Before starting on 1.0, I had a fairly meat heavy diet. One or two servings of meat per day, chicken mostly with beef or pork a few times a week. Canned tuna at least once a week, but seafood was mostly a special occasion kind of treat.
When I started on 1.0, I felt like my energy levels were fairly consistent compared to my usual 2.5 meals of normal food. But I also felt like they were fairly low, just this constant mild fatigue. It became far worse when I would do anything mildly strenuous (30 minutes of walking on flat ground, 5 minutes walking up a San Francisco hills, 15 minutes of morning calisthenics). I assumed it was because I was practicing some calorie restriction to lose weight, but drinking more just before or after exertion wasn’t helping.
I started doing some laymen’s research, followed by some self experimentation, and I believe the amino acids taurine, carnitine and creatine are the solution. According to the mayo clinic, several mainstream nutrition sites and some vegetarian nutrition sites, these are moderately important to supplement in vegetarian diets. These amino acids are only found naturally in significant amount in meat. Taurine in particular is only in red or dark meat and organ meat.
While the body is capable of synthesizing them, they are considered “conditionally essential” because the body cannot always synthesize them at the necessary rate. This can lead to chronic fatigue and the exact kind of exhaustion from exertion that I and others have complained about.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been adding the recommended amount for vegetarian supplementation (~1/4 teaspoon of each). For taurine and carnitine, this is about half of what the bottle recommends, for creatine it’s about an eighth. These are all generally considered workout and recovery boosters, so the recommended amounts are not in sync with more general dietary supplementation. In fact, taking what the bottles recommend daily is probably too much, and according to the Mayo Clinic and other sources could have some negative long term side effects. In their powdered form, I’ve calculated that this will cost (at list price) roughly $5 per person per month.
The difference was noticeable after 2 or 3 days. I needed less coffee to get through the day, I was out of the semi-constant brain fog I’d been stuck in and I actually started having an easier time falling asleep at night. And most importantly, I don’t get that running out of fuel feeling when I have to exert myself.
As far as flavor, I could barely notice it. Perhaps a hint of tartness. My wife has a much more sensitive palate, and she noticed it tasted a little more citrus and saccharine, but not in a deal-breaking way. But if you dump 1 or 2 tablespoons of %100 dark cocoa into the 2L pitcher, it completely overruns any other flavor and tastes like chocolate cereal milk.