Nothing beats balanced regular meals when you need to fuel your body with a load of healthy calories and nutrients. Such meals may take forever to prepare, though. And it’s not like you can eat them on the go with zero hassle. That’s where meal replacement shakes come in handy.
Not all of them, however, live up to the promises they make. Soylent meal replacement shakes claim to be the ones that do deliver. But do they work? And are they safe? Our guide will take a closer look at Soylent meal replacement shakes and uncover the answers for you.
Quick Facts About Soylent
Soylent meal replacement shakes are available as either ready-to-go drinks or powders. No matter the form, though, each serving of Soylent provides:
- 20 grams of protein with a complete amino acid profile.
- 21 grams of fats from healthy high-quality sources.
- Up to 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Slow-digesting low-GI carbohydrates.
- 400 calories in total.
- Up to 28 vitamins and minerals.
As it seems, Soylent aims to keep its blend as close as possible to a balanced regular meal. Let’s learn more about the ingredients that Soylent uses for that purpose.
Soylent Meal Replacement Shakes: Do They Work?
These key ingredients deliver the bulk of Soylent’s nutritional value:
- Soy protein isolate This complete protein has become the staple of many plant-based meal replacements. It has all nine essential amino acids and is vegan-friendly. It also comes with less impurities than protein concentrates and gives the shakes containing it a smooth texture.
- High oleic sunflower oil High in oleic acid, this specially designed kind of sunflower oil makes for an excellent source of monounsaturated omega-9 fats. As some research shows, diets high in omega-9 fatty acids can decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol and fend off cardiovascular diseases.
- Isomaltulose This slow-digesting carbohydrate boasts a low glycemic index. As a result, it prevents higher insulin responses and blood sugar spikes that impede fat metabolism. By releasing energy slowly, it encourages the body to make use of stored fat.
- Vitamin and mineral premix Soylent meal replacement shakes cover up to 28 essential micronutrients in total, including choline – a crucial vitamin-like micronutrient. Along with that, Soylent supplies 20% of the recommended value of these key vitamins and minerals.
Clearly, Soylent meal replacement shakes have what it takes to be as nourishing as well-rounded meals but their nutritious blend isn’t all they offer.
Extra Benefits of Soylent
Besides its balanced and highly nutritious formula, Soylent is also:
- Plant-based Soylent meal replacement shakes rely on a plant-based formula and use no animal source ingredients in their blend. The company also claims to use a cruelty-free manufacturing process, which makes Soylent a vegan-friendly meal replacement supplement.
- Dairy-free At first glance, Soylent meal replacement shakes seem to have a smooth dairy-like texture. But rest assured, Soylent’s formula contains no ingredients from dairy. This makes Soylent ideal for people allergic to dairy and those who suffer from lactose intolerance.
- Gluten-free The carbohydrates and dietary fiber that Soylent meal replacement shakes supply in their blend come from gluten-free sources. As a result, Soylent is suitable for people who have a sensitivity to gluten or want to avoid it altogether.
- Hypoallergenic Soylent’s blend is also free of nuts – another common food allergen that finds its way into many meal replacement shakes. Along with no lactose or gluten in its formula, Soylent makes for an ideal hypoallergenic meal replacement supplement.
As you can tell, Soylent strives to make its meal replacement shakes both healthy and nutritious.
But Soylent’s formula still has a number of flaws that you should know of.
Soylent Meal Replacement Shakes: Are They Safe?
Despite its merits, Soylent isn’t a perfect meal replacement supplement. Its blend contains such problem components as:
- GMOs Soylent claims to be pro-GMO. This means that some components in Soylent meal replacement shakes – especially soy protein isolate – may be genetically modified. While cheap and convenient for manufacturers to use, GMOs are poorly studied and potentially toxic.
- Soy All protein in Soylent comes from soy protein isolate – a complete source of protein in a refined form. Soy in itself, however, is a shady food source because it fosters a slew of health problems in many people. On top of that, most soy contains GMOs.
- Canola oil Though a popular ingredient in many foods and supplements, canola oil is high in omega-6 fats that contribute to inflammation. To top it off, more than 90% of canola oil contains GMOs and involves exposure to toxic chemicals during processing.
- Maltodextrin With the crazy glycemic index of up to 105, the inclusion of maltodextrin is a definite health concern for many. Even though it’s often marketed as harmless, maltodextrin is sure to play with blood sugar levels.
- Sucralose Besides annihilating the good bacteria in the gut and undermining the immune function, sucralose is a carcinogen and an excitotoxin. It subjects the body to oxidative stress and fosters various neurocognitive disorders.
- Artificial flavors Soylent meal replacement shakes claim to use both natural and artificial flavors, without specifying the flavoring substances involved. Most artificial flavors act as excitotoxins that overstimulate and damage neurons in the brain.
Soylent aims to be affordable, which may explain these drawbacks in its formula. What do we make of Soylent?
Our Verdict on Soylent
All things considered, Soylent meal replacement shakes seem both nutritious and safe. Their plant-based formula supplies all nine essential amino acids, includes omega-3 and omega-9 fats, and covers up to 28 vitamins and minerals. And it’s free of many common food allergens.
Soylent isn’t an ideal choice, though, if you’re looking for a 100% healthful supplement. It comes with soy, GMOs, artificial sweeteners and flavors, and uses questionable ingredients like canola oil and maltodextrin. As such, it’s not a fit for those who look for an organic all-natural meal replacement.