I was one of those lucky few who had the chance to sample the new Huel Complete Protein powder before it was launched today. As a matter of fact, the tub it came in was a nondescript plastic container because Huel hadn't quite finished designing the label for the Complete Protein at the time. And after testing this vegan protein powder for a couple weeks, I’m thinking about giving up on whey protein and going all-in vegan when it comes to protein supplementation.
It’s not like I didn’t like vegan proteins before: I tested and reviewed the Huel Black Edition protein as well as the Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake. I also tried Plant Era’s Strawberry & Basil protein and MyProtein’s Vegan Protein Blend, among other products. You can read all about them on T3’s best protein powder guide. And although vegan protein powders are not terrible, they often have less palatable texture and taste compared to whey protein.
However, the Huel Complete Protein is a bit different from the rest of the vegan protein lot. For example, its macro- and micronutrient stats are on point: it contains 20 grams of protein, 9 grams of EAAs and 5 grams of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) per 105 calorie serving. It also tastes rather pleasant for a protein powder that's not whey.
Sure, it’s a bit sludgy and has a slight vegan twang to it, but overall, it’s pretty enjoyable to drink. Just a note, especially for people like me who like to mix their protein powder with only a small amount of water: you might want to add a bit more water to the Huel Complete Protein so it doesn't get too congealed to a level when it wouldn't come out of the shaker. Adding over 200 ml of water should do the trick but feel free to experiment to find the best protein shake consistency for you. Or go crazy like me and mix it with Greek yoghurt to recreate The Mountain's dinner. Your call.
In addition to all that, the Complete Protein is the first “nutritionally complete” plant-based protein powder, meaning it contains all 26 essential vitamins and minerals, as well as being a source of fibre, carbs and fats. This powder truly is the protein powder version of 'standard' Huel, a leaner, less calorific option for those who don't necessarily want to replace a meal with Huel but would still like to enjoy the benefits of it.
Some people might be put off by the fact that the Huel Complete Protein contains fat but it's a good thing, trust me. Despite what Hollywood actors are trying to make you believe, you can’t build muscle without eating fats: muscle building is not only about eating the ‘holy trinity’ of muscle foods, namely chicken, rice and broccoli. Dietary fat can help your body metabolise protein better, as well as having a range of positive health effects too. Eat your fat, kids.
Huel Complete Protein: price and availability
Huel Complete Protein is available in six flavours, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Strawberries & Cream, Banana Milkshake, Vanilla Fudge, Salted Caramel and Unflavoured & Unsweetened, the latter which I wouldn’t recommend having on its own but for baking and smoothies etc. The Complete Protein is available exclusively from Huel from today for a recommended retail price of £50 (one-off purchase).