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Huel vs Protein Powder- What Are The Differences?

Huel vs Protein Powder- What Are The Differences?

Huel vs protein powder - do you know what the differences are? If not - don’t worry! You’re not alone.

Many people confuse Huel as being a protein shake (especially when huel also comes in powder form). But Huel is very different from ‘just a protein shake’

They're both useful - but for very different reasons. When used as part of a calorie-controlled diet, they can both help you lose weight or pack on muscle.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at the differences between Huel and protein powder.

Read on to discover which option is the best fit for your lifestyle and dietary goals.

If you are one of these people, you’re not alone!

In this article, we'll take a closer look at the differences between Huel and protein powder.

Read on to discover which option is the best fit for your lifestyle and dietary goals.

What Is Protein Powder?

Protein powders are a food supplement, that can be mixed with water or milk to create protein shakes.

They are most commonly associated with bodybuilders and athletes, who are following a high protein diet to build strength and muscle mass.

However, almost anyone can benefit from boosting their protein intake for general health and well being, if they don't get enough protein from their regular diet.

There are many kinds of protein powders including:

  • whey
  • casein
  • egg
  • beef
  • pea
  • hemp
  • rice

The most common protein powder is whey. If you ever see "the big guy at work" drinking a protein shake, this is most likely whey. It's cost effective, high quality, and brands offer loads of different flavours.

Whey is an excellent source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are essential for muscle growth and repair because they cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through diet.

Casein is another form of protein that can help you lose weight because it takes longer than whey to digest, so it keeps you full for longer periods of time.

How is whey protein made?

Whey protein is derived from the cheesemaking process. Once the milk passes quality tests, enzymes are added to separate the curd from the liquid whey. The liquid whey is then pasteurized and the protein is concentrated and isolated. 

Plant based proteins

Plant based proteins have become much more popular in recent years, with a wide range of vegan protein powders on the market, derived from sources such as hemp, pea or rice.

These plant based protein powders are usually one of the main ingredients used in a wide range of vegan snacks.

Protein powders usually include other ingredients to improve taste and nutrition including minerals, vitamins, flavourings, and sugars.

Protein powders are a versatile food supplement that can also be used in protein baking recipes, to create healthier and higher protein snacks such as brownies, cookies and pancakes.

Adding protein powder to your diet

The amount of protein per serving ranges from brand to brand, and the scoop size included. On average, a typical serving of protein powder will provide 20-30 grams of protein.

How much protein you need will depend on your goals. Those looking to build muscle through resistance training will need more than a sedentary person.

Protein is essential to build muscle mass and is also used by the body as an energy source.

Protein powder is a convenient way to get more protein into your diet. It can be added to many different foods and beverages such as smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, and even coffee. The powder has a texture similar to sand when it is stirred into a drink but dissolves when it comes in contact with liquid.

Some athletes use protein powders as meal replacements because they tend to be high in calories compared with other foods like fruits or vegetables, which may have fewer calories per serving size but provide less energy density per calorie due to their high water content.

Benefits of using protein powder include:

  • Protein aids muscle strength and builds muscle mass following training.
  • Protein can help to repair muscle damage so athletes may use protein powder to speed up recovery.
  • Introducing more protein into your diet has been found to suppress appetite and control hunger, having a satiating effect.
  • If your goal is to lose weight, an increase in protein can reduce body weight and fat.
  • If you struggle to meet the recommended daily intake, protein powder is an easy way to increase your nutrition levels and provide a healthier diet.

Protein powders are very popular in the fitness industry for a variety of reasons. They are easy to use and provide a convenient way to add protein to your diet.

The main benefit of using protein powders is convenience. You can mix up a shake in just a few seconds and go on about your day. Protein shakes have been shown to be beneficial for weight loss.

Another benefit of using protein powder is that it can help people who don't like certain types of food get more protein in their diet.

For example, some people may not like eating meat or dairy products because they don't like the taste or texture. Others may have allergies or intolerances that make it difficult for them to consume certain types of food. In these cases, using a protein supplement can make it easier for people to get adequate amounts of essential nutrients without having to eat foods they don't like or avoid altogether.

Protein powders can also help athletes build muscle mass while reducing body fat at the same time.

What is Huel?

Huel provides meal replacements that provide you with the vitamins and minerals that your body requires.

Huel was designed to fulfill all of the body’s nutritional needs if you were to switch to a diet exclusively based on the drink product.

All Huel products are nutritionally balanced and rich in plant-based protein, fibre, and healthy fats. They’re also vegan and free of lactose, soy, and GMOs. Huel is considered one of the most nutritionally complete and healthiest meal replacements on the market.

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

Huel is a meal replacement product, available in both powder and ready-to-drink form, designed for those who are always on the go, to remain nutritious.

The different products available include:

Huel v3.0 Powder- The original complete meal, designed to be mixed with water and ready to drink providing a nutritionally complete meal replacement.

Huel Black Edition- High protein complete meal powder with 33% more protein and 50% less carbs than v3.0.

Huel Ready-to-Drink- Nutritious complete meal ready in a bottle, to enjoy on the go with no preparation.

Huel Complete Protein- The world’s first nutritionally complete Vegan powder.

All Huel products contains optimals amounts of:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Essential Fats

Huel products even go the extra mile, by adding a wide range of micronutrients such as essential vitamins and minerals to help keep your body functioning and maintain health.

The entire range of Huel meal replacement products have been developed by dieticians and nutritionists, to ensure that each shake is nutritionally complete.

Huel’s website recommends that you, ‘add cold water to your shaker’s 500ml fill line, add 2 level scoops of Huel Powder, place the internal grid in your shaker, screw the lid and cap on tightly and shake hard for 10 seconds’ to create the perfect Huel.

Huel Powder Pro’s and Con’s


  • 12 month shelf life
  • Low cost per portion
  • Large amount of flavours
  • Able to add more ingredients to improve taste


  • Harder to mix
  • Thick, gritty texture
  • Requires preparation
  • If you don’t like the gritty consistency you might have to use a blender

Huel Powder 3.0 is available in a range of flavours including salted caramel, vanilla, chocolate, banana, berry, cinnamon swirl, coffee, mint chocolate, original and unflavoured and unsweetened.

Is Huel Just A Protein Shake?

Huel is not a protein shake it is a meal replacement supplement, however it does contain a large amount of protein.

This depends on the specific product of Huel whether that be v3.0 powder, black edition or ready-to-drink however most contain a macro breakdown of around 37:30:30:3 (carbohydrates, fat, protein, fibre).

Huel meal replacement shakes are most popularly used for those who are looking to follow a balanced diet, when strapped for time. Huel can also be used to bulk up, and lose weight.

Differences Between Huel and Protein Powder

Protein powder helps you increase your protein intake. Huel is a full meal replacement offering a range of macro and micro nutrients, which makes it a much better choice for a meal on the go.

Both Protein powder and Huel can be used for weight loss. However protein powder has around a quarter of the calories of Huel, as each portion delivers 400 calories.

You can replace meals with Huel entirely or use Huel alongside your diet to increase your calories which saves you a lot of time on cooking.

One of the main differences between protein powders and Huel is the lack of nutrients in protein powders. However this is one of Huel’s biggest strengths, making Huel a healthy option.

On average, 1 serving of protein powder has 30-50mg of sodium, 100-150mg of potassium, 3-11 grams of carbs and 1-4g of fat.

Huel however, is full of nutrition and one serving includes 27 essential vitamins and minerals.

Another key difference is that Huel products are from plant-based sources, whereas Whey protein for example is created from animals. The amino acid ratio is better in Whey protein, which makes this better for muscle building if building strength is your goal.

Huel however is better as meal replacement to be used to aid a variety of goals and improve overall nutrition whereas protein powders are best to be used alongside a regular diet.

On Huel’s ‘Huel vs Protein Shake’ forum, Tim_Huel said, ‘Thank you for the comment, love a good spreadsheet! More is not always better and in this case your protein shake and Huel are quite different. As @IcyElemental says, Huel is currently higher in protein than Government requirements, this is for a host of reasons (satiety being the main one) but MHP is significantly higher. I imagine the serving size is smaller than Huel because of this.

The fat in Huel is definitely something that will separate us. Huel use medium chain triglycerides that come with a host of qualities that separate it from other fats.

Huel being vegan is important for a number of reasons, not all of them are to everyone, but for many this is essential.

Other points would be that Huel add phytonutrients. These are not ‘essential’ but have been shown to provide significant benefits.

Huel is high in fibre which promotes a healthy gut and also slows the breakdown of carbohydrate, although not in your table, I believe MHP contains 1.7g of fibre per 100g. Not a lot.

There are more benefits to Huel! I think Huel would be perfect to promote healthy weight gain if that is your goal.’

On Huel’s ‘Huel vs Protein Shake’ forum, James Collier, Huel’s Head of Nutrition said, ‘In comparing Huel to a protein shake it’s a bit like comparing a car and a motorbike: they are two different products. Of course, protein drinks have more protein (well some do, but there’s a whole scandal about incorrect labelling of protein powders), because they are not complete nutrition nor do they wish to be.

Huel is complete nutrition so shouldn’t be compared to weight gain formulas either. Huel is not high calorie: it’s designed to be adjusted by the individual to suit their requirements.’

Price Comparison

Huel Powder is extremely affordable, coming in from £1.51 per meal.

However, Huel Ready-To-Drink bottles start at £3.50.

Huel Ready-To-Drink is available to buy from Snackfully from £25.99 per case of 8.

This is for a 500ml bottle which is 1 serving. You can also purchase individual bottles so you can test out flavours before you commit to a full case.

You can also purchase the Huel bestsellers bundle which is £47.98 for 16 bottles, £68.99 for 24 bottles, £90.99 for 32 bottles and £110 for 40 bottles saving up to 21% and working out at less than £3 a bottle.

1kg of protein powder ranges from around £10 to £40 depending on the brand. The more expensive protein powders usually include a higher percentage of protein and fewer artificial sweeteners.

Huel Vs Protein Powder - Which Is Best For You?

Huel as a meal replacement is a clear winner for us, increasing nutrition no matter your goals, but does Huel or protein powder win?

Depending on your goals and lifestyle can definitely impact your decision, do you want a meal replacement or a supplement to be used alongside your diet?

The macros, benefits and price can also influence the product that you buy.

If you are looking to lose weight, bulk up or simply improve your diet, Huel is perfect for those always on the go. A complete meal can be made within seconds and can be used to substitute a meal or as an additional meal if you need to increase your calories.

Protein powder can also be used to improve your diet, if you aren’t hitting your recommended amount of protein as a supplement to your diet, for muscle repair and to aid bulking. Protein powder is the more affordable option of the two, but the nutritional benefits cannot be compared.

If you are always on the go, whatever your goals Huel can provide a range of benefits that simply can’t be achieved with protein powder alone, making this a much better choice for you.

If we had to pick one it would be Huel all the way. With their range of products, the convenience, taste and range of flavours.

You can shop Huel powders on their website, but if you wanted to pay a little more for the ready-to-drink bottle, you won’t regret your purchase.

Ready whenever you are with no mixing required, Huel Ready-To-Drink is available in eight delicious flavours including iced coffee caramel, strawberries & cream, berry, cinnamon swirl, salted caramel, banana, chocolate and vanilla.

Shop Huel Ready-To-Drink

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