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Huel Review

Huel boasts meal replacements far beyond the drinks and bars other companies offer. We try it ourselves to see if it’s right for you in 2022.

Last Updated: Jul 1, 2022
Huel Review

Whether it’s a demanding job, strenuous family obligations, or more errands than hours in the day, plenty of things can stand in the way of preparing meals for yourself at home. And for many people, taking the time to prepare healthy, balanced meals is wholly out of the question.

This feeling of being constantly rushed from one thing to the next leads many to rely on fast food for a quick fill-up when they’re on the go. But most fast food is loaded with unhealthy ingredients and often provides more fat than carbs or protein. Regular fast food consumption has been linked with everything from obesity and heart disease to greater mortality rates overall.

Fortunately, companies like Huel offer fast, convenient ways to get healthy, balanced meals without putting off important tasks or spending too much money. And Huel takes their offerings further than most competitors, providing you with drinks, bars, and even hot meals in minutes.

In this review, we’ll look at their products, what’s inside them, and if they’re right for you.

Review Summary

Pros

  • Wide variety of drink flavors
  • Well-balanced macronutrients
  • 100% vegan and non-GMO, with gluten-free products available
  • Hot meals are surprisingly tasty
  • Custom bundling system
  • Strong customer service with great FAQ section and chat support
  • Discounts for military, medical personnel, first responders, and students
  • 10% off with subscriptions

Cons

  • Drinks are too thick for some
  • No organic offerings
  • Prices can vary by flavor

Bottom line

Huel’s variety of meal replacement options makes them one of the best choices for anyone interested in saving some time and money in their diets. They do a great job balancing nutrients to ensure you get the most out of each serving. Gourmet types likely aren’t likely to be too impressed by their flavors and textures, but if you’re someone who eats to live rather than someone who lives to eat, you’ll definitely appreciate what they have available.

Why you should trust us

Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

We extensively test each health service or product we review. Our content provides you, our readers, with an unbiased exploration of at-home health options, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate products and services based on their adherence to quality and the latest medical evidence and health standards. We ask ourselves two simple questions: Would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job? Would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

What is Huel?

Huel is a nutrition company whose primary products are meal replacements. Founded in 2014 by Julian Heam, their goal was to create a meal replacement that could provide the nutrients recommended by the European Food Safety Authority in a vegan and environmentally sustainable product.

Huel has expanded since to include gluten-free products, bulk powders, hot meals, and even apparel for men, women, and children. Today, Huel offers products in the following categories:

  • Pre-mixed meal replacement drinks
  • Meal replacement powder mixes
  • Snack bars
  • Complete protein drinks
  • Complete protein bars
  • Sustainable clothing

The cornerstone protein of their products comes from peas, providing you with a sustainable and nourishing protein that doesn’t suffer from the same pitfalls as soy or whey. They also include a blend of 27 essential vitamins and minerals in nearly everything they make.

Who would benefit most from Huel products?

Huel products are best suited for people without a lot of time or the ability to cook for themselves. Busy professionals, vegans and vegetarians in need of more protein, those with certain disabilities, and athletes are just some of the people for whom Huel is a great fit.

Huel products might be less suitable for people who are strict about consuming organic ingredients and for people whose refined palates might not appreciate Huel’s flavors. They also contain too many carbs for those adhering to ketogenic diets.

Huel products and pricing

Huel’s product lineup is extensive, and prices vary by flavor for some of their offerings. There is no simple price list; you have to add a single flavor to your cart to see its price. That can make comparing one flavor to the next a little tedious, so we’ve gathered prices together for each of Huel’s product categories.

Some products and flavors on Huel’s website include version numbers that appear as “v3.0” or “v3.1.” Huel regularly updates both their flavor options and formulas to continuously give you the best product. When these designations refer to flavor releases, you’ll find multiple version numbers available for a given product. When they refer to updates to a product’s formula, the most recent version will be the only one available.

Discount programs

Huel offers a 10% discount for people in specific professions or situations. You can stack these discounts with the 10% subscription savings to knock extra money off your orders. That discount is available for:

  • Students
  • Military personnel (active and veterans)
  • First responders
  • Medical professionals

Unlike much of the competition, Huel doesn’t offer any discounts to teachers at this time.

Huel also has a refer-a-friend program. When you refer someone to the company and they spend $50 or more, you and your friend both get $15 off any order.

Huel Ready-to-drink

Huel Ready-to-drink meal replacement beverages are the fastest and easiest way to get a meal’s worth of calories and nutrients from Huel. Their macronutrient split provides a good balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber. That extra fiber results in a thicker drink compared to some of the competition. Some people will appreciate that thickness, as it can make the drink feel more like a meal. Others may find the drinks too thick.

Here’s a look at the flavors and pricing for Huel Ready-to-drink meal replacements, sold in boxes of 12:

  Price Price per bottle Price with subscription Price per bottle with subscription
Variety Box v1.0 $57.58 $4.82 $52 $4.33
Variety Box v2.0 $60.56 $5.05 $54.50 $4.54
Chocolate v1.0 $56.11 $4.68 $50.50 $4.21
Vanilla v1.0 $56.11 $4.68 $50.50 $4.21
Iced Coffee Caramel v2.0 $58.59 $4.91 $53 $4.42
Banana v1.0 $56.11 $4.68 $50.50 $4.21
Strawberry Shortcake v2.0 $58.59 $4.91 $53 $4.42
Berry v1.0 $56.11 $4.68 $50.50 $4.21
Cinnamon Roll v2.0 $58.59 $4.91 $53 $4.42
Salted Caramel v2.0 $58.59 $4.91 $53 $4.42

Variety boxes contain three bottles of each version 1.0 or version 2.0 flavor. In addition to the flavors and prices, there are some key differences in nutrients between versions 1.0 and 2.0:

  Version 1.0 Version 2.0
Protein 20g 22g
Fat 19g 18g
Sweetener Artificial Natural

Huel Powders

Huel Powders contain similar formulas as the company’s Ready-to-drink meal replacements, but you choose how much to mix into a given liquid and what that liquid will be (such as water or milk). Each bag contains 17 meals, and you must order a minimum of two bags on the Huel website unless you create a custom bundle with other products.

There are three versions of Huel Powder:

  • Huel Powder v3.0
  • Huel Gluten-free v3.0
  • Huel Black Edition

Huel Powder v3.0

Huel Powder v3.0 is the third formula released for Huel Powder. It contains 29-31g of protein (mostly from peas), depending on which flavor you get.

Huel Powder v3.0 in the Cinnamon Roll flavor costs $46.11 per bag without a subscription and $41.50 per bag with a subscription.

All other flavors cost $41.67 per bag without a subscription and $37.50 per bag with a subscription.

Those other flavors are:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Caffe Latte
  • Berry
  • Salted Caramel
  • Banana
  • Peanut Butter
  • Original
  • Unflavored & Unsweetened

Huel Powder Gluten-free v3.0

Huel’s gluten-free powders have identical ingredient lists as their non-gluten-free powders. No Huel powder contains glutenous ingredients, but oats and other ingredients can suffer cross-contamination that prevents the company from calling a product gluten-free. Huel Powder Gluten-free v3.0 is manufactured in a gluten-free facility with ingredients that have been shielded from cross-contamination.

Huel’s gluten-free powders contain 29-30g of protein per serving.

The price difference between regular v3.0 powder and gluten-free v3.0 powder is negligible — usually pennies per bag — so if you’re sensitive to gluten in any way, it’s well worth the additional cost.

Like the regular v3.0 powder, the Cinnamon Roll flavor is slightly more expensive, coming in at $51.67 per bag without a subscription and $46.50 per bag with a subscription. All other gluten-free flavors cost $47.22 per bag without a subscription and $42.50 per bag with a subscription.

Those other flavors are:

  • Salted Caramel
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Banana
  • Berry
  • Caffe Latte
  • Unflavored and Unsweetened
  • Original

Huel Black Edition

Huel Black Edition is one of the company’s most protein-rich products, with 39-41g per serving. These powders also have fewer carbs than either v3.0 powder. That makes Black Edition ideal for those trying to build or preserve muscle and those trying to lose weight.

Every flavor of Huel Black Edition is gluten-free, and the pricing lines up between the two nearly identically.

The Black Edition Cookies & Cream and Cinnamon Roll flavors cost $51.67 per bag without a subscription and $46.50 per bag with a subscription. All other gluten-free flavors cost $47.22 per bag without a subscription and $42.50 per bag with a subscription.

Those other flavors are:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Banana
  • Salted Caramel
  • Coffee Caramel
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Unflavored and Unsweetened
  • Peanut Butter

Flavor Boosts

Huel sells another product under their powder umbrella that they call Flavor Boosts. You can add these to any flavor of Huel Powder to get the taste that pleases you most. For example, you could double down on a flavor to make it more powerful or mix something like a banana flavor into a peanut butter powder for a more complex flavor experience.

Ten flavors are available in 100g pouches that offer you 33 servings.

Those ten flavors are:

  • Apple Cinnamon
  • Banana
  • Chocolate
  • Mint Chocolate
  • Mocha
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Salted Caramel
  • Strawberry
  • Gingerbread

You can also buy a sampler pack of all ten Flavor Boosts to see which ones you might like.

A 100g pouch of Flavor Boost costs $8 regardless of subscription status. The sampler pack costs $5.

Huel Hot & Savory

One downside to most meal replacement drinks is that they tend to be sweet. For many, the idea of drinking a sweet beverage for dinner doesn’t sit quite right. To account for this, Huel put together a lineup of Hot & Savory meals. When it comes time to eat, you’ll combine a measured amount of these dehydrated ingredients with hot water and have a meal ready to eat in just a few minutes.

Insider Tip: If you’re worried about leaving your bag open and spoiling remaining meals, or you want to travel with your Huel Hot & Savory meals, we recommend measuring them out into individual Ziplocks upon your bag’s arrival. This is also a great way to take nutritious meals with you when traveling or camping.

Dehydrated meals like these often contain multiple preservatives and almost an entire day’s worth of sodium. But Huel’s meals land between 400 and 640mg of sodium per serving, which is significantly lower than other options.

Our testers found their Hot & Savory meals took a little getting used to. The first few bites were strange, but not unappealing. By the end of their first servings, everyone seemed to like what they’d gotten.

All flavors of Huel Hot & Savory meals cost $29.22 per bag without a subscription and $26.30 with a subscription. That comes out to just $3.76 per meal. However, there’s a three-bag minimum unless you’re bundling these with other products.

Here are the available flavors of Huel Hot & Savory:

  • Mac & Cheeze
  • Cajun Pasta
  • Mexican Chili
  • Thai Green Curry
  • Yellow Coconut Curry
  • Spicy Indian Curry
  • Tomato & Herb
  • Sweet & Sour
  • Chick’n & Mushroom Pasta

Huel Bar v3.1

Huel Bars are not complete meal replacements in the same way that their pre-mixed drinks are. They still contain the company’s blend of 27 essential vitamins and minerals in slightly smaller quantities. However, they only offer 200 calories per bar with 11-12g of protein. It’s better to think of Huel Bars as healthy snacks when you’re in a pinch.

Huel Bars come in six flavors, all of which are gluten-free:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate Orange
  • Raspberry & White Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel
  • Coffee Caramel

A box of any one flavor costs $35 without a subscription or $31.50 with a subscription. Boxes contain 15 bars each, and there’s a two-box minimum order.

A variety box is also available that provides three bars of each flavor for $38 without a subscription or $34.20 with a subscription.

Huel Complete Protein

While Huel Black Edition boasts the highest protein content among their meal replacements, the company’s Complete Protein is a way to get complete, plant-based protein into your diet with far fewer calories than you’ll find in Huel’s meal replacements. The bars and powder are also significantly lower in fat and carbs.

If you’re trying to lose weight or looking for a way to supplement an otherwise complete diet with added protein, this is an outstanding way to do it.

Huel Complete Protein Powder comes in six flavors:

  • Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  • Vanilla Caramel
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Banana Pudding
  • Salted Caramel
  • Unsweetened & Unflavored

One bottle has 26 servings and costs $36.11 without a subscription or $32.50 per bottle with a subscription. Note that there is a two-bottle minimum.

Complete Protein Bars come in four flavors:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Salted Caramel
  • Banana Pudding
  • Raspberry

One box contains 12 bars and costs $41.67 without a subscription and $37.50 with a subscription. There is also a variety box available at the same price. As with Huel’s other bars, there is a two-box minimum.

Huelwear

Many nutrition companies offer their own merchandise to customers, but Huel is one of the few with a commitment to sustainability. Their gear isn’t just about getting the company’s name out there; it’s also about giving their customers access to comfortable shirts, pants, and hats that are made sustainably. Each garment is made from 100% recycled materials, and the company is working on creating a circular system that will allow you to recycle the clothes when you’re done with them.

Huelwear items include:

  • T-shirts
  • Workout shirts
  • Jeans
  • Sweatpants
  • Hoodies
  • Knit hats
  • Baseball caps
  • Leggings
  • Sports bras

Prices for these goods are a little high. For example, a baseball cap costs $35, and a zip-up men’s hoodie costs $99. But if you share Huel’s commitment to sustainability, you’ll find those prices align with the rest of the sustainable clothing market.

Payments, shipping, and returns

Huel accepts payments from major credit cards, Apple Pay and PayPal. They also partner with Klarna to create installment payments if you need to split the cost over a payment plan.

Shipping from Huel is usually pretty fast (around five business days for our testers). It’s also free for most orders over $59 to the lower 48 states in the U.S. Orders under $59 receive a nominal $5 shipping charge.

You can return unopened food products within 30 days for a full refund. Any opened food products are not eligible for a refund. The same applies to clothing items, but there’s more flexibility in item packaging if you merely need to exchange a clothing item for a different size or color.

Huel FAQ

Is Huel good for you?

Huel is better for you than just about anything else that’s anywhere near as convenient. Their drinks and powders contain plenty of essential vitamins and minerals, and their macronutrient balance is excellent. That said, we’d recommend you use Huel as part of an otherwise balanced diet rich in fresh foods.

Is Huel vegan?

All of Huel’s products are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. They also have a selection of gluten-free products and even a few that are designated FODMAP-friendly for those with IBS or similar digestive issues.

Can you drink Huel every day?

It’s certainly possible to drink Huel every day. Our testers used Huel on a daily basis for weeks on end with no noticeable side effects. But they only had one Huel drink per day with an occasional bar as a snack. We wouldn’t recommend living exclusively on Huel products, but there’s nothing wrong with moderate daily consumption.

Is Huel a good recovery drink?

Athletes can use Huel as a recovery drink to prevent muscle loss or aid in muscle gain, depending on the type of exercise they’re doing. In most instances, Huel Black Edition would be the best choice for recovery, thanks to its superior protein and calorie content.

How we evaluate health products and services

At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service or product. In general, we have five broad evaluation areas, including:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) or product(s)? How is advanced technology used for accuracy and safety? What evidence of effectiveness exists to justify the company’s approach? Our manufacturing standards of high quality?

User-friendliness: How intuitive and convenient is the service or product? To what degree is the company interface helpful and understandable?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?

Privacy: If health data is stored, is it stored securely? Are payments secure? Does the company market your information?

Customer support: With personalized products and services, how well does the company address your individual needs? If a product or service does not work for you, are there satisfaction guarantees or return policies that protect you?