A couple of years ago when I first discovered Huel, I was primarily using it as a meal replacement shake. This was mostly for convenience and to be better with my diet. As I’ve continued to learn more about Huel and how it can support nutrition and fitness goals, I’ve discovered that there are several clear health benefits to using this product.
As Huel is designed to be nutritionally complete, you can get all of your necessary macro and micronutrients by including it in your diet. If you were to eat nothing but Huel (at the recommended amounts) then you would consistently hit your goals for all of the good things that your body needs each day.
Most recently, I’ve been using Huel as a post-workout protein shake to make sure I’m getting enough calories and protein to support my fitness regime.
I believe that Huel is fantastic as a dietary aid for weightlifters and that it can really help to simplify what can be a complicated concept.
Weightlifting & Nutrition
If you are lifting weights because you want to build serious muscle, then science says you are also generally going to have to increase the amount of calories you consume in a day.
This is called being in a calorie surplus, and it is the opposite to eating within a calorie deficit, which is something people will generally do when they want to lose weight.
Which Huel is Best for Weightlifting?
There are several different types of Huel available and countless different ways to add this product into your diet.
By the way, if you want to get £10 off your very first Huel order, then click here to use my discount code. I’ll get £10 off my next order when you do this, so thanks for that!
Huel Black Edition is my top choice when it comes to using Huel for weightlifting.
This version of Huel has 50% less carbohydrates than the traditional product. It also contains 33% more protein and still has all 26 essential vitamins and minerals. The Black Edition options contain no artificial sweeteners and are also naturally gluten-free and vegan.
The slow-release carbohydrates in Huel are fantastic for sustainable energy during a workout and the high protein count of the Black Edition is perfect for muscle repair afterwards.
When you buy your first batch of Huel Black Edition, you’ll also receive a free plastic scoop. Each scoop will contain 45g of Huel, so two scoops is 90g.
A 90g serving of Huel Black Edition contains:
- 400 calories
- 17g of fat
- 18g of carbohydrates
- 6.3g of fibre
- 40g of protein
These figures will vary slightly depending on the flavour that you choose, but are generally quite similar.
I’m a huge fan of using Huel in place of a protein shake, and for those who don’t want to make a conscious effort to up their calories and protein through the foods that they are eating, I think this is a really simple and smart choice.
I find that taking a Huel to the gym with me and sipping on it throughout my workout keeps me energised. Also, if I have any left at the end, then it keeps me from snacking on the way home.
When it comes to the vitamins and minerals in Huel Black Edition, a 90g serving contains:
- Vitamin A – 180µg – 23% RI
- Vitamin D2 – 2.0µg – 80% RI
- Vitamin D3 – 2.0µg –
- Vitamin E – 3.4mg – 28% RI
- Vitamin K2 – 35µg – 47% RI
- Vitamin C – 60mg – 75% RI
- Thiamin – 0.24mg – 22% RI
- Riboflavin – 0.28mg – 20% RI
- Niacin – 3.2mg – 20% RI
- Vitamin B6 – 0.34mg – 24% RI
- Folate – 80µg – 40% RI
- Vitamin B12 – 0.8µg – 32% RI
- Biotin – 12µg – 24% RI
- Pantothenic Acid – 1.2mg – 20% RI
- Potassium – 640mg – 32% RI
- Chloride – 160mg – 20% RI
- Calcium – 260mg – 33% RI
- Phosphorus – 360mg – 51% RI
- Magnesium – 88mg – 23% RI
- Iron – 9mg – 64% RI
- Zinc – 4.7mg – 47% RI
- Copper – 0.5mg – 50% RI
- Manganese – 0.9mg – 45% RI
- Selenium – 33µg – 60% RI
- Chromium – 12µg – 30% RI
- Molybdenum – 37µg – 74% RI
- Iodine – 30µg – 20% RI
In case you were wondering RI stands for Reference Intake. This is the amount of a vitamin or mineral that you should aim for in total each day. So, the percentage next to the amount shows how much of your recommended daily amount of each thing is in a 90g serving of this type of Huel.
As with the macronutrients, these figures will vary slightly depending on the flavour, but are generally quite similar.
Easy Huel Recipes
Making a Huel shake is quick and simple. You can mix 90g of powder with 400ml of water in your blender and you’re good to go.
For a thicker shake, use 400ml of plant-based milk instead of water, or mix it up and go 50/50. Almond milk is a great choice as it’s low in calories while also having a subtle flavour, so it won’t change the composition or taste of your shake much.
Other great options are:
- Oat milk
- Hemp milk
- Soy milk
- Pea milk
- Coconut milk (the drinking variety, not canned coconut milk)
Opt for unsweetened and sugar-free plant milks when you can. You will generally find that the flavoured varieties of Huel are sweet enough without any added sugars from the plant milk.
If you want to pack even more into a Huel shake, then there are a number of other things you can easily chuck into the blender. Half a banana, a handful of blueberries, or a handful of strawberries will likely go well with any flavour. You can also of course experiment with different added fruits that suit the flavour you are using.
Keep in mind that when you do this, you will be adding more calories and carbs into your shake. Depending on your nutrition goals for the day, this might not always be desirable.
My favourite shake recipe at the moments is:
- 90g of Banana Huel Black Edition
- 400ml almond milk
- A handful of blueberries
- 1tbsp of chia seeds
Mixed in the blender for 20 seconds, this shake has all the benefits of a typical Huel with the added goodness of the almond milk, blueberries, and chia seeds.
Although it’s great for healthy eating purposes, in terms of impact on the planet, almond milk is one of the worst offenders. You’ll probably be horrified to learn that it takes more than 6,000 litres of water to make just one litre of almond milk. Seriously.
What’s more, at least 80% of the almonds used globally for almond milk production are grown in the US state of California, which has surely contributed to the extreme droughts that have been experienced there over the last ten years.
In contrast, oat milk is one of the most sustainable milks available. It’s worth keeping this in mind when you are choosing which milk to go for if you are striving for sustainable living. But again, the calorie and carbohydrate count of oat milk differs from almond milk.
Almond milk is a low-calorie choice at just 39 cals in a 240ml glass. When it comes to nutrition, the same 240ml glass will contain one gram of protein, as well as a decent dose of calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and vitamin E.
Blueberries are great for buying in bulk and keeping in the freezer for a handy stash.
These colourful berries are a rich source of a compound called anthocyanin, which is understood to have the potential to lower blood pressure, protect eye health, help to protect against cancer, and help to protect against diabetes.
Just one cup of blueberries contains about 24% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, as well as being a good source of fibre, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6.
Chia seeds are fantastic for putting in basically everything, and chucking a tablespoon of these seeds into your Huel shake will pack a whole bunch of extra nutrients in there.
One tablespoon of chia seeds contains approximately:
- 69 calories
- 2 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fibre
- 2 milligrams of phosphorous – 11% RI
- 7 milligrams of calcium – 8% RI
- 8 milligrams of potassium – 1% RI
Huel Overnight Oats
Another tasty way to enjoy the benefits of Huel is by adding it into your favourite overnight oats recipes.
If you’ve not fallen in love with overnight oats yet, then it’s definitely worth giving a go. This is a simple breakfast recipe that you prepare before you go to bed and then enjoy in the morning. By mixing oats with plant milk and leaving overnight, the oats will soak up the milk and make for a creamy breakfast dish.
This is the perfect breakfast recipe before you head to the gym, and can also make a really good post-gym meal.
There are countless different recipes for overnight oats and you can customise any recipe however you want.
My favourite Huel Overnights Oats recipe at the moment is:
Coffee Caramel Chia Overnight Oats
- 50g of oats
- 45g Coffee Caramel Huel Black Edition
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 50g banana, sliced
- 200ml almond milk
Mix everything minus the banana in a jar, stir together well and leave overnight in the fridge. You can then grab it first thing in the morning, add the banana on top, and it’s ready to eat.
This recipe approximately contains the following:
- 541 calories
- 32g of protein
- 67g of carbs
- 19g fat
It is also packed full of essential vitamins and minerals and a whole range of other nutrients. The nutritional composition of this recipe makes it the perfect choice before a run (consume at least two hours before you start), or before or after a resistance training workout.
It is also simply a delicious breakfast dish to enjoy on your rest day, although you may want to use slightly less Huel and slightly fewer oats if you are not going to be exercising.
If you are using Huel in your diet regularly then it would be great to hear about your experiences and to know what your favourite recipes are. Feel free to drop a comment to this post or to reach out to me on Instagram to talk about it!