Headaches and sweetener taste

Yesterday I tried Huel for the first time, it tastes ok but then there is a big vanilla/sweetener kick. I really don’t like the taste of the sweetener. I should have tried an unsweetened sample before I ordered the vanilla!

More importantly I got a headache straight after my first drink. It got worse throughout the day. I tried another this morning and I’ve had a mild headache all day. I normally eat a fairly varied diet with a decent amount of veg and I’m not allergic to anything. The headaches put me off because it’s very unusual to get a headache after eating, and if I did it would be because what I was eating was really bad for me!

I tried Huel with cocoa powder added this morning. It took the edge off the sweetener but it still had a bad after-taste. I’ve ordered an unsweetened sample to try… we’ll see.


I have not tried Huel yet as my order is still arriving. Though with other lents I have experienced similar symptoms as you have. For me it has been the lack of salt and as soon as I have something salty my headache goes away.

When I receive my Huel I will go 66% on it and plan on having some salted cashews close to me.

The sweetener shouldn’t be causing this issue, and whilst it may be salt, it shouldn’t be after your first meal. Did you keep yourself well hydrated after you consumed it?

Yes, I always drink good amounts of water and that’s not changed. I would be surprised if it was a lack of something (e.g. salt) rather than the presence of something because it happens so soon after consuming.

@Gulliver_Huel, I have been using Huel now for a couple of months and I have worked out it makes up ~60% of my weekly food. I have tried U/U + flavour twice but I can’t just handle it so I use Vanilla with one of the flavours (half teaspoon max per 90g).

I often get a taste in my mouth of too much sweetener or flavour. I think the issue for me at least is putting a flavour system on top of another flavour system, which I am forced to do because I can’t handle U/U. Have you considered offering a sweetened version of Huel without the Vanilla and making Vanilla a stand alone flavour? I don’t know exactly how this would pan out but I am happy to be a tester for such a concept.

Update: day 3, head not as bad - I’ll try for a few more days and see if the headaches stop

My unflavoured sample arrived and it’s much nicer without the sweetener after-taste.

It does seem unlikely that you’d get a headache related to Huel “straight after my first drink” as it’s not even going to get digested for a while afterwards.

@nua stopped drinking coffee? That’s almost always the cause of mine :slight_smile:

Update: after about 5 days the headaches were gone completely. I find I’m getting a bit more used to the sweetener too.

Good taste combinations for vanilla so far have been 1 level teaspoon of plain cocoa powder per scoop, or half a teaspoon to one teaspoon of matcha (not per-scoop, total). I find the drinks filling and it provides sustained energy without big spikes. On the whole it’s working well for me. I think next time I might try ordering one unsweetened and one sweetened and seeing if a mix to tone down the vanilla and sweetener taste helps.

If you’re having the same headache problem I’d suggest toughing it out for a week first.

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Thank you for the flavour tips and it sounds like you are getting the most out of your Huel after a tougher than usual transition. Cheers for the update and keep Hueling!

Headaches were very mild but lasted nearly 3 weeks for me. Not sure if was because I suddenly stopped drinking coffee or completely cut out sugar, but I wasn’t on 100% Huel so maybe that’s why it took so long.

I also like Huel with matcha. Gives it enough green colouring to make people think it’s one of those fashionable nutribullet smoothies (yuck) so they think its slightly less weird than cold runny porridge.

I had headaches for a over a week, definitely a withdrawal effect from no junk / sugar etc., just toughed it out and they seem to have gone away. Spent years eating convenience junk, so it didn’t surprise me to be honest.

On about 70/30 at the moment and starting to feel better than I have in years, also lost 5lbs in 2 and a bit weeks.

Chucking in some blueberries, raspberries or bananas and using a blender really helped the taste for me, although it didn’t taste that bad to begin with.

Only problem I have now is I like it quite thick as I only eat 2 or 3 times most days (I’m almost never hungry, never have been that way), which means I always feel like I’m missing out on the bit I can’t get out :slight_smile:

This was exactly my experience. My Huel arrived midday and I had 2 shakes that day. Next day I called Day 1 and for that day and Days 2 & 3 I had Huel all day with a ‘normal’ evening meal (just to use up food in the fridge tbf). After that I was total Huel except for an occasional snack (slie of toast or an apple for example). Anyway I had a more or less constant headache for the first 3 days. Like you get after a nights drinking. Sort of felt like my brain was dehydrated. I took a tablet (something I avoid if I can) and cracked on. I don’t think I was dehydrated as I was peeing very frequently. The headache came and went at times, but was a regular feature of those first 3 days. Then it just went and I’ve been fine ever since. I’m now just over 8 weeks in and I’d say I’m over 95% Huel.