HIV and using Huel to gain weight

I haven’t seen any posts from people dealing with HIV. I have been positive for 28 years and I am having some nutrition problems. I hate to eat and have AIDS wasting syndrome so I am not getting much nutrition. I have been using Ensure to supplement my meals but that is very low calorie. Huel has just about the same nutrition and more % of recommended daily allowance to that Ensure has plus the added calories I need to gain weight. I am not looking for Huel to make me lose weight but to help me put on healthy weight. Is there anyone else in this forum that is looking for Huel to do the same thing?

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Hi @PSPanther

Huel could be a great inclusion in your diet and the nutritional profile is superior to Ensure, although Huel is slightly less calorie-dense per volume.

Why not make a pitcher of Huel up and grab some as you fancy it. One thing, though, make sure you’re having at least 100g in a serving in order to get enough leucine. Leucine is the amino acid which triggers protein synthesis.

Hi there! A few of us use Huel to gain weight for various reasons (I’m busy and have trouble swallowing). You’ll need a blender you’ll need to add some things. Here’s a post I created a year ago. The scoops have changed so it’s now 2 scoops instead of 3, but you’ll get the general gist.

I increased my fat to 4 Tbsp and started using light olive oil (nearly flavorless) because I decided I’m not a fan of the saturated fat of coconut oil. Sometimes I use 2 Tbsp sugar, depending on the recipe. I add a scoop of CarboMax (google it), which is maltodextrin but comprised mainly of long-chain polysaccharides as opposed to mono- or disaccharides like most maltodextrins. I know, not an ideal ingredient but I needed more carbs that weren’t so thick. I now only drink one of these shakes a day, not two. My stomach couldn’t hold two. But, the one shake, dinner, and Ensure Plus (I also drink Ensure!) gets me to about 2000 calories.

When crafting recipes for weight gain, keep this as your base: water or dairy/nut milk (and ice) + fat + sugar + Huel + extra carbs. The rest is your imagination. I have been loving frozen cherries and cocoa powder. Add to blender in this order for best results:

  1. Ice
  2. Liquid
  3. Sugar
  4. Fat
  5. [Nuts, fruit, other solids]
  6. Huel
  7. [Fine powders like cacao]
  8. CarboMax

Hope this helps! I might make a separate post for others. Feel free to message me.

I do not have HIV, so I cannot comment in that regard, but I tried to gain weight using Huel alone, and found it difficult due to also increasing my activity level. I was consuming Huel alone for nutrition for months and the amount I would have had to consume was more than I could stomach in a day. If you are not active, I think Huel could help, but I found it was harder to consume enough when I was sedatery, as Huel is rather filling. So, more active means I could consume more Huel, more easily, but I could not add much weight. I found adding some additional amino acids that are often used in sports nutrition helped me gain muscle much easier with Huel. The extra amino acids helped improve other things too. I know Huel contains all the required amino acids, so long as my body can break things down create them from the essential amino, but it sure helped me by adding them directly. My theory is either due to my digestive system being a wreck, there are issues with breaking things down to get all the amino acids I need, or I am basically hacking my body by skipping all of work and delivering raw materials straight into my system. I just mixed up a batch today for fifty days worth and it weighs five kilograms. My theory is that if my body now has all it needs to add muscle easier and more stamina, that could mean my organs also use the raw materials to repair and improve. I probably won’t know for some time, but my weight went up by about 10 pounds in the past couple of months, partially muscle and part water from what I can tell. I made obvious gains in muscle size and strength, so you might give amino acid therapy a shot, if Huel alone is not helping you improve enough. I have no idea how safe adding all of these amino acids is, but in my case, the potential reward is worth what I perceive as a fairly limited risk. Good luck to you. I definitely recommend trying Huel. I truly think it is a GREAT tool for improving health and working towards solutions to health issues.

Hey Johnnie, firstly love that you’re a fan of Huel!

Huel has a PDCAAS score of 1.0 which means the proteins have a high bioavailability. You can read more on protein quality and digestion here:

Sports nutrition isn’t my area, but it’s possible it helped you hit your protein and amino acid requirements (particularly leucine). Calorie intake is key to gaining weight, alongside ensuring you have enough protein:

Hope that helps!