Awful Reflux/Heartburn

I’m having really bad reflux exclusively linked to huel that is not settling.
I’ve been using Huel for months and been putting up with quite severe reflux symptoms, blaming my general diet/coffee intake. I didn’t quite realise how bad it had gotten until I went on holiday for a fortnight and had a life completely devoid of it! Despite eating significantly more fatty/protein rich foods and drinking more coffee I had absolutely NO reflux. To boot I’ve been much less bloated and had more regular motions. I’d even started taking regular Omeprazole and required frequent Rennies that I’ve quit.

I’d reduced my Huels to two scoops and I’d already changed how I drink it based on advice from this forum I came across a while ago. I have 2 scoops in about 700ml of water and drink it over ~half an hr while I commute. I have another shake in the afternoon. I’ve been doing this for the past several months.

Should I just give up on Huel as ‘not for me’? To be honest, I was trying to ride it out to see if I would ‘adjust’ as two scoops isn’t really doing it for me anyway. I’ve lost weight with all other meals constant due to losing the 300 kcals across the day. Are there any alternatives? I’m reticent to return to oats + whey as tbh that didn’t really suit me either. This fit’s my lifestyle perfectly and I’ve become quite reliant on it for on call shifts but I’m not prepared to go back to the reflux symptoms. I’m also a subscriber so have a stack of it to get through…

Huel does definitely cause acid reflux for some people. I’ve never experienced it before but started getting it frequently when I first started Huel. It was really bad a couple of times, especially when I had it later in the day.
It’s definitely eased off now. I’ve been drinking Huel once / twice a day for about 5 months now. I still get reflux occasionally but not bad enough to put me off.
I don’t know what it is about Huel that causes the reflux?
Anyone got any ideas?

Actually I think taking probiotics helps.

I’ve been sat here trying to figure out the pattern because definitely the reflux has been worse on and off and it’s definitely Huel related as I don’t get it ever on days I don’t consume Huel, but at the same time, some days I drink loads of Huel and don’t get symptoms… so… there must be some other factor as well.

I think the following make it worse:
-Acidic fruit juice eg orange around the same time as Huel
-Drinking Huel then having a rich desert
-Not allowing enough time between drinking Huel and being active (remember it’s food even tho it’s liquid)
-Adding too much flavour booster

How fast / slow I drink it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Having it more watery does help. Having it less sweet (ie mixing with Unflavoured and using cacao or coffee instead of flavour boosts does help.
Taking pro-biotics (I use Bio-Kult) also helps I think.

It would be interesting to know if you experience any of the same coincidences

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I dont drink it at dinner because of this. Also I it doesnt satiate me at night

Definitely having it late in the evening causes reflux for me personally.
Bizarrely, I could eat a large meal and go straight to bed, and yeah I would feel uncomfortable but I wouldn’t get reflux. Huel tho would have me up all night with acid.
Like you though, I prefer something warm at dinner time - it’s more satiating, and grounding and comforting and helps me sleep

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I tend to experience reflux when drinking alcohol (in case of beer, more than 5 bottles),
carbonated drinks (again, not after a glass or 2), lots (and I mean LOTS) of coffee, etc.
Acidic drinks and/or food obviously would cause the same effect.
Depending on how much I eat/drink, I get a reflux but when I’m having Huel my tolerance
of such products seems to be lower and I’d have a reflux after 2 beers instead for example.
It does not necessarily cause a reflux (I think) but makes me a lot more sensitive to it.

On days I have 3.500 kcal (5 x 700 kcal) on Huel shakes I wouldn’t have this problem, at
least it didn’t happen so far and I don’t expect it to as I’m nearly 4 months in now.
It might be something in Huel making us more sensitive or reacting to other products causing
the reflux, but I’m really curious to know what it could be.

Naturally, there are things known to cause a reflux.
The following is from WebMD.com.

==
These are other common risk factors for acid reflux disease:

  • Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating a heavy meal and lying on your back or bending over at the waist
  • Snacking close to bedtime
  • Eating certain foods, such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, or spicy or fatty foods
  • Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea
  • Smoking
  • Being pregnant
  • Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications
    ==

While having Huel, I got to be a little extra careful around (some) of the mentioned ‘common causes’.
But again, 5 shakes of 700 kcal each throughout the day are no problem at all so I think it’s either
making me vulnerable to acid reflux issues or reacts to other foods/drinks to cause it.

If anyone would be able to clear things up a little bit, that would be awesome :smiley:

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Hey I hope you don’t give up. I’ve been a Huel customer for years now and I’ve had issues with reflux due to Huel unfortunately. It’s possible that this sort of thing would have happened to me anyway but we will never know. I saw a gastroenterologist who said Huel should be fine, no reason it would cause the reflux, but I’m pretty sure it does (beer definitely does for me too, doesn’t help that both are a daily staple!) Anyway Esomeprazole definitely helps me but if I want to stop it at the source I usually just make my shake a LOT thinner. Hope it helps you

Could be great to investigate why this is happening for some users

I too get a certain amount of reflux if I exercise or bend/stoop too soon after a meal with plenty of liquid with it ie Huel or I have a drink with a meal. I put it down to the higher liquid content of my stomach putting pressure on a no longer efficient cardiac sphincter.

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That (sorta) confirms what I was thinking, Huel itself doesn’t cause it but rather makes one more
vulnerable to suffer an acid reflux from other foods/drinks. Just a thought.

Exactly @airiartev would love to know more about this specific part of having Huel daily. :thinking:

This would go for anything that’s being swallowed, but I can imagine liquids having a greater
effect ‘filling’ a stomach. This is basically an effect similar to overeating (in one meal).

I’ve never ever experienced reflux prior to Huel.
For me, it’s definitely Huel that triggers it (in combination with other factors).
Luckily I don’t get it bad very often though so it doesn’t put me off.

I get this every day I drink a lot of Huel. I like to drink it in one sitting, usually in 1 to 5 mins, as it fills me up more.

People seem confused why Huel triggers more reflux than food… Is it possible that it’s because Huel is a liquid and the acid digestive cocktail is trying to digest a liquid, instead of something absorbent like a sandwich, so the body isn’t getting the same “food is digested” signals and more acid is being produced.

It’s bothering my throat especially as it’s affecting my larynx. I guess this has graduated to LPR… laryngo pharyngeal reflux… as my larynx feels especially sore and the acid has been in my mouth today.

I must state, I’ve been on 100 percent vanilla Huel all day which tastes really great, and generally makes me feel healthy (except the reflux, that goes away when I break from huel). Even with a regular meal in the day I get acid after Huel. Maybe there is a chemical or agent that Huel reflux sufferers can add to their Huel? I’m not thinking of antacids which have poor efficacy in this situation, nor omiprazole as that needs to be taken some time in advance of Huels.

I still believe that Huel is the best superfood out there :slight_smile:

EDIT: I should clarify that the reflux isn’t purely immediate, as if my stomach was full, it continues and gets slightly worse for some time after drinking Huel. I’m starting to consider whether my involuntary stomach and intestinal muscles are getting mixed signals due to the liquid nature not providing the right solid-food-like feedback signals. Maybe the muscles are having a hard time adapting to the pack of solid physical feedback and acid is or spasming produced as a result creating reflux after-the-fact… I may experiment with making extra extra thick huel… or maybe adding oats?? hmm… food for thought.

PS…

I wonder if other food based liquid diets are known to increase occurrences of reflux… soup diets for example? Sounds like a combination of liquid (non solid) plus an ingredient or macronutrient that signals “digest this food”… as opposed to a solid meal plus the “digest this food” signal. Hmm.

There must be studies on this.

Cheers all.

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Hey not sure if I mentioned this previously in this thread but after a couple of weeks of treatment with esomeprazole, I very rarely suffer with acid reflux anymore, Huel or no Huel. I would encourage anyone with a similar issue to see their GP :slight_smile:

Hey thanks for the reply!

It’s very sound advice for reflux sufferers in general, but as (like with the OP) I don’t get reflux on a general diet I feel I’d only be taking the (es)omeprazole to drink Huel…

So I was looking for a non-pharma based solution ideally… such as an additive to the mix or a solidity hack. Rather than change the way my body works per se.

But yes, great advice for GERD in general. I might go that route as a last resort, but would love to hear other suggestions for those only dealing with reflux when on a diet of mainly Huel.

Yeah I get you, no pills is better than pills. But for me it was just a two week course and the problem went away. I haven’t taken one in months!

There are side effects and negative long term effects of taking omeprazole and lansoprazole. Personally I wouldn’t really recommend it as a solution to Huel-induced acid reflux. It’s always better to change your diet than to take medication so that you can continue eating / drinking what is causing your reflux.
Discussing with your GP is probably the best way forwards though

And your GP will probably either prescribe you a course of Omeprazole, Lansoprazole etc and/or advise you to avoid whatever is causing the problem.

Firstly I would consume Huel over a longer period of time. It’s unusual to be able to consume 400-500kcal in 5 minutes with solid food for example.

Unlikely because once a food has been chewed it’s pretty much in the same state as Huel. Huel is also high in fibre which acts like a sponge in the gut.

Hopefully this advice can help:

  • Blend Huel well with plenty of water in a blender rather than using the shaker

  • Sip Huel - 2 scoops should take half an hour to consume

  • Do not consume hot beverages around the same time as you consume Huel

Quite interesting, so if you consume it in 2 minutes, the absorption of the energy wouldnt be optimal?

No, I meant consuming food that quickly can cause acid reflux in sensitive individuals. It’s nothing to do with absorption of nutrients.

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