So why my conversion from whey to hemp protein? Basically it came about out of pure curiosity, a need to drop a little weight and some old fashioned keyboard research.
Also the added ingredients that are blended with the protein base were conducive to what I was experimenting with when I was using whey protein.
I seem to be becoming a bit of and Onnit preacher lately with my reviews. The simple reason for this is I haven’t bought a product from them that hasn’t done what it says it will do.
Unlike a lot of internet iron gamers I have no adverse reactions to whey protein.
I use a quality whey brand from Bulletproof and do not suffer from any of the bloating, farting, irritated bowel, thirst or cramps that certain forum users and marketers associate with it.
In fact, back in the day when I used a cheaper generic whey concentrate, I suffered no ill effects either.
Which brings me back to why move to a hemp protein blend?
As a short squat endomorph I have a natural inclination towards producing higher levels of fat with the muscle I gain on a strength cycle. Because of this I tend to only take a whey protein fix after a heavy iron session.
After reading Tim Ferriss’ “4-Hour Body”, I discovered that milk products despite being relatively “low GI” still have a high insulinemic response on the Insulinemic Index.
With this nugget of information in mind and a desire to only eat carbohydrates that didn’t significantly spike my insulin, I started looking at alternative proteins.
I immediately discounted soy protein for its estrogenic properties. Rice and Pea proteins looked okay, the only problem was that they weren’t complete proteins. My research led me to two candidates: egg protein and hemp protein.
To be fair, both are pretty good. Both were complete proteins but nutritionally hemp protein edges egg protein out.
So hemp protein got my attention for having all the essential amino acids, all 3 BCAAs and to cap it off hefty doses of Omega 3, 6 and 9. And more importantly, in my view hemp protein had a strong fibre content that egg protein did not.
If you’re an older gent like myself, you will appreciate the benefits of fibre more keenly.
So why Onnit’s Hemp Force in particular?
There are a number of hemp brands around so why Hemp Force? In short it’s what they add to the mix.
In the ChocoMaca blend:
- Maca: I’ve been a huge fan of maca for years. I had been adding maca powder to my whey shakes for a good 3 years before investigating hemp protein. Often called a superfood, Maca is loaded with amino acids, vitamins and minerals, in particular, copper, manganese and zinc. I can personally attest to the fact that it enhances libido and it also seems to positively affect my mood.
- Natural Cocoa: Contains a raft of antioxidants and flavonols to improve circulation, endothelial function and mood.
- Stevia: A natural sweetener that helps regulate blood sugar levels and also adds zero calories to the mix.
In the Vanill-Acai blend:
- Acai Berry: So much has been said about Acai berries and it antioxidant potential that no more need be said
- Chia Seeds: I first came across chia seeds after reading “Born To Run” and found that this was a staple of the Tarahumara Indians. It is high in protein, nutrients and Alpha-Linoleic Acid (ALA).
- Flax Seeds: High in Omega 3’s, Lignans and Mucilage
- Mesquite Powder: Packed with Lysine, Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium, Calcium and that all important dietary fibre.
- Stevia: (see above)
What Did I Think?
I have only tried the ChocoMaca blend and I have to say I love it. I use it daily, sometimes twice daily with no apparent effect on my bodyfat levels. I also seem to get an added energy kick after using it post workout.
It tastes great. I just mix it with chilled water and its one of the best tasting protein shakes I’ve experienced.
Like I say, I haven’t tried the Vanill-Acai blend but I’m pretty confident that its taste would be superior as well.
What are the Cons?
It’s expensive. It has the highest quality ingredients and it tastes great but it costs a lot of dough.
For me this is okay I am old and established enough for this not to be a problem.
But if I was a struggling college student or trapped in a low paying job I would be out there looking for cheaper alternatives.
That said it’s the only con. Like all Onnit products it does exactly what it says it will do.
This is a great tasting, high performance alternative to whey protein. It will become a staple of my training regime.
It is also an expensive staple and for that reason I will give it a 4 star rating