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Huel vs. Soylent — Which Is The Best Meal Replacement? (2023)
Updated on April 17, 2023
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Meal Replacements
Huel vs. Soylent — Which Is The Best Meal Replacement? (2023)
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Huel vs. Soylent: Which Is The Best Meal Replacement? (2023)

Cooking meals at home takes time. In fact, the average American spends 30 to 60 minutes per day on food preparation.1

We also have to plan our meals, shop for groceries, and eat the food we prepare. All in all, we spend a lot of time on our food — time we don’t always have.

Huel vs. Soylent — Which Is The Best Meal Replacement? (2023) 3

While you can skip meals or eat fast food to save time, it isn’t good for your health or your wallet. 

Soylent and Huel offer more practical, affordable, and healthier solutions.

Both provide nutritionally-complete meal replacement products. 

Dr. Rizza Mira, our in-house nutrition expert, says meal replacements are “packed with nutrients and minerals” to replace a well-balanced meal but with fewer calories.

Meal replacements like these usually come int he form of shakes or juices and are used primarily for weight loss. However, some bodybuilders use them to gain more muscle, as well.

Soylent claims its products contain science-backed ingredients that can “stand in for complete meals” while helping you meet your nutritional goals.2

Huel says it can help with weight management by offering meal replacements with a “balanced macro-split” and other essential nutrients.3

How We Picked The Best Meal Replacement

We tried Soylent and Huel ourselves and compared them in six categories:

  • Variety of products — the types of meal replacements they offer
  • Available flavors — the number of flavors you can choose from
  • Taste and texture — their taste and consistency when consumed
  • Ingredient quality — from nutrient content to ingredient sources
  • Safety for consumption — whether it’s safe to consume
  • Cost per meal — the affordability of replacing meals

Using this criteria, our team decided which meal replacement is better. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of how Huel and Soylent fare in comparison.

Meet The Expert

Dr. Rizza Mira is a medical doctor and a general practitioner who specializes in nutrition and dietetics. She believes that good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are key to staying fit.

Variety of Meal Replacements

Our Pick: Huel

Soylent has limited options available. They’ve got three products: nutrition bars (Soylent Bar), protein powders (Soylent Powder), and ready-to-drink bottles (Soylent Nutrition Shakes).

If you want more variety, Huel has seven products lined up:

  • Huel Powder — a complete meal replacement powder
  • Huel Black Edition — a high-fiber, high-protein alternative
  • Huel Complete Protein Powder — a high-protein, sugar-free powder
  • Huel Hot & Savory — instant powdered meals
  • Huel Ready-To-Drink — liquid meals that you can easily consume
  • Huel Bar — a ready-to-eat meal replacement bar
  • Huel Complete Protein Bar — high-protein meal replacement bar

Available Flavor Options

Our pick: Huel

Huel has more flavors to choose from. Each Huel product has anywhere from four to ten flavors. In total, I counted 18 different Huel flavors:

  1. Banana
  2. Banana Pudding
  3. Berry
  4. Caffè Latte
  5. Chocolate
  6. Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  7. Chocolate Orange
  8. Cinnamon Roll
  9. Coffee Caramel
  10. Cookies & Cream
  11. Original Huel Flavor
  12. Peanut Butter
  13. Raspberry
  14. Raspberry & White Chocolate
  15. Salted Caramel
  16. Strawberry Shortcake
  17. Vanilla
  18. Vanilla Caramel

This doesn’t include the 10 savory flavors Huel offers for their powdered meals or the Unflavored & Unsweetened option for some of their products.

Soylent’s meal replacement shakes have the most flavor options. However, their bars and powdered drinks are limited to just one or two flavors. 

Soylent offers only 14 flavors compared to Huel’s 16:

  1. Banana
  2. Cacao
  3. Cafe Chai
  4. Cafe Latte
  5. Cafe Mocha
  6. Chocolate
  7. Chocolate Brownie
  8. Creamy Chocolate
  9. Gingerbread
  10. Mint Chocolate
  11. Original Soylent Flavor
  12. Peanut Butter
  13. Strawberry
  14. Vanilla

Taste & Mouthfeel

Our Pick: Soylent

When it comes to taste and texture, it all boils down to your preference. 

Some people like Soylent’s thin and smooth consistency, making it much easier to drink. Others prefer the thickness of Huel because it makes them feel fuller.

However, most will agree they aren’t fond of Huel’s grainy texture. You can work around it by opting for their ready-to-consume meal replacements.

Both Huel and Soylent contain natural flavors and artificial sweeteners.4,5,6 Huel uses sucralose, while most Soylent drinks rely on a mixture of sucralose and allulose.

Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar, while allulose is 70% as sweet as sugar.7,8 Despite this, it remains to be calorie-free. 

Studies show that people prefer sucralose and allulose over other sweeteners because they don’t have a bitter or chemical taste.9

Quality of Ingredients

Our Pick: Huel

Huel is nutritionally superior to Soylent in many ways. Below, we compare Huel with the quality of Soylent’s ingredients:

Macro Distribution

Huel and Soylent are formulated to meet different nutritional needs. However, Soylent doesn’t mention the macronutrient ratio of its products (you’ll have to do the math). 

“The recommended daily allowance for maintenance of healthy weight in adults are 45 to 65% carbohydrates, 20 to 35% fat, and 10 to 35% of protein,” says Dr. Mira.

Huel vs. Soylent — Which Is The Best Meal Replacement? (2023) 4

With Huel, you know exactly how much you’re getting in terms of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fibers. Knowing this can help you decide which product works best for your diet.

As a general rule, Huel meal replacements tend to contain a balance of macros. But they also offer high-protein and high-fiber alternatives for those who need them.

Protein Source

Both meal replacement companies have plant-based protein sources, making them good options for vegans and vegetarians. 

Soylent uses soy protein isolate, while Huel relies heavily on pea protein. Nutritionally, they’re  both rich in essential amino acids.

That said, Huel provides up to 50% more protein.10 Soylent may also trigger food allergies or histamine intolerance in people who are allergic to or sensitive to soy.

Fiber Source

Both Huel and Soylent are rich in soluble and insoluble fibers. Soylent gets its fibers from cellulose and soluble corn fiber.11 Huel’s main fiber sources are oats and ground flaxseed.12

Between the two, Huel has a higher fiber content.10 Thanks to its thick and grainy consistency, it can make you feel fuller for longer periods

High fiber foods causes fatty food to pass through the small intestines at a faster rate. As a result, they are less absorbed by your body. This can be beneficial if you’re trying to lose weight.

“Fat contributes 9 calories per gram of food. That’s more than twice the calories you get from carbohydrate-rich foods,” says Dr. Mira

By keeping you full and moving food faster through your digestive tract, Huel can help reduce your appetite and help you reach a calorie deficit.

Carbohydrate Source

Soylent derives its carbohydrates from highly-processed ingredients like maltodextrin. Although low in sugar, it has a high glycemic index (GI) ranging from 85 to 105.13

Huel’s carb sources (oats and flaxseed) have a low glycemic index and are naturally rich in fiber.10 This means they’re less likely to cause your blood sugar to spike. 

“Sudden spikes in blood sugar levels causes a strain on the pancreas. This can lead to diabetes mellitus over time,” says Dr. Mira.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Other Nutrients

Both Soylent and Huel provide over 25 essential vitamins and minerals. But you can get more from Huel Powder, as it contains probiotics and phytonutrients.10

Phytonutrients are antioxidants that potentially lower your risk for certain diseases while probiotics are beneficial gut bacteria that provide many health benefits.14,15

Safety for Consumption

Our pick: Soylent and Huel

Meal replacements are generally safe to consume. But if you have known food allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients, you should carefully read the food label for both brands.

Soylent products contain soy protein, which can trigger food allergies and intolerances. But they’re also 100% gluten-free and vegan as they don’t have nuts, oats, or dairy.16

Huel Powder itself isn’t gluten-free and may cause gluten intolerance in some people though they do offer gluten-free alternatives. They also use gluten-free oats in their other products.17

Most Huel products contain tree nuts (coconut), and some will have peanuts.17 Like Soylent, they can also cause food allergies.

Cost Per Meal

Our Pick: Soylent

Soylent is more affordable than Huel. For example, Huel’s Original Powder starts at $2.21 per meal. Soylent’s Original Powder starts at $1.66 per meal.

A meal replacement drink from Huel costs at least $4.21 per bottle. But a Soylent drink starts at $2.92 per bottle. For more information, check out our Soylent review.

Huel vs. Soylent: Which Do You Choose?

Has more meal replacement products
Has more flavors to choose from
Has better taste and texture
Uses better quality ingredients
Is safe to consume
Has more affordable meal replacement options

Our top pick goes to Huel. Not only does it use better quality ingredients, it also ensures you get the right balance of macros to meet your health goals.

Huel provides up to 27 essential vitamins and minerals to supplement your diet. You can also get some probiotics and phytonutrients, which are great for your gut and overall health.

Soylent may taste better, but Huel is more suited for long-term use. You can choose from seven different meal replacements and up to 18 unique flavors. It never feels like you’re out of options.

For its price, Huel provides better value for your money. You can read more on our Huel review.

Updated on April 17, 2023
Ada Sandoval
Ada Sandoval
Content Contributor
Ada Sandoval is a B.S. in Nursing graduate and a registered nurse with a heart for abandoned animals. She works as a content writer who specializes in medical-related articles and pet health.
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