What is the diuretic ingredient in Huel?

I have been trying Huel Vanilla and I’m 100% sure it is having a diuretic effect unrelated to water intake. For a few hours after I drink it I have to urinate at least every 40 minutes and it poses an obstacle to leaving the house.

Possible candidates for causative ingredient are:

  • Sucralose
  • The probiotic??

Less likely candidates:

  • Gluten (I eat quite a lot of bread without problems)
  • Large amounts of vitamins (I only have 100g a day so the vitamin amounts are not excessive)

Has anyone else experienced this and/or done any detective work on this already?

I drink mainly UU and the reason I think its because comparing to traditional foods you are having much more water per calorie.

It not bad per se

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Just to clarify, the diuretic effect is unrelated to water intake. I am 100% sure I’m drinking the same amount of water on Huel days as on non-Huel days.

Have you tried to drink the same amount of water (600ml or whatever) at once like you do with huel?

I bet that if you do that you will pee like a fountain in 30 mins

I find if you replace the water with gin it helps.


Yes, I’ve tried that. It doesn’t cause me to feel a constant, noticeable need to urinate for hours like Huel does. The night after I have Huel I also have to wake up to urinate multiple times in the night, which I normally don’t. It’s quite a significant difference.

wow that is weird

Caffeine has a diuretic effect.

using the Vanilla not the coffee version

You’re right…but what else could have a diuretic effect?
Maybe the shake contains more fluid than a solid meal.
Maybe sucralose causes insulin spikes and consecutive insulin resistance and diabetes - but this would be a long-time effect, which does not seem to be the case here, either…

Do you have a better suggestion?

none of the ingredients from what I can see and the virtually zero trace amount of caffeine certainly wouldn’t - maybe the change in fibre/water processing balance as Adrian suggested. I Usually replace two meals a day with Huel and there seems to be a very narrow tipping point on fluids. If I keep my water intake balanced just right then its fine - one glass of water to many and I’m in the same boat. Getting a perfect hydration balance consistently though is virtually impossible.


As Huel has a high fibre content it should be the opposite - because fiber delays or even inhibits the absorption of water from the intestines. This would explain why some people get diarrhea from Huel, but not a diuretic effect…

Perhaps some phytonutrient interferes with his aldosterone metabolism…when browsing the literature on pubmed I just couldn’t find which one it might be…

I know - thats why they encourage you to drink more fluids to counter it - thats the balance I was referring to.

I guess it could also be the salt intake - if you are drinking the same amount of fluids as usual - introducing a Huel meal and so reducing your sodium levels may also trigger water release. if this were the case I would have thought your body would normalise in a few days of keeping to the same diet.

such a good suggestion! Does bourbon works too?

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To be honest with you, I think bourbon actually pairs better with Huel than gin does.


Reminds me, must get some more Bailey’s for my Christmas Huel…


What do bourbon, gin and baileys have to do with what I or what Phil_C said?

@hunzas @Mollaka etc please take off-topic conversation elsewhere

Thanks for all the suggestions, I really appreciate the help with this. Some really interesting ideas here. Especially @mbs your comment about phytonutrients and aldosterone metabolism, and @Phil_C if i do give Vanilla Huel another go I’ll certainly try adding a bit of salt to test this, thanks for the suggestion.