Can ingredient combos cause different bodily reactions than eating them separately?


Continuing the discussion from The Soylent Side Effect Experiments Thread:

In the mentioned thread, @axcho has bravely dedicated his body to exploratory science. It’s an interesting approach, but I’m wondering whether we might be missing something.

Has anyone considered whether the headache and gas symptoms seen in Soylent may be caused by a chemical reaction between more than one ingredient in the digestive tract?

I am by no means a food scientist, so someone else may have a better perspective on the issue than myself. My overall question: is it possible for more than one ingredient to cause a chemical/bodily reaction when consumed together that wouldn’t otherwise manifest if the ingredients were consumed separately?

As a simple thought experiment to test this question, consider how different the following scenarios would be:

- Consuming Mentos and Pepsi/Coke individually, spaced out over a couple hours.
 - Consuming Mentos and Pepsi/Coke one after another within minutes (or seconds) of each other.


I would imagine such a scenario is indeed possible. But in the case of Soylent, it seems to be so individual. Some people have incurable gastric distress, others have none whatsoever, and others (like myself) have mild issues for a time that then even out and mostly/entirely disappear.

Also headaches happen for some, but not others (I had a very mild one once early on and a bit of extra water fixed it straight away).

There doesn’t seem to be a conclusive pattern to the issues, and as great as it is to have a few brave souls willing to donate their living body to Science… I’m not sure it’s doing a whole lot to get to the bottom of things. It may help isolate certain sensitivities that some people have (like vanillan for instance) but the people with the issues seem to be in the minority, to my eyes anyway.

The only sure-fire thing that appears to be an issue for everyone as far as I can tell, is that going from zero to 100% Soylent-only is a bad idea. Even additional water doesn’t seem to be needed for everyone (myself for instance, I consume VERY little else in the way of liquids besides Soylent, unless we go out to eat and yet I have no dehydration issues at all). Added salt is perhaps an issue for a majority of people, I think even I benefited slightly from that and I’m sure my partner did.

Anyway, I guess all I’m trying to say is that it would sure be nice to discover things that were conclusive and applicable across the board, rather than just purely individual tolerances. :slight_smile:


I agree - I think the next thing for me to try would be to have Schmoylent, but add one or two additives at a time - for example, using plain rice protein and added vanillin instead of natural vanilla-flavored rice protein.