Huel + Protein Powder

Hey Hueligans,

I’m recently getting into lifting again and hoping to maximise my muscle gain. I’ve been looking online to see if there’s a need to add a scoop of protein powder to my shake (currently doing 3 scoops of huel and 500ml water) as I’m not sure if Huel provides enough protein for mass building.

Anyone here that has experience with the above that could guide me?

Many thanks in advance!


Depends on what else you are eating. Are you 100% Huel? Or 1 or 2 meals a day and a traditional meal in the evening?

First step would probably be to track your protein intake using something like MyFitnessPal and see whether it’s in line with your target requirements. I think from memory that 1.5-1.8g protein per pound of weight is what you should be looking at, but others @GTIPuG (or Google) will know better than I do.

I occasionally pop a scoop of PhD Diet Protein into a Huel shake as a booster if I’m feeling my recovery isn’t great as it’s a good way of upping the protein intake without adding loads of calories and sugar.


Hi Liam, how much Huel are you having per day? Huel is naturally high in protein so if you were using it for 100% of your nutrition I would think you don’t need a protein supplement. If you’re using Huel for less than 2000kcal per day then it will depend on how much protein you’re getting from your other meals

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@Liath currently only having 1 shake a day and then a meal on the night. Dinners easy to track but it’s tea time which I’ll struggle with as my partner does all the cooking and I’ll be stepping on toes trying to get in and track everything but I’ll start there!

@RyanT Just 3 scoops of the scooper that comes with the huel so I think it’s 33g per scoop? Meals on the evening usually have chicken or some sort of protein source but I’m not tracking that at the moment…

Just want to make sure I’m either getting enough/not having to much! :slight_smile:

I usually add 1 to 2 scoops of whey protein to 1 500cal Huel drink, usually post exercise. In terms of mass building, I would assume the solution is to keep drinking Huel and to stick to your weight training plan. My understanding is that 500cal of Huel contains about 30g of protein. Mass building is as much to do with increasing the time that muscles are exposed to under tension and consuming enough nutrition for growth. There is some (now quite old) research about mass growth being your Kg body weight converted to grams and then doubled but I cannot now find it.

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Need stats for a proper answer.

Height, age, current weight, activity level.

Can’t imagine a small Huel and one meal giving gains. As they say - Eat big, get big. Calorie deficits and sufficient progressive overload simply don’t go hand in hand unless you’re already packing some serious weight - Hence you sometimes see obese people packing on strength and muscle mass even in deficit.

Calorie surplus is more important than protein in my experience over the years.


6’2, 24, 14st 12 (94kg). Walk approximately 2 hours a day (to work, lunch, back home) and now gym work outs, just warming my self back into the gym but plan to be doing a 5x5 lifting program.

Currently have one 400cal huel shake for at 1:30 and a second meal at approx. 7pm. (Intermittent fasting between 8:30pm - 1:30pm) I don’t have a hold on the calorie count for tea time but I have a brief idea if It’s a fresh cooked stir fry apposed to a big dish of pasta bake :smiley:

I want to loose weight and gain muscle which I know it’s hard to do both and should probably just focus on one or the other.
I used to do a lot of training aprox 4 years ago so I’m hoping to find those gains back quiet quickly.

At the moment you are at a high risk of losing muscle based on what you are eating and the amount of walking you are doing.

If I have this right your TDEE is around 2700 calories so even if your evening meal is 800 calories (which would be a hell of a stir fry!) you are running a massive calorie deficit. You could lose weight pretty quickly doing that but as you don’t have much to lose to hit a normal BMI (about 10 lbs or so) a lot of that would be muscle loss.

I’d suggest upping your calories to at least 2700 if you want to start training and focus on building the muscle mass/strength.

Again, @GTIPuG will know better than me but I was under the impression a 5x5 will be more geared towards building power than mass/strength. For that I think you’d be looking more at a 3x10-12 program.

It is possible to simultaneously lose fat and gain muscle but only in very specific circumstances (generally untrained, older obese individuals) which don’t really apply in your case.

So I’d be looking at eating at TDEE or a slight surplus, making sure macros were right (especially grams of protein per lb of body weight) and following a training program to build mass. Once you have that down it’s a far simpler proposition to have a controlled period of deficit to drop any excess fat that’s still hanging around.

Yup, think you’ve covered everything I’d have said!

OP - PPL and Nsuns are two well respected programs with a reasonable balance of strength and size training.

@Liath @GTIPuG Thank you both for taking the time to respond, really appreciate it. I have wondered If I was eating too little and putting it into that perspective does concern me that I’m not eating enough now (the idea of the weight loss does entice me to keep going but I think that will harm my relationship with food…). I think I’d struggle to fit 2/7k calories in my eating window if I’m honest as I really don’t eat as much as I once did. I like the look of the PPL and will probably pick that up doing 8-12 reps on each exercise. Checking out a new gym today which will hopefully get me away from the chain brand gym I’m at currently which is over crowded for after-work work outs :smiley:


I mix Whey with huel post gym (heavy lifting), I love it. You can also try adding casein.

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You are more than welcome. Good luck with your lifting.
I switched from Pure Gym to my local leisure centre gym in March partly because it was impossible to get anywhere near a bench or the squat rack in the evening, but also because the PTs at chain gyms I’ve found to be bad at actually tailoring a program for you. Frustrating to have a PT who was still insisting I should stick with a pair of 10kg dumbbells for chest presses when I was benching 40kgs :roll_eyes: But hey, I’m female so in his eyes I shouldnt be wanting to go near anything above 2lb pink hand weights!
Keep us posted on how you get on!

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Quick update with a question: I got myself a fitness watch with heartrate tracker/calorie burn/sleep etc and recorded my food just for a day to see how it looked in MFP.
Goal: 2170 cal
Food: 2153 cal
Exercise: 999 cal
Remaining Calories: 1,016

So if everything is accurate as I’m a bit sceptical about burning 1k calories (3x45 min walks and 45 min gym workout) Does this mean I was at a calorie deficit of 1k as I had 1k remaining calories after exercise or would I have eaten the recommended amount for me TDEE?

Yes if everything is accurate this means you had a calorie deficit of 1016. That being said it is important to note that a lot of fitness trackers can overestimate by up to a third. on top of that everyone metabolize food differently and the method of calculating you’re "goal’ is most likely inaccurate.

These are normally designed to give an indication of exercise and calorie usage, to better help you manage your life.