Huel and Kidneys

So protein shakes are bad for kidneys recently in the news. So is huel bad, I have 2 per day on average. I asked my work colleagues who said they are bad for you and that was what caused spots as your kidneys can’t take it also he was a athlete and used to take all kinds of drinks etc. Also with these ingredients being from China etc can we really consume something made from some random factory. Please put my mind at ease.

You can’t really compare a ‘protein shake’ to Huel. The only similarity is that they are both consumed in liquid form. But then so are a thousand other drinks.

As far as I know the ingredients don’t come from China (where did you get that from?).
The factory is in the UK and complies to all the UK food regulations.
If you check out the Huel website there are loads of articles on the ingredients, the production methods, the science behind it etc etc - too many articles to link to, as your questions / concerns are very general.

I don’t know which specific articles you’re referring to but I’m guessing they are linking a very high protein diet to kidney problems.
Huel isn’t very high in protein - it has a very balanced ratio of carbs, protein, fibres and fats.

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Some ingredients do come from China ie. pea protein and brown rice protein. Here is the official article describing how Huel is produced:


The studies basically say “If you have knackered kidneys a high protein diet is pretty crap for them”.

I’ve never seen a study which says healthy kidneys are made unhealthy by protein.

It’s just Daily Mail lies, and lies sell unfortunately.


Maybe your getting mixed up with them dodgy milkshakes @hunzas gets imported in bulk from China. I wouldn’t risk drinking them.
Stick to your 2 a day Huel meals there well healthy just drink plenty of water as well.

There is some logic to what you are saying here. However, the correlation is not 100% valid.

Let’s assume protein shakes are “bad”. They consist of 80%+protein.
Huel has 30% protein per serving.

Even if you were to take the same amount of protein (lets say 30g) the delivery system is completely different. The first is just pure protein, and the second comes together with fats, carbs and other nutritents. Absorbtion, digestion, metabolization… overal body reaction will be different.

“Yes, but all is going to be processed by the kidney in the end and I’m worried about the kidneys.”
I wrote a couple of things about it on another topic

but here are some more articles:

Protein RDAs might need to be increased (2016)
Protein for older people to be 1 to 1.3g/kg/day(2015)
Daily protein intake to be 1.2-1.8g/kg From Examine (yes, this is but a site)
How much protein per meal to build protein

There has also been some evidence showing that high protein diets cause no harm in healthy kidneys:

However, the opposite is true for “damaged” kidneys:

And some feel that more research about the whole topic is necessary:

One thing is clear, the ESFA guidelines are safe, but more active individuals will require higher protein content. For most (assuming healthy conditions), even up to 2g/kg of bodyweight seem safe. The “upper limit” of when high protein is too much is “unclear”.

If you are having 2 Huel’s you are getting 60g of protein a day. This is much, depending the rest of your food, but I doubt you will get over 120g unless you are really trying to consume protein.

Unfortunately this is the sad truth about the food industry (as well as others). Asparragus might come from Peru, the banana from Ecuador, the tomato from China,… the are harvested in one country, rippen on another, and sold.
an old example: Just how old are the 'fresh' fruit & vegetables we eat? | Food | The Guardian

It is the sad truth about the food industry. If you are looking for something that does not come from random factories you better go out of you way to consume food from local farms and markets (which I fully support the idea off).

There are other brands that will offer you more local ingredients. But Huel has made a decision for affordable quality food. In this step you will have to trust the company they do what’s in their hands to ensure the quality of the ingredients.


Dan tackled this on a similar thread about protein intake. Essentially research about protein intake is out of date and not on healthy populations.

I agree with what @Latestfuels says here. @Oliver00 surely the factory will always be “some random factory”? Whether it’s in the UK or China or Canada or anywhere. We visit all factories and all are audited, we have a team dedicated to this specifically. This is taken from our Food Safety and Quality page of our site.

We work with a number of co-packers to produce Huel products, and it’s important to us that our suppliers are able to meet the highest production standards so that Huelers are delivered their products in perfect condition. All of our suppliers work to the highest food-industry-recognised standards and are BRC accredited; for more information on BRC see here. In order to gain accreditation to these standards, suppliers are independently audited annually to ensure that their production standards meet the necessary requirements. We ensure our suppliers have met these standards before we agree to produce any Huel products at any of the production sites.

In addition to this, we have our own internal quality team who work with our suppliers and we set our own product-specific processing standards that make sure Huel products are processed in a way that ensures their quality. We visit and audit all our sites frequently. All products have specific product-quality requirements and are assessed against these requirements throughout production. If we feel that any product does not meet these requirements, the product will not leave our supplier’s facility. Our quality team also taste all of our products weekly at the Huel head office to double-check products are meeting our quality requirements.

Hopefully that alleviates your concerns.


Health scares come and go. People have been doing protein shakes for years. Just because it was in the news lately doesn’t mean that people will spontaneously start having problems. Huel is meant to be drank 4-5 times a day. You’ll be fine. On a side note, Huel is not a protein shake. It’s a complete meal.

As for me, I will continue to drink Huel and protein shakes every day.