Around all corners of the fitness world I often come across new products, as well as hear murmurings of the latest trends from what people are trying out in order to improve their fitness, to what they’re consuming to give their health that advantage.
Recently I came across Huel and wanted to see what it was all about.
It was my friend at work who’d frequent be visiting the water fountain and shaking his shaker vigorously that first caught my attention. Was this just another protein shake or was it something different?
He raved about it when I asked and I wanted to find out more so I decided to get in touch with Huel directly. Huel were very confident in their product and brand and asked me to write an honest account of my first-hand experiences with the product and see for myself what all the fuss was about.
What is Huel?
Huel is shorthand for the term ‘Human Fuel’ and is described as a ‘convenient, balanced, nutritionally complete alternative’. It comes in powder form and is a healthy nutritionally complete food that offers the consumer an alternative to the usual junk food that’s usually more convenient than a healthy alternative.
It’s made from all sustainable ingredients including oats, peas, rice, flaxseed, coconut, as well as an original vitamin and mineral blend. It’s also high in protein and fibre and low in sugar.
How I Wanted To Use It
My first impressions of this product were just how adaptable it could be towards my own health and fitness lifestyle. I could use it as an alternative meal if I was short on time, or as a replacement to my usual protein, however my main goal was to keep myself full in-between meals so that I wasn’t reaching for that bag of crisps or chocolate bar whenever I got hungry.
I poured 400ml of water into the Huel shaker, then added 3 scoops of Huel, shook it like crazy, topped it with 170ml of water and gave it a final shake.
My concern in the past was always the sugar content of protein shakes and blends which would be my alternative to an unhealthy snack. Often their sugar was high in order to make it taste good, but the fact that I knew Huel was low in sugar gave me some concern that perhaps it’s taste had been compromised.
These concerns were quickly forgotten. I took my first mouthful and was pleasantly surprised by the taste. It tasted like a vanilla milkshake with a hint of coconut which I really enjoyed. Huel also offers ‘flavour boosts’ too which means you can adapt the taste if you want to. This may come in handy if you fancy a change every so often, however I was more than happy to stick the original flavour.
The consistency was slightly lumpy but I didn’t mind that either. The booklet that arrives with your first order explains that you can blend it for a smoother texture if you want to, however throughout the two weeks since I’ve been using Huel I never once had a need to blend it. If you’re used to eating porridge or overnight oats I doubt the slight lumpiness would be of any concern!
I’ll admit that the first shake did give my stomach a few turns. Probably because it wasn’t used to this type of nutrition, however a few shakes later and it was back to normal.
The Real Benefits of Huel
Without sounding like I have shares in the company (I don’t by the way!) the benefits of Huel far outweigh any drawbacks of the product.
Firstly if you’re not really into your cooking Huel will give you many nutritional benefits that you may or may not even receive from a home-cooked meal.
I also love how adaptable the product really is. I would make a 4-scoop shake in the mornings, then go to the gym and have some of it afterwards for my immediate protein-intake. I’d then take the rest out with me when I felt hungry instead of grabbing my nearest snack. Finally I’d have the rest after my evening meal as a ‘dessert’.
That was what worked for me but you can also use it to help you lose weight. Even though it’s not designed specifically as a meal replacement, you can use it this way and you know you’ll get a nutritional advantage from it.
The same way you can use it to gain weight by conveniently increasing your calorie intake through consuming a number of Huel shakes per day in additional to what you usually eat.
What also made it stand out from any blend I’d tried in the past was that if I didn’t get through it all that day I could put it back in the fridge overnight and have it the next morning without it tasting any different. The same cannot be said for protein shakes which often taste awful if you don’t consume them within a few hours!
I could go on about the benefits but the last thing I’ll point out is that they have a dedicated forum on their website that allows users to discuss anything Huel-related. It’s very active and feels very much like a real community that you want to be part of. Even the Huel employees respond quickly and get involved in the discussions so you’re never on your own if you’re struggling.
I think the only concern about Huel would be the high amount of protein you could end up consuming if you used the product as a full replacement of all your meals. For instance 4 shakes per day with 3 scoops in each would provide you with 147.5g of protein which is 295% of your recommended daily allowance.
In the long-run this could cause some health issues however it’s not how I’d intend on using it. In fact for me it offers more protein than my usual brand of protein powder!
For a while now I’ve been looking for alternative foods that are low in sugar to help fuel my diet and lifestyle. Huel ticks so many boxes and although it’s only been a few weeks with the product I couldn’t be happier.
If I had the option to design my own nutritional shake I’d want it to be low in sugar, high in protein, made from natural ingredients with plenty of vitamins and minerals, and be able to save some for later or the next morning and still have it taste the same.
Huel has done exactly that which is why this is such a positive review. I cannot honestly remember when I was this passionate about a new product I’ve reviewed since first starting my blog.
Oh and it would be low in price too which this is! A month’s supply costs £45 which works out around £1.50 per meal for a whole month. So you really can’t go wrong with the product, I’m so glad I got the opportunity to try it out. Since I began with it I’ve stayed away from unhealthy snacks, felt better during my training sessions and ran my first-ever 8 mile run!
I’m definitely convinced!
To find out more about Huel visit their website by clicking here