Potassium and chloride differences with US formula


I was reading https://eu.huel.com/pages/huel-version-3-0-the-principal-changes (section Globally aligned formula) and I saw this:

  • The only exceptions are potassium and chloride where the US inclusion is higher to meet the high Daily Values.

I’m wondering, do you think those higher Daily Values won’t be also beneficial for people in Europe, even if the EU regulations don’t require that?

In the end, no matter what regulations say, we’re all humans and the optimal formula should be similar for US and Europe, no?

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I guess because the potassium and chloride levels for a 2000kcal daily intake are already at 175% RDI and 100% respectively so not needed? I know that Potassium is one of those things that bestows no extra benefit if you take more than you need unless you are in a situation where you are losing more than normal - such as participating regularly in athletics for example.

Hi @Vaniv

Great question! We are all humans and, for many nutrients, there is an argument that we should be aligned globally. Of course, there are regional differences in genetic make-up and phenotypic expression which can affect requirements, which is why, for example, some Eastern regions have quite different requirements for different nutrients (now Huel’s in Japan, this is pertinent to us).

However, that doesn’t mean to say that the high US figures for potassium and chloride are correct and based on the best science. The EU chloride NRV is 800mg per day and the US DV of 2,300mg per day. The level is as high as it is purely because it’s linked to salt/sodium intake as salt = sodium chloride. It’s not actually a requirement for us to label the chloride amount in the US. 800mg per day is more than adequate.

The 4,700mg US DV for potassium is excessive. Sure, this is indicative of what a balanced varied diet may be, but only for someone on a reasonable calorie intake; someone on a varied diet of less than 2,000 calories would not be achieving this. And the science doesn’t seem to back up this high ‘requirement’. I do, however, feel the EU NRV for potassium is too low (2,000mg per day), which was why I went for the Nordic RDA of 3,500mg in EU Huel (per 2,000-calorie intake) which seems to be the optimal level.

There’s nothing wrong with the higher levels of potassium and chloride, but it doesn’t seem necessary to have the high amounts if we don’t have to. EU Huel is produced in the UK and US Huel is produced in North America so different plants can have different recipes. To be described as ‘nutritionally complete at 2,000 calories’ we have to meet the amounts for that region which is why we have the 4,700mg level of potassium in the US formula.