Hackerschool Soylent

18 June 2013

Note: Neither I nor this recipe have anything to do with Hacker School, a programming school in NYC that appears to be pretty rad.

Soylent serving with dry mix

This month I finished my tenure as the Resident Chef & Kitchen Manager of the Beacon Hill Friends House, and I’m now in San Francisco launching a career as a web developer, with a very different relationship to food.

But more on that another time. Right now, I want to get a recipe out, to meet considerable demand for it. My classmates, housemates, and the internets want a soylent recipe. And I’m going to give them one.

What is soylent? It seems like everyone in the Bay Area tech scene knows about it already, but for the rest of the universe – it’s an open-source food movement, focused on developing easy, fast, and cheap ways of getting optimal nutrition, so you can devote more of your resources to other things. The flagship “distro” is the creator Rob Rhinehart’s company, whose crowdfunding campaign just passed $500,000, and if you’re interested in soylent, you should contribute and order some of his mix.

But he isn’t shipping until August, nor has he open-sourced his recipe. So in the meantime, you may DIY with mine below – and fork it on GitHub.

This is the product of months of intensive work.

50-lb bags of maltodextrin and fructose

In February, my then-partner told me about a group of loosely MIT-affiliated people who were reverse-engineering Rob’s idea (with his blessing).  In March, we become heavily involved, researching nutrients, ingredients, and sourcing. But in April, I realized I needed to work out my own system, since soon I wouldn’t be in Boston to benefit from the group’s joint purchases of 50-pound sacks of maltodextrin.

Soylent recipe versions 0.7 and 0.8 taste test

And in May I moved to SF – where in spare moments between learning Ruby and SQL, I’ve been developing a recipe optimized for students of programming academies like my own (App Academy, Hackbright Academy, Dev Bootcamp, Hack Reactor, Bloc, and the forthcoming RocketU are the ones I’m aware of). Meaning, fast, easy, and cheap… and taking advantage of the miracle we call Instacart.

So let’s begin. And let’s write the specs first.


Soylent dry ingredients

The basic idea of soylent is a meal that (1) meets all of your body’s nutritional needs, yet is (2) easy to store, (3) easy to transport, (4) easy to prepare, (5) cheap, and (6) tastes good. Basically, an intelligently-designed smoothie mix, to which you can simply add water.

Those seem to be Rob’s main specs. I would add that it should ideally (7) use familiar, easy-to-find ingredients, (8) be compatible with common dietary restrictions, and (9) be not only easy to make a meal from the dry mix (per above), but also easy to make a batch of the dry mix itself. To draw a programming analogy, my goal has been to write a recipe in a high-level language like Ruby, whereas Rob is writing his in C. His mix, therefore, will probably be better when it’s ready, but mine is much easier for you to recreate yourself.

In particular, I’ve sought to relieve you of the obligation to purchase and measure milligram quantities of lots of individual micronutrient compounds, because that requires specialized equipment, it’s a pain, and it’s easy to screw up with potentially serious consequences. Don’t go that route, unless you know what you’re doing. Either wait for Rob to start shipping, or do something like what I’m doing below.

So here is my recipe, which I think passes all these tests.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. I’m just providing information. What you eat is your own responsibility, and you should talk to your doctor before making major changes to your diet (I did).


This was written for three servings, a hypothetical soylent day. You don’t have to consume soylent exclusively – any more than you need drink water exclusively – but assuming three servings makes calculations easier.

First, take 120 grams of oat flour. (In English measurements, that’s about 1 cup, or 390 cubic barleycorns.)

Oat flour 125 g

Why oat flour? Because you need carbs, and because oat flour is an excellent source of carbs.

You need carbs because your brain needs glucose to function, unlike the rest of your body, which is less picky about its sources of energy. And unless you’re one of the few people who have adapted your body to a low carb diet, you need to consume at least 130 grams/day of carbs in order for you brain to work properly. 120 g of oat flour contain about 78 g of carbs, which gets us off to a good start.

And oat flour is a particularly excellent source of carbs – h/t Rob – because it has a moderate-to-low glycemic index, tastes good, and happens to also have a fair amount of fiber, which is difficult to get enough of.

Next, the single most contentious ingredient – protein. After extensive deliberation and experimentation, I am recommending Trader Joe’s soy protein, unflavored, exactly 85 g of it:

Trader Joe's soy protein 100 g

Why soy? Because soy protein is very high quality, and very high in calcium.

And every time I’ve looked into the evidence for the supposed dangers of soy, I find myself thinking, “where’s the beef?” Many people (males especially) get worked up over phytoestrogens, for example, for reasons that I suspect have more to do with etymology than biology. Seriously, fellas – there is nothing to worry about.

Why Trader Joe’s specifically? Because they fortify it surprisingly well, with lots of micronutrients that are otherwise hard to obtain in the proper amounts. 85 g will satisfy your minimums for over a dozen micronutrients, without quite hitting the upper limits of anything. The unflavored version is best. (The vanilla version won’t kill you, but it’s a bit high on calcium and a bit lower on various micros, so prefer the unflavored.)

That said – you may substitute if you prefer, or if you need an amount other than 85 g. But you must follow these steps: (1) Find an unfortified pure protein powder. Pea protein is a good vegan alternative to soy, and whey protein is the best omnivorous option. (2) To make up for lost micronutrients, use one of the following multivitamins: two Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women capsules, or one Rainbow Light Men’s One tablet. The Opti-Women is slightly superior; prefer that if you’re female and/or secure enough in your masculinity to buy pink vitamins. (3) To make up for lost calcium, add 5 g of calcium citrate. (4) To make up for lost choline, add a few extra grams of lecithin. (5) To make sure you’re not getting too much iron, read the “Safety” section. You might need to use the Rainbow Light multi if so.

Next up, measure a bunch of olive oil into a separate container.

Olive oil 100 g

Why? Because your body needs fat. And olive oil is an excellent source of it.

How much? It depends on your caloric needs. Start with 85 g if you’re not sure. That will result in a roughly 2000-calorie mix. Personally I use 100 g, which works out to 2350 calories. Don’t trip, good fat is good for you.

If you need fewer than 2000 calories, use less than 85 g, subtracting 9 calories per gram oil. Don’t go lower than 30 g. You’ll want to make up for lost Vitamin K, however, via a supplement or food containing Vitamin K. I would recommend dried spearmint, adding 1 g mint per 10 g olive oil removed.

Now, you may find that olive oil makes your mix taste too much like… olive oil. I and my confederates in Boston felt this way at first, but I seem to have gotten used to it, and no longer notice the taste unless I’m looking for it. But if you want to reduce the olive taste, try different brands (some are milder than others), or replace half with another healthy oil (e.g. flax, hemp, or avocado), then restore the lost Vitamin K per above.

Next, add about 75 g of brown sugar.

Coconut sugar 75 g

Why sugar? For flavor, and to top up our carbs. You may use less if you prefer.

[Edit: Several commenters on Hacker News are objecting this, so I’ll mention that I’m very aware of the importance of keeping your blood sugar steady. I’m comfortable with this amount of sugar, because the effective glycemic index of a carbohydrate is lowered by the presence of protein, fat, and fiber, and we have lots of all of those. And in subjective terms, I don’t personally feel any “sugar rush” when I drink this.]

That’s actually coconut sugar in the photo, which tastes amazing, but you can use pretty much any sugar. I’m recommending brown sugar for most people, because it’s familiar and widely available, and contains modest but helpful amounts of calcium and potassium.

Now let’s step back for a moment. With four ingredients, we now have the core of a decent soylent. You shouldn’t stop here – we’re still short on several nutrients, especially potassium – but it’s worth noting that the above this plus some bananas would get you surprisingly close to complete nutrition.

But let’s fill in those gaps. Add 25 g of ground flax, 20 g of cocoa powder, and 15 g of lecithin:

Flax seed, cocoa, and soy lecithin

Why flax? Fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

Why cocoa? Fiber and taste. Consider using Dutch-processed cocoa, unless you already know your preference. It’s less bitter than ordinary cocoa. The budget option for Dutch cocoa is Hershey’s Special Dark; the premium option is Callebaut.

Why lecithin? It’s one of the richest sources of choline, a B-vitamin-esque essential nutrient most people have never heard of – and don’t get enough of. Choline is a precursor of acetylcoline, a neurotransmitter implicated in memory and sustained attention. It’s also important for the construction and maintenance of cell membranes. (The photo above displays soy lecithin granules; it also comes in powder form. If you’re averse to soy, use sunflower lecithin.)

We’re almost done. We just have four nutrients to top up – potassium, sodium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D – three of which are easy.

The hard one is potassium. So far we’ve been able to avoid purified chemical compounds, but we need to go down to bare metal on this one.

Before we do though, you should read the “Safety” section below, to see if you’re at risk for developing hyperkalemia (excess serum potassium). Assuming you’re not at risk, here’s what to do.

Get some potassium citrate, and add a gram to your first batch. Add an additional gram with each new batch, stopping if you experience any symptoms of hyperkalemia, up to a maximum of 10 g. Our goal is to take the amount of potassium the mix contains so far – 1.2 g – and bring it closer to the most recent recommendations, 4.7 g. So we’d like to add about 3.5 g. Potassium citrate is about 38% potassium, so 10 g of it accomplishes this.

Potassium citrate 10 g

Potassium citrate can be ordered from Amazon. Alternatively, you can use potassium gluconate, the main form found in fruit, in which case go up to a maximum of 20 g since it’s about half as concentrated.

Either way, it must be a powder. Do not buy capsules. They will contain 99 mg of potassium each, meaning you’d need to swallow or disassemble dozens of them every time. I did this once in a pinch (see photo), and it was absurd.

Nor should you use potassium chloride (the blue “salt substitute” container in the photo above). As Borat would say, it is inferior potassium; the pH buffering quality of the anions in the other forms is biologically important, and potassium chloride lacks this.

Nor should you try throwing bananas at the problem. You’d have to eat eight or ten bananas every day just to get that extra 3.5 g.

If this sounds like a lot of trouble, it’s worth mentioning that most people get nowhere near 4.7 g, so you could probably skip this extra potassium entirely and feel fine. I did for a couple weeks, and felt great. But the point of this exercise is to get as close to perfect nutrition as possible. And to quote the Institutes of Medicine, moderate potassium deficiencies may result in:

increased blood pressure, increased salt sensitivity, an increased risk of kidney stones, and increased bone turnover … [it] may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly stroke.

So be healthy, and top up your potassium. Just do it gradually; your body needs time to adjust to increased intake. And to reiterate, read the “Safety” section below first.

That just leaves sodium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D. Add 2 g of iodized salt, 1 g of Emergen-C, and 1 source of Vitamin D:

Emergen-C, Vitamin D, and salt

Any Vitamin C will suffice – I’m only recommending Emergen-C because it’s ubiquitous and powdered. Extra B-vitamins are a bonus.

But the salt must be iodized. If you prefer sea salt, don’t worry: there exists iodized sea salt. You might want to add an extra gram, if you find yourself craving salty foods, since this will be less salt than you’re probably used to (which is a good thing). But not a grain more than 3 g, or it’ll ruin the taste.

That just leaves Vitamin D. Sadly, there are few food sources of Vitamin D, aside from salmon, so you should take a supplement, go outside and enjoy some sunshine, or both. But don’t skip this one, you want the D.

The minified recipe:

Hacker School Soylent 1.0

Servings: 3 (one full day, three breakfasts, or a very brief dinner party with two friends)
Time: 5 minutes



  1. Read this blog post, especially the “Safety” section.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients except Vitamin D. Mix well.
  3. Measure olive oil into a separate container.
  4. To prepare an individual meal, measure about a third of the dry mix and a third of the oil into a large drinking vessel.
  5. Add 400-500 ml (14-16 oz) of water, and shake or stir well.
  6. Chill for several hours if possible, to improve taste and texture. It may be healthier that way too (due to phytic acid deactivation).
  7. Meanwhile, take your Vitamin D and/or get some sunshine.
  8. Drink.


On the whole, I’m more concerned about the health of people with typical American diets than that of anyone who drinks soylent, but we should still be prudent here. The main things you need to watch out for are potassium, manganese, and iron.

Potassium: The main risk of increasing your potassium intake is hyperkalemia, defined as a serum concentration greater than 5.0 mM. Above this level, you may be at risk for cardiac arrhythmia, which can be life-threatening. So read this section carefully.

Who is at risk for hyperkalemia? Mainly people who have certain medical conditions (e.g. kidney disease, heart failure, type 1 diabetes), or who are taking certain medications (e.g. for hypertension). So if any of the conditions listed here (last paragraph) or here describe you, don’t make changes to your potassium intake without medical supervision.

Now, it’s true that even healthy people can develop acute hyperkalemia by taking massive doses of potassium supplements; the IOM report cites several cases where people gave themselves hyperkalemia by taking dozens of 750 mg potassium chloride pills all at once. So, don’t do that – and don’t leave your potassium lying around where children might get into it.

But as long as you’re healthy and not stupidly taking giant doses, you should be perfectly fine. Many studies have examined chronic high intake of supplemental potassium by healthy adults, at levels well above ours – all with zero cases of hyperkalemia.

Manganese: The recipe above contains about 10 mg manganese and close to the IOM upper limit of 11 mg. For this reason, you should avoid modifications that would increase the manganese total further. Most is coming from the oat flour and soy protein (5 and 4 mg, respectively), and about a milligram each from the flax and cocoa, so don’t increase any of those.

Iron: Similarly, our total of 37 mg iron is not far from the upper limit of 45 mg. Most of it is coming from the soy. Any changes you make to this recipe should bear in mind your iron total, and keep it under 45 mg. Here’s what you need to know. (1) Don’t increase the TJ’s soy protein. (2) If you want to get more soy protein, use a generic soy protein comparable to this one and a multivitamin, per the protein section of the recipe. You can go up to 100 g if you’re using the Opti-Women (it has 18 mg iron), but better would be to use the Rainbow Light Men’s One (which has 0), in which case you can go nuts. (3) Pea and hemp protein are higher in iron, so if you want to use those, use the Rainbow Light Men’s One, unless you’re actually decreasing the protein below 85 g. (4) If you’re using unfortified whey protein, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting too much iron, so use whichever of the two multis you prefer.

Nutrient totals

What’s in this soylent?

Macronutrients: 2051 calories, with carbs as the primary source of energy at 173 g, followed by fat at 119 g (of which about 6 g is ALA) and protein at 97 g. It contains 25 g of fiber – enough for XX people, but XYs are supposed to get a whopping 38 g per day. If you’d like to get that much, I’d recommend adding 45 g of ground chia, and cutting back the oat flour to 100 g to offset the extra manganese. But 25 g is already more than most people get, so even if you don’t add any extra fiber, this recipe still may represent an improvement over your current diet.

Macrominerals: Up to 5 g of potassium, about 1.1 g calcium, 1.8 g phosphorus, 1.5 g of sodium, and 2.4 g chlorine. Chloride figures are scarce, so I’m estimating them from sodium figures, given that sodium and chloride content have been found to closely track each other in unprocessed foods. There’s also 0.7 g of magnesium.

Sulfate is even harder to estimate than chloride, but if you’re getting enough protein (or more specifically, getting enough methionine and cysteine), you should be getting enough sulfate. That said, if you experience joint pain, it might be a sulfate deficiency. Rob fixed his with 2 g/day of supplemental sulfur.

Vitamins: About 1.5 mg RAE (retinol equivalent) of Vitamin A. On the B vitamins, we have 2.8 mg of thiamin, 2.1 of riboflavin, 24 mg of niacin, and 11 mg of pantothenic acid – all above the recommendations. Likewise, we have plenty of B6, biotin, folic acid, and B12 (4 mg, 308 µg, 478 µg, and 9 µg, respectively). Vitamin C is at 175 mg, Vitamin D at 1410 IU, Vitamin E is at 33 mg, and Vitamin K is at 121 µg. And we have 658 mg of choline.

Trace minerals: In order of mass, we have 258 mg iodine, 37 mg iron, 25 mg zinc, 10 mg manganese, 1.6 mg copper, 179 µg molybdenum, and 109 µg selenium, all within acceptable ranges. We’re also getting at least 60 µg of chromium, which is plenty; I can’t give an exact figure, since chromium figures are unavailable for most foods. (We’re probably getting much more than that, but this is not a concern.)

I will worry about dubiously essential nutrients – borons and vanadiums – another day.


This works out to a dirt cheap $1.50 per meal, assuming you take advantage of all the available savings (e.g. the Amazon Subscribe & Save discount). Without those savings, it’s more like $1.75/meal. The initial startup cost, if you use the items linked to above, is about $200; if you buy smaller quantities to just try things out, you should be able to do so for closer to $75. If you’re on the fence, you can buy many ingredients in small quantities locally. The main things you’d want to order online are potassium and lecithin.

Adding chia for additional fiber increases the cost significantly, by about $2/meal if you buy pre-ground, or $1/meal if you buy whole seeds. I’ll find a cheaper way to get 38 g of fiber in a future recipe. (I wouldn’t want to just use flax, because I don’t think it tastes good in large quantities.)

And yes, it’s filling – despite being cheaper than a nice bottle of water. My first beta tester (a fellow App Academy student) had one meal for breakfast, and was barely even hungry at lunchtime.

Open source

I’m putting this and future recipes on GitHub, and when I get a chance I’ll add data on individual ingredients and nutrients, probably as Ruby hashes and JSON objects. (This will most likely happen after App Academy, i.e. next month.) When I get a chance to publish a whole-foods-based recipe I developed this spring, I’ll put that there too.

237 responses to “Hackerschool Soylent”

  1. Simon says:

    There is evidence for a link between tofu consumption and dementia, although as far as I understand it, it’s not clear whether the cause is actually the soy itself or preservatives used in creating tofu. See http://www.jacn.org/content/19/2/242.long (original study) and http://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/141484 (replication)

    • Zach says:

      Good to know, and thanks. But I’m not extremely alarmed by any one study. Show me a consistent pattern of negative effects and I’ll join the ranks of anti-soy people : )

      That being said, I think the next recipe I write will probably use a blend of proteins.

    • Ed says:

      The first link does not work.

      The second link goes to a study that does not not link soy to dementia. It finds an association between high tofu intake and slightly lower scores on word memory in elderly people. It also finds an association between high tempe intake and slightly higher scores on word memory in elderly people. So it has finding both for and against soy.

      It’s a weak effect, and extending it to imply an association with dementia is an exaggeration.

      And this recipe does not use tofu. Or tempe. It uses soy protein. I don’t have access to the ingerdients list, but I’ll but it uses soy protein isolate – you’ll barely find any phytoestrogens is soy protein isolate. (Unlike whole soy flour.)

  2. MaerF0x0 says:

    I would like to encourage you to explore a better source of fats than olive oil (and a little flax). The omega 6 to omega 3 ratios would ideally be 1:1 , olive oil has 10:1 .

    research for ideal ratio:

    Some ratios of o6 to o3 can be found here:

    My suggestion? Either add a fish oil supplement that is rich in omega3 to top up the ratio (plus has valuable DHA and EPA), or replace some of the olive oil with flax seed oil (which has omega3, but some would say the “wrong” kind).
    heres a little article about types:

    Thanks so much for your hard work !

    • Zach says:


      I actually plan to try to increase the omega-3 ratio on my next recipe, but I really wanted this one to be easy and accessible. Olive oil is pretty damn good; much better fat quality fat than most people get, anyway.

      Next recipe will probably include a blend of olive, flax, hemp, and avocado oils, plus the oils in flax and chia. And probably fish oil, though I’d want to design it to be pretty good without fish oil so vegetarians can use it.

  3. Bob H says:

    It certainly seems like this movement needs some “calculators” to ensure people are getting the right balance in their mixes.

    I have ordered “Rob’s Original Soylent” because I am too lazy and cautious to mix my own, but being that I am in Europe it is going to take a while before I see anything! Trusting of me!

  4. Erica says:

    It’s worth noting that for people who are gluten-free due to an intolerance that not ALL oat flours are gluten-free.

    Oat flour, however, is a great “hearty” flour, so I do recommend it even if you are gluten-free. Just make sure to get the ones that are specifically labeled gluten-free. Bob’s Red Mill is the one that I use, and it’s easy to find in most natural/organic grocery stores.


    • Zach says:

      Yes, good point.

      Bob’s Red Mill is my go-to for relatively natural soylent ingredients, and they sell both the gluten-free oat flour you speak of, and a regular one which isn’t.

  5. J. Jeffrey Bragg says:

    Wow! You have really done a splendid job here. I’ve been hanging out on the DIY soylent forum (http://discourse.soylent.me), watching everyone’s efforts to get their own formula together, whilst working on my own “RealFoods Analogue Soylent” from exclusively food ingredients that I already had on hand. What you’ve done here appears to fall between Rob Rhinehart’s official Soylent Corporation formula and mine, but about two-thirds of the way towards my all-food version. You’ve done a smashing job on the micronutrients, much better than I have yet managed, and your ingredients look highly accessible. I may give your version a try if I ever manage to scrape together the bucks to stock up for it. Congratulations on a job well done, Zach!

    • Zach says:

      We should compare notes! I have a whole-foods version myself, which is online in draft form, but I haven’t written up a post for it yet. If you like I can send you the password to see the draft (with ingredients and photos). It’s mostly nuts, seeds, and dried herbs.

  6. MaerF0x0 says:

    Also, for the fiber issue, maybe metamucil? or Psyllium husk?

    amazon sells 12lb bags for $78. You get 600 servings of 6.7g fiber, about 13c a serving.

    • Zach says:

      Yes, I may in fact use those at some point. I’d like to try to reach 38 g fiber without them if I can, though. I’m planning to try coconut flour, for example.

      I also almost suggested apple fiber in this post, but deleted it because I want to first determine whether “apple fiber” means skins, or interior fibers. If the latter, great, but if it’s from the skins, nevermind – conventional apples contain more pesticides than most produce.

  7. Emelyn says:

    Excited to see the recipe online! I tried a serving of this recipe last week and found the taste quite satisfying, something akin to a chocolate granola bar. It was incredibly filling too.

  8. Brave Iconoclast says:

    Cool. I might try this.

    Incredible how this whole idea really pisses off the poseurs, huh? Guys: not everyone loves footering about in the kitchen; stop being so judgmental and just enjoy your rich interesting lives 😉

    • Zach says:

      Yes, it’s amazing. Though I do love “footering about in the kitchen.” I just don’t like being *required* to by biology.

  9. Shock says:

    I’m glad you’re doing this as open source. Appreciate it very much. Thank you!

  10. adam wong says:


    Just wanted to show off something I’ve been working on.

  11. sam says:

    This is probably the most horrible, depressing thing i’ve ever seen in my life.

    • Zach says:

      Can you explain?

      I find fast food much more depressing, because it doesn’t even succeed at nourishing you. Soylent isn’t good food, but it’s at least good, healthy, fast food.

  12. Hollie says:

    This is GREAT! My husband just sent me this link, after years of me telling him how I hate to cook and I wished I could just drink smoothies or “take a pill” anytime we’re not sitting down to a meal for social purposes rather than purely nutritional.

    My question is: Can you safely multiply the batch you have here? Three servings would only last me a couple days. Could I just triple or quadruple the ingredients and get a small store of the soylent for the week? Thanks!

    • Zach says:

      Absolutely! I tend to make 3-5 days of the dry mix at a time, when I’m not tinkering with the ingredients. Just be sure to mix well.

    • Zach says:

      PS – making a larger batch actually makes it easier to measure the smaller ingredients accurately. As written, it’s easy to get 2.5 or 3+ g of salt when you’re aiming for 2 g. But if you’re multiplying it x10, it’s much easier to hit 20 g with more relative precision.

  13. RH says:

    Hey Zach, this is cool. I’d heard of people doing soylent but disregarded the idea because I like eating food and have the time to prep and cook whole foods. But I liked reading about your approach to this mix, and now I’m thinking it would be nice to have this around as an option for a few meals a week.

    So, I’m wondering what you think the shelf life of this prepared mix would be. I’d assume standard airtight storage?


    • MaerF0x0 says:

      I bet it’d last months in the freezer (the Oils would congeal, but could be microwaved for 10-30 seconds to make liquid again)

      • Zach says:

        Oh, yes, you wouldn’t want to add the oils to the dry mix until you were about to eat it, OR if you were putting it in the freezer.

    • Zach says:

      Awesome. Yes, the storage life of the dry mix, as long as you keep it dry, should be pretty long.

  14. anon says:

    have you seen this article?
    “The Carbohydrate Brain Fuel Myth” http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=282

    it disputes the 130g carbs/day metric.

  15. KamiK says:

    How about using:
    Almonds for fat… 1 oz gets you 6 g protein, 6 g carbs 14.7 g fat 3 g fiber?

    I was think about using hemp protein, what are your thoughts on that…

    Also I been using an android app call nutrition fact pro, for looking up info… allows to paste the info into Google drive…

    • Zach says:

      You could make a recipe like that. I’d want to look into the healthiness of almond oil before relying on it so much.

      I find hemp protein to taste really gross, but if you don’t mind the taste, you could totally make a good mix that way. It also tends to include a lot of fiber, and any residual oils are healthy too. I recommend pea protein to people people who don’t like whey or soy.

  16. Paul says:

    When I punched in the numbers on MyFitnessPal, my macro and calorie totals were very different:

    Protein : 66g
    Carbs: 180g
    Fat: 119g

    Calories: 1998g

    I can’t share the ‘recipe’, but here is a screen shot of the per ingredient nutritional breakdown:


    • Zach says:

      None of those look significantly different (given the many sources of rounding and measurement errors), except the protein.

      It looks like MyFitnessPal has entered the TJ’s protein incorrectly. One serving is two scoops, and weighs 29 g. It looks like they think one serving is one scoop, and weighs 29 g, because it’s off by about half.

  17. joo says:

    I live in europe we dont have trader joes. Any suggestions? Also is that 200 dollars for the monthly cost or the products cost? Id like to know the monthly cost. Nice work!

    • Zach says:

      Yes, read the recipe, alternatives are explained in detail in the protein section : )

    • Zach says:

      Oh, and on the cost – $200 was just a rough figure for how much your initial investment might be, if you used the items I linked to. It is unrelated to the monthly cost.

      The average monthly cost – well, what does that mean? I don’t recommend anyone eat nothing but soylent for all meals for an entire month.

      But just for the sake of getting a sense for how much soylent costs, let’s pretend you did, meaning 90 meals. At $1.50/meal, that’s $135/month. At $1.75/meal, that’s $157.50/month.

      So, roughly $150/month.

  18. Daryl says:

    This is great! I’ve been looking for something alternative as most Soylent recipes are not vegan. I have a few questions.

    Is olive oil the best oil?
    What is lacking if other oils like coconut, almond, or avocado are used?
    What’s the most accurate way to measure the ingredients by weight?

    • Zach says:

      Olive oil is an excellent oil that many people are familiar with. I don’t know what the “best” oil is. Feel free to try coconut, almond, etc.

      You need to buy a digital kitchen scale with gram measurements. They’re cheap, like under $10.

      It’s also easier to measure accurately if you scale the recipe (e.g. x3 or x5)

  19. corvo says:

    Soy protein for non americans? Any similar products?

  20. corvo says:

    Yes but if I understood correctly, I have to take multivitamins. Less ingridients the better and cheaper. Perhaps there is similar kind of soy proteins ini europe or in sites that deliver to europe, anyone know? Everythin elese in your list I can find…

    • Zach says:

      Yes, you want to (1) use a generic protein, like whey protein or pea protein, or generic soy protein, and also (2) use a multivitamin, but it should be one of these two: the Rainbow Light Men’s One, or the Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women.

  21. TallDave says:

    “Why oat flour? Because you need carbs” Heh, the myth that will never die :) There are no essential carbs, and studies have shown you can be perfectly healthy on zero carbs. There are Inuit tribes who have wintered on zero carbs for thousands of years. You’ll probably never get to zero, but aim there.

    I like a 5-protein shake with olive oil and flaxseed meal plus a teaspoon of psyllium, lets me code all day with only a few minutes’ interruption. You do want to keep an eye on your fatty acid profile. Wikipedia is a pretty good guide in that respect.

    • Zach says:

      [citation needed] on the zero carb claim. As far as I understand, you can get by on very minimal carbs via keto, but your brain does some small amount of actual glucose even in ketosis.


      That said, I’m personally rather anti-carb, and ate pretty low carb before soylent. This recipe was largely developed with average people in mind, not low-carb people specifically. I think my next blend will be lower in carbs.

      I like the idea of a protein blend, actually, and will probably try that next time.

  22. TallDave says:

    Oh, and for vitamins, the good people at LEF have a pretty nice blend that aims for optimal RDA (rather than 100%) plus a laundry list of extracts with empirical backing. A little pricey, but you can’t code when you’re dead :) I like 1g curcumin and fish oil on top of that. Here’s to keeping my sixpack into the 50s and beyond!

    • Zach says:

      I’ll check that out. A classmate was just telling me about curucumin today.

    • bldysabba says:

      Could anyone provide a link to the “pretty nice blend that aims for optimal RDA (rather than 100%) plus a laundry list of extracts with empirical backing” ?

  23. TallDave says:

    It’s funny, few people seem to realize your body can make glucose from glycerol through fat conversion — your brain won’t starve on zero-carb :)

    Good list of studies here. The key is to take vitamin supplements, because unless you’re eating raw flesh you won’t adequate vit c, etc.



  24. corvo says:

    Hello, sorry to bother again… I desided to use whey protein. English is not my native language so I dont understand what umean by unfortifyed. Do you mean that it must be 100% whey, like the one in ur link? 100% whey is usually pretty expensive in europe but I found one goodbrand indiscount price,but there is no flaforless version =(

    • Zach says:

      By “unfortified” I just meant “not containing added vitamins and minerals”. Flavored or unflavored is OK. But the next step (as explained in the post) is adding a multivitamin. I suggest two brands in the recipe.

      In other words, the two paths I suggested are:

      1. TJ’s soy protein (contains both protein and vitamins/minerals)
      2. Unfortified protein (your choice) + multivitamin for vitamins/minerals (selected from two options in the post)

  25. corvo says:

    Hi. Sorry to bother again…:) I have desidesd to use whey protein. Since english is not my native language I dont totally understand what you mean by unfortified. Do you mean just pure whey or unsweetended? Is this whey protein isolate suitble for example?


  26. Not says:

    So many problems with this drink, i dont know where to begin. Im sure I will offend / annoy many, but for someone who has been dealing with severe health issues the last year and a half, and lived the last 14 months researching proper nutrition and things to avoid – I feel the need to chime in here.

    Soy and Soy L are heavily correlated with the development of ALS and other neurological and neuromuscular diseases. Do some research and you will see. Not to mention the development of Estrogens which nobody needs.

    There is no value to adding so much brown sugar. Sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever, outside of replenishment of electrolytes after exercise. Aside from that it just increases inflammation system-wide and contributes to long term disease. It would be more healthy to simply add an apple which provides maltedextrose/ine.

    Swap the EmergenC for juiced organic vegetables. EmergenC only has a few vitamins. You get not just some, but all the vitamin content your body needs through juiced organic vegetables, and its in a natural form, rather than synthetic, created in some warehouse.

    Methinks the guy who invented this stuff is somewhat of an amateur at nutrition, despite the research he has done. Flax is great. Olive oil great. Coconut oil would be a nice addition. Vitamin b6 in man-made form builds up in the body and can cause nerve damage over many years. Taking 500% to 1500% of it in synthetic form daily is not good. Food sources of B6 are the only safe way. The list goes on and on.

    I dont want to be a party pooper, but if this is the “lazy mans” nutrition, it fails in many ways. If its a way to reduce digestive strain on the body, then you’d do yourself a favor by purchasing a masticating juicer, and juicing organic veggies, pouring in the flax and olive oils, and other ingredients. I would recommend highly the paleo diet. It is tailor made to be non-inflammatory and is so gentle on the body that it can reverse celiacs disease, and many other autoimmune conditions. Once again, sorry for being a party pooper.

    • Zach says:

      I’m afraid I can’t find much value in or evidence for the claims you’re making.

      I briefly looked for evidence of your soy-causes-ALS claim, and found none; please cite a source. And your apparent aversion for “phytoestrogens” seems to be unjustified: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19524224

      On sugar, you are incorrect to imply that brown sugar has no nutritional value (it has nontrivial amounts of several minerals). But even granting that it doesn’t have much nutritional value beyond the carbs themselves: sure, I am all for low-carb diets, so if anyone wants to replace the brown sugar with more olive oil, knock yourself out. But I’m not going to recommend that for most people, because most people simply have not adapted their body to a low-carb diet, and the transition can be very unpleasant. I refuse to spring that on people (having learned that the hard way). If you want a low carb soylent recipe (not that I think you do), you can reduce the sugar (as I said in the post), or wait until the next recipe I write.

      There are problems with many of your remaining claims. To take just one illustrative example: no, you cannot get “all the vitamin content your body needs” through “juiced organic vegetables”, because there is no vegetable juice that contains B-12.

      • Dagan Durdik says:

        Wikipedia verifies the claim about overdose of Vitamin B6 being linked to nerve damage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_b6#Toxicity. However, I don’t think we’re in any trouble with this recipe. Check my math: The recipe calls for 1g of Emergen-C per serving, or 3g total if you’re having three Soylent meals a day. Based on http://www.emergenc.com/index.php/products/original/super-orange there are 8.8g of Emergen-C in a packet, meaning our 3g per day gives us 34% of the Vitamin B6 value of a single packet, which is 10mg. Final total: 3.4mg of Vitamin B6 per day. That is well below even the most conservative safe upper limit cited in the article, which is 10mg/day.

        That being said, the daily recommendation for a 210lb man is only 1.3mg (http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/fnic/interactiveDRI/) and we’re exceeding that by ~2.1mg/day. The people in the studies on B6 toxicity cited in the article were taking 200+mg/day for 5+ months, so we don’t have anything to worry about in the short term, but if we plan on drinking soylent for years, we should replace the Emergen-C to bring that overage under control.

        • robjc says:

          actually I think 1 gram of emergen-c is a day’s worth if you would reread it. The recipe is setup for a day’s worth of calories – 3 meals.

  27. Chris says:

    Thanks so much for the work you’ve put into this. I’m planning to adjust the macros in this recipe to 65% fat, 30% protein, and 5% carbs so that I can stay in Ketosis while trying out Soylent.

    I saw that you were considering a lower-carb version of this in the future… is there a chance you could give me a preview of what you might change?

    • Zach says:

      Once I do, I can send you a preview, but I’ll probably build it from scratch rather than just modify this recipe.

  28. Simo says:

    Where does all the choline come from? I am trying to put together a version with whey and opti-women, but I can not figure out where you get all the choline? The only information on soy lecithin I found gave a value of 350mg choline per 100g, so that would be 53mg and the multivitamin has none, so where do the other 605mg come from?

    • Zach says:

      Oh, good question. Yes, the USDA database entry for soy lecithin reports 350 mg/100 g, but the source I suggest is Bob’s Red Mill, which claims 50% of your RDA per 8 g. I’m not 100% sure what RDA figure they’re basing that on, but I believe it is ~550 mg. [Source]. Other brands of soy lecithin also report choline totals higher than the USDA, incidentally.

  29. Chris says:

    I’m curious, how big of a batch do you make at a time? Can you recommend strategies of preparing a weeks+ worth?

    • Zach says:

      Ideally I can make 3-5 days. Just multiply the numbers and get a larger container : )

      (Often I’m tinkering with the recipe though, so I only make 1-2 days at a time.)

  30. Artur says:

    I am a bit surprised Spirulina powder was not considered for this mix. It would make the whole thing quite green and therefore more like “Soylent Green” but seriously, itʻs a superfood and would practically be a complete meal in itself in some ways.

    • Zach says:

      I did consider spirulina – along with wheatgrass powder, alfalfa powder, and I think also powdered kale. I wanted to like them, but… I found them all disgusting : )

      • Artur says:

        no but seriously, I think a little green powder would be masked by the sugar/cocoa right? spirulina also comes in the odwalla/fresh fruit drinks and you dont really taste it in there (might be hardly any mg though, will have to check on that)
        Anyways, gonna make some of this in the next few days, maybe Ill drop in some greens and see how much it takes before it starts to taste like pond scum!

        • Zach says:

          To clarify, I didn’t try any in this recipe specifically – I tried the aforementioned green powders when I was developing the all-natural recipe I’ve mentioned. In that recipe, the amounts of spirulina/etc. required to get enough of the relevant nutrients was just gross.

          I assumed the same would be true in this recipe, plus in this recipe I am partly optimizing for familiarity, and the average person doesn’t know what the hell spirulina is.

          One could probably make a soylent that used dried greens in very small amounts to contribute towards certain nutrients, without ruining the taste, but I haven’t tried that yet. And I’m not likely to, because USPS lost the big box of soylent ingredients last month that had my powdered greens in it :-\

  31. Artur says:

    also, though I like the open source aspect of this project, I might add that there are already a few products that have accomplished the same goal, not the least of which is The Ultimate Meal ( http://www.amazon.com/The-Ultimate-Life-Meal-powder/dp/B00013YYR6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372111191&sr=8-1&keywords=the+ultimate+meal )

    • Zach says:

      The open-source nature of the project is an essential part of it. There will never be an “ultimate” soylent, unless our understanding of biology and people’s food preferences stop changing, which they aren’t likely to in our lifetimes…

  32. Dylan says:

    Thank you so much for this! I read about soylent a while ago but was leery about eating stuff ordered over the internet from some random dude I don’t know.

    I want to increase the amount of calories in this recipe but don’t want to overdose on iron and manganese. Multiple online calculators estimate my caloric need to be between 3000-3500.

    Do you have a suggestion for increasing the calories without making the Mn and Fe levels too high? Or will my RDA for those rise with my calorie need?

    • Zach says:

      Yes – add more oil. Oil is good for you and really calorically. For 3000 calories, try 150 g olive oil and 50 g soy lecithin. More lecithin because it’s an emulsifier, and you’ll want more emulsification.

  33. corvo says:

    What kind of scale do you use? I dont have scale yet, does it have to be expensive one?

  34. Kristel says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I actually really like the taste — like someone said, very much a chocolate oatmeal flavor. I use the coconut sugar, since it is readily available in this area, but other than that, I use the listed ingredients. I love not having to figure out breakfasts and lunches during the work week, although I do still eat meals with my family (husband and two children). Takes so much pressure off. Thanks again!

  35. Cody says:

    Just started this recipe today and it’s much more palatable than I would have expected. I’ve been extremely interested in the Soylent concept from the first time I heard about it and this is the first formula I’ve taken the dive on. I’ll at least be using this recipe until Rob’s official formula ships, and maybe even after that if it seems to be working well for me.

    Is there any chance you’ll be releasing the low carb formula you talked about any time soon?

    • Zach says:

      Not very soon, unfortunately. I will release my all-natural recipe pretty soon though, and it may be easier to make low carb than this recipe.

  36. Tommy says:

    Hey dude! Awesome looking recipe! I just bought all the ingredients this weekend. Got a bunch of them today, so I’ll probably get the rest and start on it this week.

    I’m on another recipe right now, but it gives me ridiculous gas and even some diarrhea, plus it’s disgusting. Hopefully yours is better.

    I’d love to see your low-carb/paleo version, too.

    Btw, I’m in App Academy right now (NYC). I got a few others in the course on the soylent bandwagon.

    • Zach says:

      Awesome, let me know how you guys like it!

      • Tommy says:

        It’s awesome so far. I’ve been on it for 2 days now. The taste is SOOOOOO much better than the other one I was doing. Also, it feels more wholesome.

        How’s the beginning of the course treating you? Expect to have no life these 2 months hehe.

        Any chance you want to share your paleo/ketogenic recipe? Let me know and I’ll reply with my email address.

        • Zach says:

          I’ve only barely begun work on the paleo recipe, and it’s going to be awhile (busy with job searching and Burning Man food planning – I graduated from AA already, by the way). The big challenge is going to be taste. Sugar makes things taste delicious, and it’s going to take some creativity to make this delicious without it. Maybe I’ll go in a savory direction with it.

          Glad you like it!

        • Adrian Chen says:

          Hey Tommy!

          I’m a journalist working on a story about Soylent and wanted to talk to some NYC-area soylent users. I’d love to talk to you. could you please email me: adrian802@gmail.com?


          Adrian Chen

  37. Ben says:

    Thanks so much! This is great!

    I’ve been having trouble with my Emergen-C becoming solid shortly after opening, and I’ve noticed that they don’t recommend waiting more than 24 hours after opening the packet to use it. See: http://www.emergenc.com/index.php/misc/faq

    Do you have this problem? Would it be a problem (other than cost) to just throw the whole Emergen-C packet in? Would it work to use another powder vitamin C, like:

    • Zach says:

      Yes, it absorbs water very well. I keep mine in a ziplock bag, which seems to help.

      Throwing in a whole packet is fine, but it’ll make it taste too fruity, IMHO. Try it and see if you like it.

      Using another powder is fine. I use acerola powder in another recipe.

      You can also just make several days at a time. Five days would be about one packet.

      • Rob Stevens says:

        Since I was already at Trader Joe’s, I picked up their crystalized Vitamin C instead of the Emergency. 1/4 tsp. is more than enough C, about 1000mg. Seemed easier and more convenient than trying to deal with the Emergen-C.

        Thanks for this recipe, Zach. I’ve used it as the basis for my own version. I have a few bugs to work out, namely getting a bit more fiber, upping the Choline somehow and dealing with the Potassium, but I already feel better “eating” this. http://www.makesoylent.com/recipes/51fc25095d5f6902000000f4

  38. Zach says:

    By the way, WordPress seems to have dropped about a dozen comments a few days ago – really sorry if that happened to you :<

  39. Dan Skinner says:

    I’ve been looking into Soylent for a while now and this is exactly the kind of starter recipe I was looking for. The simplicity and small number of ingredients makes it the perfect place to start deriving your own formulation.

    Do you have any thoughts on using uncooked oat flour?

    Do you have a spreadsheet or something that contains all the nutrient values for the ingredients and the targets you are aiming for?

    • Zach says:

      I think uncooked oat flour is probably fine. Lots of people in Europe eat muesli, raw oats soaked in water or milk. Whatever good things the water might be doing (possibly helping deactivate phytic acid) are probably enhanced by the fact that it’s ground, so this may be one step up from muesli.

      I do advise soaking as long as possible though. I am for mixing each meal one meal ahead, so it soaks at least a few hours, and breakfast soaks overnight.

  40. Andrew Stebenne says:

    Hey Zach,

    I’ve just started a diet that includes your soylent as the primary source of food, and it’s working great! I love the taste and the texture of the mix. However, I have one question. Perhaps due to my body type, or my previous eating habits (a lot of snacking), I still feel like I ought to eat after I drink a serving of soylent. I’ve tried adding more calories through olive oil, as per your previous suggestion, but it doesn’t seem to help a huge amount. What else would you suggest to make the mix more filling?

    For reference, I’m 5’7″ and about 185 lbs.


    • Zach says:

      You could try adding more protein or fiber, which contribute to feeling full. You might also look for clues in whatever you want to snack on. For awhile I was craving salty foods, and then I upped the salt a smidge and it went away.

  41. fabyeah says:

    Thanks so much for the recipe and instructions Zach!

    One questions: How do I mix the powder, so it’s an even, homogenous mix, when I only need one third of it for one meal?
    Do i need a blender or hand mixer? Or is there another way that doesn’t require these gadgets?

    • Zach says:

      Personally, I just mix it for awhile by hand until it looks homogenous. If it’s a little bit off it shouldn’t make much difference.

      • robjc says:

        After I measure mine I dump it into a ziplock bag and sort of do a shake ‘ n ‘ bake motion with it… works fairly well. Then I have another ziplock that I cut one of the corners off to funnel it into my water bottle that already has the water in it. After shaking I add the olive oil and shake some more. One of my first times trying it I put everything in a cup that wasn’t great for mixing and put it into the fridge. After I started drinking it I found that a lot of the olive oil settled, so now I’ve claimed my wife’s Ymca water bottle because works pretty well.

  42. fabyeah says:

    I’m trying to get all the ingredients. As I’m in Germany and the Trader Joe’s protein isn’t available here, I’m substituting another soy protein. And as our multivitamins are different, too, could you please elaborate more on the multivitamins ‘to make up for lost micronutrients’?
    What exactly do you need that’s in them? How much of what? So I can choose from the options available to me and avoid deficiency or overdosing. That would be very helpful. Thank you!

    • Zach says:

      On multivitamins… I don’t have time at the moment to give you a full answer, but I would suggest looking at the amounts listed on those two brands I mentioned, and finding something that is as close as possible to them.

      FYI, one of the main things that eliminated a large class of multivitamins from consideration was that many have excessive amounts of vitamin E, which is now thought to be detrimental.

  43. Dillon says:

    Hey Zach! Thanks for posting this, I’ve been putting all this info a spread sheet to compute and adjust for my calorie intake level.

    The one thing I’ve been struggling with is finding the manganese level contained in the Bob’s Red Mill Oat Flour. Several sites have the manganese level listed at 0 (but also have the incomplete nutritional facts). Could you direct me to the full nutritional facts or at least the manganese level of the Oat Flour?

  44. Zach says:

    Yes, this is a common problem – missing nutrients on food labels. If it’s a generic sort of food like oats/oat flour, you can flesh out the missing data with the USDA database. In the case of BRM oat flour, I’m estimating it contains 1.6 mg of manganese per 40 g, based on this database entry:


  45. Michael Ghan says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe! However, I want to make a slight adjustment regarding the protein. How would you recommend I adjust the items if I use Plant Fusion instead of Trader Joe’s Soy Protein? I will provide a link to the site which will have the nutritional information.

    Other than that though, I just placed an order for Potassium Citrate on Amazon, so step one to creating this has begun!

    Here’s the site for plantfusion:


    • Zach says:

      Site doesn’t work for me :<

      • Michael Ghan says:

        Oh okay…. well I’ve run into a new problem; I don’t have any way to measure grams! Do you think you can provide rough measurements in fluid ounces and/or cups for each ingredient? :(

        • Tyler says:

          1 cup oat flour
          6 scoops trader joe’s soy protein
          1/3 cup brown sugar
          1/4 cup ground flax
          1/4 cup cocoa powder
          2 tablespoons soy lecithin
          1.9 tablespoons Potassium Gluconate
          1/2 tsp iodized salt
          sprinkle of Emergen-C
          between 1/3 cup and 1/2 cup olive oil

  46. Jake says:


    Awesome job!! This is great!! I am a beginner Soylent enthusiast. I’ve made my own recipe, but yours defiantly breaks down the micro nutrition well. I’ve been on my recipe for a week now. Although iv been juicing daily because i found it difficult to find viable break downs of vitamins.(although I am going to look through the resources you’ve mentioned on here).

    I am going to break down what I’ve been doing, I would love suggestions.

    I get all my protein, carbs, and mcts from http://www.truenutrition.com/

    I juice 1 apple, 2 stalks of celery, spinach, kale, and carrots, then i mix a 1 Tbs of olive oil (mixes better than just drinking it).

    I take”All One Powder Multiple Vitamins & Minerals, Original Formula”, 7.5g twice a day (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GAP9FK/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

    Now Foods Potassium Gluconate Pure Powder(also from amazon) 1.7g of that 3-4 a day.

    Then a shake consisting of Whey Protein Isolate CFM Cross-Flow Microfiltration, Debitterized Hydrolyzed Whey Protein, MCT – Medium Chain Triglyceride Powder, ModCarb™, and Maltodextrin  (different combinations of the carbs, depending on breakfast lunch or dinner)

    Also I am working on gaining weight( so im getting about 3000cal a day).
    When I found soylent in popular science i didnt even think to look for DYI recipes, definitely going to research some.

    Any input would be much appreciated!


  47. Michael Ghan says:

    Another question, sorry:

    I read earlier in the comments that you don’t recommend having this soylent as a sole source of food. May I ask why not? Honestly, the whole reason I’m doing this is to not have to eat. Assume this becomes a regular practice, I would ideally only be eating “real” food as a social event with friends and family. Otherwise, when I’m around the house or when I’m out at school, this would be replacing the majority of my meals.

    Also, would it be an issue if I mixed the daily mix into a 500 ml water bottle during the day but with no refrigerator to cool it? I’m a college student and will be in my classes for the majority of my day, meaning I’ll have 1 serving in the morning, then have the last 2 servings with me ready to go. If temperature is going to be an issue, however, I need to work something else out.


    Disregard my previous comment asking about measurement conversions. I realized walmart sells everything and picked one up there. 😛 Now I can weigh the portions.

    If you’re interested, I made a spreadsheet to show the amount of ingredients in grams/ounces for daily/weekly/monthly servings. That way there’s a quick reference for somebody if they want to just make a month’s serving ahead of time and not even think about it.

    • Zach says:

      I just think drinking soylent 100% of the time isn’t a great idea. There’s a lot we don’t know about nutrition, and it’s conceivable that there are unhealthy things in any given soylent recipe, or healthy things in conventional food (esp. fresh produce), and hedging your bets slightly seems like a smart move.

      I probably consume soylent 85 percent of my meals at this point, the rest mostly being social outings.

      It’s not the end of the world if you can’t chill it, but do let it soak for at least half an hour, I would suggest. Don’t leave it out for multiple hours though unrefrigerated. Basically your plan seems fine as long as you’re planning to make three separate shakes (not one giant shake in the morning) and drink them all within a couple hours.

      • Zach O. says:

        Why would it be problematic to leave it out for multiple hours or make one giant shake in the morning?

        • Zach says:

          Because prepared food generally becomes unsafe if it’s left at room temperature for an extended period of time. A very rough rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t leave anything in the “temperature danger zone” (40-140 °F) for more than two hours.

      • omnius says:

        How long have you been using your formula now? What “effects” has it had on you? Do you feel healther more energized? Was there any weight loss/gain?

        If the idea is to get the perfect food and you have been using it 80% of your meals I am curious as to the effects you have personally witnessed since using this formula?

        • Zach says:

          I feel a more steady supply of energy in the hours after drinking it, and I don’t feel any “food coma” immediately after drinking it like I often do with normal food.

  48. Liam Bohl says:

    It seems that this recipe has about twice the fat and half the carbs of the FDA recommendations for a 2000 calorie diet. Would it be healthier to reduce the olive oil and increase oat flour while keeping calories the same? And would it still mix well and taste good?

  49. Liam Bohl says:

    Also, do you not get sick of the flavor? If not, it sounds pretty awesome.

    • Zach says:

      I haven’t yet. (Though lately I’ve been drinking a variant with less cocoa and some coconut flour, so I have had some variety.)

  50. Jeremiah O'Neal says:

    Thanks for open sourcing this.

  51. […] have taken it upon themselves to create their own clone recipes.  I’ve decided to try this recipe, called Hackerschool Soylent, which essentially consists of 10 ingredients combined in a […]

  52. JChampion says:

    Hey Zach,

    Great job on the recipe! I heard about soylent a few weeks ago and looked into different home recipes (im in australia, so cant get robs yet >.<) I just have a quick question:

    I couldnt get trader joes soy protein here so I subbed in a vit sup, I'm just double checking I'd only take it once (say with my morning serve) and not with every serve! (I assume just once but i'm new to all this so thought I'd check!)

    especially with a little extra water (I used 2L in mine) it is actually a lot nicer than I was expecting

    • Zach says:

      Yes, just one serving per day (usually one pill, though the Opti-Women was designed for two servings a day). Though you should really try to get one of the multis in the post, or at least compare the nutrients of whatever you can find more easily in Australia and look for one that is very similar.

  53. mmortal03 says:

    Typo under safety for manganese. You wrote “The recipe above contains about 10 g manganese.” It should say 10 mg.

  54. Carlos Galliath says:

    I live in Colombia and I was able to find everything except TJ’s soy protein (I’m using regular whey protein) and the multivitamins (I’m using Centrum. It’s the only complete one available here). Your recipe is amazing and I believe it can be made with local ingredients in most countries, so that is a big plus! It tastes very good and satisfies your hunger for hours. I’m drinking it for breakfast and dinner and eating a regular lunch.
    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  55. Russell says:

    I converted (at least I think I did) the USDA database into .json files at https://github.com/drknexus/soylent/blob/master/sr25/USDAjson.zip – If that helps your process move forward, feel free to use them. If those aren’t actually valid .json let me know and I’ll hack at it more. You’d want to reference the USDA .pdf file to understand the database structure more I’m sure.

  56. Richard Tito says:

    Can I use oat bran, rice flour or almond flour to replace oat flour because here in Italy I can’t find it?

  57. Jon L says:

    You mention Amazon Subscribe & Save, so how about publishing a public Amazon wishlist, to ease the necessity for others to hunt down the same items?

  58. Dhruv says:

    Hey Zach,

    Is all the 119g of fat coming from the Olive oil? So if I reduce the olive oil to 30g and sub with dried spearmint, it’ll be 119 * 30 / 85 = 42g of fat?

    • Zach says:

      Most of it is coming from the olive oil, yes. But what on earth makes you want to “substitute” oil with dried spearmint?

  59. Tyler T says:

    I’ve just started on your soylent (it’s my first time trying) and I’m halfway through my first day. I wasn’t able to finish the first *meal* this morning and I am still super full as of 1:30pm. How am I supposed to finish the entire batch in one day? I am super stuffed and it’s making my stomach hurt.

    • Zach says:

      Yes, it’s really filling, and perhaps you have a smaller appetite/caloric intake than what this recipe was designed for. You could start with reducing the olive oil, and see if it’s still too filling. Next I would try reducing the sugar.

  60. McKane Andrus says:

    I’m considering replacing half of the olive with soy bean oil, which satisfies the vitamin K and fat needs. Is there any reason I shouldn’t do this?

  61. Ryan says:

    First off, I just have to say thanks for this. Seriously, thank you. I came across the soylent.me campaign in Flipboard one night, and I was about to hit buy on 2 week or so sample with only a couple hours to go before the campaign ended, when I decided to check out the comments again and I found yours in there saying your had created an open-sourced diy version. I wound up not submitting that order and that weekend I set about buying everything around town.

    By day I’m a letter carrier for the USPS and I can burn through calories like nobodies business on some days, and often with weak will power I’ll end up picking up processed junk at the gas station when I get hungry, or constantly eat at Subway or some other such place because I was too lazy to pre pack a lunch. It satisfied me temporarily and I knew it was bad in all aspects, but it was convenient. All in all, a lose-lose in the long run. However, having tried this, it’s absolutely amazing. It is somehow the exact substance and proportions of fat/carb/protien I need. Splitting a daily amount into thirds (1 cup), I can go exactly 4 hours between servings before I feel hungry again. It doesn’t matter what I do. At about 3.5 hours I start to wonder when it was that I ate last and if I’ll be hungry soon. Sure enough 15 minutes later I feel a slight hunger sensation and 15 minutes after that (4 hours), I’m full on hungry. It’s an amazing feeling. Before this I could never go more than 2 hours before pigging out on junk. Now, 1 cup = 4 hours of solid feel-goodness. I’ve also tried 1/2 cup servings and lo and behold, it lasted 2 hours. It’s the most easy formula ever to figuring out my day and when I can afford to stop and eat (drink).

    I have however made a couple of changes. First, the oat flour and flax meal can be made at home if you have a food processor. Just go buy Quaker Oats and let it rip. You’ll save quite a bit of money there since it is the most used ingredient over time. I can get a 10lb box at the grocery store for $8. It winds up being a little chunkier than say Bob’s Red Mill, but I can live with it. I even find it a more interesting texture as it sometimes reminds me of an oatmeal cookie since every now and then I taste an almost whole oat that somehow missed the blades. Same with the flax seed. Just dump it in the processor and blend it for a good long while until it all breaks down.

    Next I found it was lacking in fiber for me personally. So what I did was go get some generic Metamucil and put a daily serving in (36g) while also subtracting that amount from the brown sugar. The only issue I’ve had with that is the sugary orange flavor they put in there that creates a strange flavor combo with the cocoa powder. Not terrible, orange-chocolate is a common flavor combo and actually on of my favorites in ice cream, but the Metamucil type orange is odd. So I started looking for a different way and just today bought Sunsweet SupraFiber at Walgreens. I haven’t made a batch yet, but on paper it looks to be a more effective and cheaper alternative to the Metamucil without the strange flavor, however it also has almost no sugar value, so the brown sugar will have to be increased again.

    Also another cost savings front that isn’t much of a change, but crushing up calcium citrate pills seems to be cheaper, at least locally and even by Amazon, than powder. Go figure. This is if you’re going the non Trader Joe’s fortified protein route. I’m just buying the bulk soy protein and adding the various vitamins to it. Again, that seems cheaper in the long run.

    So yes, thanks again. I am absolutely loving this and telling all sorts of people about it, who I’ve given samples to and they like it as well.

    • Zach says:

      Thanks so much for your comments and feedback! Glad to hear it’s working so well for you.

      This was my favorite part:

      It is somehow the exact substance and proportions of fat/carb/protien I need. Splitting a daily amount into thirds (1 cup), I can go exactly 4 hours between servings before I feel hungry again. It doesn’t matter what I do. At about 3.5 hours I start to wonder when it was that I ate last and if I’ll be hungry soon. Sure enough 15 minutes later I feel a slight hunger sensation and 15 minutes after that (4 hours), I’m full on hungry

      That’s pretty much my experience too : D

  62. John says:

    Why do you keep the olive oil in a separate container and then mix it in last? Can’t you mix it with all the other dry ingredients for convenience?

    • Zach says:

      You *can* do that, but it’s greasier and messier I find. Dry powders pour in and out of containers with minimal residue and minimal cleanup required.

  63. […] recipes as well as for discussion about nutrition and experiences.  One popular recipe is this Hackerschool recipe with 11 ingredients.  Using the makesoylent.com webapp, I generated my own variant which I […]

  64. Scoot says:

    Really glad I found this. I don’t have any food allergies/sensitivities that I know of, but another Soylent recipe I had found and tried caused me to have some really bad stomach issues for some reason, so I had pretty much given up.

    This one seems to agree with me and is also pretty agreeable in the flavor department, which is always a plus. Thanks!

  65. bldysabba says:

    Hi Zach
    I’ve been trying to tinker with your great recipe because I’m in Canada and some of the ingredients you use are not available or cheap here. Oat flour for instance, is not easily available(and phytates might also be an issue?). What are your thoughts on a replacement like whole wheat flour?

    • Zach says:

      I haven’t run those numbers, though I suspect it’s not the worst substitution you could come up with. I would recommend (a) getting USDA nutritional info side-by-side on the two flours, e.g. from http://healthaliciousness.com, (b) noting the major differences, and (c) comparing them to the nutrient totals and safety information in this blog post.

  66. Bridger Maxwell says:

    I just ordered all of the ingredients. They should get here tomorrow morning. Thanks for making such an easy recipe! I backed the Soylent project but I am too impatient to keep waiting, haha.

    What do you do with the Soy Lecithin granules? Do you grind them up or are they okay left as granules? I know I have seen it on ingredient labels before, but I haven’t encountered it in pure form.

    • Bridger Maxwell says:

      The soy lecithin granules arrived, and I can now say they are easy to eat in the shake without grinding them up first, if anyone is curious.

  67. Harsh says:

    Zach, I have been on Soylent for 13 days now. Its awesome for its utility but I have been struggling with its taste. Today I need to make next weeks batch so I was hoping for some pointers as I try to improve on the formula. Here are the questions I am tackling with:

    1) Taste: Sometimes it tastes great, just like a chocolate milk shake but other times it tastes like crap. It could be due to the different olive oils I have been using. Will getting an emulsifier for the mix improve the taste?

    2) Texture: Is there a solution to the oat flour settling at the bottom?

    3) Flavors: Cocoa powder has been a savior for me. I couldnt stomach it without but it hasn’t always been consistent in terms of taste. I am wondering whether that is because of the temperature of the drink. What do you think?

    4) Process: I usually put a bit of water in a 2.6 liter jar before throwing in the soylent mix of the day. Then I add olive oil and more water to the top before immersing my blender. I wonder if there is a better way. How do you throw in the mix?

    5) Fat source: I have been using olive oil. Is that the dominant taste in your drink too?

    I could use some guidance. Thanks for helping!

    • Zach says:

      I find that time in the fridge is the biggest factor in the taste. The soaking time improves the texture, allows time for the flavors to come out, and the colder temperature improves the flavor in its own right.

      Try using different brands of olive oil. Products not marked “extra virgin” tend to have less of an olive taste, and so do “light” olive oils. You could also try grapeseed oil; it’s comparable in fat profile to olive oil, and it’s what Rob is using. Though I think you’d be losing some vitamin E and K.

      Good luck! And sorry for the belated response, feel free to email me or post followup comments with additional questions if you have any.

  68. Anon. says:

    Currently, if we use two pills of the Opti-women multivitamin, we get 2*20mg of niacin and 2*600 mcg of folic acid. This puts me at 200% and 300%, respectively, of the recommended intake for a 20ish male.

    What’s your take on this?

  69. Alexey says:

    I had a concern that this recipe would give me the problem with bloating and flatulence, as happens for me with any carbohydrate-rich food, and that appeared to be exactly the case. Also, into third day or so I started craving steak. So I was trying to lower the carbs, especially sugar, and raising fat and protein content, but the taste becomes pretty gross and I don’t have enough cooking knowledge to fix that. What are your plans on a low-carb version of your recipe?

    • Zach says:

      I’m planning to publish my all-natural recipe sometime this week, then start working on the low-carb one. The only plans I have are to get pretty much every powdered food/stuff I can think of and play with them. I think it will have to go in a savory rather than sweet direction, as I don’t want to use artificial sweeteners.

      • Alexey says:

        Sweet, man! Figuratively speaking :) I think I would actually prefer it to be savory rather than sweet, and I hope I’m not the only one. Thank you for your hard work!

  70. JC says:

    Hey Zack, thanks for putting this together. You said the cocoa was included mainly for fiber and taste. Do you have any alternatives you would suggest for someone that doesn’t like chocolate? It looks like that isn’t there anything in the cocoa powder that might be difficult to replace, but am I missing anything?

    • Zach says:

      I haven’t run the numbers, but yes, it’s mainly for fiber and taste. In a pinch I’ve used coconut flour, but I really can’t say I’ve researched whether that is nutritionally sound.

  71. Jessica says:

    This is awesome! Thanks for posting, I can’t wait try my first batch. I was just wondering, what would the strategy be for cutting down on calories? Online Calculators estimate me needing 1500-1600. Also would you have any ideas on a good olive oil/flaxseed/almond/etc. oil for better fatty oil ratios?

    • Zach says:

      Reducing the oil, and reducing the sugar (in that order). You lose about 9 calories per gram of oil reduced, and 4 per gram sugar.

  72. Morrighan Rhodes says:

    Thank you so much for developing this and posting your recipe. I was recently diagnosed with Celiac and Crohn’s disease. I only feel good and right when I don’t eat at all, but after a few days of fasting I simply have to eat something. Liquids – juices and soups – are the best for me, but a pain to make and – even still – sometimes leaves me feeling worse than had I not eaten anything at all. And I can’t digest supplements in pill form (not to mention that liquid vitamins and supplements are expensive!).

    On a whim with a pinch of desperation, I just made a small batch of Soylent. I can’t get over how tasty it is nor can I believe how good I feel after a single Soylent meal. I can’t wait to see how I feel in a week! Thank you so much! You may have just saved my life – no kidding. :)

  73. Nathan says:

    Zach! I was trying to do this earlier last year, but it was such an intense project, to me, to put all of that nutrition information together safely. Instead I substituted just one meal a day, sometimes two, with a mix of breakfast powders, fruit, whey protein, vitamins and whole milk (Lactaid), while making sure my other meals (the ones I had more time to make) had a mix of largely vegetables and some proteins and carbs that came from a whole food source.
    Great ideas! I may or may not be on my way right now to the grocery store with a list of these ingredients….

  74. […] Soylent recipe? Zach Alexander (whom The Verge profiles and, full disclosure, I dated) uses 10 common ingredients, including oat flour, soy protein, olive oil, and brown sugar. Supposedly the thing even tastes […]

  75. tsgmtsgm says:

    Hi Zach,

    Can you quickly go through your reasoning for the two vitamin suggestions? There are a lot of multi-vitamins out there…how did you narrow it down?

    • Zach says:

      It wasn’t so much a question of which were “best”, as which fit most neatly into the recipe and other ingredients.

      Iron was one major criteria, and so was excess vitamin E – there was a period where people thought megadoses of vitamin E would be good for you, but more recent research suggests this is unhealthy. A lot of multivitamins are pretty good except for too much vitamin E.

  76. […] 1/3 of the way done with my DIY Soylent experiment and overall, things have been going […]

  77. […] is a long post about DIY soylent. tl;dr taste check pass, ease of making pass, effectiveness remains to be […]

  78. Gina S. says:

    Hello, I am going through the recipe and am fine with most of the modification options. But I am concerned with the sugar consumption (not that it will kill me or anything) but with the scientific implications of positive glycemic effect on the endocrine system using Stevia…I was wondering, can the sugar be replaced with Stevia? Would it alter the out come of the Hacker Soylent product listed here? Does the sugar create some type of basic level chemical reaction that forms specific glucose that is needed for the brain or body? Or is the sugar just used directly for direct energy and flavor?

    • Zach says:

      Stevia would be fine — just add olive oil (roughly half the amount by weight) to compensate for lost calories, if you want to. I agree sugar isn’t very good for you, and I’m starting to actively work on a low-carb recipe.

      • Gina S. says:

        Thank you for the timely response. I have another question…I was looking at the vitamins you listed and believe them to be great but I use a vegetarian vitamin (Green Source Multi). What are your opinions on the intake of that vitamin and the use of this Hacker Soylent recipe? The only ones I should honestly avoid staying away from (overdose wise) would be iron and potassium for sure…but any others I should watch out for? Also, would it mess with the chemical reaction to much if you added biotin and/or b’s to the mix? (for that natural energy boost in the morning…although from the sounds of peoples responses I won’t need that after the initial dietary change tiredness wears off)

  79. Chris Sells says:

    I’m really enjoying the recipe, Zach. Thank you!

    I find it fills me up and the taste is fine. However, in case I want to try other flavors, can you recommend a substitute for the chocolate powder that provides the necessary fiber? I’d like the mixture to be plain tasting so that I can mix in other flavors, e.g. crystal light.

    Also, besides the oat flour, do any of the other ingredients have gluten? I’ve replaced the Bob’s Red Mill Oat Flour with the Gluten Free version and that works fine.

  80. Chris Sells says:

    One more question: do you have a solid food equivalent? It would be better in some situations to be able to bake this recipe to make bars or bread.

    • Zach says:

      Sort of! The recipe I’m publishing tonight or tomorrow can be smushed into a brownie-like energy bar. Stay tuned.

      • William Carr says:

        I was wondering when someone would realize; add egg substitute, reduce the oil and water to compensate, keep the cocoa powder, add artificial sweetener and the psyllium husk, and bake at 350F for thirty minutes.


  81. Spencer says:

    Hi Zach,

    Excellent post, I love the thorough descriptions and relatively easy to get supply list, this is great! I am very excited to get started on a Soylent “meal plan” if you will.

    However, I will be needing somewhere in the 2500-3000 calorie range, and I was wondering if it’s really alright to increase the olive oil content so much, or if there’s a better alternative. I’d be fine with either, it just seems a little high to me, so I thought I’d ask.

    Also, are there any food concerns when it comes to eating outside of the soylent meal plan? i.e. is there anything I might eat that would overdose any of the nutrients (such as manganese or iron)?

    Thank you for your time and response!

    • Zach says:

      I see no harm in adding that much oil, though you may want to try using something besides olive for part of it due to the taste (unless you have light-tasting olive oil). Grapeseed is pretty neutral, and what Rob is using last I checked. Flax and chia and avocado and hemp are all healthy oils too. You might also add more sugar (hate to say sugar, but the other ingredients would put you over on at least one micronutrient).

      I have no particular advice for eating non-soylent foods. If you eat one meal of soylent and two normal meals, any overdose on iron isn’t really because of the soylent, because you’d have to be eating more than 2/3 of your daily iron (say) amount in those two meals.

      • fabyeah says:

        Hi Zach,

        you’re saying that increasing the other ingredients (oat flour or protein) would put one over on at least one micronutrient. What nutrients exactly would that be?
        I’ve been enjoying my modified recipe for quite a while now, with 180g of oat flour and 170g of soy protein. (Though i’m aiming for close to 4000 kcal per day and lots of protein because I’m working out and lots of carbs because I’m more of a lean body type)

  82. […] tener grandes conocimientos de química (ni tener una báscula para pesar los microgramos) es la Hackerschool Soylent. Está creada por un cocinero de Boston que puso a disposición de todos una receta de muy fácil […]

  83. Mallo says:

    Hello, I have 2 suggestion:

    1. Have you considered using Niboshi powder (sardines)? I think it would provide DHA and EPA and as powder it’ll be more “handy” than fish oil… but maybe it’s harder to find.

    2.I think the suggested multivitamins are too strong, and may pose problems if someone eats soylent for months.

    Supplement facts: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2Z8LFEJFH3W0W/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B000GIQRW6&nodeID=3760901&store=hpc

    What about using a 100% RDA vitamin powder, something like http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/multi-vitamin-powder/10529755.html just like the original soylent does?

    • Zach says:

      1. No, but that’s an interesting idea…

      2. What nutrient(s) in particular are you concerned about?

      You shouldn’t pay any mind to any commercial product claiming “100% RDA”, because RDA figures are very outdated.

  84. kelsie says:

    i tried the recipe today and its very delicious. i drank it whial i was at work for breakfast and after work again for lunch and i still feel the need to eat something because im still hungry is there any way to thiken it up so it sits in the stomach longer then it does right now? its very thin please let me know. thankyou

    • Gina S. says:

      Hey, I use to have the same problem. Try using less water when you create the product. It should sit in your stomach longer. Also, in the comments there is a guestimation of the rough oz per time ration on how long it will last in your stomach in general. Also, the problem you could be having is that you aren’t taking in as many calories as you need. BMR vs. Activity ratio. (I had to find this out the hard way as well). Also, depending on your body mass you are suppose to be taking in 8 -8oz glasses of water a day and an extra 8 ozs per 10 pounds you are over weight. (information provide by the Heart Association) this will also curb your hunger and allow your body to function properly. Also you could not be absorbing the vitamin/minerals through your intestine properly, especially if you did not detox first. Try drinking a detox drink of cilantro, parsley, and aloe vera. The cilantro and parsley are natural detoxifiers pushing out harmful stuff that you take in on a day to day basis in processed foods and pesticides. The aloe vera will coat the substances that are only fat soluble (water wont help these and will only make them cause further damage to cellular structures as the fat disappears) and will help them exit the body. ~Information can be watched in ‘Hungry for Change~

      Hope this helps. It did me since I have a rare disease digestively.

      • kelsie says:

        thankyou so much. yes this helps out a lot. i also found that if i make the shake then i need to drink it within 24 hrs or it doesnt taste as well. still good but not as good as when it is fresh. im doing a combination of 2 different diets i am doing the soylent and because i still need to know how to cook for my son since i dont believe i can legally give this to him 3 times a day . lol im also doing the jenny craig stuff. that way i can still lose weight i have a weight loss coach, i can still cook for my son and its just all around the best of both …now i need to find time for the gym gawd i miss it.!

  85. tsgmtsgm says:


    In reference to your warning on Maganese, I have written a post here: http://discourse.soylent.me/t/have-you-asked-yourself-why-upper-limit-of-manganese-is-11mg-day/7660

    detailing why the 11mg/day upper limit should not be feared. There is absolutely no research that indicates that 11g/day is an upper limit. In fact, if you read the post, I clearly list why the USDA sets the limit to be 11g/day, which was based on a single study of 30 year-old Canadian women who indicated that their diet ranged from 0.7-10.9mg/day of Maganese.

  86. Peter says:

    I am curious, is the 400-500ml of water that we add in step #4 to be added to the whole day’s portion or to the single meal portion as described in step #3 in the directions? I am not sure whether to add 400-500 ml or 1200-1500 ml for the whole days portion. Any help would be much appreciated!

  87. OliverN says:

    Zach, thank you so much for posting this Soylent recipe. There are four things about it that I really like:

    1. The ingredients are all very easy to find
    2. It’s a well thought out ingredient list that balances nutrition, taste, and cost very well while minimizing the extra hassle and risk of dosing micronutrients
    3. The recipe doesn’t just default to the cheapest solution at the possible cost of nutrition
    4. It tastes really good – I actually look forward to my Hacker School Soylent shake.

    Thanks for taking the time to develop it and for sharing it – for the first time ever, I think I’m hitting all my RDAs without massive excess in some and hideous deficiency in others. I’m also saving money, and I have a bit more to spend on quality food at home and at restaurants when I choose to change it up for a meal.

  88. fabyeah says:

    Hey Zach,

    there seems to be no creatine in your recipe? Usually one gets creatine from meat. Rob adds creatine to the ‘official’ soylent:


  89. […] – in part because of the press soylent is getting lately (such as this Verge piece profiling my Hackerschool Soylent […]

  90. Bridger Maxwell says:

    I have been on this for pretty regularly since September and am really loving it. Thanks for the recipe!

    I have been experimenting with taste a bit and have a few recommendations for variety. Without changing the recipe, adding some cinnamon is delicious. If you have an immersion blender, it is also really easy to add a chunk of peanut butter or a handful of mixed berries. Both are very good with the chocolate background!

  91. Nathan Abbott says:

    Thanks for the hard work & the TASTY recipe.

    Is this a SAFE level of MAGNESIUM?

    The upper intake level for SUPPLEMENTAL Magnesium is 350-400 mg. Too much can cause heart trouvle. However, Mg from FOOD sources is deemed safe at much higher amounts.

    This recipe contains TWICE the upper intake limit (UL). If the Mg in TJ Soy Protein is from food sources, then no problem. But if it’s from the lab, not so good.


  92. Jon says:

    After a lot of research I settled on your recipe as a very good, practical solution. I’ve modified it slightly for my particular situation (type 2 diabetic). My comment is that I’ve been playing with the taste to try to make it more enjoyable for me. I wasn’t exactly turned off by the taste but it didn’t thrill me, particularly since I’d eliminated the brown sugar and substituted a small amount of pomegranate juice, cinnamon and a banana. What I found that really had a profound positive impact on the flavor was a total surprise. Hotsauce. I put enough cayenne Hotsauce in to get a little kick into the drink. The combination of the cocoa and heat really improved the flavor. Call me crazy, but I’m loving it. Thanks for all of your hard work.

  93. josh says:

    I would really like to try this, but unfortunately, my body doesn’t tolerate oats. I get horrible intestinal cramps when I eat them. Is there something I could use instead of the oat flour?

  94. Johnny says:

    Hey i just started this today and i was wondering if the consistency is supoosed to be this thick? i measured everything correctly but its really thick…Is that normal?

  95. Dave says:

    Hi there
    Is it possible to put in less soylent with the same amount of water, or less water, so that I can eat/drink 3 sets of it a day?

    Just wondering because it doesn’t seem very efficient to make one batch and then just drink that in one sitting?
    Thankyou :)

  96. Gareth says:

    Hi. I am very interested in your recipe but I have a few questions.

    Where do you get your numbers for the nutritional information. Obviously the nutritional information section on the actual product is a good start, but not everything is listed. For example, olive oil contains vitamin K but that’s not listed on the label.

    I have found: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/6468?qlookup=oat+flour&fg=&format=&man=&lfacet=&max=25&new=1

    (And from there I see that oat flour contains a lot of iron).

    But the only entry for lecithin is for an oil form:


    Were do you recommend I get this information? What are the reputable sources?

    I’m the sort of person who would like to add everything up myself rather than just take things on faith before doing a Soylent experiment, and besides, by doing it myself I get to learn about nutrition in the process.


  97. Nathan Abbott says:


    20g of Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa contains 6g of iron.

    20g of Hershey’s Regular Unsweetened Coco only contains about 1g.

    RESULT: Easy 5g iron reduction.

  98. VaughnV3 says:

    In lieu of separate Calcium & Vitamin D supplements, would not Emergen-C’s Mixed Berry supplement provide the recommended allowances?


  99. […] decided to go with Hackerschool Soylent because it seemed to be the most complete and easily adjustable recipe out there.  I changed the […]

  100. […] decided to go with Hackerschool Soylent because it seemed to be the most complete and easily adjustable recipe out there.  I changed the […]

  101. Nathan Abbott says:


    TJ Soy Protein has 140 IU (35%) VITAMIN D per serving.

    Is that new? Why take a vit.D supplement when the TJ Soy has enough?

  102. Jackie says:

    I’ve been drinking this for about four days, so not an extended time, but enough to get some sort of an opinion.
    One, this doesn’t completely fill me up. I’m fine for a few hours or so, but three glasses isn’t enough for a day for me (and I’m a very petite girl, 2000 calories is MORE than enough for me)
    Two, even after kicking up my caffeine intake, this stuff makes me oddly tired. Like, “just ate a thanksgiving meal four times over, can’t keep my eyes awake” kind of tired. I have no idea what’s causing either of these, but it’s enough to make me think I did something wrong…

    • Zach says:

      I wouldn’t assume you’ve done anything wrong; it’s just probably not a good fit for you body for some reason.

      I’d be curious if there were any particular kind of food you tended to crave after drinking this (salty? proteiny? carby?).

      I heard that a lot of Rob’s initial female beta testers didn’t take to his mix either, at a higher rate than men. So gender might have something to do with it.

  103. J says:

    What are your thoughts on using the coconut sugar here in place of the brown sugar, and then cutting out the potassium citrate?

    I’m having a lot of trouble finding solid numbers on the amount of potassium in coconut sugar, but I think that would significantly simplify this recipe for me and anyone else who has access to coconut sugar.

  104. Beth says:

    I’m really looking forward to trying this, should have the last of the ingredients arrive this week! I have decided to make a larger batch as my husband and I will both be using it. I’ve read in the comments that chilled tastes better. Should I mix the AM shake the night before and the lunch shake in the AM? Also is it okay for me to use coconut sugar or avocado oil? I saw that previous posts touched on it, but I wanted to double check. Thanks in advance.

    • Zach says:

      Cool! Chilling it that long (night before for breakfast and AM for lunch) tastes great, IMHO.

      I use coconut sugar personally. And I bet avocado oil is fine, though I haven’t run the numbers. If you’re eating it literally every meal for extended periods, you should do a side-by-side comparison and see if there are any nutrients (e.g. Vitamin E, K) that avocado oil has less of, and supplement somehow. But if you’re drinking this in combination with normal food I wouldn’t worry about it.

  105. Thomas Bjerregaard says:

    I’ve been interested in Soylent for a while and I can’t wait to try this out! I live in Denmark and can’t order the linked items from Amazon, so I used MyProtein.com instead. In case any Danes are reading this and wondering about the prices, I bought what was needed for at least 28 days worth of Soylent (with a bit leftover of some of the ingredients) and it came to approximately 30kr per day (about $5 per day). I’m skipping the separate Vitamin C supplement since my multivitamin covers that. For potassium I’m using dipotassium phosphate and for choline, choline bitartrate. My multivatmin also supplies me with 12mg of vitamin E (100% of Danish RDA) which doesn’t seem excessive.

    I’ve been experimenting with a whole foods version by Steve C.R.: http://discourse.soylent.me/t/my-whole-foods-blended-version/4144
    It’s extremely simple (milk, bananas, berries, oil, oats) and tastes fine, but using it I still find myself spending time (albeit much less) making sure I have enough groceries, blending the foods together cleaning up after myself, and making an eggs-and-salt meal every day (needed for choline and salt, although now that I think about it, you could just add those to the mix seperately). However, I have felt great (and absolutely full even in spite of calorie deficit) while on Steve’s recipe and thoroughly enjoy this way of eating, so I recommend anyone to try this out if they’re curious whether one single drink. Hackerschool Soylent seems like a logical next step: mix all the dry stuff on Sunday and then prepare 3 meals every night for the day after and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Thank you so much for posting this, I will make sure to let you know how it turns out.


  106. niceified says:

    I find that even the small amount of sugar in this causes blood sugar crashes for me.
    Would there be any harm in omitting it altogether or replacing it with stevia or something?

    • Zach says:

      Sorry to hear that – I’ve never heard of someone having that reaction before. What is your normal diet like, out of curiosity?

      It’s totally fine to replace the sugar with stevia – there are trace micronutrients in the sugar, but nothing very significant. You’re losing calories though, so you may want to add a bit more oil, if the previous amount of calories was the right amount for you.

  107. sebastian says:

    I’ve been meaning to write a reply here for a few days now, just go around to it.

    So I got most of the ingredients and switched some other ones, the main thing is:

    I’ve been on nothing but this for 6 days!!! and it’s awesome.

    here’s a few differences:

    *I got whey isolate instead of the soy one (price is a big difference). I also upped the protein to 150g per day since I don’t want as many carbs.

    * had to order the lecithin online, but I got it after the first few days.

    * potassium gluconate is still on the way so I just bought tablets and grind them for the mix every day….it’s a hassle.

    * flax and oats I got in raw bulk amounts and I grind them (coffee grinder works wonders) also I reduced the oats to 100g since I up the protein.

    * switching the sugar for coconut soon, plus I think I’ll down the amount to reduce sugars.

    * will experiment with a mix of different oils, maybe add some fish oil to get the right 0mega 3/6 ratio.

    Also I can’t really find a blender big enough for the whole mix so I end up blending a few batches and combining them into a big pitcher I have.

    it’s great for traveling and at work “food”.

    Also I’m using the Diy calculator to up the calories the right way since I’ll be going back to the gym next week. (work out about 4 days) prob up the protein as well.

    Anyhow that’s me for now, might log some of this journey in reddit/ soylent maybe even youtube.

    Thank you again for the recipe, you’re saving me a lot of $ and I feel healthy already…oh and my kitchen looks amazing!

  108. […] this knowledge, I looked at some of the more popular recipes, namely the Hacker School recipe. I created a mock-up of the recipe to see how the nutrition played out, which seemed to fall very […]

  109. jim says:

    Mostly wanted to express thanks for publishing this recipe. Followed it to a “T” using coconut sugar. Got all the ingredients except the potassium citrate at Trader Joe’s and Sprouts. Worked out to less than $9 a day.

    I make two days’ worth at a time and blend for 6 minutes in a food processor. The result is a very well blended mix with some of the grainier ingredients broken down. No graininess in the shake at all.

  110. Ken says:

    Zach, very nice mix. Tried it for a week now and it’s fine, but I noticed that I’m getting hungry in the evenings. Do I up the Oat Flour or Soy? I don’t want to up the Olive oil because I want to lose some weight.

    • Zach says:

      So, I’m not sure what would be the most healthy way to fix this, but personally what I do is I make a huge mix (like a week at a time), and I just eat as much as I feel like. So in your case you might end up eating something like 3.5 servings a day. If you want to just increase an ingredient though I’d probably increase all the macros (i.e. soy protein, oat flour, and oil) by 10% or something. Protein makes you feel full so adding more of that might help the most.

      • Ken says:

        Okay, thanks. I thought about bringing more with me, but I just carry a 20oz Blender bottle with me to work, and didn’t want to bring another container. I’m fine most of the morning to early afternoon when I finish the bottle, but then the hunger sets in. I was thinking of increasing the soy protein for the reason you stated, so I’ll give that a try (upping it 25grams for a 3 meal mix).

        Once I settle into a routine on this (been at it a week, but have an occasional dinner to change things up), then I’ll see if I can introduce flavors. I’ve been thinking of the nestle strawberry nesquick flavoring I had as a kid, so I’ll need to check that out (and dial back on the sugar in the mix to compensate).

  111. Otto Halmén says:

    Just wanted to say thanks. I’ve been adapting a cheaper lifestyle and this recipe has been an invaluable reference in making my own local supermarket variety of soylent.

    My personal suggestion for added flavor is cardamom, along with the aforementioned cinnamon.

  112. […] na GitHub:), líbí se mi, že jej nevyrábí velké farmaceutické koncerny, že není drahý, (doma si můžete vyrobit levnější […]

  113. Nick says:

    I’ve been following this recipe since February 2014. Almost a year already, so I thought I should chime in. I have it for breakfast and lunch every day and then a vegan dinner. A few things I just wanted to mention that make life easier. I make 9 meals at a time, because that’s what the container I use holds. I just multiplied the numbers and measure out the dry ingredients into the container using an Ozeri one touch food scale. I seal the container and shake it like crazy to ensure it all gets mixed together very well. In the morning, I put my nutirbullet container on the scale and measure out an individual meal’s worth, mix it with a banana and water. Sometimes I’ll add a little vanilla almond milk as well but of course with that you need to watch your levels, especially sugar. I ad a few ice cubes and blend it, add it to my Nalgene bottle. I then make my lunch batch and add it to the first batch. If you fill the nutribullet to the “top” line it works out perfect to fit your 2 meals in one Nalgene bottle. Of course if you have a bigger blender you’re using, you can just add two meals worth at a time. I bring it to work with me along with an ice pack to keep it cold. I don’t like the way it tastes as much if I make it the night before. I started doing this to save time and money, along with feeling healthier as an added bonus. I didn’t plan on this, but I have very gradually lost about 15 pounds since I started doing this. The taste is great and I still don’t ever get sick of it. Sometimes instead of banana I will add peppermint extract. I feel great and I’ve saved a tom of money as I work on the road so I used to go to breakfast and lunch every day, spending easily $15 a day just for food at work. Since your recipe has made such an impact on the way I live, figure I’d just come and give my thanks!

  114. Rob says:

    Just did some quick guessing based upon the amazon wish list, not counting the sugar, oil, salt, and vitamin d, this is about the quantity you would want to order for a thirty day supply.

    Whole Grain Oat Flour, 22 oz (1 lb 6 oz) 623 g Bob’s Red Mill 6 bags (31 days total)

    Trader Darwin’s Soy Protein Powder Dietary Supplement, 32oz (908g) (Plain) 3 containers (32 days total)

    Flax USA 100% Natural Flax Cold Milled Ground Golden Flax Seed, 40-Ounce Pack 1 bag (45 day total)

    Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Cocoa, 8-Ounce Cans (Pack of 6) 1 pack of 6 (66 day total)

    Bob’s Red Mill Soy Lecithin Granules, 16-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4) 1 order 4 pack (120 days total)

    Now Foods Potassium Gluconate Pure Powder, 1-pound
    2 containers. (44 days total)

    I assume you will source the salt, oil, and sugar locally. Additionally I didn’t include the vitamin d since you get that by being in the sun for like 15 minutes a day which most are. As for the emergen-c 1 packet has 8 days worth so a 30 pack has almost a years worth of prep.

    I would like to mention that most of these items will make more than 30 days. for instance the flax makes 45 days worth in one bag. I just wanted to give a idea if anyone wanted to know how many of the items they should order to make a 30 day supply. Hope this helps.

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