Custom Blend -- Muscle Chow family

I finally finished my "masterpiece " Updated 11/10/2014: Increased the simple sugars and it’s infinitely more satisfying to drink. Also had to add in a ton more psyllium husk which was critical for comfort. Right now I’m down below 8% bodyfat and still steadily losing. 1/3 -> 2/3’s of my meals are Muscle chow and I can seamlessly switch between chow and traditional nutrition)

Is it really this easy? Just make sure the boxes light up green and then get going? I’ll be listening to my body for sure and easing into it a week at a time but is this all there is?

Just as an explanation of where this mix came from. This mix is a realization of my current diet (heavily tracked and monitored) in a simple and easy to do soylent style shake. I recently switched from super low carb, high fat, and moderate protein to a lower fat, high protein moderate carb diet. I’ve been dropping excess body fat very quickly and am looking to find a convenient way to keep it going while I’m away at volunteer obligations over the summer.

I will be using this formula in conjunction with a strength building program to cut body fat and spare muscle. I’m currently 233 at about 13% bf and after I reach 7% bodyfat (will re-evaluate bf% at 215, 210 and 205 lbs) I would switch to a higher calorie maintenace formula (still to be determined).

Please come in here and let me know if I’m missing anything, pitfalls to worry about or any gotcha’s that you’ve seen.

Thanks guys!


Possible considerations:

Just because you hit all the greens doesn’t mean it will have an agreeable taste or texture. You may need to tweak the ingredients to get it to something you like.

If you’re not used to getting that much fiber in your diet, be prepared for gas. With the high level of sulfur, it’ll probably be pretty nasty.

Lots of B vitamins (not sure if it’s a specific one or all of them) will make your pee neon yellow. It might even have a noticeable smell.

IIRC, magnesium is a natural laxative. You have double the target amount. Good luck! :smiley:



  1. Heh, taste I’m not worried about too much It’s based of tortilla perfection people chow. With the drastic increase in whey and decrease of masa I’m expecting a watery milk consistency being thrown in the mix. I’m not too scared but I sure will keep you posted.

  2. I eat about 500gm of fibrous vegetables (broccoli/carrots/cabbage) per day so no fears on fiber.
    2.5) The sulphur is certainly a concern but I’ve done pretty well at tolerating a good bit of Whey in my diet at the time. I plan on switching to a whey/casein blend when my current supply runs out which will reduce the cystein.

  3. Yeah, the pee color will be a bit odd but I do drink quite a bit of water and sweat a ton, time will tell if it bothers me and I need to modify. I have issues when I don’t take additional niacin and b-12 so that’s one I’m keeping an eye on.

  4. Holy crap (pun intended) totally missed that, I’ve got double the mag/cal that I need in there. Reduced approparietly. I do start to get a strange b/o smell if I’m low on Mag so I’ll notice pretty quick if I need to modify.

Thanks so much @gilahacker for taking the time to chime in, it’s much apprecciated!

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Be careful with the potassium, depending on your current diet. Unless your already getting that much regularly it could give you some grief. Slowly increase the amount over about a week if your getting less right now, it will give you some killer headaches, or worse, if your not used to it.

There’s been some debate over Omega 3/Omega 6 ratios through a few threads. The general consensus is to get them more balanced (1/1 to 1/4 range), your recipe stands at 1/9 now. I wouldn’t be to concerned over the ratios if this is a short term, stop gap effort, but if your planning to do this long term it’s worth looking into.

There is also a good thread on micronutrient ratios that you may find useful.

I’m not sure on the flavor since I haven’t tried the People Chow recipe, but I expect this will be thicker than the watery milk consistency you mentioned unless your using a lot of water.

Welcome to DIY, I’ve learned a lot more than I expected since starting, hope you enjoy it.

  1. Good call on the potassium. I do take about 3g supplemental now on top of my regular diet and it’s done wonders for muscle soreness but it’s good to be careful with that one.

2)The o6 the o3 is just really tough. I have no idea how much o6 is in the whey protein concentrate and the sunflower seed oil was just what nutrition data had listed. Do you have any links for how much I should have of each. I.e. should I be just dropping the o6 levels (like with a switch back to olive or olive/mct) or should I be bumping up the o3 as well. Or is there a better nutrient profile to base mine off?

3)Wow, that’s going to be a great read, thanks!

  1. You’re right about the texture I just won’t know till I tried it but it does have 100g less masa so I’m expecting it to be thinner, but seeing as it’s my first go round I wouldn’t know what thicker is! lol

I can’t imagine why I didn’t start getting into DIY sooner. Once I saw how long it was taking to get orders shipped I just couldn’t wait any more! Thanks for all the help, I know you guys have to see posts like this super often so I really do apprecciate you taking the time!


I took a look through some of my available protein choices and it seems like in order to keep the Cystine and Methionine reduced my best option is Pea Protein. Not a terrible option choice wise but I’m thinking the “earthy flavor” may be a bit of an issue.

I’m going to try it as is and keep you posted. I would have already started on this but I would like a more accurate scale than the current harbor freight one I’ve got before I do any long-term trials.

SAA content per 100gm Reference:

Whey Protein Concentrate: 3.3
Cystine: 1.7
Methionine: 1.6

Milk Protein: 3.05
Cystine .69
Methionine 2.36

Pea Protein Concentrate: 1.6
Cystine .8
Methionine .8

Rice protein Concentrate: 5.57
Cystine 2.4
Methionine 3.17

Taste: Quite good. Lightly sweet with just an overall mild flavor.

Texture: Oh dear lord the grit. I let it soak for 2 days in the fridge and that just isn’t enough. I’m going to cook the masa for next batch. Shouldn’t take too long as it is “instant” but still…

Status Update.
So far I’ve been trying an every other day DIY soylent adventure, 2 days total.

The good:
Man does that stuff fill you up. I’m eating the same calories and macros that I do with traditional nutrition but I really don’t even feel like I need to finish more than half. However seeing as I’m 500cals below maintenance and I want to spare mass (grow if possible) while I’m still quickly stripping off fat (losing 1 -> 1.5lbs a week while still lifting same amounts)

The Bad:
The masa grittiness gets to my throat.
The B vitamins and potassium must float and I need to make sure to stir it up quite well. I drank my 2 quarts in 3 meals. 2 cups, 2 cups and 4 cups. After the first meal I had mild facial flushing and mild heart palps (I am under a bit of emotional stress so I can’t rule that out especially since it resolved with light meditation).
Bowel movements on soylent are weird. Much smaller and more urgent. It’s weird especially because I’d typically consume 300-500gm of fibrous veggies a day.

Modifications: Made sure to use a full 2qt water which made the grittiness better but still not what one would call “good”.
I’m going to use my mg accurate scale for the potassium/choline/gnc mix to make sure I’m getting the correct amounts.
Added in 5gm soy lecthin and that fixed up the oil separation issue (make sure to let it soak in water so it softens and incorporates easily).
Added added in 1 pinch xanthan gum (for texture, need to weigh it out)
Added in 3 teeny scoops of pure stevia, which really makes the whole thing much more neutral.

DO NOT COOK THE MASA!! Unless you want to make soylent porridge. So much volume, my goodness. I did however find that the grittiness is much reduced by lightly heating the water and using a hand mixer. I’m going to play around with temperatures and see how that helps out

I’m on my first batch of Reduced SAA (sulphur containing amino acids). I subbed in Pea Protein Concentrate for 60gm of Whey and the flavor has a hint of earthy but is still incredibly mild. My next version will be even less because instead of whey and Pea I’m switching to a Milk Protein Isolate and Pea Concentrate mix. Just can’t go over 90gm of pea protein or there’s the issue with the amount of iron. Also there’s a sodium issue with the pea protein concentrate so I need to switch from potassium citrate to chloride otherwise i’m low on chloride and wayy over on sodium.

Lets talk about gas.
The first 3-5 days of gas were absurd. Oh, dear, god. Stock the hell up on Gas-X if you have a date and take it like 3 hours before and don’t have any Soylent for at least 3 hours before that. Beano should work well but that will simply slow down the amount of time it will take your body to get used to the resistant starches and big whack of fiber, so use beano sparingly.
Mine went down to a reasonable amount (slightly more than I had before, but not by much). Really though that’s just the problem of whey. My Milk Protein Isolate (which is mostly casein with between 10-20% whey) came in as well. Next time I’ll be using that mixed with my whey which should help, and then I have another formula utilizing some beef protein isolate which I’ll be trying when my whey supply finishes up.
Best suggestion I have is EAT SLOWLY. Sip on your meals for about an hour. It’s really partially pre-digested food so no sense in putting such a volume quickly.

Here’s a pic from June 9th. Yeah, I’d say that the Muscle Chow is working. At that point I’d been doing this 2 months lost 15lbs and was sitting around 10% bodyfat an I’ve never been stronger or performed better. Clean, Jerk, Strict/Push Press, Front/Overhead Squat all have gone up. Bench, Dead and Back squat still need to be tested. Hell I even out ran my lifetime best mile 7:02 (Age 16 165lbs) by a full second to 7:01 (Age 27 220lbs)

Funfacts. I tried out the folowing protein blend:
20% Whey Protein Concentrate Super Grade
25% US Milk Protein
30% Beef Protein Isolate
25% Pea Protein Concentrate

With that as the protein source in the blend I had nothing but hunger. I mean 1200cal’s in an hour sitting and literally still craving food and hungry, I also couldn’t drink enough water despite it not being terribly higher in sodium. Just bad over all, not to mention the gastrointestinal pyrotechnics.
I just switched to a new simpler blend with just whey protein concentrate, pea protein concentrate and milk protein isolate and after a pleasant 600cal breakfast (consumed over 2 hours) I feel well satiated, relaxed and alert. Looks like Whey Protein is going to need to be the main basis of my mix, and I’m totally ok with that.

Started working in real food more, not sure why. When I get hungry I just don’t think about DIY as food.
Still hugely successful. Slowly growing in that 8-pack. Just have to lean out around the pecs a bit more. My love handles are finally starting to tighten up as well. All good things.
Just a pic I took screwing around at the gym, progress feels great and it’s awesome to know I can always control my consumption with more or less DIY.

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Just re-started again, but using a new blend that is much more satisfying to drink. I’ll be curious to see how it works for weight loss still. Currently hovering around 11% bodyfat, looking to get down to 8% by the beginning of June after a month of heavy lifting, carries and running intervals.
The new recipe:

Why do you want to get your body fat down to 8%?

I like having a six-pack and the look of my arm definition when in work clothes. I feel like as weightlifting coach it’s important to look the part, and it’s fun to be a computer programmer breaking stereotypes.

Just got my results today and found that I’m 7.94. So I really should be very happy with the number but disappointed that I’m seeing myself so differently. Added on 4.62lbs of muscle since January which is awesome, but did also add on .38 lbs of fat which I’m going to assume is why I can’t see the separation between my abdominals anymore. Regardless, I’m going to continue to enjoy my new found milk based blend to help get my nutrition on point and hey maybe I’ll dip into the 6’s. As long as I feel good I’m not too afraid of getting low.

But try to make sure you are consuming atleast the recommended minimum of fat. Other wise you could be facing a new set of problems.

For sure. I won’t go below LBM in kg for grams of fat and I cheat on weekends which helps out as well.