DIY Huel - "Duel"


#1

In light of the release of Huel V2.0 and some of the backlash against it’s new formulation (e.g. addition of Fluoride, added Sodium (Salt), swapping methylcobalamin for cyanocobalamin, etc.) by the community, I propose the open formulation of a DIY Huel (“Duel”?). I don’t expect this to achieve the same levels of quality nutrition but it can get very close and it certainly won’t compete on price or convenience.

The core ingredients for Huel are simple and are a significant attraction for a lot of users. These can be sourced independently from various places - myprotein.com is a great place to start the hunt.

Oats - http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/instant-oats/10529296.html (NOT Gluten Free)
Pea Protein (Isolate) - http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/pea-protein-isolate/10530136.html
Flaxseed (aka. Linseed) - http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/flax-seed-powder/10529274.html
Brown Rice Protein (Isolate) - http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/brown-rice-protein/10530779.html
MCT Powder (Isolate, from Coconut source) - http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/mct-powder/10575138.html (likely not from a Coconut Source; unfortunately not vegan - contains Sodium Caseinate [Milk])
Sunflower Lecithin - http://www.bulkpowders.co.uk/sunflower-seeds.html (whole seeds, not Lecithin)

Aside from the Oats containing Gluten and the MCT Powder containing Milk, everything there is Vegan and Gluten Free. And that is without even looking much beyond a single website. Voilà, the core ingredients of Huel. With a little bit of creative thinking and mathematics (linear programming) we could discern the correct proportions of each to achieve a similar nutritional information profile to Huel.

Additional Ingredients:

Vitamin and Mineral Blend - There are many options for this - e.g. http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/multi-vitamin-powder/10529755.html (this seems to be quite incomplete however). Another option - http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/alpha-men/10530421.html
Soluble Dietary Fibre (Gum Arabic) - Psyllium Husks are a great alternative and can be found here - http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/powdered-psyllium-husks/10530061.html. Or they supply other Gums like Xanthan and Guar.

While it would be convenient to get all of these components from one source (e.g. myprotein.com) especially to save on shipping, in an attempt to optimise for various things (price, quality, vitamin/mineral coverage, etc.) I’d expect to have to look around more.

Let me know what you think. There is a thriving DIY Soylent community, so why not this.

Edit: Plenty of flavours to keep everyone happy here - http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/mp-flavouring/10797025.html

Edit2: Some aspects of the design philosophy for Duel will be minimalism (no needless ingredients - e.g. thickeners) and stoicism (nutrition trumps taste).


Do you want Sodium Fluoride to be added to Huel? (poll inside)
#2

It woudl be a question of getting the oats “superfine”. Even with my 1800 Watt high speed blender I cant get the oats that fine without a lot of labour.
Your time is worth something. Are you really saving through home made huel?


#3

Well, the oats I already linked to (as an example) have been “milled down to an ultrafine powder ready to be mixed with your preferred amount of water or milk.” And I personally (and I doubt I’m the only one) don’t really mind if my meal would be smooth or lumpy. I’d happily eat something with the consistency of oatmeal/porridge nearly all the time.

You are correct, I already said this can’t compete on convenience. It can definitely compete on customisability and optimizing the formula for your personal nutrition needs. A great example is if I want to achieve my “complete nutrition” but in 1600 kcal worth of food - it’s very inconvenient to do that buy purchasing Huel as it is.

Edit: Here is another source of fine oats - http://www.bulknutrients.com.au/products/fine-powdered-oats.html. Bulk Nutrients looks like a good source of whole-food and isolate powders.

Edit2: And another - http://www.bulkpowders.co.uk/ultra-fine-scottish-oats.html.


#4

I’ll be posting a DIY Huel derivative here shortly (feel free to beat me too it) - https://diy.soylent.com/.

Here’s an example of another recipe (vegan, oat-based) - https://diy.soylent.com/recipes/oats-almonds-rice-1700-male-mix-low-carb

Edit: Another good example AND it’s a bar (though I wonder about the effect of baking on the nutrition) - https://diy.soylent.com/recipes/the-nutty-professor-oatmeal-bars-mostly-supermarket


#5

Thanks for posting this, this is really cool!

I love the idea of Huel but I get terrible wind from it, so maybe making my own might allow me to eliminate whatever the ingredient is that is causing me problems.

Please let us know how your first batch goes!


#6

Lol Duel is funny


#7

I support the entire DIY thing, in the end (beginning actually) it sparked this entire concept. However, I’m not really a believer. Aside from convenience, consistency and taste, a vitamin/mineral blend usually is quite something different from what Huel is able to use. You might be interested in this DIY community for complete foods.


#8

This seems similar to suggesting if you don’t like GM foods you can just grow your own.

It’s perfectly sound logic - but it’s an awful lot of work and your house willlook like a drugs den! Not too long ago Huel invested in industrial sieve equipment, and I imagine they have lots of tooling to make the product consistent in the blend.

I can’t argue against your point, but I’d rather pay for someone to mix it, bag it and ship it.


#9

Sure, there are certainly some economies of scale that an individual cannot compete with. However, the more I work on this the more I see the value in being able to tweak your nutrition to your personal requirements and to your varying activity levels - we definitely don’t all adhere to a 2,000 kcal energy expenditure every single day.

Also, some of us already spend a bit of time preparing our Huel by weighing out and adding in various components of our “supplement stack”. It wouldn’t be uncommon to be adding specific amounts of Creatine, BCAA’s, HMB, Caffeine, additional electrolytes etc. If you could prepare all your Duel for the week on say, a Sunday, then you might actually save some time (every day, or every meal) by not having to add these additional components. So the pros and cons of the convenience are not that obvious.


#10

I love the idea of a free, DIY solution, but perhaps the Huel forum is not an appropriate place for it. Huel is a commercial business after all.


#11

Not sure about Huel themselves, but at least a few of the other successful commercial businesses supplying similar products started off their lives on the DIY soylent website. I don’t think it’d really do any of these companies any real harm for people to have a dabble with making DIY versions as it’s actually pretty difficult. The benefit to customers comes when things are scaled up to make a cost efficient and convenient product by a professional company with fantastic support (ie, Huel!)


#12

While I am working on my Duel formula (in fairness, it does take a bit of time), another user has posted a similar experiment that you may be interested in here - https://diy.soylent.com/recipes/my-version-of-huel.

I am also looking at making Bars. I think this is promising - http://www.fitnesstreats.com/2013/10/homemade-quest-bars-using-vitafiber/. Can be bought here - http://www.myprotein.ie/sports-nutrition/vitafibertm/11106652.html.

Edit: I wonder was this the inception of Huel itself - https://diy.soylent.com/recipes/huel-draft-rainuk-spec (“Last updated May 21, 2015”).


#13

I think it is the perfect place for it. That way the huel guys can see exactly how concerned people are about the recent additions to huel and that potential customers are willing to go to the trouble of making their own instead. It may give them a better insight to what we as consumers actually want.


#14

I think it’s been shown that Huel take the forum comments very seriously,
and I’ve seen many improvements in the last half year that were direct responses to forum discussions. So they are listening, and responding. I do not think there is a need for proving our concern to Huel, it has been
expressed perfectly well already. Nor do I see a need to hijack their forum for the development of a competitive product. That’s just basic manners.

Although they’ve made a few gaffs here and there, Huel have always given me the impression that they are well meaning, that they care, that they learn from mistakes and improve, and that they are taking our comments seriously. So a bit of respect both ways is natural.


#15

Thanks for these links. Super disappointed with 2.0 and looking at alternatives already.


#16

No problem. Nutberg looks interesting if you’re not up for the DIY route - https://nutberg.com/en.

Edit: They deliberately leave the Sodium at 110,6 mg per day. (Naturally occurring in their ingredients).


#17

Damn it that looked good till I saw the Walnuts. le sigh. I don’t like Jake, and Soylent is not available in the UK, I am not sure what alternatives I can find, other than making my own if the salt and fluoride remain in Huel.


#18

Would Ambronite work for you? - https://ambronite.com. There’s a bunch of similar products mentioned in this thread too - Is it really true Huel isn’t missing anything?.


#19

Thanks for the links. I’ll look into those for a backup :slight_smile:


#20

Do you know of a single webpage or site with comparisons and reviews of the different huel alternatives?

To be honest I just want healthy mush to eat and have zero interest in all of the fine details of nutrition: thats part of what I’m paying for, to leave that to the experts. The recent changes to Huel really have me wondering, and needing to do my own research is offputting and tbh it’s missing the point for me entirely.

It’s a bit of a jungle of products out there so some pointers or links on where to get started would be very welcome…