Marathon runner looking to move to a cleaner plant based diet

Hi, I recently completed the Berlin Marathon which was my 5th Marathon. for the 16 weeks of training I changed to a cleaner diet of porridge for breakfast, chicken/pork with brown rice or wholewheat pasta and no more that 70g veg for 11:00 and 14:00 meals and again as an evening meal with 0%fat greek yoghurt and fruit. This was a drastically more structured and cleaner way of eating. I didn’t get fatigued in my training and recovered quicker. I ran a 13 minute PB smashing my sub 2:55 goal by 2 minutes.

I have watched a few films recently on the benefits of whole food plant based diets and I’m looking to increase more of these meals into my diet.

My main question is what is the best way off introducing huel into my diet and how do the subscription packages work? if 100g is a full meal and a bag is 1.72kg then only 17 meals a month?

I’m interested to see if their are any other athletes that use it in their diets and do they replace meals or supplement their diet the same way I use a protein shake post work out.

Also one question I’ve got to ask is does it cause any problems with loose bowel movements?

1 Like

Had a year off in 2019 but I’ve been running for years with a bunch of marathons and an ultra behind me. Used Huel as general nutrition around marathons and a nutrition during (the bars are good for that as well) and post run. I also ran several marathons whilst on a 100% huel diet.

I’m not a contender and am quite happy with my just below four hours but I like Huel because I don’t have to worry about whether a meal is nutritionally balanced or not, because it always is.

I’d start by swapping out breakfasts since those don’t tend to be too nutritious in general. If you’re not used to the levels of fibre and protein in Huel then you’re gonna fart a fair bit at first, but if your diet’s well balanced already it’ll slot right in.


I tend to run or workout first thing, without eating first. But then I use Huel to replace my morning and lunchtime meals. I’ve not had any adverse effects from it and I can’t think of a reason why it wouldn’t be compatible with marathon training.

In terms of bowel movements, I’d maybe try Huel on your non-running days, or after a run… you don’t want Huel ****s creeping up on you mid-run!

1 Like

Search marathon or long distance run on the Huel forum search function, there was definitely a dude who took a shake with him for mid-marathon consumption and didn’t have the best results. Otherwise knock your socks off

1 Like

I blend a snickers in my Huel. That’s like a marathon right?


:joy::joy: yeah that wouldn’t go well!
@jsutherns wasn’t asking about using Huel mid-run though!

@jsutherns I would suggest replacing one meal a day initially. Work out your calorie requirements for that meal (100g may not be enough if you are very fit and active - it’s only 400 calories), and then weigh out the Huel to give you the size of meal that you require.

I personally use Huel for breakfast and also post-workout instead of a recovery drink or protein shake and I find it fantastic. Its by far the best post workout product that I’ve tried, and I’ve tried many. It has a good balance of carbs for recovery and protein for muscle rebuild.

As for your subscription - you can personalise it to your own requirements.
You’ll get roughly 14 x 500 calorie meals per bag so two bags (which is the order minimum) will give you one months supply of one meal a day.
If you’re planning to increase to 2 Huel meals a day, or one meal and one post workout shake, after a couple of weeks of letting your body get used to it, then order 3 bags for your first month.

I’d suggest 3 bags: try 3 different flavours and get a box of flavour boosts as well so you can experiment. If you don’t have a sweet tooth I would suggest chocolate which is less sweet, and / or get a bag of unflavoured which can be mixed with the vanilla to reduce the sweetness, or you can add flavour boosts instead.
Personally I like unflavoured, mint-choc and chocolate the best.
I also love the caramel boost and the mocha boost (added to uu or original).
New vanilla is quite popular but to me tastes like toffee.
Berry is very very sweet.

Bowel issues: unlikely seeing as you’ve had a pretty clean wholefood diet with plenty veg and fibre over the last year.
I didn’t get any issues transitioning to Huel but already had oats and flaxseed and pea protein as part of my daily diet.
Definitely take it slow though - start with one meal a day and build up gradually. Drink plenty extra water. It’s usually the high fibre that causes problems for people, so letting your body adjust slowly, and drinking well will minimise any issues.

I think you will be fine :+1:t2:
Let us know how you get on :slightly_smiling_face:


Oh on subscriptions: you can choose the delivery frequency to suit you - so it doesn’t have to be monthly. Maybe set it to every four weeks to start with, and you can log in and change this during the month if you need to delay it or make it sooner.
You can also change the flavours and number of bags that you want.
Basically, you can customise it to whatever you want. It’ll take you a couple of months to figure out exactly how many meals you’ll get per bag depending on how many calories you need, what flavours you like, and how often you want deliveries.

Don’t forget to add your free T-shirt and shaker at check out :slight_smile: and choose what colour and size T-shirt you want. Surprising how many people miss this option and don’t select the size !


You should check out Robbie Balenger, he ran 3200 across America in 75 days. His main source of fuel was smoothiies using a rival complete food, and I think Huel is a more nutritious and healthy food.

1 Like

Love this comment :joy: How anyone could think consuming high fibre food mid marathon would be good idea

1 Like

I train quite a lot, up to 5 times a week sometimes. I find Huel works great alongside my training and I’ve done some of my best training when I’ve had Huel beforehand. My portions are 90g so ~360kcal and if I’m swimming it only needs 60 minutes to digest before I’m good to go. Running requires longer, closer to 90 minutes. This means I can drink one on the way home from work and be ready for training easily.

I’ve done a few 12 mile runs lately and had 2x 360kcal Huel’s a few hours beforehand and felt absolutely fine. I have been using Huel for years so my body has adjusted to it. I got quite bad heartburn and gas at the start, but my diet before Huel was shocking. If you already have a good diet then it’s likely your symptoms will be less to none, but one meal a day, maybe breakfast to begin with would still be a sensible thing to do.


Thanks really helpful my biggest concern at the moment is how processed is HUEL, to be honest it can’t be much more processed than a lot of the food I ate but I’m trying to go as much whole food as I can. But taking on board your one meal a day I dont think it can be any worse than what I’m currently doing so I’ll definately give it a try


There are a number of articles on the main Huel site on how it’s made, what the processes are, where the ingredients come from etc.

1 Like

Everything is a chemical, check out what’s in a banana

1 Like

I just had to research that to see if that was real :laughing:
However it doesn’t list chitinase which is the protein found in bananas that cause most allergic reactions.
I’m allergic to bananas, kiwis and figs, but not avocado - interesting because chitinase is present in all four of these fruits.
This is also the protein responsible for latex allergy (yep I’m also very allergic to latex).

I’m not 100% sure that chitinase is the culprit in my case - but it seems likely (still odd that I’m fine with avocado though)

I wonder… does the Banana Premix contain Chitinase @Dan_Huel are you able to find out?
I have bag of banana Huel here that I reeeeally want to try but have been to scared to so far in case it causes an allergic reaction.
It’s already been confirmed to me by @Tim_Huel that the premix does contain natural flavours from a banana - but I’m wondering if chitinase would be present.
I don’t understand enough about the science of extracting natural flavourings to know whether the protein would remain.
I imagine it wouldn’t… but still I’ve been advised to avoid the banana premix - I’m guessing out of caution rather than knowing for sure what part of a banana would be responsible for the allergy.

I’m tempted to test it on myself…
I keep meaning to…
But I really don’t wanna get ill :mask:

The way everyone has been describing the new banana flavour (like fresh green banana and less sweet) makes me think I would really like it :yum:

I really love the flavour of banana and feel gutted I can’t eat them :pensive:
I’ve always been allergic but that doesn’t stop me trying one every few years, to see if it’s changed… it never changes :woman_facepalming:t3:


The guy that made the images did say he’d omitted thousands of minority ingredients, so it’s not surprising. Mostly his point was that just because synthetic things have sciencey sounding names, it doesn’t mean those things aren’t also in ‘natural’ products. It’s that old adage about how vaccines work, GMO’s are safe and everything is a chemical.


This guy sounds like part of the deep state. I bet he believes the earth is round too.


what a freak


Sure, we will look into it for you Christina. I think you are clutching at straws a bit though, allergies are complicated and it’s very rare that one particular protein is the culprit. Proteins can often differ between foods despite carrying the same name.

1 Like

Awww thanks @Dan_Huel :blush:
Yes you could be right… but having researched it, chitinase is the culprit and the common factor between bananas, figs, kiwis and latex - all of which I’m allergic to, so it seems possible. But yes, even if I am allergic to chitinase, bananas may contain something else as well that I react to!
There’s only one sure way of knowing whether I can eat the banana Huel, and that’s eating the banana Huel :laughing: but if it has chitinase in it I won’t bother with the experiment! :banana:


No chitinase in Huel Powder Banana. You can do what you want with that information, but my lawyer as advised me to state that I cannot support your actions.

1 Like