Soylent and multivitamins


I just started my two weeks’ supply of Soylent. (I ordered 7 days’ worth but plan to stretch that to 14 days’ worth.) I have to use Hershey’s cocoa mix with it to be able to stand the taste of it. I’m planning on using multivitamins with it as well; would this be safe, do you think? I’m using it for a healthy way to lose weight by controlling calories better with Soylent. My eating habits were terrible and I cannot afford healthy food so if Soylent works out for me it will be a godsend.


Using multivitamins with it as well is safe.

I personally think it unnecessary (although I don’t mind if others correct me). You say you are consuming 1000 Soylent calories/day, but don’t reveal how many calories you are consuming via regular food.

If the 1000 Soylent calories are your total intake for the day, you are already getting 100% of your needed vitamins/day. If, like me, you consume 1000 Soylent calories and 1000 regular food calories a day, Soylent provides ~ 50% of your vitamins, on top of the vitamins you are consuming with regular food. So still probably approaching 100%.

(The RDI percentages of vitamins and minerals on the nutrition panel assume an RDI of 2000 calories. If you require less calories, you require less vitamins, for the most part.)


For the next two weeks I won’t be consuming anything but Soylent, and it’s more like 500 calories, not 1000. I fill a traveler’s mug with it and sip it throughout the work day, that’s it.


That sounds like a dangerous caloric deficit.


It’s perfectly safe to take a multivitamin along with Soylent.

If you’re only consuming 1000 calories per day of Soylent, and nothing else, you’d need a multivitamin to make sure you’re meeting your minimum requirements for long-term health.

Short term, the body can tolerate a lot - I take 72-hours fasts on a regular basis, for example. But I make sure to re-feed after a fast to restore the lost lean body tissue.

Eating only 500 calories a day is very, very low. I advise against it. Even the strictest form of diet - the PSMF, or Protein-Sparing Modified Fast, advocates more calories than 500 - and on a PSMF, you consume almost exclusively protein, in order to limit the amount of lean body tissue you will inevitably lose on such an extreme calorie deficit. Only a fraction of Soylent is protein; on 500 calories, most of which is not protein, you’re sure to lose a large amount of important lean body tissue - including muscle, organs, connective tissue, heart valves - it’s not worth the downsides.

Using Soylent as a healthy way to control calories and lose weight is a good idea. Using a multivitamin while consuming restricted calories is also a good idea. But restricting calories as much as you plan is almost certainly not a good idea.

I’d strongly suggest starting with more Soylent per day. Weigh yourself daily, and don’t reduce your intake as long as you’re continuing to lose weight. You may be surprised to find that you lose weight steadily while on Soylent, even while consuming a lot more than 1000 cals a day - this is usually because we get a lot more calories than we expect when we’re eating “normal” food, but with Soylent, it’s very hard to fool yourself. Once a package is gone, you’ve consumed 2000 Kcal, and you know it.

Take care and be healthy.


I read magician extraordinaire Penn Jillette recently did an “extreme low-calorie” diet under doctor supervision and even his diet was 1000 calories a day. And he’s a rather tall adult. 500 calories a day sounds dangerous.

Be careful with dropping weight too fast too. If that is your goal, to lose weight, as the faster you drop it the less likely your skin with go with it and you’ll be left with lots of sagging skin and feeling just as shitting as ever about your appearance. That’s coming a bit from personal experience, but just a bit of warning.

But that brings up the question: what are your goals for this extremely extreme low-calorie diet?
Adding the chocolate mix will add calories, and empty calories at that. Are you taking that into account as in having 500 calories worth of soylent with at least an additional 500 calories of the chocolate mix?


It is only temporary. I’m strapped financially so I’m doing this to make my Soylent last until next week, when I can purchase more. I’m not planning to do it long term. Two glasses of Soylent is the long term plan, with food on weekends.


I suppose if it is that or starve, that is better choice; but I am not sure whether deprivation the entire time is better than just “fasting” at the end of the supply.


If the OP is consuming only 1000 calories of Soylent and nothing else she isn’t getting 100% of her needed micronutrients. It doesn’t work that way. Your micronutrient needs are based on age and gender not body size or calorie intake. So taking at least half a multivitamin is recommended. Taking a full one would be safe if that makes it easier.



Question: Is it safe to say that if OP requires/consumes 1000 Soylent calories/day, she is not getting 100% RDI of micronutrients, but still more than 50% RDI?


Assuming the OP consumes Soylent and nothing else I would say the OP was getting exactly 50% of the RDI for most of the micronutrients. The nutritional information says >25% on a few of them so for them the OP would be getting more than 50%.


Well not ideal, but if this is only temporary, save the money you would need to buy multis (if you havent got them already).
You should be able to make more than a few weeks without 100 % RDI without serious negative effects.

I am sorry you are in that kind of situation, good luck and all the best.


Right - and his diet was also carefully selected to be extremely micronutrient-dense (vitamins, minerals, etc.) and extremely macronutrient poor (calories.) Think pounds of steamed spinach or kale as a meal (no oil or butter in cooking, just water.) Soylent is not designed to be micronutrient-dense and calorie-poor; it is trying to deliver the right amount of micronutrients (100%) when you eat a normal day’s supply of calories.

Penn Jillette reports he’s writing a book about the diet plan he was put on, which will be out later this year.


Please do not do this. 500 calories a day is scary low. My brother was on a doctor supervised low calorie diet because he was over 350lbs at 5’8" and that was 1200 calories a day. You may be saving money but you will be killing your edgy levels and cognitive performance. If you must cut costs for a short period then pair 500 calories of Soylent with some cheap less healthy food which will at least keep your calorie count in a healthy range.


If you can buy multivitamins you should be able to buy some other food to supplement the remaining soylent. Calories are more important than nutrients, and 500/day is not enough to be safe.


Multivitamins might be “safe” but they certainly aren’t healthy:

  • One study in male physicians, showed that supplementation with Centrum Silver® (31 vitamins & minerals) reduced the risk of cancer but failed to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular disease after a 10 year follow up. (1)

  • Another long term study with regular Centrum® (26 vitamins & minerals) it was found that the multivitamins lead to a reduction in heart disease related death, but increased stroke related death, although no difference was found in the total rate of death between the groups. (2)

  • Another study with elderly women found a slight increase in overall mortality from multivitamin use. (3)

I recommend avoiding conventional multivitamins. Research on individual vitamins (e.g., alpha-tocopherol) suggest a much more convincing harmful effect (e.g., increased risk of stroke, cancer, and death). There are benefits to vitamins, but not the single isolated vitamers we find in Soylent or 99% of the multivitamins on the market. Plant-extracted vitamins are the only vitamins that have consistently shown health benefits.

1) Multivitamins in the prevention of cancer in men: the Physicians’ Health Study II randomized controlled trial
Gaziano JM, Sesso HD, Christen WG, Bubes V, Smith JP, MacFadyen J et al.
JAMA, 2012

2) The randomized Linxian Dysplasia Nutrition Intervention Trial after 26 years of follow-up: no effect of multivitamin supplementation on mortality
Wang JB, Abnet CC, Fan JH, Qiao YL, Taylor PR
JAMA Intern. Med., 2013

3) Dietary supplements and mortality rate in older women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study
Mursu J, Robien K, Harnack LJ, Park K, Jacobs Jr DR
Arch. Intern. Med., 2011


So… are you saying the vitamins in Soylent aren’t beneficial? Because I know that typical multivitamins are generally useless at best, but I’ve had that question in the back of my mind with Soylent. So far I feel better on Soylent, just looking for more info…


In the long haul, I hope Rosa Labs are doing their best at researching all the different types of each vitamin, to make sure we are getting vitamins that are the healthiest and most beneficial (not just most bioavailable, and in the right amounts)


Yes, the vitamins in Soylent are generic synthetic/isolated vitamins. Research shows they are generally harmful and/or subpar to plant-based vitamins. This is true for 99.9% of the multivitamins on the market. I just published a major review on this topic several days ago:


Is it d or dL-alpha tocopherol? I am assuming its d because its the more commonly used alpha tocopherol in multivitamins.

Soylent however has dL-alpha tocopherol to my knowledge.

Just speculating here, the increased stroke related death could be due to folic acid in those multivitamins. Folic acid has been shown to increase the risk of stroke in people with high homocysteine. Hence my assumption.