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Hemp protein powder vs whey (head-to-head match up)

Are you curious how hemp protein and whey protein stack up against each other?

There are loads of different types of proteins out there, and we often get asked why one would choose hemp protein powder over whey protein powder. 

Hemp protein powder offers an impressive nutrition profile beyond just protein because it is naturally high in anti-inflammatory omega 3’s and essential fats. It’s also vegan and dairy-free.

And offers a great load of fiber, helping to keep things moving! 💕🕺🏿⚡️💫

It’s basically a millennial dream, without all the crop tops and baby-pink. 

But don’t just take our word for it, take the word of the scientists and natural health professionals who have devoted countless hours to studying the health benefits of hemp. 


Hemp vs. Whey: Nutritional Breakdown


What we put in our body has a direct link to how we feel and our overall health, how a product is created is of super importance.

From day one, hemp and whey are created differently. 

Hemp protein is derived from hemp seeds and is entirely plant-based. 

It’s sustainably sourced, is non-GMO and doesn’t contain harmful toxins in the growing process. 

Which means if you’re concerned about maintaining a plant-based diet, a dairy-free diet, a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, this protein is the one for you. 

On the other hand, whey protein is a byproduct of cheese and yogurt production. It also normally requires the use of cattle rearing. 

Although not impossible, it can be difficult to find a whey protein suitable for you if you have any sort of lactose intolerance. 

Even if you’re not lactose intolerant, your body can have a difficult time digesting whey protein. Diary is one of the hardest foods for the human body to process. 

And let’s be real, if you’re taking the time to work out, the last thing you want to worry about is ending up bloated or gassy. 


Hemp seed is also only cold pressed, milled and sifted into a powder, meaning no chemical or acidic extraction processes are necessary. Simply put, there are no residual toxins that may upset the gut when you use hemp protein. 

Whey protein is different. 

It’s placed into an ion exchange tower and undergoes a chemical purification process with hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide. This process means the amino acids in whey protein can be damaged and, overall, the protein can include toxins that may upset your stomach.

Hemp protein is made up of a blend of globular proteins called albumin and edestin. This unique combination is highly digestible, edestin is actually one of the most usable sources of protein for our bodies, but it is not commonly found in supplements. 

Don’t panic, you haven’t plummeted into an alternate universe where you’ve somehow ended up back in 10th grade biology. 

In layman’s terms, hemp’s protein configuration just means that it can help lay your digestive woes to rest.

While we’re on the subject of healthy digestion, it seems like an opportune time to mention that hemp is naturally high in fiber. 

The powder is derived from seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant, which are rich with fiber, among other things. 

Don’t worry (or get excited, we’re not here to judge) this does not mean that hemp protein is going to get you high. We have enough weird stuff floating around the internet without our gyms feeling  like a scene from Dazed & Confused.

Q&A: Worried that a hemp protein will get you high? It won’t! In fact, the maximum amount of THC any hemp product in the US can legally have is 0.3%. At that level, it’s safe and free from the psychoactive effects of THC. To verify the product you’re using won’t get you high, look for 3rd party laboratory testing. This should be easily produced by companies who conducted correct testing. If you aren’t able to get your hands on it, you probably want to consider another product. 



Hemp Protein includes all the good fat. It has a balanced source of Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. 

Compare this to whey protein that contains NONE of those things! 

Why is this so important?

Because these are the essential fatty acids the body needs. Omega fats are vital for cardiovascular health, enhancing metabolism, supporting joint health, relieving PMS and regulating hormone levels.

Hemp protein has a balanced three-to-one ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids which is known to be helpful for lowering the bad cholesterol and reducing inflammation in the body. 

The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is 4:1 or less, but the ratio in the average Westerner’s diet comes in at a whopping 15:1. Luckily for you the ratio found in hemp protein is 3:1. 

Omega 3s are also good for their anti-inflammatory, anti-depressive, brain-boosting benefits. Some research even suggests that omega-3 ala fatty acid can convert to DHA which is extremely beneficial for healthy brain nerve and neurological functions. 

Omega 6s contain Gamma Linolenic Acid, or G-L-A, which acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory while encouraging skin growth and new cell generation.

All in all, hemp protein is a good source of magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, selenium, B Vitamins, omega 3 essential fatty acids and fiber.

High-fiber diets also promote lower cholesterol and more regulated blood sugar, and hey, that’s two less things to worry about in your already busy life! 

Compare this to whey protein, which, remember, doesn’t contain ANY of these, but it may include added sugar, artificial flavours and artificial colours.

Hemp powder traditionally has 113 calories per scoop versus whey’s 100 calories. Before you add that to your cons list, let us explain why this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

While this does bring the calorie count up compared to whey protein, it also helps to balance your omega-6 and omega-3 ratio. Improving this ratio in turn promotes are more heart healthy lifestyle.

Should I use hemp or whey if I’m focused on weight loss? 

It’s no secret that whey protein has been used by athletes and dieters alike for years to help with weight loss. 

The reason? 

Whey is absorbed quickly by the body, making it an effective appetite suppressant and allowing it to be used as a meal replacement. It also has the ability to improve overall body composition, which in many fitness circles determines a person’s overall leaness. 

Both important factors to consider when looking for a weight loss aide. 

But what about hemp protein? 

Hemp is newer to the market, which means research on its effects on weight loss are only beginning to surface. 

Preliminary research suggests it can help boost metabolism and work as an appetite suppressant, both of which help to promote weight loss. 

Is hemp or whey better for strength building?

Our bodies use protein to build and repair muscle. If you’re going for the chiseled, Michelangelo-himself-couldn’t-have-made-these-abs-look-better vibe, you need to incorporate a healthy dose of protein into your diet. 

Enter protein powders. 

They’re a great way to hit your protein goals.

But what’s better for strength building: whey or hemp protein? 

For years, bodybuilders and regular joes alike have used whey as a workout supplement. 

And, it’s no secret that it’s proven beneficial to many who have tried it. 

There is a secret that some whey users may be keeping though – its less-than-sexy side effects, mainly bloating and gas. 

Let’s be real, someone who wants to tell you about how great their workout was or how much progress they’re at the gym making isn’t likely to throw in, “but, man, did that whey make me GASSY.”

Much like whey, hemp powder is a great way to supplement your diet with extra protein without having to double up on your food intake. 

Hemp’s complete protein profile, high fiber content and healthy omega-3 fatty acids make it just as viable for strength building as whey. 

When placed head to head both options are helpful for strength building, but if you want to lower your risk of side effects that truly stink, hemp is probably the best option for you. 

Is hemp my only vegan protein option? 

There are four main categories of vegan proteins. 

  1. Pea
  2. Soy
  3. Brown Rice
  4. Hemp

They are all plant-based options and contain ingredients that have been shown to help with metabolic rate, weight loss and muscle retention. 

But, as you dig deeper, you realize that these four options all have varying amino acid profiles. 

This means that they may not be providing the right protein needed to achieve your desired results. 

Pea protein contains all of the essential amino acids. However, the amount of several key amino acids is low. So it is not a great contender for a primary source of protein when used by itself. 

Soy protein and brown rice are also a complete proteins. But they includes phytates, which can interfere with absorption of essential minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium.

And then there’s hemp. It offers a unique ration of omega 3 & 6, includes all amino acids and a high amount of fiber. It’s an excellent source of protein and can be used totally on it’s own. 

Hemp is a clear winner in this race. 

If you couldn’t tell from our name, we’re big fans of hemp.

It checks all the boxes:

  • Dairy-free 
  • Plant-based 
  • No toxins included, which automatically makes it easier to digest than other proteins, especially if you’re sensitive to lactose. 
  • Gut-friendly! In fact, hemp protein is the world’s best source of edestin protein—which is very easy to digest, with a 90 percent digestibility profile, and is allergy-friendly.

Okay, now what’s my best hemp option?

If you want a cleanly produced, non-GMO, vegan protein that is rich in essential omega fatty acids and is super gut-friendly, hemp protein powder is for you.

We may be a bit biased but we (and our thousands of customers) think this is some pretty incredible stuff. 

And if you decide to check it out, here’s a little coupon to save you some money too.

Just use code HEMPBEATSWHEY to save $10 on your first order of Hemple’s Hemp Protein.