What is hemp protein? Hemp is a superior muscle building food that is fast gaining popularity in the health and fitness industry as a plant based protein superstar. This post will explain just why it comes out on top as one of the best muscle building supplements compared to other popular proteins such as pea, soy, and rice, and why you should consider its addition into your diet whether you are in training or not.
NATURE’S SUPERIOR PROTEIN
Hemp truly is a gift from nature: containing 20 amino acids (including 9 essential amino acids) hemp is considered a complete protein. Essential amino acids need to be added into the diet mainly for the reason that the body cannot produce its own, and all these are abundant in hemp.
Amino acids are the compounds that combine together to make protein, and both of these are the building blocks of the entire body. This explains why protein plays such a crucial role in human health, and also why it is such a buzz word in the fitness industry where it is used for tissue growth and repair as a result of vigorous exercise.
However, getting enough protein is also vital to us all whatever our age and whether we are active or not, as not getting enough can lead to muscle wastage. This is a very bad thing in terms of your health as muscle mass not only helps regulate hormones, but is also vital to keep your body stable and your organs and bones protected.
BENEFITS OF LEAN MUSCLE MASS:-
1. FAT BURNING
Muscle is the engine of the fat burning process. Muscle, gram for gram, burns more calories than fat even when at rest, all day, every day, and so it makes sense to build a good framework of muscle on your body for this reason alone.
You can do this more efficiently with certain weight bearing exercises such as resistance training, HIIT (high intensity interval training), power walking, dancing, kettle bell training, or basically anything that uses controlled movements. These will all cause resistance in the muscles, thus making them stronger and more powerful over time.
Learning how to burn fat and build muscle will not only help to keep you fit and healthy for life, but will also reduce your risk of almost every modern day illness and disease – and of course you will look and feel amazing to boot! Yes, all of these great benefits will be yours if you put in a little extra effort to keep that muscle mass up.
Please note that you don’t need to use heavy weights, or even any weights at, all to build muscle. There are a lot of exercises that use your own body weight as resistance, such as power walking, dancing, and most HIIT exercises.
2. BONE DENSITY
Building more muscle will give you much stronger joints and ligaments and bones that are less likely to break in any situation, such as accidents or sports injuries. This will be especially beneficial as you age when bone density naturally decreases and the recovery time after a break or a fall increases.
3. CUT YOUR RISK OF INJURY
The more muscle mass you have on your body, the less likely you are to injure or break bones. Think about it like this, having plenty of muscle around your stomach or back will help protect your internal organs and spine from injury in certain situations such as being hit by a car, falling off a ladder, or even minor accidents such as tripping on a paving slab.
4. INCREASED ENERGY
As your body adapts to the higher demands put upon it through strength training it builds up a reserve of energy, which then makes ALL other smaller tasks seem like a piece of cake. Have you ever noticed how energetic you feel after a run, or any other exercise that gets your heart rate up? All of a sudden you’re bursting with energy and ready to go, that’s how awesome exercise is for your body.
I have noticed this major benefit in myself since I started regularly doing resistance training and building up my muscle mass, plus eating a highly plant based diet. I always feel like I’m ready to do anything, and never have that ‘can’t be bothered’ or ‘I’m too tired’ feeling that I used to get whilst trying to psyche myself up for physical activity. So there you go, being physically fit really does give you more energy and zest for life in general.
5. LOWER RISK OF DIABETES
Having more muscle mass on your frame makes it easier for your muscles to absorb sugars directly from the bloodstream. This is good news as it means those excess sugars rather than being stored as fat, will be stored as glycogen in the muscles ready to be used directly as energy. Especially a good thing in terms of diabetes which is an inability for the body to clear excess sugars from the blood efficiently.
5. LOWERING OF BLOOD PRESSURE
Strength training not only is the best drug free option to lower high blood pressure, but it also strengthens your heart (which in itself is a muscle) making it easier for it to do its job of pumping blood around the body.
Exercise also lowers blood pressure naturally, which in turn decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack – and all without taking nasty drugs. Even 5 minutes of running up and down the stairs 3 x daily will get your blood pressure down, so there’s no excuses on this one – just get moving as much as possible.
7. RELIEVES DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
I am 100% sure that weight bearing exercise, along with a low GI diet, played a huge role in helping me cure my depression. These two things combined can be like a miracle cure for this kind of mental illness. This is because a cascade of feel good hormones and endorphins are released when you exercise, which literally blasts the blues right out of your system. I don’t know the in’s and out’s of how this works – I just know it does, and I’m talking even severe depression like I had. You just need to be patient and don’t expect miracles instantly as the path to healing is a journey that takes patience and time.
Exercise is way more effective with depression when combined with a low GI diet, high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, and a good B vitamin complex. Low GI eating keeps your blood sugar much more stable, and this in itself will help defuse anxiety and depression. It cannot be stressed enough that all these things work in harmony and should be done together to feel the greatest benefits, and in fact, you probably won’t get very good results at all without all of them.
There are also other tips and methods on easing depression naturally which should be applied for even better results; it is a multi-faceted issue that needs lots of different variables to come into place to be treated effectively.
8. STRESS RELIEVER
Stress is actually the root cause of most illness and disease (including the above two) and is the BIGGEST KILLER of modern times. When you are stressed your body believes there to be a potential threat, which then throws it into fight or flight mode. This triggers the release of the hormone cortisol into your system, which in essence is a big hit of sugar to the bloodstream which gives you the energy to run away or fight (hence the term fight or flight) the real, or usually imagined, threat.
This over reaction is a throwback from our caveman DNA, but because of the continual stressors of modern life is something that is being triggered, for many of us, all day every day. This gives you some concept of how easy it is to mess your whole body up over time and not even know it’s happening.
Burning excess sugar off:-
The reality of the situation is usually there is no actual threat that you need that you would need this extreme burst of adrenaline for; therefore you never do burn off those extra sugars from the bloodstream like your system was designed to do. This unfortunately causes them to be laid down as fat, and were talking specifically dangerous belly fat here, which is the worst kind.
Not only does exercise help burn off these sugars before they turn into fat, but it also releases opiates into your system. These are the body’s own natural painkillers that act as powerful anti stress messengers to make you feel relaxed and chilled.
9. GREAT BODY
Finally, and probably one of the best side effects: resistance training will get you buff (as if you needed any more reasons), and there’s NOTHING more satisfying than looking in the mirror and seeing a fit healthy body. Not just for aesthetic reasons, but because you know that in having a lean body and well defined muscles you are helping to protect yourself from many diseases and adding quality years to your life in the process.
What is Hemp Protein? A Superior Muscle Building Food
Hemp protein is good for everyone whether you are in training of some kind, or just being a couch potato. This is more true for those following plant based and vegan diets where meeting protein needs can be more difficult. We all need protein, just some more than others, and usually a person who does no exercise and eats animal products will be getting more than their daily requirements and therefore there will be no need to supplement.
If you are in recovery from an operation or illness then your requirements may be greater; or if you eat lots of junk food then a low GI protein powder like hemp may help stabilise your blood sugars, plus fill you up and stop you snacking.
BENEFITS OF SUPPLEMENTING HEMP PROTEIN
- Hemp protein provides the perfect 3:1 ratio of the fatty acids omega 3 and 6, and also contains the healthful GLA (Glamma Linolenic Acid) which is very hard to find in other plant products. GLA is known to be helpful for many conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, skin problems, ADHD, high blood pressure, MS, obesity and PMS.
- It contains NO sugar or saturated fats.
- Hemp helps to ‘cleanse the colon’ due to its high amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber. These will help push toxins out of your body, and would be more effective still when combined with other foods that help to detoxify the body.
- Hemp protein is highly nutritious and contains high amounts of fiber, antioxidants, chlorophyl, and minerals.
- Hemp protein can also help regulate blood sugar, making it perfect for diabetics or anybody who may suffer with sugar/carbohydrate cravings (that will be most of us then) due to it being high fiber with a low GI value. Low GI foods regulate blood sugar levels to help keep them stable, and you full. Find out more here about low GI foods.
- Immune system boost – hemp protein contains the globular proteins albumin and edestin; both of which help with anti-body formation, making them vital for a healthy immune system.
- Hemp being a plant protein, is superior to animal as it does not contribute to inflammation in the body like many animal products do – in fact it lowers inflammation!
- Hemp protein is a perfect addition for those on a plant based or vegan diet plan.
- Chronic inflammation is also caused by stress, and this stress induced type of inflammation is another root cause of disease. This is why I recommend veering towards a more plant based way of eating altogether for increased protection.
HOW TO USE HEMP PROTEIN POWDER:
Hemp protein powder, in my opinion, tastes better than some of the other plant protein powders out there but you will probably want to whiz it up with some nut milk and a banana (or some other sweetener) to not only make it a lot tastier, but add extra nutrients and make it more filling. As it might take some getting used to, you can build up the dosage incrementally to see what your gut tolerance to it is like.
How Much Hemp Protein Do I Need?
The average person needs about 1-2 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day, but this may also be dependent on individual needs. It’s important to remember that the body can only assimilate about 30 grams of protein at a time and consuming more than this may very well be useless, and could even go down as fat instead if not burnt off! Leave at least 2 hour periods in between high protein powder supplements and other meals.
If you feel you need some extra protein in your life then hemp would be a great choice. I would advise to always buy organic for superior quality, and also to cut your chances of the over consumption of any pesticides and fertilizers that may be lurking in there.
PROTEIN BLENDS (These are awesome!)
Another great option that you could go for is a plant based protein blend, because it’s always good to shake things up and not stick to the same protein sources all the time. Doing this will be sure to give you an array of ALL the amino acids and nutrients vital to health. Blends are usually specially formulated to incorporate different protein sources in their perfect ratios for a complete amino acid profile, which is why I love and recommend them so much.
Some of the products available on the market right now are just mind-blowing, and will help you create a super strong and healthy body if you use them right. Many have added green superfood powders, along with digestive enzymes, nutrients, probiotics, and so many other healthful goodies all in one nutritious hit.
I have avidly researched and devised a full list (with reviews) of the most nutrient dense plant based protein powders, so go ahead and take a look.
I’d love to know how you get on with your protein powders; how well they work for you, and also what your favorites are. It’s all great for my research and helps me to deliver the best information to my readers. Your comments, or any questions you may have, are always very appreciated and will be answered personally by me. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, now go get muscle building!