Can Soylent replace food??

I’m a little spontaneous and get excited about NEW and DIFFERENT ways of doing things so when I learned about Soylent, I got a little hooked. And it might be a good way of losing the extra belly fat or body weight.

The owners claim that Soylent can deliver all the nutitional requirements that the body needs.

I’ve read some stuff about Soylent initially last December and the articles made me really curious to learn more about it in my search of healthy products.

Soylent drink - lose belly fat, weight loss Soylent by danlev / CC BY-SA 4.0

Here’s a little background about Soylent and its founder:

In 2013, Rob Rhinehart announced his plans on making a powdered mix drink that he believes will meet all the nutritional requirements needed by everybody. He called it Soylent. Rhinehart is a techie who wanted to maximize his efficiency eliminating the time needed to cook and consume solid food. He griped about the inefficiency of food and said that our eating habits are stuck in the industrial revolution. His initiative then became a crowd-funding campaign which raised $1.5 million in preorders. It became one of the largest crowd-funding campaigns ever.

Rob believes that the days of living solely off powders and vitamins isn’t as far away as we think. He thinks that science can feed humanity.. even better than nature can. He wanted something like Soylent to help solve massive problems like world hunger, obesity and nutritional deficiency, and have less environmental impact to our degrading planet.

glacial recessionGlacial Recession by boundless.com / CC BY-SA 4.0

But is the claim true?? Can Soylent be a food replacement?

The fact is, Rob doesn’t suggest that we need to give up food altogether. He says that we can still eat food because we want to not because we have to. We can give up food altogether which is possible with Soylent he claims.

Before formally launching the meal-replacement Soylent, he began experimenting the recipe on himself. He improvised and adjusted different doses and types of nutrients, sometimes putting himself at risk in the process.

It is something that is a LOT different than solid food, although there have been protein shakes and meal replacements that have circled around our grocery shelves over the decades.. It is the striking concept behind it that is most notable, and aims to be revolutionary.

See what other people are saying about it. Click the widget above.

Here are the Soylent claims:

1. Soylent provides all the energy and nutrients the body needs.
2. The body can absorb all the nutrients Soylent provides.
3. Soylent makes one more alert.
4. Soylent can help people cut fat and maintain good body weight.
5. Soylent saves time and money.
6. And at the end of the day: Soylent isn’t dangerous.

money savings, piggy bankMoney Savings by 401(K) 2012 / CC BY-SA 2.0

Ok. I’ll let you be the judge of these claims and hopefully the experiments below will provide you with enough knowledge about its impact.

Here are abridged and edited versions of some non-employee experimental anecdotes done with just strictly Soylent and no food:

Below is the article that I read back in December.

Soylent: What Happened When I Stopped Eating For 2 Weeks by Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss published this 2 week-experiment on a Soylent-exclusive diet in 2013. This focused on the experience of Shane Snow, a best-selling author and journalist, who asked Rhinehart if he can get his hands on it so he can perform a firsthand experiment.

running, lose belly fat

Shane’s a pretty health conscious guy who ran 3 miles 3 times per week. Despite following an above-average diet, he has an out of shape body and doesn’t get all the needed vitamins and minerals. Enter Soylent, which Rhinehart claims contains all the needed nutrients that the body needs.

Shane completed all the necessary tests that were needed for baseline data in this unique experiment including tests on fasting blood, body composition and weight, and mental alertness. He also wore a bracelet that tracked his steps and sleep. He was determined to eliminate variables which can alter the results of the experiment. Finally, he was set and ready…

His first taste of Soylent was fine… not bad and familiar even. Later on, he experienced a mild acid reflux and his throat felt like it was on fire. He then realized that what he experienced was because he was psyching himself out for the weeks to come with the idea of no solid food. By the end of Day 3, he had a monster canker sore on his bottom lip.

working on the computer-writing

By day 4, he was feeling noticeably great. He did a marathon writing session in which he noticed that his focus greatly improved. The burning throat reflux was gone but his canker sore was still there. His poop even looked like Soylent. XD

By days 7-9, he stopped craving food, felt more energetic and invincible even. By day 8 tho, he experienced a bad vertigo in the afternoon which recurred the next afternoon. He found out that it was because he started mixing the concoction by hand when his blender broke. Scooping out large chunks and eating the mixture unproportionately. Buying a new blender on day 9 did the trick and he started feeling normal again.

By days 10-13, His energy levels had risen at an all-time high and was feeling hyperactive. He realized that he was feeling extra energetic because he was no longer using food as a procrastination method in his life. This made him more productive and wired to do things like writing. He was happy and felt lighter inside.. Felt that life was starting to feel simple…

happy-person

The final day came as a surprise to him and made him wish that he can do another 2 weeks on Soylent. It was a cleansing and an awakening moment for him… and he liked IT!

As for his data post experiment, all his results turned out normal and even better than his baseline tests. Blood test indicated lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) stayed the same. Quantified-Mind revealed that he became mentally alert and snappy, reaction times were reduced. Other tests revealed no weird heart rate and sleep issues, and he slept better than normal.

These are truly great signs and that’s brave of him to be one of the first ones to conduct a 2-week experiment on an unfamiliar powder drink.

Soylent: What Happened When I Went 30 Days Without Food by Josh Helton

If you want a weekly diary of his whole experience, check out the Related Posts section on the right of the article.

It was crop dusting for Josh in his first days on Soylent. His stomach was audibly gurgling and his farts were becoming unbearable by passersby. By day 5, he felt light headed and nauseous after a 5K race on a hilly course which made him pessimistic about the experiment. He figured the next day that he had to develop a Stoic mentality to get through the day.

ancient-bust of SenecaSeneca, one of the fathers of Stoicism
by Calidius / CC BY-SA 3.0

By day 9, he realized that the goopy concoction gave him more energy and alertness, and he became more productive compared to eating junk food. Well, that should be a given. XD He didn’t have a black out or a collapse even after an exhausting and hot local race. His focus and mental alertness increased especially in long drives. He still missed food and the pleasure from it but he needed to get through another week…

By day 14, he managed to pull off a 60-mile run and had enough energy to do so which was amazing and pretty unexpected especially that he only relied on this powdered blend.

By day 21, his farts became really bad. He noticed though that it was his first solid run since on Soylent. He noticed that his legs weren’t heavy and didn’t feel cement-like anymore since abandoning solid foods. He started adding peanut butter because he wasn’t getting enough protein. He felt incredible, relaxed and rarely felt this great even before Soylent.

Day 22 was when he realized that he missed family time… his wife. Because of Soylent, he was missing out on dinner time which was a time for sharing, loving and sharing a genuine time with your loved ones.

breakfast in bed, couple time

By day 27. he visited his parents’ house. His dad made pancakes which made him try Soylent pancakes. And guess what! The mixture slowly disintegrated! XD

Finally, it was the end of 30 days. He still had some food cravings but gained a few memorable insights. He was happy to undergo the experiment and learned to appreciate the little things in life and food in particular. And being all the more excited for solid food, his dad texted him at 10pm to go to the Waffle House at midnight. He had forgotten the sensations of real food and with every flavorful bite he almost cried.

Waffle House breakfastWaffle House by brownpau / CC BY 2.0

He did blood tests on his first and last day. His first day returned some out of the range results, and on his last day his results came back completely normal. He increased productivity and mental alertness, and had an experience like no other. He still preferred food in the end tho because of his value placement on pleasure but Soylent became a keeper for him. It gained him the knowledge that he can jump right into the day knowing that there is something a lot more convenient to snack on and provide him with the necessary nutrients.

Some worthy quotations:

Shane Snow said…

“It’s meant to be a health simplification diet. And that it absolutely was. Shockingly, so, I might add, because I expected to be miserable the whole time and was in fact quite happy. Beyond the time savings (and not having to think about food much), I was struck by how much easier it was to stick to a diet as simple as Soylent versus any other diet I’ve tried. As they say, it’s easier to be 100% obedient to a diet than 99%. Soylent left no room for debate, and therefore turned out to be quite easy… By far, the most interesting result to me was the cost and time savings of living on Soylent. I saved $200 during my trial. This is good news for the company’s greater mission of combating world hunger—especially since I imagine they’ll be able to manufacture and ship the stuff to impoverished areas at much cheaper than the kickstarter price. (One side note: the use of Soylent requires access to clean water, so there will be additional logistical challenges to making a “cure-all” for the world’s starving.)… My two weeks of Soylent is just a data point among a flood of results that will come out as the powder hits the market this fall. Long-term, clinical trials are certainly going to go a long way to proving the stuff’s effectiveness and safety to a degree that will not leave nutritionists nervous. But in my limited data set, signs point in a positive direction for the Soylent crew.”

Rhinehart tried to explain his end goal by saying…

“We’re definitely not trying to compete with the experience of your mom’s cooking. Our goal is to make food more like water.”

Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss by O. Ezratty @ picasaweb / CC BY-SA 3.0

Afterword from Tim Ferriss

“I commend the Soylent team for attempting to simplify food. The problems of nutrition and world hunger are worth tackling… Nutrition and people are not one-size-fits-all. The human body isn’t well understood at all. This doesn’t mean you can’t attempt to create good nutritional products; it does mean you need to mind your claims.”

Source: Soylent: What Happened When I Stopped Eating For 2 Weeks

 

 

My conclusion:

Now there were some weaknesses in their data but nevertheless, both Shane and Josh became healthier after a Soylent-only diet. Their productivity and mental alertness increased, and had an experience like no other. Their experiences had different emotional and psychological impact on them, one being more positive (Shane) than the other (with respect to how they liked Soylent).

We can’t surely ascertain if the improvements were caused by Soylent or some external factor, but I think I can deduce that drinking Soylent (and water) only is not as dangerous and is actually feasible as long as it’s not conducted in a more extended amount of time.

I recommend trying Soylent but based on these experiences and the ones I came across online, I wouldn’t totally abandon food for it especially for longer than a month, at least for me. But if you’re really eager to try this out as a total replacement for a couple weeks, I would say watch out for symptoms that may arise, try to do some tests (if you can), and ask for your doctor’s advice especially if you have a medical condition to ensure your safety. Further research and long-term testing should be done with this product.

Having said that, it doesn’t have to be exclusive or taken without food. In fact, in can be used as a supplement just like protein shakes and smoothies to add to your regular diet. Make sure to look at the ingredients though so that you won’t be going over your nutritional requirements everyday. Try to balance it out and see how this drink affects and changes you. 🙂

You can save a lot of money with Soylent since it causes much less than regular nutritious food and is less time-consuming. But don’t forget to be cautious and watch out for symptoms. You’ll most likely lose those extra body fat if you try it so I think it’s worth a shot.. if you’re into “crazy and different”! 😀

Soylent, lose belly fatSoylent by rklopfer / CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Here are some product recommendations if you wanna try and see what the fuss is about. 🙂 These are cheaper and will save you a lot of money.

Here’s a complete meal replacement if you’re really serious about trying out Soylent:

Soylent Meal Replacement Powder, Original, 2.3 Pound

Grab-and-go single meal replacements for those with a busy lifestyle:

Soylent Coffiest Ready to Drink Breakfast, 14 oz Bottles, 12 Pack

Soylent Meal Replacement Drink, Cacao, 14 oz Bottles, Pack of 12

Soylent Meal Replacement Drink, Original, 14 Fl Oz (Pack of 12)

Australian-made Oz Soylent:

Oz Soylent

Here’s another good meal replacement if you wanna burn fat faster:

KetoOne powdered food

I’ve been getting questions as to how long it will take to get the tight abs or reduce belly fat significantly but it all depends on a lot of factors which I talked about in my How to lose belly fat and get abs! BETTER RESULTS FAST!! post like your lifestyle, stress level, hydration, exercise, diet, sleep, motivation, BODY SIZE (which is very important to consider as well), etc. If your diet will only be Soylent for the next few weeks, you can expect to get faster results but do proceed with caution. If you work hard in every aspect you will surely achieve flat abs in less time!! You can actually see a great improvement in a week if you adhere to my tips.. You can achieve great abs in a month, 2 months or so but you have to be consistent and motivated! 🙂

Thoughts, suggestions, questions or whatnot?? I welcome everything so feel free to leave any comments below if you find anything worth mentioning or worth talking about. I’d really appreciate it! Thanks!

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8 Replies to “Can Soylent replace food??

  1. I have never heard of any food alternatives. It would be interesting to know if you the feelings of being full and if so how many glasses would you have to drink? Furthermore, how does it affect those with preconditioned health issues.

    I guess I am old school. I need more case studies with data about age, health and weight of a person over long trial period. Have you tried this product? If so what conclusion do you have after trying it?

    1. Your questions are pretty valid. Thank you. You will certainly feel full with Soylent and feel more relaxed and incredible than if you eat an unhealthy meal. Soylent is actually healthier than the average American diet. You need 5 bottles of Soylent 2.0
      to meet 2000 kcal which is the requirement of a physically active person. That means you will do fine with less if you lead a less active or sedentary lifestyle. Each bottle has 400 kcal. Soylent 2.0 is not a 100% replacement solution but a grab-and-go single meal replacement. If you’re really serious with going all out on Soylent, you should try the bulk powder (2.3 lbs.) which is the complete meal replacement. It retails for $35.14 and is considerably less expensive than Soylent 2.0.

      To ensure safety and if you wanna try this out for a longer period or by itself, I would say watch out for symptoms that may arise, try to do some tests (if you can), and ask for your doctor’s advice especially if you have a medical condition. Like what I stated in my article, you don’t have to try this by itself. You can also incorporate it with your diet or as a grab-and-go single meal replacement as long as you read the nutritional label so you don’t go overboard your nutritional requirements. I haven’t tried this out but I’ve read articles about it. There’s always gonna be people opposing something which is fairly new and radical, and I totally understand that. But really, A meal replacement isn’t a new idea at all and has been around before Soylent but Soylent is special in that it’s more complete than other meal replacements out there. It helps SLIM DOWN YOUR BELLY and has LESS SUGAR than most meal replacements. It’s hard to do your DIY Soylent as the ingredients are not as accessible as other meal replacement ingredients. I think I would go farther and say it’s safe just based on the articles that I’ve read about, and as long as you follow my advice about its usage and your doctor’s. I did say tho that I don’t recommend trying it for more than a month just because it needs more testing.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to compile this article.I enjoyed reading the content and the information provided.It has certainly helped in assisting me in making a more informed decision in relation to the use of this product.The idea of being able to help feed the worlds starving and undernourished through products similar to this should most certainly be explored,applauded and encouraged.

  3. This sounds like a pretty cool concept. I had no idea that someone has the intention to replace traditional nutrition habits.

    You shared some great info and I feel like giving Soylent a try. I have extensive experience with protein poweders and what not – nothing has been able to replace food for me.

    Is Soylent only available online though? Just curious – not that I mind buying it from Amazon.

    1. Thanks for the comment and I appreciate your appreciation for Soylent. I’m not sure if you can buy it in stores… I have links tho in this post where you can get them if you’re interested in giving it a try. They have other delicious flavors as well. 🙂

  4. First off let me say, I am not attacking you, please do not get that impression. I am a very kind person. I am also a person who is very aware of what she puts in her body. You can break yourself of eating food out of boredom or habit in many ways that do not involve drinking a shake filled with chemically made ingredients. It has also been proven that you can break any habit you have by not doing it for 21 days. That is where the 21 Day Diet came from, people changed their diets drastically for 21 days and at first craved disgusting foods, but were not hungry. By the end of the 21 days they no longer had those food cravings, many of the cravings were gone because there are many addictive foods of which people are not commonly aware. One way to save the planet and avoid drinking a mixture of chemicals is to eat a plant based diet. If we took all the grains in the US alone used for feeding animals on factory farms each year, we could feed the world. Plus the amount of water it takes to raise those animals added to the amount of ground water ruined by their feces is alarming. On to Soylent, one bottle has 20% of our daily nutrients and 400 calories. I would only need to drink 3 a day and therefore would not get my needed daily intake of vitamins. There are many questionable ingredients in this product that have been link to cancer, some that you can overdose on in high amounts and potassium chloride is the third drug in the lethal injection process, 90grams of it will kill a 165lb healthy human. I do not like to consume frankenfoods and this is the reason. There are also a couple of ingredients which have been banned by the European Union, so if they are selling worldwide, I would be shocked senseless. Lastly, these shakes are priced at roughly 12 bottles for $37.00 on Amazon. At 3 bottles a day, that equals my food cost being $9.25 a day per person. I cook at home and eat fruits, grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, berries, and so called superfoods and spend maybe a third of that a day, sometimes less. So far I see no benefit to this product. Besides doesn’t everyone know, “Soylent Green is people!”. Okay, that last part was a joke, but probably explains where the product got its’ name. The claims that this product is safe for everyone are false, put aside the scary chemically made crap and you have soy as one of the main ingredients. Many women are now staying away from soy because they believe it is linked to breast cancer, many studies agree. There are also wheat derived ingredients therefore people with a gluten allergy can not consume this product. So, I’ll pass. It’s a nice idea, I guess. I still enjoy cooking, eating as a family, playing in mud puddles and dancing in the rain. if you don’t take time to smell the roses how will you ever know how sweet they smell?

    1. I definitely welcome any feedback. I think you make good points and I just thought that Soylent can be a good option or supplement for people who have busy lives or want to try new things. I’m also with you about livestock and animals that they shouldn’t suffer so much because of our needs and wants. That’s why even tho I’m not planning on becoming a vegetarian soon, we only consume fish and other seafood now in the house. About the chemicals, I understand your concerns and maybe you’re right but everything around us have chemicals.. not just chemicals but harmful ones! Our food, water, air, everything! You can stay away from GMOs and buy certified non-GMO or organic products but they do cost more and that doesn’t guarantee that they’re 100% chemically free. I advocate organic products and I myself use them because I’m health conscious too. My point is it’s impossible to stay away from harmful chemicals. Of course we can avoid toxins by staying away from chemical-laden personal care products, food, treated furnitures and whatnot but there’s always some exposure to something somewhere. Anyway, this link shows how many chemicals soylent has compared to other foods https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_(meal_replacement)#/media/File:Soylent_Proposition_65_Graphic.png I would say that the regular household cleaning and personal care products, make up etc. that we see in the shelves and almost everybody uses on a daily basis are still more harmful than Soylent but people still use them because they’re more convenient, less expensive and they’re used to them even tho all the ingredients are harmful and extremely carcinogenic or cancer-causing. About soy, I was researching about the effects of soy and the studies vary. It’s not conclusive. And Asian countries which eat a lot of soy have lower rates of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, etc. Of course, there are other factors such as eating seafood and having a healthier lifestyle, genes, race but some eat soy regularly, and you can read online that soy does have its health benefits and actually help prevent said diseases. I did say in my outro that I don’t recommend the use of Soylent for an extended amount of time but it doesn’t seem to be as dangerous and most of its ingredients are what people already have in their house. As with all other foods, you have to look at their labels for allergy concerns. And Soylent is said to be healthier than the average North American diet which has a lot of gene-altering qualities which cause cancer. That being said, I’d only recommend it as a supplement or something to snack on but not a total food replacement. I do appreciate your comment and opinion tho.

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