Is Hemp a Complete Protein Containing All 9 Essential Amino Acids?
Finding out there are 20 amino acids that bond to make protein can be surprising. Most people don’t go around counting all the amino acids they eat. You know hemp is a great source of protein, but you may want to know if hemp is a complete protein.
Hemp is a complete protein. A protein is only considered complete when it has all nine essential amino acids. Not only does hemp protein contain all nine essential amino acids, but hemp contains all 20 amino acids.
It’s important to incorporate complete proteins into your diet especially for workouts. Complete proteins can save you extra effort and money on workout supplements like BCAAs.
Keep reading to find out how to incorporate complete proteins into your diet. Whether you work out or not, we’ll show you why hemp protein is one of the best proteins you can choose.
What is a Complete Protein?
A complete protein contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies need to thrive. These amino acids are essential because we can’t produce them on our own.
Amino acids are essential because they build up the protein in our bodies. The compounds synthesize our hormones and neurotransmitters. In other words, amino acids help us grow by repairing tissues and muscles.
Altogether there are 20 amino acid compounds that are left behind once protein breaks down. The nine essential proteins that our bodies can’t make are:
It’s important to work on your pairing of amino acids, essential and nonessential, throughout the day and throughout your entire diet. When you eat a complete protein it means you don’t need to add other sources of protein to get the essentials you need.
Nonessential amino acids can be produced by your body even if you don’t eat them, but it’s still important to get a balanced diet that does include them.
Is Hemp a Complete Protein?
Hemp is a complete protein composed mostly of edestin and albumin. Edestin and albumin are proteins which help your body get all nine essential amino acids. Hemp is considered a complete protein because it contains all of the essential amino acids.
Protein is made up of a chain of amino acids and not all food has every bond. To get the protein you need you can take two types of food, like beans and rice, to get all the different amino acids.
While our body can make some amino acids there are nine that we can’t make on our own. So, we need to eat food that contains those nine essential amino acids. The food that has all nine essential amino acids we call complete.
Every amino acid compound that makes up the protein in our bodies is found in hemp, plus nine more. In other words, hemp protein is complete, without needing any other food.
Hemp protein makes a good substitute for animal protein, especially protein powders like whey. People believe that plant-based proteins are incomplete and hard to digest.
Plant-based protein is criticized and treated as if you won’t get all the protein you need, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. With hemp you get all the protein you need, in fact, hemp contains more protein than chicken.
Hemp also contains added benefits like omega fatty acids and fiber that helps with digestion. Some plant-based protein like brown rice is incomplete, but hemp is one of the few plant-based proteins that is complete. So if you’re vegan it’s the best protein powder to add to your diet.
Lysine amino acid controversy
Though hemp has a great amino acid score there’s controversy about whether or not it’s complete because of the amino acid lysine. Despite the fact that one study showed hemp to be low in lysine, hemp does contain all nine essential amino acids.
In fact, hemp has a great amino acid score and is similar to eggs, another great source of aminos. The percentage protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) values were:
- 84.1-86.2 and 49-53% for whole hemp seed
- 90.8-97.5 and 46-51% for hemp seed meal
- 83.5-92.1 and 63-66% for dehulled hemp seed
Although hemp doesn’t have the highest lysine composition it’s one of the best complete proteins you can eat. Furthermore, as part of a complete diet, you’re also getting lysine from other sources.
Why Should You Consume Complete Proteins?
Consuming complete proteins means getting the essential nutrients needed. Eating complete proteins takes the guesswork out of determining daily amino acid values. On top of that, complete proteins are fuel for our bodies.
While it’s important to focus on the amount of protein you need, if it comes from a complete source that’s one less thing to worry about. You’re getting your essential amino acids and letting your body do the rest.
Even if you are getting enough protein, but not the essential amino acids, you may end up with an amino acid deficiency. It’s hard to pinpoint which of the amino acids you may be missing, so you should do your best to consume all of them.
Another reason to get all your protein is to fuel your workouts. Bodybuilders and workout enthusiasts go out of their way to take branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplements before and after workouts. BCAA’s are taken along with protein powder.
Bodybuilders and athletes take amino acids to repair and build muscles. BCAA’s also relieve soreness and fight inflammation. BCAA’s may seem like a great way to get the amino acids you need, but they only contain three of the essential amino acids.
If you’re already getting your amino acids through hemp protein powder there’s no need for a supplement.
Eating a varied diet means you’re getting all nine essential amino acids from different sources. When you eat a protein like hemp, it’s easy to get everything you need in one bite.
So, you should consume complete proteins because it’s easy and your peace of mind is just as important as getting all your protein.
How Can I Incorporate Complete Proteins Into my Diet?
The best way to incorporate complete proteins into a balanced diet is to eat them throughout the day. Replace incomplete protein with complete protein options. When in doubt, mix and match incomplete proteins to form enough complete proteins for any diet.
Of course like anything today you can take a supplement to incorporate more protein into your diet. If you’re worried about getting enough protein in general you can get more protein by eating protein first at mealtime and adding protein to every meal.
With hemp protein, getting your complete protein is easy. Hemp hearts can be added to snacks or sprinkled onto soup and side salads. Adding protein to sides gives you more options than choosing only one protein at mealtime.
Getting your protein doesn’t have to only be at dinner. If you choose to add protein to every meal try hemp bars for breakfast or on the go at snack time.
For a fast additive, hemp protein powder can be blended in smoothies and shakes as a pre or post-workout meal replacement.
The idea is to have a little protein at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time. Remember when you eat a lot of plant-based protein, you’re likely getting all the protein you need.
Summary: Hemp is a Complete Protein
A complete protein is a protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. Hemp is a complete protein. Not only does hemp contain all nine essential amino acids it contains all the amino acids your body needs to repair and grow muscles.
Hemp protein can help you get the nutrients you need while repairing muscles and reducing inflammation. The plant-based protein is versatile and gets the job done.
Consuming plant-based proteins like hemp means you don’t have to guess if you’re getting the nutrients you need. Hemp makes it easy to ensure you won’t have an amino acid deficiency.
The best thing about hemp and all complete proteins is it’s easy to incorporate into your diet. There’s no need for supplements just add hemp hearts, bars, and protein into your regular meal plan.
If you need more protein, have morning hemp protein shakes, snacks on the go, or add hemp into your dinner recipes. Mix and match hemp products with incomplete proteins to ensure you get a great variety.