Protein Powder and Kidney Stones

I’ve heard that taking supplements exclusively (particularly protein and kreotine (sp?) or other work powdered foodstuffs can cause kidney stones. I imagine this won’t be the case with Soylent, but I’m still curious: what causes this? Can it be prevented? Where is this issue coming from? How does Soylent avoid it?

I think @leecauble1 can help out with this.

I suffer from kidney stones and oxalate is one of the compounds that can create one of the types of stones. I asked about the oxalate content of soylent a while back and was told it was low. The link below has a lot of information in a concise format.

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This is a concern of mine as well. I’m hoping that excess protein is the real problem. Where did you hear about using supplements exclusively?

As long as you aren’t overdosing on minerals/oxalate and you are properly hydrating it is VERY unlikely you will develop kidney stones. Creatine and protein have very little to do with kidney stone formation as long as you are healthy. In fact drinking too much tea without hydrating is more likely to cause kidney stones.

Protein consumption seems to be a problem primarily in 2 cases. The first being high use of animal proteins that have high purine levels leading to stone formation. The second incident would be consuming more than 2-3 times the recommended amount of protein in a single serving over an extended period of time. For a 90 kg person that would be 180g- 270g of protein. Both of these can be mitigated for normally healthy individuals by drinking enough fluid, generally 2-3 liters per day and avoiding animal protein consumption in large quantities. As a reminder full days serving of Soylent contains 114g of protein. Again these recommendations are for normal healthy individuals. If you have underlying kidney damage you should consult your healthcare professional for additional information.
Just thought I should add - Soylent does not contain animal protien


Awesome information. Thanks Mom!



So matt works for RL… Lee is his mom…but just posts in the forums?? MIND BLOWN



Come on now, you should be ashamed of yourself for not already knowing this… Bad Soylenteer, bad!


I am not the droid you are looking for


Thanks for all the information. This has been extremely helpful. Not that I was worried, but I do know someone who had kidney stones once that’s interesting in trying it, so I’m delighted to see I have a strong case.

Between the years 2002 and 2008, I had the luxury of have 10 kidney stones. Mine are the calcium based. I have not had any since…

I have been on Soylent for 2 months now. No issues what so ever… Hope that helps.


I am a 33 year old man who was generally in good health (great blood pressure, low salt diet, lifetime vegetarian, dairy free, with occasional fish and alcohol consumption).

I had been using Soylent for the vast majority of my meals, using about 6 packets per week, for about two months, when I suffered a kidney stone.

If you don’t know, kidney stones are fantastically painful. The pain suppresses any rational thought and causes intense nausea. Were it not for my fiancée taking me to the ER I don’t know what I would have done. 2mg of morphine wasn’t enough; they tripled the dose before I was able to think clearly again.

None of the doctors I have spoken with since the kidney stone suggested that Soylent might be the cause. To the contrary, they were each first confused, then delighted that they had a patient who could hand them a Nutrition Facts sheet for their entire diet. My salt levels are very low, and the 2000IU of vitamin D3 I take daily was also crossed off as a cause (reasonable for my New England latitudes).

Still, having had no risk factors (and also being unusually young for kidney stones) I must entertain the possibility that Soylent was the cause. Correlation is not necessarily causation, of course. I was so sure that Soylent was innocent that just yesterday I filled out a Rosa Labs survey about my Soylent 1.0 experience and didn’t mention the stones. Then I found this thread.

Anyone else have a stone since starting Soylent?

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My guess is that you already had a kidney stone that you just didn’t notice when you started Soylent. I am not a doctor but I would guess that 2 months is not enough to go from nothing to a kidney stone. Just my 2 cents…

Just curious, but how much water do you mix your Soylent with and how much water do you drink in addition to Soylent? Dehydration is one of the main causes of kidney stones. says a stone can form in as short a period as three months.

This is based on research of soldiers deploying to Kuwait and Iraq where
the mean time to development of a symptomatic stone was 93 days in the
hot desert environment. (Evans and Costabile, J Urol, 2005)

That’s a pretty extreme environment, so it seems probable you’d already been developing this stone.

Too few fluids are a risk factor, and a lot of people drinking their meals forget to drink enough water on the side, so definitely make sure you’re drinking plenty. Sympathies on the excrutiation!


This is most likely the case. The higher potassium in Soylent should actually help in the prevention of certain types of stones. I know my urologist has me take large doses of potassium citrate twice daily.

If your diet prior to Soylent included large amounts of any of these items: beets, spinach, rhubarb, strawberries, nuts, chocolate, tea, wheat bran, and all dry beans (fresh, canned, or cooked), excluding lima and green beans; they contain higher levels of Oxalate which can bind to calcium to produce the stones in your urine.

Also sympathies on the pains these cause. I still don’t know which is worse the pain of the initial attack (hours to days in length) or having the stent removed post op (3-15 mins in length).

Do you mind saying how large those doses are? There’s been some discussion lately that the RDA for potassium may be better increased, it would be interesting to know how the extra dosage has effected you.

I am taking 2x1080mg pills which are 10mEq each twice a day for a total of 40mEq a day. I have been on a varying dosage of this for a little over 3 years, with only 1 stone during that time (knocks on wood) which was self induced due to not drinking enough water and too much soda. I have since been on this higher dosage and increased my water and decreased soda. This has brought the ph balance of my urine to a neutral state. I need to get some more strips to check since I have been on soylent for 50-60% of my meals the last couple of weeks.

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I just started on Soylent… Day one. I have had many stones in the past. If I get one, I’ll be sure to report it here. I have passed enough to really not be worried if I get another one. Just a part of my charmed life I suppose. I have had an analysis done on my stones and it is from oxolates, of course the list of foods to stay away from is essentially everything I like to eat, so I have nothing to lose from starting a Soylent diet. I look forward drinking Soylent, but it feels awkward when I am drinking it and yet keep trying to chew it… Old habits. In any case I just passed a small stone right before I started, so if I get one in the next week or two, it is most likely residual consequences of my previous diet. Powdered food always freaks me out, but so far I don’t get the same feeling from Soylent. Besides when I bake bread it is all powder until I add the water. My vote is to forge ahead, be brave, and adjust accordingly.