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The Huel Ready-to-drink Formula Explained

Huel Ready-to-drink is a nutritionally complete meal in a bottle. It is high in protein, low in sugar and salt, it is a source of fiber and it contains a balanced macro split of 35:42:20:3 (carbohydrate, fat, protein, fiber) and all 27 essential vitamins and minerals.

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

Huel Ready-to-drink 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 Ready-to-drink.

The Huel Ready-to-drink Formula

Nutrition information and Ingredients

Huel Ready-to-drink is 35:42:20:3 macro split

The principal macronutrients from which we obtain energy from food are carbohydrate, fat, protein, and fiber, and in Huel Ready-to-drink, their ratio is 35:42:20:3, respectively; i.e. 35% of the energy comes from carbohydrate, 42% from fat, 20% from protein, and 3% from fiber.

Amino acids are the most basic units of protein, and nine amino acids are essential for life – with others being crucial for optimum health – so any diet has to contain a significant amount of protein. Huel Ready-to-drink is high in protein with all essential amino acids present in good amounts (see below).

Fat is more energy-dense than carbohydrate and protein, so the Huel Ready-to-drink formula includes large amounts of healthy fats in order to achieve less volume and an easy-to-consume Huel meal in a bottle. Moreover, there are some fatty acids that are required for optimal health, and Huel Ready-to-drink 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 Ready-to-drink are slow-release carbohydrates – ideal for maintaining energy for up to several hours.

The amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrate in Huel Ready-to-drink are designed to provide optimum, sustained energy release as well as covering requirements for health and protection against disease.

Carbohydrate in Huel Ready-to-drink: Oats, tapioca, and brown rice

The carbohydrate in Huel Ready-to-drink is mainly from ultra-fine powdered oats, brown rice flour, and tapioca starch. Oats have been shown to have a low glycemic index (GI); GI refers to the speed at which blood sugar and, hence, energy levels, rise after we ingest a carb source[2].

The oat powder in Huel Ready-to-drink has been milled so finely that it’s readily soluble and also provides so much more than just carbohydrate - it includes soluble fiber and many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, too.

Brown rice flour provides carbs, protein, and other nutrients.

Tapioca starch is an ideal source of carbohydrate as it is soluble and works well with other ingredients. The oats, rice flour, and tapioca starch in Huel Ready-to-drink support the other ingredients in helping to sustain energy levels until the next meal.

Fat in Huel Ready-to-drink: Canola, Flaxseed, Sunflower, and Coconut

The fat in Huel Ready-to-drink provides 42% of the total energy and is made up from canola oil, flaxseed and sunflower lecithin to ensure that the essential fatty acids are included in optimum amounts with Huel Ready-to-drink being rich in monounsaturated fat, omega-3s and omega-6s.

We’ve also included MCTs from coconut for a very good reason: MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides, are treated much like carbs, i.e. they provide an energy-rich, sustained fuel and are perfect for those of us with busy lifestyles[3]. 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)[4]. Using fats from rapeseed, flaxseed and sunflower, we’ve ensured Huel Ready-to-drink contains sufficient amounts of both of these EFAs as well as other omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids*.

Moreover, these ingredients provide antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals in a biochemical redox balance to help minimize the negative effects of free-radicals. Free radicals may be involved in the pathology of cancer, cardiovascular disease and ageing, so it’s desirable to keep their formation to a minimum, and this is the role of antioxidants. Read more about fats here.

Huel Ready-to-drink is High-protein: Pea and Rice

The DV for protein is 50g per day, but this only covers our very basic needs at a level that adequately prevents protein deficiency[1]. The Western diet typically provides more[5], and Huel Ready-to-drink does too*. All essential amino acids are included in adequate amounts from vegan protein sources: pea protein, brown rice flour, oat powder, and flaxseed.

Each 500ml bottle of Huel Ready-to-drink provides 20g of high-quality protein – 40% of the average person’s daily requirements, a good amount for optimum health as well as building and maintaining a healthy body. Furthermore, protein is more satiating (appetite-suppressing) than other macronutrients[6], and each Huel Ready-to-drink meal has been designed to stop unwanted hunger pangs.

Amino acid profile of Huel Ready-to-drink

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 for 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.

All protein sources are not equal: some are classified 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 chickpeas, black beans, pumpkin seeds, cashews, cauliflower, quinoa, pistachios, turnip greens, black-eyed peas, and soya. 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 Ready-to-drink comes from four of the main ingredients: pea protein, oats, brown rice flour, and flaxseed. This ensures a good range of all amino acids and that there are sufficient amounts of the essential amino acids. Rice is high in the sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine, plus it 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. Selecting different sources ensures everything is covered whilst keeping Huel Ready-to-drink vegan. Plus, there’s additional protein from the oats – which are reasonably high in all essential amino acids – and the flaxseed.

Ready-to-drink (based on Vanilla v1.0)

Amino Acid (mg) per 500ml serving RDA* % of RDA per serving
Tryptophan 222 280 79%
Threonine 723 1050 69%
Isoleucine 807 1400 58%
Leucine 1661 2730 61%
Lysine 729 2100 35%
Methionine 515 1050** 82%
Cysteine 346
Phenylalanine 1062 1750*** 120%
Tyrosine 1036
Valine 1076 1820 59%
Histidine 453 700 65%
Arginine 1626
Alanine 1126
Aspartic acid**** 1677
Glutamic acid***** 3658
Glycine 843
Proline 957
Serine 985

 

*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

Fiber in Huel Ready-to-drink: Oats, Flaxseed, and Chicory

Huel Ready-to-drink contains 6g of fiber per bottle. The fiber in Huel Ready-to-drink is a mixture of soluble and insoluble forms all naturally supplied from oats, flaxseed, and chicory. This fiber profile helps to ensure the formation of normal, solid stools in healthy users.

Fiber acts like a sponge, so it’s important to include lots of fluid in a fiber-rich diet[7]. As Huel Ready-to-drink is made with water, there’s plenty of fluid supplied, but we do recommend you also include plenty of water in your diet.

The Huel Ready-to-drink formula has been designed to maintain optimum digestive system health, and there are also other benefits from its fiber profile: you may well have heard about the beneficial soluble fiber in oats called beta-glucan; well, Huel Ready-to-drink contains good amounts of this cholesterol-lowering fiber, ideal for a healthy heart[8].

Vitamins and Minerals in Huel Ready-to-drink

A bulk of the vitamins and minerals – also known as micronutrients – in Huel Ready-to-drink 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 DV*.

Since the HHS's Daily Values were first compiled nearly 70 years ago, there have been numerous studies demonstrating that, for many micronutrients, levels higher than the DVs may have beneficial effects on 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 Ready-to-drink formula. Benefits of consuming more vitamin C include a healthy immune system, healthy skin and antioxidant properties[10-12].

With calcium, the US DV is 1,300mg per day[1], an amount higher than the European Union (EU) RDA of 800mg[1], and we feel the US recommendation is more than sufficient to protect against osteoporosis. With some of the trace element minerals the levels are higher than the recommended amounts. This is because we only need tiny amounts of them, but the natural ingredients in Huel Ready-to-drink 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 is all about optimum health, the inclusion of choline was deemed to be fundamental.

With vitamin D, the DV is 20mcg[1]. In the UK, the RDA was previously listed as just 5mcg per day[16,17], but in 2016 this was revised to 10mcg per day[18]. As in the case of calcium, we feel that the US DV is the level people should be aiming for so this is the amount of vitamin D included in Huel Ready-to-drink*.

There has been some concern about phytic acid: a naturally occurring substance in some plant foods including oats and flaxseed. Phytic acid can chelate (bind) some minerals meaning that they’re less bioavailable[19]. As oats and flaxseed are fundamental ingredients in Huel Ready-to-drink, we've ensured the levels of some minerals, like iron and zinc, are higher, to accommodate any issues with phytic acid chelation. Furthermore, the high level of vitamin C in Huel Ready-to-drink will also further promote iron absorption[20].

Summary - Huel Ready-to-drink is a meal

As you can see, Huel Ready-to-drink provides superior nutrition compared to most conventional meals. Huel Ready-to-drink is a nutritious meal to be enjoyed at any time, or as an add-on improvement to your diet to ensure you’re giving your body what it needs.

*based on a 2,000kcal intake of Huel products.

Ingredients of Huel Ready-to-drink

Vanilla v1.0

Water, Pea Protein, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Gluten-Free Oat Powder, Canola Oil, Flaxseed, Medium-Chain Triglyceride Powder (from Coconut), Oligofructose, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Brown Rice Flour, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, Sucralose, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Maltodextrin, Ascorbic Acid, Magnesium Phosphate, L-Choline Bitartrate, D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate, Niacinamide, Menaquinone-7, Retinol Acetate, Ergocalciferol, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Potassium Iodide, Cyanocobalamin, Biotin, Selenium Yeast, Copper Gluconate, Zinc Oxide, L-Methylfolate Calcium, Chromium Picolinate. CONTAINS: TREE NUTS (COCONUT).

Berry v1.0

Water, Pea Protein, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Gluten-Free Oat Powder, Canola Oil, Flaxseed, Medium-Chain Triglyceride Powder (from Coconut), Oligofructose, Color (Beetroot and Carrot Concentrate), Brown Rice Flour, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, Sucralose, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Maltodextrin, Ascorbic Acid, Magnesium Phosphate, L-Choline Bitartrate, D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate, Niacinamide, Menaquinone-7, Retinol Acetate, Ergocalciferol, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Potassium Iodide, Cyanocobalamin, Biotin, Selenium Yeast, Copper Gluconate, Zinc Oxide, L-Methylfolate Calcium, Chromium Picolinate. CONTAINS: TREE NUTS (COCONUT).

Chocolate v1.0

Water, Pea Protein, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Gluten-Free Oat Powder, Canola Oil, Cocoa Powder, Flaxseed, Medium-Chain Trilyceride Powder (from Coconut), Oligofructose, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Brown Rice Flour, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Gellan Gum, Sucralose, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Maltodextrin, Ascorbic Acid, Magnesium Phosphate, L-Choline Bitartrate, D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate, Niacinamine, Menaquinone-7, Retinol Acetate, Ergocalciferol, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Potassium Iodide, Cyanocobalamin, Biotin, Selenium Yeast, Copper Gluconate, Zinc oxide, L-Methylfolate Calcium, Chromium Picolinate. CONTAINS: TREE NUTS (COCONUT).

Nutritional Profile of Huel Ready-to-drink

Vanilla v1.0

Each box contains 12 x 16.9fl oz (500ml) bottles

Amount per serving
Calories 400

Per bottle (500ml) % Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0g 0%
Sodium 276mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 3g
Includes Added Sugars 3g 8%
Protein 20g 40%

Berry v1.0

Each box contains 12 x 16.9fl oz (500ml) bottles

Amount per serving
Calories 400

Per bottle (500ml) % Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0g 0%
Sodium 278mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 13%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 5g
Includes Added Sugars 4g 8%
Protein 20g 40%

Chocolate v1.0

Each box contains 12 x 16.9fl oz (500ml) bottles

Amount per serving
Calories 400

Per bottle (500ml) % Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 0g 0%
Sodium 359mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 3g
Includes Added Sugars 3g 8%
Protein 20g 40%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000kcal a day is used for general nutrition advice

Vitamins & Minerals

Vanilla v1.0 & Berry v1.0

Vitamins & Minerals Per bottle (500ml) % Daily Value*
Vitamin D (Total) 5mcg 25%
Calcium 260mg 20%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 940mg 20%
Vitamin A 180mcg 20%
Vitamin C 60mcg 67%
Vitamin E 3mg 20%
Vitamin K (Total) 34mcg 28%
Thiamin 0.3mg 25%
Riboflavin 0.3mg 23%
Niacin 3.2mg 20%
Vitamin B6 0.3mg 24%
Folate (DFE) 80mcg 20%
Vitamin B12 0.8mcg 33%
Biotin 10mcg 33%
Pantothenic Acid 1.2mg 24%
Phosphorus 300mg 22%
Iodine 30mcg 20%
Magnesium 84mg 20%
Zinc 2.2mg 20%
Selenium 11mcg 20%
Copper 0.2mg 22%
Manganese 0.5mg 22%
Chromium 8mcg 23%
Molybdenum 10mcg 22%
Chloride 460mcg 20%
Choline 110mg 20%

 

Additional Nutrition Per bottle (500ml)
Omega-3 (g) 2
Omega-6 (g) 4
MCTs (g) 3

Chocolate v1.0

Vitamins & Minerals Per bottle (500ml) % Daily Value*
Vitamin D (Total) 5mcg 25%
Calcium 260mg 20%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 940mg 20%
Vitamin A 180mcg 20%
Vitamin C 60mcg 67%
Vitamin E 3mg 20%
Vitamin K (Total) 34mcg 28%
Thiamin 0.3mg 25%
Riboflavin 0.3mg 23%
Niacin 3.2mg 20%
Vitamin B6 0.3mg 24%
Folate (DFE) 80mcg 20%
Vitamin B12 0.8mcg 33%
Biotin 10mcg 33%
Pantothenic Acid 1.2mg 24%
Phosphorus 300mcg 24%
Iodine 30mcg 20%
Magnesium 84mg 20%
Zinc 2.2mg 20%
Selenium 11mcg 20%
Copper 0.2mg 22%
Manganese 0.5mg 22%
Chromium 8mcg 23%
Molybdenum 10mcg 22%
Chloride 460mg 20%
Choline 110mg 20%

 

Additional Nutrition Per bottle (500ml)
Omega-3 (g) 2
Omega-6 (g) 4
MCTs (g) 3

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000kcal a day is used for general nutrition advice

Huel Ready-to-drink Cautions and Allergen Advice

Huel Ready-to-drink is food; 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 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 appropriately.
  • Celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis – Huel Ready-to-drink is made with gluten-free oats and is certified as gluten-free; each batch is tested for gluten as part of our strict quality controls.
  • 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 Ready-to-drink. Huel Ready-to-drink is not suitable for those who suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU).
  • 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 Ready-to-drink. However, if you’re in remission, Huel Ready-to-drink may be enjoyed freely.
  • Pregnancy and lactation – Huel Ready-to-drink is fine to use during pregnancy and for nursing/lactating mothers, but it should not be the sole source of nutrition as there are different nutritional requirements during this period.
  • Children – Huel Ready-to-drink is not suitable for children under 4 years of age. However, older children may include Huel Ready-to-drink as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of other foods, but Huel Ready-to-drink should not be their sole source of nutrition as children have different nutritional requirements than adults.
  • Eating disorders – Huel Ready-to-drink 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 Ready-to-drink after discussing it with their doctor or relevant medical professional.

Medication interactions

Huel Ready-to-drink is fine to consume if you’re using most medications. Although there are no obvious reasons why Huel Ready-to-drink 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, and 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 in line with current US food safety guidelines.

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.

Further reading

References

  1. FDA. CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 2016 [Available from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=101.9].
  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. Marten B, et al. Medium-chain triglycerides. International Dairy Journal. 2006; 16(11):1374-82.
  4. Linus Pauling Institute. Essential Fatty Acids [Available from: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/essential-fatty-acids].
  5. Cordain L, et al. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr. 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. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005; 82(1):41-8.
  7. Gallaher D. Dietary Fiber. Washington D.C.: ILSI Press; 2006. p. 102-10.
  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 Jr & 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. Vitamin C [Available from: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C].
  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. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010; 92(5):1113-9.
  15. Fischer LM, et al. Sex and menopausal status influence human dietary requirements for the nutrient choline. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007; 85(5):1275-85.
  16. Food Drink Europe. Guidance on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 2013 [Available from: https://www.fooddrinkeurope.eu/uploads/publications_documents/FDE_Guidance_WEB.pdf].
  17. COMA. Dietary reference values for food energy and nutrients for the United Kingdom. Report of the Panel on Dietary Reference Values of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy. Rep Health Soc Subj (Lond). 1991; 41:1-210.
  18. SACN. Vitamin D and Health. 2016.
  19. Committee on Food Protection; Food and Nutrition Board; National Research Council. "Phytates". Toxicants Occurring Naturally in Foods. 1973.
  20. Lopez HL, F, et al. Minerals and phytic acid interactions: is it a real problem for human nutrition? International Journal of Food Science & Technology. 202; 37(7):727-39.

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