with the help of amino acids—rebuilds them over the course of a day or two.

What does hemp protein go best with?

Hemp protein is incredibly versatile and can be used similarly to other protein supplements.

Additionally, many people find hemp protein powder to have a nutty, earthy taste that blends well with many recipes.

Try adding it to a shake or a smoothie or mixed with plant or dairy-based milk, coffee, or hot cereals—such as oatmeal, quinoa, or buckwheat.

Hemp protein is fair game for children, too, and can be added to their favorite snacks or drinks to boost nutritional value and keep them feeling full and satisfied.

By continuing to browse or by clicking “OK” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Privacy Policy.