Cancelled Soylent


#1

This is just a summary of the reasons why I have cancelled my Soylent subscription after 2 months of eating it. These are just my personal reasons, but I thought I’d document it in case. Overall my experience with Soylent has been okay, but it definitely doesn’t feel good for me so I consider the experiment completed for now. If the formulation changes at some point I may end up resubscribing, but I figure it will be a bit before they change it since they’re still trying to meet original orders. It is worth noting that in the past I have consumed weeks of just Boost Plus and related drinks and I felt better on those than with Soylent - although I still wouldn’t consider those drinks healthy either.

It’s worth noting that I’m 6-2, 195 pounds and athletic. My main purpose of consuming Soylent was too reduce costs, make meals easier and Science! :slight_smile:

Anyhow, my reasons for cancelling Soylent 1.0:

  • Too sweet - it tastes like drinking pancake batter. It also has too much flavor in general so it’s hard to flavor myself. From a dieting standpoint the more bland it is too the easier it may be to lose weight on it, even though that wasn’t my intention. That is - there are some theories about “food reward” that may make dieting easier by making the food more bland.

  • Too little sodium - it isn’t healthy to have such low sodium and if I have to add salt to each batch then it defeats the purpose of a simple pre-mixed drink. Studies show that 3-6 grams of sodium per day (about 7.5 - 15 grams of table salt) is the healthy range and Soylent only has a bit over 1 gram. Soylent doesn’t even meet the really low RDA standard of 2.3 grams. Obviously there are people that are salt sensitive, but Soylent should first meet the nutrition of healthy people before it attempts meeting the needs of smaller pocket populations.

  • Headaches - It gives me headaches, even when adding salt. It’s a very low-grade headache, but it’s distracting.

  • Foggy - My head also feels foggy when drinking it. This reduces after days of eating it, but if I miss a day or day then the fog returns. This obviously shows it isn’t healthy for some reason, although I’m not certain what in it is the issue.

  • Gas - It gives me gas, and the gas is wretched smelling. Luckily I can control my gas, but I know people that can’t so Soylent wouldn’t be an option for them. Some people think that this may be related to the uncooked oatmeal, but I’ve eaten uncooked oatmeal without an issue before without this issue.

  • Cholesterol - I’d prefer more cholesterol. I know some people believe that cholesterol is bad for you, but there’s still no evidence to support that conclusion.

  • Fiber - Too much fiber for the amount of carbs it has. Perhaps the amount of fiber in general could be the source of the gas.

  • Poor Nutrition - Synthetic vitamins that are questionably healthy and quite possibly at least useless beyond just meeting deficiency diseases. D2? K1? Cyanocobalamin? Dl-alpha-tocopheryl? etc.

  • Vanillin - Fake flavoring that is known to cause allergic issues in some people. This could be the reason for my headaches / fogginess, but it’s hard to say.

  • Sucralose - I don’t want artificial sweeteners in a meal replacement. I could tolerate the idea of stevia in it, but I would prefer no questionable sweeteners.

  • Corn Maltodextrin - What happened to the tapioca? Corn is the worst of the maltodextrins with respect to GI.

  • No Whey - I wish it used whey isolate. It’s cheap, tastes good, well tolerated and has a load of studies showing it’s good for you.

  • Not All That Cheap - Many do-it-yourself people make Soylent variants that are the same price but use better food sources. It should be cheaper in bulk, right?

  • Fish Oil - Questionable source of fish oil. Is it farmed? Is it wild? Is it rancid / oxidized? Where is it from? PCBs and mercury content? Does deodorizing destroy nutritional value?

  • MCT - What happened to possibly adding MCT oil? I’d love to see this. Heck, I’d love to see at least a bit more saturated fat too.

BTW - I prefer using a stainless steel thermos over the soylent container. It’s a lot easier to clean, maintains its temperature longer and has no chances of leaking. You can get them off Amazon for cheap.

(and let me know if I made any mistakes in my post about anything, such as if the fish oil source information is available somewhere, etc. and I’ll fix my post)

Cheers!


#2

Thanks for your thorough post. Can you elaborate on this one part? Namely, how do you control your gas? Thanks.


#3

Some people can’t hold in gas. I get gas from it, but I can choose when to release it.

See:
https://www.google.com/webhp?ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=can’t%20hold%20in%20gas


#4

Good post, and I agree with the majority of your points.


#5

I’m in the same boat as @Tordenskjold. I agree with nearly every non-personal concern with Soylent. The part that confuses me is that part where you take issue with the synthetic vitamins. As far as I know, Soylent uses vitamins in the same form as what’s produced naturally.


#6

Well, I’ll explain a bit more. The four I said in my original post are expanded below.

The form of Vitamin D in Soylent is natural, but the form contained in Soylent is Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), which is produced by fungal irradiation. The natural form in humans is Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and it is normally produced from exposure to UV light on the skin. As a dietary supplement it can be sourced from lanolin (sheep skin wax) irradiation, from animal sin irradiation, etc. We can use D2, but some studies have shown it’s less potent, and the pathways used by the vitamins are different so while they can both treat severe D deficiencies it’s expected that further health benefits occur with D3.

The form of Vitamin B12 in Soylent is cyanocobalamin and it is a synthetic vitamin, produced by bacterial fermentation and followed by adding potassium cyanide under heat along with sodium nitrite. It is only possible to obtain natural B12 from animal and bacterial sources and the natural form is methylcobalamin and can be found in animal products or it can be produced by direct bacterial fermentation. The synthetic form can cause hives and other allergic reactions and for some with specific iron deficiencies it can cause death by causing low blood potassium levels.

The form of Vitamin E in Soylent is dl-alpha-tocopheryl. Humans use alpha-tocopheryl, but the prefixed dl version is synthetic, whereas the prefixed d version is naturally occurring. In the very least we know that the dl form is much less potent than the d version because it contains unused stereo isomers. Also, in whole foods there are other forms of Vitamin E that are not included in Soylent (gamma-tocopheryl variants).

The form of Vitamin K in Soylent is K1. It’s unclear if it’s synthetic or not but K1 is phylloquinone and can be found in plant sources (used in photosynthesis), but it’s not heavily used by people. The forms of Vitamin K2 (menaquinone), especially the sub-type MK-4, have lots of research showing they’re effective in humans, whereas K1 is only needed in the prevention of a few blood diseases. There is also a good amount of evidence for MK-7, and it’s also possible other sub-type of K2 have positive effects (not enough research yet). The point here is that at least MK-4 and MK-7 should be in Soylent, in addition to a natural form of K1.


#7

Do you consider any DIY-formulas?


#8

Great list. I have been reluctant to switch from DIY to Soylent and now I have a handy list to give people who ask why I would bother to make my own just to save 5$ a day.


#9

I’m glad it doesn’t have whey for environmental reasons. (I’m too easily tempted by dairy products as it is.)


#10

Well, thank you very much for all of that. I did not know this… Hopefully Rosa Labs can use this information to improve Soylent.


#11

And if we do not get an ideal solution - DIY-producers will support!


#12

Is the 100%Food recipe available for actual DIY (e.g., recipe available on http://diy.soylent.me or a list of ingredients ala http://blog.soylent.me/post/73232819517/there-is-more-to-food-than-nutrition-even-a & http://blog.soylent.me/post/69835344439/soylent-micronutrient-breakdown)?


#13

Yeah, I am most likely going to try some Schmoylent soon, although I wish it didn’t contain psyllium husks.


#14

Sure, you can read a list of ingredients and look at Nutrition Facts in our FAQ section.


#15

There is nothing environmentally unfriendly about whey. Dairy products can be commercially produced in a sustainable way. That isn’t to say that most dairy is produced this way, but it can be and I want it to be. There are some large scale grass-fed dairy sustainable operations, but sadly most people prefer lower costs to sustainability. And the only reason why some products, like soy and corn, seem cheap to feed animals is that subsidies keep their prices artificially low.

Many calculations for the environmentally unfriendliness of cows doesn’t take into account such things as the conversion into nutritional denser end-products. For example, beta carotene in vegetables is fairly useless for a large part of the world’s population, but the form in milk is active for everyone. They also usually measure against corn feeding cows, which cows aren’t supposed to eat anyway. A cow is supposed to eat grass and then naturally fertilize the land as they graze. It’s simpler and it’s better for the environment. And then vegans often quote methane as a green house gas produced by cows, when really the methane is produced by the decay of grass so it’s irrelevant if it happens inside the cow or in the field - either way it’s bacterial fermentation.

My guess is that the rice, oats and other ingredients contained in Soylent aren’t produced in a sustainable way either. Perhaps it’s documented somewhere but I haven’t yet seen any information on the ingredients being free trade, sweat shop free (or sweat farming free), naturally fertilized (as opposed to fertilized with petroleum products), crop rotated, non-strip mined, etc. And not to mention that Soylent comes shipped by Fedex in plastic bags so sustainability isn’t really a question to begin with.


#16

@Spaceman, I’m actually looking for more specific information. For example, when

Which D vitamin are you using in each of your formulations?

And when

I can’t evaluate what type of maltodextrin you might or might not be using because you don’t list all of the ingredients for each of your formulations anywhere, at least not anywhere that I’ve seen.


#17

I understand your curiosity @biab :smile:
but I’m not ready to publish my recipes.

We prefer to focus on results, that say by themselves: http://discourse.soylent.me/t/official-soylent-review-and-comparison/16622


#18

I would love a Soylent that actually addressed all this about the different kinds of the vitamins… And used the most optimal versions


#19

Why exactly are you not ready to publish your recipes?

If you were to open source your recipe like Rosa Labs and the other DIYers, it would give us more data points to work with and understand how different ingredients work with different physiologies as well as pinpoint what causes certain people problems.

Any widely used recipe would be useful to know for the rest of the community.


#20

Hey, maybe all this waiting means you start with a more improved version of the product than we do. haha