I think I eat meal replacements because I'm not sure what groceries to buy and what to cook. My living situation has moving around a lot, so it's been unstable to prepare meal plans. I usually don't eat if I don't know what to eat, so having something at hand helps a lot. My goals for my diet are to eat more and gain weight. I pay attention to calories and protein the most since I tend to under eat those two.
All three meal replacements have 400 calories per serving. Huel has 30g of protein while MealSquares and Soylent have 20g of protein. MealSquares comes in a box of 30 servings for $89.30 at $3/serving, and Huel White powder comes in 2 bags with 17 servings/bag for $83 at $2.44/serving. I've only drank Soylent for free at offices, conferences, or friends' houses, but they are roughly $3.50/bottle.
I started eating MealSquares after seeing Alexey mention it on his blog. I was in college and I didn't know what to cook and wasn't eating enough, so it was convienent. MealSquares describes them as "something between a chocolate chip cookie, a dense bread, and a scone" and I think that's accurate.
During that time in my life, I was doing triathlon, so I usually ate them before going to practice, during breaks in brick workouts, and after workouts. I think it's better to eat solid food surrounding exercising time since too much fluids feel weird.
They are small and compact and I can easily fit three into my backpack, and I've eaten them slowly during breaks in long bike workouts. The packaging was easy to tear off to only eat a fourth (like a corner) or eat it horizontally down, and fold it down to save for later.
I think they were especially great for pre and post races. Triathlon races are usually early in the morning and I don't want to think about preparing breakfast while I am getting my gear and mind ready. I would eat them during the car ride and an hour before the race if we're waiting.
They are also very good for post race. I get hungry really fast after a race and don't want to only eat the snacks they provide that isn't nutritionally complete or wait until we wrap up and then make food or go out to eat.
I currently don't buy MealSquares because they come in a box of 30 and have to be eaten within a month if you refrigerate and don't freeze them. I currently don't do triathlon training so I don't have a use case for them, but would reconsider them for every day use if they had more protein.
The first time I drank bottled Huel was at the office, and I started drinking Huel powder after that. They taste a little oat-y and have different flavors. I like Salted Caramel.
Huel powder has more protein than the bottled protein and I think it's a better alternative than protein powders.
Huel White has 30g of protein and Huel Black has 40g of protein, but Huel Black has less carbs. I like having more carbs because I move around a lot and I think the white version makes me feel better, so I get the white one instead.
I'm worried about not getting complete proteins from not eating meat, so drinking a lot of high protein Huel helps me worry less.
I can drink Huel 4 times a day and be totally ok with it. I can drink Soylent 3 times a day, and MealSquares 3 times a day, but that's really pushing it. I would choose Huel if you eat it a lot and don't want to get sick of it.
I've only drank Soylent in bottle form. I view Soylent as a treat and I think it tastes the best, but only if I drink it infrequently, or else it tastes really sugary, creamy, bloaty, and leaves a sandy taste in my mouth. My favorite flavor is Mint Chocolate.
Huel and Soylent bars don't taste good. Huel bars taste like thick protein bars and Soylent bars are more neutral but still have a weird aftertaste. I would just go for MealSquares.
I want to try Maurten. I think it's made for refueling while biking and easy on your stomach. It's made for energy but I don't think it's made to be nutritionally complete and for regular meals.
I think my ideal diet would look like getting key ingredients and groceries and knowing how to make meals with them, and supplementing regular meals with 1 or 2 Huel in between to get more calories and protein. Huel also has nutrition guides I could look at to help prepare my meals.