If you work, or you don’t have time to cook or you simply hate cooking, meal replacement powders offer the perfect solution.
You can fix a complete, plant-based meal in about two minutes, there’s no risk of overeating either, as each package has a fixed number of calories.
Your macro nutrient count is met, taking guesswork out of it and yes, you can carry your meal in your pocket.
So, that’s no longer an excuse to head to the takeaway joint anymore.
There’s one problem though.
The market for meal replacements in the United States has just exploded in the past couple of years.
There are a multitude of brands vying for your attention, offering ready-to-drink meals as well as meal replacement powders. But not all of them are as good as they are cracked up to be.
But, a closer look at Kachava and Huel reveal that their products are very identical with similar nutrient profiles.
Why even the branding looks like a mirror image of each other.
How then do you decide which one to pick?
That’s where we step in.
Quick Summary: Which is Best for Who?
Here is a quick summary for those who want to know which meal replacement is going to be best for them.
Kachava - Clear Winner In Almost Every Scoring Category
Ka'chava is a super food meal replacement that is aimed more for those that are seeking a meal replacement shake that is going to give them a slight edge or boost to their normal work days and to their daily lives.
I am doing my best to keep my personal bias out of this review; as I have used them both and at the time I was using Huel I found it to be a decent tasting choice with a nutrient profile that I found worthy of my trying out.
Then came along with Kachava, with a nutrient profile that is, (although similar to Huel's) is far superior.
Kachava's premium nutrient profile is made with nutrients & vitamins that can be far better absorbed by the body, and are of much higher quality that what Huel's drink provides.
Ka'chava is designed more for on-the-go lifestyles. Centered around people who place an emphasis on getting their body's nutrition needs, essential vitamins & minerals, and superfoods.
Kachava gives you an edge in your daily lives and helps to see you through to your physique goals.
Ka'chava is my drink of choice. Currently drinking one shake (this one here) five days a week (M-F).
I personally enjoy this chocolate flavor.
You can check Kachava out on amazon by clicking here.
Or if you are a first time customer you can actually buy it cheaper on their website. You can get the cheapest price by using this link here. (Discount automatically applied)
Again this is for first time customers only.
They were nice enough to give me a link for you guys to use.
Huel is a meal replacement that is also designed with high nutritional values but is aimed more for those that are into working out and lifting weights. Huel is slightly higher in protein and has nutritional values that are more crafted towards rebuilding muscles for post workout recovery (and enhancing ultimate muscle growth really) rather than nutritionally dense like Kachava.
You can check out Huel on amazon by clicking here
What is Ka’Chava?
Ka’Chava is a plant-based meal replacement shake that was initially aimed at athletes looking for a convenient way to get their daily dose of nutrients.
With over 25 grams of protein in each meal, it certainly fit the bill.
I have seen my fair share of meal replacement powders over the years. Some that (like you can see in these Shakeology vs Shaklee, Soylent vs Ensure, Vega One vs Orgain, Kachava vs Athletic Greens comparisons) didn't disappoint, and others (I'd rather not mention names) that left my taste buds cursing me in disgust.
But Ka’Chava’s overall nutrient profile is so much different from other meal replacement powders. So much so, that it soon became quite popular with the average joe and jane looking for a convenient way to get their daily meals with nothing more than just a water bottle and the powder.
Each meal replacement packet of Ka’Chava contains a Vegan protein blend which delivers 24.75 grams of protein, an Omega-3/Fiber blend that delivers 11.06 grams of fiber, an antioxidant blend that gives you 8.81 grams of super-fruits, an adaptogen herb blend that gives you 1 gram of powerful herbs, a super-greens blend that delivers 493 grams of vegetables, digestive enzyme blend with 100mg of enzymes and a probiotic blend with 50mg of gut-friendly bacteria.
That’s a combination of 70 superfoods in a meal. Some serious stuff for sure.
You'll only find such nutrition profiles in only a few healthy Kachava's alternatives, and I mean very few.
Today, Ka’Chava is amongst the top meal replacement brands in the United States, that manages to stand out from the rest with its emphasis on using plant-based, tribal high power superfoods.
Talk about a nutrient-dense meal replacement that you can use for breakfast, lunch, supper, or a quick refuelling in the office.
What is Ka'chava's Mission?
Ka’Chava was founded by Simon Malone, an entrepreneur who quit the stress and hustle of corporate culture and set out to get closer to nature.
His journey took him real close to some indigenous tribes and their cuisine which was mostly plant-based whole foods with no artificial ingredients or synthetics.
That became the inspiration to form Ka’Chava, the cleanest, healthiest meal that one could eat in a day.
But Simon didn’t stop at just providing a meal that would get you the basics, like carbs, protein, fats and fiber.
Sure, Ka’Chava will give you your daily macros. But it’s the micros that sets it apart.
Ka’Chava is crammed to the brim with superfoods that will keep you energized, help combat stress and help you get through the day without getting burned out at the end.
As an ode to the tribes that Simon closely worked with, Ka’Chava has tied up with the Rainforest Trust, a non-profit that works to protect rainforests and promotes sustainable, ethical practices in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world.
What About Huel? Who Are They & What Are They?
Huel is a UK-based meal replacement brand that brings in a nutrient-centric approach to the business, which is a tad different from other brands that harp on the convenience or the time-saving aspect of meal replacement powders.
Even the term ‘Huel’ is a portmanteau of the words Human and Fuel.
Smart branding. But that’s what they aim to deliver.
Quality nutrition that can fuel your body for the day, without cutting out on any vital macro nutrient, vitamin or mineral. It doesn't come as a surprise then, that Huel holds its own against its alternatives.
They promise, they deliver.
Huel offers a range of meal replacement powders, ready-to-drink liquid meals, breakfast cereals and flavor boosts, which are tiny sachets of flavoring that can be added to their powders and beverages if need be.
Each one of their products are completely plant-based and sourced from ethically grown and organic ingredients.
No lactose, no soy, no GMO and no animal-based products.
What is Huel's Mission?
Huel was formed in 2015 with an aim to provide people with a healthier, convenient and affordable alternative to junk food.
With obesity on an all-time high in the UK, well it’s not so different in the USA either, there’s a void in the food and beverage industry for people who are short on time for meal preps.
They are either relying on Ramen (Just like Huel’s founder) or grease-filled burgers or other sugary, calorie dense meals which are neither healthy, nor sustainable in the long run.
With Huel, you have the option to rip open a tiny sachet, add it to a glass of water and give it a whirl.
You get a plant-based meal with all 27 essential vitamins and minerals and with a precise macro nutrient ratio of 37 % carbs, 30 % Protein, 30% fats & 3% fiber. No need to fuss over meal preps or spend your time fiddling with calorie counters.
Even better, you can get a ready-to-drink meal with a similar nutrient profile if you are too lazy to mix the powder in water.
Ka'chava Vs Huel: Which Has Better Reviews? What are customers saying?
If you were to select one of these two based purely on customer reviews, you’d have your task cut out for you.
Ka'chava's reviews and Huel's are both very positive for the most part.
This is to no surprise as both Huel and Ka’Chava are top-rated meal replacement products with excellent customer reviews.
But Ka'chava clearly holds the edge.
Its shakes are not only considered to be the best in terms of taste, but they contain superfoods nutritional values not found in any other meal replacement that I have ever come across.
Also, while all the talk about superfoods and greens and herbs sounds great, let’s face it.
You may not really need a bunch of superfoods every meal of the day. Ditto with herbs like adaptogens.
But here's the thing, although not everybody needs this amount of nutritional value, it is definitely going to benefit you. Consuming superfoods and high value nutrients is going to give you a boost in your daily life.
It gives you the energy to get through you day.
For me it gives me a boost to get through my day. It almost feels like it gives me more clarity in my thinking process. It's like it gives me a slight edge. Call me crazy, it's just my personal experience.
Although hey, in terms of nutritional offerings Huel offers a slightly cheaper and almost as good alternative. Plus, you just can't ignore the fact that Huel is protein-rich, that's quite something considering that protein powder is expensive, and not all of them out there are quite clean.
Yes, there are protein powders without whey, those without creatine, or low sodium protein powders on the market. But you might have to sift through tons of them to find these select few. If you can get enough protein intake from a meal shake like Huel (or a similarly healthy, if not healthier, Lyfe Fuel shake) you might as well avoid all that hassle.
Ka’Chava vs. Huel – What are the differences?
How do these two products fare when pit against each other?
Let’s find out.
Huel Does Offer More Products
Huel started off with their meal replacement powders.
But they have quickly expanded to include a range of products that cater to customers with diverse requirements.
- The original meal replacement shake for example, provides you with 29 grams of plant-based protein, less than 1% sugar, a bunch of fruits (kombucha and acerola cherries) and pro and prebiotics.
- Huel Black is an alternative version aimed at weight watchers and fitness buffs. It gives you 40 grams of protein with just 17 grams of carbs and green-tea extracts to boot.
- Huel Bars are an on-the-go snack that gives you 12 grams of protein and all 27 essential Vitamins and Minerals.
- The Huel ready-to-drink beverages are your meal in a bottle. It’s 500ml of flavored beverage that delivers all essential vitamins, minerals with 20% protein in each bottle.
In comparison, Ka’Chava just offers a standard meal replacement powder, which while very effective and nutritious, is clearly using a one-size-fits-all approach.
For me personally though and for my friends that use Ka'chava it is a very effective approach.
Which one tastes better?
My personal opinion is that Ka'chava taste better.
But hey! Taste is subjective. But when it comes to meal replacement powders, it all boils down to a few key variables.
How well does it mix?
Both Huel and Ka’chava’s shakes are very easy to blend with a normal shaker. You don’t need a blender to mix it with water or juice. The powder dissolves easily without leaving ugly, gooey lumps that get stuck in your teeth.
The fact that these mix so well is what made them rank high on our list of the best protein powders and meal replacements for smoothies. It’s even-steven here really. Although, Huel throws in a free shaker and a T-Shirt with your first order.
Huel's consistency is slightly thicker than the run-of-the-mill protein shake. But it’s not so thick that you’d have a tough time gulping it down. Most customers who use Huel, use it as part of their post-workout meals and regularly carry it to gyms and fitness centers.
However, do note that you can also use this high protein shake without working out and not have to worry about a damn thing.
There are no complaints about the consistency of the shake.
Ka'chava is a bit less thick than Huel which makes it a perfect meal replacement powder for people with sensitive stomachs.
Ka'chava's products are considered to be amongst the best-tasting shakes in the market that have a rich and creamy texture. If you find protein shakes too watery and powders too thick, these are the perfect middle ground.
Ka'chava – 1, Huel – 0.
Previously available in two flavors, Ka’Chava is now available in five delicious flavors. There’s Chocloate, which is my personal favorite flavor but they offer Vanilla, Chai, Matcha and Coconut Acai which are freaking awesome too.
In comparison, Huel offers the flavorless version which can be used with any of their flavor boost packets, which are available in Vanilla, Chocolate, Gingerbread, Chocolate Cherry, Banana, Strawberry, Berry, Mocha, Mint-Chocolate, Apple Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter flavors.
Yeah, quite an extensive selection of flavors. Ka'chava – 1, Huel – 1.
One of the things that we hate about meal replacement powders is the lingering, chemical aftertaste that’s left behind in your mouth after you gulp them down. Thankfully, neither of these two brands have that taste. Ka’Chava’s shakes have an earthy, natural aftertaste.
If anything, some of the flavor boost packets from Huel have a slight chemical taste to them...but not as noticeable as you might expect.
Ka'chava – 2, Huel – 1
How big a bite out your pocket does swapping your mid-day takeaway with a Huel or Ka’Chava replacement shake take?
Let’s find out.
Huel’s most recent pricing chart:
Meal replacement powders
At just $2.12 per meal provided that you order two bags, which contain enough powder to last 34 meals, Huel’s meal replacement powder is amongst the most affordable ones.
Ready to drink shakes
If you buy a dozen of the ready-to-drink beverages, you get each at $4.13. A feather above the rest, but still not overpriced we’d say, considering that you just pop open the bottle and gulp your meal down.
Flavor boost sachets
These are the most expensive of them all with each packet priced at $8. While it’s not really mandatory as it doesn’t provide any nutritional value, we don’t see how you can continue to gulp the flavorless beverages for long.
If you subscribe for a monthly delivery system, you get 10% off on the final order price.
Ka'chava's most recent pricing chart:
Ka’Chava’s meal replacement powders are available in bags with 15-packets in each. If you are looking for a one-time order, each bag is priced, depending on where you order it, right around the $70 mark.
Oh, we forgot that you’ll have to add shipping to this.
If you buy two of these bags, you get free shipping.
The other way to save some bucks would be to subscribe for fixed delivery. Your options are once in 15, 30, 45 and 60-days, which reduces the cost-per-bag by $10, bringing the price of each meal down to $3.99.
So all things considered, Although cheaper per bag, Ka'chava is a bit more expensive than Huel is when you go by how many meals you are getting.
Ka’Chava does offer a 30-day money back guarantee though. If you are disappointed with their products, you can return it within 30-days for a full-refund.
They also have an ‘Empty Bag Policy’, which allows you to return an order of two bags, even if one of them is empty. That’s the kind of assurance that a lot of potential customers seek.
Kachava vs Heul - Which is better for what?
Huel has positioned itself as a healthy, plant-based meal replacement while Ka’Chava harps on being the only brand that boasts of a nutrient panel packed with herbs and superfoods.
Neither of these brands have pinpointed a niche target audience, which makes you wonder whether it would be suited for a specific fitness goal.
Let’s find out.
What's in Ka'chava?
Ka'Chava's Nutritional Values
Huel's Nutritional Values
Ka'chava Vs Huel for Weight Loss?
Huel’s meal replacement powders are 400-calorie meals.
It’s extremely easy to plan a weight loss routine centered on these shakes as you can customize your daily intake depending on your Total Daily Energy Expenditure and calorific requirement.
For example, if you need to consume 2000 calories to stay in a deficit (after accounting for the calories you’d burn every day), just take five of these. If your calorie requirement is 1800, have four and a half meals. Simple.
What’s more important is that with five meals, you get 100% of your RDA of all 27 essential vitamins and minerals.
Ka’Chava’s meal replacement shakes on the other hand are just 250-calories each.
You can of course double up or cut it in half depending on your individual goals.
But if you are looking purely to lose weight, then Ka’Chava seems to be the better option.
Which is Better for People Who Weight Train?
Here’s a quick analysis of the macro and micronutrient profile of each one.
Perfect blend of protein, carbs and fat for weight training
Huel Black Edition with 40 grams of Protein, 17 grams of Carbohydrates and just 18 grams of Fat from each meal is the perfect option for people who weight train.
This protein-heavy formula will allow athletes to meet their higher protein content which is around 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. Even three meals will give you 120 grams of protein without any addition to the calorie intake, which is phenomenal.
Highly rich in herbs and super-greens
With Ka’Chava, you only have the standard option which gives you 25 grams of protein in each meal. To be honest, 25 grams is not bad at all.
You could still meet your daily protein requirement with Ka’Chava’s shakes. The caveat is that you’d need to take a lot of it, especially if you are a big guy. One thing that we do like about Ka’Chava’s shakes is the herbal blend and super-greens blend.
There are some good ingredients in it, like Maca Root, Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheat Grass, Spinach (Popeye Theme plays), Kale, Collard and Broccoli among others.
Many athletes prefer taking additional supplements to get their dose of herbs and greens. With Ka’Chava, you can avoid popping additional pills since you are getting a potent dose of these with every meal.
That said, if all that you seek from your meals is high protein, low carbs and low fat, Huel Black is your best bet.
Which is Better for People Who Travel or are On-The-Go?
Both shakes dissolve fast and you should have your meal ready in less than a couple of minutes.
Huel requires you to mix it with five parts water.
That said, Huel also has a ready-to-drink meal which is a perfect option for people who travel a lot, or those who are in a field-job.
If you are hopping from one office to the other or attending multiple meetings in a day where you cannot even carry a shaker, Huel has you covered.
Which has less sugar?
With just 1 gram of Sugar in each serving, Huel’s meal replacement shakes are a great option for anyone looking to minimize their sugar intake.
What remains inconclusive is the source of their sugar, which some people believe to be coconut.
It does contain Sucralose though, which is an artificial sweetener.
Ka’Chava on the other hand contains 8 grams of Sugar which is probably due to the blend of fruits they have in each serving. This still is almost no sugar, especially for how good it taste.
Did I mention you can also whip up a variety of Kachava recipes to spice things up even further? Well, you sure can!
While that’s more than the sugar content in Huel, Ka’Chava does not contain any artificial sweeteners like Sucralose which is a big no no in my book.
Although Huel contains sucralose, they were mindful about adding it and only added in tiny amount, only to their flavored options to enhance the taste.
Which is better for men?
We’d say that both are equally good options for men considering that they provide all 27 essential Vitamins and Minerals in each and every meal.
But men usually have higher protein requirements as compared to women, which may make Huel not only a better option, but also ranks it among the fast, healthy foods for men that you can turn to.
Even the standard Huel meal replacement powder has 30 grams of plant-based protein sourced from Peas and Rice.
Which is better for women – Huel vs. Ka'chava?
Don’t get us wrong, Huel is a terrific option for both men and women.
But some of them superfoods offer benefits that go beyond micros and macro nutrients.
Flax seeds, Chia seeds, Acai berry, Camu Camu berry, blackberry, blueberry, maqui berry, shitake mushroom, ginger root, maitake mushroom, amaranth and quinoa to name a few.
You can check out the whole list over here.
My Personal Choice
After carefully scrutinizing both these brands of meal replacement powders under a microscope, we’d have to go with Ka'chava.
You can see the flavor that I get here
It doesn't have as many flavor choices compare to Huel, but it has the superfoods that all of us could benefit from, has better nutritional value, is better tasting, and it has higher customer reviews.
Ka’Chava has one of the best ingredient panels that we’ve seen.
What do you think about Huel vs. Ka’chava? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below. I will reply back to you as soon as I can. Usually within the same day.
I also just recently did a very in-depth comparison of Huel and Soylent if you would like to check it out and see what the results were you can see it here.
Jonathan Ritter Pharm.D., Ph.D., MIMFA
Dr. Ritter has served as an expert scientific and medical reviewer, editor, writer, and consultant on topics ranging from natural substances, medications, and biomarkers to disease states and genetics.
With over 10 years of supplement-related experience, and having always been a proponent for natural substances and supplementation, he founded Eneuvos Bionutriceuticals in 2019, a company dedicated to creating next-generation, comprehensive nutritional dietary supplements.