Huel vs Shakeology – Which Is Better?

Saturday 24th July 2021

I was chatting to a friend over coffee when she mentioned that her husband was feeling stressed, unfit and unhealthy.

The current change in lifestyle has affected many people and she said that she felt that they were not eating properly balanced meals.

As I am always on the lookout for meal replacement shakes, I thought of investigating two that have recently caught my attention. The first is Huel and the second is Shakeology meal replacement.

I have done an in-depth analysis of both products for her and for you.

Let’s look a little closer into these two products and what they have to offer as an alternative to eating a regular meal.

Who is Huel?

Huel is a company that was started in 2015 by Julian Hearn.

The name comes from ‘HUman’ and ‘fuEL’ which immediately got my attention. Their mission is “To make nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food, with minimal impact on animals and the environment”.

The website claims that drinking a shake of Huel offers a balance of all the 27 essential vitamins and minerals, essential fats, protein, fiber, carbs, and phytonutrients that your body needs.

They offer a very detailed breakdown of every ingredient in the product. The website also claims that the product has an impressive range of press coverage including CNN, Time, Forbes, and Fox News.

Who is Shakeology?

Shakeology is marketed by Team Beachbody. The meal replacement was created by a team of wellness enthusiasts in 2009. This team included Darin Olien, the CEO and co-founder of Beachbody. Darin is a renowned authority on nutrition and travels the world promoting his books and vision for a healthier lifestyle.

Beachbody originally started out marketing workout videos, supplements, and nutrition programs. The meal replacements were then added to their offering when the focus changed from a weight-loss program to a more balanced lifestyle eating program.

The website is far more sales-driven, with smiling people who claim to have lost weight after using the meal replacement.

What is Huel Meal Replacement?

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Huel is a meal replacement powder that comes in a small one-meal soft tear-open packet. It is mixed with water or milk, to offer a well-balanced dose of your daily requirements of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

It is not junk food and offers quality nutritional value to your diet.

The website claims that you can use it as a sole nutritional source, or can be used to replace individual meals, or even as a snack in between meals.

What is Shakeology Meal replacement?

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Shakeology is also a meal replacement powder. It comes in a large bag and requires to be scooped out and mixed with water, juice, or milk.

It also offers a well balanced dose of your daily requirements and can be used to replace a meal when you are on-the-go.

It is also not junk food and offers quality nutritional value to your diet.

Shakeology recommends using the meal replacement once per day, or as a snack in place of unhealthy chips, candies, or cookies.

How are these 2 products different?

Both products are powders that are mixed with water or skim milk to be used as a full meal replacement.

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients they offer to get an idea of the similarities and differences.

First – here are some of the main differences.

Marketing strategy

Looking at the websites for me is the first feeling you get for a new product.

Shakeology, under TeamBeachBody, is a fun and colorful website with lots of people claiming to have lost weight and become healthier.

Huel is far more serious, giving loads of information regarding the ingredients. In fact, the detail is so in-depth, that one can get lost in seeing the bigger picture. But, saying that, it is very transparent and impressive.

I guess that as Shakeology was started as a weight loss program, rather than a meal replacement, the focus has also tended to remain on that aspect.

Protein

Both shakes offer a good percentage of your daily protein requirement.

This is important if you are using the shakes to replace meals.

When you are cooking, you can prepare meat, fish, chicken, or eggs to give you the protein you need. If you are taking a meal replacement powder, it is important to know what type of protein you are eating. Protein is used by the body to build bones and muscles and to ensure that organs work correctly.

Shakeology claims that they do not use soy protein in their formula. The website advises that the powder contains flax, rice protein, quinoa, pea protein, and whey.

Huel has a simpler combination of proteins. It claims to include pea protein, brown rice protein, flaxseed, and protein from the oat powder.

Shakeology offers 34% of your daily requirement, while Huel offers a much larger 58%.

Whey

Some people do not want Whey as a protein as they are lactose intolerant. Shakeology does contain whey protein. The website claims that some of the products do come in dairy-free options.

Huel does not contain whey, so this will be an important factor when deciding which one to choose.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide the body with energy. They help to fuel the kidneys, brain, heart, and nervous system.

Both shakes offer carbohydrates. Shakeology comes in at 6% of which a large 6.5g is sugar. Huel offers 14% with a very small component of sugar, at only 0.9g.

So let’s talk about sugar!

Sugar

Drinking a meal replacement is great to boost protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. What I do not want to do is boost my sugar intake.

Comparing these two shakes, one can see that Shakeology will give you 6.5g of sugar per serving. If you drink two meal replacements per day, that is an intake of 13g of sugar. Huel offers far less, at only 0.9g or 2g per day for two meals.

I cannot see easily on either website whether the sugar comes from stevia. This is a factor, as some people prefer not to use stevia.

Both sites claim to have 100% natural products and no artificial sweeteners, so we can assume that the sugar does not come from chemical components.

Salt

Salt is another ingredient that many people prefer to stay away from. Salt can cause thirst and a rise in blood pressure. Looking at the ingredient list, both products contain salt. Huel has 12% of your daily intake. Shakeology has 7%.

Although these numbers are not excessively high, they are higher than other meal replacements that claim to have zero salt.

Fats

When it comes to fats, Shakeology gives you 4% of which 5% are saturated. and Huel gives you 19% of which 12% are saturated. Saturated fats tend to be unhealthy. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats. These fat values are not exceptionally high.

Fiber

Fiber helps to keep the digestive system in good working order. Shakeology offers a minimal amount of fiber. Huel offers 23% of your daily requirement, which is substantially more.

How are these 2 products similar?

Flavor choice

If I am going to start drinking meal replacements, I like to know that I will have a choice of flavors. Drinking meal replacement drinks can become boring if you only have a choice of one or two flavors.

Both these products do offer a variety of flavors.

Shakeology has a chocolate, vanilla, café latte, strawberry, tropical strawberry, and a salted caramel.

Huel offers vanilla, unflavoured, coffee, berry, mint-chocolate, chocolate, banana, and salted caramel.

So, both have a variety. One concern that kept popping up in current Shakeology reviews is the fact that the formula was changed recently. This appears to have affected the taste negatively and many long-term fans are not happy.

In general, people seem to like the taste of both shakes, although as always, there are some people who claim that the powders taste like ‘drinking chemicals’.

Vitamins

Both products offer most of the essential vitamins that are vital for a healthy diet. Let us look at specific vitamins and how they compare.

Vitamin C is vital for a strong immune system. Both these meal replacements offer a large dose of Vitamin C. Shakeology has 225% and Huel has 375%, which is a larger dose.

The next vital Vitamin is Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 works to keep the nervous system healthy. Shakeology offers a 48% while Huel comes in a much larger amount at 160%.

Huel also beats Shakeology when it comes to Vitamin E. Vitamin E is used by the body to regenerate healthy cells and support the immune system. Huel offers 125% and Shakeology a low 44%.

Both products offer a huge 400% of Vitamin D. This is needed to keep teeth, bones, and muscles healthy. For people who don’t get outdoors into the fresh air and sunshine, adding Vitamin D to your diet is a must. Both these meal replacements do well with the supply of Vitamin D.

Vegan, dairy-free

Both websites claim that their products are suitable for a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Shakeology, as I mentioned before, does contain whey in the product I am looking at – the Chocolate Whey Shake. This will not be suitable for people who are lactose intolerant.

Huel does not contain dairy products.

Convenience

Both products are convenient to use. They come in a powder form and are mixed with water, milk, or juice.

Huel comes in a one-meal size pouch, which is far more convenient! This means no scooping or measuring. You can simply tear open the pouch, tip it into your glass of liquid and you are ready to go. This is certainly a bonus for busy people. It also does away with preparing your scoops before you leave home and having to have a container with you to store them.

Nutritional value

Both products offer a good balance of essential Vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They both can be used as meal replacements for extended time periods.

In this case, I don’t see massive pros or cons between the two. Factors that will make people prefer one from the other is the Whey content, not suitable for people who want a dairy-free product. The salt content may not suit those looking for a salt-free option.

Here are some key comparison points

Shakeology Huel
Sugar 6% 1%
Salt 7% 12%
Protein 34% 58%
Vitamin C 225% 375%
Vitamin E 44% 125%
Vitamin D 400% 400%
Vitamin B12 48% 160%
Carbohydrates 6% 14%
Fat 4% 19%
Vegan Yes Yes
Dairy-Free Some products Yes
Whey Yes No
Choice of flavors Many Many

What’s better about Huel?

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Overall, the look and feel of the website is very professional. There is an amazing breakdown of every ingredient in every product. It may be a bit too extensive, but no one can complain about the detail provided if that is what you are looking for.

I like the meal-size packs – this is a bonus if you don’t want to drink a ready-made shake, but also want to avoid the scooping process.

What’s better about Shakeology?

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Shakeology seems to be a more popular product, probably because it has been around longer. It also has a link to weight loss and fitness, a topic that always attracts people.

Shakeology offers BODgroups where you can connect directly with a coach for your fitness, exercise goals, related questions, and nutrition programs.

Who should get Huel?

There is very little between these two products. However, the ONE area where HUEL wins is on the low Sugar content. 

At 0.9g per 100g, the sugar content is very low. I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to sugar so this is a huge benefit.

Huel offers a comprehensive meal replacement option. There is a good choice of flavors so you won’t get bored.

Huel claims that you can use this product as your sole nutritional source. I would be a bit hesitant to do this for a long time. Nothing beats a great home-cooked meal, fresh fruits, and veggies.

Who should get Shakeology?

Shakeology gives a comprehensive meal replacement option. This shake is probably better suited to people who want to also combine it with a weight loss program.

The website does have a large focus on that aspect and the company started as a weight-loss and fitness program. So you will get the benefit of both healthy eating and weight loss.

You can connect with a personal coach and also take advantage of over 1500 fitness and workout plans.

Both companies claim to offer a superior product, tested and manufactured according to industry standards.

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