Soylent 2.0 vs. Ensure Plus

From the Verge’s article on 2.0: "But once Soylent is pre-sold in a bottle, it starts to look a lot like existing meal replacement products — Ensure, for instance. Rhinehart disagrees: “It’s really designed in a much different fashion,” he says, noting that Soylent 2.0 will be processed using a newer method than the so-called retort sterilization employed by most drinks. He also blasts their nutritional value. “They’re really not sustainable. I mean, they’re loaded with sugar, they’re just way too sweet, and they don’t really have the macronutrient balance or the glycemic index that I would feel comfortable sustaining myself on or a user on.”

I have a bottle of Ensure Plus right next to me now. I drink this stuff occasionally before workouts, or when I need some calories. Rob is right, way too much sugar, and too sweet. But I have to say Soylent 2.0 bears some serious similarities to Ensure. Here are the first few ingredients of Ensure Plus:
Water, Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar, Milk Protein Concentrate, Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soy Protein Isolate.

And here are the first few from Soylent 2.0:
Water, Maltodextrin, Soy Protein Isolate, High Oleic Algal Oil, Isomaltulose, Canola Oil

I’m not bashing Soylent 2.0 here, I’m actually into it! I know I can drink at least one or two Ensure Plus per day without unusual gas, so I’m hopeful 2.0 will be easier to digest than all earlier versions of Soylent. And no raw oats in 2.0! And no potassium gluconate. Also glad to see 2.0 will have a lot less sugar than Ensure Plus. I’d like to see a bit more carbs, and a bit less protein as that might be hard to digest, but we’ll see it goes. I’d also like to see 2.0 use D3 like Ensure does instead of D2. Many sources say D3 is best.



I actually had not realized that they released the nutrition facts for 2.0 yet until you mentioned the ingredients. (Also, the release notes.)

Pertaining to your question, it is definitely a much different product than Ensure. If it is popular, though, I can see Ensure coming out with a copycat product.

I’m honestly surprised Ensure (Abbott Labs) hasn’t already. They wouldn’t have to tweak their Ensure Complete product very much to make it work for more than just an occasional meal replacement. In their FAQ they say: “Ensure ready-to-drink shakes and drinks can be used as a snack and as an occasional meal replacement.”

Abbott Labs / Rosa Labs. Hmmm…

[quote=“Zenman, post:3, topic:22874”]
Abbott Labs / Rosa Labs. Hmmm…
[/quote]Iluminati confirmed :sweat_smile:


Aha, I missed those, thanks! The new ingredient “Isomaltooligosaccharide” looks promising. Now the wait for delivery of 2.0 begins. I put my order in first thing this morning when I saw the announcement so I should be one of the first to receive hopefully…

D3 has been implicated in increasing the risk of heart disease. I dont have the link right now(i forgot to bookmark it), but i will post it as soon as i can. Thats why i think RL stuck with D2.

Interesting, I hadn’t heard that.

If you are talking about Vitamin D, when you say D3 and D2, the reason is listed in the faq

Reason this form chosen

Some studies have suggested that vitamin D3 is slightly more bioavailable than vitamin D2.[6] Vitamin D2 was selected because it can be produced without the use of animal products and still provides more than enough inputs to yield calcitriol.


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“Implicated” suggests that multiple high-quality studies agree on this. That’s not the case.

There have been some attacks on “synthesized” and “unnatural” D3, although the synthesized molecule is identical to the D3 synthesized in your skin when you get sunlight. Also, some fear-mongers have pointed out that D3 has been used as rat poison… but as always, the dose makes the poison. Rat baits are made with massive doses of the stuff, and some species are hyper-sensitive to it, in the first place. That does not tell you whether it’s safe or effective in humans.


On a different topic, Ensure Plus is only 8 ounces, and they squeeze 350 calories into that. 2.0 will be 14 ounces and 400 calories. That’s quite a bit more volume for only 50 calories more. I wonder why.

And not sure how I feel about all the plastic that will be needed for 2.0. From wikipedia: “High-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polyethylene high-density (PEHD) is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum.”

Soylent’s Environmental Impact

I agree that Soylent 2.0 basically an Ensure-type drink. Everything Rhineheart is saying seems to come down to he thinks Soylent 2.0 does it better, not that it’s really different.

Apparently the “complete nutrition” part takes up an extra 6oz. Also if Ensure uses more sugar the calories are likely more condensed.

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I’m amazed by how short the preparation instructions have become! :smiley:


Well i didnt mean to imply that. Wrong choice of word on my part.

Yes, it makes it pretty easy, I suppose! Also, it sounds like Rob skips step one most of the time at home (got rid of his refrigerator).

  1. Chill
  2. Open
  3. Enjoy (yes, it’s that easy)*

They are different products targeting different markets.

Ensure was originally designed as a supplement for people who, for various reasons, have a hard time getting sufficient calories and particular nutrients.

I could certainly see the makers of Ensure coming out with a product to compete head to head with Soylent, but to my knowledge they do not currently have one.

My guess is that Ensure can pack more calories into a smaller package because they use a lot of sugar. It has always been the sugar that scared me about Ensure because I can see myself crashing pretty badly on it.

Yeah, Ensure is meant so that people who cannot eat enough can quickly ingest a bunch more calories. It’s not meant to satisfy or satiate; it’s meant to top up the calories and someone who can’t eat enough.

Soylent 2.0, on the other hand, is trying to satisfy people so that they don’t feel any need to eat other food.

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It is unfortunate that so many are sensitive to texture (viscosity?) as I’m sure with a bit less water the same 400kcal could be squeezed into 10-12oz albeit much thicker. I’d be fine with that.