Soylent Vs Huel: Which One Is the Best?

 

Soylent vs Huel

Huel and Soylent are the biggest meal replacement brands currently available. They are the two brands that most people are aware off, and also the ones battling fiercely in the USA to gain dominance over the market. Despite both being meal replacement brands that produce plant based complete foods; they are very different from each other. In this piece, I will try to highlight these differences, and try to help you decide which one is better: Soylent or Huel. Let’s get started with the Soylent vs Huel face-off.

Short Introduction

LatestFuels Logo @2x

In the past few years I have tried over 50 different shakes and more than 100 variations of meal replacements. My passion for nutrition made me discover this niche, and since I have been expanding my knowledge about the market. After making my passion my job, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a variety of complete foods, including both Huel and Soylent products (bars, ready to drinks and powders). As such, I think that I can provide you with a unique insight in this Soylent vs Huel comparison.

Soylent’s website. From left to right: Powder, Drink, Bridge and Squared.

Soylent was the first and won the hearts of American customers with the smooth and tasty shakes. After the success of their powder based meals, they soon moved to ready-to drink alternatives, which launched Soylent’s popularity and are now Soylent’s best-selling products.

With a pro-science and pro-GMO stance, Soylent’s meal replacements will contain more processed ingredients than the alternatives. While they will provide you with all the essentials your body needs according to the latest scientific literature, they will not add any probiotics, phytonutrients or other compounds

Huel Shop
Huel US website with all the products that are sold.

Huel, on the other hand, started in the UK with a nutrition first approach. The growth of the British giant has been slow (relatively) and steady, mainly based on their star product Huel Powder. With the recent funding rounds, the UK based brand has expanded their product repertoire, as well as made a more clear effort to establish as primary brand in the USA.

On the opposite side of Soylent, Huel chooses to use more whole ingredients (not solely, though), like oats. They also have started adding probiotics and kombucha to improve gut health. Huel’s ingredients are not from GMO sources, but they are not organic either.

Before going on, I must say that when people compare Huel vs Soylent, they think that these are the only alternatives; but the truth is that they might not even be the best meal replacement shakes in the market. Always, try to find the one that suits you best.

Overview of Products

SoylentHuel
FromUSAUK
Ships toUSA & UKWorldwide
Shipping feeFreeFree
VeganYesYes
GMOYesNo
Soylent PowderHuel Powder v3.0
Energy (C/P/F)35/20/4540/30/30
Kcal/serving400400
Price/serving$1.80$2.12
Gluten FreeYesNo*
Flavours27*
Minimum Order$64.00$72.22
Go to Comparison
ReviewReadRead
Soylent UK Cacao
Huel RTD review
Soylent DrinkHuel Ready to Drink
Energy (C/P/F)38/19/4338/20/42
Kcal/serving400400
Price/serving$3.25$4.50
Gluten FreeYesYes
Flavours83
Minimum Order$39.00$99.00
Go to Comparison
ReviewReadRead
Huel Bar Coffee Caramel
Soylent SquaredHuel Bar v3.1
Energy (C/P/F)44/19/3740/24/36
Kcal/serving100200
Price/serving$1.00$2.07
Gluten FreeYesYes
Flavours32*
Minimum Order$30.00$62.22
Go to Comparison
ReviewReadRead

*Gluten-free in Huel Powder is optional. There are often more flavours available for each product for Huel in the UK, whereas the opposite is true in the USA for Soylent. Huel also has Huel Black (powder); while Soylent has Soylent Bridge (RTD) and Stacked (RTD) also for sale in the USA. Prices shown are for the USA without bulk or subscription discounts (most expensive).

Soylent Bridge facts

Soylent Bridge

  • Chocolate.
  • 180kcal/bottle.
  • $2.16/bottle.
  • Gluten-free, Vegan.
Soylent Stacked Bottle

Soylent Stacked

  • Chocolate.
  • 180kcal/bottle.
  • $2.50/bottle.
  • Gluten-free, Vegan.
Huel Black 1 bag

Huel Black

  • Vanilla, Chocolate.
  • 400kcal/serving.
  • $2.45/serving.
  • Gluten-free, Vegan.

Huel also sells a complete Granola in Europe and the UK, but it is being considered to be taken out.


Availability

Soylent Easier to Find in the USA

The American brand is available in the UK (only few products and flavours) and in the USA. However, it must be noted that they are expanding to Canada in Q1 2020.

In the USA, they have strong retail presence in 7-Eleven, Costco, Target and Walmart (RTDs only). Besides, you can buy all Soylent products in the online store and on Amazon.

In the US, soylent.com will be the best place (price-wise) to buy and the more likely you will get a more personalized treatment. You will also be able to get subscriber benefits and loyalty rewards.

Huel on Retail Only In the UK

On the contrary to Soylent, Huel is available worldwide, with particularly strong presence in the USA, EU and the UK. Unfortunately not all flavours are available in the US, and none of the products can be purchased in Canada.

As for Huel RTD, this is sold on Sainsbury’s and Selfridges, as well as on their main website. I strongly recommend buying it online if you can, since you will get a much better deal regarding the price.


Huel Vs Soylent Product Comparisons

Below, I have made in-depth comparisons of the different Huel and Soylent products. Because, both offer multiple types of meal replacements, I have divided them in different sections:

In short, Soylent has the best RTD offering, both in variety and flavours (US). However, Huel’s Powders are more affordable and nutritionally much more complete. Thus, for daily use, Huel will be better suited for most, unless you want the convenience that ready to drink products bring.

Huel Powder vs Soylent Powder

Soylent Powder is the original meal replacement option in the US. A fan favourite, which is also relatively low in carbs and high in fats. Soylent Powder is often praised for its flavour and smoothness. Soylent Powder is only available in the US, as for now.

Soylent Powder Both flavours

Soylent Powder: Original and Cacao.

Huel has 2 different variations of powder available in the USA and UK: Huel v3.0 and Huel Black. The first is the original formula with more carbs and a more balanced macronutrient profile. Huel Black is a low carb, ultra high protein mixture. Nevertheless, both are complete foods that will offer you all the nutrients you need per meal.

Huel Basic kit

Huel Powder: Vanilla, Chocolate, Banana*, Mint-Chocolate*, Berry, Coffee*, and Unflavoured & Unsweetened. * Flavours currently only available in the UK.

Huel Black: Vanilla and Chocolate.

Taste & Texture

Soylent Powder will give you a thinner, smoother shake that will be easier to get used to as a beginner. Furthermore, it is sweeter than Huel, and has a clear background soy taste (like drinking soy milk). The Original mixture is creamy, with a vanilla touch; whereas Cacao is a mild sweet chocolate mixture. Cacao is the best out of both. 7.5/10

In contrast, Huel is known for being a little gritty and also requires more water to be mixed with (about 400-500ml vs 350ml). Hence, many Huel users like to leave their shakes overnight in the fridge to make them smoother. When it comes to taste, you will find that opinions vary. Huel has a more oaty, earthy taste. 7/10

In my opinion, Soylent Cacao tastes better than Huel Chocolate, and it is the best tasting out of all of the options. However, Huel has more choices, and the Vanilla is really good and mixes very well with fruits.

What about Huel Black? Huel Black Chocolate is smoother than the normal Huel, but tastes very strongly like pea protein and it’s inferior to the other flavours. Huel Black Vanilla is slightly better, but taste-wise inferior. It will only be tastier to those that find artificial sweeteners (sucralose) disgusting. 5.5/10

Price

Price
Huel Black
Huel v3.0
Soylent Powder
US ($)
per 400 (expensive)2.452.121.82
per 400 (cheapest)1.731.511.74

Huel’s price will significantly vary with order size. The bigger the order, the lower the price per meal will be, since they offer bulk purchasing discounts.

Nutrition

per servingHuel BlackHuel v3.0Soylent Powder
Energy (C/P/F)20/39/4140/30/3035/20/45
Energy (kCal)400400400
Fats (g)181320
Saturated (g)2.52.52.5
Cholesterol (mg)000
Carbs (g)244641
Sugars (g)4115
Fiber (g)774
Protein (g)393020
Sodium (mg)395330320

All three are vegan. Soylent Powder and Huel Black are gluten-free, while Huel v3.0 (default one) is not.

Ingredients

Huel BlackHuel v3.0Soylent Powder
VeganYYY
GMONNY
GlutenNY*N
SoyNNY
MaltodextrinYNY
SweetenerSugarSucraloseSucralose
ProbioticsYYN
GI27*2755

Soylent Powder is plant based formula from a pro-GMO, pro science approach. As such, many of the ingredients in Soylent Powder are more processed and simple forms (maltodextrin, isomaltulose). Nutritionally, Soylent will provide you with all your dietary requirements, but will not include any probiotics, phytonutrients or extra ingredients.

Huel v3.0′s main ingredients are oats, pea and rice protein, with sunflower oil, flaxseed and MCTs. Huel’s ingredients are not from GMO sources. You can find the whole list here.

Huel Black is a gluten free formula, with pea proteins as main ingredient followed by flaxseed, brown rice protein and tapioca starch. It also contains organic coconut sugar, instead of sweeteners. See the full ingredient list.

What Should I Buy?

If you are looking for a low carb option, Huel Black is the healthiest, nutritionally better rounded option between all of them. I also think that it is the better shake if you are looking to lose weight, with the extra protein and fiber.

Huel Shaker in use

However, if you are not too bothered about macros, I would recommend you to buy Huel Powder v3.0. There are more flavour options, it is cheaper, tastes better than Black, and it has the best nutritional output of all three.

On the other hand, if you despise oats, or really want a tasty smooth shake, then Soylent Powder will be the ideal choice for you.

Huel Ready to Drink vs Soylent

Soylent was the first company releasing a ready-to-drink product, which now has become the best selling and most widely available option in the US: Soylent Drink. They also have Soylent Cafe, the caffeinated version.

 SoylentHuel RTD
FromUSAUK
Ships toUSA & UKEU & US
$/400kcal3.254.5
C/P/F38/19/4338/20/42
AllergenSoy 
kCal/meal400400
Serv/day55
SuitableVeganVegan
Flavours83
Subscription5%10%

Flavours

Soylent Drink: Original, Vanilla, Cacao, Mint Chocolate, Strawberry, Cafe Mocha*, Cafe Chai*, Cafe Vanilla*. *Caffeinated drinks.

Huel RTD Flavours 3

Huel Ready To Drink: Vanilla, Berry, and Chocolate.

Which Tastes Better: Soylent Drink or Huel Ready to Drink?

Soylent Drink offers more variety, and in my opinion the better taste overall. Both ready to drinks are very smooth and creamy, but Soylent’s are a little sweeter and more pleasant. Particularly, Cacao, Vanilla and Cafe Mocha are great. 9.0/10

Huel Drink vs Soylent Drink

The one benefit of Huel RTDs is that they don’t have any background soy taste, unlike Soylent does. Thus, if you do not particularly like this, you might favour the more neutral, less sweet Huel flavour. The best out of the three is Vanilla followed by Chocolate, and Berry is last. 8.0/10

Pricing

Huel Ready to Drink’s price will vary depending on the location (US, UK, EU) and the amount of bottles you buy. For instance, in the US you will start at $4.5/bottle and in the UK at £3.08/bottle (both being equal). While the starting point might be higher, the good news is that the price can be significantly reduced when you buy in bulk at Huel, unlike for Soylent.

Price
Huel RTD
Soylent Drink
US ($)
per 400 (expensive)4.503.08
per 400 (cheapest)3.193.05
UK (£)
per 400 (expensive)3.082.91
per 400 (cheapest)2.132.91

Soylent does not ship to Europe and it’s only available in the US and UK, for now.

Nutrition

per servingSoylent DrinkHuel RTD
Energy (C/P/F)38/31/3138/20/42
Energy (kCal)400400
Fats (g)21.019
Saturated (g)2.04.0
Monounsaturated (g)157.0
Polyunsaturated (g)3.57.0
Trans fat (g)0.00.0
Cholesterol (mg)0.00.0
Carbs (g)37.037.0
Sugars (g)9.03.0
Fiber (g)3.06.0
Protein (g)2020
Salt (g)0.30.7

Looking at the data, they look pretty similar; fairly high in fats, medium protein and low carbohydrate content. However, there are some main differences:

  • Soylent has significantly more monounsaturated fatty acids, and less omega-3 and -6 (polyunsaturated) per bottle (not shown).
  • Huel RTD has more saturated fats, due to the inclusion of MCTs.
  • They have the same amount of carbohydrates, but Soylent has more sugar (isomaltulose) and significantly less fiber.
  • Soylent Drink’s GI is 44 (medium-low), while Huel Ready to Drink’s GI is 25.
 SoylentHuel RTD
FatsSunflower oil, canola oilCanola oil, flaxseed, MCT
ProteinSoy protein isolatePea protein, brown rice flour
CarbsMaltodextrin, IsomaltuloseTapioca starch, gluten free oat powder

Verdict: Soylent Drink Vs Huel Ready to Drink

In the USA, I would recommend buying Soylent Drink. They are tastier, slightly more affordable and have a better variety, so you never get tired of them. I would only recommend Huel, if you are willing to pay extra for small nutritional upgrades (lower GI, no soy, less processed ingredients).

On the other hand, I think that Huel RTD is a no-brainer choice if you live in the UK. The price discrepancy is too big to ignore. The availability of Soylent also varies too much, and the variety is nowhere near what they offer in the USA. I would recommend trying out Soylent, if you have Amazon Prime, but otherwise stick to Huel.

What about Soylent Bridge and Soylent Stacked?

Soylent Bridge pack
12 pack

These are smaller (180kcal) RTDs that Soylent offers. Both are only available in Chocolate flavour and are more expensive than Soylent Drink. Stacked has some caffeine and other nootropics (l-theanine, l-tyrosine) to help you focus. You can read my full thoughts on Soylent Bridge here, but in short I think that it is an overpriced meal, with some extra protein.

Neither of them are truly that great and fill very niche needs.

Huel Bar vs Soylent Squared

Unfortunately, I don’t think that neither of the options is among the best meal replacement bars in the market. However, considering the limited options available in the US, you might want to try them.

Soylent SquaredHuel Bar v3.1
100kcal/bar200kcal/bar
$1.00/bar$2.07/bar
VeganVegan
44C/19P/37F40C/24P/36F
Box of 30Box of 15
3 Flavours2 Flavours
5% Subscription10% Subscription
4 flavours available in the UK. Hopefully, they will all be ready to purchase in the USA soon.

Huel Bars are gluten free with 200kcal per bar and 12g of protein. The new formula is chewy and soft, fairly similar to Soylent’s. In the US, they are available in Salted Caramel and Chocolate; whereas there are another two more flavours in the UK.

Soylent Squared Best Bar US

On the other side, Soylent Squareds are 100kcal snack bars. While they also have all the nutrients necessary, they are designed to be a complimentary snack and not a full meal. They come in three flavours: Citrus Cherry, Salted Caramel and Chocolate Brownie.

In all honesty, I prefer the flavour of Huel’s bars, and the bigger format also adapts better to my lifestyle.

Alternatives

So that’s all you need to know about Soylent versus Huel.

Still, do neither of the options shown here convince you? Don’t worry since they are not the only meal replacements out there. For instance, there are many keto meal replacement shakes which will suit people following the ketogenic diet better than Soylent or Huel. I will strongly recommend you looking at the following articles:

Conclusion

Both Huel and Soylent offer multiple meal replacements that will provide you with all the nutrients you need per meal. They are ideal to replace one or two meals a day, to ensure proper nutrition no matter where you are or the time.

When it comes to choosing which one is the best, Huel vs Soylent, these are the major factors to think about:

  • Nutritionally, Huel Powder is the better well rounded and healthiest option out of all. Unlike Soylent, it has more whole ingredients, probiotics and phytonutrients giving you even more per meal.
  • If convenience is key for you, then you will probably want to look for RTDs. In this case, in the UK Huel RTD will be the answer. On the other hand, due to the pricing, the variety and the taste, Soylent Drink is the way to go in the USA.
  • In fact, if you are looking for a beginner friendly, easy shake to drink, and tasty shake, Soylent Drink (or to a lesser degree Powder) is the way to go.

Sources

  1. All about Huel.
  2. Soylent Powder Nutrition label.
  3. Huel Powder Nutrition.
  4. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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