Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between Soylent and Ensure

Difference between Soylent and Ensure

The difference between Soylent and Ensure, or more generally speaking, a meal supplement and a mass gainer respectively, is vital to note, in order to better understand one’s needs and to make wise choices regarding one’s diet. A wide range of such products can be seen while browsing the shelves at the local supermarket. With obesity being an increasingly serious problem, the popularity of such products are at an all time high. Many of us also rely on these drinks believing them to fulfill the nutritional gap and boost our immunity. The ways in which these products are marketed typically makes choosing difficult. Consumers are often doubtful over the choice of the most suitable health drink for them. Many respond to how the products are advertised, how the media projects them, or blindly take a friend’s advice. While all meal replacements claim to aid with weight loss, and are generally safe to consume, they are not all created equal.

Usually most meal supplemental drinks are portion-controlled, nutritionally-balanced ‘meals’ that are designed to be filling and can be consumed quickly. The pros and cons of consuming health supplements or meal replacement drinks regularly is a concerning matter for health professionals. Buyers must be aware of what they need and select the right dietary supplement.

Food supplements like Boost, Soylent or Ensure have gained mass (pun intended) popularity today. Even some of the hospitals provide health supplements for their patients, though it is under the scanner to determine whether it is actually good for them or not. Meal and diet supplements bring in a rich supply of vitamins and minerals that are required to keep our body healthy. The basic idea behind the widespread popularity of such health drinks is the increasing health consciousness. Specially for the working population, who are ever busy and often run short of the daily nutrition, relying on meal supplements like Soylent makes sense.

How Soylent and Ensure is different as supplements

To understand how these two highly popular health products are different from each other, it is crucial to figure out what they are made of, how they are marketed and who are they targeted at.

1.   The nutrients

Balance of the macronutrients should be a major concern for those who rely on supplements like Ensure or Soylent. The proportional imbalances between the two products is a factor of differentiation between them. Ensure is rich in vitamins and carbohydrates and lacks fibers and omega values. Soylent, on the other hand, is known to be rich in fibers and used as an ideal meal supplement by users.

  • Carbohydrate – While the carbohydrate content is 27.5 grams for a serving of 220 calories, Ensure 13 has a carbohydrate content of 33 grams for 220 calories serving, which is pretty high.
  • Sugar – The proportional imbalance is not limited to just the carbohydrate content. Various consumer forums that discuss on the benefits and hazards of both the products, have stated that the sugar content in Ensure is higher at 15 grams per serving. In Soylent, the sugar content is 6 grams per serving.
  • Fibre – An average human body needs about 20 grams of fibre content per day. Soylent provides almost 27 grams fibre for a day while Ensure serves around 9 grams of it.

2.   Ingredients

Ensure is combination of soy proteins, dairy products, and comes with added flavours and sugar content. Some of its ingredients (like dairy or soy extracts) is a problem for those who are allergic to them. The fibre and omega content in Ensure is less than the carbohydrate content.

Soylent is a vegan product and is rich in soy (which obviously, is an issue for soy allergic people). The content of fibre is quite high in Soylent (about 28%) and until Soylent 2 was launched, there were no added flavours to it. The package itself shows that minerals like sodium and potassium is high in Soylent than Ensure per serving.

Difference between Soylent and Ensure-1

3.   Pricing

Soylent has been made with the purpose that individuals can have it instead of their meals in a day.

Ensure is made to supplement the meals and is less fortified in terms of the macro and micro nutrients.

The market price of Soylent is  54 US dollars for a one month pack whereas Ensure costs 59 US dollars for the same amount. Even though Ensure is not a complete meal replacement, it comes at a higher cost. At a per day cost, based on the price of Walmart 1, Ensure comes at about US$ 12 per day, which is higher than Soylent.

4.   Target consumers

Soylent is a drink that suffices for meals. It is intended for any person to consume Soylent instead of their daily meals and usual food. Soylent comes with a guarantee of providing for all the basic food ingredients we consume everyday.

Ensure is more commonly used in addition to regular food for sufficing the nutritional deficits. It was primarily designed for people who wanted to gain mass or maintain their Body Mass Index (BMI).
The target market for Soylent is huge and it is heavily used by busy bodies who need to cut short the lengths of cooking hours and Ensure, is designed for consumers who are not ready to miss out on the essential vitamins and minerals in food.

A Comparative Table summarizing the differences between Soylent and Ensure

Criteria of Distinction



Nutritional Value

Rich in fibres, potassium and sodium. Low content of carbohydrates and sugar.

Rich in carbohydrates and low fibre content.

Target Consumers

People who need alternate meal replacements.

People who want to maintain / add body mass or want to fill the nutrition balance that only food doesn’t provide.


Vegan, contains soy proteins

Contains dairy products as well as soy extracts.


Relatively less than other dietary substitutes.

Relatively high.

According to dietitian and consultant health professional in the NIH (News in Health – A monthly newsletter from the National Institute of Health, US 2), Carol Haggans, eating variety of foods throughout the day can provide all the essential nutrients that our body needs, but taking dietary supplements can fill in the gaps in our diet quickly. However, no matter how time-poor, one should keep in mind that products cannot match the nutritional benefits of whole foods and it is always advisable to seek professional guidance in selecting one’s diet and dietary supplements.

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References :

[0]1 Walmart

[1]2 https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/aug2013/feature1



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