The 5 Best Hemp Protein Powders Available, Recommended by a Dietitian

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Hemp protein powder is a nutrient-dense and allergy-friendly plant-based protein powder. In addition to providing all essential amino acids, it’s a great source of fiber, heart-healthy fats, and minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc. It can be a beneficial addition to the diet for people looking to increase their fiber and protein intake, particularly those with increased protein needs, such as vegetarian and vegan athletes or active individuals, and those that have difficulty meeting their protein needs from food alone. 

When looking for a hemp protein powder, registered dietitian and former professional basketball player Briana Butler, MCN, RDN, LD, says, “My criteria for most supplements is to look for something that is third-party tested, but since this is an emerging plant-based alternative you may not see the normal recognizable seal. As an alternative, you should look for brands that have a solid reputation for putting out reliable products and have other more well-researched products that are third-party tested.”

When choosing our hemp protein powder recommendations, our dietitian certified in sports nutrition considered ingredients, flavor, texture, and nutritional content, including the amount of fiber and protein. We looked at 100 percent hemp protein options as well as plant-protein blends that include hemp protein in combination with other plant-based sources of protein.

Verywell Fit Approved Hemp Protein Powder

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.

Is Hemp Protein Powder Beneficial?

Hemp protein powder is made from hemp seeds which come from the cannabis sativa plant. Hemp is a source of essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as other vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium, and vitamin E.

In December 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave hemp its Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status, which declared hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, and hemp oil as safe for human consumption.

Hemp protein powder has a few benefits making it a good option if you’re looking for a plant-based protein powder. Some benefits of choosing a hemp protein powder include:

Allergy-friendly: Hemp is not one of the nine major allergens as defined by the FDA, making it an allergy-friendly option. Butler says, “Hemp protein may be more favorable over soy or pea protein for individuals who may have an allergy or sensitivity to either product or if they simply prefer the taste and still want to utilize a plant-based protein powder.”

Good source of fiber: Protein powder doesn’t typically contain fiber as most powders are processed to include only protein. Many hemp powders, on the other hand, contain dietary fiber from hemp seeds. Eating enough fiber daily is associated with multiple health benefits, including the maintenance of healthy blood lipid levels, improvements in digestive health and regularity, and the potential for improved satiety at meals.

Versatile: Hemp protein powder is a versatile plant-based protein that can be added to smoothies, baked products, soups, oatmeal, and more. Many hemp protein powder brands include one ingredient, 100% hemp protein, which sets it apart from many other protein powders that often contain additives like artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors. Because so many hemp protein powders only contain one ingredient, they’re easy to use in almost any recipe.

Good source of protein: Hemp protein powder is considered a complete protein because it contains all the essential amino acids, however, the quantity of essential amino acids is below the threshold for amino acid requirements as set by the World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations/United Nations University (WHO/FAO/UNU). When following a plant-based diet, it’s important to consume a diverse range of plant protein sources to ensure adequate intake of all essential amino acids

Nutrient-dense: Hemp seeds are a nutrient-dense food rich in magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and multiple B vitamins. A 3-tablespoon serving (30 grams) of hulled hemp seeds has approximately 170 calories, 15 grams of total fat, 9.5 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber. Hemp protein powder is derived from hemp seeds and offers many of the same nutrients, including health-promoting fatty acids, protein, and fiber. Hemp is an excellent source of linoleic acid and alpha linolenic acid, unsaturated fatty acids that benefit cardiovascular health.

Who May Not Benefit from Hemp Protein Powder

Despite its many benefits, there are some considerations you should take into account before adding hemp protein powder to your diet.

Professional athletes or those subject to anti-doping testing 

Hemp has been designated as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and, according to the FDA, is unlikely to contain a significant amount of THC. 

According to Butler, “Hemp seed is derived from the same species of plant [as marijuana] and, though the seeds themselves should not contain any THC, there could be traces of THC that could essentially lead to a positive drug test. There are certain pro sports leagues that have looser policies on this, but athletes still have to be careful!” 

Since many protein powders aren’t third-party tested to guarantee potency and purity, it’s best to check with your governing agency and a sports dietitian or other healthcare provider to determine if hemp protein powder is an acceptable and safe supplement to add to your diet.

Those with sensitivities to high doses of fiber

Adding fiber to your diet, especially in quantities you may not be used to eating, can result in gastrointestinal upset in some people. It may be helpful to increase fiber gradually and to make sure you’re staying adequately hydrated when adding fiber to your diet. If you notice stomach upset with lots of fiber at once, you may benefit from using a smaller serving of hemp protein powder at first or choosing a hemp protein powder that has a more moderate dose of fiber, such as Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder Peak Protein. You can also choose a non-hemp protein powder option, such as pea or whey.

Best Overall: Nutiva Hemp Seed Protein Powder

Hemp Protein

Amazon

Pros
  • Certified Organic, vegan, and gluten-free

  • 15 grams of protein per serving

  • ConsumerLab top pick

  • Bulk options are inexpensive

Cons
  • Slightly gritty if not blended well

Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder Peak Protein earns our top ranking thanks to its exceptional quality, single ingredient, and versatility. If you buy one of the larger quantities, it's also one of the more affordable hemp protein powder options out there. Made from organic, sustainably-grown hemp seeds, the powder is made using an oil expeller process that is then cold-milled. You can choose from two different formulations–Peak Protein and Fiber Plus–each with differing levels of protein and fiber.

One serving of the Peak Protein formulation contains 15 grams of protein with 6 grams of fiber. Additionally, a single serving offers 60 percent of the daily value of magnesium and 25 percent each of the daily value of iron and zinc.

Hemp protein powders often include dietary fiber, which sets them apart from other protein powders. However, some hemp protein powders are very high in fiber which may result in digestive upset for some people. The Nutiva Peak Protein formulation contains six grams of fiber per serving, which is an optimal quantity, especially if planning to blend the powder with high-fiber fruits like berries or other fiber-rich sources. 

This is one of the only (if not the only) hemp protein powders that is third-party tested by one of our top three organizations, and not only that, it has earned a top pick from ConsumerLab.com in their protein powder review.

Like other hemp protein powders, Nutiva's Hemp Protein Powder has a distinct, nutty taste. It may be worth noting that it has a little bit of a gritty texture if you try it simply mixed into water or milk. We recommend blending it into a smoothie or shake or using it as an ingredient when making muffins, bread, or other baked goods.

Price at time of publication: $33 ($0.73 per serving)

Ingredients: Organic hemp seed protein | Serving size: 4 tablespoons (30 g) | Calories: 110 | Protein: 15 grams | Fiber: 6 grams | Flavors: unflavored

Best Travel Size: Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder

Bob's Protein Hemp Powder

Amazon

Pros
  • High in fiber

  • 100% employee owned company

  • Available in major grocery store chains

  • Small, re-sealable package

Cons
  • Manufactured in a facility that also processes potential allergens: nuts, soy, wheat, and milk

  • Only one flavor option

Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder is an excellent option for those looking for a quality but affordable plant-based protein powder. Similarly to other hemp protein powders, this is a great choice if you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet or if you need to choose an allergy-friendly protein powder. However, this brand is not certified gluten-free, as the facility also processes wheat, so it may not be suitable for those who need to follow a strict gluten-free diet.

This hemp protein powder has a moderate amount of protein, as compared to others on this list, with 12 grams per serving. One serving also provides 40% of the daily value for iron which is higher than many other hemp protein powders.

Its high fiber content makes it a good choice if you’re looking for a fiber boost, as one serving contains 11 grams of fiber, or close to 40 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). However, for some people, this amount of fiber may cause digestive distress. If the high fiber is too much for you, consider reducing the serving size and adding an alternate type of protein powder that’s lower in fiber or another protein source like Greek yogurt to help you reach your protein goal. 

One serving also contains 35 percent of the daily value of iron. Bob’s Red Mill recommends using hemp protein powder to replace 25 percent of the flour in baked recipes, making it a great option for adding to your favorite products like pancakes, quick breads, or muffins.

Price at time of publication: $16 ($1.07 per serving)

Ingredients: Hemp protein powder | Serving size: 1/4 cup (31 grams) | Calories: 120 | Protein: 12 grams | Fiber: 11 grams | Flavors: Unflavored

Best Flavored Blend: Huel Complete Protein

Huel Complete Protein

Amazon

Pros
  •  20 grams protein per serving

  • Available in five flavors

  • Gluten free

Cons
  • Contains artificial sweeteners, thickeners, and added fiber ingredients

  • Relatively expensive

  • Not certified organic

Huel Complete Protein is made from a combination of hemp, faba pea, and pea protein, a blend that offers a high quantity of essential amino acids. This protein blend tops our list for best-flavored blend because it’s formulated with a combination of plant proteins that offers 20 grams of protein per serving with a number of different mouthwatering flavor options. 

Huel comes in five flavors—Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Vanilla Caramel, Strawberry Shortcake, Salted Caramel, Banana Pudding, and an unsweetened, unflavored option. One serving contains over 10 percent of the daily value for many essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, and others, as well as over 20 percent of the daily value for biotin and copper. It is lower in fiber than other hemp protein varieties with 2 grams per serving, making it a suitable option for those sensitive to high intakes of fiber. 

The flavored varieties of this blend include artificial sweeteners, which may not be the best choice if you’re looking to avoid sugar substitutes like sucralose. If that’s the case, opt for the Unflavored & Unsweetened variety. Additionally, all flavor varieties include the addition of fiber, probiotics, thickeners, and other additives not found in many other hemp protein powders. Some of these ingredients may not be appropriate for those with certain digestive conditions or if you’re already taking supplements that include one or more of these ingredients.

Price at time of publication: $44 ($1.69 per serving)

Ingredients: Blend of faba pea protein isolate, pea protein, hemp seed protein powder plus other vitamins and minerals | Serving size: 1 scoop (29 grams) | Calories: 110 | Protein: 20 grams | Fiber: 2 grams | Flavors: Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Vanilla Caramel, Strawberry Shortcake, Salted Caramel, Banana Pudding, Unsweetened/Unflavored

Best Budget: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Organic Max Protein Protein Powder

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah!

Amazon

Pros
  • High fiber

  • Inexpensive

  • Certified organic

Cons
  • Lower in protein

  • Contains added sugar

Manitoba Harvest's Hemp Yeah! Max Fiber Protein Powder is a Certified Organic protein powder that’s available in Vanilla, Chocolate, and an Unsweetened flavor. If you're looking for a high-quality flavored option, both the chocolate and vanilla flavors are sweetened without artificial sweeteners or flavors. This wins our best budget pick because it's less than $1 per serving, even without buying in bulk.

This hemp protein powder contains a good balance of protein and fiber with 8 grams and 9 grams, respectively, per serving, but the protein per serving is slightly lower than other hemp protein powders. One serving also contains 60 percent of the daily value of copper, 20 percent of the daily value of iron, and 30 percent of the daily value of magnesium.

If you prefer a hemp protein powder with more protein per serving, try the Hemp Yeah! Balanced Protein + Fiber blend, which offers 15 grams of protein per 30-gram serving. Note the blend with more protein isn’t certified organic and is only available in the unsweetened flavor.

Price at time of publication: $12 ($0.80 per serving)

Ingredients (chocolate flavor): Organic hemp protein powder, organic coconut sugar, organic fair-trade cocoa powder | Serving size: 4 tablespoons (30 grams) | Calories: 110 | Protein: 8 grams | Fiber: 9 grams | Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Unsweetened

Best High Protein: NOW Sports Plant Protein Complex

Plant Protein Complex

Amazon

Pros
  •  22 grams of protein per serving

  • Multiple flavor options

  • Gluten-free

Cons
  • Contains 0 to 1 gram of fiber per serving

  • Contains sugar alcohols

NOW Sports Plant Protein Complex is a protein blend made with pea, hemp, and quinoa protein. One serving contains 22 grams of protein which is higher than other hemp protein powders on this list. Unlike other products on the list, this protein blend contains minimal fiber (1 gram per serving in the Chocolate Mocha and 0 grams per serving in the Creamy Vanilla), which may suit those that do not tolerate high doses of fiber. If you do want to boost the fiber, you can blend this powder into a smoothie with high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, or whole grains and add chia seeds

A single serving contains 6 percent of the daily value of iron and 2 percent of the daily value of potassium and calcium, which is lower than many other hemp protein powders. Consider this in the context of your complete diet, as it’s not a significant source of these nutrients. This is especially important for vegans and vegetarians to note, as adequate iron intake may be lacking in some plant-based diets.

It comes in two flavors—Creamy Vanilla and Chocolate Mocha—each of which is sweetened using xylitol and stevia. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that may result in digestive upset in some people, and stevia is a sugar substitute made out of the extracts of the stevia leaf. This blend isn’t offered in an unsweetened flavor, so you may want to skip it if sugar alcohols are a concern for you.

The blend is made without gluten and is soy-, egg- and dairy-free making it a good option for those with allergy considerations. We also love that NOW does extensive in-house testing to verify the contents and purity of its supplements.

Price at time of publication: $27 ($1.17 per serving)

Ingredients: Blend of yellow pea protein isolate, quinoa protein, hemp protein, plus other vitamins and minerals | Serving size: 1 scoop (40 grams) | Calories: 140 | Protein: 22 grams | Fiber: 0-1 grams | Flavors: Creamy Vanilla, Chocolate Mocha

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

We support supplements that are evidence-based and rooted in science. We value certain product attributes that we find to be associated with the highest quality products. We prioritize products that are third-party tested and certified by one of three independent third-party certifiers: USP, NSF, or ConsumerLab.com. 

It's important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market. Our team of experts has created a detailed, science-backed methodology to choose the supplements we recommend.

What to Look for in a Hemp Protein Powder

Third-Party Testing

Supplements that are third-party tested are sent to a lab where they are tested to ensure they contain what they say they contain and are not contaminated with specific high-risk, common contaminants. However, it’s important to note:

  • Third-party testing does not test to see if a product is effective or safe for everyone, and it does not ensure the supplement will not interact with other supplements or medications.
  • Not all third-party testing is created equal. It is not uncommon for supplement companies to pay labs for certificates after conducting minimal to no testing. 
  • The third-party certifications we can trust are: ConsumerLab, NSF, and USP. However, these certifications are difficult to obtain and/or expensive for manufacturers, so many companies choose not to get their products tested by one of these three organizations. 
  • Sometimes products tested by these three companies are more expensive to try to offset the cost they pay for certification.
  • Just because a supplement is not tested by one of these three companies, it does not mean it’s a bad product. We recommend doing some research on the reputability of the manufacturer and calling up the manufacturer and their testing lab to determine their protocols and decide if you feel comfortable consuming the supplement.

Protein powders have been shown to contain heavy metals, and plant-based protein powders may be higher in heavy metals than animal-based powders from the water in the soil in which the plants are grown. However, recent studies suggest that the amount of heavy metals found in protein powders is not likely to be harmful when consumed in moderation (up to three servings per day).

Additionally, hemp is categorized as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This status indicates that hemp is considered safe for human consumption. However, protein powders are categorized as dietary supplements according to the FDA and are not regulated in the same way as foods. Because of this, it’s important to consider third-party testing, if available, and to source from reputable brands.

Butler says, “As with any supplement, nothing is 100% safe. Plus, to date, there is still a fair amount of grey area surrounding hemp-based products, and it makes it a bit more difficult when there are not many if any, third-party-tested options. With that being said, speak with a licensed professional to discuss your personal needs and be sure you are clear about any risks before making a purchase.”

Form

Many hemp protein powders contain only one ingredient: hemp protein. Choose a hemp protein that contains only ingredients that fit within the context of your diet. For example, you may want to avoid or limit hemp protein powders with extra vitamins and minerals added if you’re already eating foods and/or taking supplements that meet your needs. 

Consider how the hemp protein powder you choose fits within your diet pattern as a whole, and remember, more isn’t always better. Additionally, consider the quality, sourcing, and other certifications, such as certified gluten-free or certified organic, if those are important to you.

Ingredients & Potential Interactions

It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included relative to the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.

Some hemp protein powders contain only hemp protein, whereas others include additional ingredients, vitamins, and minerals. There’s limited research on the potential interactions of hemp seed, including hemp protein powder, on medications. One animal study found that hemp seed protein may lower blood pressure which could be a concern when taking blood pressure medication. However, more research is needed to demonstrate this effect in humans. Understand the difference between various hemp protein powder supplements and the nutrients they provide before adding a hemp protein powder to your diet.

Hemp Protein Powder Dosage

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. However, research has shown the benefit of increased daily protein intake in certain populations, including those who are physically active and/or looking to increase muscle mass. In those populations, recommended daily protein intake can be anywhere from 1.2 to 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.

Hemp protein powder does have some limitations despite being considered a complete protein. Butler explains, “Hemp is considered a complete protein meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids our body needs to get from food. However, it does have a limiting amino acid [an essential amino acid of the lowest quantity], lysine, so it may be a good idea to combine this with other plant-based proteins to improve the overall profile.”

While research doesn’t set a recommended dosage for hemp protein powder specifically, you should consider the RDA for protein as well as how hemp protein powder fits into the context of your diet to determine the optimal quantity to consume. Additionally, if you choose a hemp protein powder that contains additional vitamins and minerals, take those into account when determining dosage. It’s best to work with a registered dietitian to understand how to fit hemp protein powder into your daily diet.

How Much is Too Much?

There is insufficient research to set a tolerable upper intake level for protein. For this reason, there’s no research to indicate how much hemp protein powder is too much.

A balanced diet includes a mix of carbohydrates, fat, and protein within the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR). These ranges help to ensure that the diet contains adequate intakes of other essential nutrients such as fiber, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. The AMDR for protein is a range of 10 to 35% of total calories from protein. Any more than the upper intake of 35% of total calories from protein may result in inadequate intake of other macronutrients and, therefore, essential nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is hemp a complete protein?

    Yes, hemp is a complete protein meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. However, the percentage of essential amino acids in hemp is lower in comparison to animal-based proteins and some plant-based proteins. Specifically, lysine, an essential amino acid, is a limiting amino acid in hemp.

  • Will consuming hemp protein cause me to fail a drug test?

    According to the Food and Drug Administration, hemp seeds are naturally free of THC, the compound that, when present, would result in a positive drug test. However, hemp processing could result in cross-contact with THC. Despite this, research has shown that the amount of THC present in hemp products is not significant enough to result in a positive drug test. If you’re looking for a hemp protein powder that’s been tested to ensure THC is not present, Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder may be your best choice.

  • Is hemp protein safe during pregnancy?

    Yes, according to the Food and Drug Administration, hemp seeds are safe for consumption during pregnancy. However, it’s recommended that you consult with a healthcare provider before adding any supplement to your diet if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • How should I use hemp protein?

    Hemp protein is a versatile plant-based protein that can be used as a partial flour substitute in baked products like muffins, pancakes, and cookies. It’s also ideal for adding to smoothies and shakes and for mixing into hot cereals like oatmeal. 

  • Is hemp protein better than whey protein?

    For muscle protein synthesis (MPS), whey is superior to hemp protein in part because hemp protein does not contain the necessary concentration of essential amino acids shown by research to benefit MPS. A blend of hemp protein with a different type of plant protein such as soy makes a more complete protein which benefits muscle protein synthesis. Whey is derived from milk, so hemp protein may be a good choice for those who do not consume milk products. Hemp protein is also high in protein, fiber, and a number of essential micronutrients, and it is considered a complete protein. It’s also an allergy-friendly option for those who need to avoid dairy.

  • How much does hemp protein cost?

    Hemp protein powder is generally inexpensive as far as protein powders come. It costs as little as $12 for some 15-serving containers of minimally processed hemp protein and closer to $50 for some more boutique plant protein blends that include hemp as an ingredient, with more moderate options coming in at around $25.

    Price reflects the size of the container and the brand. Keep in mind that the most expensive products are often not of higher quality. The cheapest options are usually for smaller containers (about 15 servings), and many are great choices. Buying a smaller bag or container is helpful if you're trying it for the first time, and bulk options are good if you know that you like the powder and will use it regularly.

    Our best overall, Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder, is also a great purchase from a cost perspective. It has different pricing options depending on the size container you purchase. Try their 3-pound bag with 45 servings if you know you love it for around $33 on Amazon, or try their 28-serving or 15-serving option if you're trying it for the first time and aren't quite sure how frequently you'll use it.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Allison Knott MS, RDN, CSSD, CDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics with a master's degree in nutrition communication from Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She is the founder of Anew Well Nutrition, a virtual nutrition consulting practice with a focus on fitness and performance nutrition.

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