Potassium question

In Huel there is 3.5 g potassium per 8 MJ (2000 kcal), equal to the recommended value as the EFSA. In Jimmy Joy there is 2 g / 8 MJ. Someone commented the following:

I’ve looked into this a bit more and since sodium and potassium levels are interlinked, low sodium levels cause higher potassium levels and vice versa. Based off what I’ve read my guess is that the DRIs are based off the average diet with high sodium (2300mg / day) which also increases your potassium needs. The sodium levels in Plenny are relatively low (600 mg / day) which decreases your needs for potassium.

What are the thoughts on this regarding Huel? Is there too much potassium since Huel also doesn’t have that much sodium? Or is there too little in Jimmy Joy?

Hey Dennis, great question!

That comment is incorrect. As stated by the EFSA “sodium intake does not influence potassium excretion except at high sodium intakes (≥ 4,830 mg)” and “The Panel considers that available data are insufficient, however, to derive DRVs for potassium depending on the level of dietary sodium intake”

In other words the potassium recommendation is not linked to sodium intake.

3500mg (3.5g) of potassium for adults per day (except lactating women) is correct and has been since the EFSA update in 2016.


Thank you as always for being so scientific and working with sources :smiley:

Happy Hueliversary @Dennis. Hope you enjoy your cake :birthday:

Association studies between sodium/potassium intake and hypertension refer to the sodium-potassium-ratio. Low potassium intake in combination with high sodium intake increases the risk for hypertension. How much potassium should be consumed seems to be dependent on your sodium intake if you want to decrease your risk of developing elektrolyte-status associated problems.

https:// pubmed .ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28485063/

It may not be an official recommendation because the data is still sparse and there are no large randomized controlled clinical trials, but I think “weaker” studys can at least be seen as a hint.

Are you on a 100% Huel diet? If not the question is not that important - because in “conventional” foods and drinks the sodium and potassium intake cannot be determined exactly - at least not for “natural”, unprocessed products. If you wanted to calculate exactly you would have to use only synthetic products and even take into account every glas of mineral water you consume.

If you don’t have an excessive salt intake you should be fine - don’t worry that much. At least you wouldn’t if you only had conventional food. And Huel is just a food like anything else.

Thank you for the extensive response!

That’s interesting indeed, so the takeaway is not too eat to much sodium (salt) and not too little potassium, and especially not the combination, right?

I’m on a 100% Huel diet for a couple months now (with once in a while a different meal), so since I don’t eat any other salt, I’m good as I understand.

No, we can’t say that based on the study you linked because the low sodium and high potassium groups didn’t overlap.

The only participants who had an increased blood pressure risk was the high sodium group and they were consuming over 7500mg (18.75g of salt) a day! That’s huge.

Sorry if this is confusing Dennis, but the takeaway for most people (which includes you by the sounds of things) is not to worry about your sodium:potassium rato.

If you are eating mainly wholefoods and cooking from scratch then sodium really isn’t a worry. The thing is most people don’t and lots of ready made foods are high in sodium/salt which adds up.

If you think you’re not getting enough potassium then fruits, dark leafy greens, and potatoes (skin left on) are good sources.

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The looked at the sodium-potassium-ratio to predict the risk for hypertension. So there seems to be a link, at least for extremely low potassium or extremely high sodium intake.

But you’re right in saying that as long as one stays out of extremes the mutual effect can be neglected. And sticking to the official recommendation is the most sensible thing to do, because you can always back it by an authoritative source.

The amount of potassium is also influenced by the type of ingredients, which are not chosen based on their potassium content. JJ uses other ingredients, so this may be the reason why the value there is different; I think it is unlikely that they did it by design.

I see that the Hot & Savory variants have a potassium amount of 4.7 g, as opposed to the 3.5 g in Huel White. Is there a reason for this? Can this do any harm (when eating this daily for 400 kcal)?

Orally you virtually can’t overdose potassium. High potassium intake is even considered as benefitial, at least much better than a too low potassium consumption. Excess amounts will be excreted. Don’t worry about that.

Maybe you confused it with sodium, because a too high sodium intake really is problematic. But even here the tolerance is relatively high. Just getting a little more won’t make anything bad happen.

Only with i.v. administration this would be different, but that is not the case here.

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The main ingredients (flaxseed, quinoa, brown rice etc) in H&S provide more potassium than in Huel v3.0.

There are upper limits given for vitamins and minerals but potassium doesn’t have one. Has @mbs mentioned it’s very very difficult to overdose on potassium and so the amount in H&S is not a concern.