Huel is one of the most popular meal replacement powders in the world and has garnered a large and dedicated following in fitness and health circles due to its supposed ‘nutritionally complete’ macronutrient profile, something that most meal replacement and diet powders aren’t capable of properly providing.
But does Huel live up to its aspirations of providing a healthy and safe replacement for solid food, and is it as convenient as it seems?
In this guide, we’re going to look at all the different aspects of incorporating Huel into your diet, whether you use it for a convenient workplace lunch or as a way to pack in additional nutrients into your diet.
We will cover major features of the product and its quality as well as other concerns to give you as complete a picture as possible and help you to determine if Huel is going to be something for you!
But without further ado, let’s take a closer look at what Huel actually is!
What is Huel?
Huel is the brand name of a proprietary powdered food, made of a special blend of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat, and which also meets the recommended daily amounts of all essential minerals and vitamins.
It is, in the truest sense, a complete meal in powder form!
A lot of meal replacement powders claim to be healthy and nutritional, but many of them are made up of low-quality calories, sugars, and carbs without much thought given to the real macronutrient and micronutrient requirements of most people, particularly those who are conscious of their diet and health.
Briefly, the ingredients of Huel are much higher quality and a lot of the nutrition comes from actual healthy foods such as oats, peas, and plants such as flaxseed, and the various ingredients are balanced to make Huel pack a huge nutritional punch for its price and size.
There are a few different variations of Huel now, with classic Huel forming the core of the Huel line, with supplementary options such as Huel Ready to Drink and Huel Black as well as other blends which focus more on protein than carbs, meaning there is a Huel product to suit almost any need and nutritional requirement.
Additionally, Huel is totally vegan, which is great for people who want to reduce meat in their diet for ethical reasons and allows everyone to enjoy the benefits of this product.
Despite all of these positives, however, Huel does have some drawbacks which we’re going to look at later in this review, to give you the full picture.
Huel was founded in 2012 in the UK and was created to try and provide a way for people to get great nutrition for themselves in a convenient and efficient way. It was made with health and fitness in mind, and the founder, Julian Hearn, focused on ensuring that Huel would be both nutritious and filling for prospective customers.
The idea behind Huel is to allow anyone to get a high-value meal as quickly as possible, and Huel can often be made and consumed in under 5 minutes, which is a huge selling point in today’s fast-moving society.
It seems that this vision for convenient and nutritious food that doesn’t come out of a fast-food joint resonated with the needs of society, as since its founding Huel has sold more than 100 million meals in 100 different countries and has a dedicated following of fans known affectionately as Hueligans who espouse the benefits of this meal replacement powder.
There are T-Shirts mugs and a host of other merchandise for fans to wear proudly to spread the good word, and Huel’s marketing campaigns have been very successful, which explains the continued expansion and popularity of this unique brand and product.
A Word on Meal Replacements
Meal replacements have existed for a long time, and have been fodder for science fiction authors for even longer.
The brand Soylent, is a popular brand of meal replacement in the US and uses algae as a key ingredient in its food, and branding itself rather hilariously after the famous Soylent of science fiction fame!
However Soylent was only available in the US, so Huel capitalized on this and provided a similar but different product to much of the rest of the world.
Some other products and brands market themselves as a meal replacement or meal supplements, however many of these products, such as Slimfast, aren’t the same and don’t provide the same nutritional benefits as true meal replacements like Huel.
It’s also important to note that meal replacements may take some getting used to, and may not be suitable for everyone depending on your own specific health needs.
If you’re considering using this product it’s probably best to consult your doctor as large lifestyle changes could have an impact on your health.
Benefits of Huel
In short, Huel is incredibly beneficial for most people. Some of the benefits include;
- A nutritionally complete meal in every serving
- High convenient
- Easy to prepare
- Eliminate or significantly reduce food waste
- Less food packaging and waste
- Totally vegan
- Simple to prepare
- Available in multiple flavors and even has a gluten free option
As you can see, the benefits of Huel are very compelling, and even as a simple snack to use while at work or for helping add more nutrients to your diet, Huel is a great alternative to more confusing and complex diet plans and meal plans.
Huel is made up of several different foods and powdered for convenience! The core ingredients of Huel are;
Oats are a very healthy food and provide a lot of fiber, which helps with digestion, and is also an antioxidant.
Proteins from yellow and green peas are a great option as it is simple to get and adds a filling nature to Huel as the digestive system breaks down protein more slowly than carbs. It’s also great as it’s a vegan source of protein and avoids the ethical issues surrounding the meat industry.
It is believed that the protein sourced from peas is able to maintain and support muscle growth and healing as well as whey protein and other protein sources, with some more recent studies even suggesting that pea protein is actually more beneficial, making this a great choice for time-pressed fitness fanatics!
Brown Rice Protein
Similar to the protein from peas, brown rice protein is a good choice as it is vegan and it’s a healthy and rich food source that provides similar benefits to pea protein.
There are some other smaller ingredients, but these are mostly to provide the essential micronutrients humans need alongside the main macronutrients, and simply allow you to get everything your body needs.
The cost of Huel is deceptively good value, and while it seems expensive at first, it actually comes out cheap when compared to other meal choices and food options.
The typical costs for Huel are;
$36.11 per pouch (two pouches are required which totals $72.22, a per meal cost of $2.12)
For a bag, the cost is $32.50 and this can be purchased in a subscription plan that is delivered monthly and equals $65 or $191 per meal.
As you can see already, a whole meal for around $2 is actually an insanely good value, especially when compared to low-quality take-out meals and other pre-prepared meals that don’t have anywhere near the nutritional value of Huel.
$25.50 per pouch (three pouches required for a total of $76.68, $3.65 per meal)
$23 per bag (another subscription plan provided monthly for a cost of $69 or £3.29 a meal)
This is a little more expensive than Huel but is a little more palatable to some and is still a fair value when compared to other food sources.
There is also free delivery within the US on orders over $25 and only a $5 shipping fee on orders below this.
Typically orders arrive in 3 to 5 business days except for Hawaii and Alaska which arrive in up to 7 days.
There are also bundles, sales, and promotions to take advantage of from time to time adding value for eagle-eyed customers.
If you need some additional value to tempt you, customers get a free Huel t-shirt and a shaker with their first order, and subscribing for automatic delivery gives an additional 10% discount, allowing customers to maximize their value and bring costs down even further.
The delivery can be chosen to suit your schedule and can be chosen to come in intervals of 1 to 10 weeks.
How to Prepare Huel
Huel simply required you to add a few scoops of the powder to your shaker, pour in the right amount of water, and shake! There’s nothing to it!
Huel is available in various flavors, and can even be bought totally unflavored if you’d like to add your own flavorings yourself.
People often like to experiment with Huel, but the standard flavors such as Vanilla and Chocolate are quite palatable! While of course the flavor and texture aren’t going to be as satisfying as solid food, Huel is definitely inoffensive and can be tweaked by adding your own ingredients for a little extra flavor!
The texture is a little chalky, but this has been continually worked on over the years and Huel is smooth compared to a lot of other powders such as protein shakes.
The downsides to Huel are that it can take some getting used to the flavor and texture, and there can be some digestive issues with moving to a liquid meal replacement such as bloating, gas, and digestive pain in some cases.
Quite often though these issues disappear after a while as the body becomes accustomed to its new food source.