Huel and Mood Improvement


I leapt full on into Huel for 2 and a half weeks (with expected consequences) but the most notable side effect was a massive improvement in my mood. I was eating a pretty standard diet before huel not massively healthy but not laden with junk food either - just bad enough to see me gaining weight month in month out.

As soon as I started Huel I had massive improvements in energy, sleep and mood. I was a different person, calmer, far less irritable and happier. Because I had a flight coming up and didnt want to pack diapers so I decided to go back on solid food - immediately my mood deteriorated and I became irritable again. Now back on huel and mood back to fantastic.

My question - how can I isolate what food types are causing my bad mood and plan a solid food diet that maintains the mood benefits I’m seeing from huel. I’m not massively clued up on nutritional issues so any input or advice would be much appreciated.


It’s great that Huel is working for you!

It’s really hard to pin down what affects mood. It’s possibly an increase in calories, getting enough micronutrients such as niacin (which plays a role through serotonin) or replacing something in our diet that’s having a negative effect.

If you want to try and narrow this down it’s going to be difficult.

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Thanks, if I wanted to plan a diet that compemented and mirrored the nutritional profile of Huel what would that look like, what would I be consciously excluding?

I’m wondering if it was the fact that you were eating a completely plant based regimen for the time you were on Huel, which might be the reason for it. Huel has no cholesterol or trans fat, very little saturated fat. It also has a good amount of fiber.

For solid food, first thing that comes to mind is oatmeal or overnight oats. Overnight oats can be made very easily and eaten cold or microwaved. There are so many different ways to do an oat based meal. I sometimes do this instead of Huel for my work dinner.

  1. Get a glass container with sealable lid. Better for heating stuff and easier to clean.

  2. 1 to 1.5 cup of old fashioned oats. This won’t work with steel cut oats.

  3. 1 to 2 teaspoons of flaxseed or chia seed, preferably ground.

  4. Pour plant milk untill it covers all oats. This will soak in over the next few hours so be generous.

  5. To sweeten the oats either use stevia or put raisins. Stir them right in. I am generous with my raisins.

  6. Optional, add PB2 powder or peanut butter. Optional, stir in cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.

  7. Top with favorite fruit. Sliced banana, chopped apple or applesauce, berries are the best options.

Store in fridge for at least a few hours or overnight. Then microwave or eat cold.

Another option I’ve done is oats + 2 banana + peanut butter + cocoa powder.

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An actual whole food Huel based meal would be rice mixed with green peas. Then heat some oats and sprinkle flaxseed into it, mixing some plant milk and/or coconut milk and heat. Sweeten the oats with some stevia. For the rice and peas, eat with your favorite seasoning like saracha, or hummus, or salsa.

This is literally using the whole ingredients that go into Huel, plus a little extra for seasoning.

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Tonight for dinner will be real simple for me.

  1. 1 cup of quinoa + 1 cup lentils + 1 box (4 cups) of vegetable broth. Put in a pot on stove. Heat till it boils. Then turn down, add cover, and let simmer for 25 minutes.

  2. Store bought whole wheat wraps, hummus, and salsa. (Let someone else make this for you. I ain’t making my own hummus.)

  3. Fill the wraps with the quinoa and lentils mix. Top with salsa and or hummus.

Did you know you can make a Huel porridge. Just put your serving of Huel in a bowl, add enough plant milk to your desired consistency, then microwave for 2.5 to 3 minutes. Add berries or raw cashews or sunflower seeds or apples + cinnamon. It’s a thicker version of Huel and is hot.

Huel powder can also be used to bake cookies. I made a batch of banana + peanut butter + Huel cookies that stay good in the fridge for a week. I take one as my afternoon snack at work sometimes.

Thanks this is very helpful!

That’s a really good question and I like Deron’s replies, I hope they help. It’s not an easy answer though!

  • General advice which can help is low GI carbohydrates (slow release energy) such as oats which can help prevent those peaks and troughs in energy and blood sugar.

  • A decent amount of protein (above 15% of the meal at least) this will help keep you full.

  • Fiber, again good for satiety and also for digestive health, there is some emerging research between the brain and the gut. Beans, legumes, oats, flaxseeds, fruit and vegetables are all high in fiber.

  • Fruit and vegetables will help you get a variety of vitamins and minerals. Lacking some of these in your diet can influence mood.

  • Unrelated to diet but exercise can have a huge positive effect on mood. Even if it’s 30 minutes a day try and make time for some exercise each week, whatever that maybe.

You may also look up “serotonin”, “oxytocin” and other feel good chemicals (durian is a superfood of this kind, there are many others). There are foods that have these and act as mood boosters, plus foods with Omega-3 are mood-boosters (tuna, salmon, etc.)

Raw cacao (or dark chocolate) has anandamide, “the chemical of bliss”, and is such a great mood booster that it is a natural anti-depressant and a mineral supplement. You can experiment with all these and take notes of your moods.

Packing diapers? What does that mean?

I wouldn’t be surprised if it is was simply getting enough good sleep. Getting only 3-4 hours of decent sleep a night is enough to make anyone edgy and irritable.

I believe this person is having problems with loose stools.

My guess would be the fiber content is much higher than this person is used to consuming.

I hope that this helps others to understand this post.

Happy Hueling everyone.

Yeeeahh… if you’re consuming enough of anything that it causes not only diarrhea but fecal incontinence, it’s time to back off a little.