If you’re considering Huel as a meal replacement, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects.
Huel is made up of plant-based ingredients, so it’s generally considered safe for most people. However, some people may experience adverse reactions to the ingredients in Huel.
The most bothersome side effect of Huel is the awful farts, and users believe that Huel pouches should come with a warning for it.
Other general side effects that you may encounter are nausea, headache, thirst, and other digestive symptoms.
Some suspected side effects that may show up in the case of long-term use of Huel are metabolic disorders and memory problems.
While there are better Huel alternatives in the market – if you’re looking for a better replacement without the below effects that that comes when using Huel – consider:
- PhenQ – Complete Meal Replacement shake
- The Protein Works – Complete 360 Meal
- Instant Knockout Complete meal shakes
Keep reading to find out the complete list of Huel side effects and what you can do to avoid them.
6 Huel Side Effects
Huel might be the most nutritionally complete diet out there, but this won’t help disregard some of its potential side effects.
While there are always some thorns with every rose that prick and hurt a little. Most Huel side effects may not be that damaging to health but rather embarrassing. Well, damage to the reputation still hurts, doesn’t it? The high fiber and sweeteners in Huel are to blame as they may not be very gut-friendly for everyone.
As this is just one of the minuses of Huel, scroll down to find out what other short-term and long-term side effects are likely to dawn upon you if you decide to put yourself on the Huel diet.
1. Gas formation
Users complain of excessive flatulence and foul-smelling farts that linger in the atmosphere for much longer.
One Reddit user explained them as smelling as ‘bad eggs and peas.’
The majority on the internet agree that Huel making you gassy is the worst side effect due to the embarrassment that it brings.
But for some people, this symptom may ease off at varying periods like within a month or the initial one or two weeks of consumption.
However, you can’t be too sure as for others; it is a persistent con that comes with the Huel diet.
The excessive flatulence may be linked to the high fiber content of Huel, and this Hueler considers spraying coconut oil on the Huel meal as a solution to this problem as it aids digestion.
2. Digestive Issues
Digestive issues have to be the most widely reported side effect of Huel.
I scrolled through their website and Reddit Huel horror stories just to find out that nearly every other Huel user has experienced some stomach problem after shifting to Huel, mostly after replacing two meals with it.
Among these Huel side effects, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramps, gagging, and bloating are some to name.
This side effect may be due to the high fiber content, which varies between 124-143% of the recommended daily intake.
Probiotics and sweeteners like stevia and sucralose might be another cause too.
Or it could be merely because of the body adjusting to the high protein and macronutrient content of Huel powders.
3. Acid Reflux/Heartburn
Heartburn or acid reflux is also one of the Huel complaints.
Acid reflux/ heartburn may be linked to the raw oats, high fiber, protein, or fat content of Huel products, but I can’t be sure.
People manifesting this side effect on consuming the chocolate flavor makes sense, as chocolate might trigger acid reflux.
But others who are using gluten-free, vanilla-sweetened, or unsweetened powders have also reported getting similar symptoms.
Decreasing the number of scoops in Huel shakes has not helped users, and everyone on the website agreed that from what they have worked out, Huel seems to be the only cause based on their experience.
However, for some people, Huel shakes have improved symptoms of GERD, so this is an overall strange phenomenon that needs more research to trace out the actual triggers.
If you want to continue taking Huel, some users have recommended making the Huel shakes thinner and watery or taking omeprazole to relieve the symptoms.
Otherwise, the symptoms seemed to subside for people who gave up on it.
Another side effect reported in Huel negative review is ‘headaches’ which users define as sharp splitting, nauseous, and migraine-like, typically starting within 10 to 30 minutes of Huel consumption.
Users have found relief in discontinuing Huel and retaking it triggers the pain, so Huel does seem to be causing it.
The reason could be sensitivity to specific ingredients such as the artificial sugar sucralose, as reported in this case report.
But then again, to pinpoint the exact cause, researchers need to look into the mystery.
5. Rash and Skin Problems
Some Huel users on Reddit have reported skin rashes with Huel consumption.
But research is needed to find the link between eczema relapse and Huel use.
Users suspect gluten or sweeteners to be the culprits, which may rightly be so, as this report serves as evidence of the potential of plant-derived stevia to cause atopic eczema.
But no matter what the case, only comparative trials can confirm the facts.
6. Brain disorders
The high linoleic acid (omega 3 fatty acid) and soybean oil content may bring about adverse changes in the brain and body functions, consequently causing the effects to stay for longer.
The University of California compiled this article in 2020.
It includes the research that hints at potential side effects like fatty liver, diabetes, obesity, and neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression due to linoleic acid and soybean oil.
But extensive clinical trials with Huel are needed to undermine this suspicion.
FAQs on Huel Side Effects
What are the downsides to Huel?
Here are some downsides of Huel.
- It is not sustainable – you may regain weight after giving up the Huel diet.
- Its high fiber content may cause digestive issues.
- Everyone does not enjoy the taste and consistency of Huel powders.
Is a Huel diet safe?
Yes, the Huel diet is generally considered safe for consumption, and nutritionists believe it is an effective meal replacement.
Customer reviews have termed Huel a miracle diet for cancer patients. It is vegan, diabetics friendly, and the low FODMAPS formulation makes it suitable for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Coeliacs can consume gluten-free options in Huel. But you need to look out for allergens such as soy and lactose if they bother you.
Is Huel healthy long term?
It’s certainly possible to use Huel as a sole source of nutrition, and people have done so successfully for extended periods of time.
That said, it’s not necessarily the healthiest way to go about things in the long run, in my opinion.
The problem with depending on Huel (or any meal replacement shake/powder) as your sole source of nutrition is that you’re missing out on important nutrients that you can only get from whole foods. Things like fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals are essential for good health, but they’re not present in Huel (or other similar products).
This means that if you’re relying on Huel year-round, you could be putting your health at risk. Plus the side effects that comes with these supplements too.
How much does Huel cost?
The cost of Huel products per serving and the whole bag is as follows:
- Huel white powder costs £1.68 per meal and£28.50 per bag.
- Huel black powder costs $2.21 per meal and$37.50 per bag.
- Huel Hot and Savoury cost$3.76 per meal and $26.30 per bag.
- Huel Ready to drink costs $4.21 per bottle and$50.50 per box.
- Huel complete protein bars cost $3.13 per bar and$37.50 per box.
- Huel bars cost$2.10 per bar and $31.50 per box.
- Huel complete protein powder costs $1.25 per serving and $32.50 per tub.
Does Huel make you gain weight?
Quitting the Huel diet and returning to the usual meals may make you regain weight. Moreover, if you intentionally want to put on some pounds, consuming the Huel diet in a calorie surplus may serve the purpose.
Does Huel help with IBS?
Yes, Huel can be safely consumed by people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) because Huel Powder v3.0 and Huel Black Edition have low FODMAPs and would not aggravate symptoms.
However, Huel Hot & Savoury, Huel Ready-to-drink, and Huel Bars have high FODMAPs, and it is better to avoid them.
To sum it up, the flipside of Huel is not that health-damaging, and the Huel meal replacement products might be some of the safest, most affordable, and nutritionist-approved diets out there.
Common symptoms and side effects associated with Huel consumption are heartburn, headache, and digestive issues.
For some, these seem to subside eventually, and for all, discontinuing Huel brought relief. Users have also experienced the off-putting aspect of Huel black, which is an unquenchable thirst and the taste that stays in the mouth.
All in all, you should not pursue the Huel diet in the long run if it doesn’t suit you at first (until and unless your doctor approves of it), as some ingredients like high protein, soybean oil, and high fiber may bring about some chronic health issues
And if you are someone with underlying medical conditions but want to turn to the Huel diet for convenience or weight loss, it is better that you consult a medical expert or a nutritionist beforehand.