Food to refuel

Don’t worry about nutrition – you just need to get calories to fuel your body.

For many, the early days of parosmia can make all food unpalatable, and bad days can pop up again from time to time. During those periods, don’t worry about nutrition – you just need to get calories to fuel your body.

Using meal replacement products like HuelThis is Food and Complan is a convenient way to get calories. These are brands commonly available in the UK, but similar products are available in other countries. We wanted to know if some were easier to consume with parosmia than others. We tested both pre-prepared drinks in bottles as well as powders that could be mixed with the liquid of your choice. 


When things don’t taste as they should, texture and ‘true taste’ are important.

Some people found the pre-mixed Huel drinks, in all flavours, and Complan powder mix very sweet.

Huel is based on pea protein, so it had a very different texture to the others, which were more milky.

The base might also be a consideration for you: look out for milk proteins in the ingredients list if you have difficulty tolerating dairy products.

Adding flavour

Adding ingredients like improved the experience for some of our testers. Our group tried:

  • banana
  • oat milk
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • clove
  • mixed spice

Ultimately the groups agreed meal replacements were best for extreme circumstances. Everyone expressed a preference for exploring regular food for options that didn’t trigger parosmia, rather than relying on meal replacement drinks.

Mix to taste

To have the greatest chance of finding a meal replacement drink you can tolerate, try with a dry mix, and experiment with different liquids, such as milk, oat milk, or other non-dairy milk replacements.