Excess Protein in Soylent


Why is there so much protein in Soylent? The website knows that a 70kg (154lb) person should eat 56g of protein a day, and yet a packet of soylent contains 114g of protein. More than double. What’s the deal?


When it comes to protein, you can establish a minimum, but it’s not a maximum. Beyond your minimum needs, the diet needs to be topped up with carbs, fats, and protein to fill up the calorie targets - and adding a little more protein leads to better satisfaction satiety for most people. If the protein, fat, and fiber are too low in a liquid drink, then the glycemic index of the meal is very high, which leads to a blood sugar spike in the short term, and hunger returning too quickly.


It just seems like there is a difference between “adding a little more” and more than doubling the recommended dosage. I’ve seen a lot of websites say that an excessive protein intake can be harmful to your liver, brain and nervous system. Healthyeating.com says: When you eat protein, your body produces ammonia, a toxin that your liver makes harmless, according to Medline Plus. Eating too much protein over a long period of time can cause your liver to become overworked, allowing ammonia and other toxic substances to build up in your bloodstream.
I don’t know the reliability of that website, but it does seem like it would be overworking your kidneys or liver.


unless you have a preexisting condition, you should be fine. Most athletes take around .8 - 1grams of protein per pound. Also with huge rise in popularity of the keto and paleolithic diet, I have yet to hear anything about too much protein causing any problems.

When in doubt, always check out examine.com hahaha. I love this site: every statement is backup by research and they organize it fairly well as well.



They have been previous discussions about excess protein in soylent. I guess there is no way to reduce protein without messing up other things like RDI’s,GI,carbs/calorie content etc. If there is, i am sure the Soylent team will look into it. They already mentioned Soylent will see continous improvements.


Most anything in high doses has negative results. The question is, at how much does that happen? What’s considered excess for protein? In some things, you go from the recommended level to too much very quickly. In some things, you have to consume a lot more over the recommended minimum level to have too much. Most people for example don’t worry about consuming too much water, although too much water does have problems when you consume enough.

So, with regards to protein, how much is too much? Is this one of those things where people need exactly the minimum level within 1 gram or is this one of those things where excess doesn’t happen until “more than doubling” the minimum required amount?


As far as understandd, the protein levels come from a dietitians recommendation of a 50/20/30 diet where 50 percent of your calories come from carbs, 20% from protein, and 30% from fat. Looking around the internet, this seems to be the generally recommended ratio given by dietitians (of course, there are specialty diets that differ widely, but this is the ‘for the average person to be healthy’ diet). Since proteins, carbs and fats generally have around the same amount of calories per gram (within reason) from source to source, I imagine that any 2000 calorie diet following dietitians’ recommendations would have about as much protein as in soylent, so you’re probably safe.


If you would take the time to read the china study, a study of nutrition conducted over 20 years with 6500 subject, you would learn all about how eating excess protein causes all sorts of disease in the long term. this includes various types of cancer, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, heart disease, etc…

the study mostly focuses on animal protein, which this product is thankfully devoid of, but on of its conclusions was that the ideal amount of protein in a persons diet should 5-10% of their calories.

A related theory is the nutritarian diet, where you eat only the most nutritious food possible. this involves getting about 40-60% of your calories from leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli.
which makes sense if you want to get all of your daily vitamins without supplementation. Fuck that diet, it makes sense but is so impractical.

you might be able to avoid the spikes by breaking it into more than 3 meals, but that is pure conjecture.



The usda recommends getting between 10-35% of your calories from protein. For a 2000 calorie diet the upper limit is 175g. Far above what is in Soylent. You will notice that it states “no defined intake level at which potential adverse effects of protein was identified”. Also an Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) is the range of intake for a particular energy source that is associated with reduced risk of chronic disease while providing intakes of essential nutrients. If an individual consumes in excess of the AMDR, there is a potential of increasing the risk of chronic diseases and/or insufficient intakes of essential nutrients.


Also have you ever noticed that all these alarmist protein articles never seem to give any numbers on exactly how much protein is “too much” and they seem to single out animal protein instead of protein in general (Soylent is completely plant based BTW). I would be satisfied if they expressed the numbers in a % calories and not exact numbers. With a fully healthy liver and kidneys and no underlying genetic predisposition eating protein is fine.


China Study has been disredited by several authors, Denise Minger, Chris Masterjoh, and others. Check 'em out!


Soylent isn’t doubling “the recommended dosage.” The recommended range is very wide, generally listed as 10-35% of your calories (see the link @horsfield posted), and Soylent is pretty squarely in the middle of the range.

You may argue that Soylent is doubling the bare minimum, but not doubling the recommended amount.

There are downsides to excess protein, but you should pay little attention to a site that warns you about excess without telling you what level is excess. You can find as much bad nutritional information on the web as good information.