Is it a good idea to use Soylent once/​twice a day?

Edit: Sorry, I didn’t re­al­ize there has been so much dis­cus­sion on this already! I thought I had just stum­bled across some ob­scure product haha. Any­way, I’ve been read­ing through dis­cus­sions here, on Hacker News, Tim Fer­ris’ blog etc. There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not this is truly a “re­place­ment for eat­ing” (or what­ever the term is). I think the more in­ter­est­ing ques­tion is whether it’s a good idea to:

  • Have Soylent once or twice a day.

  • Have whole food snacks through­out the day like chee­rios, trail mix, fruits etc.

  • Have a nice big din­ner each day.

  • Maybe fo­cus more on whole foods on week­ends when you have more time.

I don’t think this par­tic­u­lar ques­tion has been dis­cussed enough. And it seems that it hasn’t been dis­cussed here for a while. So per­haps we should start a new con­ver­sa­tion!

My ini­tial im­pres­sion is that it is a good idea to use it as a once or twice a day thing.

  1. It saves time. To me, this is huge.

  2. It saves money.

  3. It makes it eas­ier to eat fewer calories, fat, sugar and salt. I’m sur­prised this health benefit isn’t talked about more. Most amer­i­can diets have way too much of these four things. I think Soylent helps in this area for two main rea­sons: a) It makes you full faster. b) It doesn’t have as much calories/​fat/​sugar/​salt as you a typ­i­cal diet prob­a­bly does.

  4. It is prob­a­bly way more nu­tri­tious than the meal it’s re­plac­ing. Typ­i­cal diets prob­a­bly are lack­ing in cer­tain nu­tri­ents, and Soylent will prob­a­bly help to “fill in these gaps”. Again, an­other huge benefit that I’m sur­prised doesn’t get talked about as much (al­though this doesn’t ap­ply for peo­ple who use mul­ti­vi­tam­ins).

  5. There re­ally don’t seem to be any­thing un­healthy about hav­ing it once or twice a day. I’m not very con­fi­dent about this claim be­cause it hasn’t been stud­ied enough, but so far I haven’t heard of any­one ex­pe­rienc­ing health prob­lems from Soylent* as a once or twice a day thing, and meal re­place­ment stuff like Soylent seems to have been around for a while and hasn’t caused any­one any prob­lems.
    *The two main prob­lems (di­ges­tive is­sues and headaches) seem to be suffi­ciently ad­dressed by 1. Adopt­ing it slowly into your diet (over the course of 5 days or so) and 2. Mak­ing sure you get enough salt.

So what do you guys think about us­ing Soylent once or twice a day as I de­scribe?
Edit: I just found an in­for­ma­tive ar­ti­cle—http://​​www.meghantelp­​​blog/​​the-soylent-kil­ler.

Origi­nal Post: you could ig­nore this if you’re fa­mil­iar with Soylent

I’ve just came across a meal re­place­ment drink called Soylent—http://​​​​.

It is...

  • Cheap (~$3/​meal)

  • Fast (just add wa­ter to the pow­der, no cook­ing or clean­ing)

  • I could work while I drink it (I’m a slow eater and don’t like to work while I’m eat­ing, so this would save me a lot of time)

  • Nutritious

  • Doesn’t go bad for about 2 years

And thus it sounds amaz­ing! I try to be healthy and cook my own meals but I find that I spend way too much time cook­ing, eat­ing and clean­ing (at least 2-3 hours a day). And de­spite my efforts to be healthy, I still think my diet has too much fat, sugar, salt, pro­cessed in­gre­di­ents etc. (like most Amer­i­cans).
The two down­sides that come to mind are:
  1. It may be lack­ing cer­tain es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents.

  2. It may have detri­men­tal effects on my health in the long-term.

1) It seems that they tried to cre­ate this drink to have all the macro and micronu­tri­ents you’d need. I’m not a nu­tri­tion­ist so I can’t say, but I can’t be sure that it is in­deed com­pre­hen­sive. How­ever, I was just talk­ing to a nu­tri­tion­ist and she men­tioned that peo­ple in co­mas and stuff do sur­vive on a for­mula similar to this that’s in­jected into their stom­ach (or an­other part of their di­ges­tive sys­tem). So that does make me rel­a­tively con­fi­dent that it’s at least pos­si­ble for hu­mans to sur­vive off a for­mula like this.
2) This is the biggest con­cern. This Stack Ex­change an­swer seems re­li­able and said the long-term effects haven’t been stud­ied. And I re­call hear­ing this be­fore. I don’t re­ally see any rea­son to think there’d be detri­men­tal long-term effects.
  • Tube feed­ing has been around for a while and doesn’t seem to have any long-term effects (from what I know).

  • There doesn’t seem to be any­thing odd about the in­gre­di­ents that would be detri­men­tal. When you eat food and di­gest it, it be­comes some­thing pretty similar to what’s in the for­mula. In fact, it seems that the in­gre­di­ents in the for­mula are sim­pler than the com­po­nents of whole foods, and thus there should be less stress on your di­ges­tive sys­tem.

  • Meal re­place­ment drinks have been around for a while and don’t seem to have any long-term effects (from what I know).

How­ever I re­ally don’t have enough in­for­ma­tion to make any rea­son­ably strong con­clu­sions. Those bul­let points above are more vague sus­pi­cions than ev­i­dence backed knowl­edge.

So do any of you guys know any­thing about Soylent or meal re­place­ment drinks/​bars/​etc.? Are they healthy? Are there things I haven’t ac­counted for?

Also, I’m sorta sur­prised this isn’t more pop­u­lar. Most peo­ple I know hate cook­ing and clean­ing and shop­ping and spend­ing so much time and money on food. I think most peo­ple would be more than happy to have Soylent (or some­thing similar) for a meal or two each day, and then have a big din­ner or some­thing. It would save a ton of money and time, and would re­duce the amount of fat and sugar in the per­sons diet. And be­cause you’re spend­ing less money on food and con­sum­ing less fat and sugar, you could jus­tify eat­ing out or or­der­ing in a splurge meal more of­ten! What do you guys think? Why isn’t this more pop­u­lar? Are peo­ple re­ally that afraid of the health effects?

(I’m not be­ing hyp­o­crit­i­cal. I know that *I’ve* been ask­ing about the health effects and seem to be wor­ried about them, but I wouldn’t think most peo­ple would ap­proach this the same way I am. If I lived on an is­land iso­lated from other peo­ple, was told about Soylent and asked what I think it’s pop­u­lar­ity is, I would guess it to be very high. I would think peo­ple would see that it’s pretty nu­tri­tious, aren’t re­ally any known risks or rea­son to think there would be risks, and be ea­ger to save time and money by us­ing Soylent).