hemp protein review

The 7 Best Hemp Protein Powders of 2020, According to a Dietitian

Power up with these plant-based picks

Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN is a New York City-based registered dietitian with a lifelong passion for wellness who has written for Women’s Health, Well+Good, and more.

Elaine Hinzey is a fact checker, writer, researcher, and registered dietitian.

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Hemp protein powder is an excellent source of vegan protein that contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and filling fiber. Hemp seed is technically a nut, so it’s no wonder the functional food is chock full of healthy fats and vitamins and minerals. It’s also a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids.

Whether you’re looking for an allergy-friendly alternative to soy or whey protein, or just prefer the nutty taste of hemp seed, hemp protein is a versatile, mild-tasting powder that’s easy to digest. It blends well into smoothies and can be used in baking to give your favorite recipes a nutrition boost. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are many types of hemp protein powder, including 100 percent hemp protein or hemp mixed into a protein blend.

Here, the best hemp protein powders.

Best Overall: Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Hemp Seed Protein Powder

Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder earns our top ranking, thanks to its exceptional quality, purity, value, and versatility. Made from organic, non-GMO, and sustainably-grown hemp seeds, the powder is rich in amino acids, protein, and fiber. It’s also a great source of omega-3 fats and antioxidants. Plus, Nutiva’s all-natural cold press extraction process doesn’t use any harmful chemicals or heat.

Like other hemp protein powders, it has a distinct, nutty taste, but it blends well into smoothies and shakes. It can also be used as a flour replacement when making muffins, bread, or other baked goods. One three-tablespoon serving contains 90 calories and 15 grams of protein with 8 grams of fiber.

Best Budget: Just Hemp Foods Hemp Protein Powder Plus Fiber

An excellent option for those looking for a quality but inexpensive plant-based protein powder, this hemp powder from Just Hemp Foods is a great value. It’s perfect for those following a vegetarian or vegan eating plan or those who have had unpleasant side effects from dairy-based protein powders. It’s free of soy, lactose, and gluten, so it’s ideal for those with allergies to typical protein powder ingredients.

Hemp protein can have a grainy texture, so it’s best to blend it into a smoothie or mix it into other recipes. One serving of 4 tablespoons contains 130 calories, 0.6 grams omega-3s, 14 grams fiber, and 11 grams of protein.

Best Organic: Navitas Organics Hemp Powder

Choosing a USDA Organic protein powder ensures that your protein is made from high-quality ingredients. Sourced exclusively from a small family of organic farms in Canada, Navitas Organics Hemp Powder is free of fillers and additives. It is also an excellent source of all nine essential amino acids and fiber. This vegan, gluten-free powder is cold-pressed from the whole hemp seed to preserve its potent nutrients.

Hemp protein is an easy way to add more plant-based protein, iron, and magnesium to your vegan or vegetarian diet. One serving of this nutrient-dense Navitas Organics Hemp Powder provides 40 percent of your daily value of iron and 60 percent of your daily value for magnesium. Four tablespoons offer 120 calories, 7 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of protein.

Best Unsweetened: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Organic Max Fiber Protein Powder Vanilla

Some protein powders are filled with artificial flavors and sweeteners that may do more harm than good. Choosing an unsweetened protein powder is best for avoiding unnecessary ingredients, including colors, flavors, and sugar. Manitoba Harvest’s Hemp Yeah! Organic Protein Powder is made with only one ingredient: organic hemp protein powder.

Whether you have it in your hot cereal at breakfast time or mix it into your yogurt for a mid-afternoon snack, this all-natural powder packs 13 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber per serving to keep you satisfied for hours. One 4-tablespoon serving contains 130 calories with no added sugar. You can also use it as a healthy substitute for flour when baking. If you prefer more flavor, the powder also comes in Chocolate and Vanilla, using organic coconut sugar as a sweetener and natural flavoring.

Best High Fiber: Nutiva Cold-Pressed Raw Hemp Seed Protein Powder

Many protein powders pack in the protein but skimp on fiber. Choosing fiber-rich foods can help you to feel fuller longer, improve digestion, and even reduce the risk of cancer.   While most hemp proteins are naturally high in fiber, Nutiva’s Organic Hi Fiber Hemp Protein has an extra edge over most products on the market, offering 4 grams of fiber per tablespoon. One 3-tablespoon serving also provides 80 calories, 11 grams of protein, and 25 percent of the recommended daily amount of iron.

While choosing high-fiber foods is key for meeting the average daily recommended fiber intake of 25 grams,   a quality supplement like Nutiva Organic Hi Fiber is ideal for those looking to boost protein and fiber from a whole foods-based product. The higher price tag is worth the extra money: the USDA Organic product is committed to quality and is also gluten-free and Certified Vegan.

Best Hemp Protein Blend: Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Sunwarrior Warrior Blend takes the top pick among hemp protein powder blends. The proprietary blend of organic pea protein, hemp protein, and goji berry contains 19 grams of plant-based protein per scoop. The USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Certified blend is allergy-friendly, as it is free of soy, gluten, and dairy.

Sunwarrior Warrior Blend is also free of added sugars and artificial sweeteners. It comes in five flavors, including berry, chocolate, mocha, vanilla, and natural. The natural flavor doesn’t taste overly sweet, so it won’t overpower your favorite beverage. With only four ingredients: pea protein, hemp protein, goji berry, and ground coconut, Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend Natural is a super clean choice. Note that the flavored versions contain additional ingredients, including the specific flavor and stevia.

One scoop provides 100 calories, 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of protein, and no added sugar.

Best Hemp Protein Blend Runner-Up: ALOHA Organic Vanilla Plant-Based Keto Friendly Protein Powder with MCT Oil

Aloha’s USDA-Organic plant-based protein mixes pea, brown rice, hemp, and pumpkin seed protein to provide 18 grams of plant-based protein per serving. The blend contains 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving from acacia fiber, a rich source of soluble fiber. Aloha’s powder uses coconut sugar and monk fruit to sweeten the powder instead of erythritol or stevia.

The vegan powder also contains medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil. Aloha protein, made with simple whole-food ingredients, comes in three flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, and banana. The vanilla flavor has a creamy coconut taste from coconut sugar and coconut oil that boosts the nutrition of your favorite smoothie, baked good, or oatmeal. One serving provides 120 calories.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a high-quality USDA Organic hemp protein that’s rich in fiber and protein, Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder is a reasonably-priced hemp protein. If you’re looking for a hemp protein powder with a bit more flavor, a blend like Sunwarrior Protein Warrior Blend Vanilla is an excellent choice.

What to Look for in a Hemp Protein Powder

Ingredients: Many hemp protein powders contain only one ingredient: hemp protein. Aim to choose a hemp protein that contains only ingredients that you can read and as few ingredients as possible. Consider quality, and select USDA Organic, non-GMO Project Verified products when possible.

Flavor: Hemp protein powder has a naturally nutty taste but comes in different flavor variations, including unflavored and typical chocolate, vanilla, and fruit flavors. If you prefer a relatively neutral protein and doesn’t overpower the smoothie or food you mix it into, then an unflavored hemp protein may be best for you. If you want a bit more flavor, consider a flavored hemp protein blend.

Fiber & Protein: Consider your dietary fiber and protein needs when selecting a protein supplement. Hemp protein contains dietary fiber, which can help to keep you satisfied. Some hemp protein powders contain equal amounts of protein and fiber, while others contain less fiber. If you are looking for a higher fiber product, choose mostly or 100 percent hemp protein powder. If you’re looking for more protein and less fiber, choose a protein blend that integrates hemp protein.

What Experts Say

“Hemp protein is an excellent source of easily digested plant-based protein and fiber. Many people with allergies or intolerances to other plant proteins such as soy or nuts can use hemp as a safe and healthy alternative. Adding hemp protein to a smoothie or sprinkling hemp seeds onto a yogurt bowl or salad is a great way to pack in some extra protein, fiber, and healthy fats.”—Nathalie Rhone, MS, RD

Why Trust Verywell Fit

A personal note on my recommendations written above. As a dietitian, I am careful to recommend supplements, including protein powders. I spent time reviewing the most current research on hemp protein and looking at multiple products and brands. I believe the hemp protein supplements in the round-up are made by trusted brands that I would feel comfortable recommending to my clients, friends, and family. I have tried the majority of the hemp protein powders recommended, and use plant-based protein powder—including hemp— regularly in smoothies and baked goods.Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

The best hemp protein powders are rich in omega-3s, fiber, and protein. Our nutritionist researched the best products so you can find the right one.

Plant-based? Try Hemp Protein Powder

Quick summary:

  • Hemp plants are great sources of protein
  • Products derived from hemp also contain many additionally beneficial nutrients
  • Hemp protein powder can be used in the same way as whey protein

When most of us think of protein, images of eggs, seafood, and chicken likely come to mind—but high-quality protein doesn’t need to come from an animal.

In fact, diets high in plant-based protein have been linked to several health benefits —such as lower body weight, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure levels. They’re also known to lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

While there are a handful of plant-based proteins available—such as soy or pea protein powders— hemp protein is considered to be one of the most high quality, all-natural plant-based proteins out there.

What is hemp protein?

Made from the hemp seeds , hemp protein is an excellent source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and a strong amino acid profile.

It’s produced by first extracting oil from the hemp seeds, then grinding the remaining seeds into a fine powder.

During this process, the psychoactive ingredient THC—aka tetrahydrocannabinol —is removed, so consuming hemp protein powder will not get you high or cause you to fail a drug test. It’s completely safe and legal.

Where to Buy the Best Hemp Protein Powders

Hemp protein powders can be purchased online or in a health food store. But before you pick up just any bottle, there are a few key items you want to be on the look out for.

  • Look for non GMO or organic brands and check that it contains no additional additives, such as synthetic sweeteners.
  • Skip the powders that contain excessive amounts of sugar and avoid those with cumbersome ingredient lists.
  • Lastly, look for hemp protein made from cold-pressed seeds. Research has shown that intense heat can lower the digestibility of hemp seed meal by about 10%.

With all that in mind, here are a couple of the best hemp protein blends on the market today:

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein

Hemp Yeah! by Manitoba Harvest is an entirely plant based protein powder made with two simple ingredients: organic pea and hemp. This special blend is vegan, dairy free, non-GMO, and certified USDA organic, plus it’s a good source of protein for post workout recovery that’s easy to digest.

Nutiva Hemp Seed Protein

This plant based protein is made with cold-pressed coconuts, so it has a light coconut flavor. This is the best high-fiber option and pairs well with a smoothie for a delicious flavor. It’s also great for promoting heart health since it contains no cholesterol.

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.

A recent 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.

Learn more about hemp nutrition

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.

Hemp protein powder is gaining popularity as a source of nutrition. Learn about the benefits of hemp protein and how to introduce it to your diet. Then select the best product for you.