Nasty digestive issues

For the past few years I’ve been 90% veggie/vegan. I would have the occasional meal with meat but for the most part abstained. I really liked the concept of huel so gave it a go for a few weeks before Christmas.
I replaced all of my meals with huel and opted for a couple of reasonable snacks per day. Every single day I had to ‘urgently evacuate’ often more than once! I was aware that there was likely to be a settling in period so stuck with it. Anyhow over Christmas I dropped to only replacing one or two meals and probably over ate the Christmas food. Anyhow since 1st January I’ve been back on 100% huel and the bathroom episodes have returned. I have now changed from 3-4 × 3scoops in 400ml of water per day to 4-6 x 2 scoops per day in 260ml water. Im finding the smaller portions feel much better but the bathroom visits have not improved.
With so many people reporting this issue I wondered if huel had any intention of addressing it? I’ve read about people enduring this for months before quitting (something I cannot do) I really hope there is a workaround or solution for this as I would really like to continue using huel

I hate to be crude, but what was the consistency of the movements?

Yeah hard to talk about this subject without venturing into the unpleasant lol mostly the stools were a darker, thicker version of huel and on a couple of occasions watery and smells like when I used to drink whey protein a lot.

It’s probably either the fibre or the sweetener. While I don’t get urgent needs for the toilet, I do have a change in consistency if I have 2-3 huel meals in a day. Most people find any digestive problems to be of the watery stool variety, but I’ve also seen a couple of people complain of constipation. Therefore it is difficult for huel to fix as such because many are fine, and those who aren’t are split into two camps. If it’s the fibre, reducing that would affect how filling huel is, if it’s the sweetener there’s the option of UU. There may be something you can add to bulk up your stools, or you might have to switch to using huel for 2/3rds of your meals and figuring out healthy options for a solid meal for lunch/dinner.

Each meal i have 1 scoop UU and one vanilla both 2.2 variety still atm I might switch to UU only for a week or two and see if there are changes, I upped the water each meal from 260 to 300ml as well

Decided to have a day off of huel yesterday before I start on just UU tomorrow, had no stomach issues all day, drank plenty of water And didn’t eat anything to exciting. A quick visit to the bathroom this morning everything was gratefully regular. Had my first huel for breakfast 2 scoops 50/50 vanilla/UK in 500ml of chilled water all was feeling good, about three hours later i made the same again and was surprised that i still felt ok 3rd huel drink around lunch and my stomach felt like I had swallowed a brick and have been dashing to the bathroom ever since. I’m going to try a couple of days of UU and if there’s no sign of improvement ill throw in the towel.

“I was aware that there was likely to be a settling in period” - yet you still decided to replace 100% of your meals with Huel? Then after overindulgence over Christmas going straight back into 100% Huel when you knew the last time you did that you had the trots? Seriously?

The majority of people have to get used to Huel. How long this takes and the form this takes varies from person to person. This is not something they can simply “fix”.

Personally, it took my body about 6 months to adjust to Huel. I started off on 1 120g portion per day for a bit and then went to 1-2 per day but suffered greatly with heartburn and gas. After a while I lowered my portion size down to 90g which helped massively and looking at the calories 120g was too much anyway. Now I don’t get any side effects from Huel.

My advice would be to go back to your previous diet and introduce 1 portion of Huel per day for a few weeks and monitor how things are.

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So what you’re saying is it can take six months for your body to adjust to huel but two days off of it your body Will ‘reset’ somehow? I appreciate i Havent given it as long as others may have but six weeks of noxious gas and diarrhea is too much and with no sign of improvement (I forgot to mention. I’ve been using probiotics as well) and the only respite I’ve had were the couple of days over Christmas and the Saturday just gone and the relief was instant. Six weeks may not seem a lot to some but I spend a lot of time travelling in my car for work and six weeks of combating diarrhea several times per day, each and every day has been awful.

Blockquote We recommend that when you start Huel, you first try replacing 1 meal with Huel, and then after a while (approx. 3-5 days) you could progress to replacing 2 of your daily meals (and then 3, 4, etc. if you want to go 100% Huel). This will allow your body to slowly adjust to Huel.

Their guide estimates 3-5 days per meal so 3-4 weeks to go from beginning to 100% huel if it took you six months (and some have been far longer) then this is an unrealistic expectation. I have drastically changed my diet before a number of times over the last decade and it has NEVER taken more than a week or so to adjust and i would notice it improve incrementally so i assumed that if i went 100% off the bat, sure it might be unpleasant for a while but i would feel it improve and from experience before long my body would adapt. For the sake of argument, this week ill do one meal per day UU, Two next and three after as per huel recommendation if my symptoms go ill add the vanilla back in and see what happens but with the reaction being so strong and instant I don’t see it improving tbh.

Hiya, that does sound nasty :frowning: I’m a 95% Hueler and went straight to Huel, I find digestive enzymes help me and based on all youve said above I think that would help. You can get them on Amazon fairly cheap :slight_smile:

No, I didn’t say that at all. I said from my own personal experience it took about 6 months for my body to adjust to Huel.

You have to apply some common sense here. You are dealing with the human body. All of us are different and we all react differently to alcohol, medicines, food etc. Your body is obviously having an extreme reaction to Huel so you cannot expect to follow the best case scenario guide as you have quoted it. I have just come off some medication I have been on for 6 months. It has taken me about 15 weeks to taper off. Some people on the internet claim they stopped cold turkey a without problem. That’s how it goes sometimes.

Given your reaction I don’t think you should be following the guideline, I think you should be taking it slower. One meal a day of U/U and see how that feels before deciding on what to do next. There is no rush.

Firstly I apologise if I was a bit terse in my previous reply, it was a bad day (Six weeks of diarrhea and Russian roulette gas will do that to you!) My previous experiences with changes in diet were very different I had a very poor diet at one point and went from that to juicing for about six weeks then onto being vegan. Each time I changed there was a couple of days of gastric distress, then I began to feel much better as my body became better nourished. The main components of Huel; Brown rice, peas, coconut oil, flaxseed and sunflower seed have (with the exceptiin of coconut oil) all been a regular part of my diet for some time and I don’t react to them in any way so it makes me wonder why I react to Huel in this way? This also isn’t my first attempt at meal replacement drinks and it’s the same situation there as well.
After three days of UU for breakfast only, (two scoops in 400ml chilled water with a teaspoon of honey) I’m no longer getting the sensation of having a brick in my stomach but the diarrhea is consistent from around mid-day yesterday it carried on for most of the afternoon. I’ve been looking into the ingredients of huel and have read that people can have a reaction to pea protein, but I don’t have an issue with peas as a whole so I doubt that’s the problem here. Also thank you Sarah ill look into those today :+1:t2:

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Ouch, that really does sound rough, kudos for continuing! I would def look into those, they stop my gut issues with any foods ( lots of intolerances) and you can get them fairly cheap on Amazon, I also take Lactospore daily. Let us know how you get on :slight_smile:

Hi @Connor - sorry to hear about your issues. Otherwise are you getting on well with Huel?

On 100% Huel, how many times per day are you ‘going’? Are you straining? Immediately after you’ve ‘been’, do you feel like you’ve ‘completely emptied’ or could you ‘go’ some more?

Hi James, unfortunately I had to reluctantly stop using Huel. I tried one meal a day for a few days (breakfast) but by lunch I was urgently heading for the bathroom, it would go on for a couple of hours with maybe 2-4 visits and then settle down. I stopped Huel and after a day things returned to normal so i thought id try breakfast again (2 scoops of UU and a teaspoon of honey in 400ml chilled water) and sure enough was dashing to the toilet around 1pm. Tbh im gutted, I really like Huel and miss the convenience. I know that many people dont have any difficulty at all but there seems to be something that really disagrees with me. With regards to your question about BM mostly i had to dash to the toilet and strain to hold it in until i got there lol there wold be a couple of episodes and then i would feel totally emptied.

thanks for responding,


Really sorry to hear this @Connor

If things settle down, it might be worth trying Huel again, just one scoops per day and increasing slowly every few days as tolerated.

Hi James thanks once again for responding, being a little stubborn i really didn’t want to give up on Huel and having 3 bags still I decided to stick with it for a little longer. Its really bugging me what could be causing the problem so I started looking at the content of huel plus any non huel foods I’ve consumed and also the mineral water i have been mixing with huel and drinking out of the bottle.
One thing i have noticed is when I was consuming two scoops, four times a day in 400ml of water (approx) plus drinking water, i could be consuming 500-600mg of magnesium per day, plus any snacks on top of that. Every reference i have found so far including the EFSA website recommends a daily intake of 350mg and many actually warn that a dosage exceeding 400mg may cause diarrhoea ( Do you think this could be the issue?

Hi @Connor - great that you’re sticking with it.

Interesting link; the levels of magnesium there are different to the official NRV (375mg/d) which is a minimum. The levels on the NHS link are the BNF 2017 figures.

High magnesium levels have indeed been linked to diarrhoea; but these are usually considerably higher and considering magnesium deficiency is quite rare, most Western diets easily contain well over 400mg per day. The info on the NHS site is going to be evidence-based, so there must be a study they got that figure from, but it does seem low to me.

For reference, the safe upper limits of Mg is 1400mg per day (EU figures - there is no US figure, so magnesium is only toxic this side of the Atlantic :face_with_raised_eyebrow:)

I would say it’s unlikely that the culprit is magnesium. I guess using this theory, if you consumed less Huel per day to see how you get on.

Is it just the fiber content that needs an adjustment period, or there is also some other aspect /ingredient that requires the body to gradually adjust?

I’m not looking for a “bad guy” to blame, I’m curious and want to understand to better navigate the adjustment period.

I’m having bloating problems myself on 2.3 (no problems on 2.1) and I’m struggling to understand why.

It may be the fibre content that means that the body needs time to adjust; but this may also depend on what the individual’s previous intake was like. Most people happily start on a high intake of Huel with no problems, but some people seem to need an introduction period or gradula increase. It’s hard to say why this is, and the reasons may well vary from person to person.

Thanks James, but I don’t think it may be the fiber content: I was good on Huel 2.1, It’s the 2.3 that has been proven problematic.
Also, I never had cramps on 2.1, on 2.3 they happen.

“dosage” and other habits (such as diet for remaining calories) did’t change.
My guess is the different kind of oat processing and sourcing.

I’ll give some other time to adjust, but so far it looks I’ll need to look at other companies, which is a shame, I though I found a perfect product with 2.1 Huel.