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My Thoughts about Meal Replacement Powders

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I have already written an article about the comparison of Huel and Myprotein Whole Fuel Blend. I find such meal replacement powders a very practical thing for several reasons:

  1. They’re allowing me to do without junk food. When I’m working, for example, there’s only one supermarket near the office where I can buy baked goods, but not healthy food. So instead of eating me full of baked goods, I can drink powder prepared at home that contains all the nutrition the body needs.
  2. The powder means I have less effort. Instead of always having to cook, I can simply make myself some powder when I have no motivation to cook.
  3. I don’t need to eat meat from factory farming. Most powders are vegan. Thus I do not only good for animals, but also for myself, because I don’t have to eat meat stuffed with medications on the go (e.g. in my university canteen there is often only meaty tasty food, the vegetarian or vegan food doesn’t taste very good and doesn’t fill the stomach either).

I am very happy to have heard about this “nutrionally complete food” powder through a documentary and appreciate the benefits it offers me.

The true struggle, however, starts with choosing the right brand. So far I have always bet on Huel because it was comparatively cheap, doesn’t contain soy (I don’t like soy in these powders and prefer those with oats, rice and peas instead because they are supposed to be healthier). Huel also offered a student discount. But now Huel is raising prices (supposedly, the price increase in Germany is even relatively higher than in Great Britain) and I need to re-evaluate which is the best option for resupply. The price is now also comparable with other powders.

But in recent times the choice of different powders seems to have increased even further. Meanwhile there is even a brand in German supermarkets available (but a product that is not vegan and uses milk - probably from factory farming). But the whole comparison work is also very complex. Compare ingredients, prices per kcal, discounts, delivery options, etc. It’s all very cumbersome. And finally, the taste and texture must fit and not be disgusting.

I think that if my stocks are coming to an end, I will also look more closely at options that are perhaps a little more expensive, but the ingredients are grown organically and mainly in Europe. Huel, for example, uses ingredients from all over the world and sometimes also from more critical regions.1

Despite all the skepticism of people with whom I have talked about these powders in real life, I think they are a good thing. The powder form and long shelf life not only reduces food waste. Plastic is also likely to be saved by the powders despite their packaging, because at least here the ingredients for a balanced diet usually cause much more plastic waste.

And also concerning the criticism I often hear that one should enjoy food: 1. the powders don’t taste so bad and 2. I don’t just eat this stuff. It’s more a meal if I just want to get satisfied with a balanced diet. From time to time I will still cook or go out for a tasty meal.

  1. Nevertheless, I very much appreciate the transparency of Huel: https://uk.huel.com/pages/how-huel-and-the-huel-ingredients-are-produced ↩︎


Jan-Lukas Else
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