45% daily sodium != 100% daily nutrition


I started official Soylent this past Saturday.  Almost immediately started getting headaches.  Water, Excedrin, caffeinated soda, and food snacks all helped a lot, but not completely.  About the time the headaches subsided to a manageable level, a light-headedness and fatigued sensation took over.

Meanwhile, no matter how much Soylent I drank, my stomach never indicated that I was full or even close to full (bloated on occasion, but even then I was hungry as hell).  But most of the time if I ate just a small snack all of a sudden I was overly full.

Then I started reading about the LOW SODIUM in Soylent (i.e. Soylent does NOT, repeat does NOT have 100% sodium) and that some people were having to add salt to their mix.  The two foods that had triggered “full” sensations (turkey jurkey and Triscuits) are both high in sodium, but the low sodium salad didn’t trigger a “full” sensation - interesting.

So last night I added a teaspoon of sea salt (it’s what I had; I don’t recommend it, use table salt if you have it) to my mix.  This morning I woke up with a killer headache.  I stumbled to the kitchen, added the oil to my Soylent, poured some over ice and before I finished the glass the headache started to recede!   When I finished my two glasses of salted Soylent - without any additional snack food - I actually started to feel full.  Twenty minutes later, I definitely felt full.  It’s now two hours later and I still feel satiated.

At no point this week did I explicitly crave salty things (when I do, it’s typically french fries), I only craved things that have typically “filled me up” in the past.

I have to admit, I trusted the Soylent crew too much. When they said 100% nutrition I expected 100% nutrition (silly me). In fact, Soylent only contains 45% of the daily allotment of sodium and that appears to be a recipe for disaster!

from: http://www.soylent.me/#nutrition

I can’t help but wonder what the unnoticeable effects are of the other shortages: saturated fat, cholesterol, and total carbs? They all have a bad health rap, as does sodium, yet there’s a reason they have an RDA!

Now I feel like Nancy Crater after she’s feed (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Trap).

45% Soylent effect:

Soylent plus sea salt effect:


I’ve had to just eat salt with my DIY recipe. I drink 20+ cups of water a day and the salt in my recipe isn’t even close to enough. If I start to feel bad, I just pour salt in my hand and eat it… weird? Maybe.


Hahaha, I’ve done exactly this same thing. I’ve salted the weirdest foods at times (cheese… I’ve salted cheese and ate it…), but yeah, I’ve just consumed a pinch of salt on a few occasions…


The irony is that:

In the past I’ve have had times when I craved salty french fries, but that’s been limited to once or twice a YEAR. Salt cravings are not a normal thing for me  (I don’t even have table salt in my house!), which I suspect contributed to me not actually craving salt with Soylent but instead craving filling foods.

I actually really dislike the taste of Soylent plus sea salt. I’m going to have to pick up some table salt on the way home to see if tastes any better.



Unless you specifically need a low sodium diet. As you’ve pointed out, it’s easy enough to add a pinch of salt to a meal (or a teaspoon into the pitcher) for people that are having trouble with too little sodium.

As my mother says, “you can always add more, but you can’t add less”. I’m kind of assuming this was their philosophy behind this, anyway…


Recommended daily sodium intake is 1,500mg, 2,300mg is the recommended daily maximum. Soylent contains 70% of the recommended daily intake, not 45%.

Ghrelin is the peptide that makes you feel hungry. It thrives in a low-sodium environment. I remain unsure of why Soylent decided to restrict the level of sodium to only 350mg per meal. Especially when increasing levels of research indicate that high sodium diets (3000mg - 4000mg) do not have a meaningful impact on health.


My point is that Soylent is marketed as 100%. 45% is NOT 100%. For the majority of people[1] there is the distinct possibility of side effects when taking in less than 100%. Where they are not providing 100% they need to be VERY, VERY BLATANT and VERY, VERY VOCAL about the shortages and any potential side effects.

If I had known that low sodium could cause headaches, fatigue, lack of satiation, then I could added salt a whole lot earlier. What are the symptoms of low saturated fat, cholesterol, and total carbs? By the time we notice such symptoms have we done permanent damage?

And lest you think I’m making too big a deal out this, I have a long highway drive to and from work each day. Fatigue and clouded thinking from headaches increases the possibility of an accident. An accident at highway speeds in rush hour traffic can be fatal! I actually had to pull over last night because the fatigue was so bad. This is a genuine concern!

[1] The RDAs are for the majority not the minority.


Perhaps you are having some sort of withdrawals. My cardiologist said that Americans on average consume far to much sodium and its a huge problem. He said 1800 is more than enough for a daily intake.

“The “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010” addresses sodium intake in detail. The average daily sodium intake for Americans is 3,400 milligrams per day, an excessive amount that raises blood pressure and poses health risks. In general, Americans should limit daily sodium consumption to 2,300 milligrams, but this is an upper safe limit, not a recommended daily allowance. Even active people who lose lots of sodium through sweating require no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.”

So Soylent not pouring a ton of sodium into its product in my opinion is a very good thing. People with health issues and have restrictive sodium diets would be screwed. Sodium is a whole hell of a lot easier to add to Soylent than it is to take it out. And its not like its hard or expensive to compensate for it. There are 2,325 mg of sodium in just one teaspoon of table salt. Which is more than the upper limit.


Don’t consume Soylent. Drive safely. Problem solved.

Throw in salt. Drive safely. Problem solved.

Throw in baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Drive safely. Problem solved.

& read the ingedients-label of the experimental food you are consuming. Though you are right, their advertisement suggests that Soylent contains 100% of everything. Then again it’s advertisement which you shouldn’t trust in general. But your point is valid.

  • For me, in relation to the sodium shortage, at this point it appears so.
  • What about other users that are expecting the advertised 100% of their RDA and who aren’t checking the forums ?
  • What about the lack of obvious symptoms, but potential long-term effects of low saturated fat, cholesterol, and total carbs ?


Well you are the one who decided to consume new experimental food, aren’t you ^^ There simply can’t be any long-term studies yet because Soylent doesn’t exist long enough :stuck_out_tongue: Maybe you find some studies on clinical powdered food / supplements which have been there before Soylent. Anyway, not my problem.

Well I was expecting delivery to Europe within 12 weeks because the order page told me so and this wasn’t correct as well. I was angry at first, but hey, what you gonna do anyway? :slight_smile:


They could just read the back of the bag?


Absolutely :wink:

This is the big take-away! —> No, but they claim to be meeting RDA - which IS based on long-term studies - and the are NOT in fact meeting RDA. Where they deviate they should be VERY, VERY BLATANT and VERY, VERY VOCAL about the shortages and any potential side effects!

Agreed. **It’s Rosa Labs’ and anybody else who actually needs 100% of the RDA problem! **

And this IS a problem!

I will be angry for you, because I actually am angry for you. :wink:


Are you saying that there are too few carbs in Soylent?


Ironically, the first thing I did when I got my shipment open is just this and I thoroughly enjoyed the range of 33-57% listed for every entry. Of course, I also assumed the back had all of the Nutrition Facts. In actuality, the top portion (i.e. calories to protein) are on the front of the package, which in my haste :blush: I had ignored thinking they were also listed on the back.

Regardless, Rosa Labs are selling a product that claims to be “nutritionally complete” and it is NOT! I believe the phrase for this is “false advertising”.

I am sympathetic to those who need low sodium diets. I don’t have a problem with the powder bag having a low sodium formulation. What I have a problem with is the disconnect between the advertised product and the actual product. This could be solved with prominent notification of the incomplete components, symptoms users may experience if they are not getting an adequate amount, and ideally, super simple ways to bulk up on those items (e.g., just like oil comes separate, including 7 packets of salt that would make up the difference between the 45% included sodium and the 100% RDA amount).


It’s nowhere near as much of a shortage as the sodium, but on the provided “Nutrition Facts” the “Total Carbohydrate” is listed as 28% for 1/3 of the bag (i.e. a serving), which means there’s only 84%. Subsumed under “Total Carbohydrate” is “Dietary Fiber”, which has a total of 108%.

I’m not a nutritionist and have never understood why fiber is listed as a sub-component of carbohydrate, so I don’t know whether the 108% fiber somehow compensates for the 16% shortage in carbohydrate.


Hmmm, wow, I wish I’d known this - I’ll have to try adding salt to my Soylent to see if it helps with the headaches…


Doctors recommend the DASH diet for people with high blood pressure. This is what WebMD says about it:

“When beginning the diet, start slowly and make gradual changes. Consider adopting a diet plan that allows 2,400 mg of salt per day (about 1 teaspoon). Then, once your body has adjusted to the diet, further lower your salt intake to 1,500 mg per day”

So it sounds like going cold-turkey from a Standard American Diet to Soylent might be too extreme for some. Maybe start by replacing one meal, then two, then all three over time.

Having said that, if three servings of Soylent is less than 1,500mg, it does sound like too little.


Fiber is indigestible so can’t compensate for anything. Personally I think there are too many carbs in Soylent.


The box really should come with recommendations to add more salt and how much to meet the RDA incase of problems

I mentioned it in other threads about the low sodium and that about 3grams of salt will put you close to the RDA, but not everyone starting on Soylent have read every post on this forum