Finding the Best Meal Replacement: Whole Fuel vs Huel

We put Whole Fuel and Huel up against each other to find which really is the best choice for you.

In an increasingly saturated market, it can be difficult to know which meal replacement product is right for you. If your goal is to cut down on whole foods and switch to nutritionally packed drinks, then Whole Fuel and Huel are both great choices – but which really is a cut above the rest? When it comes to price and nutritional value, we’ll find out which is the winner.

Huel first launched in the UK back in 2015, which has allowed it to be refined and improved over the past few years. Whole Fuel, on the other hand, was only brought onto the market in January of 2017. However, Whole Fuel is produced by Myprotein, a respected brand known for their high-quality and affordable health supplements.

For generations, people have been intrigued by the possibility of one day eliminating solid foods from our diets, in favour of more convenient and more easily consumed products. Science fiction would have us believe that one day we’ll need little more than a single pill to get our daily vitamins and nutrition.

Over the past few decades, a plethora of nutritional drinks have filled the need for an ever-growing market looking to get their nutritional needs from a more convenient source. The types of nutritional drinks that are available to buy vary hugely, and not just in the tastes and colours either. Whether it’s a high protein but low carb drink, or high protein and high carb drink that you choose, the option is entirely up to you, but high protein is a must. For some people looking to build muscle and gain mass, there are even drinks available that have more calories in one serving than you’re recommended to consume in an entire day.

In 2014, Soylent came along and change people’s perceptions of meal replacements. It was successfully crowdfunded the previous year, posing the question, “what if you never have to eat again?”. This prompted the notion of perhaps never needing to consume solid foods again; instead, an idea was planted that perhaps we could get all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients from a drink alone.

After the success of Soylent in the US market, Huel was then launched in the UK the following year. Huel’s co-founder, Julian Hearn, stated that Huel had been in development since 2012. Hearn introduced the sports nutritionist, James Collier, and they both formulated a plan for what Huel should be. Their goal was to create an all-natural vegan formula created from real food.

Huel’s website shows us that their ingredients contain a “carefully chosen blend of Oats, Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Brown Rice Protein, MCTs from Coconut, Sunflower Lecithin, a bespoke Vitamin and Mineral Blend, Vanilla Flavour and a Sweetener”.

Whole Fuel, on the other hand, was launched to little hype of fanfare. Digging into the history of the company, it seems that the product was launched with little more than a small Facebook competition and a product video. As mentioned above, it is Myprotein who developed Whole Fuel. As Myprotein have thousands of products available, it’s perhaps unsurprising then that they didn’t go overboard with their marketing of this new product. One of the advantages that companies such as Myprotein have, is that they’re able to purchase ingredients in such large volumes that they should be able to keep costs to a minimum and translate that saving to the end user. But, is this the case when it comes to Whole Fuel.

It should be noted that Whole Fuel and Huel are very similar to one another, and that many of their ingredients are found in both.

At this point, we should ask the question of whether meal replacement drinks are actually good for us. Well, as with most aspects concerning good health practices, it’s something that we should be careful when examining.

The likes of Huel and Whole Fuel certainly do what they promise. They offer to give their customer a nutritious, protein-rich drink full of necessary minerals and vitamins. But, good health is about far more than a single drink. Much like your workout routine is about far more than a single set of push-ups, nutritional drinks should be used as a small part of the bigger picture. In reality, we’re not quite at the stage yet where we can get all of our required nutrients and vitamins for a single drink or pill. That day doesn’t seem too far away, though, so for now it should be a case of using these drinks to enhance and promote your good health, rather than using the drinks to replace all of your solid meals.

When it comes to the battle of nutritional value between Whole Fuel and Huel, which comes out ahead? Looking into their nutritional numbers, we see that they both contain a similar amount of macro nutrient values. Whole Fuel contains 3g more sugar per 100g, which might not seem like a large amount, but at a three percent difference, that’s the equivalent of 12g of sugar if you consumed four 100g drink serving each day. According to the NHS, 30g of sugar is the daily limit for the average adult, so you’d have to ensure you’re strict about the food and drinks you’re consuming the rest of the day.

Looking at the micronutrient values of both, each drink seems to edge the other at about an equal rate for a particular mineral or vitamin. As an example Whole Fuel contains more Vitamin A, whereas Huel contains more Vitamin D.

Huel, however, really stands out when it comes to additional nutrients such as Omega 3d, Omega 6s, and Medium Chain Triglycerides, which Whole Fuel doesn’t.

If you’re looking for nutritional value, then Huel should be your choice here.

As for taste, well, taste can be subjective. However, it’s far easier to remain consistent to your diet if the food or drinks you’re consuming are at least palatable, or ideally, enjoyable to consume. Whole Fuel is available in chocolate and vanilla flavour, whereas Huel has a further nine sweetener flavours to choose from, including rhubarb and custard, toffee, banana, and strawberry. If you’re looking for taste and flavour, then it’s likely that you’ll find Huel to be more enjoyable here.

If you’re looking to use meal replacement drinks such as Whole Fuel or Huel on a long-term basis, then the pricing of the products is extremely important. If you’re drinking a few each day, saving just a little bit on a daily basis will add up over the weeks and months. So, is Whole Fuel or Huel better value for your money?

Myprotein offer a 1kg Whole Fuel pouch at £15.99, which works out at £1.60 per serving.

Huel is currently sold at two 1.75lg bags for £45, equating to £1.61 per serving.

One pence difference doesn’t seem like much, and, well, it really isn’t, is it? However, Huel’s price includes UK delivery whereas Myprotein charge extra. Having said that, Myprotein frequently run discounts and often have offers where you can bring the price down substantially. Huel do offer a subscription-based discount for regular buyers, which then brings down the price of Huel.

So, really, both cost around the same ultimately. It’s about a draw here, when it comes to value for money.

So, should you order Huel or Whole Fuel today? If you prefer taste and are willing to consume a little bit more sugar, then Whole Fuel will probably be the better choice. However, if you’re willing to sacrifice on the taste and gain the extra nutrients, then Huel is the right product for you.