A few days of Soylent and disappointed


#1

I just started with Soylent on Saturday morning (2 days ago). Now it’s Monday and I’m giving up on it (well, for now, I bought 6 weeks worth so I’m pretty sure I’ll try again when I feel up to it). I’ll try to explain my experience.

The positives are that it tastes good, I don’t feel hungry after consuming it, and that it’s nutritious.

I don’t really mind the texture. It’s what I would imagine the texture of drinking quicksand would be…I can imagine that some people might hate it, but I don’t. I do have to drink a good amount of water to get all of the grit out of my throat/esophagus when I’m done, but whatever.

I don’t own a blender. Soylent is something of a pain without a blender. Sure, real food is more work, but it takes quite a bit of effort to get all of the clumps out without a blender. Real food is also more enjoyable for me, so it’s a tradeoff.

Now the real negatives. I’ve felt super-drained of energy since I started on Saturday morning. I feel like I’ve been in a fog since Saturday morning…it’s seemed to let up to some degree, but not completely, a couple times maybe immediately during and after drinking Soylent, for a little longer the two times I ate some regular food, and in the evenings (which has only been two evenings). Now, there’s confounding factors: I may be a little sick (though maybe the Soylent had something to do with that?), and the Internet was out over the weekend, so I was pretty bored/unhappy.

But it’s not just that. I’ve gotten panic attacks multiple times over the past few days, which are something I sometimes deal with, but it is only rarely I can’t get them under control pretty quickly. I almost had to pull over driving to work this morning because I was freaking out for seemingly no reason (and driving to work is normally a very relaxing experience for me, believe it or not).

I’ve also had a headache since starting Soylent Saturday morning. I made sure to add a little extra salt and drink plenty of water like the forums said, so maybe it’s the potassium thing? But I wouldn’t have imagined it would be a consistent headache for almost three days straight, no let-up. It makes it hard to find motivation when I’m already feeling tired, anyways.

I’m wondering if my normal diet might possibly be better than Soylent. This definitely wasn’t the case a year ago when I purchased it, but things can change in a year. I normally take a multivitamin daily (which, looking at it, doesn’t contain much potassium, so maybe that’s the headache cause), for breakfast have a good amount of egg whites (around 5-6 eggs worth most days, maybe more once in a while) and a big bowl of “musli” (my dad mixes it up for me and him - it’s just uncooked oats, raisins, seeds, some sweetened granola, and stuff like that mixed together) which I have with milk. And then I drink a glass of juice on the side with that. Lunch is often a bare-bones microwave bean burrito with a granola bar, a cup of applesauce, and a bottle of milk. Dinner varies more, from another bean, cheese, lettuce, tomato burrito from some fast food-ish place, to something my dad cooks like pasta with sauce and cheese. Usually I have some sort of vegetable with dinner. On some days if my family’s eating meat (I’m a vegetarian) dinner might be the smallest meal of the day for me.

I’m usually very energetic, especially when I first wake up after a 9-hour night of sleep, which I had last night, so I was especially concerned when I was still tired after waking up this morning (though not any more hungry than usual).

By the way, I normally do push-ups about every other day. Skipping today because I just feel tired.

Three more things I forgot to mention - my stomach’s been just a little bit queasy today. Only a little bit, very on and off, but the feeling reminds me of the time I got food poisoning pretty recently (from some tofu I should have known was bad), and it’s not a pleasant reminder. Also, with Soylent, I can’t really easily tell if I’m full or not. I kind of drink until it feels right, but I’m not just sure like with eating normal food. Finally, gas - less with Soylent than with all of the beans I normally eat, but the Soylent gas smells marginally worse (though I don’t really care).

So, with all of that being said, I’m taking a break from Soylent. If and when I try it again, I’ll do it when I know I’m not sick, so I’ll know that it’s the Soylent doing it, if it is. I rarely ever get sick. That food poisoning I mentioned (from the tofu) was maybe the worst in the past year!

If anyone has any suggestions on how to improve my Soylent experience, please let me know!


#2

General suggestion. Start by just doing Soylent instead of the most “crappy” meal, which would most likely be lunch. Breakfast already sounds good and dinner isn’t too bad. So instead of going all or most in with Soylent start by just doing it for lunch and see how that goes. After a week or more without issues you can increase the Soylent level to your liking. Perhaps substitute dinner and if need be (no time, no motivation) skip breakfast for a cup of Soylent.


#3

My first immediate thought, is adjustment period. You’re only talking a couple of days, and a lot of people have had various issues their first few days. Personally I didn’t… but others have.

I think so much of how Soylent impacts someone, is personal. Personal biochemistry, physiology, hell even psychology. I would say when you do try it again, to start out slowly. I’m not sure from this post if you went cold-turkey 100% Soylent or not, but personally I’ve always thought that’s a really bad idea for a variety of reasons. I tend to suggest people start out replacing just a single meal per day (or adding a meal of Soylent, if they normally skip say breakfast for example). Then gradually add a second meal if desired, and even go 100% over time if one really wants to (I didn’t). But zero to Soylent-only just really is a hard transition for the body, IMO.

As for the texture… I have not noticed the grit like you describe since letting the batch soak overnight before adding the oil. Don’t know what approach you’re taking, but I find this works amazingly well. From time to time I do feel like I need a swig of water after Soylent, but it’s definitely in the minority.

Hope this helps!


#4

Some thoughts:

  1. Let the mix (powder and water) soak overnight before adding the oil
  2. Don’t quit cold-turkey on caffeine/other stimulants
  3. Try having a salty snack (potato chips, pretzels, etc) to see if the salt you’re adding isn’t quite enough.
  4. Make sure you’re keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  5. I ramped up on Soylent for a week or so. It went pretty well, and I didn’t get any of the potassium headaches.
  6. I drink a 500 cal portion of Soylent (1/4 a pouch/pitcher) at a time and call it a meal. I have one “meal” around breakfast and another for lunch. I’m currently eating traditional food for dinner. (One pitcher/pouch usually lasts me 2 days.)

#5

I haven’t tried official Soylent yet, but have you considered a blender bottle for your “clump” issue? They’re about $8. I use them for DIY.


#6

I know just the thing. Take out your pocket watch, and swing it back and forth in front of your eyes. You’re getting sleepy…very sleepy. Now, send all your Soylent to ME! :smile:

Just kidding, my friend. I think Vanclute has the right idea. It could be just an adjustment period is needed. My DIY experience was crazy for about the first 10 days. It was noticeably better after just 4 days. I’m assuming Official Soylent is similar. I hope it works out for you.


#7

First few days are rough especially if you are used to more calories. The lack of energy may be your body not switching to fat-burning mode quickly enough.


#8

Do you know if you have a sensitivity to vanillin or sucralose or any other additives in Soylent? I had the same problem with Soylent as well as some DIY containing GNC Mega Men Sport (which has lactose, vanillin, and sucralose).

I tried taking some pure vanillin and experienced headaches and fatigue that day. I’m still investigating, but it seems likely that I have a sensitivity to it (on the other hand, sucralose did not seem to affect me).

You might try some to see how you react. I still have a bunch left that I’d be happy to mail to you if you’d like to experiment (I am very curious to see how reproducible this effect is, and I have no other use for the vanillin I bought).


I feel tired just after drinking Soylent
#9

Lumps: I’m using a different kind of pitcher which is shorter (a Frigoverre), and that makes it convenient to use a regular kitchen whisk to break up the clumps. Whisks are cheap!, and they do the job fast.

Also, put some water in your pitcher before you add the powder, or you’ll be a lot clumpier on the bottom.


#10

I mixed up some in a pitcher and didn’t do this…spent a good 5 mins with a wooden spoon scraping the bottom and shaking until I was a sweaty mess. Gonna try to start with some water this time haha!


#11

At least you’re getting your exercise!


#12

I had a similar experience. I thought I was sick as well, and had almost all the same symptoms you did. My symptoms started let up after a week and after addressing some bowel issues it caused for me.

Have your bowel movements been good aside from the other issues?


#13

livingparadox- I remember seeing some of your posts. What exactly did you end up doing to fix/address your bowel issues?

Thanks


#14

Hey @jamesmazur, just wanted to let you know I’m having a similar experience as you. No panic attacks, but since starting on Soylent Sat morning, I’ve felt drained and have experiences very light headaches. I feel especially drained about 5 to 10 minutes after starting a glass of Soylent. I tried drinking more water and adding salt, to no avail. Today, I’m trying taking a probiotic, and I’m also going to get some vanillin and sucralose to see if I have a sensitivity to those. FYI :slight_smile:


#15

I add a 1g of soluble fiber to my pitcher of Soylent. It’s a 1/4 teaspoon of the brand I got. I can link you to my Soylent log if you want. I chronicled all my adventures and fixes there.


#16

Thank You, I will be trying psylium husk as soon as I can get some.

You also said this “The desire not to have to sip it is reasonable. I’d prefer not to have to think about that every time I drink. If the extra fiber continues to solve my issue, I’ll try chugging it and see if I’m still fine.”

I prefer to drink mine really quickly. Did you ever test this? Are you able to drink quickly now?


The LivingParadox nf log - Week 2 - Normal food sucks edition
#17

I replied on my personal thread, to avoid derailing this one.


#18

Thanks for all of the suggestions, everyone! I’ll post an update eventually.


#19

Hey there, I’m working on a story about whether Soylent is a good fuel source for athletes and I was wondering if you’d be willing to tell me a bit about your experiences using it while training for a marathon? You can reach me at ac dot shilton at gmail dot com. Thank you!


#20

Welcome to the club, sorry that you have to be here with me. I gave it a solid couple months before I finally called it quits. Both @axcho’s and @livingparadox’s suggestions are good to try, even if they didn’t help me at all.