Whey vs. Hemp Protein

By: Health Local Staff May 18, 2011
  Article
protein supplements

Protein supplements can help build muscle, suppress appetite and boost your immune system. But which kind is right for you?

For athletes and work-out enthusiasts, protein supplements are one way you can boost your muscle building capacity, thus maximizing the effects of your gym session or training.  There are a lot of supplements to choose from, but we are going to look at Whey protein, versus Hemp protein for their health benefits.

In actual fact, protein itself is essential for the healthy development and growth of practically every part of our anatomy, including skin, internal organs, tissues, muscle and ligaments and our bodies are on average made up of 17% protein! So it is a really important element to everyday life.

Whey protein is basically a diary-based product which is a bi-product from the production of cheese that used to be discarded, up to 20 years ago.  Since nutritionists have realised its health potential, it is used in all sorts of products – such as sports drinks, infant formula and food supplements, to name a few.

Those who would specifically benefit from whey protein supplements include athletes and people who are physically active, the elderly, where muscle tissue is being depleted;  dieters, and people with a stressful lifestyle or lowered immune system, as whey protein also contains high levels of glutathione (GSH) which boosts the immune system. 

However, it would not suit those who are dairy intolerant. It also requires additional supplements such as amino acids that help to absorb the protein into the body, so it can work out quite expensive.  Having said this, it is particularly kind on the digestive system and biologically has the higher value over hemp.

But if you are looking for a supplement that is vegan, natural and free of pesticides or any other nasties, then Hemp Protein supplements might be the wise alternative.  Hemp is available in many forms, such as drink, tablet, powder and syrup, but Hemp Protein powder can even be used in baking, if combined 25% hemp protein, 75% regular flour. It can also be added to juices and smoothies, making it fantastically versatile.

Hemp is rich in essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, fibre, iron and potassium, and the seeds contain all of the amino acids we need for peak health.  For this reason, athletes and body builders love it because it is so easily absorbed by the body and the fact that additional amino acids are not required.

Hemp protein is also dairy and meat free- which makes it suitable for absolutely everybody.  It grows everywhere, without the need for fertilizers and has amazing nutritional and healing properties. It is also cheaper than traditional whey protein.

Of course, there is always the debate whether hemp, a derivative of the cannabis plant, is safe, but hemp in this form is considered safe and is legal in the US and Canada.  There is research to suggest that the digestibility of hemp is not 100%, and in fact can be as low as 50% in some forms.  Also, it is worth bearing in mind if you are prone to herpes infections, such as cold sores, that the amino acid arginine could facilitate the virus – so hemp protein is best avoided on a daily basis in that situation.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.