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Huel Review - 12 Things You Need to Know

Huel is a powdered meal replacement product that markets itself as “a nutritionally complete food.”  Huel claims they sold enough meals “to feed Paris and Rome.” The website is impressive and full of press releases and expert testimony. One expert cited on their website says, “As a dietitian, real food is ideal.” Exactly- and great advice. But, since when is a powdered meal replacement “real food?”

Our research team had to know why this company is so popular. Despite Huel’s convenience and nutrition and claims of being “real food,” our crew found some complaints about its texture and taste. On top of that, the company doesn’t fully refund an opened package. This drove the team to give you all the info you need to not waste your money on a product that will leave you dissatisfied.

Huel can be purchased through their Official Site.

Huel Readers: Noom is offering our readers a risk-free trial, for a limited time. Click here for more information!
Overview

What is Huel?

What is Huel

Huel is food in powder-form that contains proteins, carbs, and fats. It also contains 100% of the FDA’s daily recommended values of all 27 essential vitamins and minerals.

It is a nutritionally complete food that you can use as a meal replacement on-the-go. The name comes from the amalgamation of the words human and fuel.

However, calories from meal replacement products could be too much or too little, and it is often unclear from the ingredients themselves. This is not a meal replacement for everyone, as some users commented they were hungry again after only a few hours of consuming Huel. Does this effect have something to do with the ingredients? It doesn’t look like it.

The formula is also available as Huel RTD (ready-to-drink). Recently, the company also released Huel Bars, which offers Huel nutrition in a snack bar.

Update January 2021: Huel launched a new product – Huel Hot + Savory – in September 2020, intended to be served hot for lunch. Though it started with two flavors, the available flavors currently include:

  • Yellow Coconut Curry
  • Spicy Indian Curry
  • Tomato and Herb
  • Sweet and Sour
  • Mexican Chili
  • Thai Green Curry

About Huel

Huel began in 2012 when its founder set out to create a program that would help people get optimal nutrition to assist in their physical performance. The founder, Julian Hearn, put himself on a rigorous regimen with a lot of careful planning and preparation to ensure each meal provided the necessary nutrition to its users.

While he got the results he wanted from the program, he found it wasn’t practical regarding the time it took to manage it all. Huel was then born nutritionally complete and a balanced meal users could prepare in two minutes or less.

Since he founded the company, they have sold more than 100 million meals across 100 countries. Currently, James McMaster runs the company while Hearn focuses on marketing for Huel.

Huel Competitors

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Meal Replacement

Meal Replacement Supplements

Replacing meals with something more convenient has existed for a while, even in sci-fi stories from almost a century ago.

The current trend began in the US with Soylent that the company produces using algae. In a few years, Soylent became the most popular meal choice for people in Silicon Valley and elsewhere globally.

As Soylent was only available to the US, British co-founder of Huel, Julian Hearn, invented the product to expand the idea of meal replacement powders outside America.

Huel now has a pre-made shake for sale with their Huel powder for those who are on-the-go.

Benefits

Huel Benefits

Huel benefits include:

  • 100% Complete Nutrition
  • Convenient
  • Cost-effective
  • No food waste
  • Vegan
  • Simple to use

Huel also has a gluten-free option in Chocolate, Vanilla, Berry, and Unflavored.

Ingredients

Huel Ingredients

Huel Ingredients

There is no indicationHuel’s ingredients are organic.

Oats

Oat bran and whole oats are used to help with some digestive issues. Oats are a fantastic source of fiber, but beyond that, there are health benefits thought to be associated with phytochemicals found inside, according to Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. And when it comes to antioxidant properties, ” the most antioxidant sequence fragments with a diverse amino acid composition were found in oat globulins” when compared to other plant-based proteins in a review shared in the journal Molecules.

Pea Protein

Pea protein is made from yellow and green peas, and it is a suitable protein option for vegetarians, vegans, and those who wish to avoid products like whey, eggs, and meat. The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition claimed, in 2015, pea protein and whey protein were nearly equal in supporting muscle growth with regular exercise. However, years later, similar research, this time published in the journal Sports, reported whey protein was, in fact, more effective.

Brown Rice Protein

Brown rice protein is from brown rice. Like pea protein, it’s an option for vegans and vegetarians who don’t consume dairy, meat, or egg protein. According to the Nutrition Journal, “rice protein isolate could increase and elicit changes in body composition.”

Coconut MCTs

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are made by processing coconut oil and claimed to help prevent muscle breakdown in some users. According to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “MCTs in the diet could potentially induce modest reductions in body weight and composition.”

Huel and Weight Loss

There’s plenty of research into the effects of meal replacement shakes on weight loss. Most have come to the same conclusion – replacing one or two meals daily with a calorie-controlled shake will likely result in weight loss, as reported in a 2019 review of research in Obesity Reviews.

Cost

How Much Does Huel Cost?

Huel costs:

  • $36.11 per pouch (two pouch minimum, for a total of at least $72.22 or $2.12 per meal.)
  • $32.50 per bag (subscription plan delivered every four weeks, for a total of at least $65 or $1.91 per meal.)

Huel Hot+Savory costs:

  • $25.56 per pouch (three pouch minimum, for a total of at least $76.68, or $3.65 per meal.)
  • $23 per bag (subscription plan delivered every four weeks, for a total of at least $69, or $3.29 per meal.)

Huel offers free delivery in the US with orders over $25. If your order is less than $25, there’s a $5 shipping charge.

They ship orders via UPS and arrive within three to five business days unless going to Hawaii or Alaska, which in this case, arrive within five to seven days.

Delivery to Canada is not currently available. It is possible to order outside of the United States from many other countries.

On Amazon, you can buy two pouches, a scoop, a shaker, and a booklet for $75.

Freebies

You’ll get a free T-shirt and a shaker bottle with your first order. If you subscribe for automatic delivery, you can get a 10% discount, bringing the cost down to $59.40 or $2.12 per meal. You can schedule delivery frequency according to your needs – anytime between every one to every ten weeks.

Huel Money-Back Guarantee

You can receive a refund on Huel products not opened within 30 days. You cannot exchange or get a refund for open pouches.

If your order arrives with any damage, you can exchange it for the same item by sending an email to support@huel.com. You are responsible for shipping costs to return your item.

They only refund shipping costs if the product is defective. They then deduct the cost of the return shipping from any applicable refund.

It is best to use insurance and tracking if you’re shipping an item over $75. They will process refunds back through the original form of payment within 30 days after they approve them.

Hot or Cold

Should You Drink Huel Hot or Cold?

Should You Drink Huel Hot or Cold

According to the official website, the drink is the best cold, even with some ice cubes. However, it is also possible to drink it warm, but it is best not to use boiling water, which could affect the drink’s nutritional profile. To keep it warm, it is better to boil the water and cool or mix it with cold water before adding in Huel.

Huel Hot+Savory should be eaten hot.

Shelf Life

What’s the Huel Shelf Life?

The Huel shelf life is:

Unopened

You can store pouches for up to one year in a dry, cool environment away from direct sunlight, but you should use it before the expiration date on the pouch for the best quality.

Opened

Once you’ve opened the pouch, it can last for six months. You can reseal it, and as long as you store it in a dry, cool environment, away from direct sunlight, it should be safe to use.

Refrigerated and mixed

The mixture can last for 24 hours. Since some users have stated the product tastes better cold, you may want to mix it the night before and store it in the fridge and have it for breakfast in the morning.

Unrefrigerated and mixed

This varies depending on the temperature of the environment it’s in. When cold, the mixture will stay fresh for a few hours. If it’s hot, it won’t last long, so drink fast or store it in a vacuum flask to ensure it will stay cold for a longer period.

Taste

Huel Taste

Huel prioritizes nutrition over flavor. The vanilla flavor is popular for its fresh and wholesome oaty taste with the hint of vanilla. Huel is also available in an unflavored and unsweetened formula that has a more neutral, earthy flavor.

However, there are complaints about the taste too powdery and unpleasant, mainly due to the powdered oats it contains.

The Hot+Savory products are “risotto” like, as they are made with rice and quinoa.

Can I Add More Flavor to Huel?

Regardless of which base you choose, you can add flavor easily. Users have recommended either instant or freshly brewed coffee, syrups, fresh or frozen fruit, cocoa powder, and cinnamon.

Syrups like the ones they use at coffee shops are best if you want various flavor options. You can find everything from caramel to mint, and sugar-free varieties are available as well.

Many users say that savory flavors are also an option. Recommendations include cayenne powder for some heat, curry powder for a more complex flavor profile, and even bouillon cubes. Mixing cayenne pepper into the cocoa powder gives you a sweet and spicy mix.

Huel also sells its Flavor Boosts in various flavors, including vanilla, apple cinnamon, banana, berry, chocolate, mint chocolate, mocha, peanut butter, pumpkin spice, salted caramel, and strawberry. These Flavor Boosts are available for $8 each and come with enough to flavor your drinks 75 times. This gives you more control over the flavors and their strength, preventing you from buying full pouches.

Gingerbread and chocolate cherry are two limited-edition flavor boosts.

Add your flavor choices before mixing the shake for the best results.

Side Effects

Huel Side Effects

Huel Side Effects

Huel contains a few ingredients that may cause side effects like:

  • Gas
  • Digestive issues
  • Bloating
Where to Buy

Where to Buy Huel

You can buy Huel both on the official website and Amazon. It has also been sold on eBay.

Some of Huel’s ready-to-drink shakes are available in stores, though not many.

What Users Are Saying

What Users Are Saying

We use this to make smoothies every morning. It is complete and adding frozen berries gives it a nice flavor in addition to antioxidants.”

“This product is a big ripoff – I had high hopes for the product as I really want to lose weight for health reasons. The first day I used 2 scoops and 16 oz water and couldn’t get the product to dissolve – just got big clumps in water so put it in the blender. The clumps dissolved but it tasted horrible, had a grainy awful taste. Afterward I got very very bloated, my stomach was like a balloon and I couldn’t stop peeing and I was farting quite a bit, plus got a stomachache. The next day I used 1 scoop in 8 oz of almond milk with 1/2 package of frozen fruit plus a teaspoon of powdered dark chocolate and 1 tsp powdered cinnamon. Put it in blender. The taste was better but still a tiny bit grainy. I still got the farting though, and a stomachache. On the plus side it does cut down on cravings and did not leave me hungry. I ate a normal breakfast and healthy dinner both days and had a healthy after dinner treat. In 2 days I lost 3 pounds, but I was also miserable. I don’t think this is a particularly healthy way to lose weight, and I’m concerned about the side effects this has. To the reviewers who say this has a great taste–I don’t know, you must not have taste buds or you are being paid. I’m returning it.”

“Meh. It is adequate. Very expensive per serving. I’m not a fan of vegan protein but that is a personal preference and not a judgement against this product. It does exactly what it is meant to do, no doubt, however I feel that there are other products that work as well, taste better, and are far less expensive.”

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on Huel

Here’s the moment of truth: We love they market Huel as a quick and easy-to-consume meal replacement. It has a crazy amount of healthy ingredients and all the necessary nutrients, carbs, fats, proteins, and minerals we need to survive and being low in cost. However, there are reports of some side effects, complaints about the flavor and texture, and doesn’t fully refund an open package.

We believe it’s natural lifestyle changes and support for those changes that make the difference between losing weight and losing weight for good. When it comes to losing weight, it’s hard to stick with a plan unless you have support 24 hours a day.

Among the best weight-loss support apps we’ve found is Noom. We love that Noom has clinical testing that proves it works to help people lose weight and maintain weight once lost. The app supports healthy eating and exercise while providing human coaching to get you and keep you on the right track.

Plus, since you’re a Dietspotlight reader, you can take advantage of a free trial offer of Noom for a limited time.

Learn More About Noom »
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Huel

Q:
What are the ingredients in Huel?
A:

Huel stands for human fuel. It is pre-packaged, 100% organic vegan food packets with carbs, fats, and nutrients from oats, peas, flaxseed, and brown rice.

Huel also contains a good amount of vitamin B5 and fiber. Certain flavors contain sucralose.

Q:
What are the side effects of Huel?
A:

There’s few reports of Huel side effects. Potential side effects from the ingredients may include gas, diarrhea, and nausea.

Q:
What is the price of Huel?
A:

One package of Huel 3.0, which contains 28 meals, costs $72.22, unless you subscribe to autoship. Then, the cost is $65 for two pouches. The Black Edition costs $75 for two pouches.

Q:
Where can I buy Huel?
A:

Huel may be purchased from its company storefront, huel.com, or retailers like Amazon.com.

Q:
How should I take Huel?
A:

As a meal replacement, Huel can be consumed at any meal time or as food supplement to one’s diet. Mix 2 scoops with 13 ounces of cold water and mix. You can also use ice cubes to help better blend the mixture.

You can use milk with Huel to make the mixture creamier, but make sure to note the extra calories. Once you blend Huel with another liquid, it is important to keep it refrigerated if you aren’t going to immediately drink it. Once refrigerated, it will stay good for up to 24 hours.

Q:
Where can I buy Huel?
A:

Huel can be purchased using their Official Site.

Q:
How do I contact Huel customer service?
A:

You can reach Huel customer service via email at support@huel.com.

Q:
Can I return Huel?
A:

Huel’s refund and return policy allows for thirty days from the time of purchase for a customer to initiate a return. Also, the product must be unused and in the same condition in which it was received.

Q:
What are the most common complaints about Huel?
A:

Huel complaints focus on the return process, which does not allow for the return or refund of an opened package.

Q:
Can you drink Huel for every meal?
A:

Although you can drink Huel for every meal, you need to build up to it. Start with one shake a day and gradually increase.

Q:
Can you gain weight with Huel?
A:

Huel can be a great way to consume extra calories for healthy weight gain. You can gradually consume 3-4 scoops of the powder 2-3 times a day for weight gain.

Q:
Does Huel work for weight loss?
A:

Huel can be good for weight loss, as you can use it as a calorie-effective meal replacement. Each serving, or three scoops, contains 153 calories.

Q:
Is Huel a good meal replacement?
A:

Huel provides all 27 necessary minerals and vitamins. It also has a good ratio of calories, carbohydrates, fats, and protein. However, it is not organic.

Q:
Is Huel suitable for vegetarians?
A:

Huel is completely vegan, so it is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Q:
What is the shelf life of Huel?
A:

Huel has a shelf life of 1 year.

19 Huel Reviews

  • Good while healing
    Linda (Verified Purchase)

    I am a new subscriber to Huel. It has been a lifesaver for me. I am using this to get through a bout with stomach ulcers caused by NSAID’s. So far I have no issues with Huel and am forever grateful to have found it. This is much tastier and fulfilling than Ensure.

    Reply
  • JD (Verified Purchase)

    the stars i gave are just because it helps with weight loss but, I guess the flaxseed is way to high for me… the amount of gas it produces its abnormal… not buying again and i tried on an off or less amount to see if it helped but its the same.

    Reply
  • My Seven Week Huel Experience
    Ethan (Verified Purchase)

    For the past seven weeks I have used Huel as a meal replacement for one meal per day, either breakfast or lunch. I like the taste. Sometimes I add ground up fresh vegetables (arugula, carrots, etc.), banana, or berries. I have experienced no negative side effects. I have lost several pounds over the aforementioned seven week period, which is a good thing. When I see my doctor next (in a few weeks) I intend to ask for her opinion on my consumption of Huel. Anticipating skepticism from her, I will then have to weigh the pros and cons as to whether to continue using the product.

    Reply
  • Don't pack a lunch.
    dmfd123 (Verified Purchase)

    I eat Huel for breakfast and lunch because it’s fast, easy and cheap. It’s a 5-minute meal. It does leave me hungry though..

    Reply
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