Gas / Bowel Issues


#1

I’m on day 11 of Official Soylent, and most of that time has been spent with significant gas and unpleasant bowel movements. I /think/ I’ve gotten it under control, but its an experiment in the making.

That being said, this post is mostly to see if I can find other people experiencing similar symptoms as myself, and see if I can confirm a common thread.

Symptoms:

  • Frequent and foul gas. Does not seem to simply “go away”
  • Let’s just say… the bathroom experience is significantly less solid than I’d prefer
  • Significant levels of hunger (didn’t start until nearly half a week in)
  • Diminished mental performance/lightheadedness

Things that seem to help:

  • Rice
  • Couscous

The couscous in particular has made an enormous impact, proportional to the amount I eat. I had a medium sized plate of couscous and salad mix, and my gas went down to very little. Bathroom was more fun (and less frequent). Hunger issues nearly dropped off, so I had barely any the next day.

The day after I had only a little couscous (about half the amount from the night before), my previously stated symptoms came back, but not as bad as before couscous.

Based on my cravings (rice and couscous) and results (slowed bowel movements), I’m thinking what helped was the addition of soluble fiber. According to wikipedia "Soluble fibres tend to slow the movement of food through the system."

My theory is that the Soylent was moving too quickly through my digestive tract, and wasn’t probably absorbing the nutrients. The lack of absorption prevent my body from gaining the full benefit of Soylent, resulting in a hunger for more food. The lack of nutrients prevented my mind from working at 100%. Not precisely certain of the gas, but I think my poop could have been described as “fast moving” in the past.

I’m going to be adding psyllium husk powder in controlled amounts to my Soylent, to test my theory and hopefully set a standard for improving the experience of others with chronic problems with Soylent.


#2

Also, not sure if I should categorize this as Soylent Experience or Nutrition, as its specifically related to the effects of soluble vs insoluble fiber in the diet…


#3

That was great. HAHA!

Good post.
Cant wait for mine to finally ship. Im wondering about the people who used beano or the like to take care of the gas problem and if they had a different reason than yours for the gas problem they had.


#4

Interesting. Soylent is supposed to have plenty of fiber in it, though I’m not sure of its soluble vs insoluble ratios. Are you normally used to a high fiber diet? If so, maybe your body is used to more fiber than normal and going on Soylent is an adjustment down?


#5

I’m in the same bowl. Tried beano last night and it did make a difference.

You might be on to something about fast digestion. Which would explain why folks who sip over time vs chugging a cup makes a difference.


#6

Soylent has also given me very poor bowel movements and gas problems. While the principles that guide Soylent are sound in my opinion, it is clear to me that Soylent has failed. It simply is not a compelling solution and I am extremely disappointed.

It requires one to three weeks of “adjustment” during which the flatulence is nearly unbearable because of its volume and stench. This alone will be a deal breaker for most customers.

It requires the user to consume it very slowly in order to stave off flatulence. This is an extremely frustrating limitation especially considering the time constrained nature of most Soylent users.

It is not possible to have acceptable bowel movements without supplementing Soylent with other food. This keeps it from being a food one could subsist on exclusively in my opinion, despite its nutritional completeness.

I say these things because I want Soylent to succeed, believe me. I have been a huge supporter for almost a year. Soylent will fall flat on its face unless these problems are fixed. Soylent needs to be a universal solution that anyone can start eating with no problems of any kind, with no adjustment period. Users should be able to chug, sip, or do anything in-between without worrying about flatulence or nutrient absorption. Soylent needs to exceed normal food in user friendliness as well as in price and nutritional completeness.

I really hope that these issues will be addressed [------------------------------------------].

EDIT: The user jahhluv101 has pointed out that there is no hard evidence for my claim regarding post deletions. My claim that critical posts tend to be suppressed is based on anecdotal evidence only. My claim that “so many” posts have been deleted is an overstatement. I have no convictions about post suppression.

EDIT 2: The OP has requested that I outright delete my comment about censorship.


#11

I’ve had quite a few gas issues with Soylent, with the volume and overwhelingly strong smell. It’s basically pure death coming out of my rear. I’ve gassed a few co-workers and most evacuate the area whenever I approach. I’ve been taking Soylent for a month now, and while the volume is still plentiful, the concentration of malevolence has decreased somewhat.

I’m chalking it up to a gastro-intestinal system that’s had far less fiber for many years than it should have had, and the consequences can’t be expected to disappear in a week.


#12

@bronse for most people, I think it does provide that convenience. The issue is mostly likely the smallness of their sample size. If we can show that the issue is the soluble vs insoluble ratio, then I’m sure Rosa Labs will incorporate that knowledge into official Soylent.

@foodaddict would you be interested in participating in my experiment? To see if the gas diminishes in the presence of soluble fiber? You can probably get a small box of couscous for a couple bucks, rather than commit to buying an entire supplement.


#13

@mark1 I don’t think my fiber intake was consistent by any means. And I’ve gone some stretches without much fiber, and that didn’t cause an issue. But it’s possible.


#14

@achemerys thanks for the addition. I remember the beano being discussed elsewhere on the forums. Glad to know it helps.


#15

I made the unfortunate decision to snack on chips and french onion dip when I started in on Soylent so I’m not sure if my killer gas is the Soylent or the onion dip.

But throw me into the camp of “I don’t want to have to sip this stuff”. I really prefer to pour a 12oz glass and drink it over 5 to 10 mins and do that 5-8 times a day.

It’s a 1.0 product and there will be kinks to work out. I’m hoping they manage to find a gas free solution for the 1.1 version. For me if they did that and could extend the mixed shelf life some, it’d be pretty much perfect.


#16

Are you talking about the post where the guy signed up for discourse so he could post that he was throwing away all his soylent, and threw a tantrum when people asked him not to and to sell it to them?

I’m certain your post is safe, bronse. There’s absolutely no need to imply that the soylent community is the gestapo, stomping out all criticism.


#17

I was actually thinking about a 2nd possible cause for the gas/smell that people mention… The protein, where a factor is not enough ‘exercise’


#18

Do you mind if we let the issue of censorship die in this thread? It’s not particularly relevant to this thread, and I’d like to prevent this thread from getting derailed. Thank you.


#19

The desire not to have to sip it is reasonable. I’d prefer not to have to think about that every time I drink. If the extra fiber continues to solve my issue, I’ll try chugging it and see if I’m still fine.


#20

Yes, that’s why I said what I did. It seemed bizarre that it was brought up here out of the blue. :thumbsup:


#21

I am currently sitting at the bowl and exploding. Yaay.


#22

I ordered a month’s worth of Soylent but it hasn’t arrived yet. I drink Ensure Plus as a staple in my diet, and I have (in the past) gone for 2 months with Ensure Plus being my sole source of nutrition. I am looking forward to trying Soylent, because the Ensure Plus provides a lot of its carbs with table sugar, and I would prefer to try to consume less sugar.

When I drink Ensure Plus solely, my bowel movements are solid (yet minimal) and I don’t have any smelly gas. Actually, no gas at all. Ensure Plus does not contain any fiber. It used to contain fiber, but they reformulated it to remove the fiber, sometime around when I started drinking it (within the last year?).

Apparently, (pure speculation here), Abbott Laboratories figured out that when you are on a pure liquid diet, you just don’t need any fiber. When you’re on a pure liquid diet, you don’t want to speed the stuff through the system, you want it to take its time (so your body absorbs all those nutrients).

Ensure is the stuff that hospitals give patients who are tube fed; if people on this type of liquid diet need fiber, they would have left it in. (Incidentally, Ensure Plus is higher in fat and protein, and lower in carbs, than regular Ensure.)

I tried the Walmart “Equate” brand “Plus” nutrition shakes because they were cheaper. My bowels were loose and I didn’t feel as full, although according to the label it contains the same calories and nutrients. Also, somewhat tellingly, the Equate Plus generic nutrition shakes have a disclaimer on the label, it says something like, “Talk to your doctor before using this as a sole source of nutrition.” The Abbott Labs Ensure Plus shakes say, “Complete, balanced nutrition.” The only difference I can spot in the ingredients, is that the Ensure brand contains pea protein concentrate. After drinking the generic Equate shakes for two weeks, I switched back to Ensure Plus, and upon drinking the first shake I felt better, fuller, as though I were receiving some nutrient I’d been missing. Maybe Abbott Labs puts something into Ensure that isn’t on the label, or maybe it’s a secret ingredient buried in all the vitamin names; maybe they know something everyone else doesn’t. Whatever their secret, Ensure Plus is superior to the generic Walmart variety, I am certain of it.

The point I was trying to make, is that it is possible to make a nutrition drink that provides complete nutrition, that doesn’t give a person bad-smelling farts; in fact it’s possible to make such a drink such that a person won’t fart at all, ever, and this seems to be done in the case of Ensure Plus at least, by omitting the fiber.


If not Soylent, then what?
#23

Well, hopefully Soylent eventually does something to fix that, as the main point in my old post was that I was going to try Soylent again if they changed the formula to fix these issues.


#24

If my first shipment of Soylent causes me to be gassy, and the gas hasn’t stopped as I near the end of the month, I won’t be reordering until they reformulate the stuff to eliminate the gas. I’ll stick with Ensure Plus after that. (I’ll drink my entire first shipment of Soylent even if I fart fire, because I absolutely cannot afford to throw away food.)