Huel for Insomnia - Log


#1

I’m coming to Huel after suffering from horrible insomnia for years and for which I am heavily medicated. Every single remedy that you might suggest I have tried, from ‘natural’ treatments such as valerian root and melatonin to the sedatives and anxiolytics which I’m currently taking. Exercise increases and decreases, sleep diary, sleep hygiene, sleep restriction, talk therapy, everything. I’ve eaten more, less, gluten free, low FODMAP, carbs, keto, all in a bid to find a nutrition plan which might just make the difference. While Huel is not an insomnia cure, and I’m not expecting it to be so, I do believe that it will help with one aspect of my inability to sleep: acid reflux.

I have been tested multiple times and there is nothing medically wrong with my stomach, so to speak, but I often feel heartburn. This gives me the sensation of a very strong heartbeat (almost like palpitations) which then feeds into my insomnia. I believe that there must be some food causing this issue, and which perhaps is causing my uncontrolled bursts of energy at night. So I think that Huel, being nutritionally formulated and easy to digest, since it is in a semi liquid form, shall give me an excellent chance of ‘refreshing’ my body. And hopefully this reset will allow me to sleep again.

I’m going to consume my current intake first, which is around 1800 calories, though I should really be eating around 1500. I hope to experiment with lowering the amount of calories, but one thing at once. I shall be going 100% from the start, not out of madness but because I don’t want to keep food at home while I’m giving this a good try. Too much temptation. I start on Monday - meanwhile any tips are welcome. I’ll log daily about sleep and perhaps might discover a new benefit of Huel!


#2

I don’t want to rain on your parade but going 100% Huel from the off is not really a great idea. Lots of peoples’ bodies have to get used to Huel. This period depends on the individual and also on what kind of diet they previously ate. The symptoms a lot of people get at the start include heartburn (sorry), gas, bloating, wind, diarrhea etc. Me personally, my diet before Huel was poor and I experienced quite bad heartburn for the first few months. This was also partly because my portion size was too large. If you search some of the words above you’ll find many threads of new starters saying they have experienced these.

The sensible advice is to have one Huel of around 90g + 450ml of water each day for 1/2 days and see how your body finds it increasing the amount of Huel as you go. It actually took me over 6 months to fully adjust.

We believe this adjustment period is related to fibre. The average persons diet is well down on fibre so when they start getting the correct amount of fibre this causes upset which takes some time for the body to straighten out.


#3

I found no problems adjusting to Huel at all. But I did start slow (2 scoops for a week, then 3 scoops for a week, then as much as I wanted). No issues. My diet prior to Huel was fairly similar however - included porridge oats, nuts, flaxseeds, pea protein, rice, coconut, and multi-vitamins and minerals, so I didn’t seem to need much time to adjust at all. After a couple of weeks I tried 100% Huel for a few days and was fine. I’d still recommend you take @Coup 's advice however and start on just a 90/100g shake per day.

I’ll be following your thread with interest - being an insomniac myself. I recognise and relate to pretty much everything you say and have also tried everything possible (natural, herbal, pharmaceutical, psychological, holistic etc etc … to mostly no avail)
I don’t get acid reflux however… (fortunately)

I really hope Huel makes a difference to your symptoms and improves your sleep.
Welcome to the forum!
Look forwards to hearing how you get on


#4

In my first days, jumped in near 100% Huel and not much negative effects so far.
That said, if you feel like you’re experiencing new or increase in negative effects,
don’t hesitate in taking a step back. That’s how I’m doing, pretty gassy but if I notice
more negative effects of this drastic change I will have step down a little bit.

Really hope you’ll be doing well and your body doesn’t have a lot of trouble adjusting,
but be at least as careful as I am. Huel or not, a drastic change is always a big risk.

In great support, I’d like to hear more of your progress in the time coming.


#5

Thank you for your advice. I do eat a lot of fibre currently as I’m on a clean vegan diet, but what I’ll do is take the Huel in the morning and afternoon for the first few days, then there’s time for my digestion to calm down by bedtime if I do experience any ill effects. Let’s see how it goes.


#6

Hi Christina,

As you’re an insomniac, may I ask if you experienced any changes in energy/sleep on Huel? I’ve seen mixed reviews on that front and as you know, insomniacs can be quite anxious about these things.


#7

Hi @grumio I’ve only been on Huel for 2 months and had quite a lot of days with no huel over Christmas. So it’s a bit early to say. It’s definitely not made things worse. Can’t say if there’s been any improvement really as my symptoms can be random and variable.
One massive pro of Huel though, is it satisfies my hunger really well. I find it impacts on my sleep a lot if I’m wired and hungry, so previously calorie cutting has caused me a lot of anxiety and made my sleep worse. But on days I have at least 2 huel meals, I don’t feel hungry at bedtime, and this is really helpful for me personally.


#8

I really hope this works out for you. To be honest, I have found that Huel actually gives me heartburn, although I was suffering from it in general and was getting it all the time with or without Huel until I started taking Esomeprazole. I only mention it because I know other people have suffered from acid reflux when Hueling.

However the gastroenterologist said he doesn’t think Huel should be a problem, it’s probably more to do with all the beer I drink :man_shrugging:t2: In fact, he even said he recommends Huel (and he said Huel specifically!) to patients who are having digestive issues because it should be easy on the digestive system in general


#9

Acid reflux and heartburn are things I occasionally experienced for some years already.
Less alcohol and a normal coffee instead of extra strong helped me reduce it.
Have to add, I drink a lot of coffee and used to drink 5 or 6 beer every evening.

That said, I still did experience some acid reflux in my first days on Huel. This is not
necessarily because of the Huel itself, but more so because of my stomach being full
and still taking the last few sips. On top of that, I chug down ~1L and start working 30 min. after.
Yes, I am a pretty ignorant idiot at times. Despite not being a great example, I can share my experience. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#10

I used to suffer from acid reflux, but not for a few years; but I did on occasions get it with Huel, not sure if any correlation as again not had it for ages. The only time I get mild reflux sensation is if I drink brandy; not sure why/what is in brandy that causes it when other alcoholic drinks don’t.


#11

I have started getting acid reflux again lately. I’m putting it down to the fact that I am drinking a lot more coffee (black) than I did before. Must drink more water instead.


#12

I understand about the beer, I used to drink a lot as well and it has caused long term heartburn issues. Glad that your gastro has approved Huel for digestive issues - that gives me a lot of confidence going in. When we have acid reflux we often try to mitigate that feeling with certain foods - dairy or anything fatty does kill off the burning for a bit - and probably Huel makes you feel worse at first, because it doesn’t contain any of those ‘soothing’ factors.


#13

That’s really encouraging. Bedtime hunger is something I struggle with as well, I’m glad that Huel doesn’t exacerbate that - I was worried as I would think liquid empties from the stomach more quickly.


#14

I would say it’s a combination of the high sugar level (which causes acidity) and the high alcohol level (which wears down your stomach lining and makes you ‘feel’ the acidity). Beer has higher sugar but lower alcohol, vodka has high alcohol but lower sugar. So these have less of a heartburn effect.


#15

Beer is only low alcohol for the first three or four pints in my experience…


#16

My Huel has just arrived! It came in a fragile-marked box, pretty heavy, and at the requested time; I ordered on Friday and got this Monday 12 noon.

First Impressions
These bags are super heavy! I got my T shirt, my shaker, and one bag vanilla and one bag unsweetened. I also got a £10 voucher for my next order. For my first meal I’m going to have three scoops (456 cals) of the vanilla, using just the shaker.

Here are some pictures.

  1. Vanilla (dry)

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  1. After adding 400ml water and 3 scoops, before mixing - I was pretty concerned at this stage, it doesn’t look beautiful!

  2. After shaking - I was impressed by how quick it was to combine, I only used the shaking instructions stated on the booklet.*

*I followed the instructions given in the booklet - 400 ml of cold water, 3 scoops, shake 10 seconds, then 200ml, then shake again [for around 20-30 seconds].

Taste
Actually, much better than I was expecting. It didn’t really taste like much, maybe very watery and less sweet Horlicks if I had to compare it to something. I wasn’t a fan of the smell - it is sort of oaty and dusty - but the taste was alright. I didn’t like the sweetener though, it gave me this lingering aftertaste which is still on my tongue now, reminds me of the sweetener in Coke Zero. Back in those days when I could drink soda…

I was able to gulp it down fairly easily but I did have to stop and shake a few times, and there were these tiny spheres of Huel suspended in water at the end; I swallowed those down with more water. Overall minimal wastage, and I think I can improve on the consistency by using my immersion blender next time. But there is no issue with just using the provided shaker, from what I’ve seen.

Satiety
This is the most important part for me. I drank it down quickly (within 5 min) and it’s been swallowed for 5 mins now. I don’t feel full, but I also don’t feel like having more Huel or having some other type of food. So I guess it’s not bad, but no miracle cure - i.e. to get the benefits from Huel I shall need to use discipline and not supplement it with crisps or something just because I’m bored and want something to chew on. I say crisps because I do have the desire for fat and salt. Probably from the salad dressing I’m used to.

Sleepy?
I was worried that with all the carbs I might be a bit sleepy, as I usually eat salad for lunch, but not really, I feel only as tired as usual. I think the best way to describe it is that there are no immediate effects which is a GOOD thing in my opinion. Anyway, let’s see how my system reacts to it over the next few hours.


#17

Just had my morning shake. I seem to be the minority on this but I LOVE unflavoured and unsweetened! I think it tastes absolutely perfect, much better than vanilla. I like the saltiness of it, it tastes amazing.

No stomach issues, except for going to the bathroom once more yesterday than I usually do. I had a normal dinner after Huel for lunch and was a lot more satiated by far less food, that is interesting as I did feel hungry before I started that meal.

No change on sleep so far, but also no sleep issues (so it’s definite, Huel does not contain any stimulants).

Two Huel meals today, brunch (just finished) and tea, and then a normal dinner.


#18

I also really like unflavoured - it just tastes like oats. I like oats :slight_smile:
I think a lot of people are not used to plain oats - they would add honey or sugar or syrup, plus milk to porridge.
I used to add flaxseed, coconut, almonds, and pea protein to my morning porridge and make it with water. Pretty much was hot Huel minus the added vitamins & minerals!


#19

I like UU too. I used to make my porridge with milk, mostly plain but occasionally would add a handful of fresh raspberries, blueberries or frozen wonky berries.


#20

I ate plain oatmeal as a child as well, maybe it’s a nostalgia thing?

Now I wish I could switch my vanilla pack with someone’s UU pack…

I didn’t end up having time for tea, so I have just had Huel as dinner and will probably have a non-Huel snack later. Still no adverse effects and in fact I am much less bloated and my face, if I may say so myself, looks much better - no swelling!