Hemp Protein vs Whey Protein

Written by Ben Carlisle

Last updated on: Oct 18, 2022

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If you're into working out and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, chances are you've heard about the benefits of protein powders. There are two main types of protein powders: hemp protein and whey protein.

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But which one is better for you? This guide will make your choice easier. But before we go into the comparison, it’s important to understand why protein intake is important:

Why is Protein Intake Important?

There are many different types of protein, each with its own unique structure and function. The two main types of protein are structural and functional. Structural proteins are responsible for the structure and function of our cells, tissues, and organs. Functional proteins are involved in the regulation of metabolism, cell signaling, and other vital processes.

It’s an essential macronutrient that plays a vital role in many aspects of our health. It is necessary for the growth and repair of tissues, the production of enzymes and hormones, and the maintenance of fluid balance. Protein is also a key player in many metabolic processes, including the transport of nutrients and the synthesis of new molecules.

Protein is derived from two main sources: animal products and plants. Animal proteins are typically complete proteins, meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids our bodies need. Plant proteins are typically incomplete proteins, meaning they lack one or more of the essential amino acids. Whey protein is derived from the former, while hemp protein is produced from the latter. Some forms of plant protein have been found to provide comparable results to whey when it comes to strength, muscle growth and exercise performance (1). Let’s dig deeper and see how the plant protein hemp compares to the animal based whey.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is a popular nutritional supplement for people who want to build muscle mass and improve their athletic performance. Many people believe that whey protein is the best type of protein for building muscle, and a large number of athletes, gym enthusiasts, and other health-conscious people rely on it to achieve their health goals.


Whey protein has a number of potential health benefits, including:

• Increasing muscle mass

• Improving exercise performance

• Reducing inflammation

• Boosting immunity

• Lowering blood pressure

• Improving cholesterol levels


The recommended dosage of whey protein is typically between 20-25 grams per day, but it can vary depending on your health goals and individual circumstances. Talk to your doctor or a Registered Dietitian to determine the best dosage for you.

Hemp Protein

Hemp protein is a highly nutritious vegan protein powder made from the seeds of the hemp plant. It is an excellent source of essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. Hemp protein powder is also a good source of iron, magnesium, and zinc.


Hemp protein powder has a variety of benefits, including:

• Builds and repairs muscles

• Aids in weight loss

• Reduces inflammation

• Lowers blood pressure

• Improves digestion


The recommended dosage of hemp protein powder is 20-30 grams per day. Hemp protein powder can be added to smoothies, shakes, and baked goods. It can also be used as a protein powder substitute in recipes.

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Hemp Protein vs. Whey Protein: The Key Differences

Here are the key differences between hemp protein and whey protein in the most critical aspects:

Muscle Building

Whey protein is a type of protein that is derived from milk. It is considered to be a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids that your body needs. Hemp protein, on the other hand, is a plant-based protein that does not contain all of the essential amino acids.

Despite this difference, both whey and hemp proteins have been shown to be effective at building muscle. In one study, participants who consumed whey protein after their workout had greater increases in muscle mass and strength than those who consumed a placebo (2).

Hemp protein does have good levels of protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids. However, it is low in lysine and has levels of leucince which are sub optimal to maximise muscle growth (3).

So, what does this all mean? Essentially, both whey and hemp proteins can help you build muscle. However, whey protein is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids that your body needs. This makes it a more efficient source of protein for building muscle.

Fat Loss

Hemp protein is a low-calorie protein, which makes it ideal for those looking to lose weight (4). Hemp protein is also high in fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied after meals.

Whey protein is also low in calories, but it is not as high in fiber as hemp protein. It’s more easily digested and absorbed by the body, and it also contains more BCAAs, which are important for preserving muscle mass during weight loss.

While both whey protein and hemp protein can be beneficial for fat loss, hemp protein is generally the better choice. If you have any digestive issues, plant-based protein is ideal for you, so opt for hemp protein in that case.

Flavor and Texture

Hemp protein powder has a nutty taste that some people find to be more palatable than the bitter taste of many whey protein powders. Hemp powder is also much grittier than whey protein powder and does not dissolve as easily in liquid, so it may not be the best choice for smoothies or shakes.


Evidence shows taking a protein supplementation in the period just before, during or just after exersice can enahnce recovery, grow and maintna muscle tissue. This has lead to atheltes and fintess enthusiasts often choosing to use a proteiin powder after different types of workout. Including endurance, anaerobic or strength exercise (4). The protein levels and amino acid profiles, of of both hemp and whey make both conviennt ways to get protein on board to assist with recovery. However, with higher brnached-chain amino acid levels being linked to decreased exercise-induced muscle damage and the promotion of muscle protein synthesis. The BCAA profile of whey gives it the edge over hemp when it comes to reovery (6).

Boosting Immunity

Hemp protein is rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, both of which help to boost immunity (5). Whey protein does not contain as many antioxidants or essential fatty acids as hemp protein. This makes hemp protein better for boosting immunity than whey protein.

Improving Athletic Performance

Hemp protein is rich in arginine, an amino acid that has been shown to improve athletic performance. Whey protein also contains arginine, but not in as high of concentrations as hemp protein. This makes hemp protein better for improving athletic performance than whey protein.

Reducing Inflammation

Hemp protein is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties (5). Whey protein does not contain as many omega-3 fatty acids as hemp protein. This makes hemp protein better for reducing inflammation than whey protein.

Disease Prevention

Hemp protein is rich in phytochemicals, which have been shown to protect against various diseases. Whey protein does not contain as many phytochemicals as hemp protein. This makes hemp protein better for disease prevention than whey protein (7).


Hemp protein is more expensive than whey protein. This is because hemp protein is a less processed form of protein and is not as widely available as whey protein.


Hemp protein and whey protein have many of the same benefits, but there are some key differences. The bottom line is that both types of protein powder have their place in a healthy diet.

If you are looking for a complete protein that will help with weight loss and recovery, then hemp protein is the better choice. If you are looking for a protein that will help with muscle growth and are very particular about taste and texture, then whey protein is the better choice. Ultimately, the decision of which protein to choose depends on your individual goals. So, take into account all your health and fitness goals before making a decision.

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Related Articles


1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6358922/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6651693/

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6245118/

4. https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/hn-10013910

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338332/

6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18974721/

7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7277103/

8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7358726/

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