6 Months of ~100% Huel, still can't tolerate pea protein


#1

I challenged myself to consume 90-100% U/U GF Huel for 6 months. Sometimes I will eat brown rice cakes or oatmeal with coconut milk (same ingredient profile as Huel). I also drink red wine occasionally and take amino acids supplements (L-Lysine).

I feel as though my health has greatly improved, my weight is controlled and my 6 month blood profile is looking good, no deficits. Overall I love this product and I don’t even know how much money I’ve saved from groceries or eating out. I’ve recommended it to everyone I know.

However, all of these benefits still don’t outweigh my gut’s intolerance to pea protein. It’s a high FODMAP food and my gut has been basically perpetually distended for half a year. I was hoping my body would acclimate but my reaction has been constant and unchanging. It’s not fun experiencing bloating 24/7, I even have a six pack that isn’t even completely visible unless I do a 16-22 hour fast prior. I’ve tried enzyme complexes, probiotics, peppermint oil and kim chi. Doesn’t do anything for it. I’ve also tested an isolation diet by fasting for 22 hours, then only consuming pea protein, same reaction (and intense). It’s definitely the culprit.

I’m going to have to look elsewhere for an alternative solution. If one day Huel comes out with a zero-Pea Protein formula, leveraging Rice, Hemp, Oat or another low FODMAP protein, I’ll definitely be back, but for now this situation makes my life pretty unbearable and I have to stop.

I want to thank the Huel team, especially @JamesCollier and I hope it’s working out better for you lot.


#2

Hi @langford - thanks for the feedback and pleased to hear you feel your health has improved.

There are no FODMAPs in pea protein though. While peas may contain FODMAPs, pea protein isolate has been produced in such a way as to remove nearly all carbs, therefore all FODMAPs. Indeed, we had our pea protein tested for FOS and GOS and they were below minimum detectable levels. If you are experiencing an intolerance to pea protein, the evidence suggests it’s not FODMAP-related. Or was the pea protein you bought and consumed in isolation an 80% isolate or was it inferior?

What were the symptoms you experienced? Are they dose-dependant on the amount of Huel?


#3

Hey @JamesCollier, thank you for this detailed response, I really appreciate the time you take with each customer’s concerns.

FODMAP
This is enlightening, I didn’t know you could separate the FODMAP agents from the protein.

Other Pea Proteins
The other pea proteins I’ve consumed have given me the same reaction, I’ve tried several brands. I’m not sure if it was 80% or inferior, I’m sorry.

Symptoms
My symptoms include extreme bloating in my gut which lasts about 6 hours and causes a lot of discomfort but no pain or other digestive issues. My movements are perfectly healthy and like I mentioned, the rest of my health is great too. I have a reaction after a minimum of 2 scoops. My maximum scoops for a day is 12. The reaction seems to increase with the higher volume of Huel I ingest and my symptoms last longer.

Now I feel lost again as to what is causing the issue. To be clear, I love your product and if there’s a way to mitigate this effect, I’ll be a customer for life.

Things I’ve tried with no reasonable improvements

  • Higher water to Huel ratio
  • Blending
  • Drinking more slowly
  • Digestive Probiotics beforehand
  • Digestive Enzymes beforehand
  • Kim chi
  • Kombucha beforehand and after
  • Peppermint oil (liquid and gel cap) beforehand
  • Peppermint / Fennel Tea beforehand and after
  • Turmeric + Ginger powder beforehand (For the Anti-inflammatory properties)
  • Fasting

Other things that give me similar reactions

  • Beans
  • Dairy
  • Artificial Sweeteners (Hence switching to U/U GF)

I’m not sure what else to try, but I’m willing to try other things if you have any ideas

Thank you


#4

Hi @langford

Thanks for the info. There’s no obvious reason why you’re experiencing the issues, though it doesn’t surprise me that some of those points haven’t helped.

Is there a time of day where symptoms are better / not present or is it any time you have Huel?


#5

Mate, try the pea protein on its own. I myself thought it might be the pea protein but found out it wasnt when i tried to recreate huel myself(i use huel for convenience) and the only thing i didnt replace properly was the MCTs, i used coconut oil instead and found no diarrhea or gastrointestinal problems. So i started digging about online and found out i could be the MCT. Apparently it can cause diarrhea. It is a big complaint in keto forums lol. Also i found webmd also states as a side effect that mct can cause diarrhea and that mct is not a dietary fat.

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-915/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts#


#6

Mate, could it be the MCT’s? Like i have the same problem as this guy and it is the only thing i could pinpoint to.

Cheers


#7

I have a similar experience to yours, although I’ve never thought it to be related to pea protein. I’m recently starting Huel again (1x/day for now) because I’ve been eating like garbage since I got married 3 weeks ago. I had quit it entirely because nothing would mitigate the bloating. In the meantime I figured out FODMAPs are probably causing a lot of my digestive issues that aren’t related to Huel, so I’m trying now to cut them entirely and just stick with Huel and low FODMAP foods for my main meal. It’s not easy as I’m vegan. :roll_eyes:


#8

I find I am now able to tolerate a certain amount of FODMAPs along with Huel powder. 60g Huel granola per day for instance, plus half Huel bars as snacks, both of which contain FODMAPs, without getting the severe repercussions I used to get pre-Huel.


#9

@JamesCollier Time of day isn’t a factor. Sometimes I consume Huel at regular times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other times it’s sporadic. The symptoms occur 20m - 1h after ingesting.

I recently tested steamed peas (a giant heaping bowl) with nothing else. I had the reaction but I know this might not be helpful since you already stated that the isolate is FODMAP free.

Not sure what the issue is.


#10

@TreeGekko Hmm, could be. I’ve only ever had small amounts of MCT for cooking and things like that outside of the Huel mixture. Obviously I’m not going to consume a giant bowl of oil to text this.

I don’t experience diarrhea though, only bloating.


#11

What’s your secret


#12

Hi There.
I have the same “problem” like you @langford
I have only been on Huel for 2 months, and i love it! but i really don’t love my bloated stomach!
My max is 7-8 scoops of Huel pr. day.
Hope that someone here will have some answers for us :slight_smile:
Thanks guys.
Best fra Denmark.


#13

Met too @Karlos