Carbs: 36 grams
Fat: 21 grams
Protein: 20 grams
Sugars: 9 grams
Made with soy protein for a complete amino acid profile, it's nut free, lactose free and vegan.
A name that has become an amusing meme courtesy of the classic 1973 Soylent Green movie, the real Soylent ready to drink meal replacement products doesn't really contain people. However, the name was a very clever marketing trick.
The Soylent brand has been around for a while, and in more recent times, the manufacturers have reformulated their meal replacement drinks to lower the sugar levels from 16g to just 1g per serving.
The reformulation was in response to the boom in the keto diet, where followers of ketogenic diets are turning their back on high-sugar meal replacement products in favour of keto shakes with lower sugar and higher fat levels.
However, the move to appeal to a more keto-based market has not gone down well with original Soylent enthusiasts. Many long-time users complain of stomach issues and the new formulation tasting too sweet despite the reduction in added sugar.
We wanted to check out the reformulated Soylent meal replacement drinks to see what the fuss is about and if these changes have been for the better.
Soylent comes in powdered format or a range of
ready-to-drink flavours, including Original, Creamy Chocolate, Mint Chocolate,
Strawberry, Banana, and Vanilla.
The company also produce ready-to-drink options that include
caffeine, which is excellent if you want a little caffeine boost with your meal
replacement drinks. These flavours are Cafe Chai with 35mg caffeine and Cafe Mocha
with 150mg caffeine per serving. With an average of 400 calories per 414 ml bottle, these are
a quick and convenient way to get some energy in between meals when you are
short of time. The bottles are also an excellent option to take with you on the
go when you don't have access to a blender to make up a powdered drink.
These meal replacement drinks contain soy, so they should be
avoided by anyone with a soy allergy.
Checking out the ingredients list, the most significant change
we noticed was the swap from using isomaltose to allulose to sweeten the drink
While this is a considerable reduction in added sugar from
9g to 1g per serving, allulose is a monosaccharide, or simple sugar, absorbed
by the body but not fully metabolised. 70-84% of it is disposed of in urine,
providing the same sweet taste as sugar but without the added calories.
Allulose is also found in tiny amounts in nature in certain foods, including wheat, raisins and figs, which leads us nicely to something we like about this reformulation. The manufacturers have moved to only using natural flavours in their range of drinks.
We fully support their decision to move away from artificial flavours, but this move has altered the flavour profile of some of the original drinks. We think this is why many hardcore fans of Soylent products are unhappy with the changes.
There has been overwhelming support for these changes from most of their customers, but both sides are busy voicing their opinions right now.
These are some of the key ingredients found within Soylent:
High oleic sunflower oil
Soy protein isolate
Let's take a closer and more critical look at the main ingredients that make up the bulk of the formulation: Allulose: A simple monosaccharide that delivers sweetness without the calories.
Gellan Gum: A plant-based thickener used to emulsify and stabilise liquids.
High Oleic Sunflower Oil: Rich in monounsaturated fats and is stable without hydrogenation. It is often added to processed foods.
Isomaltooligosaccharide: A carbohydrate known to be digestive resistant, supports the growth of gut bacteria, and is commonly used as a sweetener.
Maltodextrin: An artificial sugar derived from corn and wheat.
Natural flavours: From naturally-sourced plant extracts that provide flavours and aromas as close to nature as possible.
Soy Protein Isolate: The primary protein source of the drink, soy protein is a good option for those on a vegan diet or have dairy intolerance that prevents them from consuming whey or casein protein powders. The downside is that commercial soy is a GMO product, and it contains estrogenic compounds that can increase blood estrogen levels higher in men than those consuming milk-based protein. The manufacturers say their product is not GMO-free.
As you can see from the list of base ingredients, the meal
replacement formula relies on soy protein with added vitamins and minerals,
plant-based fats, low-calorie sweeteners, natural flavours, and a natural
gelling agent to make the drink thick and palatable.
Today's Soylent drink product is very far removed from its original concept by two Silicon Valley engineers who set out to create a meal replacement drink from a handful of patented chemical ingredients because they felt that preparing food was too 'burdensome' for them.
The original Soylent shake was in dry powder form but has now extended to a range of meal replacement options, including ready to drink bottles. Soylent Complete Meal is essentially Soylent Powder in ready-to-drink form and offers more flavours than the powder version.
Both the powder and bottled drinks contain the same number of calories and protein, and both provide 20% of the Daily Value for 28 vitamins and minerals per serving. However, the ready to drink bottles contain less sugar, more fat and less fibre than the powdered drink.
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Most people you speak to will have heard of Soylent, even if
they are not using meal replacement products personally. Kudos to the marketing
team behind the product for that!
We like the variety of flavours in the range, so it is easy to find something that will be suitable for your tastes. It is also reasonably priced when compared to similar products on the market. It can deliver better value for money than some comparable brands based on similar ingredients.
We like that this is suitable for vegans or vegetarians following a plant-based diet. It also has added omega-3 that helps balance omega 6 to 3 levels where plant-based people often consume too much omega 6 for their health.
If you are looking for a quick and convenient meal replacement drink that is low in sugar, uses natural flavourings, tastes good and will keep you feeling full for longer, then the new formulation Soylent meal replacement drink range may be the perfect choice for you.
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