Is it Safe to Drink Huel During Pregnancy?
When you are growing a human, there is a multitude of things on your mind. What do you need for the baby, how will you decorate the nursery, what name shall you choose and how do you remain healthy? Just some of the thoughts that scratch the surface.
You want to ensure that you are making the correct decisions for your baby and providing them with the best quality of health possible.
As mother-to-be, many women’s nutritional requirements can change, making it difficult for active mothers to get enough of the right food and nutrients.
Meal replacements can help, but it can be not easy to discern what's safe and healthy. According to Huel themselves, using Huel is safe during pregnancy, but any mother only wants the best for their baby.
Read on as we give you the definitive answer to help you make an informed decision about whether Huel is the right choice for you and your baby.
We have done all of the hard work for you, so you can tick at least one worry off your list.
How Nutritional Needs Change During Pregnancy
When pregnant, it is advised that around 300 extra calories are needed every day which should be made up of fruit, vegetables, protein, and whole grains. Food groups to avoid would be fats and sweet food.
Sticking to these food groups can help to reduce symptoms of pregnancy such as constipation and sickness.
Using Huel to Help With Morning Sickness When Pregnant
During pregnancy, many women can deal with morning sickness throughout their trimesters. They call it morning sickness but unfortunately this can occur at any time throughout the day. Most commonly, pregnant women suffer from morning sickness throughout the first trimester.
Many women have reported using Huel as a meal replacement to ensure that they are getting the right nutrition if they are experiencing morning sickness.
On Reddit’s 'Huel As A Solution For Early Pregnancy Sickness' forum, an anonymous user said, ‘I am 10 weeks pregnant and have been struggling to eat because of nausea. I can’t handle meals that have any strong smells or tastes. I have been snacking on cereal bars etc but was getting concerned that I would not be getting the nutrition I need. Huel was my solution to this problem. This way I can make sure I’m getting a nutritionally complete diet and a sensible amount of calories, while avoiding strong smells and tastes.’
Inspecting the Nutritional Value of Huel
Huel is a ready-to-eat meal replacement shake that provides you with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
The idea behind the ready-to-drink Huel is that it can provide the body’s nutritional needs, as the ready-to-drink shakes are balanced and rich in plant-based protein, fibre, and healthy fats. They’re also vegan and free of lactose, soy, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Key ingredients include powdered oats, sunflower, flaxseed, coconut, rice and dietary supplements of vitamins and minerals.
As Huel ready-to-drink includes a large amount of protein and healthy fats as well as vital vitamins and minerals, Huel’s nutritional value would be a good addition to the recommended pregnancy diet, you could even use Huel to increase your calories alongside a balanced diet.
Safety Concerns of Using Huel When Pregnant
One of the common concerns of using Huel when pregnant is the Vitamin A content as this needs to be contained and managed throughout.
On the Huel website it states:
‘All Huel products are fine to have during pregnancy, but they shouldn’t be consumed as the sole source of nutrition as there are different nutritional requirements during this period.
‘Mothers are told not to have too much vitamin A, nor to use vitamin A supplements during pregnancy.
‘The amount of vitamin A in Huel meets the EU recommended intake and is lower than typical intakes of people who consume a varied diet, and far lower than levels that have been shown to be safe during pregnancy.’
Vitamin A is important during pregnancy as it ensures that important developmental areas for a baby such as breathing, vision, and immunity to provide a healthy immune system.
Vitamin A is responsible for the development of baby’s eyes as well as their skin cells and air sacs in their lungs, which enable oxygen to flow into their blood.
A healthy amount of Vitamin A is recommended so that this can increase the chances of your baby being born with high levels of Vitamin A, as babies that are lacking in this can have a higher chance of catching illnesses and infections.
Another common concern is that meals shouldn’t be fully replaced by Huel or alternative meal replacement shakes as food should be consumed from all food groups, so meal replacements could be used as more of a supplement to increase your calories as opposed to replacing a meal.
As every pregnancy is different, you may have different concerns depending on which trimester you are in and any symptoms or complications that you are facing.
What Do Pregnant Huel Users Think?
Taken from Netmum’s Huel and Hot Does It Work article, James Collier, Huel's Head of Nutrition, says, 'We recommend consuming Huel just once a day if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.'
Many women on online forums have recorded their experiences of using Huel when pregnant, with the majority consulting their doctor beforehand to check that the vitamin content is suitable when expecting a child. Doctors can perform nutritional calculations and used alongside each individual women’s pregnancy, can provide them with more personal advice.
On Huel’s ‘Huel & Being Pregnant’ discussion, many women have shared their experiences of using Huel when pregnant.
An anonymous user said, ‘Week 33, even less stomach space and a belly that looks like I’ve swallowed a giant watermelon.
Regular food does not agree with me anymore. So I tend to take more Huel. Specially in the afternoon and evening when I get very easily nauseous from regular food even when it’s a healthy meal.
I’ve also noticed Huel and water is not enough and leaves me feeling weak sometimes. So I add soy milk and fruit to give me a bit of a lift. I’ve also downsized to 1,5 scoop per meal to avoid nausea from being too full.’
Rachel Ross said, ‘I’ve been using Huel to fight morning sickness. You feel even more nauseous when you don’t eat but you feel too sick to eat and it’s a relentless vicious cycle. Huel is so quick and easy to prep and easy to drink and feel satisfied. It’s been a lifesaver.
I’ll be drinking it throughout and after my pregnancy because I love it and know it’s good for me and my baby.
After my first child I lost so much weight through breastfeeding and dealing with the stress of having a reflux baby I was constantly sick and that’s when I turned to Huel and got hooked! Really felt like it nourished my body through a stressful period.’
Huel During Pregnancy: Dos and Don'ts
- Consult your doctor before starting to use Huel
- Limit Huel use to one serving a day as there are different nutritional requirements during pregnancy
- Consume Huel alongside a healthy and balanced diet
- Use Huel as a supplement to increase your calories as opposed to a meal replacement
- Use Huel before consulting your doctor or a health professional
- Use Huel more to replace all meals
- Use Huel more than once a day during pregnancy
Is Huel Safe While Breastfeeding?
According to Huel themselves, their products are safe to use while breastfeeding. However, they recommend that Huel should not be used as the sole source of nutrition and only alongside a healthy balanced diet.
It is also recommended to consult with a GP or health visitor before consuming Huel Ready-To-Drink while breastfeeding. The NHS also advocates for maintaining a healthy and balanced diet while breastfeeding as per their official guidelines.
Your body creating breast milk and breastfeeding burns calories anywhere from 200 to 500 extra a day depending on how often your baby feeds, how much milk your body produces as well as the age of your baby.
To set your body up for these extra calories, Huel could be used as a supplement to provide energy in addition to a healthy balanced diet.
So, Is Huel Safe to Use During Pregnancy?
In summary, Huel is safe to drink throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding as explained on Huel’s website, ‘All Huel products are fine to have during pregnancy, but they shouldn’t be consumed as the sole source of nutrition as there are different nutritional requirements during this period.’
However, as all pregnancies are different it is best to consult a doctor when starting to use Huel so they can advise you depending on your condition. You could also consult with a medical provider, such as the NHS.
Your requirements throughout pregnancy can easily change, and each women’s experiences can be very different.
Huel is best used as a supplement for additional calories that are needed during pregnancy that are safe for you and your baby alongside a healthy, balanced diet.
Huel ready-to-drink meal replacement shakes provide all of the nutritional benefits that you require and are easy to grab and go alongside your busy lifestyle.
Shop Huel Ready-To-Drink.