The Huel Powder Formula Explained

Huel Powder is a nutritionally complete powdered food that is high in protein and fiber, low in sugar and salt, rich in phytonutrients, and contains a balanced macro split of 37:30:30:3 (net carbohydrate, protein, fat, fiber) and all 27 essential vitamins and minerals.

Additionally, it contains no lactose or any animal products, no soy, and no GMO.

Huel Powder meets the HHS and USDA's Dietary Guidelines and Daily Value (DV) requirements for all macro- and micronutrients[1] and it is a sustained source of energy with a wealth of other nutritious benefits.

Continue reading to find out more about Huel Powder.

The Huel Powder Formula

Nutrition information and Ingredients

Huel Powder is 37:30:30:3 Macro Split

The principal macronutrients through which we obtain energy from food are carbohydrate, fat, protein and fiber. In Huel Powder we’ve set them at the ratio of 37:30:30:3 respectively; 37% of the energy comes from carbohydrate, 30% from fat, 30% from protein, and 3% from fiber.

Amino acids are the most basic units of protein. Several amino acids are essential for life with others being crucial for good health, so any diet has to contain a significant amount of protein.

There are also fatty acids that are essential for life and good health, so including sources of fat is crucial, too. Fats are more energy-dense than protein or carbs, so including them at 30% means there’s less powder and bulk, making Huel Powder easier to consume to meet your energy requirements. Moreover, there are some fatty acids that are required for optimal health, and Huel Powder is rich in the fats that provide these essential fatty acids.

Carbohydrate – whilst not essential per se – does have significant benefits with respect to sustaining energy levels, and those in Huel Powder are slow-release carbohydrates – ideal for maintaining energy for up to several hours.

We’ve designed Huel Powder at these ratios as they are not only within the parameters of the healthy eating guidelines but are also levels designed for optimum, sustained energy release whilst covering macro-nutritional requirements for disease prevention.

Carbohydrate in Huel Powder: Fine Powdered Oats and Tapioca

The carbs in Huel Powder are from ultra-fine powdered oats. Oats have been shown to have a low glycemic index (GI); GI refers to how long it takes between ingesting a carb source and the resulting rise in blood sugar and, hence, energy levels[2]. The oats in Huel Powder mix easily and help sustain energy levels until the next meal.

Many of the formulas used in sports nutrition or for weight reduction use maltodextrin as the main carb source. Maltodextrin is cheap and easy to mix, so there’s a valid reason for its use. However, although it’s a ‘complex’ carb, it actually has a high GI, so these formulas provide a surge of energy followed by a slump - far from ideal for busy people with active jobs. Maltodextrin is also a synthetic carb, so it provides nothing more than carbohydrate for energy.

The oat powder in Huel Powder has been milled so fine that it’s readily soluble and there’s also not a huge price difference from maltodextrin. Plus, as oats are natural, they provide so much more than just carbohydrate: many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, too. Indeed, it could be said that the inclusion of oat powder is one of the main reasons why Huel Powder could be considered superior to many foods readily consumed today.

Tapioca is a starch extracted from cassava, a root vegetable similar to sweet potato. It’s inclusion in Huel Powder provides additional carbohydrates and aids texture.

Fat in Huel Powder: Flaxseed, Sunflower, and Coconut

The fats in Huel Powder provide 30% of the total energy and are made up of flaxseed and sunflower seeds to ensure that the essential fatty acids are included in optimum amounts. We’ve also included coconut for very good reasons: the fats in coconut are known as medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs, and these are treated much like carbs.

They provide an energy-rich, sustained fuel and are perfect for those of us with busy lifestyles. But MCTs have another invaluable quality: they are not susceptible to oxidation and rancidity, meaning that they do not contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In short, MCTs from coconut are a healthy and efficient source of energy. Read more about MCTs here.

There are two completely essential fatty acids (EFAs) that humans require: linoleic acid (LA – an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha linolenic acid (ALA – an omega-3)[3]. Using our blend of flaxseed and sunflower oil powder, we’ve ensured Huel Powder contains sufficient amounts of both of these EFAs as well as other omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.

Moreover, these natural seed powders provide antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals[4].

Huel Powder is High-protein: Pea and Rice

The DV for protein is around 50g per day, but this only covers our very basic needs and prevents protein deficiency[1]. The Western diet typically provides more[5], and Huel Powder does too. All essential amino acids are included in adequate amounts from two vegan protein sources: pea and rice protein, as well as protein from the oat powder.

Based on an average 2,000kcal intake, you’ll be consuming around 145g protein per day from Huel Powder: this provides a good amount for optimal health as well as building and maintaining a healthy body. Furthermore, protein is more satiating (appetite suppressing) than other macronutrients[6] and we've designed Huel Powder to stop unwanted hunger pangs.

Amino Acid Profile of Huel Powder

Protein is made up of amino acids. There are over 500 amino acids in nature, 20 of which are known as the standard amino acids as these are the ones that are coded genetically and are subsequently involved in primary protein synthesis in animals. Of these 20, nine are essential as they cannot be synthesized from other amino acids.

The nine essential amino acids are:

  • Histidine 
  • Isoleucine 
  • Leucine 
  • Lysine 
  • Methionine 
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine 
  • Tryptophan 
  • Valine

The other eleven are:

  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine

Amino Acid Content of Huel Powder (based on v3.0 Vanilla - amounts will differ slightly for other flavors)

Amino Acid (mg) Per 100g Per 2000kcal RDA* %RDA per 100g
Tryptophan 358 1790 280 128%
Threonine 1068 5338 1050 102%
Isoleucine 1166 5831 1400 83%
Leucine 2311 11554 2730 85%
Lysine 1663 8314 2100 79%
Methionine 482 2411 1050** 89%
Cysteine 453 2264
Phenylalanine 1564 7820 1750*** 155%
Tyrosine 1144 5720
Valine 1511 7555 1820 83%
Histidine 981 4904 700 140%
Arginine 2296 11478
Alanine 1364 6819
Aspartic acid**** 3051 15256
Glutamic acid***** 5324 26619
Glycine 1285 6424
Proline 1300 6500
Serine 1487 7434

*WHO (2007) recommended daily amounts for essential amino acids for 70kg adult

**combined total for methionine + cysteine

***combined total for phenylalanine + tyrosine

****figure includes asparagine

*****figure includes glutamine

All protein sources are not equal: some are classed as “complete proteins” and some are not. A complete protein is one that contains sufficient quantities of all nine essential amino acids.

Generally, proteins derived from animal foods (meats, fish, poultry, milk and eggs) are complete. Indeed, some proteins derived from plant foods (legumes, seeds, grains, and vegetables) are often complete as well. Examples include include quinoa, buckwheat and soy. Many plant foods have insufficient amounts of one or more of the essential amino acids. Some are notably low, such as corn protein, which is low in lysine and isoleucine.

The protein in Huel Powder comes from five of the main six ingredients: pea protein, oats, brown rice protein, flaxseed, and MCT powder. This ensures a good range of all amino acids and that there’s sufficient amounts of the essential amino acids. Rice protein is high in the sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine, plus contains good amounts of all the others, but is very low in lysine. Pea protein is low in cysteine and methionine but high in lysine. This is why we selected these two sources, ensuring everything was covered while keeping Huel Powder vegan. Plus, there’s additional protein from the MCT powder, the flaxseed, and the oats, which are reasonably high in all essential amino acids.

Huel Powder is High-fiber: Oats and Flaxseed

Huel Powder contains 137-172% (varies between flavor/variety) of the recommended daily amount of fiber. The fiber in Huel Powder is a mixture of soluble and insoluble forms all naturally supplied from the food ingredients, mainly from oats and flaxseed, and provides more than most modern solid diets. The high fiber content of Huel Powder helps to ensure the formation of normal, solid stools in healthy users.

Fiber acts like a sponge, so it’s important to consume lots of water when using Huel Powder[7]. The Huel Powder formula has been designed to maintain optimum digestive system health. Moreover, you may well have heard about the beneficial soluble fiber in oats called beta-glucan; well, Huel Powder is loaded with this cholesterol-lowering fiber; ideal for a healthy heart[8].

Vitamins and Minerals in Huel Powder

A bulk of the vitamins and minerals – also known as micronutrients – in Huel Powder are from natural ingredients. However, in order to meet the demands of a Western lifestyle, we've added a unique vitamin and mineral formula to provide, in some cases, more than 100% of the recommended amounts per 2000kcal while still remaining within safe upper limits.

There have been numerous studies in the past 20 years demonstrating that, for many micronutrients, levels higher than the DV may have beneficial effects to health.

For example, it’s widely considered that the amount of vitamin C we’re recommended to consume is too low[9-11], so we've reflected this in the Huel Powder formula. The vitamin C in Huel Powder is provided by the acerola cherries. Benefits of consuming more vitamin C include a healthy immune system, healthy skin, and antioxidant properties[10-12].

With some of the trace elements, the levels are far higher than the recommended amounts. This is because we only need tiny amounts of them, but the natural ingredients in Huel Powder are a rich source.

Choline is a conditionally essential B vitamin and although, strictly speaking, it can be synthesized in our bodies, it’s more efficient to obtain it from our diets[13]. It’s of particular importance for post-menopausal women[14,15]. As Huel Powder is all about optimum health, the inclusion of choline was deemed fundamental.

Iodine is a trace mineral essential for thyroid health[16].

There has been some concern about phytic acid: a naturally occurring substance in some cereals including oats. Phytic acid can chelate (bind) some minerals, meaning that they’re less bioavailable[17]. As oat powder is a fundamental ingredient of Huel Powder we've ensured the levels of some minerals, like iron, are higher to accommodate any issues with phytic acid chelation. Furthermore, the high level of vitamin C in Huel Powder will also further promote iron absorption[18].

Phytonutrients in Huel Powder

Phytonutrients are substances found in plant foods which, whilst not essential, may exhibit some health benefits like disease risk prevention[19]. Junk food diets and many synthetic liquid diets that aren’t based on real food are deficient in phytonutrients and thus consumers miss out on invaluable health benefits and antioxidant effects.

Because Huel Powder’s fundamental ingredients are plant-based foods, these are already phytonutrient-rich, and the benefits are passed onto anyone consuming Huel Powder. However, we've also added some additional phytonutrients to optimize the Huel formula and to complement the antioxidant nutrients vitamins C and E and selenium.

Phytonutrient polyphenols in Huel Powder have antioxidant activity and help protect against cardiovascular disease, some cancers and age-related conditions. Huel Powder's beneficial phytonutrients include the following:

  • Avenanthramides are antioxidant polyphenols unique to oats shown to have anti-inflammatory effects[20].
  • Ferulic acid, also from oats, is a potent antioxidant and antibacterial agent and has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties[20,21].
  • Lycopene has been added as it's a potent antioxidant and has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers[22].
  • Lutein comes from the flaxseed powder and we've also added additional lutein in our vitamin and mineral blend. Although not essential, there is concern that diets low in lutein may lead to macular degeneration of the eye in the elderly, as lutein is involved in eye pigment development[23,24]. Lutein is also an antioxidant.
  • Zeaxanthin is another antioxidant. This has been added as it also has a role in long-term eye health[25].
  • Other carotenoids and bioflavonoids have antioxidant activity and are naturally present from the acerola cherries[26,27].

Probiotics and Kombucha

Huel Powder contains the probiotic Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856. Probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria which, when consumed in adequate amounts, may have health benefits, particularly for gut health[28-30].

Kombucha is a fermented product that is made using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Kombucha provides B-vitamins which are produced when the SCOBY breaks down the sugars present[31].

Summary - Huel Powder is Food

As you can see, Huel Powder is far superior nutrition to most conventional diets. Huel Powder can be your sole nutritional source, or you can drink it as individual meals or even as a between-meal snack. In this way it can be an add-on improvement to your diet to ensure you’re giving your body what it needs.

Ingredients of Huel Powder

Please note: we are currently making changes to our Huel powder recipe to improve its taste, texture & sustainability. You may therefore receive either v3.0 or v3.1 in your order.

Ingredient information for both versions can be found here. Make sure to check your pouch’s packaging for accurate nutritional information.

Nutritional Profile of Huel Powder

Please note: we are currently making changes to our Huel powder recipe to improve its taste, texture & sustainability. You may therefore receive either v3.0 or v3.1 in your order.

Nutritional information for both versions can be found here.

Vitamin & Mineral information for both versions can be found here.

Make sure to check your pouch’s packaging for accurate nutritional information.

Huel Powder Cautions and Allergen Advice

Huel Powder is food, therefore it is suitable for people with most conditions. However, as some conditions require dietary intervention, like with any food, please heed the notes below for the following conditions:

  • Diabetes mellitus - Huel Powder is suitable for type 1 and type 2 diabetics. As with all food, if you're using medication to help control your diabetes you should structure your intake of Huel Powder appropriately.
  • Celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis - the oats used in Huel Powder are gluten-free, so it is suitable for those with Celiac disease.
  • Inborn errors of metabolism - if you have a glycogen storage disorder (GSD) or other inborn error of metabolism where you require dietary manipulation, you must consult your doctor or specialist before using Huel Powder.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease - if you suffer from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or proctitis, and are experiencing a flare-up, we advise caution when using Huel Powder. However, if you’re in remission, Huel Powder may actually be beneficial.
  • Pregnancy & lactation - All Huel products are fine to have during pregnancy, but should be limited to one serving per day as there are different nutritional requirements during this period.
  • Children - Huel Powder is not suitable for children under 4 years of age. However, older children may include Huel Powder as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of other foods, but Huel Powder should not be their sole source of nutrition as they have different nutritional requirements to adults; for more information see Children, Adolescents, and Huel.
  • Eating disorders - Huel Powder may be consumed by individuals with anorexia or bulimia nervosa as a useful source of complete nutrition. However, we recommend that individuals with eating disorders only use Huel Powder after discussing it with their doctor or relevant medical professional.

Huel Powder is not suitable for those who suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU).

Medication Interactions

Huel Powder is fine to consume alongside most medication. Although there are no obvious reasons why Huel Powder should be an issue, there may be specific drug-nutrient interactions relating to a particular medicine you're using, so we recommend you read the drug information provided with your prescription. If you have any further concerns, please discuss them with your doctor.

Allergen Advice

All Huel products are 100% vegan. We thoroughly assess our ingredients and the processes we use to make Huel and whenever we identify potential routes of allergen contamination we will first take steps to eliminate the possibility of any contamination of our product. However, where it is not possible to remove the risk we will clearly highlight any allergens that might be present on our product packaging and ingredients lists in line with current US food safety guidelines.

Huel Powders use Gluten-free oats that are grown and processed in a wheat-free environment and are therefore free of wheat.

However, we recognize that people can suffer from allergies that are outside the US recognized ‘key allergens’, so we assess ingredients and keep a record of other ingredients in our product that may have allergenic potential. If you have any specific inquiries, please contact us.

Huel Powder and FODMAP

FODMAP are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed and consequently ferment, which can cause irritation in some people's intestines[32]. Huel Powder is low in FODMAP ingredients so it is suitable for people who follow a low FODMAP diet. Read more about Huel Powder and FODMAPs here.

Further reading


  1. FDA. CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 2016 [Available from:].
  2. Foster-Powell K, et al. International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002; 76 (1):5-56.
  3. Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University. Essential Fatty Acids. Date Accessed 09/04/19. [Available from:].
  4. Lobo V, et al. Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. Pharmacogn Rev. 2010; 4(8):118-26.
  5. Cordain L, et al. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2005; 81(2):341-54.
  6. Weigle DS, et al. A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2005; 82(1):41-8.
  7. Gallaher D. Dietary Fiber. Washington, D.C.: ILSI Press. 2006.pp.102–110
  8. Brown L, et al. Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69 (1):30–42.
  9. Deruelle F & Baron B. Vitamin C: is supplementation necessary for optimal health? J Altern Complement Med. 2008; 14(10):1291-8.
  10. Combs GF & McClung JP. The Vitamins. 4 ed: Burlington: Elsevier Science; 2012.
  11. Carr AC & Frei B. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999; 69 (6):1086-107.
  12. Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University. Vitamin C. Date Accessed 09/04/19. [Available from:].
  13. Zeisel SH & Da Costa KA. Choline: an essential nutrient for public health. Nutr Rev. 2009; 67(11):615-23.
  14. Fischer LM, et al. Dietary choline requirements of women: effects of estrogen and genetic variation. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2010; 92(5):1113-9.
  15. Fischer LM, et al. Sex and menopausal status influence human dietary requirements for the nutrient choline. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2007; 85(5):1275-85.
  16. Woeber KA. Iodine and thyroid disease. Med Clin North Am. 1991; 75(1):169-78.
  17. Schlemmer U, et al. Phytate in foods and significance for humans: Food sources, intake, processing, bioavailability, protective role and analysis. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 2009; 53:S330-S75.
  18. Teucher B, et al. Enhancers of iron absorption: Ascorbic acid and other organic acids. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. 2004; 74(6):403-19.
  19. Leitzmann C. Characteristics and Health Benefits of Phytochemicals. Forsch Komplementmed. 2016; 23(2):69-74.
  20. Sur R, et al. Avenanthramides, polyphenols from oats, exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-itch activity. Archives of Dermatological Research. 2008; 300(10):569-74.
  21. Adom KK, et al. Antioxidant activity of grains. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2002; 50(21):6182-7.
  22. Institute LP. Oregon State University. Carotenoids. Date Accessed: 10/24/2019 [Available from:]
  23. Abdelly & Sfar. Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties of Mesembryanthemum crystallinum and Carpobrotus edulis Extracts. Bouftira Ibtissem. Ad Chem Eng & Sci 2. 2012; (3): pp 359-365.
  24. Richer et al. Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-related macular degeneration: the Veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial). Optometry. 2004;75 (4):216–230.
  25. Semba RD, Dagneilie G. Are lutein and zeaxanthin conditionally essential nutrients for eye health? Med Hypotheses. 2003;61 (4):465-472.
  26. Prakash A, et al. Acerola, an untapped functional superfruit: a review on latest frontiers. J Food Sci Technol. 2018; 55(9):3373-84.
  27. Liu J-Q, et al. Three new tetranorditerpenes from aerial parts of acerola cherry (Malpighia emarginata). Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2014; 19(2):2629-36.
  28. Majeed M, et al. Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 supplementation in the management of diarrhea predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a double blind randomized placebo controlled pilot clinical study. Nutr J. 2016; 15:21.
  29. Hemarajata P, et al. Effects of probiotics on gut microbiota: mechanisms of intestinal immunomodulation and neuromodulation. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2013; 6(1):39-51.
  30. Nagpal R, et al. Human-origin probiotic cocktail increases short-chain fatty acid production via modulation of mice and human gut microbiome. Sci Rep. 2018; 8(1):12649
  31. Jayabalan R, et al. A Review on Kombucha Tea—Microbiology, Composition, Fermentation, Beneficial Effects, Toxicity, and Tea Fungus. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2014; 13(4):538-50
  32. El-Salhy M, et al. The role of diet in the pathogenesis and management of irritable bowel syndrome (Review). International Journal of Molecular Medicine. 2012; 29(5):723-31.

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