Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake review TL;DR: a tasty complete food powder with a well-balanced micro- and macronutrient profile. Worth a try.
Bulk – formerly known as Bulk Powders – is one of the most popular nutrition brands in the UK. Apart from being the manufacturer of some of the best protein powders on the market today, the Essex-based company also produces a slew of other products such as protein bars and mass gainer supplements. Even for a company with such a diverse portfolio, the bulk 1 Complete Food Shake is an exciting new offering and something that will surely make companies like Huel and Jimmy Joy worried.
How well the Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake stack up? Let's find out!
Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake review: 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. If you have one shake a day, a bag will last for approx. a month (duh).
What is the bulk 1 Complete Food Shake?
The bulk 1 Complete Food Shake is what used to be called a ‘meal replacement powder’, meaning they offer a full meal in a shaker. Complete shakes such as this have a higher calorie content (around 4-500 kcal) and usually high in protein and carbs. Complete food shakes also contain a moderate amount of dietary fat, usually the healthier ‘unsaturated’ variety.
Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake review: ingredients
The bulk 1 Complete Food Shake is completely vegan and all protein is sourced from plants such as peas, pumpkin seed and chickpea. You’ll also find gluten-free oats in the mix – the whole product is gluten-free too – as well as avocado powder, navy bean powder, MCTs, baobab powder, sweet potato powder, lucuma powder and flaxseed powder. The sweet potato and the oats are added to the mix to add healthy carbs to the mix while the avocado and coconut powder contains plenty of good fats.
The ingredients are not organic but represents a good spread of healthy whole foods that can aid recovery and boost metabolism.
Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake review: micro- and macronutrient profile
The bulk 1 Complete Food Shake has a well-balanced micro- and macronutrient profile. Each 100-gram serving is bang-on 400 calories and contains 30 grams of protein, 37 grams of carbohydrate, 12 grams of fat and 9.6 grams of fibre. Sugar content is very low (only 2.3 grams).
There are over 20 vitamins and minerals in the powder too, including more exoctic stuff such as Ashwagandha extract which is said to increase testosterone levels naturally (don’t take our word for it though).
You’ll also find a range of ‘branded’ ingredients in the Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake: 250mg of Wellmune, 15mg of DigeZyme, 300 million spores of LactoSpore etc. It’s hard to tell if any of these ingredients actually get used by the body or whether they go through the digestive system like when you take multivitamin tablets. Given the fibre content, one can assume that at least some of the good stuff stays and gets used by the body.
Having one shake a day supplies your body with plenty of vitamins and minerals and can be considered at least 'one of your five a day'.
Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake review: taste and flavours
Probably the biggest issue with complete food shakes is how they taste. Many claim they taste ‘gritty’ and ‘earthy’ to a level where they are pretty much inedible. It’s true, meal replacement shakes used to taste not all that pleasant but in this day and age, many of the most popular brands are actually quite tasty, at least for people who are not opposed to taking this many calories in a liquid form.
Now, I’m not saying that bulk 1 Complete Food Shake is super tasty but it’s definitely one of the better tasting ones I tried. I would describe the tested chocolate version as ‘biscuity sweet’ and not at all ‘watered-down sawdust’. Shaken with the recommended amount of water, the final product was comparatively smooth with no large chunks of powder spoiling the experience. The shake is thicker than a protein powder and will make you feel full for longer than just having a protein shake too.
Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake review: how to use
The bulk 1 Complete Food Shake provides a whole meal’s worth of calories so if you are not actively working out, you should have it instead of a cooked meal to replenish your energy levels in a healthy way.
For people who actively workout and burn a lot of calories throughout the day, I would recommend supplementing their diet with the bulk 1 shake, as in having one on top of their usual food intake. Same goes for ‘hard gainers’: having a bulk 1 Complete Food Shake can help adding a lot of fast-absorbing good calories to your diet.
Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake review: verdict
The bulk 1 Complete Food Shake is a very decent alternative to Huel and other complete food products on the market today. As well as containing loads of healthy ingredients, the bulk 1 powder is also super convenient and not too expensive either: one 400-calorie serving costs only £1.67, which is nothing compared to other snack and food options that have the same amount of calories. Not to mention it being 100-times more healthy than those, too.
I don’t think that the bulk 1 Complete Food Shake will convert people who don’t like such powders to 'complete food believers' but for those who are interested in giving meal replacement options a try, this might be one of the best (and tastiest) options to consider.
Bulk 1 Complete Food Shake review: also consider
The Huel Black Edition is the supercharged version of your everyday Huel: it contains 50% less carbs (17 grams) and 33% more protein (40 grams) per 90-gram serving than the latter. It’s also slightly cheaper than the bulk 1 Complete Food Shake and costs only £1.63 ‘per meal’. It also has a 1-year shelf life and is completely plant-based too.