One day, my organic chemistry TA came to class with a bottle of something called Soylent. Like me, you're probably wondering what is Soylent? At first, I thought it was just some energy drink. However, my TA told me that it's a meal substitute and that it has 20% of your essential daily nutrients in it. At first, I couldn't believe it, but then I read the label and began to wonder what it tasted like. Is this drink truly a meal replacement? Before I try this drink, I wanted to do some research and find out what exactly Soylent is, and whether it's worth it.

What is Soylent?

What is Soylent? Soylent aims to fit a full meal into a 14-oz. bottle or a couple of scoops of powder. Each Soylent product contains a complete blend of what your body needs, including 20 grams of soy protein, sunflower oil, and 20% of all your daily vitamins and minerals. It is nut-free, lactose-free, and vegan.

Soylent comes in both drink and powder form, and has some super cool flavors. The two most popular flavors are the Original and Cacao. There are also Soylent products that have coffee and taste like your favorite Starbucks classics, including Cafe Chai, Cafe Coffiest, and Cafe Vanilla.


Soylent CEO/Founder Rob Rhinehart, alongside co-founders Matt Cauble, John Coogan, and David Renteln, were all living in Sunnyvale, CA and working at startup companies. They were frustrated with the fact that they had to live off ramen and frozen corndogs, so they developed Soylent as an experiment. When online audiences read about it, the story went viral, and the co-founders quickly realized that this was not just an experiment.

The name Soylent comes from the 1966 science fiction novel Make Room! Make Room! The book is about excessive population growth and its effect on food availability. In order to survive, the people in the story consumed Soylent, which was made from soy and lentils. The Soylent that we know today has been on the market since 2014. Interestingly, the FDA classifies Soylent as a food product, NOT a nutritional supplement.

Can It Actually Replace Your Sandwich?

Soylent is a good replacement and is truly meant for those days where you're in a rush. It has 400 calories, 25 essential micronutrients, 300mg of sodium, and 3g of fiber. If you need a pick-me-up first thing in the morning or need to crank out that essay that's due at midnight, coffee-flavored Soylent might just do the trick. Another advantage of using Soylent is the fact that the bottles are recyclable. Depending on how much food that you throw away, consuming Soylent could shrink your carbon footprint. 

There are some disadvantages to Soylent, though, because it's not as versatile as food. When you consume food, you gain nutrients in a variety of ways, especially if you eat different things every day. Therefore, you probably should not replace every single meal with the drink. However, it would be beneficial to keep some Soylent products stocked up for next time you are rolling out of bed at 7:55 to get to your 8am.

Keep some Soylent products stocked up for next time you are rolling out of bed at 7:55 to get to your 8am. Why rush to eat breakfast when you can simply drink it? 

You can order Soylent beverage or powdered products online. Their products are also sold on Amazon and select stores across the country. You can search for the store nearest you on the Soylent website. 

With Soylent products, you can skip a meal or your morning coffee and still feel awake. They're the perfect solution to busy college days. And why try just one signature flavor when you can try them all? 

#SpoonTip: Talk to your doctor if you're unsure whether meal replacement drinks are right for you.