Thinking of returning... Questions on expiration dates and inflammation

I let my subscription run away with me, and now have something like 20-30 bags of Huel, with expirations ranging from 2021-2022. I just tried one of the ones expiring in 01/2022, and it tasted fine. But I know the Chocolate varieties do not seem to fair as well.

Is there a health risk consuming “older Huel” or are those guidelines more for flavor/taste?

The reason I am thinking of returning has to do with some pretty serious inflammation I’m trying to sort out. I’ve had flair ups before, but this latest bout has been especially difficult to live with as it’s been concentrated in the tendons of my fingers.

In working backwards and thinking about past flair ups, Huel does spring to mind as something I started using when the first instances of inflammation began. But now I’m thinking it could be one of my guilty pleasures (that I indulge in far too frequently), Amy’s GF Burritos.

The inflammation in my forearms has never fully gone away, always lurking in the periphery, waiting for me to not get enough sleep or overwork myself.

Doing a quick comparison of the ingredients, there are some overlaps: Brown Rice, Tapioca, and Sunflower Oil. Yesterday, I was thinking I should try and do an elimination diet for those three ingredients; today, however, I am thinking the issue could have more to do with the burritos, as they have been the one constant.

Unfortunately, trying to order ready made meals devoid of animal proteins and starchy veggies proved to be very difficult, so I think I will try to go back on Huel exclusively, and see how things go with the inflammation. I did manage to find some Indian food on Amazon, so I’ll try those next if this does not work out.

To the nutritionists and other health professionals, is Huel generally recommended for folks dealing with inflammation? If so, are there caveats, such as some products that should be avoided?

Lastly, to the community at large, have you had any change (positive or negative) to your inflammation as a result of consuming Huel?

We would love to dive into this a little more, it’s hard to give definitive answers without having a discussion about your history, if you could please reach out to we can pass you onto a dietitian so we can better advise you.

Could you please include in the email, What’s the cause of the inflammation? Have you had a disease or accident? Is it autoimmune?

I’ve had a lot less inflammation since I’ve been doing an all meal replacement diet. I’m not 100% huel (yet) but for breakfast and lunch I use Soylent shakes which is a product very similar to huel and then dinner is huel H&S. I honestly don’t know why it helps with inflammation but it definitely does. Idk if it’s that I’m getting better nutrition, eating no animal products (soylent and huel are vegan and I switched to dairy free coffee creamer), or since I’m not snacking between meals I’m eating a few less calories? Probably all of those things help. I think if you’re in pain it can’t hurt to try it and see what happens. If nothing else it at least will take the stress off of thinking about meals for awhile. If you try it I’d like to hear how it goes for you, best of luck :smiling_face:.

Quick Update

I have been consuming 1-2 400 kcal shakes every day since I created this thread.


  • Due to going on this quasi-elimination diet, I reduced my calories and lost some weight.
  • After switching to this protocol, eliminating gluten, and adding some new “healthy aging” supplements, I no longer experience debilitating sleepiness in the afternoon.
  • Expired product (<= 18 months) seems relatively safe and enjoyable.
    • Note: I would recommend consuming right away. Unlike “fresh” product, which actually seems to improve in flavor and texture overnight, expired product does not seem to keep for very long once mixed.
  • Restricting myself to <= 400 kcal shakes seems to help reduce bloating and gas.
    • Note: There are some foods that do not seem to mix well with Huel, increasing the likelihood of developing acute bloating and/or gas.

I would say it has been a net positive experience, so I will be renewing my subscription in about six weeks.

Expired Product

Obviously, anyone who happens upon this thread should use their own judgement. I suspect there was a rigorous process that led to the established shelf life of Huel products. If you decide to disregard any expiration dates, you do so at your own risk.

I was very cautious with my first few shakes, and threw away 6-10 bags in the beginning that were way too old, opened, or had become stiff.

In truth, I think the biggest reason I didn’t chuck everything is that I hated the idea of wasting so much food. I figured, “I’ll mix up one shake and see how it goes.” With no small amount of trepidation, I put the first shake through a careful sniff and taste test, and ultimately decided it was probably safe to consume. I have done that with every bag since, and I have not had any acne, digestion issues, or food poisoning.

Unfortunately, headed for a composter soon will be six bags that expired about 30 months ago.

These older bags are all Chocolate and Vanilla, and I sliced open one of the Vanilla bags today. I’ve never been a fan of the “new” Vanilla, so it took me a few sips to try and recollect what it was supposed to taste like. In a post-apocalyptic survival scenario, I would probably force this stuff down; as it is, the flavor seems off enough to not warrant the risk. Also, due to flavor, I doubt I would enjoy it all.

I could give the Chocolate a try, but if memory serves, Chocolate spoils the quickest. Probably not worth the time or risk.

Hand Mixer

Not long into the experiment, I had to purchase a hand held blender. I do have about 40 Blender Bottles, but the resulting consistency leaves a lot to be desired. Plus, I have been consciously trying to limit the use of my hands as much as possible to help accelerate recovery.

I may go back to using my Blendtec, but I will need to wait until there is less competition for freezer space. In the meantime, the mixer is fairly quick and there is less to clean up. I just keep the attachment end in a glass full of water and wash it once a day.

@CharlotteF_Huel , thank you for your response. I think I am good for now, but I will keep your offer in mind. I believe the inflammation I have been experiencing has been warranted, due to overuse and lack of sleep. I think if my diet was more to blame, I would be having trouble in other areas, and that simply has not been the case.

@Sonya , thank you for your response as well. I would love to go 100% Huel, but I don’t think that will be in the cards for me. Too much oxalate, and I seem to have an easier time digesting Huel when I limit myself to 2 servings to per day. I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to add a serving of H&S to the mix, as I really enjoyed those before.

I’m curious… how are you “measuring” your level of inflammation? Just how symptomatic you feel or something more scientific/accurate?

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I cannot seem to figure out how to edit my previous post…

I won’t be consuming anymore expired Huel product, and I don’t think you should, either.

I stopped consuming the expired bags three days ago, due to sharp lower abdominal pain.

I cannot say for sure yet if it was a specific flavor (e.g., I noticed “Peanut Butter” has routinely been less thick than the other flavors), if it was the one shake I drank that had expired 30 months ago, a bag that had a tear in the sidewall (that went unnoticed until recently), my body having trouble with the Huel recipe (regardless of expiry; in concert with the rest of my diet, supplements, and/or OTC pain meds), or something completely unrelated to Huel.

Whatever the case may be, the pain has not returned in the last two days, so I am inclined to believe the Huel was involved in some way.

I’m at a crossroads. I love Huel. The flavors are great, the shakes are easy to prepare, the cost per meal seems fair, and I like supporting companies that are environmentally conscious of their impact. But if my body cannot tolerate something in the mix, I may be doing more harm than good by continuing.

Could be that I need to prep my own meals for awhile; there are too many variables currently, and I think having full control over what I’m ingesting may be warranted. On the plus side, if I do start prepping my own meals, I think it could be an excellent opportunity to pickup a new skill :wink:

Hi twf85,

Thanks for the update. I always appreciate hearing how people are doing with their health journeys using Huel.

Curious, have you tried any of the gluten free hot and savory options? I don’t have the eye you do for the oxalates and such that you do, so I don’t know if it would be a reasonable option. Just wondering if there was a reason you were choosing the shakes over trying H&S (maybe H&S wasn’t available 30 months ago; I don’t remember when they came out since I have been on again off again).

I have and I loved those as well. Only complaint I had was the Tomato & Herbs… I cannot recall which ingredient it was, but there was way too much of it in the bag I tried. I wanna say green beans, but that was a long time ago.

As much as I want to start prepping my own meals, I need to be realistic. It’s going to take some time to put all that together, especially if the meals are to be anywhere near as complete as Huel products.

Fingers crossed the stomach pain was only due to the fact that I was consuming expired product. The “youngest” of the bunch actually expired in January of 2022, so ~20 months ago. I might’ve been pushing my luck.

My plan for the next month is to do two shakes and two H&S: 350, 450, 550, and 650 calories. Shakes first and then H&S. Not sure if I’ll be able to continue intermittent fasting, but if I do, probably a 20-4 or 18-6, starting at around 4pm.

Hoping my order arrives before the end of the week!