Soylent Review – Does This Meal Replacement Truly Replace Food?

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By Alexa DaFonte

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated


What Exactly is Soylent?

Soylent is a meal replacement product that has been around since 2014. It combines essential ingredients and compounds that are necessary for meeting your daily nutritional requirements while also adding some flavor for taste and ease-of-consumption. This beverage is intended to replace your meals in the form of a ready to drink beverage.

Soylent can be purchased either in a ready to drink form or in a Soylent powder form to be added to your own liquids. Soylent is a product that has gained quite a bit of popularity in the health and wellness world lately, but let’s take a closer look and evaluate how Soylent compares to other supplement drinks.


What’s Inside a Bottle of Soylent?

Soylent drinks all have the same major ingredients with only minor variations depending on the exact flavor that you purchase. These ingredients include the following:

  • Water
  • Maltodextrin
  • Soy protein isolate- this ingredient provides the bulk of the protein in the meal replacement and has a neutral taste. This protein source comes from a plant, so Soylent products are vegan.
  • Canola oil
  • Algal oil- this fat source is free of harmful trans-fats.
  • Rice starch
  • Boat fiber
  • Isomaltulose– this sugar is designed to replace harmful table sugars while still providing the energy your body needs.

The ingredients above contain a decent amount of fiber, carbohydrates, fat, and protein so that each bottle has enough of the major macromolecules and important macro and micronutrients necessary for proper daily nutrition and energy needs. A standard Soylent meal replacement bottle is 14 ounces and contains enough calories and nutrients to replace one full and complete meal.

Five Soylent drinks per day provides about 2000 calories and 100% of all the daily recommended essential micronutrients needed for healthy living. Each Soylent drink can, therefore, be broken down to have:

  • 400 calories
  • 36 g of carbohydrate
  • 21 g of fat
  • 3 g of fiber
  • 20 g of protein
  • 200 mg of calcium
  • 700 mg of potassium
  • 4 mg of iron
  • 20% of the recommended daily value of all major vitamins and minerals

The flavors are produced by adding things such as cocoa powder, strawberry extract, and vanilla extract to make the drinks more palatable for mainstream consumption. The most popular flavors appear to be the creamy chocolate flavor and mint chocolate.

There are also Soylent Cafe drinks that combine caffeine and L-carnitine, both of which are energy-boosting compounds that provide an energy boost similar to that of caffeine or coffee. The cafe mocha is a popular flavor users love.

Soylent Ingredients

What Does Soylent Do?

Essentially, Soylent complete protein replaces one full meal for each drink that you consume. It requires fewer raw materials and less time for preparation than any other traditional, solid meal available. When consumed consistently throughout the day, it can replace all of your daily meals without requiring additional supplements.

Soylent is one of the best meal replacement options to implement into a healthy diet due to its high plant based protein content, micronutrient panel, and the fact that it is free of many of the saturated fats that plague other meal replacement drinks. Due to its high protein content of 20 grams per serving, Soylent can essentially help keep you satiated and fuller for longer, acting as a meal and potentially aiding in healthy weight loss.

How Can a Soylent Diet Benefit You?

Drinking Soylent can provide any consumer with a number of benefits including the following:

  • Helps save time on preparing meals
  • Encourages saving money
  • Ensures that you get the required amount of micronutrients and vitamins each day
  • Helps with dieting and following a healthy diet

For many people, Soylent can help them eat more healthy, making it easier to consume a balanced diet consisting of essential amino acids, healthy fats, carbohydrates, and protein.

Some consumers claim that in drinking a single bottle of Soylent, they are better able to maintain proper caloric intake without going overboard. This is because you get the good taste you want in a meal all in a portion-controlled serving.

At the same time, Soylent is thick enough to give your stomach a relatively “full” feeling so you aren’t hungry all the time, which is a healthier alternative to other types of meal replacements, which often use unhealthy appetite suppressing ingredients.

Soylent can help you save money and time by having meals already prepped for you ahead of time. Drinking only Soylent can result in spending less money on food and less time on food preparation, depending on your current eating habits. A twelve-pack of Soylent meal replacements costs about the same as a day’s worth of food for many healthy adults.

Soylent Nutrition

What are the Side Effects of Soylent Meal Replacement Drinks?

One very important point to note about Soylent is that it contains soy protein isolate as its primary source of protein. This makes Soylent dangerous if you have a soy allergy.

In addition, Soylent is a liquid that is much thicker than many other drinks you may otherwise be consuming throughout the day. Some people have reported side effects including bloating, excessive gas, or a reduction in bowel movements. While there is no significant evidence that these side effects are guaranteed, it is still worth noting that Soylent may affect your digestive system, especially if you have any preexisting health conditions.

The presence of phytate content may also result in a subpar iron absorption rate. Iron is critical for human survival and a small amount of iron is normally included in the Soylent formula. For a few people, this inclusion of phytate in the soylent drink may result in this iron not being absorbed and may require the consumption of a supplement or an additional food to compensate for any potential deficit.

Finally, Soylent has not been tested or researched for efficacy, especially in terms of long term results and impact as it has only been on the market for a few years. Thus, any long-term side effects have not yet had a chance to emerge, which is something to consider for those who consume Soylent.

Is Soylent Worthwhile?

Soylent can be extremely worthwhile if you live a busy life and don’t like spending a lot of time or money on normal meal planning. Cooking is not for everyone and there are plenty of people that would prefer to get their dietary needs in an easy and convenient way so that they can focus on other aspects of their daily life.

If you struggle with bad eating habits, replacing meals with Soylent may prove to be a viable solution. However, Soylent does not automatically negate nor should it compensate for poor eating habits. Specifically when it comes to weight loss, leading a healthy lifestyle, engaging in healthy eating habits, and practicing a consistent exercise routine will also be required, if not essential.

Overall, Soylent can be a huge benefit, especially if some of these advantages suit the lifestyle you wish to achieve. We just recommend not supplementing each meal with Soylent and also being mindful of the high soy content.

Soylent For You

How is This Meal Replacement Drink Different From the Others?

Compared to other drink meal replacements, specifically brands like Ensure and Light Fuel, Soylent provides an overall better balance of the main macronutrients. For instance, Ensure has more sugar than Soylent, which can cause trouble for some people who already struggle with sugar intake. Light Fuel has fewer carbohydrates than Soylent, which in turn can leave many with the feeling that their stomach is empty and leaving their blood sugar low.

Soylent complete meal is different from the others as it strives to be the perfect replacement for all types of people. It balances health with satisfaction and good taste, while also helping you lose weight, cut out junk food, and ensures you are consuming nutritious meals.

Where Can I Buy Soylent?

Soylent can be easily purchased from the drink’s website. You can purchase every type of Soylent product or flavor from this page. Soylent is also available at select health food stores, although it is probably easier to purchase it from online retailers.

Overall Rating:
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Alexa DaFonte

With a degree in Nutrition and Health Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Alexa brings a vast knowledge of nutritional sciences, especially as it intersects with modern health and wellness. Due to her passion for a healthy lifestyle, she enjoys spreading awareness of the science behind many of her nutrition practices.

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