Huel, nutrition, sups, and working out

I’ve progressed to mainly pure Huel while occasionally topping up my 4 or 5 Huels with a non Huel meal if I’m requiring over 2250 calories due to cardio and resistance training.

Huel training is new to me, and my post workout “metabolic window” drink has had little thought, it’s basically a 3 scoop Huel with 30g of quality whey protein isolate in.

My first of two questions is:

Historically my post workout drink (protein and creatine) had glucose added designed to spike insulin in the minutes after excercise to promote more immediate absorption of the protein and creatine, a well known strategy which studies show improves recovery and strength. Given Huel is (really cleverly) designed to be low GI, should I avoid my Huel + Protein shake as post workout supplement and go for a high GI supplement? I can think of factors for the Huel combo such as the pros of nutrients and if there are possibly downsides to post workout insulin spiking (although I’ve never heard of this). My Huel combo certainly makes protein powder more tasty and drinkable!! Any experienced personal trainers or athletes want to chip in?

The second ‘hueling workout’ related question would be:

My previous workout years relied on meat for protein, as is common. What I’m thinking now I’m boosting my strength training while nearly 100% Huel is I’m cutting out nutrients from meat. Of course Huel has many of meat’s nutritional assets… but a lot of strength and CrossFit trainers benefit massively from meat’s creatine and glutamine… I wonder what the amounts of creatine and glutamine are in a standard 3 scoop Huel as opposed to a standard meat based meal? These figures will aid understanding in setting the appropriate supplementation to achieve the balance I was using formerly during a meat (and whey protein) diet.

I imagine these line of thought will be useful to other huelers with high nutritional requirements, I’m very interested in hearing any advice from experienced ‘workout huelers’ (lol), whether on the above two questions or anything else that springs to mind :slight_smile:

1 Like

Great question about the creatine and glutamine! @JamesCollier, @RebeccaOfficialHuel and @Dan_Huel know lots about this stuff

I can’t see creatine listed anywhere in Huel so it’s worth supplementing if you’re cutting out meat.

As for glutamine I see it says (for vanilla):

4365mg per 100g Glutamic acid figure includes glutamine

To be fair I think even with a very meaty diet it’s worth supplementing creatine and glutamine so I’m not sure it matters too much how much is in Huel

3lbs chicken or 1lb beef a day is enough if I remember correctly. I don’t know how people can eat this much meat on a daily basis…makes me feel ill haha. But yeah for most it is better to just supplement.

Thanks guys. I wonder what percentage of the 4g is glutamine? I wonder if there’s a nutritional breakdown of Huel available (especially given how important this kind of ‘conditionally essential’ nutrition is during post exertion or illness etc). I’m guessing from your combination 4g figure per 100g that Huel have been dilligent enough to have put in at least 4g to 6g (a reasonable daily amount) of glutamine per 4 Huels. So I’d guess 25% to 38% of the 4g is glutamine? Ie: 1.25% weight if they’re trying to match a regular meat diet.

As for creatine, general guidance (not for athletes, heavy workouts or sports etc) states:

"A person needs between 1 and 3 grams of creatine a day. Around half of this comes from the diet, and the rest is synthesized by the body.

Food sources include red meat and fish. One pound of raw beef or salmon provides 1 to 2 grams of creatine."

If there’s negligible creatine in Huel I’ll have to supplement my regular creatine supplement (that worked previously during training regimen with meals) with the extra dietary creatine I would have got in a day from the meat. A gram or 2 maybe.

I agree with you both that supping them both is not a bad idea if not eating much meat.

I would also say if anyone’s ill, or exhausted from stress and working out to supplement glutamine if not getting it via Huel or meat.

Huel seems to be an intelligent product regarding replacing nutrients in food so I guess 4 Huels will have enough glutamine for most people without a training plan (6g per day glutamine minimum with any luck).

As far as feeling ill after a lb of beef… try meatballs for one meal, chili for another and a steak to round off the day :joy:


I guess one advantage of Huel is its reducing my red meat bowel cancer risk :wink:

Sorry Tris for not answering this one! My sports nutrition knowledge is limited so I don’t think I can give a good answer to your questions.

I will leave this to @JamesCollier.

Hi @ambivalentcubit - some good questions!

The creatine naturally in meat isn’t high; the levels you cite in your text seem higher than I thought. Do bear in mind, however, that creatine is a tripeptide of three amino acids and much from meat is broken down before being absorbed. Therefore supplementary creatine in a suitable form - eg creatine monohydrate - is far more beneficial and so you don’t need meat for this. Here’s an article I wrote on creatine (albeit well over 10 years ago!).

True that creatine is taken up well with glucose, but why take creatine post-workout? Take it another time of day with sugars.

You don’t need as much protein post-workout as you’re taking. Sure there are benefits to having some additional post-workout protein but this refers to getting sufficient amounts of the amino acid leucine to kick start protein synthesis. There’s more than enough protein and leucine in 3 scoops of Huel -

There’s also more than enough glutamine in Huel. I think the glutamine issue has been exaggerated by bodybuilding supplement companies. Sure, glutamine is prevalent in muscle tissues and sure, it’s the preferred metabolic fuel for enterocytes (intestinal cells), but a level higher than the default amount provided by a high and varied protein intake is unlikely to be of any benefit.

The final point you’ve raised relates to the fact that sugars post-training may help both refuel muscle glycogen and help cause the anabolic insulin-spike with its protein synthetic benefits. This is true and it’s unlikely a post-workout Huel meal will provide this due to it’s low glycaemic index. But, I’d argue that - from a real-world perspective and considering the more important leucine anabolic effect - this isn’t a big deal.

Note - I speak also from personal experience as someone who’s consumed loads of bodybuilding supplements in the past.


Creatine caused this for me, so I’ve stayed away from it since while using Huel!

1 Like