Fitness Tips

Huel vs Soylent – Which One To Choose? Which is Best for What?

A plant-based, complete meal in the form of a meal replacement powder was a pipe dream that many brands had envisioned. None had managed to pull it off convincingly though.

Then along came Soylent with their famed crowdfunding campaign that asked people to cough up money so that they could live with minimal reliance on food.

As unbelievable as it sounded initially, they managed to walk the talk and came up with the Soylent Meal replacement shake.

This gave them unprecedented dominance over the market in the United States.

Then, a bunch of brands thought that, ’Hey, that’s a virgin niche. Let’s capitalize on it’ and jumped head-over-heels into the space.

With this, the customers got spoilt for choice and the race for dominance just got more aggressive.

But so far, only one brand has managed to even come close to Soylent.

That’s Huel.

The question that a lot of people ask is, which one of the two is better? Huel or Soylent?

If you use meal replacements, these are brand names that need no introduction.

If you don’t use them currently, but are contemplating using them in the future, then this is a contest, the verdict to which you’d love to know.

Which meal replacement powder ticks all the right boxes nutritionally, taste-wise and economically?

Let’s find out.

What is Huel?

huel vs soylent

 

Despite starting slow, with a nutrition-centric approach that’s different from its competition, Huel has fast become the buzzword for health foods in the UK.

At heart, it is a meal replacement powder that can be added to water to quickly churn out a nutritionally-complete, 100% vegan meal.

That’s the best way to describe it according to Julian Hearn, one of the founders of the brand who partnered with James Collier, former clinical dietician for the NHS to come up with the formula.

It’s not a protein-shake to be guzzled post workout. It is not a weight loss tool either.

Although with the nutritional profile it boasts of, it can very well fit into both these categories.

Think of it like an easy, convenient way to fill your daily recommended dose of nutrients.

If you are short on time, or you hate cooking and you have been relying on greasy, artery-clogging junk, give Huel a shot.

Not only are you getting everything that your body needs (well, almost) in a tasty, refreshing shake, you will also save time and money.

In sync with the rising demand and to establish itself as a serious contender in the meal replacement space, Huel has recently launched its ready-to-drink shakes called Huel RTD.

In addition to this, it also offers breakfast cereals and flavor boosts which can be used to top their shakes with, in case your taste buds crave for some flavor.

What is their mission?

what huel is all about

 

It is projected that almost 25% of men will be obese in the United Kingdom in 2021.

That has a lot to do with dietary habits based purely on convenience.

Takeaways have replaced planned, cooked meals.

Calorie-crammed junk has become the de-facto choice for millions of men and women which only means that this statistic is going to worsen in the years to come.

Huel aims to provide these people with a healthier alternative without compromising on the convenience.

The term Huel is a portmanteau of the terms ‘Human Fuel’.

It is one of the only brands that has delivered on all its claims and promises.

Each one of Huel’s meal replacement shakes and RTD shakes delivers a precise amount of carbs, fats and protein along with the recommended daily amount (RDA) of all 26-vitamins and minerals.

The source of these nutrients? Ethically-sourced, vegan and plant-based.

Can it get any better?

What is Soylent?

what is soylent

 

Soylent is the brand that started it all.

It is one of the first (if not the first one) brands that designed a complete plant based meal replacement powder and ready to drink shakes that deliver all the vital nutrients, vitamins, minerals, lipids, carbs and protein that the body needs to maintain a healthy weight. (Depending on your current weight, TDEE and body fat levels of course)

Each Soylent Shake contains 400 calories and 1/5th of your RDA of Vitamins and Minerals. The idea is to replace all meals with five shakes to get to 2000 calories a day and 100% of the RDA of Vitamins and Minerals.

Sounds great in theory. But does it really work?

What is their mission?

soylents mission

You can check out Soylent on amazon by clicking here.

Soylent was formed by a group of software engineers led by Rob Rhinehart who spent hours clacking away on the keyboard in Silicon Valley, which left him with little or no time to cook a meal.

Naturally, they were reaching out for junk food more than they liked, just to satisfy hunger pangs and to keep the body functioning.

But the excessive dependence on Ramen and quesadillas (according to Rob) began to take a toll on his body and eventually his productivity.

That’s when he came up with the idea to create a healthier meal option that can be readied in minutes as opposed to an hour or more.

They then ran a crowdfunding campaign to raise $100,000 to create a quick meal that would essentially deliver everything that the body needed. (What about Pizza?)

Instead of the expected $100,000, they ended up raising $755,000.

Guess there are a lot of people who’d want to save time spent cooking meals.

That ideology is at the core of Soylent. It’s not really a meal replacement. Rather it’s just a convenient way to deliver the vital nutrients that the body needs.

Huel Vs Soylent – Which brand has better reviews? What are customers saying?

huel vs soylent review

You can check out Huel on Amazon by clicking here.

It’s been close to 6-years since Soylent and Huel were launched.

The customer reviews for both these brands have been more or less positive with Soylent having slightly better reviews than Soylent.

But if you are looking to select one of these on the basis of these reviews, you might want to understand that both these brands may not be catering to the same target audience.

Let’s take Huel for example. The brand has been formed with nutrition and good health in mind. The founder aims to provide people with a better alternative to junk food.

Then there’s Soylent, which aims to provide people with a quicker alternative to food. The founder himself has mentioned numerous times that he considers food to be a serious waste of time and money that we are so deeply dependent on. And to be quite frank, I totally agree.

Rather than wasting time cooking meals, why not just ingest the chemical components that deliver what our bodies need?

Huel vs Soylent – What are the differences?

Despite being grouped in to the same category of products (Meal replacements), Huel and Soylent are as different as chalk and cheese.

Huel

huel vs soylent which is better

 

Uses plant-derived ingredients that are ethically sourced, Non-GMO, 100% vegan. Their carbs, protein, fats and other essentials are derived from oats, pea protein, flaxseed, brown rice protein, sunflower and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconuts.

Soylent

soylent vs huel which is better

 

Soylent on the other hand also uses plant-derived ingredients making it perfect a perfect shake for people with sensitive stomachs. But they are not Non-GMO, since they believe that GMO products define the future of the agriculture industry. The macronutrients are primarily sourced from soy protein isolate, high oleic sunflower oil, isomaltulose (slow absorbing sugar that can be sourced from beet) and essential vitamins and minerals.

Apart from the meal replacement powders, both brands have also ventured into other ready-to-consume products like breakfast cereals, nutrition bars and even a granola bar.

Huel vs. Soylent – Which Taste Better?

How appealing are these shakes for your taste buds?

Huel’s Shakes

I’ll be the first to tell you that huel offers some of the most delicious flavors that i have ever tasted from a meal replacement shake. I would even go as far as to say that Huel is a close 2nd to Kachava when it comes to a delicious tasting meal replacement. I mean it’s legit just that good.

I compare Kachava and Huel side by side in my recent post here

If you are not looking for flavor engorged meal replacement then you can opt for Huel’s original formula.

Huel’s original formula is flavorless, or as they call it devoid of any flavor. It’s perfect for people who are looking to use the powder for smoothies to just get their daily dose of nutrients or want to mix it with something else or just care a hoot about the flavor.

However, if you don’t fancy gulping down a flavorless, thick liquid lunch, Huel offers flavor boost sachets which add some much needed (in my opinion) flavor to the shakes.

huel flavors vs soylent flavors

 

Huel’s delicious flavors:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate (soooo good)
  • Gingerbread
  • Chocolate Cherry
  • Banana
  • Strawberry
  • Berry
  • Mocha (sooo good)
  • Mint-Chocolate (soo good)
  • Apple Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Salted Caramel (so good)
  • Peanut Butter flavors.

You can check Huel’s Flavors out on Amazon by clicking here.

There’s no dearth of choice and these taste delicious.

In addition to this, Huel also offers ready to drink shakes in Vanilla, Coffee and Nuts and Seeds flavors.

The meal replacement powders mix pretty well if you use Five parts water.

There are no lumps of undissolved chunks of powder even if you use a handheld shaker to mix up your drink.

Soylent’s Shakes

Soylent has a very unique taste to their ready made shakes. I have to first say that taste is totally subjective so your opinion will obviously be different than mine. But if I were to describe Soylent’s flavors to you I would describe them as sweet yet mild. I have tried all of Soylent’s flavors and I honestly like them all. All of the flavors are perfect for morning’s especially their coffee flavors.

Do I like the way Soylent taste more than I do Huel? Their Cacao and Mint chocolate flavor, I do.

soylent flavors

 

Soylent’s flavors in order from my favorite to least favorite are:

  • Cacao
  • Mint Chocolate
  • Chai
  • Cafe Vanilla
  • Coffiest
  • Original

Soylent’s original flavor is very mild, almost like unsweetened milk. Unsurprisingly, this is the least popular among its range. It is the cacao flavor that is most popular.

The Ready to drink liquid meals are available in Cacao, Original, Vanilla & Mint Chocolate.

You can check out Soylent on amazon by clicking here.

Huel vs. Soylent – Cost

Does replacing your afternoon lunch or evening dinner with one of these shakes really save you money?

Cost of Huel

Here’s Huel’s most updated pricing chart.

Meal replacement powders

Huel’s meal replacement powders are priced reasonably cheap per meal if you place a minimum order of 2-bags, which contain enough powder to last you for quite a long time.

Ready to drink shakes

The ready to drink bottles are priced slightly higher per bottle and you need to place a minimum order or 12 bottles. This is still ridiculously cheap when you consider the fact that you are replacing a meal that would cost quite a bit more and you are getting much more nutrition from this.

Flavor boost sachets

Flavor boosts are priced cheaply as well.

The more you order, the lower the price. You can subscribe for monthly repeated orders which gives you a 10% discount on the order total.

Soylent is slightly cheaper as compared to Huel.

Cost of Soylent

Here’s Soylent’s most recent pricing.

Meal replacement powders

The meal replacement powders are priced at a bit cheap that Huel’s are and they do offer a slight discount. If you subscribe for repeated deliveries, you get a 5% discount and which means you are paying next to nothing for your meals.

Ready to drink

The ready to drink meals are also priced slightly lower than Huel’s if you order a case of 12-bottles. If you subscribe you also still get the discount for the read to drink meals and this also allows you to pay next to nothing for your meals.

Soylent Bridge

Soylent bridge is one of their newest offerings. It is like a ready to drink brunch or mid-day snack and clocks 180-calories in a pack. This one is priced right in between their ready to go drinks and their meal replacement powders.

You can check out Soylent on amazon by clicking here.

Soylent vs Huel – Which is better for what?

Both the brands have time and again emphasized that they are not to be mistaken as protein shakes or weight loss shakes.

But the semblance to both these products is unmissable. And that’s a target audience overlap that they cannot ignore.

If you are looking at these products with a specific fitness goal in mind, then here’s what you’d like to know.

huel vs soylent which is best for what review

Which is better for weight loss?

Both these meal powders deliver approximately 400 calories a sachet. Neither come with appetite suppressants or metabolism boosters though. So the only way that you’d be able to lose weight with these is if you can create a calorie deficit.

If your daily calorie intake to lose weight is 1800, stick to four and a half meals. As simple as that. You’d not be missing out on any vital nutrients.

On a side note, Huel has a detailed fat loss guide available on their website for users who want to lose weight with it.

Which is better for people who weight train?

Let’s look at the macronutrient breakdown for both these products.

Huel – Best For Lifting Weights and Strength Training

Huel’s meal replacement powders on the other hand contain 30% Protein, 40% Carb and 30% fat. The ready to drink beverages contain 42% Fat, 20% Protein and 38% Carbs. The meal replacement powders with the higher protein content and lower fat content is better suitable than Soylent for bodybuilding.

You can check out Huel on Amazon by clicking here.

Soylent – Best for Staying Fit & Cardio Training

Soylent’s meal replacement shakes and ready to drink shakes are low in sodium, contain 20% protein, 35% carbohydrates & 45% fats. The fat percentage is a bit higher than Huel although the fats contained in

You can check out Soylent on amazon by clicking here.

Which is better for maintaining weight?

With almost identical macronutrient profiles and calories, both products can be used in multiple ways to maintain a healthy weight without losing out on vitamins and minerals.

However, if you look at the fine print, with the non-GMO ingredients as well as the healthier protein sources, Huel seems to be the healthier choice for regular use.

Which is better for Men?

We’d go with Huel over Soylent primarily due to the high levels of Soy Protein, which we arent too fond of despite it being a complete protein source. Huel on the other hand uses Whey, which in our opinion is a better pick of the two.

Which is better for Women?

If you are okay with using GMO ingredients, then Soylent may hold the edge due to the above mentioned reason. It in no way means that Huel isnt a good option for women. It’s a great choice.

You may also want to consider the macronutrient profile and select one that fits your goals.

Huel Vs Soylent – Verdict

All said and done, if you are considering replacing one or more of your meals with a meal replacement powder, we recommend Huel over Soylent.

It tastes better, has more flavors, uses Non-GMO ingredients and uses healthier sources of the macros. Although if you are on a tighter budget and want to save a few bucks then Soylent is going of the best alternatives to Huel’s meal replacements if not the best.

You can check out Soylent on amazon by clicking here.

What are your thoughts on Huel and Soylent?

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Sources:

Ben Mayz

Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 16 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. You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page

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