Drinking Huel immediately post-workout makes me feel terrible

It’s difficult to squeeze a workout with everything that entails (going to the gym, getting changed, stretching, showering, etc.) into a one-hour lunch break, so I thought Huel would be a great way of cutting out one thing (having to buy/prepare lunch and then eat it). However, I’ve encountered the following problem that I can’t find any other anecdotes about online, so I’m wondering if this is just me or if it’s just not a good idea to chug a meal down after a workout in general.

I’d been drinking Huel as a meal replacement off-and-on and not as a post-workout meal for a couple of weeks with no side-effects. Later, I had an intensive workout and then chugged down the Huel like it was a protein shake (something I read that many people do). I then, almost immediately, felt overwhelmingly tired and weak, like I had food poisoning. This feeling got worse throughout the day and, by evening time, I had a fever and was too weak to do anything, so I assumed my batch went bad and I got food poisoning. I threw the rest of the batch away and, when I got better, tried the other batch (not post-workout). No problems.

Recently, I did the same thing again. After an intensive workout, I chugged the Huel down and immediately felt the same feeling of food poisoning-like symptoms I described above. However, this time it only lasted half an hour to an hour.

I realised at this point that the bad feeling was probably caused by drinking Huel so soon after a workout, even though I can’t find anything online about somebody experiencing the same thing. So, the other day, I decided to wait half an hour before drinking the Huel after my workout. This time I felt groggy and needed to walk it off, but it didn’t last very long and it wasn’t terrible, just uncomfortable.

Is this normal? Are you not supposed to drink Huel shortly after a workout?

Can’t speak for what’s normal and what’s not, but I’ve been glugging ~160g in 600ml around 10 minutes after workouts for ~3 years now. Never had the symptoms you describe.

Do you get the same with other shakes?

Huel is fine after a workout there’s just a few things to think about. What might have been an issue is the speed you consumed your Huel. Your body is doing a lot after a workout, increased blood flow, breathing etc and giving your body 500kcal or so in the space of 5 minutes gives your body another thing to deal with and divert energy towards. Which you may can struggle with.

Next time, consume your Huel a bit slower/add some more water to see if that helps.

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Is there no option to drink your Huel outside of your lunch break? Would be better to wait a bit or even do it beforehand I think.


I think I just heard the sound of a thousand eco-conscious Hueler hearts breaking

I’ve drunk protein shakes immediately after workouts in the past and never experienced this.

Your comment sounds plausible and I considered that too. I also drank my Huel with about a quarter whole milk, so that probably didn’t help. I’ll take your advice and come back here with an update if I still get the same problems!

If you drink Huel before a workout, will you not get stitches during the workout, like if you eat a meal or drink too much water?

I use Huel as my post-workout meal all the time and find it by far the best I’ve tried.
I tend to wait ten minutes until my breathing has settled and my body temp and heart rate has returned to normal though.

My suggestion for why you feel this way is you are activating your parasympathetic nervous system by forcing your body to (rest and) digest whilst still in a sympathetic (fight or flight) state. The ameliorate this try consuming Huel about 30 mins post exercise and in small sips.

I always use Huel before my workouts. 45 minutes minimum but I find an hour is better.

As for pre-workout I think it depends on your personal metabolism and also what your workout is. I can’t drink Huel (or eat any food) within 3 hours of going for a run or doing a HIIT workout. But I can drink Huel then get on my bike no problems

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I had a Huel shake before a run today and could feel it sloshing a bit :nauseated_face: should have had an hour before I reckon