The Benefits of Whey Protein vs. Hemp Protein

Dietary protein is easily sourced from a variety of sources. Hemp protein is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant (vegetable source), and whey protein is derived from milk (animal source).

Hemp protein

Each of these proteins offers varying amounts of essential amino acids. Also, whey or hemp can be used to help meet the target protein needs. Hemp protein isn’t as concentrated as whey protein because it includes healthy fiber and fats. Whey protein is the #1 rated protein supplement and available in highly concentrated powder form.

How do hemp and whey protein compare?


Whey protein is manufactured from cow’s milk and dried to create the supplemented powered form for ease in adding to the daily diet. Whey protein based products are often filtered and concentrated by removing the ash and lactose content. This results in an end product that is in the region of 80% protein. This type of protein mostly includes beta-albumin and alpha-lactalbumin and is high in BCAAs (branch-chain amino acids).

While the profiles for hemp and whey protein do vary, they both include a certain degree of amino acids. One scoop serving of whey protein in powder form has less than 1 gram of fat, 16.8 grams of protein, and 102 calories. Compared side-by-side, whey protein includes a higher concentration of protein compared to hemp.


Hemp protein is sourced from natural seeds that come from the hemp plant. Hemp seeds has 25% protein, 32% fat, and 80% plus of the oil coming from polyunsaturated fatty acids. Also, these seeds are a perfect source of fiber (help give a full feeling for longer), B vitamins, and essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6).

Hemp contains two types of protein – namely albumin and edestin – which are rich in amino acids and easily digestible. The protein percentage of hemp is about 25% and comes complete with all essential amino acids. A high level of the heart-friendly arginine amino acid is noticed. The amino acid profile of hemp is comparable to egg white protein and soy protein. For this reason, it is rated as a desirable source of protein.

A single scoop of this protein powder includes 14.2 grams of protein and 113 calories. The calorie count is similar to whey protein, but hemp includes a higher concentration of fat (nearly 4 grams) and less of the actual protein.

Dietary protein needs

Hemp and whey protein powders are both reliable sources to help achieve a desired protein target. Whey has the benefit of including a high concentration of protein compared to hemp, but hemp offers a great source of fiber and unsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy and promote better bowel movement.

Rather than using protein powder, a variety of plant-based foods can offer a perfect source of protein and contribute to a much healthier diet plan.

Fast vs. slow digestion

Whey is the preferred protein for rapid digestion and is quickly used by the body, meaning it is the best supplement to take after a heavy workout. On the other hand, hemp is much slower to digest, and makes it a practical product to take before bed or between meals.

Artificial sweeteners and ingredients

Whey protein supplements have a much higher chance of including artificial sweeteners and ingredients (creates a more palatable powder or shake). The add-in sweeteners can have a negative impact in certain areas, such as suppressing the immune system, causing sugar cravings, and making it more difficult to reach the weight loss goals. Certain hemp protein supplements are free of these additives and come with a more natural taste. Hemp can taste great on its own.

Allergies to protein powder

Anyone that is lactose intolerant can experience episodes of bloating and digestive disturbances when taking whey protein. Avoid this type of protein supplement if you have an allergy to milk. Intolerances or allergies are less common with hemp protein.

In summary: Whey and hemp are used in different areas. Whey is a practical choice after heavy exercise while hemp is a more helpful choice before bedtime and between meals. It isn’t practical to substitute one for the other. Each of these protein powders can offer a variety of health related benefits and improve on a well-balanced dietary plan.

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