Drink and ride
The idea of a product like Huel has been around for a while, as a way of consuming everything a human could need, from one simple source.
Human fuel, that’s tea and cake, right? Not for Huel (a blend of human and fuel, get it?). It has concocted a replacement for normal food, condensing all you need down into a few scoops of powder and 700ml of water. But does it work?
No cooking and no preparation, other that the shake of a bottle. It makes sense from an ethical point of view; there is minimal wastage. As the powder can be stored for up to a year, there’s little worry of it going off either. It’s healthy and convenient too.
Fast food is usually seen as unhealthy, but here we have a meal ready in less than a minute. And apart from being fast, it’s claimed to be good for you too, thanks to minimal fats and sugars.
What’s it made from?
Oats, peas, rice, flaxseed, coconut, sunflower, sea salt and a blend of vitamins and minerals. It’s offered in two base flavours: natural, and vanilla. You can then purchase separate flavour pouches for more variety, or add your own.
On paper then, why would you need anything else when in theory everything you need is contained in the minimalist white pouch?
As we all know, what’s on paper does not always translate to the real world… Huel seems to understand this, and instead of marketing it as a total meal replacement product, it suggests you still eat one normal meal a day.
How does it drink?
We tried the unflavoured, unsweetened version of Huel; this has a slight oaty, floury, watery taste and a slightly lumpy texture. At first it was a little off-putting, but we soon became accustomed to it, and even began to like the neutral taste.
Sticking to the plan of various Huel meals throughout the day, and one normal meal, we did genuinely notice a positive difference. One hidden benefit of Huel is that by mixing it with water, it keeps you well-hydrated. Combine that with consuming numerous small portions of Huel throughout the day, and we felt like energy levels stayed fairly constant.
Also it’s hard to describe, but we did ‘feel’ healthy. The biggest problem comes if you let yourself get seriously hungry, like after a big ride. At that point, only real food will do the job.
Are we still on Huel after three days?
No, but we think it’s a great product to have about the house, for that odd time you need some quick food before a ride, or a last-minute breakfast, or as a recovery drink after a big day in the saddle.
The rest of the time, we crave proper food, and believe there is no substitute for a well-balanced meal made from fresh ingredients.
However, if you wanted to try and lose weight, or keep it in check, it’s a great tool to have. The combination of Huel and water does fill you up and maintain energy levels, while being relatively low in calories. Huel costs £45 for 3.5kg (28 meals).