In a world brimming with meal replacement options, a product like Huel promises not just convenience but also balanced nutrition. But does it truly live up to the hype?
As a fitness trainer and nutritionist, I decided to dive deep into the world of Huel.
From analyzing its nutritional profile to testing its impact on daily life, I’ve explored every facet of Huel to bring you a detailed, data-driven perspective.
Whether you're a busy professional seeking a quick meal fix or a fitness enthusiast looking for a nutritional edge, this review aims to answer all your questions about Huel.
What Is Huel?
Huel (Human + Fuel) is a brand founded by Julian Hearn in June 2015 with a mission to provide nutritionally complete, convenient, and affordable meals. According to the company's website, every Huel meal delivers 27 essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Huel meals are advertised as having a good balance of protein, essential fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and phytonutrients per serving. This claim is very similar to its rival brand, Soylent.
Huel products are vegan and made from plant-based ingredients (like oats, rice, flaxseed, and coconut)
In keeping with its philosophy of minimizing carbon footprint, all Huel powder products have a long shelf life and use very little packaging, which means less waste.
So, the big question is: Is it worth it?
To answer that, I gathered some information on Huel's ingredients.
Let's take a look.
Huel powder comes in a range of six products, but each of them contains pretty much the same key ingredients.
Let’s break them down below.
According to a study posted in the National Library of Science, oats are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, making them one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat .
Studies show that they can reduce your cholesterol, lower the levels of sugar in your blood, relieve constipation, and promote healthy gut bacteria, which is why I start my day with a bowlful .
They're also very filling and low in calories, which means they may help you lose weight by keeping you satiated.
According to WebMd, peas contain a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients .
They can protect your eyes from chronic diseases, promote a healthy digestive system, and boost your immunity.
3. Brown Rice Protein
The fiber in this whole grain can help lower cholesterol levels, move waste through the digestive tract more easily, increase feelings of fullness, and may even prevent the formation of blood clots.
Brown rice is considered a low “glycemic index” food, which means it won’t raise your blood sugar compared to certain foods .
See our list of the best brown rice protein powders here.
Flaxseed is a rich source of healthy fat, antioxidants, protein, and fiber . It is known to prevent conditions such as constipation, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer.
Whether you end up purchasing Huel or not, our in-house dietician highly recommends consuming one tablespoon of flaxseed a day.
5. Medium-chain Triglyceride Oil (from Coconut)
This ingredient is popular among athletes and bodybuilders for its purported health benefits. MCT oil may help with weight loss as it promotes a feeling of fullness, therefore helping you eat less food.
It’s also transported and absorbed throughout your body quickly and can be used as an instant source of energy.
A study has shown that taking MCT oil before exercising may help you use more fat instead of carbohydrates for energy, which explains why this supplement has become a favorite among people trying to lose weight .
These seeds contain healthy fat and several minerals and vitamins . They’re especially abundant in vitamin E and selenium, two nutrients that function as antioxidants that can protect your body against free radical damage.
Products They Offer
As mentioned earlier, Huel offers a range of six products.
Let's take a quick look at each one and what they offer.
1. Huel Powder
Huel Powder has been a game-changer for me and my clients, offering a quick and balanced meal. Its blend of oats, pea protein, and essential nutrients provides sustained energy, perfect for busy days.
Each serving is nutritionally complete, making it an excellent meal replacement. Its versatility in flavors and ease of preparation make it a staple in my diet, especially on days when time is scarce.
2. Huel Black Edition
For those focusing on a high-protein, low-carb diet, Huel Black Edition is ideal. As a fitness enthusiast, I appreciate its increased protein content and reduced carbs.
It's perfect for post-workout recovery, aiding muscle repair and growth. The taste and texture are satisfying, making it a go-to for my more intensive training days.
3. Huel Complete Protein
As a protein-rich snack, Huel Complete Protein stands out. Its blend of hemp, faba, and pea protein offers a substantial 20g of protein per serving.
I found it perfect for post-workout recovery or as a filling snack. It's a great way to ensure I'm meeting my daily protein needs, and the variety of flavors keeps it interesting.
4. Huel Instant Meals
Huel Instant Meals are a lifesaver for anyone with a hectic schedule. These hot, savory meals are not only convenient but also packed with nutrition.
They're a great alternative to traditional fast food, offering a balance of macros and essential nutrients.
What's also great about Huel Instant Meals is that they meet the HHS and USDA's Dietary Guidelines and Daily Value (DV) requirements for all macro and micronutrients .
I often turn to them for a quick, satisfying meal that doesn't compromise on health.
5. Huel Ready-to-drink
For on-the-go nutrition, Huel Ready-to-drink is unmatched. Each bottle is a complete meal, providing 20g of protein and essential vitamins and minerals.
It's incredibly convenient, especially when I'm short on time and need a quick, nutritious meal. The taste is great, and it keeps me full and energized.
6. Huel Complete Nutrition Bar
The Huel Complete Nutrition Bar is my go-to snack for busy days. It's not just a protein bar; it's a balanced snack with 27 essential vitamins and minerals.
The layers of caramel and chocolate satisfy my sweet cravings while providing sustained energy. It's perfect for a post-workout snack, a quick bite on the move, or a small meal replacement.
See our list of the best meal replacement bars.
- Each product contains a balanced macro-nutrient split to provide optimum nutrition
- Formulated by a registered nutritionist and dietitian
- Comes in a wide range of delicious, all-natural flavors
- Each meal provides complete nutrition at an affordable price
- Powder can be used to make recipes such as butternut squash pizza, pumpkin tart, etc.
- Some users experienced stomach issues and heartburn while taking these products
- Powder is grainy and doesn’t dissolve well
Any Side Effects?
Huel meal replacement products might cause side effects such as flatulence and discomfort when eaten excessively. Each meal is nutrient-dense, and if you attempt to fulfill the recommended 2,000 kcal daily food intake using Huel powder alone, you’re bound to face some stomach troubles.
Doing so would give you 38.3g of fiber in a day. And if you’re someone who isn’t used to consuming so much fiber in your regular solid food diet, you would probably experience these symptoms.
"Nutrition should be the primary purpose of food, not texture and taste." - Julian Hearn
To avoid this, I would suggest using Huel only occasionally and not as a frequent replacement for cooked food.
The ideal range would be to use it for up to one or two meals a day, and only a few times a week. If you can use it less than this number, that would be better.
Where Can You Buy Huel?
You can buy Huel meal replacement products from the brand’s official website. The minimum required order for the Powder is two bags (34 meals), which is quite affordable considering it claims to be a full meal.
There’s also the Black Edition, which is slightly more expensive. The brand says the Black Edition is a much healthier option.
You can buy three bags (21 meals) of the Huel Instant Meals option. This one, as well as the Ready-to-drink bottles, are way more expensive than the Powder and Black Edition.
The Huel Bar also requires a minimum purchase of two boxes (30 bars). The bars are more expensive than your regular protein bar, which is common in the meal replacement industry.
You can get 10% off the total price if you avail of a subscription, which you can edit and cancel anytime.
What Do Customers Say About Huel?
Here's what some customers say about Huel meal replacement products:
"I just received my first order yesterday. I bought the vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate flavors of the shakes. So far, I can say I like Huel. It’s actually one of the best meal replacement shakes I've ever had. I'm very pleased!” - Ginger S.
"My wife is a registered dietitian and I'm in the military. We have three children, which means we are a BUSY couple. We thought we’d be hungry, but it's surprisingly filling that we even forget about food. A few of my colleagues have now placed their orders because of my glowing recommendation!” - John T.
"I love Huel! As an endurance athlete, their products help me stay fueled. I drink it in the morning and take it as a snack or post-workout meal later in the day." - Gary R.
How Does Huel Compare To Alternatives
Here's how Huel compares against three of the top meal replacement brands on the market.
Instant Knockout is a cutting-edge meal replacement shake created by Roar Ambition. Their product may aid athletes in reducing fat, gaining muscle, and losing weight.
Both Instant Knockout and Huel feature a promising ingredient list that includes all 27 important micronutrients and a healthy serving of carbs, protein, vital fats, and fiber.
Huel only provides daily micronutrient levels as low as 17%, with many falling in the late teens to low twenties range. In comparison, Instant Knockout gives a considerably better minimum of 30% each, with the majority at 50% or more.
Garden of Life: Raw Organic Meal
Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal has around 20 grams of protein per serving. They employ an organic plant protein combination that includes pea protein, chia seed protein, and brown rice protein. Huel Powder, on the other hand, has around 25 grams of protein per serving, formed by a mix of pea, sunflower, and rice protein.
Garden of Life and Huel both provide a diverse range of minerals and vitamins in their products. Garden of Life meal replacement drinks provide critical vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, B, and C, as well as calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Similarly, Huel Powder is high in vital vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and K, iron, and iodine.
Orgain Organic Meal
Orgain's vegan Organic Meal nutrition powder is made with all-natural ingredients and has approximately 20g of high-quality pea, chia seed, and brown rice protein in a single serving. Orgain does not utilize artificial flavors or preservatives; their meal replacement shake is GMO and gluten-free.
Compared to Huel, which comes with 17 servings per container and recommends a serving size of 2 scoops (100 g), Orgain Organic Meal comes with 16 servings per container and recommends a serving size of 2 scoops (57 g).
Is Huel Good for Losing Weight?
Yes, Huel is good for losing weight because it leaves you feeling fuller for longer, helping you eat less food. It’s also low in sugar.
This product may also help you maintain and even gain weight.
Since every Huel calorie is already worked out, you’ll surely find it easier to track your calorie intake and reach your target weight.
Can Huel Replace Every Meal?
No, Huel can't replace every meal. Although packed with essential vitamins and minerals, it's not designed to replace all meals since people need to consume various food types for their bodies to thrive.
Our Verdict on Huel
Unlike most meal replacements, I was surprised to discover that Huel products actually tasted like real food.
I always feel full after consuming their products, and the best part about that is knowing that I’m satisfied because I ate something healthy instead of junk.
Clients had mostly positive things to say about Huel, and many began adding its products to their nutrition plans.
If you’re tired of the usual protein shakes that don’t quite hit the spot, I believe Huel’s product range might just be worth a try.
About The Author
You May Also Like