Can I gain muscle mass with huel?

I have been struggling to gain any weight or muscle mass for a while now and thinking of giving huel a try due to the high protein level. I would use it for breakfast and lunch as this would be easy for me as I work all over the country.
Can I add whey protein for an extra boost? Can I use milk to mix instead of water? Has any one else bulked using huel?

Gaining mass is more about calories than protein, as long as your protein intake is sufficient (0.8-1g/lb or so). Calories in-Calories Out.

You’ll need to eat more calories than your body is using. You can use a TDEE Calculator ( to give a rough idea, though it isn’t necessarily correct. Aim to eat around 200-300 calories more a day and you should be golden. Will take a while to dial in the correct amount so just weigh yourself consistently and track it. I personally struggled gaining, but it turned out I have a ridiculously high TDEE, so the calculators were way off (I’m 150lbs and eat 3500kcal per day and barely gain).

I wouldn’t add Whey unless your diet is actually lacking elsewhere, as excess protein doesn’t build more muscle and is just more taxing on your kidneys. Milk may be good if you need more calories, but there’s plenty more nutritious calorie dense foods, such as nut butters etc.

All that said, Huel’s definitely a great addition to your diet and certainly far healthier than those weight gain products everyone chugs down.


Yep. I spent last year using huel to change my body shape.

Like Matt says, if you’re eating excess calories then you’ll put on weight, but if you want that new weight to be muscle rather than just fat then you need to hit the gym with a proper programme, and push yourself hard, and keep to it, takes a while

That’s great thanks. On average I consume around 3000 calories per day. I have a high intensity physical job but struggle with muscle gain? Any ideas?

Like I said, your TDEE may be higher. This could be due to your job, your metabolism or even a medical condition. If you’re not gaining weight (bear in mind, you want this to be slow, 2-4lbs a month depending on how much fat you’re willing to lose) then eat more. It can be a bit of a mental struggle but push through it. Weigh yourself first thing each morning and after a few weeks you’ll be able to reassess your calories.

1 Like

What training program do you follow?

To clarify, I’ve gained muscle successfully using Huel. It’s definitely possible.

I think I will give it a go and see what happens. I dont follow a training program but I have a very physical job and do hit the gym when I have the time. Thanks for the responses it’s very much appreciated

That’s probably why you’re not gaining muscle mass. You’re mindlessly doing a bit of ‘here and there’ in the gym with no structure of progression.

Get a suitable training program and eat at a 300 calorie surplus.

I’d recommend PPL - Push, Pull, Legs. It’s a nice beginner program with a mix of compound and accessory lifts and is highly customisable.

Take a look at

1 Like

I’m lifting and pulling more at work than anyone in a gym. and when do hit the gym I stick to a routine so not just throwing round a couple of weights. I just wanted to know if huel would make any difference to putting on weight or to just use whey protein

If you’re doing so much lifting and pulling at work why are you having issues putting muscle mass on?

You asked the question, we’re just giving you the answers. You can eat all the whey protein in the world, but a fundamental lack of understanding will remain.

All I needed to know is if huel will be sufficient in helping me gain weight and not used only for diets. And if anyone has experience gaining weight while using it. And if I could add a scoop of whey with it for an extra boost.

As I’ve said, an extra scoop of Whey is going to do jack all if you’re already hitting your macros, there’s barely any calories in it. This really is basic stuff. I recommend doing a bit of reading on the subject of building muscle.

1 Like

Hi @Andrewhill - here’s a Huel recipe to add extra protein:

I wouldn’t add Whey unless your diet is actually lacking elsewhere, as excess protein doesn’t build more muscle and is just more taxing on your kidneys.

Not quite. Resistance training gives an increase in protein utilisation post-training

See here.

Regular resistance training increases the basal rate of protein synthesis as well.

Also the RDA for protein is based off a wide sampling range of all people, irrespective of gender or age. Obviously a healthy adolescent male will have different nutritional needs to that of a female geriatric.

Damaging kidneys is sketchy statement at best; the idea is based on faulted, and outdated research. Protein can only ‘damage’ kidneys with really high intake, and even then it’s not ‘damage’ as such. Renal function can change in response to an ongoing high protein diet, your kidney effectively becoming more efficient at utilising the protein it needs, and filtering what it doesn’t, but that’s not a given.

See here.

Lastly calories are not an ultimate measure of how much mass you will gain, as they are how much energy you are making available to your body in chemical form. Your body is adept at storing energy for later use (fat) so whilst calories are part of the equation, they’re not the whole story: try gaining muscle on a diet of nothing but digestive biscuits. You won’t get far.

You are right on the money with the nut butters though.

1 Like

No. For example, my diet provides me with at least 170g, often more, of protein per day. Therefore there is no need for me to add any more to my diet through the use of an isolated protein, be it Whey or any other. I make no mention of the RDA, and if you’d have read my post properly, you would have seen I said you should be aiming for at least 0.8-1g of protein for each pound of bodyweight (or lean body mass if we’re being pedantic).

Excess protein - more than your body needs, will not make a difference, other than providing more calories. And unless you’re The Rock and at your peak genetic potential, protein induced synthesis etc is almost irelevant. If it’s excess to your body’s caloric needs, then it’s stored as fat.

Lastly, calories are an ultimate measure of how much mass you will gain, be it muscle or fat, which you’ve quite rightly contradicted yourself on. If you’re hitting your macro and nutritional goals, then by all means - munch on those Digestives and I guarantee you’ll gain.

This is right. RSD is implying there’s benefit to eating over 200g protein per day. This is just nonsense. While I disagree with some people specifying the upper limit at 120g, I don’t believe there’s any advantage at all to consuming over 200g of protein per day. That’s just nonsense made up by the sports supplement industry, who sucker you into consuming ridiculous amounts in the hope of achieving a Greek God type body.

As you say, calories are king. A professional powerlifter at work often says “everyone is so busy focusing on protein they forget about the rocket fuel of nutrition - carbs”.

1 Like

Swiftly bringing things back to the original post… I was eating Huel for about 6 months with no regular exercise in a sedentary desk job. As expected, no weight gain, no weight loss, just consuming a healthy balanced diet. However, about 4 months ago I started hitting the gym and I’ve seen amazing results. I’ve shot up around 5 kilos and I’d be willing to bet it’s all muscle mass. Go for it and tell us how it goes for you!