New Soylent user; 1.6 powder for three weeks -- thoughts, questions, concerns, and feedback


#1

Until quite recently, I was eating mostly frozen foods, fast food, and an all-around unhealthy diet. As a programmer, I’m generally sitting at my desk most of the day. Luckily for me, my metabolism is pretty good, and I’m no more than 20 lbs overweight. I’m a man in my mid-30s with no major health issues, but I know this is unsustainable. Soylent seemed like a great solution for the time being.

I ordered 21 bags of v1.6 powder which arrived in early October of 2016. As this month nears its close, I’ve been on roughly 75% - 80% Soylent powder for the past three weeks. With my first few servings, I felt immediately energized. I likened it to drinking one of the popular energy drinks. The flavor was passable (I’ve grown to rather enjoy it), and I immediately felt I could consume Soylent long-term.

But after about a week, my energy plummeted much lower than when I was on a diet of primarily processed foods. I endured diarrhea almost daily, often didn’t feel full (even at 2,000 cal daily), felt tired, irritable, and an all around sense of “meh.” I am a person with a naturally high energy level, so I noticed the feeling of general fatigue as rather unusual for me.

After the second week, I was still experiencing the diarrhea a few hours after ingesting the 1.6 mix. I didn’t always get it, but when I did, I noticed I needed solid food to put a stop to it. I still felt less-than-average with respect to energy level, mood, and cognition.

By the end of the third week, I noticed that my symptoms of irritability, diarrhea, and fatigue diminish greatly when I eat a solid, processed meal at least once during the day. It could be my imagination, but it seems the salt content in such processed foods helped me feel better.

I’m just trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong or right, so here are some questions:

  1. With all the processed foods I was eating, I was clearly ingesting much more salt than I am now. Could this be my body adjusting to a new, lower salt intake, or should I consider supplementing more salt into my diet? Keep in mind, I’ve been drinking Soylent at least 75% of the time for the last three weeks.

  2. Is there an argument to be made that Soylent could in fact be less healthy for me than my previous diet of mostly processed foods? Is there just something Soylent is missing that is in other foods?

  3. Is there potentially a longer “adjustment period” for someone coming from a diet rich in processed foods? It’s been three weeks – should I be fully adjusted by now?

  4. Lastly, are there any tips from anyone who might be more adept at understanding nutrition and how Soylent might be causing me fatigue, irritability, diarrhea, and generally lowered cognitive ability?

Thanks for your help!


#2

Bets on when the Powder “recall” will begin?


#3

Sure, I will bet there is not a recall for at least a year. I can be reached at geneven@rocketmail.com (and I don’t care who knows my email address, as I have been posting it in public for decades). I am willing to bet at least $100.


#4
  1. Salt is probably completely responsible. To test this, try adding a pinch of salt into each drink and see if your symptoms improve.

  2. Soylent doesn’t contain phytonutrients which many believe to be beneficial, because they aren’t essential for life and studies into their benefits have thus far been of rather poor quality. However it is unlikely you’d find many of these in heavily processed foods either, so I doubt this is the issue.

  3. The only reason I can think of it would take longer is the salt content or. It’s difficult to say without knowing specifics of your consumption before though.

  4. Fatigue, irritability and cognitive defects can all be lower sodium intake. Diarrhoea is quite common for the first couple of weeks or so on liquid diets, but does go away. If it isn’t even after a prolonged period of time, you can solve this with something like Imodium, but it may be worthwhile checking with your doctor just to ensure there’s nothing stopping you absorbing part of what’s included in Soylent. Could also Ben worth getting checked for a soy intolerance or allergy.


#5

What is the sarcasm tag? “<stop_sarcasm>”


#6

I have a buddy that does something probably similar to you, he’s a full stack a web developer. He introduced me to Soylent but he never described the symptoms that you’re having.

First you should probably figure out how many calories you need to be eating per day based on your height weight and activity level.

If you’re eating Standard food, especially heavily processed frozen food, you’re probably getting enough salt in your diet.

Your microbiome might need to adjust to an all liquid diet, and considering the nutritional content that’s in Soylent , such as fats carbs proteins and the macro nutrients, could be the reason you’re experiencing diarrhea.

There is a chance that the fiber content of Soylent, is actually higher than what you’re used to and is causing diarrhea. On the flipside however, there’s a chance that there’s not enough fiber in having a lack of fiber is causing your diarrhea. It can go both ways with fiber, adding more might not necessarily lead to hard stool, it can actually lead to very loose watery stool.

You could try adding a little fiber and adding a little sodium. For fiber, I suggest psyllium husk, about half a tablespoon per 16 ounces or 500 cal of Soylent 1.6. But the fiber content of Soylent is already at the recommended dosage, it would just be for bulking up stool if that’s indeed what you’re lacking.

As for the lack of energy, are you doing any kind of exercise? Figure out how many calories you need to be eating you per day, if you’re eating too many calories you could be adding too much nutrition to your intake and you’re not using the energy, leading to lethargy. On the flipside if you’re not eating enough calories, you may not be getting enough nutrition therefore you feel tired and lethargic.

I believe the standard calorie intake for a male is 2500 calories, for females its 2000. However, a lot of us who pay attention to our nutrition intake know this number is a not reflective of what we really need. My wife only needs about 1800 for her height and age, and I need closer to 3,500 at my activity level.


#7

One tool for getting an estimate is the DIY solent calorie calculator — not, as far as I know, specifically endorsed by Rosa Labs, but maybe see what it says for you.


#8

Thanks for your help. I’ll report back in about a week or two with results.

In the meantime, if anyone has any more advice, please share.


#9

I’ve used soylent since it started and I use it occasionally (a few times a week). This recent shipment of the 1.6 powder has given me diarrhea after a few hours of consuming it. I had two meals with 2 days in between both meals and both meals gave me diarrhea. The box was shipped Oct 18 and the bag is labelled: L6276 Best by 10/17 14:16

I will give it one more try and I’ll wait for others experiences.

I’m thinking they used the same ingredients for the powder as they did for the bars. The bars have been recalled. They thought maybe its just the bars. I think its the powder too.

We’ll have to wait and see.
edit: corrected bottles to bars.


#10

What bottles have been recalled? Food Bar has been identified as having issues and people have been asked to stop eating them with refunds being issued.

Coffiest was found to have levels of two vitamins lower than anticipated so that products nutritional labels updated.

2.0 or Powder has not been recalled. 2.0 did originally have a mold issue because of a packing problem with the cap when it was first released.

Soylent has always had a period of adjustment for most people.


#11

You diet should not be 100% Soylent. While it may have all the nutrients a body need, that is not enough. Your digestive system may get too used to the all liquid diet, which may be more harmful to your body then not eating a proper diet.

To be on the safe side I recommend you eat at least 1 solid meal every other day. It is very hard to find a meal that is 400 calories, but if you are start trying to keep it around 800 calories it is not that difficult. Mostly you need to cut out most of the bread type products and fried food. I am not saying to eliminate them entirely, just try to avoid using breads/fried foods as your 1 solid meal every time you have a solid meal.

Recent studies have also shown that the recommended minimum levels of salt intake may actually be worse for your body then getting too much. While soylent has not adjusted there salt into to match the new data, many people have found positive improvement in adding salt to there soylent. Especially when they first start using soylent so they do not go an extreme high level to the minimums. A small pinch in each glass seems to be the correct amount, then you can adjust to your own body.

Other then eating the 1 solid meal every other day, I added a small pinch to every glass for the first month and it did really help. The next couple months I dropped it to just a pinch in the morning glass. Then I was able to just eliminate the salt all together. However, after heavy activity days when I notice my body is not at its peak anymore, I add a pinch of salt and that picks it back up.

No one can tell you what the correct amount of calories, salt intake, and how often you should drink soylent. You can not even make this decision yourself. The only one who knows the correct amount is your body itself. That is why it is very important to pay attention to your body and what it is trying to tell you. It does seem difficult at first, but after time you actually will get really good at learning the signals.


#12

What is the reason for that?


#13

Gonna go ahead and pop a [citation needed] on that one.


#14

I fixed my post for bottles -> bars.

Soylent has always had a period of adjustment for most people.

I’ve used soylent since years, when it first came out. I’ve used it occasionally (a few times a week). I’ll give the 1.6 powder another try but I’m pretty sure thats the source of diarrhea for me.

I think something is wrong with this batch of the powder. Possibly they used the powder for making the bars too.


#15

There is no citation, I think; this is just someone’s opinion, which I haven’t followed for almost two years, with no bad results.


#16

[citation needed] here too! COME ON PEOPLE


#17

The reason for cutting out most of the bread and fried foods is because they provide massive amounts of calories in comparison to there size/weight. If you do not cut those, or rude them significantly then it is extremely hard to put something together that is less then 800 calories that is going to satisfy your hunger. Cheese is also calorie packed, along with mayonnaise.

If you stay on a soylent for the rest of your life you do not need to worry about the calories intake since it is already pre-measured, however if you ever stop using soylent is good to know your calorie intake and what items are high/low.


#18

I don’t think I need to cite a source for my own opinion when I say “I think” in the sentence! That is the source.


#19

You must prove that you exist. And that you think.


#20

Apologies, the semi-colon tripped me up.