(Last Updated on November 1, 2022)
Eating a well-balanced, highly nutritious diet is one of the best things one can do for their health and wellbeing.
However, it is time-consuming and not always a reality for those with busy, responsibility-packed lives.
If you’re working around the clock and don’t have time to cook let alone go to the supermarket, a well-formulated meal replacement could be the solution.
Huel is a popular meal replacement brand providing powders, ready-made drinks, and bars.
This review focuses on Huel powder, honing in on the ingredients, benefits, side-effects, pros, cons, and whether or not it’s really worth your cash.
What Is Huel Powder?
Huel is a company founded by Julian Hearn in 2012 as a way to provide easy, fast, and nutritionally-sound meal replacements to the world.
The idea fuelling Huel is that it’s the solution to getting a balanced, nutrient-dense diet despite a busy and time-poor schedule.
Huel powders are backed by scientific research and are made in a regulated facility in Canada.
Huel powder comes in pouches, (with various flavor options) and is simply mixed with water to create a liquid meal replacement.
There are three different Huel powder types: Huel Powder v3.0, Huel Black Edition, and Huel Gluten-Free v3.0.
Each serving of Huel powder contains 400 calories, “27 vitamins and minerals”, probiotics, amino acids, and healthy fats.
Huel Powder Ingredients
The Huel ingredients list is lengthy, so before going into what’s in it, let’s quickly cover what’s not in it.
All Huel powders are free from:
- Lactose 1.
- Animal products.
The Gluten-Free v3.0 powders use gluten-free oats as opposed to regular oats.
The Black Edition is also gluten-free, made with tapioca starch 2 and pea protein 3.
For those concerned about the macro breakdown, the original Huel powders are formulated with a carb, protein, fat, and fiber balance of 37:30:30:3.
Huel black Edition powder has a 50% lower carb content (17 grams total) and 33% higher protein content (40 grams total), great for low-carb dieters.
Note that if you’re not into sweetness or flavors, there are unsweetened/unflavoured options available too.
Now let’s discuss the key ingredients in Huel powders, (we can tell you already that there’s nothing alarming or dangerous lurking).
Huel even assures that Huel is safe for children over 4, and pregnant women (though medical advice is strongly advised here).
Main ingredients are:
- Oats: provide healthy carbohydrates and fiber.
- Pea protein: a meat-free, dairy-free protein source.
- Ground flaxseed: provides healthy fats and fiber.
- Kombucha tea powder: provides B vitamins 4.
- Kelp: kelp is included because it is rich in iodine, great for supporting the thyroid.
- Sucralose (sweetener): Sucralose is a zero-calorie, zero-carb sweetener used in very tiny amounts 5.
- Acerola cherries: provide lots of vitamin C.
Other ingredients are:
- MCT powder from coconuts.
- Vitamins D2 and D3.
- Calcium carbonate.
How Does Huel Powder Work?
Huel powder should not be seen or used as a dietary supplement, diet shake, or protein shake, it is a full meal replacement.
It provides your body with carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber needed for energy, muscle support, good bowel function, and decent calorie intake.
The 27 vitamins and minerals cover the recommended daily value (or a percentage of, if you have one serving per day) to keep your body nourished and functioning.
In terms of weight loss, if that’s your goal, Huel works by helping to achieve a calorie deficit.
For example, if you usually eat a breakfast of 600 calories, followed by a snack of 250 calories, but you replace both with 1 Huel serving, you are creating a calorie deficit of 450 calories.
You could then follow on with your usual healthy lunch and dinner without changing anything.
Do this 7 days a week and you’ve created a calorie deficit of 3150 which would translate to just under 1 pound of fat loss.
Huel Powder Benefits
- Fast and easy to use when in a rush or “on the road”.
- Provides balanced macros.
- Provides 27 vital minerals and vitamins.
- Helps with achieving a calorie deficit.
- Helps to prevent mindless or calorie-dense snacking.
How To Use Huel Powder?
Huel powders are very simple to use, just add two scoops to a shaker, fill with water, and shake until smooth.
You can choose to replace one, all, or some of your daily meals with Huel.
Huel Powder Side Effects
When transitioning from “real food” to meal replacement drinks, some side-effects may be expected.
This is due to the change in the digestive process and perhaps an adjustment in macronutrients and fiber intake.
Potential Huel powder side effects may include:
- Stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Is Huel Powder A Scam?
No, Huel is certainly not a scam.
It is a legitimate company with a clear mission and well-documented products.
It offers a relatively simple idea and delivers on the promise: to provide balanced and nutritional meat replacements.
Huel Powder Reviews & Complaints
Huel has 4.5 stars on TrustPilot, which bodes very well for their overall customer satisfaction.
Many positive reviews focus on the ease of use, convenience, and the way Huel prevents the user from making bad food choices.
“I enjoy using Huel, shift work can be difficult making nutritious meals early in the morning, Huel solves the problem and stops me eating unhealthy food”.
Others have praised the Huel team and the promptness of delivery:
“I unexpectedly ran out of Huel and was able to get a new batch the next day thanks to the staff behind the scenes.”
Some have found that it fuels their workouts and provides muscle-building protein without the need for meat:
“This stuff is AMAZING! As someone who struggles to eat enough protein a day, this is the best thing I have tried! I work out twice a day and have been struggling to keep my muscle due to the lack of protein. I can now feel and see the difference in my body. I love it. I can’t handle meat or whey protein, but my stomach has no problem with Huel.”
However, no product gets 5 stars every time.
While most Huel customers are happy, there are some negative reviews.
Interestingly, despite the many positive reviews praising Huel customer service, many negative reviews complain of late shipping, poor contact options, and difficulties with canceling the recurring subscription.
“Not once have I gotten my shipment on time. I really like Huel and it helps me alot but if I can’t rely on it being on time it messes with my routines. Which is sad.”
“Tried to cancel my order and it got sent out and I got charged anyway.”
Others have complained about the flavor and texture of Huel powder drinks, for example:
“So taste, personally I think it’s disgusting. Imagine cold ready break with lumps and you’ve got it. The after taste is like what can only be described as wet cardboard. The chocolate taste is hideous and is so sweet as they try to mask the taste with sweetener”.
Huel Powder: Packages, Prices & Where To Buy It
Money Back Guarantee
Unopened Huel Powder pouches can be returned for a full refund within 30 days of purchase.
However, you need to cover shipping costs.
See below how the official site looks like.
Huel Powder Pros & Cons
Huel Powder Review: Final Verdict
Huel powder is a well-balanced meal replacement backed by experts.
It follows a philosophy of smart, easy, and healthy nutrition without gimmicks or silly claims.
However, there is more to meal replacements in general than simply the nutritional profile.
Some experts say that meal replacements should be taken with caution due to the risk of emotional and mental side-effects.
These may be based around food or calorie obsession, or a feeling of isolation from social activities where food will be present.
In saying that, these are personal concerns to be addressed, and do not directly relate to Huel as a product.
Huel could be great for shift-workers, or those who need a super-quick breakfast or lunch during a busy work day.
This can help to avoid making nutrient-poor and expensive food choices when you’re unprepared.
It’s best to consult your doctor or nutritionist before making the transition to meal replacements.
They can advise you on how many Huel meal replacements you should have per day, and prepare you for any possible initial side effects.
We laid out the facts, will you buy Huel Powder? Comment below and tell us what you think!