Why is the protein level so high?



Apologies if this question has been asked before, but I couldn’t find a previous post about it.

I understand that the recommended daily protein intake for an average man is 55g, but a pouch of Soylent contains over twice this, at 114g.

Does anyone know why it’s so high?


RDA is more like 85-100g for a 2000cal diet, and that’s more of a minimum than a target. A typical calculator put me right around 150g (on a 2500cal diet), for example. At 114g it should be able to cover the needs of moderately active people, sedentary types should be able to pass any excess as long as their kidneys work fine.


If anything, it is too low. Especially for people who exercise regularly.


I am currently eating 1g of protein per 1lbs (180g per day), which is typical for those who work out. Any like the user above said, any excess protein will be passed through the urine.


Per the CDC site, Protein, the recommended range is 10-35% of calories from protein. They also cite 56 g for adult males, which, on a 2000 calorie diet, would be about 11.2% of calories. Thus, it’s close to the minimum healthy intake. I think they do this partly because people in generally like to consume a lot of high-protein fatty foods, and they generally need to be reminded that we don’t really NEED all that much.

That being said, the range is wide, and extra protein has some benefits, ESPECIALLY if your body is changing. If you’re trying to put on muscle and exercising for it, extra protein helps, a great deal. Conversely, if you’re trying to lose fat (and so eating reduced calories), but trying not to lose lean tissue, again, extra protein helps a great deal. So your goals matter.

Also, a meal with very low protein tends to be less satisfying for most people, so keeping the protein level up can help people avoid feeling hungry on Soylent. Soylent’s 114g of protein, in a 2000 calorie diet, is 22.8% of calories. That’s solidly in the middle of the recommended range.

Note: if you’re consuming more protein than you need, but getting the correct number of calories, then you do not pass excess protein in your urine. Rather, the body converts the protein and you burn it as energy. If you overeat, consuming excess calories as well as excess protein, then you’ll be passing excess protein through your urine, which can be hard on the kidneys.


As someone with Type 2 Diabetes I would l like to see a version with even more protein and a less carbs. Something in line with the Zone 40-30-30 plan.


Opinions tend to differ greatly on the correct amount of protein to consume.

20% of calories / 100 grams per day seems like a reasonable compromise for me.

Some people recommend half that, but if you actually challenged any of those people to arm-wrestle, I think they’d lose pretty badly.

Conversely you have people recommending hundreds of grams of protein per day, which I don’t think has much scientific basis. It would also be crazy expensive.


If you exercise, all you have to do is add some whey protein. No big deal.


One of the main goals of Soylent is to cover as wide a range of people as possible with the main formulation. Therefore, they want to cover the moderate exercisers and diabetics just like they want to target those with food allergies or religious restrictions if they can do so without making the main formula un-ideal for any other group.

They can accomplish that base widening effect by replacing some carbs with protein, which in people who are sedentary is changed into energy at the same rate as carbs. Thankfully, while carbs are needed in any healthy diet, Soylent is well above the minimum of carbs and close to the minimum of protein, so the ratios can be adjusted to add more protein without any major consequence or impact. (Other than the miserable shipping time from reformulating of course.)

Obviously this wouldn’t work for people on ketogenic diets or body-builders as they require much more protein that might be in an unsafe range for those with kidney disease or even those of average activity and diet.

I do agree with you that is no big deal, realistically, (Soylent is meant to modifiable and is not yet in third world markets where protein isn’t abundant in either processed or animal forms) but in this way it will allow fewer people to need to modify for themselves, which will make it more appealing and universal. No one is saying that this needs to be done to Soylent 1.0 right this moment, so stop the lines and add some powder, right now; but it is a suggestion that the community has been keeping up on for addition to Soylent 1.1 or 2.


Thanks for all of your replies, which have put my mind at rest. :smile:


Doesn’t this alter the # of calories you’re consuming though, and the ratio of other nutrients in the mixture? (aka, by adding a scoop of whey protein, you add 130 calories or something, and detracting 130 calories of Soylent doesn’t just target the calories from carbs, it targets calories from fat, and it removes nutrients as well).


He just said if you are exercising and need more protein, add whey protein. No soylent would be removed and therefore no nutrients would be removed. You’d just be adding a bit more protein and calories to compensate for your exercise.