For the longest time, I avoided meal replacement shakes like they were the plague. I firmly believed (and still do) that you cannot replace real food with synthetic goop, no matter how good it tastes. I mean c'mon, there's a whole galore of healthy foods for men and women out there to need a replacement.
Then, I discovered Kachava, Joylent and Huel. I hate to admit that I was wrong, but these companies have completely changed my opinion on meal replacement shakes. Not only are they extremely convenient (just add water and shake!), but they're also surprisingly healthy and filling.
Most importantly, they contain real ingredients. I am talking about ingredients that would be impossible to consume everyday with meals, no matter how much time you spend cooking.
If you too have been intrigued by meal replacement shakes, but are unsure of where to start, this article is for you!
I will be comparing two of the most popular brands on the market: Joylent and Huel.
Better Alternative to Jimmy Joy & Huel Both - Kachava
Before I get started, I must preface this by saying that I am in no way affiliated with either company. I am simply a consumer who has tried both products and wanted to share my experience.
First and foremost, I want to say that both products are great. They are both much healthier and more filling than any fast food meal I have ever had. That being said, I think that Kachava just blows them both out of the water.
Kachava is a superfood meal replacement shake that contains more than 85 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It is also vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free. And that's just scraping the surface.
Kachava is also packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. It has a perfect balance of carbs, fat, and protein (40/30/30), which is something that I have never seen in any other meal replacement shake.
On top of all of that, Kachava is incredibly filling.
Kachava Nutritional Facts
Protein - 25 grams of plant protein including organic Sacha Inchi, whole grain brown rice, organic amaranth, organic quinoa, and yellow pea.
Carbs - 37g
Fiber - 12g
Fat - 7g
Fruits , Veggies and Herbs - Including antioxidant super fruits, veggies and herbs.
Calories - 240
Probiotics, prebiotics, Super greens, this is hands down the best shake on the market, it has everything you could ever want or need in a meal replacement.
What I like about Kachava
Kachava has been a life saver for me, I bet this Kachava review says it all. Seriously, I am always on the go and often don't have time to sit down for a proper meal. Kachava has allowed me to get all of the nutrients that I need without having to sacrifice taste or convenience.
Also, the taste! Dude, this stuff is delicious. I have tried both the chocolate and vanilla flavors and they are both amazing. And it gets even better, that's right, you can come up with a long list of Kachava recipes to trigger your taste buds.
I have to say that I am really impressed with Kachava. They have managed to create a product that is not only healthy and convenient, but also affordable and delicious.
What I do not like about Kachava
I often find that Kachava is sold out! I think that this is because they are a small company and they are having a hard time keeping up with the demand.
I also wish that they offered more flavors. I would love to see a strawberry or cookies and cream flavor. Of all the different Kachava alternatives out there, the one that I feel comes really close to Kachava is Lyfe Fuel essentials. Why? Because it offers virtually the same nutrient profile (if not better) while also being a better bang for buck.
If you are real tight on budget, but still don't want to sacrifice on quality, then Lyfe Fuel shake is for you - I mean, just take a look at this shake's reviews. What beats getting your money's worth without having to spend an arm and a leg?
All in all, I think that Kachava is an amazing product and I would highly recommend it.
What are jimmy joy and huel?
Now that I have that off my chest, let's talk about Joylent and Huel. Both of these are leading brands in the meal replacement shake industry. They are both widely available and have a loyal following on social media.
There are celebrity endorsements, entire websites, and online communities devoted to these brands.
History of Joylent
Jimmy Joy, formerly called Joylent is a meal replacement shake that originated in the Netherlands. The company was formed in 2014 by Joey Van Konningsbrugen, a vlogger who wanted to replicate the Soylent meal replacement formula which was not sold in Europe back then.
So, he bought some ingredients himself and started to produce his own version in his kitchen. He made a video about it, which went viral and Joylent as a company was born.
The company has since then undergone a name change and is now called Jimmy Joy.
Huel on the other hand has a more sound business story behind it.
Huel was started in 2015 by Julien Hearn, who was inspired by Soylent to create a product that would make it easier for people to get all the nutrients they need without having to worry about food.
He teamed up with James Collier, a food scientist, and together they created Huel. The idea is to make a product that is nutritionally complete, easy to make, and affordable. It's no wonder then, that the brand is holding up nicely against big brands as you can see in my Huel Vs Soylent bout, as well as against other Huel alternatives.
But as you'd agree, none of this really translates into anything for an end user. Let's now see how they compare in terms of ingredients, taste, price, and nutrition.
Jimmy joy – All you need to know
Jimmy Joy has outgrown its humble origins to become Europe's bestselling meal replacement shake. They have also expanded their product line to include bars, oatmeal, and instant hot meals.
The company is based in the Netherlands and all of their products are made in Europe.
What are various meal replacement options provided by joylent?
Joylent currently provides a whole range of products. Lets start with their classic meal replacement shake called the Penny Shake 3.0. It has 20 grams of plant-based protein, all 26 essential vitamins, fiber, Omega 3, 6 & 9 fatty acids, prebiotics and probiotics.
The Penny Shake active is the higher-protein option with 26-grams of protein instead of 20. The same shakes are also offered as instant hot meals where you add water to a sachet and it turns into a piping hot meal.
There are also bars and ready-to-drink meals. All of the products are vegan and GMO-free.
What are the Benefits of jimmy joy?
For starters, they have the most elaborate flavor profile of all the meal replacement shakes listed here. There are 11 different flavors to choose from including chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, pistachio, wild berries, passion fruit and cookies & cream. I have looked into other meal replacement shakes; like Soylent and Ensure, Vega One and Orgain, Shakeology and Herbalife and a wide array of others. Trust me, not many of them out there pack so many flavors.
The other benefit is that they offer a wide variety of products to choose from. You can get bars, oatmeal, RTDs, or the classic powder shake.
So, whatever tickles your taste buds, Jimmy Joy has you covered.
What are the Cons of Jimmy joy?
Jimmy Joy does get a lot of things right. The taste is not bad at all for at least 7 of the 11 flavors. It's a complete plant-based protein, and it has 8.7 grams of fiber.
But, each shake is 400 calories and there's very little information about the natural food ingredients used in it. For instance, the nutritional information section mentions oat flour, soy flour and ground flaxseed.
But everything else is a bunch of chemical-sounding ingredients. This is not ideal for people who want to know exactly what they're putting into their bodies.
On that note, it also contains Sucralose, which a lot of people including me are not big fans of.
Huel – All you need to know
Huel has quickly become one of UK's bestselling meal replacement shakes and for good reason. Their policy was always simple. To make meals more efficient without skimping on taste or nutrition.
To that end, they roped in one of the best food scientists in the world and set to work. The final product is a complete meal that provides all 27 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein, essential fats, carbs, fibre and phytonutrients.
What's more, it has a fantastic macronutrient ratio that'll keep you going for hours.
What are various meal replacement options are provided by Huel?
Huel too, has expanded way beyond just shakes. You can get granola, ready-to-drink bottles, and even Huel bars now. But the classic meal replacement shake remains their bestseller.
Its now available in 9-flavors and one unflavored version, which you can convert into any flavor you want with the flavor boost sachets.
And if that's not enough, they've also got a line of hot and savory meals now, with more on the way. If you are an athlete, they've got Huel black, the higher protein option. The standard shake offers 30 grams of plant protein and 7 grams of fiber with less than 1% sugar.
What are the Pros of Huel?
Huel has an excellent nutritional profile, great flavors and a shake that's undergone numerous iterations. This shows that the brand has been constantly trying to improve its products.
Here are some of the other pros.
More natural food
Huel has more natural food items such as oats, flaxseeds, coconut oil, kombucha and naturally occurring vitamins, as compared to Joylent which has more soy products.
Unflavored with flavor boost sachets
Huel is one of the only brands that offers an unflavored version of their meal replacement shakes. This is great for those who want to avoid artificial sweeteners or flavors. The brand also offers flavor sachets which allows you to customize the taste to your liking.
High protein shakes
I also like the fact that Huel has a high protein shake with 30 grams of protein. This is great for athletes or those who are looking to build muscle. If you want a meal replacement shake for breakfast that will load up your protein levels to blast you through the day, this is it.
What are the cons of Huel?
Well, to be fair, I do not have a lot of negative things to say about Huel. I think they offer a great product at a fair price. However, there are a few things that could be better.
Huel's flavors taste a little synthetic for my liking. That could just be me though. But guess what? There's an easy workaround. I just buy the flavorless shake and toss a few fruits in there.
The Carb source
Huel uses Tapioca or Cassava root flour as their main carb source. This is not the most ideal carb source as it is high on the glycemic index. I think the fiber and the high protein more than offsets any potential spike in blood sugar though.
Joylent wins the bout with more flavor options
Huel has more natural ingredients, but it's costlier than Joylent
If you were to go by the advertising, every meal replacement shake out there looks like its the same. But if you take a closer look, there are some subtle but important differences. Here's a quick rundown of how Huel and Joylent differ from each other.
- Huel has more natural ingredients - Huel has more natural food items such as oats, flaxseeds, coconut oil, kombucha and naturally occurring vitamins, as compared to Joylent.
- Joylent has more flavor options - If you're looking for more flavor options, then Joylent is the way to go. They have a wide variety of flavors to choose from, including some unique ones like tiramisu and cappuccino.
- Huel is more expensive - Huel is slightly more expensive than Joylent, both in terms of the price per meal and the shipping costs.
Joylent vs Huel, Which One Is Better?
As you can see from the comparison above, there's little difference in the two. The question is, which one of these two is the better shake?
Which Meal replacement is of better quality?
I personally dont think theres a clear winner when it comes to quality. Both Huel and Joylent use high-quality ingredients and have excellent nutritional profiles. They are manufactured in GMP certified facilities and have been through extensive third-party testing.
If you mean the actual quality of ingredients, the next paragraph has the answer you seek.
Which Meal replacement is better?
Based on my personal experience and that of thousands of customers all around the world, Huel has a healthier nutritional profile and tastes better than Joylent. You see, one of the boxes that I always look to tick is more natural ingredients. This is where Huel shines.
Who provides more no of different meal replacements flavors?
Joylent scores over Huel in this department. They have a wider range of flavors to choose from. This is great if you like to experiment with flavors or are picky about what you eat.
Even in terms of taste, I would give the edge to Joylent as their flavors are more refined. But thats just my personal preference. Some people might prefer the taste of Huel.
Which is more expensive?
Huel is priced at $2.21 per meal if you subscribe to their monthly plan. The price bumps up slightly to $2.45 if you were to buy one time. The minimum order is 2 bags.
Joylent's Penny Shake on the other hand is priced at $15.5 for each bag which contains 10 meals. So, it roughly costs $1.5 per meal.
What Do the Reviews Say About Each Meal Replacement?
When I started to explore meal replacement shakes, it was customer reviews that helped me immensely. I mean, many of the reviews that I found were so detailed that it was like the reviewer had written a mini-guide on the product.
As for Huel and Joylent, both companies have their fair share of rave reviews as well as some critical ones.
What do Customer says about Jimmy Joy?
Jimmy Joy has many positive reviews as you'd expect. They have a very grounded beginning as a brand that people connect with. Most people who like the shake say that it tastes great, mixes well and provides satiety. There are some people who find the taste a bit too sweet for their liking but thats just a matter of personal preference.
The biggest grouse that people have with Jimmy Joy is the lack of real food ingredients. This is something that the company is aware of and they are working on it.
What do Customer says about Huel?
Huel too has its fair share of both good and bad reviews. But its majorly good. The main criticisms against Huel is that its expensive and the taste can be an acquired one. That said, many people who have used the shake for longer time frames, have actually stuck to it.
They've not only found it to be convenient but also affordable in the long run. Huel is also one of the few meal replacement companies that have a large and vibrant online community behind it. This is something that I really like as it helps new users get started with the product.
Joylent vs Huel: My Personal Opinion which should you buy
After using both these shakes for over 3-months each, here's my personal opinion on which one you should buy.
I would recommend Huel over Joylent for the following reasons:
- Huel has a better nutritional profile as it contains more protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
- It also has a range of vitamins and minerals sourced from natural foods.
- I like the unflavored version of Huel as it contains fewer ingredients and is more natural.
- The taste of Huel is also better in my opinion as it's not as sweet as Joylent.
- Huel is slightly more expensive than Joylent but its worth it given the nutritional superiority.
If you're looking for a meal replacement shake that is more natural and has a better nutritional profile, then go for Huel. And if you're someone who likes to experiment with flavors, then Joylent is a good option for you.
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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 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.
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