If you’ve been in the meal replacement shakes space for long enough, then you might have heard about Huel. Have you heard about Athletic Greens though?
While the latter is not as popular as the former, it’s a great shake that holds its own in this industry nonetheless.
In this post, we will be going over the meats and potatoes of both these shakes to help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs and preferences.
Keep reading to find out which of the two takes the glory at the end of this ultimate showdown.
But Kachava got me hooked from day one, thanks to its insanely nutrition-rich profile, diversity and the amazing taste. We'll take a closer look at this shake later on in this post, so stick around.
Let's jump right in.
What is Huel?
In their own words, the company claims “Huel is food”. You’ll agree with me that they're sport on - the name is an abbreviation of Human Fuel after all.
Considering that this shake comes with pretty much every nutrition element you’ll get from a healthy meal, anyone would be right to call it food.
And when I say pretty much every nutrition element, I mean everything from fats, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and a whopping 27 essential micronutrients. All these are essential to ensure your body is running at its best, be it at rest, when working, or when working out.
However, Huel can’t be the only food you count on, I’ll tell you why in a minute…
The company is the brainchild of Julian Hearn, and it hit the market back in 2015, with the main mission being to offer its customers convenient, affordable, and nutritionally complete food while keeping the impact on animals and the environment at the lowest. (1)
Is It OK to Drink Huel Every Day?
Want to drink Huel every day? Sure, you can.
However, over the time that I have used Huel, I have found it to be more suitable as a meal replacement for those busy weekdays when I don’t have the time to prepare a traditional meal. I'd just use Huel as a meal replacement for breakfast or lunch, or when I don't feel like cooking.
Bottom line…, yes, you can drink Huel every day, which brings us to the next question I hear often.
Can I Drink Huel Instead of Eating?
Many people get it all wrong here. While Huel is healthy and safe enough to drink every day, it shouldn’t be the only meal you’re having in a day. Huel should be a part of a balanced diet, rather than a replacement for healthy foods that your body needs.
You may use this shake as a part of your diet change – especially if you’re bent on losing weight.
And even then, you need to start slow with a single Huel meal per day (combined with two other traditional meals) and then add one more after every 3-5 days as you move towards finding the ideal balance. (2)
Is Huel Good for You?
Unless you have any other underlying health issues, Huel is good for almost everyone – as long as you like the taste, texture, and flavors, we’ll get into that in a bit.
The thing is, Huel shake is made of nothing more than your average natural ingredients.
I’m talking about the likes of flaxseed, sunflower, pea protein, rice protein, oats, and coconut oil MCTs. It also contains a few dietary supplements for minerals and vitamins.
For those who might be allergic to any of these, Huel should be good for y'all and, dare i say, folks like myself who prefer natural, safe proetin powder for sensitive stomach.
Did I mention that Huel is also nut and lactose-free? Well, it is. So for those who are allergic to these, you can bet Huel won’t disappoint you.
Also note that Huel offers you different options to choose from, including the protein shake, powder, grain, and pasta forms, as well as protein bars.
So, What Does Huel do to Your Body?
Now that you have an idea of what Huel packs in each serving, it’s time to take an up-close look at what to expect with this powder.
First, and by far the most important of all, with Huel, you can easily enjoy healthy eating without literally taking a stab in the dark – it just takes the guesswork out of the way as far as figuring out the nutrients (and their amounts) you’re getting with each serving.
And this goes for the meals and snacks alike.
Now, with access to such a well-balanced diet, you can expect better blood sugar control, and lower food cravings – resulting in reduced chances for obesity, and even lower chances of heart disease. (3),(4)
Is Huel Better with Water or Milk?
Either should do. It’s more a matter of preference than a set-on-stone rule really. However, if you’re a sucker for squeeeeezing as much nutrients as you can out of your meal time, then adding milk to Huel is an awesome option.
After all, with milk, you’re going to get a boost in protein, calcium, and a better texture overall. Texture is subjective though, so you’ll have to try it out to find that sweet consistency that works for you.
You can always switch between mixing it with milk and water to figure out the one you like the most.
That said, whether you choose to go with milk or water, you only need to use two scoops of the powder, add around 17 ounces of the milk or water, mix well, and enjoy.
Does Huel Have Side Effects?
Just like any other meal replacement powder on the internet, Huel comes with its fair share of potential downsides.
Some of the side effects that you may, or may not, experience after ingesting this powder include heartburn, stomach pain, and flatulence.
These will depend on whether your body reacts negatively to some of the ingredients in this powder. Again, only a few users report experiencing these side effects, the large majority don’t have anything to regret about taking Huel.
Can You Gain Weight from Huel?
That depends on how you look at it. As I mentioned above, Huel can help you curb hunger and avoid obesity by keeping you full for longer and giving you a well-balanced nutritional intake.
Of course, this holds as long as the other traditional meals you’re taking are helping along.
Do note, however, that Huel can also help with weight gain, since it is high in calories, at a whopping 500 calories in each serving. Thus, you can easily be consuming more calories than you’re burning, especially if you go into binge mode.
Again, the other meals you take alongside Huel, and how active (or lack thereof) you are will determine how fast, or if this is going to be the case at all...
Can You Drink Huel 3 Times a Day?
While some users rely solely on consuming Huel, that isn’t something I would recommend – neither would any dietitian worth their salt recommend it either.
If that works for you, or if it’s what you have to do for any reason, then keep at it. The only thing you should have concerns about is the possibility that prolonged use of Huel can escalate any existing health issues due to its high levels of omega 3. (5)
So there you have it, even if you want to use Huel 3 times a day, keep the servings low and, whatever you do, don’t swap your traditional meals for the tempting quick gulp.
Should I Have Huel Before or After Workout?
Here’s another one that boils down to personal preference. You can have Huel either before or after a workout, it’s all down to what works for you.
Heck, I have been taking protein shakes without working out, with no problems whatsoever.
The big question is actually – How?
For those who would like to take Huel before a workout, it’s recommended that you ingest it around 30-60 minutes before your exercise.
This should help offer your body the energy and sustenance it needs throughout the workout session. There's even a chance Huel will last longer than most pre-workouts.
If you need a post-workout boost, consider taking the shake about 30 minutes after your sessions. That way, you can restock your glycogen stores and initiate muscle recovery. (6)
What is Athletic Greens?
Unbeknown to many, although Huel is considerably more popular than Athletic Greens, the latter has been around for longer – having been founded by Chris Ashended back in 2010.
The goal was (and still is) simple – to offer their customers easy and convenient nutrition for optimal performance.
Popularly known as AG1, Athletic Greens is a greens-based powder meant to fill in nutritional gaps in a user’s diet.
And just like Huel, you can simply mix a scoop of this powder with about 8 ounces of water, give it a good shake, and boom, you have yourself a healthy treat for a quick breakfast or on-the-go lunch.
Is Athletic Greens Actually Helpful?
The one thing that has made AG1 stand the test of time on the market for over a decade now can be traced back to the powder’s nutrient-rich nature, which boasts up to 75 vitamins and minerals alongside other nutritional capabilities.
If you hardly ever consume fruits and/or vegetables, or you have allergies that make it hard to enjoy a wide variety of foods, then this shake is, hands down.
It will offer you the nutritional supplement you need to fill up the void in your diet.
Related Reading; Best Protein Powder for Smoothies
Besides, for those asking “What does Athletic Greens do to your body?” This powder also offers several benefits like improving gut health, boosting energy levels, enhancing immune system support, muscle recovery for athletes…, and a whole lot more.
I often get asked, is it worth getting Athletic Greens? There you have it. Yes, AG1 is helpful to the human body, in several ways. Now whether it’s worth the hype and money or not, that's for you to decide.
It can be the game-changer for allergic people who need that nutritional supplement, but that might not be the case for the average Joe who has enough time (and drive to cook) and thus gets all the nutrients they need from traditional meals. (7)
Does Athletic Greens Burn Fat?
Call me the party pooper, but I’ll be honest with you. This shake won’t offer you the silver bullet you’re looking for as far as burning fat and/or losing weight.
Buuut..., it’s still extremely low in calories, especially compared to Huel, AG1 has only 50 calories per serving, a tenth of what you get with Huel.
So, if your ultimate goal is to lose weight, this shake might help reduce your calorie intake while still giving you the nutrients your body needs. Combine that with cardio workout on spin bike, treadmill or mini exercise bike to burn more calories than you take in, and you could easily achieve weight loss.
Related Reading; How Much Weight Loss Causes Loose Skin?
But as far as taking this shake and losing weight just by that? No, there’s no study to suggest that to be possible with any greens powder, not just AG1.
Even so, this doesn’t take away from the fact that the vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and the essential fatty acids in this shake, and other leafy greens help maintain a healthy, youthful glow and support fat reduction.
Combine AG1 intake with several exercises for reducing belly fat, and you can bank on it for great results.
Should You Drink Athletic Greens in the Morning or at Night?
You can take AG1 at any time of the day really, it’s all a matter of choice. It is, however, recommended that you drink the shake ideally 10 minutes before your main meal.
Or in the morning on an empty stomach for the best absorption.
The reason why making drinking your AG1 in the morning a habit is to make the most of the nutrients and energy you can get out of it.
These should power you through the day ahead. When taken at night, your body will metabolize the nutrients (which is a good thing) but by morning the energy will be pretty much gone.
Is Huel the Same as AG1?
Having looked at each shake individually, it’s time to pitch them against one another and see whether there are any similarities or differences that make one a better choice.
Huel offers us a ready-to-drink shake that is smooth, silky, and easy to mix. However, there have also been claims about the shake being thick and rather gritty sometimes, almost flour-y with some residue forming in your mouth.
This could be from a lack of proper mixing.
I know you’re asking yourself, how do I improve my Huel texture? It’s easy…
- Start by filling the (Huel) container or water bottle you’re using with the right amount of water
- Add about 2-3 scoops of Huel powder and close the container
- Shake it thoroughly for a smooth consistency
- Leave it in the fridge for some time – preferably overnight
- The next morning, fill the container with water to the brim shake it yet again, and enjoy your
AG1 has become increasingly popular among vegan folks, thanks to its impressive texture and easy mixing. It’s also very unlikely that you will experience any lumps with every other sip, or any floury taste in your mouth.
Huel, as you would expect, comes in a variety of flavors, but what makes it all the more impressive is that most of the options, like the vanilla and chocolate, are just sweet enough, not flat, and not too sugary.
If you’re like me and prefer protein shakes with a mild taste, then you’ll love this one.
AG1, on the other hand, might have that deceptive green hue, but it tastes rather great compared to some of the chalky shakes I have crossed paths with over the years.
If you mix it with, say some fruits in a smoothie, you’ll hardly notice it. And even when mixed with water, the natural fruits and stevia used to sweeten this shake don’t disappoint. (8)
It is slightly sweet but without any frustrating artificial aftertaste. Even so, some have complained of a lingering pineapple aftertaste, which is probably due to the pineapple juice concentrate included in the ingredients.
Huel keeps it simple, 37:30:30:3. Now, you could be wondering what the heck these ratios mean. Well, simply, these are the percentages of the energy that comes from carbohydrates, fat, protein, and fiber respectively – for a total of 500 calories.
These are pretty much the principal macronutrients that the human body obtains energy from when we consume food. (9)
AG1 too comes with the right combo of healthy macronutrients, giving you a total of 50 calories. Per each serving (1 scoop/12g), you get 6g of carbohydrates, protein 2g, sugar <1g, and fiber 2g.
Other essential nutrients include;
- Vitamin A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, & B12
- Pantothenic acid
Flavors & Sweeteners
Huel boasts a rather nice balance of the sweetness levels in their shakes, but for the oat and pea protein, both of which have a slightly more pronounced flavor.
Thankfully, these aren’t the only flavors you can choose from, Huel also offers a myriad of other great tastes;
- Cinnamon swirl
- Salted caramel
- Mint chocolate
- Coffee Caramel
- Unflavored & Unsweetened
AG1 doesn’t have much variety to offer as far as the flavors go, it only comes in either pineapple or vanilla. Both of these are quite balanced as far as taste and flavor intensity.
Again, as I mentioned earlier, some users complain of an apple aftertaste, I didn’t experience the same when I tested out this shake.
Do Note* With the monthly subscription, the sachets are delivered monthly.
Huel has several nutrients that offer you different benefits for different functions in the body;
- Brain – Vitamin B12 for healthy brain function, Iron for normal cognitive function and brain health, Vitamin B9 for healthy brain function, Vitamin B3 for brain health
- Energy – Vitamin B12 for converting food into energy at a cellular level, Copper for cellular energy production, Niacin for converting nutrients into energy for cells, and Vitamin B2 for cellular energy production.
- Immunity – Vitamin A for a healthy immune system, Iron, Zinc, and Vitamin E for normal immune system function, and Vitamin C for a healthy immune system (10)
AG1 does pack several benefits that make it worth trying out;
- Cellular energy – One of these is a nutrient-rich formula, that helps with fueling cellular health through concentrated antioxidants, superfoods as well as stress adaptogens.
- Better efficiency – By pairing each ingredient with its biochemical complements, allows the ingredients to work cohesively and makes it easy for the body to access and make the most of each ingredient.
- Better digestion – The AG1 formula is easy to absorb thanks to its combination of prebiotics and probiotics for increased nutrition absorption. (11)
Huel, great as it comes across, still has its downsides that you might come across. These include;
- High fiber content that could cause digestive problems
- Some complaints about the taste and consistency
- High number of calories might not be ideal for users who want to lose weight
- There’s a potential for regaining weight after stopping using the powder (12)
AG1 too does have its fair number of potential drawbacks that you might come across.
- Users might experience stomach upset
- The amounts of proprietary blend ingredients are not listed
- It might not be safe for everyone – like children and pregnant or breastfeeding moms
- It might not be safe for users under certain medications
- Not safe for users with end-stage kidney disease due to the phosphorous and potassium
Huel Vs AG1; Which is Better for Who?
Athletes – It’s a Tie
If you’re an athlete, and looking for a shake that will give you a burst of energy in the gym or before a sporting event Huel should give you just that, thanks to its high-calorie amount.
On the other hand, AG1 is CGMP compliant and NSF-approved, making it safe for athletes to use without any concerns for brushes with the management in their respective sports.
Fitness and Weight Loss Enthusiasts – AG1
For this, I’ll focus more on those who want to lose weight, since fitness buffs have most probably had enough run-ins with different shakes to figure things out.
Thanks to its low-calorie nature, AG1 should fit nicely into a weight-loss diet where you want to keep calorie consumption as low as it can go.
Related Reading; Why You Weigh Less in Morning After Sleep
Bodybuilders – Huel
If your main objective is bodybuilding, and you’re hitting the gym often - you know, those of us who want to be like Ed Coan, you’ll need the high number of calories that Huel offers. This should give your body the energy to pull through grueling of workouts.
The Average User – Either will do
The average Joe can choose from either of these two. It’s all down to which tastes better, has better texture and consistency, is within your budget, or matches your calorie needs.
What Are Users Saying About Each Shake?
To get a better idea of each shake, it’s always a good idea to check out what other users have to say about it.
Huel User Reviews
AG1 User reviews
Huel Vs AG1 Reddit
In my research, I came across this Huel vs. AG1 thread on Reddit where you too can get a better idea of what others who have used these shakes feel and what they have to say about them.
What's Even Better than AG1 or Huel?
Now that you’ve made it this far, it’s time to reveal my favorite meal replacement shake – Ka’Chava.
Having tried all three of these shakes (and many, many more...), even compared Kachava and Huel before, I can confidently say that Ka’Chava blows both these, and a bunch of other shakes right out of the water, for several reasons.
First, protein powders are often expensive, but Kachava comes at a price point that is affordable enough for most users. Secondly the Kachava's nutritional value beats that of the competition by far.
Ergo, with this shake, you’re getting more, for way less.
Speaking of the nutritional profile, this shake ranks as one of the best, if not THE BEST, shakes out there, with a nutrient-rich blend of natural ingredients, flavors, and sweeteners.
And no, through all the years I have used this shake, I haven’t had any issues with an off-putting after-taste, or congealing lumps in my shake.
But Ka’Chava makes up for that in its wide variety of recipes that allow you to turn either of its flavors into a variety of tasty treats that you can cycle through and never get bored.
To Wrap Up... Make Your Choice
Both of these shakes are fantastic, the taste is great, and so is the texture, consistency, and variety of flavors making each of these shakes worth a try.
The choice is yours here. As we have discussed above, you can make your choice depending on what you want to achieve.
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Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 18 years now.
My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future.
I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics.
My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics.
Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward.
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