4 Important Soylent Related Questions


OK, so I have 4 big questions (maybe more) but these 4 come to mind after reading all blog post and (kid you not) nearly all comments on those posts.

  1. There was a concern about some nutrients inhibiting the absorption of others, namely calcium and iron (and specifically when they’re in the small intestine together). No one ever addressed this further. I’ve read several studies about this and it seems to be the case. Has anyone studied what other conflicts there may be? And if this is the case, wouldn’t we need multiple shakes throughout the day, each with nutrients that didn’t inhibit each others’ absorption?

  2. It’s well established that a lot of nutrients are more easily absorbed by the body from food rather than supplements. To further complicate things some nutrients absorb better when taken with food while some absorb better when taken on an empty stomach. I would like to see some lab work from Rob or others taking the trial for the presence and level of these nutrients. It just seems like too many variable to shake everything up in a single batch and call it a day. The calculations are loosely based on RDA’S, but how can anyone be sure that actual absorption is anywhere near what’s recommended?

  3. I’ve seen a few recipes here that rely heavily on “Now Foods” as a supplier, however they just had a recent callback for their softgels where vitamin d was 5000 times the stated level. Point being, we can never fully trust what any supplement provider tells us in in their products. Imagine if that had been potassium instead of vitamin D. This is less of a question and more of a statement to be careful.

  4. I’m rather concerned that maltodrextin in such high quantities (eg 250g - 400g) on a daily basis could promote diabetes. Is everyone settling on this as a carbs source? What are the alternatives?

Thanks :wink:


On point 4 - I have been using a combination of dextrose and isomaltulose for sweetness (the isomaltulose is low gi, but pricier), while adding oat powder (like rob and several others it seems) and barley powder for more complex carbs.


On Point 1 - The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/) noted that high fibre intake 40-50mg can lower magnesium absorption too. Rob’s RDI for magnesium was 20mg lower than the Australia RDI and with a higher fibre intake will reduce its effectiveness. How much I dont know but it was noted. http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n35.pdf

On Point 3 - This could happen to any supplier.


Thank you, I’ll check these out. I’m really concerned about this. Most suppliers recommend 50g / day. Ingesting 5-8 times more than that daily seems like a recipe for disaster (no pun intended). I’ll do some more research on this tonight.


Just further supports the idea of multiple shakes and that one single batch won’t cut it. Also goes the other way. For example, Vitamin C aids in the absorption of Iron.

But this brings up another point. Even if you don’t get top absorption, if you have a poor diet, you’ll still be getting more nutrients on a daily basis than you were before (even with inhibited absorption). The problem comes when you attempt to use soylent as a total meal replacement because your goals then become vastly different. If used as a supplement (say you eat one real meal a day), then I don’t think this such a big issue.

Also, in regards to RDA’s - they have the same problem. The FDA can’t possibly calculate for absorption, so these would have to be recommendations based on some baseline absorption (close estimate). So therefore, perhaps the RDA’s are actually more than you actually need and accounting for the lack of and/or efficacy of absorption for each nutrient? Are they any studies or recommendations anywhere for each nutrient and a source from which absorption is thought to be optimal?


I think this may be the solution. Palatinose is about 4 euros more than maltodextrine and delivers comparable kCal’s and carbs. The main advantage being that the GI of Palatinose is 32 vs 100-110 for Maltodextrine. Thank you for the suggestion. That extra 4 euros is definitely worth not getting diabetes (understatement).

Question: I suppose that the purpose of the dextrose is to get that initial energy boost (plus added flavor) while the Palatinose gives you long last energy throughout the day?

Followup, I suppose you’re using maybe around 40-50 g of dextrose and higher levels of Palatinose?

Thanks again for the suggestion :100:



On point 4: I am using White Bean Flour. It may not be as carb dense as oat powder, but it seems nutritionally better in almost every other aspect. http://discourse.soylent.me/t/an-oat-alternative/2776


Ohhhh, wow, that price is about half of what I paid for mine on Amazon (where it is seemingly no longer available).

The dextrose is indeed for the initial energy boost and for sweetness. I included the palatinose primarily because I wanted it still sweeter but wanted something lower GI and I saw someone on a fitness forum somewhere suggesting it. If I was ok with just the sweetness from the dextrose then I would probably drop the palatinose and go for more of the complex carbs from the oats & barley.

I am actually using about half that for both - 20g each. I am not actually going for full meal replacement, but rather aim to get about half of my calories from this, using it more as an easy and solid nutritional base. That might change in the future, but for now it is working out well for me.


Yeah, I’m glad I found that site. Was difficult to get product on Amazon being in France for whatever reason. The ones I did find were ridiculous. For whey I went from 54 euros on Amazon down to 15 euros on myprotein.com. Sulfur, similarly from 23 euros down to 9 and several others. If you’re in Europe, definitely recommended. It’s a reputable supplier as well.

Thanks for the clarifications. I’m looking to cut out 2 meals a day and eat a small, healthy meal in the evening. I think I may follow your example and cut down a little on both as well.