While Huel is an enticingly popular choice of protein shake, it isn’t your only option. In fact, there are plenty of Huel alternatives to choose from in the UK.
There’s a huge choice of delicious shakes out there that serve as a nutritionally complete food. They have all the essential vitamins and minerals you could need to fight it out in the gym. Or, perhaps you simply want to use them as a great-tasting meal-replacement option for lunch on the go.
We tested a variety of shakes to discover the best option. Although a few shakes on our list could easily vie for the top spot, our favourite is Feel Complete Meal. As you will see, this shake offers much more than pretty much any of the other meal replacement products out there.
Our Top Rated Huel Alternative
Huel Alternatives: Our Comprehensive Review
- 1 Huel Alternatives: Our Comprehensive Review
- 2 Why Is Huel So Popular?
- 3 Huel Meal Replacements: The Options
- 4 The Benefits Of Huel & Alternatives
- 5 Huel FAQs
- 6 Final Thoughts on Huel Alternatives
While Huel shakes are one of the best-selling meal replacements out there, many more choices are available.
Unsure which to choose?
Don’t worry; we’ve done the hard work, so you don’t have to. We’ve researched, tested and tasted 9 of Huel’s biggest competitors to bring you a comprehensive review of the best Huel alternatives available.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of it, starting with our favourite and working backwards.
Feel Complete Meal
Composed of everything you should expect from a healthy meal, Feel Complete meal is a vegan friendly meal replacement shake. It’s got pea protein, oats, hemp protein, and 60% of the essential daily vitamins required. With a total of 29 vitamins and minerals, it is one of the superior meal replacements in terms of providing as much good stuff for your body as possible.
Feel Meal Replacement has an ample amount of essential fats, vitamins, minerals, fibre and brown rice protein. The total plant protein comes to 22.8g per serving and 210 calories.
During our testing we found the taste – or rather the flavour – to be pleasant. There was a slight, subtle chalkiness but not enough to make this an unpleasant drink and a good mixing resolved this issue.
There is currently only one flavour of these shakes on the market. So, if variety is your thing, continually ingesting vanilla flavour may not be the ideal choice. Since we tested it, Feel have tweaked their packaging but we have been assured by Feel that the product itself is exactly the same.
It is ideal for those who are conscious of their carbon footstep and the environment. Anyone who values this will be glad to know that the packaging the powder comes in is completely free from plastic and, therefore, biodegradable.
A potential downside to this eco-conscious branding is that there is no scoop provided (edit – first time orders now come with a free shaker and free wooden scoop). So unless you have one already at home, you may have to deal with using a spoon and your kitchen scales – not exactly a deal breaker though.
- 100% recyclable packaging
- Excellent source of vitamins and minerals
- Completely vegan
- Currently only comes in Vanilla flavour
PhenQ Meal Shake
The Meal Shake from PhenQ has 100% no sugar and is completely free from gluten. In fact, everything that makes up this delicious shake is natural.
It comes in three flavours: Chocolate Brownie, Vanilla Ice Cream and Strawberries & Cream. The range is more limited than Huel, which comes in six flavours, yet there’s still enough choice to keep things interesting.
Each of the three flavours tastes rich and sweet but not overly sweet that it becomes sickly. Best of all, the Meal Shake is probably the most filling of all the Huel alternatives we have tried and tested.
There’s 16g of protein in each serving (including yellow pea protein) alongside a micronutrient blend that comprises Folic Acid as well as a host of vitamins. As well as this, it’s 100% vegan,
In terms of the cost, each serving of the plant-based protein blend works out at £2, making it a slightly more expensive alternative to Huel.
- Greatly reduces hunger and keeps you feeling full for longer
- Suitable for those who are intolerant to gluten
- Vegan friendly
- Comes with a 60-day guarantee if you aren’t 100% satisfied
- It can only be purchased directly from the PhenQ website and isn’t sold by third-parties
Created with 27 vitamins and minerals, Rootana is also free from artificial sweeteners. The only sweetener is coconut sugars, which are natural and a much healthier option than stevia.
Within Rootana you’ll find 20g of protein and 7g of fibre, so it’s ideal if you want to ditch unhealthy food and get the right amount of nutrients.
Rootana is created from oats. It is a tasty shake, and as it can keep you full for longer, it can help promote healthy weight loss or help maintain a healthy weight – almost working as an appetite suppressant.
When it comes to taste, we found Rootana to be very appealing. Although the flavour isn’t strong, it will definitely allow you to make delicious smoothies or a refreshing drink on its own.
- Very tasty flavours
- Good balance of macronutrients
- Keeps you fuller for longer
- Only three flavours to choose from: Original, Dark Chocolate or Vanilla.
Instant Knockout Complete
Instant Knockout Complete was originally designed to help boxers and MMA fighters keep in optimum fitness and lose weight safely before a fight. This shake is a great option for those who want to lose weight the healthy way.
The key with Instant Knockout is that it targets fat while allowing you to keep lean muscle mass. This is an extremely important concept in the world of mixed martial arts and boxing.
Packed with plant-based protein, Instant Knockout is also high in both protein and fibre. This helps make it filling, meaning you won’t be tempted to pop to the kitchen cupboard for a bite of something you shouldn’t. In terms of fat, this alternative to Huel almost exclusively uses MCT oil, meaning you only get the right type of fat that your body requires.
This meal replacement uses superfoods such as golden flaxseed and chia seeds. These are both known to be great for digestion.
- Packed with healthy fats that are good for your heart
- High in both protein and fibre
- Specially created with weight loss in mind
- Vegan proteins prevents bloat associated with whey protein isolate
- Comes in one flavour only – vanilla
Marketed as meal replacement product to help with weight loss, ShapeShakes are designed to gently ease you into a calorie deficit and leave you feeling full up for longer. We have to say that this alternative to Huel wasn’t the most filling meal replacement we sampled, but it does taste good.
They are only two flavours to choose from, Vanilla and Chocolate, which means the product may become a bit boring over time. That being said, it is a complete meal will all the essential nutrients. It’s high in fibre, with 24 vitamins and minerals as well as digestive enzymes. Unlike many of the other shakes we discovered, this one shouldn’t be mixed with milk, only water.
- Low-calorie complete meal
- Specially designed to help you lose weight
- Contains Whey protein concentrate for muscle growth and lean muscle mass
- Limited flavours to choose from
- Not vegan-friendly as it contains whey milk protein isolate
MyProtein Meal Replacement Blend
One of Huel’s biggest rivals is Myprotein, and it’s not difficult to understand why.
With over 50 flavours to choose from, Huel’s six-flavour selection pales into insignificance. As we can’t list all the flavours available here, even though we wanted to, we focused on five of the most popular. These included Natural Strawberry, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Chocolate Brownie, and Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Each of the flavours we sampled was extremely tasty and could easily be mistaken for milkshakes. If you prefer, you can add milk to these instead of water. Although not quite as healthy, it makes the meal replacement richer and more indulgent.
One thing these shakes have over Huel is how easy they are to mix together. You won’t fall foul of any big clumps of powder or a grainy texture, and you don’t have to reach for the blender if you don’t want to. A simple shaker is more than enough to mix the powder and liquid together.
Within each serving is 17g of protein and 4g of fibre. Both of these are key to keeping you full for longer and keeping your digestion in perfect working order. My Protein Meal Replacement Blend is ideal for those who hit the gym. The shake will promote lean muscle retention if you are dieting and, therefore, on a calorie deficit.
Even better, you can take up to four servings each day, and thanks to the taste, that’s no bad thing at all!
- Smooth texture
- Huge variety of flavours
- Higher in salt than some other brands of meal replacement shake
SoBody has six flavours to choose from. It is an excellent option for those serious about trying to lose weight while still enjoying a tasty meal replacement.
Lower in calories than Huel, each serving contains just 146 calories. Having this for breakfast or lunch will mean you’re likely taking in much fewer calories than you otherwise would with sugary cereals or a supermarket sandwich. Even if you add semi-skimmed milk to the powder, you’ll still only be consuming just over 200 calories as one of your main meals a day.
One of the major advantages of SoBody Collaslim is the ingredient collagen that’s in every shake. Collagen has a huge range of benefits for the human body.
It’s excellent for keeping skin, hair and nails in perfect condition. It is also known to help prevent the brain from developing Alzheimer’s disease. Collagen does this by fighting back against amyloid-beta proteins which attack the brain. Each serving contains almost 13g of collagen.
As well as collagen, there’s almost an admirable amount of Thiamin, Folic Acid, Potassium, and Vitamins A and D.
SoBody Collaslim also won’t make a substantial dent in your wallet, either. Per serving, the cost works out at well under £1.40, so it’s one of the cheapest meal replacements out there at the minute.
The taste is very nice, and while sweet, it doesn’t taste unnatural.
- Cheap alternative to Huel and other meal replacement shakes
- Rich in collagen
- Low calorie
- None that we could come up with!
foodspring Vegan Shape Shake
The Vegan Shape Shake is another vegan option on our list. It is packed with plant-based protein as well as glucomannan, which acts as an appetite suppressant. Say goodbye to your stomach growling mid-afternoon through that all-important meeting! We found this shake to be very effective at staving off hunger from breakfast until lunchtime.
There’s not just one single source of protein; there are actually three sources of top-quality vegan protein in each shake. Chickpeas, linseed and fava beans also have the added bonus of being a great source of fibre. Fava beans carry plenty of amino acids, and chickpeas give the shake a distinctive creamy texture and delicious taste overall.
A common complaint with vegan shakes is the earthy taste, but there’s none of that with The Vegan Shape Shake. This likely has a lot to do with the addition of the chickpeas.
This shake is gluten-free, meaning that it’s a perfect solution for those with intolerances or coeliac disease. And, if weight loss is your goal, like Huel, this powder is low in calories, with just 220 per serving.
- Low calorie to help promote weight loss
- Great texture
- Packed with essential amino acids
- Not able to suppress your appetite for a long time
Why Is Huel So Popular?
Huel is by far one of the most popular meal replacement shakes on the market. It’s packed with protein and fibre, has a low GI, and is limited in saturated fats. It’s also low in sugar and, on the whole, a very well-balanced meal replacement.
These are just some of the major draws of this meal supplement, but let’s take a closer look at why so many people purchase it.
Reasons behind Huel’s popularity
- Varied flavour options
- Filling, so there’s less chance of snacking in between meals
- Useful for weight loss
- Great for those who may have difficulty swallowing solid foods
- Variety of choices, i.e., powder, pre-mixed
Disadvantages of Huel
- Huel may be a little too high in protein and calories for some (30g/400cals)
- Regardless of which type of powder you choose, a meal replacement shake from Huel isn’t going to suit everyone’s budget
- Not everyone likes the taste of Huel. While some people find it bland, others don’t like the texture and consistency. For that reason, many seek out a Huel alternative.
- There’s a minimum spend on all Huel products
Huel Meal Replacements: The Options
There are five options when it comes to Huel meal replacement shakes, and we’ll begin by looking at Huel Powder v3.0, Huel Black Edition and Huel Ready To Drink.
Huel Powder v3.0
The Huel Powder v3.0 is the original and most popular of all Huel’s shakes. With 29g of protein, 37g of carbohydrates and 13g of fat, it’s a well-balanced meal replacement. That said, it is slightly higher in carbs than some people would like.
The flavours include banana, chocolate and berries, and the recommended serving has 400 calories. A downside for us was the use of artificial sweeteners in each of the flavours.
As this product can be quite grainy and difficult to mix, we found using a blender made it much more palatable. We poured 200 ml of water alongside two scoops of Huel powder into the blend and blended it for 20 seconds, creating a smooth consistency.
In terms of taste, each flavour is slightly bland but not unappealing. For a kick of something a bit extra, we found adding a touch of ground cinnamon or honey made the taste better.
Huel Black Edition
Huel Black Edition is naturally gluten-free, as there are no oats in any of its flavours. A big bonus for many customers is that it has literally half the carbohydrates of regular Huel and 33% more protein!
There’s no sucralose in it, and it is naturally sweetened by organic coconut sugar and stevia. There’s added green tea extract and pea protein in there, too.
This option has a good range of flavours, including Salted Caramel, Strawberries & Cream (our personal favourite) and Vanilla. There is a total of 400 calories in each recommended serving of 2 scoops, alongside 26 vitamins and minerals.
The powder is placed into the Huel shaker (which will be provided for free on your first purchase), making a thick shake. You do need to shake it well, however. We found that the recommended 10 seconds suggested by Huel isn’t always long enough to get rid of the lumps of powder that form in the water.
If you like a thinner consistency, you can always opt to put more water in and give it another quick shake.
Huel Ready To Drink
With Huel Ready To Drink, the inconvenience of grainy textures is gone. A 500ml bottle of Huel Ready To Drink provides 400kcal and a protein, carbohydrate, and fat ratio of 20:24:19. This is slightly more fat and less protein than you get with standard Huel powder.
This product is convenient for saving on washing up. You don’t need a Huel shaker or a blender because this product is already pre-mixed and ready to drink.
In terms of taste, as we’ve already mentioned there’s no need to worry about a grainy consistency. The flavours in this meal replacement drink taste somewhat more intense, especially the chocolate flavour, which was by far our favourite.
Huel Gluten-free v3.0 & Huel Professional v3.0
Huel Gluten-free has all the benefits of the regular v3.0, except no gluten. It is 100% suitable for those with coeliac disease and those sensitive to foods that contain gluten. The taste isn’t altered too much due to the lack of gluten.
Despite Huel saying that it has improved the consistency of this gluten-free option, the issue of graininess still remained for us. If you want a flawlessly smooth meal substitute, we’d definitely recommend using a blender for this one, too.
Huel Professional v3.0 is specifically designed for professional athletes and is batch-tested by Informed-Sport. Other than that, it is exactly the same as Huel Powder.
Other Huel Options: Hot & Savoury
Huel also has a range of food substitutes called Hot & Savoury, available in the following flavours:
- Thai Green Curry
- Tomato & Herb
- Mexican Chilli
- Sweet & Sour
- Mac & Cheese
- Cajun Pasta
- Chicken & Mushroom Pasta
Similar to the shakes that Huel produces, we found the Hot & Savoury range is easy to make. Simply boil the kettle, add 2 scoops of your chosen flavour to your Huel Pot – this comes with your first order – add the hot water and leave for 5 minutes. Then, stir and consume.
Two scoops of each flavour are 400 calories, but you can double this up if you are feeling particularly hungry.
The Benefits Of Huel & Alternatives
One of the biggest draws to consuming a shake over an actual meal is they are quick and easy to make up and consume.
They are ideal for the daily commute or a quick lunch in the office when you don’t have much time.
They are also the perfect alternative to sugary drinks, which will give you an initial boost of energy but lead to a slump by mid-afternoon.
Some studies have shown that shakes specially designed as a replacement for regular meals are effective at controlling insulin levels and may even help you to remain fuller for longer.
This is a great perk; it means you will be much less likely to fall foul of cravings and overeat.
Burn more fat
There are multiple suggestions that using shakes as part of a healthy diet can have impressive results when it comes to weight loss, in particular, body fat reduction.
Using these drinks has been shown to preserve lean body mass while helping to shed fat.
It’s no secret that stress can very often lead to weight gain. If you work in an intense environment, these shakes could help you to lose extra pounds and maintain an ideal body weight.
One study showed that when firefighters and doctors were given a shake to replace two regular meals daily, it helped them lose weight.
Keep weight off for good
It isn’t just losing weight that these shakes are good for. Meal replacement shakes have been said to be an easy solution to maintaining an ideal weight and not allowing the pounds to quietly slip back on again.
The reason behind this is they keep you feeling much fuller for longer. So, when it’s time for your next meal, you are much less likely to overeat. This is because these meals are packed with healthy alternatives that processed food won’t have.
Packed with nutrients
Meal replacements are able to give your body exactly what it needs. This is because they contain a lot of nutrients, unlike traditional diets. In many cases, these shakes serve as a liquid multi-vitamin, allowing you to top your body up with nutrient-dense goodness.
Eating healthy is becoming more and more expensive these days. The sad truth is it’s usually much cheaper to pick up a fat-laden oven pizza than fix yourself a nutritious meal packed with the stuff your body actually needs.
We already know that meal replacement shakes have you covered with healthy eating. But, you might not have known that shakes can actually be largely more cost-effective than forking out on ingredients for a traditional diet.
The powder shakes also have a long shelf life, so you probably won’t run the risk of them going off before you consume them. Because we are all so busy as life gets in the way, if you are anything like us, you may find that you buy groceries only for them to go out of date and have to be thrown away. This is not a problem with meal replacement shakes.
Reduce blood triglycerides
Heart health is something we should all be mindful of. In the case of soy-based meal replacement shakes, they can actually help to lower triglycerides much more effectively than milk-based products, making them ideal for your heart.
Although it depends on your personal health, Huel can be an effective improvement over the usual Western diet, which is laden with fat and carbs we really don’t need. Huel provides 26 vitamins and minerals in each shake, so it is a great way to get a quick fix of what your body needs without thinking too much about it.
Meal replacement drinks, such as Huel and Huel alternatives, are increasingly popular due to their convenience and ease of use. These healthy meal replacements can be taken on the go and easily fit into any busy lifestyle. They give your body the nutrients it needs without having to worry about meal prep and hitting the supermarket for lots of ingredients.
Although shakes designed to replace meals are generally great for digestive health, due to their nutrient-dense nature, they can cause problems for some individuals.
Commencing a change in diet, including adding shakes into your diet, can induce bloating and flatulence in some. Thankfully, this shouldn’t last more than a couple of days at the most.
In many cases with Huel alternatives, price doesn’t always correlate with quality. Therefore, it’s important not to assume that an alternative to Huel carrying a premium price tag will automatically provide you with a premium-quality shake.
On their own, these shakes are unlikely to help you lose weight. When consumed as part of a nutritionally dense and balanced diet, however, protein shakes can help you to lose weight. Focusing solely on what your body consumes is rarely enough to help you shift those pounds. Consider increasing the amount of exercise you do to lose weight effectively.
There’s no right or wrong time to take a shake as a meal replacement. Some people might prefer having one for breakfast, while others prefer a boost come lunch or dinner time. If you’re busy or travelling, they are great during a commute or post-gym workout. This flexibility is one reason why they prove to be so popular.
Because it is a nutritionally balanced meal replacement, in theory, you can live off Huel.
However, let’s be honest; you’re going to get bored pretty quickly and start to crave ‘real’ food. Possibly, you will start to snack and progress to unhealthy habits if you limit yourself solely to Huel. Remember, moderation is key. If you want to attempt a complete Huel diet, we’d suggest mixing up their Hot & Savoury range with their shakes for a bit of variety.
Final Thoughts on Huel Alternatives
There’s no getting away from the fact that meal replacement shakes are big business. They certainly show no signs of disappearing, having won over a legion of fans in recent years.
As part of a healthy, balanced diet, these shakes can have a massive impact, leaving you more time to get on with the things that really matter to you. Instead of slaving away in the kitchen or constantly popping to the supermarket to buy expensive ingredients or ready meals, you can free up a lot of extra minutes in the day – which soon adds up.
Although shakes can be expensive, their expense is warranted and can even work out cheaper than cooking from scratch. You know exactly what is in the products, regardless of which brand you choose. This means you know that your body is getting a sizable boost with the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep you feeling – and performing – your best.
Whether you want to bulk up, eat healthier, save on time or just enjoy a great-tasting drink, meal replacement shakes can be the perfect addition to many people’s diets and way of life.