Huel was launched in June 2015, and there have been several changes to improve the formula since then. We continually innovate as science moves forward as well as from listening to Huelers. Read about previous formula changes here.
The latest Huel formula is v2.3 and this has some great improvements, although the main ingredients remain unchanged – Huel is primarily oats, pea protein, flaxseeds, brown rice protein, MCTs from coconut and sunflower oil powder.
1) Great new Vanilla Flavour
We’re excited to introduce Huel v2.3 with our new and improved Vanilla Flavour. It has been specially selected for its smooth and intense flavour, from natural sources and it’s our ultimate vanilla taste.
As many of you enjoy our previous Vanilla Flavour, we have renamed this ‘Original’ as our lighter, oaty vanilla taste. Huel Original, as well as ‘Unflavoured & Unsweetened’ and Gluten-Free versions, are all available with the new nutritional benefits described below.
2) Now includes plant-based vitamin D3
The benefits of a good vitamin D intake are well known and it’s generally accepted that, for optimal health, the UK and EU Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) for vitamin D of 5μg per day is too low. Indeed, SACN in 2016 advised a reference nutrient intake (RNI) of 10μg (1). From the launch of Huel v1.0, we included 15μg of vitamin D per 2,000 calories, but we could only fortify Huel with vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), as vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) was only available from animal sources. Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D3 that we synthesise from sunlight, and it also has the higher bioavailability.
When we launched Huel v2.2, we increased the amount of vitamin D2 to 20μg. For v2.3 we’ve sourced a plant-based form of vitamin D3. The D3 we’re using is derived from lichens and is certified vegan. We’ve added vitamin D3 at a level of 10μg per 2,000 calories, and we’ve also included 5μg (per 2,000 calories) of vitamin D2. In v2.3 Huelers are ensured of a good intake of highly bioavailable vitamin D from sources that reflect a varied diet.
3) Increased folate content
The folate in Huel comes from the main ingredients as well as the added form of methylfolate calcium. The level of folate in previous Huel versions met the UK and EU NRV of 200μg per day – more than enough for good health. However, there is evidence that for optimal health an intake of 300μg per day in adult males and 400μg per in females of reproductive age may be beneficial (2).
Folate is involved in homocysteine metabolism, a high blood level of which is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) (3,4). Studies have indicated that people with higher intakes of folate have reduced blood homocysteine levels (5).
It’s been policy for many years to recommend that women who are trying for a baby consume a folic acid supplement to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in their baby (6). A dietary intake of 400μg of folate per day in women of reproductive age will ensure a sufficient intake to reduce the risk of neural tube defects* (7).
The folate level of Huel v2.3 is 400μg per 2,000 calories.
4) More potassium
We’ve increased the amount of potassium in Huel to 3,500mg per 2,000 calories. In Huel v2.2, the potassium content was 2,190mg, which more than met the UK and EU NRV of 2,000mg per day. Although the NRV easily and adequately meets potassium requirements for almost everyone, the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations suggests 3,500mg per day (8). At this intake, potassium has been shown to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure with the associated CVD risk reduction (9).
Some of the potassium in Huel is naturally occuring from the main ingredients, and we add additional to meet the desired level. As Huel is about optimum health, there is now added potassium to meet 3,500mg per 2,000 calories.of Huel, primarily in the form of potassium chloride.
5) Even greater amount of additional choline
Choline is a non-essential nutrient that can be synthesised in the body. Choline can be considered conditionally essential as amounts required for optimum health are at intakes higher than what can be efficiently synthesised within the body.
There is no NRV for choline in the UK and EU; however, many health references recommend a dietary intake of 200mg per day. Some of the choline in Huel is naturally occurring from the food ingredients (mainly the oats and flaxseeds), and we’ve been adding additional choline in previous Huel versions to ensure that there’s 200mg per 2,000 calories of Huel as we recognise choline’s importance for complete nutrition. The US Daily Value (DV) is 550mg for male adults and there is evidence to indicate that this higher level may offer improved protection against disease (10,11), so v2.3 contains additional choline to meet 550mg per 2,000 calories of Huel.
Having adequate choline reduces the need for dietary folate as both are involved in the metabolism of homocysteine, and a high serum homocysteine level is associated with an increased risk of CVD (3,4,11).
6) Higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids – further improving the omega-3:6 ratio
We've tweaked the main ingredients of Huel so as to give higher levels of omega-3s in v2.3. Omega-3s are essential for cardiovascular health and we've increased the amounts in Huel to 15.5g per 2,000 calories (12).
* NB: we recommend following official guidelines of consuming an additional 400μg folic acid supplement per day for women trying for a baby.
1. SACN. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommendations on vitamin D. 2016.
2. Norden. Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2012: Integrating nutrition and physical activity (2014). 5th ed. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers. pp 435-48.
3. Zhou J & Austin RC. Contributions of hyperhomocysteinemia to atherosclerosis: Causal relationship and potential mechanisms. Biofactors. 2009; 35(2):120-9.
4. Gerhard GT & Duell PB. Homocysteine and atherosclerosis. Curr Opin Lipidol. 1999; 10(5):417-28.
5. Homocysteine Lowering Trialists' Collaboration. Dose-dependent effects of folic acid on blood concentrations of homocysteine: a meta-analysis of the randomized trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005; 82(4):806-12.
6. NHS website. Why do I need folic acid in pregnancy? https://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/913.aspx?categoryid=54
7. MRC Vitamin Study Research Group. Prevention of neural tube defects: results of the Medical Research Council Vitamin Study. Lancet. 1991; 338(8760):131-7.
8. Norden. Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2012: Integrating nutrition and physical Activity (2014). 5th ed. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers. pp 535-42.
9. Barri YM & Wingo CS. The effects of potassium depletion and supplementation on blood pressure: a clinical review. Am J Med Sci. 1997; 314(1):37-40.
10. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Choline. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington D.C.: National Academies Press; 1998:390-422.
11. Linus Pauling Institute. Choline. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/choline
12. Mozaffarian D & Wu JH. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: effects on risk factors, molecular pathways, and clinical events. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011; 58(20):2047-2067.
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