Ok, it’s time to look at Huel Powder, which I have been using since March 2016. It’s probably the best supplement I have ever used and would definitely recommend it.
What is Huel?
Huel, according to the website, is a ‘nutritionally complete food’ which has been developed and approved by dieticians. Simply put, it’s a powder with everything* your body needs. By everything I mean it has all of the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats your body needs in addition to 100% of the EU’s recommended daily amounts of all 26 essential vitamins and minerals.
What types of Huel Powder are available?
At the time of writing, there are 4 types of Huel Powder available: Huel Vanilla, Huel Unflavoured & Unsweetened, Huel Vanilla (Gluten Free), and Huel Unflavoured & Unsweetened (Gluten Free).
Personally, I use the Huel Unflavoured & Unsweetened Powder. I tend to like the fact that this is just Huel, plain and simple. You can add your own flavourings to it. For flavour, I use Flavdrops from MyProtein (Use the toffee flavour and stick it in the fridge for a few hours, and it comes out just like a milkshake).
I’m not a big fan of vanilla anyways and have tried the powder, it’s fine, so unflavoured for me was the way to go.
I’ve not tried the gluten-free options either so can’t really comment on those.
Ingredients: What’s actually in Huel?
The main ingredients of Huel are oats, pea protein, ground flaxseed, and brown rice protein. There are a bunch of other ingredients, below are the full list for v2.1 of Huel’s Unsweetened & Unflavoured Powder.
The macro split of 37:30:30:3. Which is 37% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 30% fats, and 3% fibre.
I’m not fully up to scratch with my macros – as it’s something I don’t really focus as of yet. Just seems like a very balanced powder from a macro perspective.
Yup, Huel is high in fibre
Something that I think is very much worth covering is that Huel is high in fibre. In fact it covers 116% of your daily needs which is far higher than most modern diets.
Due to the high fibre content of Huel, I recommend that you start slowly. Don’t go straight in with consuming too much too fast. I recommend just 2 scoops per day for the first couple of weeks, then 4 scoops per day for the next couple of weeks. This gives your body a little time to adjust to Huel (and the fibre!). Otherwise, you’ll be hitting the toilet hard. Oh, and I also recommend having Huel with a glass of water. This will help reduce any onset of constipation from the extra fibre.
Huel is also Low FODMAP!
I’ve been on the Low FODMAP diet since the beginning of 2016, and Huel has been a big help in me sticking to it. Huel is Low FODMAP and to this day, through normal consumption of Huel, I have had no adverse reactions from the ingredients.
The Taste Test: What does Huel actually taste like?
Ok, so the 2 varieties I have used at the Huel (Original) Vanilla and Huel (Original) Unflavoured & Unsweetened.
They have pretty much the same texture and it’s pretty fine in consistency. It blends and mixes really well. I recommend that you use a blender rather than just a shaker bottle, but if you don’t have access to a blender, then using a shaker bottle with a metal mixer will do the job just as good.
You can drink Huel straight after mixing. It’s pretty smooth. I would recommend though that you leave it for a few hours or overnight so that the consistency thickens right up. It’s far more enjoyable that way.
In terms of taste. Unflavoured & Unsweetened is horrific to be far. It’s plain oats and protein – pretty much what you would expect. I always use syrup flavouring with this variety. The Vanilla version is pretty good to be far and very palatable.
For best results:
1– Use an electric blender
2– Leave overnight in the fridge
3– Consume cold
Can you survive on Huel alone?
You probably wouldn’t want to is my answer to this.
I used Huel on its own for about 3 months. Drinking 4 shakes a day, average 1600kcal per day.
It was ok, but psychologically I wanted to eat, chew and bite down on something rather than just drink all of my calories. In the end I reintroduced food. A great side point, is that Huel Bars are now available and I will be doing a write up on those in the future, once I have finished my way through my first delivery.
You can survive just on Huel. It has most, if not all, of the things that make our body tick. But life is a little too short to be drinking all your calories. Balance is important and so is food. I wouldn’t recommend it.
Dieting & Muscle Growth on Huel
This next bit is my sole experience of using Huel. While I was training, during my first month of Huel, I noticed that for every 1kg I lost of fat, I replaced it with 1kg of muscle. I recorded this on my FitBit Aria scales with body fat measure.
I thought that was noteworthy of adding.
In terms of dieting. Huel is pretty effective at keeping your calorie consumption in check due to its high fibre content, good macros, and good satiety which will keep those hunger pangs at bay.
Looking at muscle growth. Huel has everything your body needs to repair and grow muscle cells including good protein levels and a great mix of essential nutrients.
Summary: Is Huel worth it?
While I wouldn’t recommend surviving on Huel alone it is definitely worth adding at least 1 Huel shake to your daily regime.
I’ve used Huel for months now and it will probably be in my diet for the foreseeable future.
I always keep a bottle of water and a bag of Huel in my car for emergencies so I don’t need to be tempted by junk food (well, less tempted anyways!).
I’ve not done this yet, but I will be bring a bag of Huel Powder and Huel Bars abroad, it’s a great way to make sure I get that protein fix and keep up my nutrient levels when abroad. No need now to lose gains when away.
All in all, as you can see in my Huel review, I think Huel Powder is pretty great. I definitely recommend it.