Way back in 2015, I received an email asking if I had heard of Huel (which by the way, is an amalgamation of the words Human and Fuel) and whether I’d be interested in trying it out. I clicked the links to articles in the press (I don’t read newspapers, and still don’t, so I’d not seen any of them) and they all seemed to be sensationalising this product. But still, I was intrigued. A little.
Some time later, a conversation arose in a forum I am a part of. I’d been thinking about saying yes to trying it but then I didn’t want to be involved in what would just become ‘the next fad’. It seemed that others were also intrigued by the product and were thinking outside the box for it’s possible uses. So, I dug out the email and replied.
What Is Huel?
“Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food.”
At this point in time, Huel was just a big bag of powder, which landed on my doorstep in no time at all, yet it still took me a couple of weeks before I eventually cracked it open. The instructions directed me onto the website where I inputted some information to calculate my daily calorie intake (I opted for approx. 1750kcal per day) which equated to 400 – 500kcal per shake. This then worked out to be 500ml of water and 100g of Huel (402kcal).
Is Huel Healthy?
“It’s been formulated by the renowned nutrition exper James Collier BSc (Hons), RNutr to include all the protein, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals that your body needs.”
Huel is sold as nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food which has minimal impact on animals (Huel is vegan) and the environment. It provides you with all the carbohydrates, protein, fats, fibre and all 26 essential micronutrients your body needs to thrive.
“Huel contains: No added sugar, no meat or animal products, no dairy, no soy, no eggs, making it suitable for those with even the most complex dietary requirements.”
Their product range has expanded since the powder they launched back in 2015; the range now includes the original and gluten free versions of Huel Powder (v3.0), Huel Black Edition (Vanilla and Chocolate), Huel Ready-to-drink, Bars, flavour boosts, Huel Professional and Huel Granola.
Huel For Weightloss – Would It Work?
Just like actual food, it’s about the basics of calorie intake versus calorie expenditure which will determine whether you gain weight, lose weight or maintain your current weight.
You shouldn’t just rely on Huel to help you lose weight though; a healthy diet and consistent exercise routine will be far more effective.
How To Use Huel
Way back in 2015 when I first tried Huel, I opted not to add anything to my first sample. Although using a blender seemed like a chore, I did it anyway. You can blend your entire supply for the day once in the morning and then drink as needed (it keeps for up to 24 hours).
The original formula tasted acceptably palatable on its own – from what I have read though, Huel always loses out in taste tests when compared to products like Soylent but beats most others in quality of ingredients.
I wasn’t too keen on the effort that was required to make Huel into cookies and pancakes at that time either – it kinda defeated the point of liquid food. I guess they solved a few issues themselves with the expansion of their product range?!
When I first tried Huel, I was working in retail in which it was difficult to manage my meals around unpredictable hours and breaks scheduled for the benefit of the store rather than my blood sugar levels. I was however allowed to have fluids with me on the shop floor which meant that Huel was a perfect solution in that situation.
Huel vs Feed. The Complete Meal
At the end of 2019, I was approached by Feed. to try their products. It was good timing as I was getting prepared to head to my 25 hour race – Red Bull Timelaps. Feed. creates complete meals in convenient formats for active people with all their products being vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free and non GMO. Feed. = 1 Huel = 0.
Pictured above is the Ready-to-drink from the Feed. original range: €3.90 for 435 kcal / 500 ml and comes in 3 flavours: red berries, chocolate and vanilla. I tried the chocolate and the vanilla – the vanilla was definitely a firm favourite. However they use soy as the main protein source and soy is something that I do try to avoid as much as I can.
I didn’t end up using the drink at Timelaps, mostly because I had to eat what I was craving, I didn’t have a fridge nor did I want to try anything new in a race scenario. I ended up testing out the ready-to-drink and a couple of the bar options as meal replacements for breakfast and lunch.
Where To Buy in the UK
It looks like Huel used to distribute through Amazon.co.uk but haven’t done so in a while – which is a shame.
You can buy all of their products direct from their website.
Huel Ready-to-drink can be picked up in Sainsburys stores.
Currently there are no live codes available for Huel but if you are a student registered in Student Beans then you can get 10% off all year round. The student discount code can be used alongside the bulk and subscription discounts too.
FYI, Feed. offer 20% discount to students via Student Beans. That might sway your decision somewhat?!
When I originally posted my review back in 2015 of the original powder, I was pretty sure I would use Huel again. It’s the kinda thing that comes in useful on evenings when you get in late, don’t wanna cook but need the nutrition. Or for the times you just don’t wanna carry half the kitchen with you but don’t wanna eat out.
I think there is definitely a place for it in the lifestyles that some of us lead but in the end, I never ended up trying it again until the ready-to-drink launched.
How do you feel about “drinking your food”? Would you try something like this?