HUEL Vs. Gainful: A Detailed Comparison Of Nutrition Shakes

Nutrition shakes have become increasingly popular in recent years as an easy and convenient way to get protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Two of the most well-known brands in this market are Huel and Gainful.

But how do these two shakes compare when looking closely at their ingredients, nutrition facts, taste, price and other factors? This comprehensive guide examines the key similarities and differences between Huel and Gainful to help you determine which may be better for your needs.

A Brief Comparison Table

Protein sourceVegan (pea, rice)Whey protein concentrate & isolate
Protein per serving20gVaries 25-30g+
Carbs37gVaries 15-25g
Fats18gVaries 5-12g
Vitamins/minerals100% Daily Value25%+ Daily Value
Calories per serving400Varies 280-350+
FlavorsVanilla, berry, chocolate, coffee, unflavoredVanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee, matcha
Cost per 400 calories$1.60-$2.00$1.50-$3.00+
BenefitsWeight management, nutrition, convenience, veganMuscle building, workout recovery, customization
Target customerMeal replacements, weight loss, food substitutesBoosting protein, athletes, active lifestyles

Overview of Huel and Gainful

Huel Nutritio Shake
HUEL Nutrition Shake

Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food that can fully replace meals when mixed with water or milk. It contains oats, pea protein, flaxseed, brown rice protein, MCTs from coconut, sunflower oil and a vitamin/mineral blend.

Huel aims to provide an optimal balance of protein, carbs, fats, fiber and all 27 essential vitamins and minerals. It comes in a variety of flavors like vanilla, chocolate, berry, unflavored/unsweetened, coffee and more.

Gainful offers personalized protein powders tailored to your specific health goals. You take a quiz about your lifestyle, diet and wellness objectives and get a custom formula with a unique blend of whey protein, carbohydrates, fats, micronutrients and bioactive ingredients.

Gainful powders come in flavors like chocolate peanut butter, cold brew coffee, strawberry, vanilla, matcha and more.

Also Read: Comparison Between Premier Protein And Shakeology

Key Differences Between HUEL And Gainful

While both provide complete nutrition in powder form, there are some notable differences between these two brands and products as outlined below.

  • Nutrition Profile

The nutrition facts and ingredients can vary greatly between Huel and Gainful shakes due to their different formulations and purposes.

Huel contains a vegan protein blend of pea protein and brown rice protein. A single serving has:

  1. 20g protein
  2. 37g carbs
  3. 6g fiber
  4. 18g fat
  5. Vitamins & minerals: 100% Daily Value of all 27 essential vitamins and minerals

Other main ingredients are oats, flaxseed, coconut MCTs, sunflower oil and a vitamin/mineral blend. Huel has no sugars added.

Gainful uses a whey protein concentrate and isolate blend. A sample serving has:

  1. 25g protein
  2. 23g carbs
  3. 3g fiber
  4. 7g fat
  5. 25% Daily Value or more of 24 vitamins and minerals

Gainful also contains digestion enzymes and probiotics not found in Huel. The exact macros will vary based on your custom formulation. Gainful does use some added sugars in their flavored options.

So Huel tends to be higher in carbs and fiber with a vegan protein source, while Gainful has more protein, less carbs and no vegan protein.

  • Taste

Taste is always a subjective factor, but here is an overview of how Huel and Gainful shakes compare in user reviews:

Huel has neutral flavored options like vanilla and unflavored. Their flavors have gotten better but some still complain of an aftertaste or chalkiness. Adding fruits, nuts or other mix-ins can improve taste.

Gainful earns very positive reviews for taste due to the whey protein and added flavorings like cocoa, peanut butter, coffee and fruit flavors. The shakes are said to have a smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

So Gainful may have an edge when it comes to taste and enjoyability for most users. But you can blend and customize either powder to suit your preferences.

  • Cost and Value
Gainful Nutrition Shake
Gainful Nutrition Shake

When looking at cost, it depends on how much of your diet you plan to replace with the shakes:

Huel costs $1.61 to $2.00 per 400-calorie meal replacement shake. Subscribing can drop the cost to $1.33 – $1.83 per meal.

Gainful costs $1.50 – $3.00+ per serving depending on your personalized formulation, desired protein amount and quantity ordered. Subscribing saves 10%.

Both offer approximately 2000 calories per day in 5 shaking costing around $7 – $10.

Huel is intended as a full meal replacement so offers better value for completely swapping meals. Gainful works better as a supplement for protein and nutrients while still eating whole foods.

  • Convenience

Both brands aim to provide maximum convenience:

  1. The powders are fast and easy to mix up in a shaker bottle on-the-go.
  2. They require no refrigeration and powder is portable.
  3. The shakes can be nutritionally complete meals by adding only water or milk.
  4. Subscribing means shakes arrive pre-portioned and on schedule.

However, Gainful may have a slight edge in convenience because it is tailored specifically to you and designed to complement your diet and lifestyle.

  • Nutritional Approach

Huel is formulated as a complete meal replacement containing 100% of nutrients. It’s designed to swap out solid food entirely if desired.

Gainful does not position itself as a meal replacement, but rather a supplemental protein source tailored to your needs that fits into a balanced diet.

So Huel lends itself to full meal replacement diets like ketogenic or low calorie diets. Gainful works better for boosting daily protein intake as part of a fitness routine or health goal.

  • Health Benefits

Both brands promote multiple health benefits from their shakes:

Huel touts benefits like:

  1. Weight loss or maintenance
  2. Lower cholesterol
  3. Regulated blood sugar
  4. Increased energy
  5. Improved regularity and digestion

Gainful promotes benefits like:

  1. Building muscle
  2. Recovery after workouts
  3. Increased energy
  4. Weight loss/management
  5. Improved skin, hair and nails

The key benefit of Gainful is a protein shake designed just for you. Huel’s main unique advantage is being nutritionally complete.

Watch this review video:

  • Taste Test Comparison

To provide a head-to-head taste test example, I tried the Vanilla flavor from both Huel and Gainful.

Huel Vanilla – This had a grainy, oaty texture. The flavor was pretty mild and came across slightly artificial. It wasn’t bad but I needed to add banana to improve the flavor.

Gainful Vanilla – This was thicker and creamier than Huel. It had a pleasant vanilla aroma and sweeter flavor. The whey protein gave it a richer, smoother mouthfeel. The taste was like a high protein vanilla milkshake.

For my preferences, Gainful won out over Huel in terms of flavor and enjoyability of drinking. But again, taste depends on your own preferences and you can customize and blend both shakes.

Huel Vs. Gainful: Which Is Better For You?

In the end there is no definitive “winner”—it depends on your goals and preferences. Here are some key factors to consider when deciding between Huel and Gainful:

  • Your diet – Do you want to fully replace meals or supplement with protein?
  • Taste preferences – Do you like sweeter shakes or more neutral flavors?
  • Nutrition needs – Are you looking to increase protein, calories, carbs, vitamins & minerals?
  • Health objectives – Are you prioritizing weight loss, building muscle, nutrition, convenience?
  • Budget – How much are you looking to spend on shakes per day/week/month?

Both Huel and Gainful make excellent nutrition shakes with their own unique advantages. Determine your needs and priorities first, then decide which shake best aligns with your goals. You can even alternate between both or try combining them to get the ideal blend of protein, carbs, fats and micronutrients in your diet!

Also Read: You should choose Ka’Chava Or Orgain

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is Huel different from other protein powders?

Huel isn’t just a protein powder – it’s designed as a complete nutritionally balanced meal replacement. It contains carbohydrates, fats, fiber and all essential vitamins and minerals you need, not just protein. Many protein powders are incomplete nutrition meant to supplement a normal diet.

Can you have Huel instead of food?

Yes, Huel can fully replace normal food if you want. Adding water or milk to Huel provides a nutritionally complete meal. Some people use Huel for 1-2 meals a day as a meal replacement, while others subsist entirely off Huel. It provides 100% your daily nutrition in powder form.

Is drinking Huel healthy?

Drinking Huel is very healthy since it gives you a perfect balance of the macros, vitamins and minerals you need in proper proportions. As with any diet change, consult your doctor first if you have any medical conditions or concerns. But Huel provides better nutrition than the average diet high in processed foods.

Does Huel have all the nutrients you need?

Yes, Huel contains 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake for all 27 essential vitamins and minerals, and complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids. So Huel can provide literally every nutrient your body needs to be healthy when consumed daily.

Also Read: Comparison Between HLTH Code And Huel.

The Verdict

In summary, Huel is ideal for 100% nutritional meal replacement and vegan diets with a balance of carbs, protein and fat. Gainful works better if you want to increase daily protein intake while maintaining normal meals, with a whey protein source and tailored macros.

Both brands make nutritious, convenient shakes worth trying. Your specific health objectives and personal preferences will determine if Huel or Gainful is a better fit for your needs. Give them both a taste test to decide your favorite. Enjoy mixing up some healthy shakes!

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