Soylent Recap 10/21


This thread is for discussion of the 10/21 Recap post.

Official Soylent Shipping Update July 2013

First, thank you for the update, and a discussion thread specific to the update!

Second, in regards to, “… we made sure the vitamin blend that we are using for both has plenty of iron.” It is possible to have excess iron ( As someone who suffers from anemia I expect to have to supplement my Soylent with iron. However, for individuals who haven’t had iron problems having “plenty of iron” may cause problems and it won’t be nearly as easy for them to take iron out of Soylent as it is for me to supplement. Just a concerned thought.


So… nothing really big then, I mean, not for us. Big is “we’re shipping next week!” or “we’ve finalised the formula and sent the order to the copacker who will let us know shipping dates”, not… this.

le sigh, I really need to stop getting my hopes up about Soylent and just wait for 45kg of powder to turn up on my door step.


@biab I’m sure “plenty of iron” just means the right-ish amount to accomodate most people, not an excessive amount that could be harmful.

@Benji It’s shipping in December, I doubt any recaps until late November will say anything more about it, specific shipping dates for example.

@JulioMiles Thanks for the updates :smiley:


@Benji - LOL! They just raised $1.5M! Think of this a risk mitigation for the company to deliver on your pledge. It’s unreasonable to think they are going to magically accelerate their schedule…

@soylent - thanks for the update on the differences between the men’s and woman’s mixes. It makes sense that BMR would be more significant than nutrient differences (did you know fidgeting alone can burn up to 700 calories per day?!)

Regarding pricing - wouldn’t it be easiest to simply make two different size scoops. I imagine that Soylent will eventually be shipped in big stout containers (like every other powder drink). Women will just get more “servings” per container due to the smaller scoop size.

  • Fidgeting can burn up to 700 calories a day
  • Immediately stops fidgeting while reading


I would be astonished if this were true. Absolutely gobsmacked. Fidgeting alone (even constantly) can burn a third of your daily food input?! Unless you mean “calorie” as “calorie” rather than “kilocalorie”…
< checks >
According to the Internet, 700 calories are burnt by doing all of the following:

  • eight minutes of running moderately hard
  • one minute of interesting jumping
  • one minute of modified press-ups
  • four minutes of moderate/high intensity cardio exercises
  • eight minutes of moderate/high intensity cardio exercises
  • eight minutes of high intensity cardio

In short, half an hour of being extremely out of breath, versus (say) fifteen hours of fidgeting? I still don’t think I buy it, unless your fidgeting is rather energetic.


It seems we can expect Soylent for different activity levels in the future. Check.
But the individual differences like basal metabolic rate etc. would need a blood test beforehand, right?

Oh and please post a picture from the first bag of Soylent when it hops from the end of the assembly line!


I’ve been lurking since I read the “original” post but I just had to register to ask the following.

According to the link in the post the “average” guy needs around 2800 cal a day so why 2200?

I’m 195 cm and 85 kg (6.39764 feet and 187.393 pounds according to Google) so following Harvard’s advice I need almost 3000 cal (187.393*16 = 2998.288) a day. The 2200 figure seem very low to me but maybe I’ve misunderstood something?

How will it be packed? In daily portions or a big bag with a scoop? (As suggested by Spreading Solar above.)

PS: I’m from Denmark, looking forward to hear more about your international distribution plans.


@RobertThorn I can help out a little bit, here. Despite the suggested averages, the majority of people (at least in the DIY scene) seem to be pretty comfortable between 1800 to 2200 kcalories a day. Even my own formula rests nicely at around 1900. I’m not sure if this is because the averages are off, or because there’s a certain level of calories that don’t need to be burned during digestion because of the added ease of absorption.

Even during an active week (see: lots of biking), I find it hard to consume more than 2k calories (6’1" 160lbs).


No, you can’t do different scoop sizes because then you get different amounts of vitamins and minerals, too, and not just the calories. Different scoop sizes might work if the micronutrients (vitamin and mineral) mix were separate from the macros (carbs/protein/fat).


@mrob Thanks for the quick response. It makes sense that the body might need less energy to digest Soylent (and similar) in its powder/liquid form. I look forward to try it soon, hopefully sometime in spring here in Europe.


Well it is and it isn’t… I’ve read this claim before, and I believe that it’s somewhat of an example of extreme contrasts, between “sitting still all day” and “fidgeting throughout activities all day”. IIRC, the effect is due largely to your body operating in a slightly higher metabolic gear if you’re constantly moving about, and not to the actual movement of the fidgeting (i.e., sitting still for a long period lets your body sit in “low power” mode, and fidgeting keeps it “active”). It would probably be more accurate if rephrased as “staying in motion throughout the day can affect your caloric burn by up to 700cal”. This is the same reason that a lot of people lose weight when transitioning to a standing desk: the body is doing something all day, so it doesn’t dip quite as much into that power saver mode.

As for the exercise equivalent, time plays a much greater factor into caloric burn than a lot of people think. In order to burn a lot of calories really fast, you have to make the exercise incredibly intense, as shown by HIIT workouts (which themselves do also have an aspect of “trick the body into a higher metabolic gear”). However, the body already burns calories all the time at a basal metabolic rate – increasing that rate even slightly is going to stack up over a long period of time. 30 minutes of exercise being roughly equivalent to whatever metabolic increase gained from fifteen hours of fidgeting? That sounds completely reasonable to me.

*disclaimer: I’ve done exactly 0 research on this today, and all of it is from memory of things I’ve read. If anyone wants to support or refute, go ahead :slight_smile: (although a new topic would probably be good at that point)

As to the actual topic, this is a great update! I’ve been looking forward to official confirmation of custom formula plans.
@JulioMiles, any chance of a rough idea of what formula options you guys have under consideration for the 2014 line? e.g, based on activity level (athelete, etc), personal goals (weight loss, muscle gain, etc), specialized diet (keto, etc), medical conditions (anemic, etc)… or maybe even a page with ratio sliders (although I’m sure that could be tricky to implement).


I’d definitely recommend against calling them “male” and “female” soylent if the only difference is calories. Considering your target audience, I’d guess that most customers would be happier with calorie counts than unnecessary gendering.


I read it in the book “Why Calories Count” and was shocked at first as well. These results were measured with a very accurate doubly labeled water method.

Think of it this way, consider the 3000 calorie diet of some skinny people (myself included). Many people just say “oh they have a high metabolism”. In fact, what these people are trying to say is either:

  1. The person is very bad and metabolizing food (i.e. 30% of it passes right thru them).
  2. The person is very active, warm, animated, etc.

Number 1 has been clearly debunked. Even alcohol (the ignored 4th macro) is largely metabolized except in cases of alcoholism. This means that number 2 is the answer.


i’m not thrilled at the prospect of spending the same money for less product. In the long term, I’d hope that the cost of the “women’s” formula would fall more in line with the cost of production.

(Women are already charged more than men for many common goods and services, despite having lower average income. It would make me sad to see Soylent fall into the same pattern.)


I totally feel you, @eccaber, and a price change on subsequent orders is among the changes we are seriously discussing.

This part of our business (how we differentiate formulas, how to intuitively convey the differences to our customers, etc) is very much still an in-process aspect to our business, and we appreciate your feedback!


I’m not sure I understand why different calorie versions are necessary… can’t you just eat more/less based on your caloric needs like with any other food? If it’s about the amount of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), can’t you just keep those separate like you were planning on doing with the oil?


I think the point was to keep it as simple as possible for the first time around. One package. Add water. Done. That way there isn’t any discrepancy in getting everything mixed properly etc. etc.


Well, if they are premixing everything then I see a problem in that people who need an amount of calories other than 1800 or 2200 are not going to be able to get the proper amount of micronutrients. And to me it seems like there are quite a lot of people who would be in that camp.