Posted on 21 Oct 2015
5 min read
You’re probably wondering what the hell is Huel?
Well, Huel is nutritionally complete human fuel.
And by that I mean it differs from a supplement in that rather than supplementing your diet it can completely replace food.
As they state, Huel is “everything your body needs, nothing more.”
This is a concept I’ve been fascinated with for a long time, as being very busy all the time, working in an office environment and constantly working while on the go means preparing, cooking, transporting and even eating food can become something which is very time consuming.
I’d love to be able to drink all my nutrition and spend the time I usually do meal-prepping doing something more productive or chilling with friends.
So I put the product to the test, to see if it really could replace food, and, more importantly as a burger lover, whether I’d be able to tolerate it.
How does Huel differ from a traditional meal replacement?
Well, a meal replacement powder is usually designed to replace maybe one or two meals a day max, to aid in weight loss.
Huel doesn’t attempt to do this, and instead provides 100% of your nutritional requirements, and then some.
The product comes in a couple of big pouches which will last you a whole seven days for around £45.
You are advised to measure out the powder into either four 125 gram meals or five slightly smaller 100 gram meals, and I opted for the four meals.
The macros are absolutely solid in my opinion, with a 100 gram ‘meal’ containing a nearly perfect:
Probably the most impressive feature of Huel is its ingredients list.
If you’re a London-based vegan, gluten free, restaurant-complaining 100% full-on tosser, you’ll love that it 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.”
And honestly, they really kill it here, particularly when you look at the fact that 2.7 grams of the 13 grams of fat per 100 grams are from Omega 3s, or that 40 grams of carbs contains a silly 0.7 grams of sugar.
You can see that the formula hasn’t cut any corners when it comes to excellent health.
Hats off to James Collier for that formula, and also for including a hefty 150 grams of protein per day.
This is likely more than most people consume in a day and is a welcome sight, especially considering the government’s shitty RDA of 55 grams for a man.
And it contains no dairy.
Basically while you’re on this product, you’ll feel pretty amazing all day.
I’ve heard some say the taste of Huel is unbearable, and a friend who tried it was practically about to puke up while drinking, but I actually quite like it.
It’s a bit like drinking vanilla flavoured cereal, and it’s a very mild taste.
Maybe it’s the years of conditioning my brain to eat the same chicken, rice and broccoli meals, but I really enjoy the taste.
I also hear from their social media that they are working on different sweetness and flavours.
The texture isn’t so great as it’s pretty thick and does actually take quite a while to drink as you have to chug it down slowly.
However, being this thick might have something to do with the fact that it actually makes you feel quite full for a good couple of hours.
It mixes well with 500ml of water in a shaker cup, although I did have a couple of lumps a few times.
I really didn’t want to focus this review on whether the product can be used to completely replace food, as there have been a tonne of these kind of reviews lately, but I also know people want the question answered.
And to put it simply:
No you cannot live off Huel alone.
I lasted a grand total of two days before relapsing and binge eating a full-on greasy burger and chips.
But my reasons might be different from others, purely because of the calories I usually consume (currently 3,600 per day).
This means that a day of Huel was 1,600 less calories, and on the second day I was so hungry after training that I’d already had my day’s worth of Huel by 3pm!
The days I spent on Huel alone I felt great though, probably due to the lack of crappy sugar I was consuming, meaning there weren’t any insulin spikes and resulting crashes.
So what is Huel really for if it can’t replace food?
Well, as the founder Julian says, he uses it all day and then eats a meal with his family in the evening.
And I think this is definitely what it’s for: being a convenient way to get in nutrition in the day, but not replacing all of your food.
And in this sense it’s very good value for money as a week’s supply can quite easily last you two weeks.
While Huel couldn’t replace all of my food, it has more recently become a valuable tool for hacking my diet.
If I’ve run out of meals but know I need to get decent nutrition in, Huel is there.
If I’m travelling around all day and don’t have the option of chilling or reheating my meals, I can carry Huel as insurance, and protection against the emergency supermarket sandwich.
It’s a product that I think would work very well for those camping, training for long periods of time, and just generally for people who want a quick nutrient intake but without feeling like shit.
It made me think of my years at university stuck in a friend’s dorm room sessioning reports three days before hand in, fuelled solely by Monster Energy and biscuits.
If only I had Huel, I might have gotten a first class honours…
You can usually get Huel for the cheapest price by shopping here at Amazon.
And for first orders they also throw in a free t-shirt and blender bottle, which is a nice touch.
Have you tried Huel?
Thinking of giving it a go?
Is it really the future of food?
Sound off in the comments section below!