Headache with DIY soylent a la sugar crash?


I’m an early backer of Soylent, and a week ago decided to get started with DIY soylent while I wait for the official release.

I started with People Chow 3.0.1, and found that after drinking it for lunch and breakfast, I had a noticeable energy slump and lightheaded feeling in the afternoon that lasted for a few hours. It felt like a sugar crash, which I’m particularly susceptible to if I eat a significant amount of carbs.

Partly in response to this fact of my metabolism, I’ve been on a Paleo-ish, Slow-Carb-ish diet for the past couple years, which has been great and keeps my energy levels consistent with no afternoon dip or crash or slump after lunch. The only problem is that it takes a fair amount of time and effort to prepare meals, so I like the potential convenience of soylent.

The next day I tried a modified recipe with reduced carbs and increased fat and protein (closer to the ratios of my usual Paleo-ish diet) which I have been calling Ax Chow. The energy dip is not as debilitating but it’s still there. So now I’m trying to figure out what I can do about it.

The main culprits I suspect are the masa harina (the main source of carbs) which I’ve reduced from 345g to 220g per day, and the artificial sweetener in the GNC Mega Men Sport and the chocolate-flavored whey protein isolate I accidentally bought at first. I’ve since gotten an unflavored whey protein isolate and have been using 75% unflavored and 25% flavored (artificially sweetened with stevia) whey protein isolate, but it hasn’t made much of a difference with my energy levels.

As far as mitigating the problem, I already add cinnamon to the mix, but I do drink the shake all in one sitting, rather than spreading it out over several hours. This feels natural to me, but I wonder if anyone else has found that it’s better to drink their soylent gradually over a longer period of time?

I don’t experience this same issue with baked soylent cookies, perhaps because of smaller portions, added oats (fiber), or lack of sweetness (the artificial sweetener doesn’t seem to survive the oven).

I don’t experience an energy dip after breakfast, maybe because I’ve been having a few forkfuls of sauerkraut (fiber) along with my soylent in the morning.

This points to some obvious things to try:

  • drink soylent over a period of hours rather than minutes
  • eat sauerkraut with lunchtime soylent
  • replace some masa harina with oat flour
  • cut out sweetened whey protein isolate entirely (though GNC is still flavored)

I’ll report back on my findings, but it would help to know if anyone else has already been through similar problems and similar experiments. Any thoughts?


Even with cutting back to 220g of masa, that’s still a lot of carbs to process if you’re sensitive. Shifting to oat flour will significantly reduce the amount of simple starches your getting, add in a bunch more fiber and more trace nutrients. I’m happy with my oat flour - I use 100g a day and it works fine for me.

If you really want to cut your carbs, switching to soy flour will push a lot more protein your way, though I can’t say what it will do for taste.


I constantly had issues with afternoon crashes pre-soylent if I ate lunch. I haven’t had any trouble since starting my soylent though, I have 115g of masa and 65g of brown sugar, so my carb load is also lower than what you are using.

I consume several times a day and tend to take 15-30 minutes to drink a glass, or if I am out and using a thermos I just constantly sip it throughout the day.


Isnt a paleo diet higher in protein? What about using more Whey Isolate and Fat instead of so much carbs?


Thank you all - you’ve reminded me that I’ve most likely missed the most obvious cause: I still have too much carbs in my adjusted mix, and not enough fat or protein!

I will play with cutting the carbs even further and trying oat flour. I’ll let you know how it goes. :wink:


yeup your chugging down a lot of condensed nutrients, expect to feel sick.

I find it nuts that people seem to do this. I personally sip it consistently threw out the day, constantly buzzed, and never crash :wink:

I’m not 100% on that idea is the “healthiest” as inconsistencys seem to wake up different metabolic pathways.

try it


Okay, here’s the new recipe I’m going to try: Ax Chow Alpha

Now with a 20/30/50 ratio of carb/protein/fat, with 80g Oat Flour and 40g Masa Harina for a total of 120g carbs. I’ll see how that goes. It’s $1/day more, but not too much more expensive.


Just for fun, playing with a visual display of ingredient proportions with ASCII:

]]]]]]]]]]]]]]  140g  Whey Protein Isolate
]]]]]]]]         80g  Oat Flour
]]]]             40g  Masa Harina
]]]              30g  Chia Seeds
]]               20g  GNC Mega Men Sport
|                 6g  Calcium Magnesium
|                 6g  Potassium Citrate
:                 4g  Iodized Salt               
.                 2g  Choline Bitartrate

))))))))))      100g  Olive Oil

o               pill  MK-7 Vitamin K-2



Had Ax Chow Alpha for breakfast, will report after lunch.

In the meantime I’m also playing with another recipe with a 25/25/50 ratio: Ax Chow Beta

]]]]]]]]]]]     110g  Whey Protein Isolate
]]]]]]]]]        90g  Oat Flour
]]]]]]           60g  Masa Harina
]]]              30g  Chia Seeds
]]               20g  GNC Mega Men Sport
|                 7g  Potassium Citrate
|                 6g  Calcium Magnesium
:                 4g  Iodized Salt               
.                 1g  Choline Bitartrate

))))))))))      100g  Olive Oil

o               pill  MK-7 Vitamin K-2


Good to know, thanks. I couldn’t find any oat flour locally so I’ve ordered some online. Looking forward to trying that next week…


Yes 28 grams of oat flour only has a GI of 11 while 114 g of Masa has 51. Hmmm 28 g vs 114 g, cant really compare that fairly. When compareing two things be sure and adjust amounts, this site has an amount adjustment above the nutrition facts.
So a real comparison:
100 g Masa …GI of 45
100 g Oat Flour GI of 38
Not as different as you thought.

Rather compare only 28 grams (One Ounce)?
28 g Masa…GI 13
28 g Oat Floud GI 11


Hmmm, well I’ll be curious to see how much of a difference the oat flour makes once it arrives!

So far I’m feeling a lot less (can barely notice anything) of a post-lunch energy dip than before, so… progress! :slight_smile: This is with the 20/30/50 ratio. However, the results are complicated by the fact that I went outside for some light exercise shortly after downing my Ax Chow shake. That would reduce the chance of a sugar crash no matter what I eat.

Still, I feel like I’m on the right track, and also thinking that the 25/25/50 mix I have yet to try will probably be noticeably worse in terms of blood sugar effects, given the extra 5% carbs.

If nothing else, I can just make sure to get a little exercise after eating - that seems to be the most straightforward way to mitigate any negative effects…


After several days of testing, I’ve promoted the 25/25/50 blend to be the official Ax Chow 1.1! :slight_smile:

I definitely like the flavor improvement with the oat flour. I’ll be having nothing but Ax Chow 1.1 for the coming week - my fridge is empty of muggle food for the first time now! I’ll let you know how it goes… :stuck_out_tongue:


Yesterday I was in various stages of sugar crash throughout most of the day. Today I’m trying to pace out my consumption more - if I drink more than half a meal (a sixth of a day) at once, I’ll generally feel overly full and get a sugar crash.


Just tried a bit of psyllium seed husk in my morning soylent to see if the increased fiber will slow down the rate that I digest carbs for less of a sugar crash. Not feeling an improvement at the moment - I only used a teaspoon though, so maybe I need more…

I’m using my Ax Chow Beta recipe to play with psyllium.


I came up with a recipe like that. But then I deleted it.

There’s a subtle catch.

There’s something called dAGE (dietary advanced glycation endproducts) that are produced when you cook meat, that are thought to be seriously bad for you (basically they seem to be cumulative very long term poisons). They’re linked to diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimers.

After some research the kicker is this:

AGEs are found in high quantities in butter (even though it’s not cooked, presumably they’re made during the churning); BUT WHEY IS MADE IN THE SAME PROCESS AND ALSO HAS HIGH LEVELS (doh!)

It gets worse, another high source (for some bizarre reason) is olives…

So basically this recipe is a mix of two completely different, very high AGE foods.

Whether AGEs are as bad as is currently suspected, they may not be, but I’m not touching this type of recipe with a barge-pole until more research has been done on them (they’re an active area of research right now).

Of course you can always worry about anything, but I decided this was an avoidable issue.

Attention to dAGE Warning! dietary advanced glycation end products
dAGE (dietary advanced glycation endproducts) in whey protein and olive oil?

Hmm, this makes me wonder if a protein cycling diet (to induce autophagy on a regular basis) would be an effective countermeasure.

This article emphasizes avoiding fructose (as opposed to cooked meat or whatever) as the key to avoiding dAGE. At least I’m doing that… :stuck_out_tongue:


I think that maybe you should consider using a mix of protein sources, and maybe using more variety of fats as well. It’s probably best to look at this like a intake limit, if you are taking in less dAGEs than most people then it’s unlikely to be an issue.

Dried milk looks like it’s much, much better on this than whey for example, as do dried egg whites etc.

But yeah, AGEs are also made inside you, and you can also modulate that with diet.


Doing research on this one. True, AGEs can be harmful to the body, but it doesn’t seem clear to me that dietary intake translates into elevated blood serum or cellular levels. In many ways, this is similar to the way people relate to IGF-1.

EDIT: Specifically, it appears that research points to the consumption of dAGEs combined with fructose/galactose may correlate to increased serum levels of AGE. So if you aren’t eating a lot of simple sugars, it looks like you should be fine. Chalk up another win for low carb diets, I suppose…

AGEs are naturally produced in the body and are part and parcel of the aging process. Certain physiological conditions can accelerate the rate at which AGEs form in the body and are cleared from it. Since AGEs are a binding of a sugar (often fructose) to a protein (which is what happens when you have a malliard reaction), it would appear to me that dietary AGEs should be broken down into amino acids and sugars much the same way that regular proteins are, and therefore shouldn’t be a significant concern.

As I said, I’m still looking into this, but feel free to eat your butter, olives, and BBQ chicken.

On second thought, avoid the chicken… Leave it with me… It’s safer that way…
For all of us…


Haha, all right I’ll leave the chicken with you… :wink: