Diverse/Many Ingredients Equal Better Nutrition Absorption?


I started my soylent path using Doc’s “Bachelor Chow” by @docwat232. I used it for about 2 weeks but the taste had to improve so I started searching for another recipe. I came across @drknexus 's basic v1.1 which contained Muscle Milk, Cayenne and many other DIFFERENT ingredients than Bachelor chow . So I order those ingredients.

After making a batch, I found I liked it better but it was very spicy for my taste. I came to the conclusion that combining 250 kcal (49 g Bachelor Chow) and 250 lcal (54 g of Dr Nexus) mellowed out the heat but it also made me wonder if my body was better able to process all of the nutrients if they come from multiple sources as each source the digestion speed is likely somewhat different.

As an example with Doc’s chow all of my Iron came from the masa and oat flour, now combined I get iron from 5 sources (masa, oat flour, muscle milk, raw meal, hemp hearts).

Would this have any effect on my body’s ability to absorb the nutrients? I know my headaches went away and my urine is not quite as bright yellow as it was with Bachelor Chow only.

fyi: I have also been made aware of Muscle Milk’s heavy metals issue. However this is only short term until Soylent delivers my order and/or @drknexus comes out with a good tasting v1.2 (with macros). Perhaps he would be willing to run his optimizer with GNC Mega Men Sport Vanilla Bean instead of Muscle Milk as there are some similarities.


Edit: I can’t see that GNC Mega Men will work either without finding alternates for Raw meal (which I like the taste).


I figured out eventually that my fitting algorithm was kicking the Cayenne that high in an attempt to get Vitamin K. If you are okay with a liquid being in the mix, you can add soybean oil into the mix and drop the Cayenne /way/ back.

I’m not an expert, but I’d guess there are a number of advantages to using many/diverse sources. The ones I’d feel most confident about is these… A) If an ingredient is bad or toxic, you get less of it, e.g. Muscle Milk’s lead. B) if the nutrition labels are wrong or entries are wrong for an ingredient, it means you’ll have less ‘wrong’ in your recipe. For example, the Masa entry is wrong on the diy website because it doesn’t track all of the added B vitamins. So, the Bachelor Chow recipe as written last time I looked was very high on B vitamins… but it is difficult to impossible to tell exactly how high (not on the nutrient label). The high amount of B vitamins is almost certainly why your urnie was so yellow. It might also be the case that your gut flora and fauna remain more diverse and have different shots at getting what you need from the food.

In regards to the safety issues above, I think it makes a lot of sense to cycle between soylent recipes or to combine them like you have done. For my part, I’ll keep tinkering with my DIY approach, but I’ll probably do one day on mine then one day on Rob’s, back and forth when the good stuff arrives.

The big disadvantage to diverse/many ingredients (IMO) is the time commitment it takes to mix. Also, with things like the Hemp Hearts in the recipe, I worry that large batches won’t end up sufficiently evenly distributed… and I’m not going to make soylent if it is going to take me more time than cooking. Have you found a solution to mixing the hemp hearts that keeps them from settling? I’ve had some luck by including the famous Trader Joe’s flavorless soy into the mix (also seems to smooth out stiring issues). However, including the TJ product runs counter to my aims of having everything delivered via Amazon.

As you pointed out, I’m a little concerned about Muscle Milk as a primary soylent source because they’ve been tagged by consumer reports as having too much in the way of bad metals. For myself, I’m restricting new versions of my recipes to no more than 35g of Muscle Milk. In the same consumer reports article that dinged Muscle Milk they dinged a lot of other supplements for similar issues. For this reason, I don’t have a lot of faith that GNC’s Mega Men formula is much safer. I vaguely trust the Raw Meal just because it seems like it is targeted to a crunchy audience who would react more violently to finding out there is lead in their food and so the company has stronger reasons to be a good actor.

All of that being said, if you love the GNC Mega Men so much… fill out the template at the bottom of this message as best you can (deleting NA_real_ and putting in numbers) and I’ll throw the computer at it. Otherwise, don’t hold your breath for a 1.2 at the moment. I want to completely revamp my fitting engine and I’m not making much time at all for it at the moment.

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`18:2 CLAs_g` = NA_real_, `18:2 i_g` = NA_real_, `18:2 n-6 c,c_g` = NA_real_, 
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`18:2 undifferentiated_g` = NA_real_, `18:3 n-3 c,c,c (ALA)_g` = NA_real_, 
`18:3 n-6 c,c,c_g` = NA_real_, `18:3 undifferentiated_g` = NA_real_, 
`18:3i_g` = NA_real_, `18:4_g` = NA_real_, `20:0_g` = NA_real_, 
`20:1_g` = NA_real_, `20:2 n-6 c,c_g` = NA_real_, `20:3 n-3_g` = NA_real_, 
`20:3 n-6_g` = NA_real_, `20:3 undifferentiated_g` = NA_real_, 
`20:4 n-6_g` = NA_real_, `20:4 undifferentiated_g` = NA_real_, 
`20:5 n-3 (EPA)_g` = NA_real_, `21:5_g` = NA_real_, `22:0_g` = NA_real_, 
`22:1 c_g` = NA_real_, `22:1 t_g` = NA_real_, `22:1 undifferentiated_g` = NA_real_, 
`22:4_g` = NA_real_, `22:5 n-3 (DPA)_g` = NA_real_, `22:6 n-3 (DHA)_g` = NA_real_, 
`24:0_g` = NA_real_, `24:1 c_g` = NA_real_, `4:0_g` = NA_real_, 
`6:0_g` = NA_real_, `8:0_g` = NA_real_, `Adjusted Protein_g` = NA_real_, 
Alanine_g = NA_real_, `Alcohol, ethyl_g` = NA_real_, Arginine_g = NA_real_, 
Ash_g = NA_real_, `Aspartic acid_g` = NA_real_, `Beta-sitosterol_mg` = NA_real_, 
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`Choline, total_mg` = NA_real_, 
`Copper, Cu_mg` = NA_real_, `Cryptoxanthin, beta_mcg` = NA_real_, 
Cystine_g = NA_real_, Dihydrophylloquinone_mcg = NA_real_, 
`Fatty acids, total trans-monoenoic_g` = NA_real_, `Fatty acids, total trans-polyenoic_g` = NA_real_, 
`Fiber, total dietary_g` = 3/30*100,
`Fluoride, F_mcg` = NA_real_, 
`Folate, DFE_mcg` = NA_real_, `Folate, food_mcg` = NA_real_, 
 `Folic acid_mcg` = NA_real_, 
Fructose_g = NA_real_, Galactose_g = NA_real_, `Glucose (dextrose)_g` = NA_real_, 
`Glutamic acid_g` = NA_real_, Glycine_g = NA_real_, Histidine_g = NA_real_, 
Hydroxyproline_g = NA_real_,  Isoleucine_g = NA_real_, 
Lactose_g = NA_real_, Leucine_g = NA_real_, `Lutein + zeaxanthin_mcg` = NA_real_, 
Lycopene_mcg = NA_real_, Lysine_g = NA_real_, 
Maltose_g = NA_real_, `Menaquinone-4_mcg` = NA_real_, 
Methionine_g = NA_real_, Niacin_mg = NA_real_, `Pantothenic acid_mg` = NA_real_, 
Phenylalanine_g = NA_real_,  
Phytosterols_mg = NA_real_, `Potassium, K_mg` = NA_real_, 
Proline_g = NA_real_, Retinol_mcg = NA_real_, 
`Selenium, Se_mcg` = NA_real_, Serine_g = NA_real_, 
Starch_g = NA_real_, Stigmasterol_mg = NA_real_, 
Sucrose_g = NA_real_, Theobromine_mg = NA_real_, 
 Threonine_g = NA_real_, `Tocopherol, beta_mg` = NA_real_, 
`Tocopherol, delta_mg` = NA_real_, `Tocopherol, gamma_mg` = NA_real_, 
Tryptophan_g = NA_real_, 
Tyrosine_g = NA_real_, Valine_g = NA_real_,  `Vitamin B-12_mcg` = NA_real_, 
Water_g = NA_real_,  
kJ_kJ = NA_real_, Chromium_mcg = NA_real_), class = c("list", "food"))


Heh… I like that you enjoy the taste of Raw Meal. The Amazon consensus is that it tastes horrible… and (to me at least) it does on its own. It seems to do better when mixed with other stuff.


Preparation time - I tend to make about 7,500 kcal batches (5 days @ 1,500 kcal per day) of each recipe giving me 10 days of the blended recipe. I agree, it has to be more efficient than cooking, I spend about an hour (ish), mixing, prepping, and bagging for 10 days worth of meals.
‘meals’ - ziplock snack size holds 102 g (500 kcal) of mix nicely. 15 bags stay at home for breakfast/weekends, 15 go to work for lunch and dinner (drive home).
Soybean oil - I had some left over plastic jello shot containers that hold 40g of soybean oil (almost 2 tbsp). I prep 10 containers.
Breakfast - consists of one baggie, one soybean container, fill with water and shake. I drink it right then or while driving to work.
Lunch and dinner - no need for the oil, just powder and water
Hemp Hearts (btw I like the taste of these too, kinda nutty) - I was initially thrown on that issue too, but have since solved it. I mix all dry powders first. The final ingredient is hemp hearts. I add roughly 1/3 of measured hemp hearts with 2/3 dry powder to a food processor. This pulverizes the hearts (which would normally makes a useless paste, learned that the hard way) into the powders which absorb any heart moisture. With enough powder it is no more ‘cakey’ than the muscle milk is already.
Mixing/Settling - I have very minimal settling, but I shake the bottle before drinking as the oil tends to float and masa sinks. There is a little on the bottom when i’m done but I had that before with the masa from bachelor chow, I don’t see any hemp hearts as the pulverizing does a pretty good job. I also picked up a blender bottle from amazon that helps with the mixing when I am ready to eat/drink.
Mega Men record - I’ll try to track down the nutritional breakdown of the GNC Mega Men and send it back.
Raw meal - my wife and I taste a hint of peas in the soylent. I like peas and anything is better than the oatmeal taste I’ve had with bachelor chow only diet.