Headaches After Drinking Soylent

I’m on some medication that can cause headaches so I just assumed that I was starting to get them from it, not Soylent. But it is very possible. It seems to be going away though. Personally, I’d give it a few days.

Still, we dont know how much they know or dont know. So assuming they cannot do anything is inappropriate. Its still better if she visits a doctor (if the pain doesnt go away).

I don’t think he is as unusual as you might think. I was the exact same way, and have heard lots of similar cases. For the record, I would get a mild headache everytime with Soylent 1.3, but have yet to get one with 1.4. It seems to me the Soylent dev team might be really really hoping that it is dehydration, and could possibly be in denial.

Did you add salt to 1.3? I got headaches on 1.0/1.3 when I didn’t add 1/4 tsp of salt to each bag.

How long after eating did you get the headache? If it was multiple hours after eating it maybe malabsorption of some sort in the intestine. I had to stop drinking 1.4 because of fructose malabsorbtion giving me headaches and pains.

@Conor @gigisand @materialsguy

Conor: “I talked to our dev team and this happens normally because people are not drinking enough water / adjusting to a liquid diet.”

My boss and brother both got a headache within 15 minutes of drinking Soylent (1.0 and 1.4) Neither one was dehydrated. (I have not had a headache myself.) There is an ingredient in Soylent that gives some people a headache, but this percentage is apparently small enough that the makers of Soylent are still just mentioning dehydration as the likely cause.

List of people that get a headache that is not from dehydration:
my boss
my brother
gigisand (see above)
Tordenskjold (see above)
epachamo (see above)
a5m0 (see above)

Please reply with your name added to this list if you have had a headache shortly after consuming Soylent.

It’s difficult to track down the cause because the headaches go away after a day or two, and then the person stops complaining or caring. Ideally a study would be conducted with the people who get headaches. They should stop drinking Soylent for a month and then start taking sub-sets of the Soylent ingredients (provided to them). One subset would likely cause most of the headaches and then the study could be repeated with that sub-set further divided into individual ingredients.

From Tordenskjold’s comment (“the first day of Queal I got the exact same headache.”) it’s likely an ingredient that is common to Soylent and Queal. The best approach to debug, is generally not to dismiss feedback but instead to proceed as if the feedback is accurate.

In two months we could likely find that something (like Potassium) triggers the headache. If the ingredient is known, then the uneasiness will go away.

As it is, I feel I should warn people who want to try Soylent that it could give them a mild headache! (Which implies that it’s unsafe to consume.) If someone made cookies and then warned you the cookies might give you a headache would you eat one? If they told you the headache would go away if you eat more of the cookies and drink a lot of water would this set you at ease?


The release notes actually mention headaches as a possible side effect as you transition from your old diet to Soylent (and to slowly increase your consumption to avoid them).

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It’s not just dehydration. There have been several potential causes mentioned.

  • Dehydration
  • Increase in potassium
  • Allergies
  • Increase in other vitamins/minerals that weren’t previously present
  • Sodium decrease (likely not as prevalent with 1.4)
  • Others that I likely don’t know off the top of my head but others might

The fact that it goes away in a day or two makes me not think it is anything serious. You are right that they should look into it, though.

I’ll add my name to your list who had headaches when I first started.


I would be willing to be a test subject if the Soylent team wanted me to, though being located in Denmark makes it problematic.

I doubt it would be allergies since it goes away after a day or two.
I believe it’s caused by a “rapid” change in the blood levels of a specific mineral/vitamin that is the cause… where potassium is my leading guess based on the levels being higher than that of a normal diet. This doesn’t mean that the potassium is too high by any means, simply that the change of going from very little potassium to “plenty” cause your tendons/blood vessels to expand/contract which is what a headache basically is.

But. I could be wrong. I am struggling to find examples of this happening with potassium being the cause when I google for it.

It could be the body’s reaction to the chemical forms of potassium, or the chemical forms of other nutrients found in Soylent.

Sorry for the bump, but I don’t see a more recent thread on this.

Place me in the gets-headache crowd, as well. It seems to settle in to the base of my skull minutes after drinking soylent (1.5).

I’m on week three of breakfast+snack, mon-fri.

Hydration is fine; same amount of coffee (1.5 mugs in the morning).

I’ll look into the sucralose allergy hypothesis. I hate the taste, and have up to now avoided anything with it (for the record, I don’t mind the taste of 1.5 and can understand why they added a bit of sweetener).

I’m 1 1/2 weeks in, and suffered pretty bad headaches that seem to have subsided now. I’ve had similar reactions to other diet shakes (Premier Protein, Atkins etc). My initial suspect was sucralose, but could just as easily have been another vitamin/mineral/additive. Very happy to be feeling better on Soylent.

Did you consume it cold? Brain freeze is a possibility I haven’t heard others talk about. It’s probably not because people seem to get it for only a day or two where if it was brain freeze they would probably always get it. Still worth throwing out there.

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The pattern for me appears to be a bad headache on Monday and Tuesday, and a minor headache throughout the week. I don’t consume soylent on the weekends, so that could explain why my experience at the beginning of the work week is worse. But I think I’m going to have to quit soylent for another reason. I’m not celiac, but I am sensitive to wheat, and I’ve had some bad symptoms since I started. My wife, who is celiac, tried my soylent once and was violently ill for four days, so it’s certainly far from gluten-free (she’s reacted to things with less than 20ppm in the past, so frankly, she shouldn’t have experimented).

I’ll be watching for a 1.6 or a 1.7 that is officially gluten free, and perhaps devoid of sucralose.

I for sure drink very little water. From the moment I started drinking Solent, maybe seven months ago, I wasn’t getting headaches. But now that I am usually 100% Soylent, I am still not getting headaches.

Not sure if it’s worth adding another “me too” but… me too.

I had to quit Soylent because of daily headaches, starting at the base of my skull. They would kick in only after drinking soylent. I’d even take a break for a few days, and then try just 1 serving and immediately after it would happen.

It wasn’t just 1 or 2 days, but about 3 weeks, maybe a full month. I really wanted to get it to work for me.

I always assumed it was the potassium though, so it’d be nice if we just got a hard answer on that.

Thanks, filupmolina, I think the more "me-too"s we get, the better. I’d very much like this product to work for me, and hope the devs take notice.

I may try 2.0 and report back…

Today happens to be my 33rd day on straight Soylent, nothing else. I haven’t had a headache for the whole time.

When I do have headaches, they usually seem to be caused by irregular sleep patterns.

The route of the conversation makes me wonder if the potassium:sodium ratio is off, or whether it’s just folk’s reaction from moving to actually getting the correct ratio in Soylent. The vast majority of folks simply ingest far more sodium and not nearly enough potassium for their biological needs, and are adjusted to that. Hydration could also be a tertiary factor for some, because many people severely underestimate the amount of water they should actually be drinking.

As was mentioned above, it may be worthwhile to study this phenomenon in a control group type setting.

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The control group would have to be people who actually experience those Soylent triggered headaches. It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with Soylent per se… but more that a group of people are sensitive to an ingredient of some kind. I will admit I have noticed I am more prone to headaches lately, but that I am also 100% sure a headache episode can be triggered shortly after a glass of Soylent, followed by fatigue and eyes that feel like they are going to pop out. that was my last experience with a glass of 1.4. (takes about 1-2 hours after drinking) I am looking forward to trying 2.0 to see if it would give me the same reaction.