Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: which is the best high-protein supplement?

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: what's the difference and the pros/cons of these meal replacement protein powders?

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake
(Image credit: Huel/Bulk)

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: two of the most competent meal replacement/complete food options for people interested in such things. Despite looking rather similar at first glance, there are certain differences between the two protein powders that make them better suited for different groups of people. What are these differences and how to make the most of the benefits the powders have to offer? Why should you choose either over other mass gainer and protein snack options?

Read on to find out!

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: Bulk 1 bag displayed on a table among its ingredients

(Image credit: bulk)

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: ingredients

The Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake is a plant-based protein powder, most of its protein content being sourced peas, pumpkin seed and chickpea. The Bulk 1 is also gluten-free and uses gluten-free oat and sweet potato to up its carb content. You’ll also find dried and ground avocado, navy bean, baobab, lucuma and flaxseed in the mix. The avocado and coconut powder contain plenty of unsaturated 'good fats'.

The Huel Black Edition is also 100% vegan and sources its protein from pea, flaxseed (sometimes also called linseed), but it also lists brown rice as one of the main sources of protein. In addition, the Huel-blend contains tapioca flour, sunflower oil, organic coconut sugar and a 'micronutrient blend' which contains a range of added vitamins and minerals. Let's not forget about the added green tea extract and kombucha either.

Both powders contain MCTs.

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: Huel Black Edition bag placed on top of a pile of bananas

(Image credit: Huel)

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: micro- and macronutrient profile

One might call the macronutrient profile of the Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake more balanced for general use: each 100-gram serving is exactly 400 calories and contains 30 grams of protein, 37 grams of carbohydrate (of which 2.3 grams is sugar), 12 grams of fat and 9.6 grams of fibre. There are over 20 vitamins and minerals in the Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake, including more exoctic stuff such as Ashwagandha extract, which is said to have quite a few beneficial health properties.

The Huel Black Edition is better suited for people who are keen on maximising the protein content of their supplements. The serving size is slightly smaller (90 grams) but it contains the same amount of calories (400 kcal). The Huel Black Edition packs an insane 40 grams of protein per serving plus 18 grams of carbs, 17 grams of fat (14.4 grams of the 'good' mono- and polyunsaturated variety) and roughly 6 grams of fibre.

Both powders are high in calories so we would recommend taking them after workouts or if you are trying to lose weight, instead of a cooked meal (breakfast or lunch, not dinner). Regardless of why you decide to use the powders, both contain a large dose of all essential vitamins and minerals, which can come in handy for recovery and general wellbeing.

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: person reaching for a Huel Black Edition bag with caramel sauce dripping down on the side of the bag

(Image credit: Huel)

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: taste

The Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake is undeniably not fine cuisine but it’s one of the better tasting protein powders we tried. The flavours are okay and it has very little of the distinct earthy taste, often associated with nutritionally complete shakes. Shaken with the recommended amount of water, the final product is comparatively smooth: it's thicker than protein powder so please be mindful of that.

Even the flavoured versions of the Huel Black Edition have a slight but unmistakably earthy aftertaste, not to mention the thick texture of the mix. On the other hand, the Huel Black Edition mixes well and the shake is anything but thin. It might be a bit too thick, if anything, but in a good way: having a portion actually fills you up and makes you less hungry. If you find it too thick, add some more water (you might need a huge shaker for this, though). It also comes in more exoctic flavours than the Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake.

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: person dipping a scoop of Bulk 1 into a shaker placed on a table

(Image credit: bulk)

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: price and availability 

The Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake is available to buy directly from Bulk for a recommended retail price of £49.99. This is for a 3kg bag which contains 30 servings/12,000 calories in total. This equates to £1.67/serving. The Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake is only available in the UK and there is no option to have it delivered in regular intervals.

The Huel Black Edition can be bought directly from Huel US or Huel UK, prices start from $75/£55 when you subscribe. Bags can be bought separately (without having to subscribe), the price is slightly higher in that case ($83.34/£55.56). When bought as a one-off, it costs $2.45/£1.63 per portion. This makes it slightly cheaper than the Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake. Should you wish to subscribe, the price drops to $2.20/£1.47 per portion.

Huel Black Edition vs Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: verdict

We would recommend the Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake as a meal replacement option as opposed to a supplement. Thanks to the balanced macronutrient profile and included micronutrients, the Bulk 1 shake can effectively replace a meal without to risk of cutting out a macronutrient group from your diet unnecessarily.

The Huel Black Edition's high protein content makes it the perfect post-workout snack, even better than a protein shake. It contains some carbs which can help in recovery but not too much so it would spike blood sugar levels. The fat and fibre content is just the icing on the cake. Highly recommended for bodybuilders as an addition to their diet.

Matt Kollat
Matt Kollat

Matt is a fitness fanatic (a.k.a. fitness and nutrition writer) who's been rambling on about all things health and fitness for over two years now here at T3. His achievements include a short-lived fitness podcast called Fit Mentality Podcast and being a judge on the Fit&Well Awards 2021. In his free time, he works out at home, runs, cycles and loves a good ol' walk around the city. He writes about general fitness stuff, fitness tech, workouts, workout gear/equipment, nutrition and much, much more.