Coughing up pieces of Soylent

Sorry for the gross post, but periodically throughout the days that I drink Soylent, I’ll experience an awful taste in my mouth / bad breath (tastes like the one time I tried cat food), especially when I cough or sneeze. Eventually, perhaps once every couple of days, I’ll cough up a particle of something, which I assume is a tiny piece of Soylent buildup lodged somewhere in my throat, which is probably the cause of the bad taste in my mouth.

What’s strange is that (A) this doesn’t happen to me with anything else I consume, food or drink, and (B) I haven’t seen anyone else complain about this. I didn’t notice this problem until I started getting packages that expire within a couple of months with darker powder. I don’t have any known food allergies. Has anyone else had this experience?

Yuck. Thankfully no, I have not experienced this.

I’m not any kind of medical expert, but I wonder if maybe what you’re describing could be tonsil stones? From what I understand tonsil stones are whitish colored and can cause bad breath:


Yep, sounds like tonsil stones!

1 Like

I had these years ago and gargling warm salt water took care of them. They are SUPER gross though.

Thanks for the replies. The symptoms do seem to match what I’m experiencing, but I’ve never seen any tonsil stones (and I’ve been searching). Maybe they’re somewhere I can’t see.

I had this problem to a much lesser extreme more than five years ago, but I started gargling water every night and have not had experienced it come back at all until just recently while drinking Soylent. When I stop drinking Soylent, the problem goes away, and when I start up again, the problem (bad breath) comes back the same day. I’m still gargling water every night. I just can’t figure out how Soylent would get caught when other foods don’t.

@wezaleff Soylent hasn’t caused these to return for you at all?

Sound like soylent is hiding in your mouth somewhere. I’ve had food do that to me from time to time.

I suggest gargling with pretty much anything, like mouth wash. Also swish some water around your mount after you drink, or take a large swallow of water can work, depending on where it’s hiding. Yawning might help you find it too if you don’t have access to liquid. Or sometimes just moving your tongue. Or since coughing works, do that after you drink.

Nope, my experience was pre-Soylent 1.0.

My first thought was tonsillitis / tonsil stones… I personally had these many years ago until I had my tonsils removed. If you can see your tonsils in a mirror or with a smart phone camera, try looking for white spots on them… they are basically like sponges and a white spot means there is more inside :stuck_out_tongue:

For me, I could make them pop out small lumps of tonsil stones by making a vacuum in my mouth. (pressing the tongue to the roof of your mouth and then swallowing basically). Have a doctor if you are not sure yourself or a family member.

1 Like

Have you tried spitting out the lumps and looking at them, are the white/yellow?.Try google image searching for “coughing up tonsil stones”

1 Like

I’ve been looking for a couple months now (shining a light into my mouth in the mirror) and there’s nothing out of the ordinary appearing on my tonsils, white spots or otherwise. When I cough up a piece it’s dark tan, the same the color as the Soylent I’ve been drinking.

@mellored good suggestions, I swished and gargled some water right after drinking this morning. I’ll try your other suggestions too and let you know how it goes.

I know it’s gross, but maybe take a picture of one if it happens again.


[edit to correct mis-statment:]“Tonsil stones” aren’t always visible; they form inside the tonsils. If they come out, you may spot them anywhere, but if they stay put and harden, you may not see them unless your tonsils are prodded or pushed.

It’s possible that when you are swallowing solid food, you’re dislodging and swallowing them, and when you go liquid diet, they accumulate and grow until you start seeing them.


I have had tonsillolith my whole life and as a child I would get sick once a year with strep throat and take antibiotics. When I got older it would happen every 2 to 4 years, I would go to the doctor he would look in my throat and see white spots and say yep its strep… back in 2003 I got seriously sick could not eat or drink for days went to the doctor again and he said I had some puss build up behind my tonsils and gave me a shot and some antibiotics. I was sick for a week could not eat anything for 9 days. After that I kinda figured out I had something weird and every few months when my throat got sore so I would kinda check for these white pasty things in my mouth. about 2010 I found out about tonsil stones and found a way to clean them out and still haven’t been sick since. I have had the flu a couple times and a couple of colds but haven’t been sick since 2003. I do notice that when I am feeling a sore throat my tonsils are trying to force them out all at once. I think maybe when you are feeling healthier your body may be rejecting them better.

1 Like

In such a situation, it might be worth it to have them removed… the recovery is a pain though, personally I was in bed for about a week afterwards. But still happy I did it to this day.

Eating ice cream can cause them, particularly rich ice creams like Ben & Jerry’s etc.

After two full days of drinking and gargling a fair amount of water immediately after drinking each meal of Soylent, I haven’t had the problem return yet. Obviously two days is not a very large sample size, but it’s enough to be optimistic. I’ll post again when it’s been a while longer (or they come back). I’m still just surprised that no one else has here had this problem, including those who have had tonsil stones.

Thanks for the help everyone!


I’ve been getting tonsil stones for the first time in my life, since subsisting on Soylent. The tonsil stones have been noticable about 4-5 times since I began Soylent 6 months ago. Today I’m having more severe tonsil stone affliction: it has turned into a sore throat, so I’m now googling home remedies.

Why is Soylent causing tonsil stones, when nothing else in my life ever has??

I still, however, stand by Soylent. It’s the best nutrition solution I’ve ever experienced.

Soylent doesn’t cause tonsil stones. It is more likely some virus or bacteria. If it has anything to so with Soylent, it is that perhaps it is giving some bacteria more nutrition to grow? Talk to a doctor about the specific reason. (I had mine removed a few years ago because of chronic tonsil stones, it was caused by chronic mono)

1 Like

For the record, I did continue to have problems with tonsil stones on Soylent, even when frequently gargling water. As soon as I switched brands, the tonsil stones problem went away; I haven’t coughed anything up since.

So although Soylent may not be “causing” the tonsil stones, it seems like it can be some sort of trigger.

1 Like