Magnesium Deficiency Poll

I am trying to determine if Soylent is inducing a magnesium deficiency in it’s users. I feel this is actually very likely. The magnesium supplement in Soylent (magnesium oxide) has the poorest bioavailability of all produced magnesium compounds. This would have been overlooked in bloodwork tests on full-time Soylent users because magnesium levels in the blood do not change unless the deficiency is very severe. The best way to diagnose deficiency is in looking for symptoms.

If you consume more than half of your calories through Soylent, and have done so for more than two weeks, please take a moment to let me know if you have any of the following symptoms:

leg cramps
foot pain
muscle spasms - "twitches"
difficulty sleeping
involuntary eye movements
difficulty swallowing or a lump in the throat - especially provoked by eating sugar
photophobia - especially difficulty adjusting to oncoming bright headlights

Please comment if you meet the criteria above even if you do not have the symptoms – so that the results are not bias.

If you have any of these symptoms – even if you have had them before starting Soylent – please comment.

(magnesium deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the US, so it’s possible you had the deficiency before and after starting)

Thank you.

1 Like

I’ve been eating Soylent for 80-90% of my meals for about three months. I don’t recognize any of the symptoms above.

The magnesium supplement in Soylent is magnesium oxide, but the bulk of the magnesium in Soylent is from the oat powder.

Magnesium (400mg) from Oat Flour - Magnesium has also been found in all forms of life due to its crucial interactions with phosphate. Over 300 enzymes require Magnesium, including all that interact with ATP. Originally Soylent used Magnesium Gluconate, though presently the oat content provides enough.

1 Like

I am on 100% soylent have been for the past 2 months (nothing but water and soylent). I am pretty sure I noticed a couple of these things. I’ll tell you how I experience them.

Decreased tolerance to time on my feet leading to foot pain.
I have noticed that sleep isn’t great I struggle to fall asleep and then I never feel like I can get enough sleep even after taking naps or up to 11 hours of sleep. However I am incredibly busy I am a college student who works 2 part time jobs this sort of thing isn’t all that unusual. Especially when I don’t have a solid sleep schedule.
Anxiety a definite yes. There have been times where I have been just sitting down working on my computer and all of a sudden I will feel angst like I will tense up my stomach to feel like it has butterflies etc. and I remember thinking that this was incredibly weird.
Photophobia possibly but I have no recollection of specific events or instances where I could’ve recognized this.

Other than that I have noticed nothing. Is there a way to get tested for a magnesium deficiency?

1 Like

Theranos testing centers are rolling out in Walgreens nationwide. I just read the test menu and the magnesium test will only cost $4.61!

1 Like

I’m 99.9% Soylent, and I don’t recall any of these symptoms. I did however experience strong cravings for magnesium-rich food (usually onions).

1 Like

I have been doing 2/3rd Soylent diet for a bit over a month - I have always had trouble sleeping but it has been worse as of late. I was at a doctor today (not for myself) and she asked why my eyes were darting around - and thought I had a magnesium deficiency.

So I am thinking you are probably correct Soylent doesn’t have enough (that is absorbed)! I am going to buy a magnesium supplement to see if it improves - I think in another thread someone said magnesium chelate is the best one to take? @grintor do you have a recommendation as you seem to know about it? I found one that is 500mg magnesium chelate which is equiv to 100mg elemental magnesium - it says to take two a day. I guess I can start with that and see how I go but would be interested to see what you think.'s+Own+Magnesium+Chelated+500mg+75+Capsules

1 Like

Thanks for speaking up. You’re right, magnesium amino acid chelate is a very absorbable form. I take this:

1 Like

When you do eat food, do you eat a lot of any of the following?

Dried Fruit like figs or raisins
Whole Grains
Beans and Lentils
Nuts and Seeds
Dark Leafy Greens

I ask because these are magnesium rich and would counter the effects.


I take Kal brand now, and used to take Carlson’s but they stopped selling it at my health food store unfortunately. Both are Mag Glycinate. No tummy side effects.

Thanks - that looks fairly strong - I can’t seem to find it on the pharmacy websites here (Australia) - but can probably order it online. I am going to be in New York soon so I might see if I can find it at Walgreens or something. In the meantime I might grab that one I linked as it should give me at least some boost.

I have always craved chocolate - and I always feel a lot better if I eat large quantities of it - but I figured that might just be the sugar high! Anyway in the last week or so I have stopped eating it as I am trying to lose weight - so I’m basically having 1000-1500 Soylent calories, then a normal dinner (meat & vegetables). I am allergic to onions so I have never eaten them much - so I haven’t really been eating any of the foods on your list lately.

I favored toast, beans, fish, onions, and tea (not on your list, but also high in magnesium).

Though I only realized that the onion and tea. Did not realize the others were significant sources of magnesium…

1 Like

No, not really. Like I said I’m eating 80-90% Soylent. Outside of that I might have a regular meal about once a week. I do have a small amount of dark chocolate and I also add 2 Tbsp of dark cocoa powder to each days worth of Soylent.

But wouldn’t the oat powder in Soylent be one of those whole grains that are high in magnesium?

Aren’t there two sources of magnesium in Soylent. One from the oat powder (400mg) and another in the form of magnesium oxide supplement. Is the magnesium in the oat powder not absorbed?

Shouldn’t the magnesium in the oat powder be a sufficient daily amount?

Two tablespoons of regular unsweetened cocoa powder should provide 52.4 mg of magnesium, or about 14% of your DV, according to this site. An ounce of dark chocolate, 10% to 16%, depending on how dark (what percentage of cocao solids).

1 Like

It depends on how much oat flour there is in the mix… my DIY has, I think, more oat flour than official Soylent (I use roughly a 2:1 ratio of oat flour to maltodextrin, whereas the official has more maltodextrin than oat flour), and the oat flour still doesn’t provide the DV of magnesium, by itself.

1 Like
Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Magnesium [1]
Age	        Male	Female	Pregnancy	Lactation
Birth to 6 months	30 mg*	30 mg*	 	 
7–12 months	75 mg*	75 mg*	 	 
1–3 years	80 mg	80 mg	 	 
4–8 years	130 mg	130 mg	 	 
9–13 years	240 mg	240 mg	 	 
14–18 years	410 mg	360 mg	400 mg	360 mg
19–30 years	400 mg	310 mg	350 mg	310 mg
31–50 years	420 mg	320 mg	360 mg	320 mg
51+ years	420 mg	320 mg	

Soylent have 400Mg of Magnesium. Isn’t that just about exactly the daily amount suggested by RDA?
Or am I missing something?

p.s. I assumed we were talking about the official Soylent.

Well I took 3 tablets with dinner last night (300mg magnesium) as it said you could take that much for migraine relief so I figured it should be safe. I had the best nights sleep I have had in a long time and feel much better this morning!

It could be a coincidence I guess - I’ll keep taking the supplement - maybe 200mg per day or something and let you know in a few weeks.


Some portion of that 400mg is the dreaded magnesium oxide, the bane of human existence thats in the vast majority of multivitamins on the market.

It’s a little strange that their website and the macro post on the blog both say the 400mg of magnesium is from the oats, but then magnesium oxide is listed on the ingredients.

I wonder if any one from @soylent could comment on how much is from the oats and how much is the supplement.


So based off the box - there’s 38g of protein per serving and oat flour comes after rice protein on the ingredient list. So I assume that means there is less than 38g of oat flour. Oat flour I believe has 144mg per 100g - so that probably means less than 165mg of magnesium is coming from the oat flour per day (38g * 3 servings = 114g oat flour).

If we then assume there’s approximately 235mg magnesium from magnesium oxide - and only 4% of that is absorbed (which is what all the links I could find said) we might only be getting around 175mg of magnesium per day on Soylent.

I know a lot of people are reporting laxative style effects of Soylent - and magnesium oxide is also a laxative - although I’m not sure if the dose is high enough. But it is listed as one of the top vitamins in the list - so maybe it is!

EDIT: Updated as I had not multiplied some values by 3 serves a day.

1 Like

The 38g is only 1/3 of the pouch. So it’s at least 3 times that much.
(Google says it’s 177mg/100g for oats but it’s hard to say exactly what the oat powder in Soylent is. )

In their micronutrient breakdown post they said:

Originally Soylent used Magnesium Gluconate, though presently the oat content provides enough.

Just checking the Macro blog post (I know things might have changed since then but it’s a good place to start).
Oat Flour (110g)
(but it also says Brown Rice Protein Isolate (102g) so things have obviously changed since then)

1 Like