Life is busy. And if you’re anything like me, cooking isn’t your favorite past-time, and doing dishes is even less so, even if you do have the time for those things.
Why not have something that’s nutritionally balanced, takes only a few minutes to make, and makes as few dishes as possible. This is exactly what meal replacement shakes are for.
Also, if you’re looking to lose weight or maintain your healthy physique while you’re on the go, of course, you want a shake that’s not only full of nutrients but has little to no nasties in it.
If you’re looking for clean nutritional shakes, two brands that often come up are Purition and Huel.
These UK brands are known to be more natural with good options for those with allergies and dietary restrictions.
So that sounds pretty good already. But do these shakes live up to the hype and which one is the best?
What is Purition?
Purition, according to the brand, is real food. And from what I can see, that’s true. All their ingredients are things that we can pronounce and understand.
These shakes are made in the UK at the Purition headquarters in Shrewsbury.
Everything from their flavors to the protein, carbs, and fats is natural. No artificial sweeteners, artificial flavorings, or fillers. Simply put, no chemicals.
Speaking of carbs and fats, Purition shakes are all keto-friendly and safe for diabetics too. There is no added sugar.
These shakes are produced from nuts, seeds, fruit, plants, and in the non-vegan options, milk. All the vitamins and minerals are from real food ingredients as opposed to synthetic added nutrients.
Their aim is to provide you with a shake that can replace two meals a day to save you time.
These shakes come in 18 different flavors, and vegans, rejoice! Most of those flavors are available in the vegan range.
- Chocolate and Hazelnut (vegan option too)
- Chocolate (vegan option too)
- Strawberry (vegan option too)
- Macadamia and Vanilla
- Almond (vegan option too)
- Beetroot (vegan option too)
- Beetroot and Chocolate (vegan option too)
- Blackcurrant (vegan option too)
- Chocolate Orange (vegan option too)
- Coconut (vegan option too)
- Coffee & Walnut (vegan option too)
- Pistachio (vegan option too)
- Banana (vegan option too)
- Raspberry (vegan option too)
- Vegan Vanilla
- Vegan Chai Latte
- Vegan Hemp Original
- Curcumin (Turmeric)
A Look at the Ingredients in Purition
The ingredients differ slightly based on the flavors.
In the original range, whey protein is the main source of protein. In the vegan range, you usually get a combination of pea, pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp protein.
Plant protein has the added benefit of fiber and other phytonutrients. They’re easier on the kidneys and better for cholesterol levels and may help to reduce the risk for various diseases.
As mentioned, the flavors are natural. In the nutty flavors, nuts are used to flavor the shake. In the strawberry shakes, strawberries are used, cocoa for the chocolate flavors, etc.
Flaxseeds, coconut, chia seeds, psyllium husks, and stevia are common ingredients.
There is a lot to be said for these ingredients. Many of them are high in antioxidants, omega 3, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Flaxseeds, for example, have heart-protective properties and help reduce PMS symptoms.
What is Huel?
Huel is short for Human + Fuel. The goal of this brand is to provide affordable food that is nutritionally complete with minimal impact on the environment and animals.
This food, like Purition, is in the form of shakes although they also sell bars and a savory option. We’ll be looking at the Huel Gluten-Free v3.0.
Huel is mostly natural. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are added (some of which may be artificial) and the sweetener used is sucralose, which is also artificial.
These shakes are more of a balanced meal, so unfortunately for those of you on a low-carb diet, Huel isn’t an option.
There are eight flavors available and all are vegan-friendly as all the ingredients are plant-based, aside from the synthetic ones which just happen to be vegan.
- Caffe Latte
- Salted Caramel
- Unflavored and unsweetened
A Look at the Ingredients in Huel
With Huel being a completely plant-based shake, the protein blend is also vegan-friendly. It consists of gluten-free oats, pea protein, flaxseed, and brown rice protein.
If you’re into MCT oil, Huel includes some of that in their formulation too. MCTs help to lower inflammation and may aid weight loss.
Another interesting ingredient is acerola cherry powder. It’s high in vitamin C, contains B-vitamins, and is rich in antioxidants.
Kombucha is another ingredient that’s high in antioxidants and depending on its preparation, a source of probiotics.
Prebiotics and probiotics are added for additional health benefits to the gut microbiome.
Including the naturally present vitamins and minerals, there are also some added vitamins and minerals, some of which are synthetic. This is the case with some of the antioxidants too.
There is however some cornstarch which is controversial and sucralose which isn’t the best thing for your gut health. But the pre and probiotics may help to offset some of this.
How Do Purition and Huel Differ?
Purition is 100% natural. Huel is mostly natural, but the vitamins, minerals, and sweetener aren’t natural.
Purition has many more flavors and also has options for those who prefer whey protein in the form of their original range. In terms of the protein used, Huel uses plant protein.
Many people say that Purition is the better-tasting shake, particularly when prepared with milk.
Huel has fewer allergens. If you’re allergic to nuts, you can find some options that are safe in the Original range, but all the vegan flavors use nuts as part of the protein make-up.
Huel is a balanced meal replacement shake whereas Purition is suitable for those on a low carb diet.
Huel has more servings per bag at 17, vs Purition which contains an average of 12. I say average because you can work on your calorie requirements to adjust how much powder you use.
How are Purition and Huel Similar?
Both brands’ shakes are meal replacements and have vegan-friendly options.
What’s Better About Purition?
I really like that they’re a natural brand. I will always recommend that most, if not all, of your nutrients should come from actual food.
Purition is natural food, albeit highly processed. By processed I mean it’s been dried and then ground into a powder.
While Huel has added phytonutrients, some of them are synthetic. There is some evidence that synthetic antioxidants may be harmful to health.
Purition likely has phytonutrients too, but since whole food ingredients are used, this makes them much healthier.
The vitamins and minerals are also available in natural food quantities, so getting too much of them is less likely.
The fact that they use stevia instead of artificial sweeteners is another plus. Artificial sweeteners, like sucralose, may have a negative impact on the gut microbiome. Stevia is safe for the gut.
At 200 calories per 40g serving, you can rest easy if you enjoy adding extra ingredients to make a smoothie.
I think we can all appreciate the variety of flavors. Shakes with same old chocolate, vanilla or strawberry flavors can become so boring.
But with 14 different flavors to choose from, we can all find one, or more, that we really enjoy whether we’re vegan or choose the original option.
As mentioned according to reviews, Purition is also tastier.
What’s Better About Huel?
Huel has more servings per bag and on their website, they offer a subscription service to save you even more money.
Huel contains a wider variety of nutrients. There are 27 vitamins and minerals. They can guarantee this because of the fact that they add the nutrients in.
If you are skipping meals or are unable to eat healthy meals, this is a good thing.
Unlike some other meal replacements, you get a decent amount of calories. 400 calories is on par with a healthy plate of food.
Just keep this in mind, however, if you like to add other ingredients to make a smoothie if you’re trying to lose weight.
Gut health is also important to the creators of Huel. The Huel 3.0 shakes are low FODMAP and contain prebiotics and probiotics for better digestion.
Who Should Get Purition?
If you are on a low-carb diet and looking for a safe meal replacement shake, here you go. Purition is for you.
It’s also for anyone who prefers a shake made from only natural ingredients.
If you do manage to eat one or two healthy meals per day, nutrient content also won’t be a problem.
Who Should Get Huel?
If you prefer a balanced meal replacement shake, Huel is for you.
If you don’t mind a few synthetic ingredients and the fact that you will get more servings per bag, Huel is a good option.
If you have nut allergies, you may also find more options in the Huel range.
Also, if your gut health is a little lackluster, Huel is a good choice thanks to being low FODMAP and the pre and probiotics.
Purition: The Pros and Cons
- No added sugar
- No added salt
- Vegetarian and vegan options
- 14 different flavors in both the original and vegan range
- Safe for those on the keto diet
- Safe for diabetics
- Gluten-free options
- Lactose-free options
- Most people enjoy the gentle, natural flavors, especially with milk
- Has an unflavored option
- Can work out to be a bit expensive
- There’s only 15 vitamins and minerals
Huel: The Pros and Cons
- Contains 27 vitamins and minerals
- 17 servings per bag
- Decent calorie content at 400 calories
- Balanced meal replacement
- No added sugar
- No added salt
- Safe for diabetics
- Has an unflavored option
- Low FODMAP
- Prebiotics and probiotics
- Artificial sweetener
- Synthetic antioxidants
- Some people don’t enjoy the taste
I’m leaning more toward Purition because it’s a fully natural shake. The fact that it’s harder to overdose on vitamins and minerals, and that the antioxidants are in their natural form is great.
The calories are low enough that you can add other ingredients to make a smoothie without worrying too much about the calorie content if you’re trying to lose weight.
But at the same time, 200 calories, which is still a bit low, especially if you only have three healthy regular-sized meals a day.
So you may need to snack in between or have something else with your shakes depending on what your other meals look like.
But there are some extra benefits that Huel has, such as the pre and probiotics that many people might find helpful.
The biggest thing I have against Huel is the use of sucralose and synthetic antioxidants.
These ingredients may seem healthy at first glance, but when you dig deeper there are some health concerns surrounding them.
All in all, the decision is yours. What works for one person might not work for someone else. You know your gut, and the rest of your body, best.
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