Effect of Soylent on Testosterone Levels and Muscular Gain


I fell upon Soylent news just recently, and am incredibly impressed with the progress, and particularly that volunteer testing is already underway. While I think the critics are correct about the current formulas likely not containing everything necessary to completely replace food, I think it likely is better than a lot of the terrible diets people have, and with so many willing testers it’ll simply get better.

I love that it removes a lot of the hidden variables that various other attempts to study dietary requirements have, and I really look forward to seeing the future of this product.

Now that my praise and excitement for the project is out of the way, I have a specific question, one that I think many people have been asking about Soylent:

Will it support athletic builds? I mean, considering I’m at sub-10% bodyfat and the BMI scale considers me obese, I’d assume that my nutritional profile is going to be quite different that the “norm,” particularly if I want to continue to gain, or at least maintain my current muscular mass.

While many others have already discussed limited protein, amino acid profiles, etc, I’m particularly interested in how Soylent would affect the hormones necessary for muscular growth and maintenance, particularly testosterone.

Art of Manliness provides a fairly in-depth overview of the necessary pieces to maintain solid testosterone production, and Tim Ferriss in Four Hour Body also took quite a bit of time to talk about it.

The blaring issue I see with Soylent is the lack of much Cholesterol in the current build. Since various studies(see Mark’s Daily Apple, “The Definitive Guide to Cholesterol”) have shown that dietary cholesterol doesn’t negatively affect health, and is actually necessary for good testosterone production.

Us geeky-types are already struggling to avoid the stereotype by studying up on bodybuilding and trying to optimize our fitness routines, it’d be a shame to leave Soylent reducing the body’s ability to produce a manly-man due to lack of cholesterol :frowning:

EDIT: I’d be particularly interested in seeing testosterone levels for the few people who have been extensively testing it up until now. Tests aren’t super fast, but I think it’d be interesting data.

Big Problem with Soylent
Missing Cholesterol

So… Take an egg a day?


So butter your coffee or other hot drink of choice? Eat an egg?


There’s a lot of flexibility in soylent, especially if you’re a fan of DIY. I’ve got a high protein, low carb (not keto) recipe that works very well for me and is very flexible. I like variety, and have been baking various things (cake, pizza, etc.) with my soylent basically since the start.

For the Official Soylent, it has a pretty fair balance of good carbs and full AA spectrum proteins, so pounding some pre- or post- workout would probably be great for prep/recovery.

I was reading the sites you linked. Soylent does a pretty good job with the total vitamin balance, so zinc, magnesium, etc. shouldn’t be a problem. I’m right there with you about the irrelevance of dietary cholesterol for serum cholesterol levels. I’m using whey protein in my build, which does add in a bit of cholesterol.

The thing that the website doesn’t discuss is the prevalence of other dietary illnesses in previous generations due to their unbalanced diets. Pellagra, rickets, scurvy, and the like were common among such “manly men.” I see that his dietary suggestions do a good job of blending old school eating with modern nutrition, and there’s no reason why you couldn’t incorporate his suggestions into a DIY soylent designed for uber testosterone production.

Good luck, and let us know what you come up with!


Thanks for the thoughtful response! I suppose I’m being a bit scared away from the DIY builds, since the current formula is changing rapidly with new test subjects getting their hands on it.

On top of that, I see convenience as one of the big factors to using Soylent, I suppose I should look more into how complicated the DIY Soylent is before making final judgement, but currently I’m kind of holding out for a cooky-cutter atheletic build of Soylent available for purchase.

I’d be particularly interested in seeing testosterone levels for the few people who have been extensively testing it up until now.


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I eat 3 eggs a day for this very reason. Check out my blog for more details.


As a fellow nutrition-nerd, I would also go with adding organic butter in your coffee (or soylent), or having an egg or two a day to make up for the low cholesterol. I personally hope that there will eventually be a higher fat, lower carb edition, with maybe a touch more protein, but in general, this setup is pretty good generically. When I had the time, I was doing a DIY built for gains and high testosterone, and it ended up round about 380/month. It can be done, but if I were you, I’d just experiment with the production-run and try to add a bit of cholesterol yourself.


Personally, my cholesterol is high enough that it’ll be quite some time on Soylent before it comes down to the point I need to worry about it…:wink:


Another fit-geek here, though I lack so far the motivation to DIY my own Soylent, I am interested in the product. I used to be quite fat, and have worked over the last few years to get slim through eating better and exercising daily. Tae Kwon Do as a kid helped me keep strong legs, but my upper body strength atrophied to nearly nothing. So now I’m slim with powerful legs, and a super skinny top half. It’s annoying, because I’m also a food addict and backslide regularly. So I’m planning on using Soylent to combat and hopefully reset my body’s cravings, while also continuing to gain strength and muscle mass. Just waiting for community feedback on the official product before I commit.


This is a fantastic thread & I hope to get more athlete feedback. I’m in my late 30’s but still competing at a high level in beach volleyball. For my Saturday tournaments (about 12 per summer), I’m playing ball in the sand & sun for hours. By the end of the day, I’m down an average of 5 lbs from sweating it out. I worry about sodium, potassium, etc. I do not want to fade late in a tourney or even worse…CRAMP. I have cramped in the past so I try to carb-load, eat bananas & stay hydrated as best I can. I’m wondering what I’ll do to add to the typical Soylent diet coming into the 2-3 days before tourneys without consuming way too many cals.


My gut reaction is to either add a bit of salt and potassium (be very careful with potassium, it can be lethal if you overdose) to your Soylent the day of. Otherwise, drinking some powerade and eating an added banana will probably make up for the high strain, but that’s just initial thoughts

Remember also that you’ll now be having essentially perfect nutrition outside of your physical activity, so your propensity towards cramps should be diminished. Your best bet is probably to start off with just something simple like drinking powerade on the day of your competition, in addition to your Soylent, and make modifications from there as needed. Of course, I’m saying this all off of minimal information about you, and at 2 am whilst tired, so take everything I say with a grain of salt, but that’s my personal opinion. Any other thoughts?


Try drinking one powerade for every 2-3 bottles of water you drink. I used to roof when I was young and an extreme athlete suggested this to me and it made a huge difference in how I felt throughout the day and at the end of the day.


Appreciate the responses. I guess I’ll find out as soon as I get my order…


That’s kind of the point of this thread, to point out the fact that dietary cholesterol is not linked with blood cholesterol, which in turn has been shown to be more of an effect of bad health, rather than a causer of it. Dietary cholesterol is, however, linked with healthy testosterone levels.
The articles I cited above explain it fairly well.


Add 10 - 20g a day? Little extra fat, little extra protein, little extra sodium, and plenty of cholesterol.




[quote=“kgme, post:16, topic:13046”]Add 10 - 20g a day? Little extra fat, little extra protein, little extra sodium, and plenty of cholesterol.


Now that’s the sort of ingredient I was looking for. Take whole food out of the equation the maximum possible. I think that definitely might be a great ingredient for DIYs.


I know vegan seems to be the in thing these days, but I don’t really care. I figure 5g in a single meal serving of DIY or 1.0 would likely be undetectable flavor-wise and give it a more athletic blend of nutrients that many are waiting for. I thought about just adding some protein powder until I saw this thread and the discussion of cholesterol and eggs. Would definitely like to see some DIY recipes with this though.