So, as the old timers here will know, I was an early adopter of Huel, starting back in August 2015 when it was v1.0 of the powder. I really liked Huel, but eventually decided to take a break from it because I felt like I was having some kind of a reaction to it.
Recently I decided to test it out again. I am now pretty certain it is indeed an allergic reaction to one or more of the ingredients.
No, it’s not dehydration (I wee loads throughout the day and it’s usually pale colour) and it’s not lack of salt (I add salt to my Huel because I prefer the taste). I’m also pretty sure it’s not a lack of or too much of a particular nutrient, because the reaction happens so quickly. I start to feel the reaction within the first few sips.
The main reaction is just a mild headache, and it really is very mild most of the time, and tends to pass quite soon. However, the last few days I’ve had a bunch of mouth ulcers, and these days I don’t normally get mouth ulcers at all. Could be a coincidence, I don’t know, but it’s well known that food intollerances can cause mouth ulcers.
So, what am I reacting to in Huel?
It’s difficult to say, but I suspect it might be the sunflower oil, because several years ago I did a food intolerance blood test that revealed a sensitivity to sunflower. And recently I had some cashew nut butter that had sunflower oil added to it and I got a slight headache after eating that.
It’s not the gluten, because I’ve tried the gluten-free. It’s not the sweetener because I’ve tried the U&U version. It’s unlikely to be the oats or the protein powders because I have in the recent past made my own basic version using oat flour and protein powders and not had the same reaction.
So, now the question for me is whether I feel that the reaction is bad enough for me to stop Huel again. I’m not quite sure. I feel torn because I love the concept of Huel, I like the taste, I love the convenience, and I’m poor so it saves me money.
If I was rich, I would probably pay James to custom make me a version that I didn’t react to, for example without the sunflower oil. But I’m not, so I can’t.