Let's be honest: Soylent 1.0 has problems for many people


Hi all,

I’ve been a extremely passionate backer since almost day 1. I got what Soylent was trying to do immediately. I’ve gotten dozens of people to order it. I’m immensely proud of the team and what they have accomplished.

So it’s with a heavy heart that I think it’s time for us to recognize that Soylent has significant problems for many people. That’s okay, it’s a 1.0 product and it no doubt works for the vast majority of individuals. But it has problems, and like other products that have problems, the team should acknowledge them, and communicate with us as they work to address them for 1.1.

Problem 1: Soylent is causing gas for many people:

This seems funny, but like many people in the forums, is making it impossible for me to continue to use Soylent. It’s painful, hasn’t improved after weeks of use, and worse, it’s made my family not want to be around me.

Problem 2: Soylent Causes Headaches after multiple days of usage.

Like others, I’ve confirmed that this is absolutely Soylent and is not caused by dehydration. For me the headaches start exactly 2.5 days into 100% pure Soylent. If I eat any whole food meals in between it doesn’t occur.

Problem 3: The aftertaste (or rather, the after-“mouth feel”)

Less an issue for me, but a problem for many in the forum, the “cotton-mouth” after-feel is undesirable. People are working around this using coffee or other flavorings, but an ideal product simply shouldn’t do this.

So @rob, remember when you were first working out the formula, and you recognized problems and corrected it? I’m not angry, despite having weeks and weeks of Soylent that I may not be able to use. Instead I want to help, because I know Soylent can be great, and work for everyone. Please acknowledge these issues and let us know what you are doing to fix them.


I don’t know that including less than the generally regarded as optimal amount of some nutrients (fiber, potassium, ect) is a good idea just because some people have to go through adjustment periods from when they had deficiencies in their diets. Similarly the point of a bland taste was so that it would be as palatable to as many as possible and able to be flavored as desired. I guess I don’t know what you’re asking for if it isn’t Rob to come out and admit he’s a failure (which he isn’t) or permanent rainbows and unicorns in the sky (which isn’t possible).

Do you have some specific ideas that you think could be implemented to improve Soylent?


It’d be interesting to see what’s different about the people that are having problems, if there is a pattern - that would be a great idea for a website. Self reporting anonymous usage data after time on Soylent with various symptoms and effects to report on. Things like gas, energy, hunger levels, additional supplements, medications, height, weight, body shape, age, gender, and so on. Soylent 1.0 may be causing problems for some people whose dietary needs are different. Genetics, quirks of gut flora, chronic dietary deficiencies, illnesses, and medications will cause variations and contraindications for certain things about Soylent. It’s not going to be the ideal diet for everyone.

In regards to the OP, your lifestyle may be slightly more active than Soylent would account for, so your body might be getting enough water, but not enough salt / electrolytes. Soylent’s sodium level is low, so you might try adding a teaspoon of salt each day. Or eating something salty, or drinking a gatorade type beverage. Your whole food meals likely have enough salt to keep you fresh. Lack of salt will cause headaches, fatigue, irritability, and generally suck.

I think flavor packets would be a good addon - mint, chocolate, coffee, berries, orange, lemon, and so on. Having a default neutral flavor is good, but variety is the spice of life.


Yes, I’ve experienced all three of those issues with Soylent 1.0.

Not to be spammy, but my Schmoylent recipe tastes almost indistinguishable from Soylent 1.0, has the exact same macronutrient ratios, and in my own tests, gives me less gas, less headaches, and less post-sugary aftertaste (or none) than Soylent. You can buy it from me or make it yourself with the recipe on the DIY site.

I won’t even link to it here unless someone asks me. :stuck_out_tongue:


The question is, if less is already a good thing or if it should be none at all :slight_smile:


I haven’t done enough testing to determine whether the effects are completely gone or just reduced (lingering from my previous Soylent usage). I’ll let you know. :wink:


I know Rob acknowledged the gas situation in at least one interview and said they’re trying to understand what’s going on, or something like that.


I just looked for Schmoylent on the diy site and couldn’t find it.


Are you asking for a link? :stuck_out_tongue:


Second result on google for me (custombodyfuel.com) - google is your friend, people! (besides spying on you 24/7 and being a servant of the NSA)


I do. Gather a list of people who are having really smelly gas/stool issues, create a 1.01 variant of Soylent that uses whey protein instead of rice and ship a week’s test off to some users to see if the problem improves.

Ideally they may want to gather a large list of volunteers and have some get a whey 1.01 product while others get a normal 1.0 version for use as a control. That’d be step one. For step two I’d look into replacing the oat flour with something else and testing on new users to see if that reduces the gas.

This isn’t something difficult to solve. Pick a potential ingredient that’s causing the issue, replace it and test it against groups having the problem.


Yep. DIY recipe is the first result, product page on Custom Body Fuel (my site) is the second. :wink:


That would probably work, but whey protein and maltodextrin taste pretty awful together (not to mention alienating vegans and people with dairy allergies). I don’t think Rosa Labs would do that anytime soon. :stuck_out_tongue:


Okay, to make it easier for everyone, I’ve added measurement instructions to the Schmoylent DIY recipe and made it public now that the formula is finalized! :slight_smile:

Oops, I linked to it! :wink:


Try adding 1 teaspoon of salt to the entire daily mix, if you’re doing 100% Soylent. This has helped many people with that issue.

If you don’t want to add salt, eating a small bag of chips/crackers/other salty snack each day may help as well.


Good idea, because those snacks are the most healthy and low-calories alternative to eating plain salt.
If you need sodium you can also add some sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to your Soylent.


No need for the sarcasm. There are healthy chips/crackers/other snacks… and he suggested enjoyable alternatives. shrug I’m pretty sure people can look at a label and decide for themselves.


Answer 1: After worrying about this myself it’s actually no worse than if you eat something very salty in my opinion and even then I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as people are making it out to be, maybe that’s because I only drink 100kcal/hour

Answer 2: I’ve noticed this but it’s extremely mild and mostly not noticeable and I’m chalking it up to still getting used to it.

Answer 3: If you mix it the way that is suggested in the ‘gritty’ thread (i.e. add the oil the NEXT day after letting it chill over night) you won’t get this problem full stop.

I think you are waaaaaay over dramatising the problem.


Dramatic or not. We all know there is a problem. I think the only way to solve some of these problems would be to have different levels of Soylent. For beginners, you would get half the protein and half the potassium and half of whatever else causes a problem. The next week you would 3/4 and the next week you would be on 100% Soylent. You can do exactly the same thing now by only eating 50% Soylent and 50% regular food.

I think they are doing the correct thing right now trying to work out the supply, manufacture and delivery. If we had 10 different kinds of Soylent right now we would farther behind and have a lot more angry forum posts.

I am hoping that #3 is solved by algae protein. I’m doing fine with the gritty texture of my DIY soylent so it’s no big deal to me. I actually like the grit. I find myself chewing while I’m drinking. I’ve heard others say this as well.


Different people are different. Some people are more sensitive to these things than others. Just because these symptoms are mild for you doesn’t mean that other people are just exaggerating.

Response 1: The gas (for me) is way worse than if I “eat something very salty” - actually, I’ve never heard of gas being caused by salty food. Maybe I should experiment with that.

Response 2: This is not “extremely mild” for me, it’s impacting my productivity and ability to do challenging mental work.

Response 3: The aftertaste for me is not a matter of a chalky texture, but the sour aftertaste of too much simple carbs (maltodextrin) which trigger the growth of yeast and bacteria that produce unpleasant byproducts in my mouth.