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Looking for the Best Alternatives to Huel? Find a better meal replacement shake that you will want to keep using. Tastier and with all the same benefits. I tested Huel over a 120 days and found some shocking results. Read on to find the best best Huel competitors for meal replacement shakes.

If you’re in the market for a meal replacement shake but want to explore options beyond Huel, there are plenty of competitors to consider. From plant-based options to high-protein blends, I share the best alternative to Huel that offer similar benefits and flavors.

Huel Black vs Huel v3.0

Having been impressed by Huel for some time I decided to take more interest in nutrition and try Huel Black. Starting with a trial of Huel Black Chocolate I spent 60 days using it every day as a replacement for lunch. This trial resulted in me progressing through the Huel Black and Huel 3.0 range before finding something that was much better.


What is Huel Black?

Huel is branded as a future food. A powder meal replacement shake that you only needed to mix with water. The name is derived from combining Human and Fuel.

Key ingredients of the Huel powder include powdered oats, sunflower, flaxseed, coconut, rice and dietary supplements of vitamins and minerals. Amino acids are also naturally derived from the ingredients.

Each serving is a 600ml shake delivering 400 calories of nutrition. Huel is vegan friendly and pitched as natural. Huel Black uses a 37:30:30:3 macronutrient split. 37% of the energy is carbohydrates, 30% fats, 30% proteins and 3% from fibre.

Huel black has been developed with 50% less carbohydrates and 33% more protein than Huel 3.0. It offers a lot for a single meal replacement shake.

If you are taking nutrition seriously you may also be interested in our review of Nourished. You may not have heard of them but we did a 3 month trial of their personalised 3D printed vitamin supplements built for athletes. We had three of our team using them daily to see what impacts if any they had on performance. Check it out if you are looking for more nutrition options as part of your training routine.

Review of Huel Black

Trivelo Score – 1 / 5

After my initial trial of Huel Black Chocolate I decided to try Huel Black Salted Caramel. The chocolate had a really metallic artificial taste to me and a very odd consistency. No matter how much you shake it the shake is not smooth. I tried making in the morning and putting it in the fridge shaking it through the morning. but no matter what I did it just didn’t taste right. Salted caramel was much the same. Not to be put off I decided to give it one final crack and tried Huel Black vanilla. Same story and same issue. After 10 days this ended up in the bin. It was not a pleasant taste and I couldn’t adapt to it.

Is Huel Safe?

From my trial of Huel Black that I conducted over 100 days I had progressively experienced stomach pains from drinking the Huel Black. I simply couldn’t finish an entire shake. I would get stomach cramps around 2/3 of the way through that would last for around 2 hours. Huel for me simply was not safe or something I would recommend.

From reading online it appeared I was not alone. From various online forums this seemed to be a popular theory. Huel has a high fibre content to it. My body was not used to processing this much concentrated fibre. As my body tried to digest this my digestive system would cramp and effectively “complain” about what I was feeding it.

I contacted Huel and spoke to others where the message was consistent that your body will adjust. It is the result of a low quality diet previously where you had not experienced this level of fibre. I gave this trial over 3 months and could not adjust over that time so would warn against using Huel.

Huel Black Nutritional information

What does Huel Black do you for? Huel Black is a complex blend of ingredients offering a good chunk of your daily nutrition in a single meal replacement shake.

Per 90g serving% RI* per
90g serving
– of which saturates2.9g15%
– of which monounsaturates2.5g
– of which polyunsaturates11g
– of which sugars4.6g5%
Information from Huel website

By comparison a BLT sandwich which has similar calories (around 450 calories) has 28g of fat of which 7.5g are saturated fats, 27g of carbohydrates, 2.5g of fibre, 20g of protein, 10.1g salt.

We are passionate about nutrition innovation and have also been looking into TRR nutritions collagen supplements for athletes. What is Collagen? Collagen is the most predominant protein in the Human body, its in your skin, bones, tendons, cartilage, ligaments and muscles.  It has been described as the glue that holds your body together.  TRR nutrition have created a supplement to boost this and we had 2 of our team review it to see if it was any good. Is it worth the money? Read our review and find out.

What is Huel v3.0

Huel 3.0 is the original Huel human fuel powder that predates Huel Black. Huel Black was developed as a higher fibre evolution of Huel. I decided the stomach cramps might not be the same with Huel 3.0 and worth a try. Still convinced in the marketing behind Huel that it could be a good thing for me.

Huel 3.0 has 7 grams of fibre per serving compared to 8.2g in Huel black and I had read for some people this improved the stomach pains following drinking.

Review of Huel 3.0

I switched to Huel 3.0 ordering both chocolate and salted caramel flavours. Huel has a minimum 2 bag order which is quite a commitment. Given my previous experience was a concern but keen to fully test Huel I ordered both. Huel 3.0 has a similar grainy texture to Huel Black. The taste of both the chocolate and salted caramel was very similar to Huel Black. A somewhat artificial flavour. Ironic as it uses all natural flavours.

After a few days of using I had to pause again as the stomach cramps resumed. The shake is very filling so I had no need to supplement this with additional food. I also found good energy levels for exercise that I do daily. I tried reducing the recommended amount of powder compared to the water to make it more diluted. This improved the stomach pains but I still couldn’t finish a shake without getting them.

Review of Huel 3.0

Trivelo Score – 1 / 5

Overall I came to the same conclusion as Huel Black. Huel 3.0 is great at providing a filling and nutritious meal replacement snack. It is not, however, tasty. Given the complex nature of the shake it may also cause issues for people to digest. I wouldn’t I am afraid to say recommend it.

Is Huel 3.0 Safe

Same conclusion as Huel Black. For me the answer has to be NO.

If you are training and looking for more additions to your plan I strongly recommend you don’t ignore your core. Throughout the pandemic I focused on core strength training with pilates and have been amazed how much it has helped with my swimming and running. Adding in a simple 10 minute routine to your daily grind is a great way to maximise your time and get real world performance improvements. Check out my free 10 minute core workout plan for a perfect combination of exercises to safely improve your core.

Huel v3.0 Nutritional information

Huel v3.0 is a complex blend of ingredients offering a much the same as Huel black with 26 vitamins and minerals and low carbohydrates.

Per 90g serving% RI* per
90g serving
– of which saturates2.3g12%
– of which monounsaturates2.4g
– of which polyunsaturates7.7g
– of which sugars0.9g1%
Information from Huel website

Depending on which nutritional targets you are focused on Huel v3.0 compared to Huel Black has some benefits. It has less fat than Huel Black and less salt. Conversely if you are watching your carbs Huel Black is better and equally in terms of fibre. The high fibre content of both I think is what made it difficult for me to digest and continue with.

If you are also considering energy gels and how they could improve your training and racing check our guide to energy gels. Vicky from our team who is a nutrition expert has shared a guide to what energy gels are and how they work. We also give some of our favourites if you are thinking of trying something new.

Best Alternative to Huel

While I found Huel gave me stomach problems and I didn’t like the taste I still am keen to get better nutrition in my diet for improved performance.

A healthy lunchtime meal replacement from a busy weekday is what I need. Something that is low in fat and carbohydrates with a range of vitamins and essential protein and fibre for training. Ideally something easy to make that also tastes good would be great.

So what would I recommend as an alternative to Huel Black or Huel v3.0? The Protein Works complete 360 meal is the best alternative to Huel. Very similar in composition to Huel. A powder that you mix with water and drink as a meal replacement.

the-protein-works-360-meal-replacement vegan_huel_alternative

If you are looking for a healthy protein based breakfast alternative we have reviewed the Surreal protein cereal. With various flavours and natural ingredients Cat tried them all and shared her thoughts on these. Being a nutrition expert she shared her insights.

The Protein Works Complete 360 meal nutrition information

Providing what I was looking for with a highly nutritious meal alternative delivering low carb, low fat, high protein and fibre it is a great alternative to Huel.

Per 100g serving% RI* per
100g serving
– of which saturates2.8g12%
– of which monounsaturates
– of which polyunsaturates
– of which sugars1.9g2%
Information from My Protein Works website

The Protein Works Complete 360 meal replacement is a real alternative to Huel. In my 90 day test so far it is night an day compared to Huel. It tastes bloody lovely. I get no stomach pains. It is really filling and leaves me energised for any activity in the afternoon. If you have been battling with Huel but want an alternative then look no further.

huel_alternative_powder the_protein_works

Buy the Protein Works 360 Meal replacement Double milk chocolate 2kg bag for £38.99 direct from them currently discounted from £51.99. Try it in this small size and see what you think.

For a deeper and full review of the Protein Works Complete 360 Meal Replacement Shake. Why we have been swayed to use this product daily for the past 6 months.

Video of making Protein Works Complete 360 Meal Replacement

See my video of making the Protein Works 360 Meal Replacement Shake. 30 seconds for a quick meal for breakfast or lunch.

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Best Vegan Alternatives to Huel

Vicky from the Trivelo Test Squad tested the Gaia Tribe Vegan SuperFoods Drinkable Meal Replacement and found it a good alternative to Huel. Gaia Tribe is a Huel competitor to consider if looking for a vegan option.

The Gaia Tribe Vegan Superfoods provides 258 kcal, 25.9g of protein and 31.8g carbohydrate.  The shake is fully vegan with the protein produced from pea and soya with the sweet taste from stevia. Gaia Tribe is a genuine meal replacement. It contains a number of real food ingredients that are densely packed with vitamins and minerals, including alfalfa and spirulina. Gaia Tribe is a perfect protein supplement for athletes looking to recover immediately after training.

Read the full review from Vicky where she talks about how to mix perfectly and her favourite flavour.

If you want to dive straight in and Buy the Gaia Tribe Vegan Superfoods for £59.97 Direct from Gaia Tribe we would recommend it as a vegan Huel competitor to try.

If 2024 is the year you are looking to focus on your health you may have a triathlon on the bucket list for this year. To help you read through our Guide to Triathlon Distances with essential information on how much training you need to do. Can you do a Sprint triathlon with only 1 month of training. Read our in-depth article including some of our favourite races to consider.

About the Author

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Billy Ferguson

Having founded Trivelo in 2015 after many years competing in triathlon Billy continues to enjoy training and triathlon. Founder Billy is strongest in the water but continues to try and convince his body that he is an ultra runner.


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