Are These the Next Best Protein Powders?
The category of protein powders is dominated by dairy-based and vegan options like whey, casein, and soy protein. You can find these in all kinds of flavours and price points to fit your lifestyle.
More recently, hemp and collagen peptide protein powders have made their way to the market offering even more options to the consumers. These 2 new protein supplements feed a need that consumers cannot find with other protein powder supplements, but are they good enough to replace your go-to protein powder altogether? Read more to find out.
Hemp protein is the protein extracted from hemp seed. After removing the oils from the seed, the meal that is left is high in proteins relative to the seed’s size. This then gets processed and used in various protein supplements.
Hemp protein, like other vegan protein supplements, has all 9 essential amino acids but also comes with fiber, and healthy fats and minerals.
Although hemp contains all 9 essential amino acids, research is still not in agreement about the distribution of amino acids in this form of protein. Some argue that there is significantly less lysine compared to other amino acids, which puts the quality of this protein into question.
A serving of hemp protein also contain about 15g of protein per serving. This is about 10g – 15g less than most protein powders, but hemp protein is much less refined. So if you prefer less refinement, and the protein content is less of an issue, then hemp protein may be a good option for you.
Another benefit of hemp protein powder is the cost. A quick search of the average cost of hemp protein powder shows that this supplement can range from about $20 – $30 CAD. Generally vegan protein powders cost anywhere between $25 to upwards of $50.
The second protein supplement that has been on the rise lately is collagen peptide protein powder.
Collagen peptides are taken from the the bones and skin of animals and refined into powders for our consumption. As animals, we also have collagen in our bodies. This protein is actually the most abundant protein in the human body, comprising around one third of the body’s protein.
Collagen is fibrous and found in the bones, skin, and teeth. This protein is an important component in our tissue strength. In fact, gram for gram, collagen is stronger than steel.
So it is strong, and abundant, but is it poised to replace your favourite whey or casein powder?
Unlike most protein supplements out there that aim to provide a complete source of all 9 essential amino acids, collagen does not do this. Collagen only has 8 of the 9. Similarly to how hemp protein powder had an unbalanced distribution of amino acids, collagen’s distribution of amino acids leans heavily on glysine, proline, and hydroxyproline.
Similarly to the hemp protein, the amount of protein you will get in a collagen peptide protein supplement will be slightly less than that of the more traditional protein powders. Most have about 15g – 20g of protein per serving.
Although collagen peptides may not have all of the amino acids as their more traditional protein powder counterparts, they do have other benefits. As we age, our body’s ability to produce collagen naturally begins to decrease, so taking it in supplement form has already been done to help those who develop joints pains and weakness as they age.
With that said, one study showed that older men with sarcopenia who trained 3x/week for 3 months and took a collagen protein supplement showed improved strength and increased fat free mass (more muscle). It was discussed in this study that collagen peptide supplementation provided the protein required for protein synthesis post-workout, but that the pain-managing effects of the collagen could have also made it easier for the men to workout comfortably. Completing more of the prescribed workouts means a greater potential for adaptation.
Collagen peptides are not nearly as inexpensive as hemp, but they are still not as expensive as the higher end whey and vegan protein powders. These products range from about $30 – $60.
So should you throw out your favourite whey or vegan protein? Maybe not just yet.
Although hemp and collagen peptides come with their own benefits like being less refined, and improving the health of our skin and joints, if you are looking for larger amounts of protein per serving, these just don’t have that in a single serving. Their price point may be better than some of the protein powders on the market, but they also do have the balanced amino acid profile that we can expect from mainstream protein powders.
Collagen peptides are a great alternative for those who find that dairy-based proteins cause side effects due to sensitivities to dairy products. Especially if you find that plant based proteins are grainy, and do not taste great, collagen peptides are usually flavourless and dissolve very easily in liquids.
Hemp is a great vegan option for anyone who has experienced unfavourable side effects from their current vegan protein powder, or who are simply looking to change up their protein source.
As with all of the supplement or dietary blogs we write for the Free Form Fitness blog they are here to simply educate you more on the current trends. If you think that one of these two proteins could benefit you and your healthy lifestyle, then continue the research and find what works for you.
Remember that protein supplements are just that – a supplement to the diet. Always aim to get protein from whole food sources like poultry, fish, or plant-based options.