See my glucose variation in my blood after eating Joylent and Huel

After using Joylent for 3 weeks I was worried about its content of Maltodextrine. In addition, I had heart palpitations after eating Joylent, and I guess this is due to Maltodextrine. I read in forums that I am not the only one with these palpitations.

As you probably know, Maltodextrine is a cheap way of having carbohydrates in this type of foods. It is very mixable with water and it is cheap. So for manufacturers is a good option. The bad point is that has a glycemic index that
is very high. Therefore, it could yield a peak of glucose, and pancreas has to produce a peak of insulin to counteract.

If you eat three times per day products that have a lot of Maltodextrine there is a chance (I do not how much, if anybody knows) that you pancreas could be stressed and you could end with diabetes.

So I decided to make a comparison of how my glucose in blood changes after eating Joylent and Huel. Huel has not Maltodextrine.

The experiment.

Person: I am 48 years old. 177 cm tall, weight of 75 Kg. Occasional exercise (cycling). Good health. No diabetes.

Joylent and Huel. The same amount of calories, 706 for breakfast. So this is will be the first food I take in the day.

A glucometer like shown in the following picture. Typically used for diabetic people to control the glucose. The device is new. Take into account that it is not so precise. Errors about 5-10% are possible in the readings. But, as you will see, the difference measured between Joylent and Huel are over the possible error in the readings.

Joylent was eaten for breakfast the 27th August 2015. Huel the following day.

The following chart shows: vertical axe: glucose measured. Horizontal axe: time in minutes since I ate Joylent or Huel


There is a clear difference between the level of glucose produced in my body between Joylent and Huel. It is probable that this difference come from the content of Maltodextrine of Joylent.

The maximum values for both foods are reached about 40 minutes after eating. It seems there is a second peak (due probably to the low carbohydrates?) about 100 minutes.This peak is higher for Joylent.


Fascinating and I can mirror your results with tests I’ve carried out. There seems little doubt that maltodextrin is bad and to be taking it three times a day long term cannot be good and as Huel have demonstrated, there is no need for it. The original soylent had a lot of maltodextrin and recipes were based on that model. There’s even one, Soylent Life which has maltodextrin and fructose in it. I stop short of describing it as toxic.


Nice to see your are obtaining similar results.

Please share them!


I had heart palpitations after eating Joylent, and I guess this is due to Maltodextrine

I experienced the same. Actually, Joylent and Jake gave me a quite nice sugar rush that made me feel very much on top of things, and my performance at work (playing the bass in an orchestra) increased for some time, after it broke down again. Alongside the palpitations that made for quite the drug experience. Not that I didnt like it, but its definitely not the kind of thing you want from your every day food. I much prefer the normal saturated feeling of huel, giving you just reasonable energy like from a real meal over a sufficient amount of time and not crushing down suddenly. Also, the cravings for pizza, whole grain bread, savoury food etc. are much less on huel. I guess the more fat and protein, the fewer short carbs, the better for your saturation.

Do you plan on repeating those measurings for a more secured result?

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Thanks for sharing the “palpitations” experience. I find it myself very disturbing.

No. I am not going to replicate the experiment. For some reasons:

1.- The difference is much larger that the error of the glucometer… So the conclusion seems correct.
2.- It is very painful to take so many measurements on your fingers. And you cannot work or concentrate…you have to take a measurement each 10 minutes.
3.- On the other hand, i was expecting these results. The conclusion is what is expected. Nothing strange that forces me to do it gain.
4.- I am waiting for other people to replicate the experiment. It is more informative to see the evolution in other persons.

@davidmccarlie unfortunately the latest version of Soylent still has lots of maltodextrin in it although they try to hide it. On this page:

They display four main ingredients, brown rice protein, oat flour, sunflower order and vit blend.

But if you dig further you will find out they they carbs come from:

Maltodextrin 70g
Isomaltulose 47g
Potato starch 41g
Oat flour 24g
Rice Starch 13g
Trehalose 11g
Brown rice protein 7.5g
Algal Oil Powder 2g
Soy Lecithin 1g

So oat flour is just over 11% of the total carbs. I wonder why they highlight it as one of the four main ingredients.


I seem to remember reading that the maltodextrin used in Soylent is a special lower GI version of maltodextrin. I’m not sure how that works, but if true, that could change things a bit. It could be that the maltodextrin in Joylent is high GI though.

My feeling with all these meal drinks though is that Huel is learning from the mistakes that these earlier pioneers have made. With Soylent particularly, it’s an awful name. As for soya, Soybean allergy is one of the most common food allergies. Also, there is some debate over whether soya can disrupt hormones.

I found Huel by searching on Google for “UK alternative to Soylent”. The first thing I did was check the ingredients. If it had contained soya I wouldn’t have bought it. I was also really glad to see that it had a good carbohydrate source.

Then there is the issue of delivery. There were a HUGE number of complaints on the Soylent forum about delivery delays of many months. I got my Huel delivered in two days. You can’t really get much better than that.



On the other hand, the shipping delays were eliminated in March. Soylent now ships within a week. I, too, got my last Soylent shipment in two days (I’m in the US, so I can’t get Huel yet).

I’m not sure why you say they try to hide it, since your cite comes from their own website?

I’m also not sure if it helps Huel by constantly trying to disparage Soylent. I think Huel is a good product, and should stand on its own merits. I’m more impressed when a product advertises the positive, as opposed to spending a lot of time trying to knock down a competitor.

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If you read their nutrition label, their first four ingredients are 1) Canola and Sunflower Oil Powder, 2) Rice Protein, 3) Isomaltulose, and 4) Oat Flower. So, it is one of their four main ingredients. :wink:

Glad to read this, I’m not alone… I do have these palpitations with Joylent too. I’m considering switching to Bertrand or Huel when I’m finish with all my Joylent pounches.

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@Ric I respectfully disagree. I think that’s just what competition is all about. If you can show that you are better than a competitor, then that’s great. If it turns out to be true that you are better than them, then hopefully it makes the competitor up their game and improve their product. I think the key thing is as long as the truth is told. It would only be wrong if lies were invented. But if you have a product that is better than another similar product, and you don’t declare that you are better, you’ve not fully got your business brain in gear. Businesses get ahead because they can demonstrate that they are the best of the available options.

The Huel page that compares it to Soylent contains facts. I looked at that and thought “Ahh, yes, it does look better than Soylent.” If I’d have received my bags of Huel and it turned out it was made of coal, I’d have felt deceived.

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One question for Julian: The new soylent 2.0 has as a main ingredient Maltodextrine. Nevertheless, they say it has a GI of 50. So if your main critique is the high GI of Maltodextrine, and they obviously have balanced that out by using maybe longer chain Malto and by having lots of oil in it, wouldnt this prove you wrong? If the GI of Soylent is low, what do you then still criticise?

I know the question is not for me. Just I want to comment two things.

1.- Joytent says they are mixing Maltodextrin with low carbohydrates in order to reduce the total GI of the product. BTW, Joylent has oil as well. And the results are in this post, high GI.

Maltodextrin is cheap, and the final product is much easier to mix with water… so the manufactures tend to use Maltodextrin.

2.- I cannot buy Soylent, because I live in Spain. However, if someone wants to send me a bit of Soylent, I only need 706 cal, I will do the experiment with Soylent.

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Quote from the Joylent’s blog:

The two main sources of carbohydrates in Joylent are oat flour and maltodextrin. Oat flour has a GI of roughly 38 (fairly low) while maltodextrin has a value of 85 - 105 (very high). These two values however, are automatically altered due to the fact that they are consumed in combination with all the other ingredients in Joylent (loads of protein, loads of fats) and therefore the GI value changes! (

Same for Soylent, and all diets: you have to check the GI of the whole product, and not the GI of one ingredient alone.

Exactly. And the people of Soylent say their whole product 2.0 has an overall GI of 50, which would be totally OK. So on what grounds would you then still criticise Soylent for their use of Malto? Not to get me wrong here, I personally prefer the non-Malto Huel also out of personal experience, but I want to get the objective reasoning straight.

I have read quite a few times that eating tons of soya can create estrogen imbalance in the body.
especially for older men or men with low average testosterone.
Please never put soya in huel

It is amazing…so amazing…

I wrote a post saying that Maltodextrin produces me heart palpitations… two more persons in thne thread have the same problem. But some people do not read that, or they do not care.

I show a chart where Joylent produces me a much higher peak of glucose in my blood. They do not care.

But, it is amazing, … so amazing…some people says that the GI of Joylent is OK.

you know? I do not trust Joylent or Huel staff members… I trust my glucometer.


@JonnyT If the individual ingredients of Huel are all low GI, wouldn’t this mean that the total GI of Huel would be lower than the GI some a product that contains a high GI ingredient among low GI ingredients?

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@PacoA : Many thanks for the glucometer chart!
I hope someone get’s you some Soylent to test =)

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