Improving on the spreadsheet itself for DIY Soylent Formulas


#1

I want to start making my own DIY Soylent and I was not satisfied with the existing spreadsheet models so I’ve been working on something that I think is more useful. As I’m using Soylent I imagine I’ll be tweaking various things as I go, so I wanted an easy way to track changes to my formulas. In the end it might be worth developing dedicated software, but in the meantime this seems useful.

What I’ve come up with is a 2 part spreadsheet. You have one sheet just for ingredients and their nutritional information. Then you have another sheet for each formula (they all reference the same ingredient sheet) – you reference the ingredient on the ingredient sheet, input the serving size you want for that ingredient, and it automatically fills in all the amounts for each nutrient.

The advantages I see here are that it’s easy to tweak serving sizes of different ingredients and it’s also easy to swap out different sources for specific nutrients. The ingredient sheet acts as a database that formula sheets all reference (only grabbing the ingredients they specify). Perhaps we could also crowdsource the growth of the Ingredients sheet – inputting all the nutrition info for each ingredient is where most of the work lies.

Here’s a link to my WIP spreadsheet. USE MY SPREADSHEET AT YOUR OWN RISK! I OFFER NO WARRANTY OR GUARANTEES! So far I’ve only tested it with Poor Man’s Soylent formula – doesn’t seem like a great formula to follow just FYI.

Let me know if you find any bugs, have any suggestions, or have any questions. In the ingredients sheet, I use whatever measurement unit the package used (this seems to be relatively standard across different packages – I convert to metric system if it’s not already) – in the formula sheet, I use g and IU for now (I might change it to mirror Rob’s choices).

If you make any improvements to it (by copying it to your own Google Drive and editing your copy), be sure to post it!

UPDATE 5.2.13:

One mistake I made when I originally made the spreadsheet was, on the ingredients page, to have all the nutrient per-package-serving values (yellow) to the left of all the per/1g values (white). It made adding additional nutrients very hard (lots of manual tweaking to the formula sheet to account for the column shift). Instead, I should have alternated like I did with Sulfur and will do with future nutrients. Not the prettiest, but a lot easier to work with.


#2

The “Rob’s Recommended ->” section seems outdated - he has gone way up on fiber and carbohydrates I am sure. Check one of his later blogposts :slight_smile:


#3

Yeah he’s hinted that his next blog post might go into further detail so I was going to wait on that instead of hunting down scattered mentions all over blog comments and discourse posts.


#4

@JTown, are you wanting to stick with a spreadsheet? Because, I was thinking that I might create a one page app that allowed a recipe to be tweaked, and then allow for comments so people can comment when they help make an adjustment. It would also include sourcing, pricing, and a price breakdown by day, how often you purchase, etc etc…

It can be done with a spreadsheet, but this it doesn’t seems as easy to read IMO. If you are interested, send me a PM.


#5

I think an app would be ideal. Would look much cleaner and probably be easier to use. Being able to export/import ingredients would be nice so that you could share with others. I do think separating an ingredient page from formula pages works well though – especially as one would tweak and maintain different formulas over time.

Another advantage to an app is that it’d be easier to account for extra nutrients. Allow users to input in the entire nutritional information and get a summary of the nutrients outside of Soylent’s scope so you know everything that goes into your body.

I code, but only for games in C# (Unity) – I’d be willing to help with consulting/testing but don’t want to get too involved in the web code myself.


#6

I sent you a PM. I will be making a post about it soon.


#8

In case anyone is using my spreadsheet, I caught an error in my magnesium chloride source – I had calculated molar mass based on MgCl when I should have done MgCl2. The ingredient has twice as much chloride as I had previously listed and has been corrected. I decided to aim low on magnesium based on reports of people being sensitive to it.


#10

I like the idea of the spreadsheet, but I took a different approach. The ingredients are listed in the first column in the order most nutrition labels list them, and supplements go across the columns. I also have a comparison of three different base components, a multivitamin, a body mass builder, and an instant meal. There are several blends listed that are bends Nature’s Way Alive! products use. Prices are suggested retail, so you should find them cheaper.

The carbohydrates are the biggest expense, and varies depending on how many calories you choose to take in. The FDA says 300g, Rob says 200g for carbohydrates. The next biggest expense is the multivitamin and protein combined. Potassium can be the third most expensive. Getting the amount needed from 99mg pills, requires 20-30 pills and the related costs skyrockets. Your Fiber choice can be a cost factor, as well. Most of the rest of the supplements are low cost by a cost per day comparison.

The carbohydrate I have listed is the cheapest, not the best. Also carbohydrates and proteins often add vitamins and other things you have cover elsewhere. I looked for things that added mostly one ingredient by itself.

The FDA’s daily values are listed. Rod deviated from these only for carbohydrates (calories), cholesterol, and fat.

Folate is a type of folic acid. In some of these post, it looks like people are doubling up on some things not realizing they are the same thing.

Siberian Eleuthero (root) is a Ginseng cousin used in the Alive! formulas.

Chloride is not listed on nutrition labels. My assumption is if you add enough table salt for the Sodium, you get enough Chloride. Chloride is a form of chlorine, the stuff they put in water to purify it. I do not know the upper limit, but there is one we have to stay well below of.

Potassium was hard. Potassium gluconate has limits on the amount to use, and to get enough potassium you have to go over those limits. The gluconate is the G in MSG. Potassium chloride is what is used in lethal injections. See comments above on chloride. Potassium Citrate is the recommend choice, but is hard to find. I found only one option.

I could not find an Alpha Carotene supplement.

There are three tabs. One with soylent that can be changed, One with soylent, that can not be changed, ie. the original. And one with a quick calculator to work out the price per carbohydrate in a supplement. 0.84 cents is the cost of the cheap carbohydrate. 1.2 cents per carbohydrate, that I started with, turn out to cost too much. Over to the right is some stuff I looked at, but found better choices for.

If you copy a column and paste it way over to the right, you can preserve a record of what was there and then you can update the copied column with new information. But row 4 has the type of ingredient your describing. These are tied to their respective green boxes and calculations. Putting a protein in the fat column with get confusing.

The yellow boxes are the main areas not covered by a multivitamin. The blue boxes are the raw data on each supplement. The green boxes are how much of the standard serving you need to get the ingredient amount in the cell to the right. The others are calculations and uneditable. The base, multivitamin’s, mass’s, and meal’s green boxes are on the Vitamin A row. Calc & Mag green box is on the Calcium row.

The Price total is a ballpark price for buying one of each supplement. Some you do not need to buy, and others needs multiple to last more then a few days. The other costs are more accurate, but do not show the total investment needed.

1 mg = 1000mcg
1ug = 1 mcg