A low-waste way to make up extra calories burned while exercising

Hey all,

Over the past few months, I’ve really come round to the idea of trying to live a low-waste, mostly Huel-only lifestyle. I still think when RTD comes out it will be useful for the occasions now where I can’t mix up regular Huel, but overall I really do want to try to live as low-waste as possible.

The problem is that I am a cyclist, one that in particular likes to cycle long distance and so needs some kind of energy to keep them going on long rides (and needs energy after because I’m not aiming for an unintended calorie deficit).

I’ve been recently trying to make up the calories with just energy drinks and gels (lucozade, I mean, not monster or anything), but I’m aware this is generating a fair bit of waste. I haven’t found a good way to bring the Huel mixed up with me (just gunks up bottles) and the bars are too dehydrating (and not especially low-waste), so what are other low-waste, low-volume, high calorie options for me? I have a top tube bag, so it can be solid.

Ideally, I’d just have this whenever I need more calories. I really just want to consume enough Huel to live on, and add in something else fixed to make up any extra calories burned (rather than buying snacks or something). It’s too easy to get into the reward mindset for this sort of thing, and to think it would be too expensive to make up the excess with Huel, so being relatively cheap would also be ideal.

A giant bag of nuts kept at home, then a reusable tub you take out on your bike with you?
Almonds are pretty damn energy dense, peanuts too.

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Is that while cycling or after? I used to have lemonade with sugar after long rides (some kind of home-made energy drink). If you added a salt/mineral mix to this, you should have a fairly good drink with extra calories that works for both while you cycling and after. Even water with sugar could be enough.
You could always buy the big tubs, but you would still generate waste.

Another way to do it, would be adding honey+milk. If you can drink normal milk, you might find companies that use reusable bottles (glass).

Nuts as @GTIPuG says are great, because you can order them in big bags and make bars with them. I do not have a recipie with me but I am sure you could find one.

You could also make some kind of dessert like homemade rice pudding (you can have really big bags of rice that keep waste to minimum), use milk and sugar.

Another option would be some sort of cheese or salami if you can buy them from the butchers. Cheese should not have any wrapping on it if you buy a whole cheese. The salami from the bouchers shoulnd’t either.

I tried the nuts, but unfortunately I don’t seem to be a big enough fan to eat a pot of then every other day. In the end I got a big tub of glucose powder which I add to my drink. Not 0 waste, but still less than what I had been doing, since the one tub is 40 servings.

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Can you not just add dextrose powder or glucose powder to your water that you consume en route?

Or buy the paper wrapped packs of glucose tablets?

I’ve found 1kg (or even 5kg) bags of cyclic-dextrin carbs really good. I add it to my water bottle for long rides. I tried lots of different options before this but have found this the best way to fuel while cycling.
I also experimented with adding protein powders (pea protein or bcaa) as well but found this unnecessary and caused me digestive upset during intensive exercise.
I have pea protein in water after a ride, as well as huel, and that seems perfect for recovery.


For energy during the ride I would recommend (as does @ChristinaT above) some cycling specific carb powder to mix into your water. Once you figure out the correct ratio for yourself, it works out very well and you wont need to carry much else. Longer ride = more water, therefore more carb. If you’re doing a longer ride that will require a refill you can just carry some spare powder. I’d recommend SiS Go Electrolyte (maltodextrin carb + electrolytes). It can be bought in big 1.6kg tubs and the packaging is recyclable.

For energy after the ride, just drink more Huel - You say you want a Huel-only lifestyle so that is the easy choice. SiS also make a recovery drink (protein, carb & electrolytes). It is very tasty, but at “only” 200kcal it isn’t really a huge calorie booster.