Has Soylent given anybody else a bad chest cough?


I don’t know if it’s Soylent, or allergies, or what, but I have been doing a DIY version of Soylent for 5 weeks now and I seem to have developed this terrible chest cough. I never get sick, and if I get a cold or something it’ll be gone in a day or two, so this is very odd to me.

This is the recipe: http://diy.soylent.me/recipes/mens-basic-complete-nutrition-chocolate-1600

I also add to it Vitamin K-2 (because it only has K-1 in it), cranberry extract, ginkgo biloba, L-Theanine, L-Carnitine, and 5-HTP.

I feel absolutely amazing, am working out or playing some kind of sport every day, have more energy, focus, stamina, and am losing weight. When I’m working out hard I’ll add extra calories to my day to make up for my increased activity levels, so I know I don’t have any problems there. Everything is going really really great, yet, I’ve had this terrible sounding cough for 2 weeks now and I have no idea why. I don’t smoke or anything. I thought it might be seasonal allergies at first but now I’m really starting to think it’s something to do with the Soylent, which is disappointing because I feel so great otherwise.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


It could be a coincidence, but it might not. I think the solution might be to go off Soylent for 4 or 5 days, and then start again. If the cough goes away and then comes back according to the same time frame, I would consider that to be pretty conclusive.


I honestly suggest going to the doctor and having him/her take a look at it.
The cause could be anything.

If you get a blood test you might want to test for all vitamins and minerals so you can see what soylent is doing for you.


I agree here… any time you have a bad cough coming from your chest that persists for more than a week you should seek attention from a doctor. Regardless of whether soylent could be a contributing factor.


Yeah I know I should probably see a doctor. I am never sick and get over things very quickly and am therefore really convinced its something in the Soylent. I’ve done a ton of research about diets causing coughs or what nutrients might do this, but have found nothing. I did speak to a pharmacist and she said its probably allergies but I could potentially be allergic to something in the Soylent. However, I’m not allergic to anything really (besides a little seasonal allergies) and I find it odd that I’d be allergic to anything in my recipe. I’m also a lot more sensitive to smells and spices and the humidity of the air, so I thought maybe its just the dry air or my ashy house causing it. Maybe a humidifier is all I need?


I would say, unless you developed a mild acid reflux because of the soylent, it wouldn’t be the cause. (Acid reflux doesn’t always give the pain or burning) do you have more slime than normal? Throat clearing? Snot? :slight_smile:


No more “slime” than normal. Just a dry cough that burns a little. Maybe it is acid reflux?

You actually just made me Google this, and I think I know what’s going on. It’s definitely probably acid reflux, or Gastroesophageal Reflux. These are the symptoms:

Some clues as to whether a chronic cough is caused by GERD include:
-a non-productive cough that occurs mostly during the day while you’re in an upright position
-a persistent cough that occurs even when common causes are absent, such as smoking or taking medications (like ACE inhibitors) in which coughing is a side effect
-coughing without asthma or postnasal drip, or when chest X-rays are normal

This is EXACTLY the issue I’m having. I don’t even cough while I’m sleeping, mostly just while I sit at my desk at work.

This is how to treat it supposedly:

Medications—especially PPIs—are generally effective in treating symptoms of GERD. Other medications that may help include:
-antacids (such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Rolaids, or Tums)
-foaming agents like Gaviscon (which reduces stomach acid by delivering an antacid with a foaming agent)
-H2 blockers, such as Pepcid AC and Tagamet HB (which decrease acid production)
-prokinetics like Reglan (which helps the stomach empty more quickly but has frequent side effects, including anxiety, depression, and fatigue)

Looks like I’m headed to Wal-Mart!!


Hold on :slight_smile: even if it is acid reflux, I would not advice on starting any acid reflux medication until you spoken with a professional. It could simply be something in your recipe that makes the acid reflux a problem, if it actually is acid reflux

The problem with acid reflux medication is it can sometimes make the problem worse, and/or form a “need” for the medication (= more acid reflux when not using it)

Like the others have said, try stopping on your soylent a few days and see if the problem stops… you might need to adjust your recipe if you don’t want to stop regardless, so first find out if it is the cause… then try to figure out what in your soylent that is causing the problem… then adjust it.

I noticed the recipe has a lot of chocolate/cocoa flavor, an ingredient that is known for triggering acid reflux in many :3 (besides oat and whey), sulfur could also be a cause, and so could the oil :smiley: food science is hard!


I was getting a lot of heartburn causing a slimy sore spot in my throat, which induced coughing. I fixed it with a digestive enzyme pill.


Thanks for the advice guys. I don’t think trying some Pepcid AC or Tums is going to hurt me. It’ll be a good test to see if acid reflux really is the problem.

I do add extra cocoa powder to the formula to help the flavor because it has no negative health side effects that I’m aware of, so maybe this is actually what’s doing it. I’ll try adding less and see if it helps.

Either way, I’m going to have to experiment to figure out the solution (and maybe go to the doctor).


I was having trouble with a perpetual cough which I believe was from GERD for a few years, once I switched to my soylent DIY it has cleared up nicely.

Maybe consider changing up your recipe to eliminate the indigestion. The oats may be an issue, I had used masa instead of oats.


Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ, go to a doctor man! Don’t mess around with this stuff, your health is all-important.


It’s the cocoa powder. This is one of the many articles that confirms it.


It says “Experts nutritionists suggest that around 2.5g of cocoa powder must be consumed daily in order to benefit from its numerous nutrients and avoid the likely side effects that may come with its excessive consumption.”

I’ve been taking 10-18 grams a day for 5 weeks. WAAAYYY too much.

When you take that much it can cause acid reflux, and make GERD symptoms worse, which is EXACTLY what I think I have because of the Soylent.

“Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Cocoa appears to hinder effectiveness of valve in food tube, which keeps contents of stomach to come back in food tube or airway. This can make symptoms of the GERD worse.”

Time to see how my Soylent tastes with little to no cocoa powder!!


Interesting, I hope that clears it up for you. The cocoa has not caused any GERD issues for me thankfully. Let us know what flavors you use to make up for the missing cocoa.


I am going to make some tonight without cocoa powder and see how it tastes. I’m crossing my fingers. I might have to stick to like just 5 grams of it or something. We’ll see.

Any good ideas on how to add good, healthy, chocolate flavoring?


You could give Carob a try.


Hershey’s chocolate syrup - enough to flavor your mix, without exceeding 5% of your daily calories, replacing some of your carbs. It’s ok!


Hey, I too started getting a cough about 2 days after starting a DIY soylent (quidnyc superfood) with 20g of Cacao powder a day. 7 days later, no changes with the cough, so I am getting off soylent to see if it goes away.

Just curious, were you able to confirm that the cocoa powder was the cause of your troubles ?


The cough could be caused by acid reflux. I’ve had issues with it for a few years and you may not feel the indigestion, but it can still cause a persistent cough. Fortunately soylent solved the reflux problem for me, and I haven’t had issues since starting in January.


Not on these forums no, but science about cocoa adverse effect on GERD symptoms/acid reflux is pretty clear :slight_smile: it. Basically relaxes the muscle that keeps your liquids in your stumach…