Blood Glucose Response to Huel Vanilla v2.3 and Huel Original v2.3


To analyse the blood glucose response of Huel Vanilla versus Huel Original (EU v2.3) powders over a 135-minute period.


Blood glucose response relates to the Glycaemic Index (GI) number given to a carbohydrate-containing food. GI is a rating system which explains how quickly a particular food affects your blood glucose level when eaten in isolation[1]. The principle is that the lower the GI value of a particular food, the slower the rate of carbohydrate absorption, and the lower the rise of blood glucose levels. High GI foods are characterised by fast-release carbohydrates and a higher increase in blood glucose levels.

The GI rating system is between 1 and 100, with pure glucose having a score of 100. A ‘high GI’ value is a value over 70, a GI value between 56 and 69 is considered ‘medium GI’ and a ‘low GI’ value is anything below 55[2]. Huel powder (EU v2.3 Vanilla) has been shown to have a GI reading of 27[3].

This trial was designed to analyse the inter-individual differences in blood glucose response following the ingestion of Huel powder Vanilla v2.3 and Huel Original v2.3.

Why is this important?

Generally, we are encouraged to base our meals around low GI carbohydrate sources, such as whole-grain foods, vegetables, lentils and beans[4]. Low GI carbohydrates are broken down slowly and gradually release glucose into the bloodstream over the course of a day.


Nine participants of varied age and gender volunteered to take part in the study, none of whom reported medical conditions or were using medication that may have affected the blood glucose level response.

The trial took place over two separate, non-consecutive trial days: Part I & Part II. Vanilla Huel was consumed on Part I of the trial, and Huel Original on Part II.

In preparation for each trial day, participants were asked to fast for 12 hours overnight and arrive for the trial having consumed only water during this period. A fasted blood glucose sample was taken with a small finger-prick sample of blood using a glucometer (Accu-Chek®Mobile), immediately before the serving of Huel was consumed. Each participant was asked to consume a 500kcal serving (approx. 125g) of Huel mixed with water in a Huel Shaker within the time window of 5 minutes following the initial finger-prick sample. A postprandial blood glucose test was taken immediately after ingestion, and at 15-minute intervals up to 135 minutes after consumption, giving a total of eleven readings. Blood glucose levels were recorded in millimole per litre (mmol/L).


The following illustrates graphically the comparison of blood glucose response between Huel Vanilla and Huel Original (EU v2.3).

These results indicate that there was a small increase in blood glucose response to both Huel Vanilla v2.3 and Huel Original v2.3. Vanilla Huel had a marginally higher blood glucose response, likely due to slightly higher sugar content (1.5g sugar per 125g serving of Huel Vanilla versus 1.25g sugar per 125g serving of Huel Original).

These results are similar to those that were reported on a previous trial using Huel v1.2 (Vanilla) as reported here. Huel v1.2 was a different recipe and, as such, this may have been the reason for the marginally higher blood glucose response.


  1. Brouns F, et al. Glycaemic index methodology. Nutr Res Rev. 2005; 18(1):145-71.
  2. Brand-Miller J, et al. The New Glucose Revolution Complete Guide to Glycemic Index Values: Marlowe & Company. 2003.
  3. Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health. Glycaemic Index Value for Huel Vanilla Powder v2.3. 2018.
  4. Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Glycaemic Index and Glycaemic Load [Available here:].

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