Soylent, the pioneering food replacement company co-founded by Rob Rhineheart and backed by Andreesen Horowitz is back with two new flavors of their ready-to-drink Soylent beverages: Nectar and Cacao. This is a Soylent Nectar review.
To be honest, it is by far our least favorite among the new flavors, and what seems to be the most polarizing flavor available. While I frequently drink Soylent, I’m going to stick with the Original flavor, though I suspect most Soylent beginners will prefer Cacao. Let’s dive in for more.
What is Soylent?
Soylent is a meal-replacement drink that is designed to provide an optimal balance of nutrients. Soylent is supposed to be nutritious and convenient at the same time. Currently the Soylent website notes that Soylent offers “20% daily nutrition” which allows you to “get rid of hunger and get on with your day.” It comes in ready-to-drink bottles, powder you mix yourself, and bars. (Bars are currently unavailable because they made a small set of users sick.) This is a Soylent Nectar review, covering the nectar-flavored (what is that, exactly?) version of the ready-to-drink bottles.
Nectar has a polarizing taste. Online I’ve seen it described as tasting like everything from candy or fruit loops to lemon soap. It’s hard to describe the taste. Even Soylent had problems, as they came up with the nondescript and unhelpful “Nectar” name, which sounds much more appealing than the product actually tastes.
My girlfriend eagerly opened a bottle of Nectar, expecting it to be strawberry flavored, based on the bottle’s color. Her eager smile soon turned to a frown.
Nectar has a polarizing taste.
Personally, I think it tastes like lemon aspartame. It’s sweet, but doesn’t taste like real sugar. Honestly, it’s gross, and it’s a rare misstep from Soylent whose other products I like. I prefer the Original flavor, but I expect most people will enjoy Cacao–the chocolate flavor–most. Nectar though, it’s undrinkable.
How does it compare to other Soylent flavors?
Soylent Original tastes like almond milk, Cacao tastes like weak hot chocolate, and Nectar tastes like lemon aspartame.
Cacao and Original are at least 10 times better than Nectar, which is undrinkable and tastes like aspartame, lemons, and soap. (There is, however, a passionate group of Nectar defenders online who claim Nectar tastes like candy or fruit loops.)
Soylent Nectar Review: Nutrition
Nectar, Cacao, and the Original Soylent 2.0 all have slightly different formulations, but the effect is essentially the same. They’re all 400 calories and they all contain 20% of your recommended daily vitamins. Soylent is supposed to be balanced, with each bottle providing one-fifth of your recommended nutrition. There is a gram or two difference of fat, but the percentages are roughly the same: 32% of daily fat, 12% of daily carbohydrates, 9 grams of sugar, and 20 grams of protein per bottle. (Full nutrition facts here.)
Fats, Carbs, Protein
Each bottle of Soylent has 32% your daily recommended fat intake, while it has only 12% of your recommended carbohydrate intake. So, if you drank your 2,000 calories in Soylent, you’d be getting 160% of your daily fat intake while only getting 60% of your daily carbohydrate intake. You’d also be getting 100 grams of protein. How much protein is too much will vary by person. It has long been a rule in the weightlifting community to get 1 gram of protein per day, meaning living off Soylent would provide too little protein. But, using the standard baseline of a .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight means that you’d need to be 278 pounds to need 100 grams of protein.
What’s it all mean? Nutrition is complicated, varies by person, and you should talk to a doctor to understand what your ideal nutrient balance is. While Soylent is not going to provide the right mix for everyone, I commend them for doing a decent job of trying. Check out this nutrient calculator for more.
Each bottle of Soylent has 9 grams of added sugar. However, Soylent argues that since this is in the form of isomaltulose, it is much less harmful than fructose. The chart they provide which can be found by clicking the previous link is compelling, but I am not in a position to make a judgement. What I do know is that the average American eats far too much sugar, and to the extent that drinking Soylent prevents someone from eating a candy bar, it is a compelling step forward.
Given that I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake as much as possible, I generally drink a max of two Soylents per day. But, if you had to live on it, you could choose worse foods–drinking 2,000 calories of Soylent would add up to 45 grams of sugar, 5 grams under the recommended limit of 50 grams.
Soylent Nectar Review: The Verdict
I don’t like Soylent Nectar. It’s lemony sweet in a gross way. But taste is relative, and it has a passionate base of fans online. If you like the idea of drinking a lemon-flavored meal replacement drink, you should try it out. If not, you might want to consider Original or Cacao, which are both far superior.
You can buy Soylent Nectar at Amazon. They’re currently offering a 20% off coupon on your first order.
You can buy Soylent at Soylent.com but if you use this referral link you’ll get 50% off your first order of 12 bottles and Soylent will donate 4 bottles to the World Food Program USA. (Take Risks Be Happy does not receive a monetary benefit from this link.)
What did you think of our Soylent Nectar review? Be sure to let us know in the comments!