Should I be adding protein to my Soylent?

I know the topic of the protein level in 1.5 has been beaten to death already, and it appears that there is enough protein for “most people”…but I’m not sure whether I fit into that category. My job requires constant movement and a great deal of physical exertion. I usually work 4 days a week in the summer and 1 or 2 in the winter, with most shifts being 8 hours, not including lunch. On other days I have school, and the only exercise I get then is stairs. Lots and lots of stairs. (My entire campus is on a slope) I have a lot of lean muscle from work, which decreases in the winter and increases in the spring in relation to how often I’m working. I have 100% Soylent on work days because I don’t handle solid food well while working, and other days I’m usually around 50% Soylent with my other meals being reasonably balanced. So, should I be adding protein to Soylent 1.5?

What exactly do you do for work? How much do you weigh?

Personally, I’d say sure, why not? I regularly toss a scoop of Muscle Milk Dark Chocolate or Gold Standard Rocky Road Whey Protein powder into my Soylent during preparation – it enhances the flavor and adds only 120-150 calories to my daily consumption (and if that’s too much, I can roll back from 4 to 3 daily servings).

I am 5’8" and weigh 118lb; I’ve been trying to gain weight because I get a lot of comments about how skinny I am like “eat a cheeseburger” :frowning: I can never seem to keep weight on me though, whether it be fat, muscle, or water weight. I work Lot at Home Depot so I’m constantly moving and have to do a lot of heavy lifting to load or unload things like cinder blocks, large appliances, etc. On a typical work day I don’t stop moving unless I’m on break or if things get unusually slow.

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Believe it or not a bag of Soylent provides you with exactly the right amount of protein. Bodybuilders are recommended to get a minimum of 0.7g/lb/day. So 118 * 0.7 = 82.6g/day.



There is normally no advantage to consuming more than 0.82g/lb (1.8g/kg) of protein per day to preserve or build muscle. This already includes a very safe mark-up. There hasn’t been any recorded advantage of consuming more than 0.64g/lb. The only exceptions to this rule could be individuals with extraordinarily high anabolic hormone levels.


Overall, higher protein is a good thing and the amounts commonly recommended by the health authorities are too low!

This is one of the more heated debates in nutrition. In the next hour I could probably find 10 articles swearing by the validity of each end of the spectrum, and plenty more that say something in the middle.

According to the nutrition team the low protein level is a premium element to the formula, not a cautionary downside. Because I’m relatively innumerate, and because I’m stubborn about having possibly made a poor financial decision with my purchases, I’m just going to say they’re right. In their defense, I’ve not seen more than one or two mentions of symptoms of protein deficiency on the forums.


I totally get it. I’ve always been skinny too, and I’ve had many jobs that involved lots of labor which made gaining weight impossible: catering, bellhop, A/V guy, valet etc. I would burn through a ton of calories every shift, and found I just didn’t have the energy to lift weights when working jobs like these, and lifting weights and then being sedentary the rest of the time really helps one gain weight. Have you tried Ensure Plus? It can really help get calories in your body fast. Of course Soylent is great too if it sits well with you.

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It doesn’t matter if other people want you to gain (or lose) weight; it only matters what you yourself are good with (and is healthy for you). Some people like skinny boys.


Actually I’m a girl :stuck_out_tongue: Normally I don’t care what other people think of me, but in this case many of the people making these comments are actually concerned about my health. I’ve had several people buy me meals because they think I don’t eat enough, and they don’t believe me when I say I probably eat more than they do(I usually have 4 to 5 substantial meals each day, except during exams when I tend to just snack nonstop all day) I used to be 130lb and mostly sedentary, and never had this problem. I had a lot more energy back then, too, and could easily keep up with my friends when we went hiking or biking for long periods, but now I prefer to stay home because I’m usually too tired. What I really want is to regain my fat, but I can’t figure out any healthy way to do so. It seems like healthy weight gain is always muscle, but I hate the look of huge muscles so I don’t want to go overboard with that.

Anyway, it sounds like I don’t need any extra protein. I might try having more than 2000 calories of Soylent on work days, though. Not sure how much more, since calorie calculators always tell me to have less than 2000 which I think is preposterous. I’d probably pass out with less than 2000 calories lol


It sounds like your pre-Soylent diet wasn’t so bad aside from the lack of calories. Why not eat that AND a bag of Soylent? I also assume you’ve seen a doctor about the sudden drop in weight and lack of energy?

The weight loss has been gradual, starting when I entered University, so the doctor attributed it to stress and, later on, my current job. It seems to have plateaued at 118, so he’s not concerned about it. As for the fatigue, my bloodwork is normal and I eat a lot and sleep a lot so the doctor suggested it might be psychological, saying that maybe I’m just “not interested in that kind of activity anymore”

As for having a full bag of Soylent in addition to my regular meals; that’s actually pretty close to what I have on days that I don’t work. When I say 50% Soylent I mean half my meals are Soylent, but it’s about 3/4 of a pitcher. I was doing a similar amount of 100%Food before Soylent came to Canada. On my work days, though, I don’t handle solid food well so I just bring a pitcher of Soylent to work and drink it throughout my shift. Depending on what time the shift starts and ends, I might have one normal meal before or after my shift in addition to that. Sometimes when I have closing shifts I stop at Triple O’s for two Spicy Ultimate Crunch Sandwiches on the way home, which makes me feel great(really!) in the morning but I probably shouldn’t do that often.


That just sounds high calorie all by itself :smile:

Well I’m glad to hear there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with you.

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Don’t take this the wrong way, but you couldn’t get big and muscular if you wanted to. You’re a woman. None of the women that do top tier powerlifting are natty’s. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, especially if they have a smart coach.

You might be super duper skinny. People might be saying that just to take you out to eat. I’ve had that happen and it was hard to tell if she was serious about wanting to feed me or…

I think “just more Soylent” is good advice, but if you’re specifically targeting fat then pure carbs would do the trick. More Soylent will only make you feel full while pure carbs won’t. Start eating tons of bread and pasta.

Out of curiosity, do you know what your BF% is?

Probably one of the few situations I can get away with asking a girl that…

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I have never looked into what my BF% is, to be honest. Based on photos alone, which I know isn’t very accurate I think I might have been around 20-25% when I was 130lb, but now I’m a lot less squishy and can’t pull much away when I try to pinch fat. I’d like to have the extra energy reserves back. I honestly think the fat is what gave me the endurance for long distance biking/hiking before. Without that reserve energy, as soon as I run out of carbs(which I apparently do very quickly) there’s nothing left. Doctor disagrees, since I take in a lot of calories in general, but eh.

As for spicy ultimate crunch…apparently they’re each 703 calories, so having two of those after having a pitcher of Soylent throughout the day would bring me to 3406cal!!! No wonder I have high energy the next morning! Not sure how many calories I’m getting on other days, though, as the real food part of my diet is quite variable.

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Have you considered adding a bit of fat to the soylent? Like coconut milk or olive oil, concentrated energy and cheap and easy to try

Oops! Well, if the people concerned about your health don’t include your doctor, I still wouldn’t worry about it. Since you’re a girl, some of them may be concerned you’re secretly anorexic (not that some boys aren’t as well), but clearly you’re not.

If you’re running out of energy on hikes or other long excursions, you might try taking along a caloric snack, like nuts. There’s a reason they call it trail mix.

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Why not try soylent w/o protein for a couple weeks, then try it with protein for a couple weeks, and see which way you feel better and have more energy?

I feel much better when I add protein to my Soylent, but everybody is different. The best test subject is yourself!

Soylent already gets a pretty substantial portion of its calories from fat, so even though I’d like to gain fat I feel like increasing dietary fat might be a bad thing. I want to gain weight in a healthy manner if I can. I think more carbs might be a better idea, as any excess would be stored as fat anyway and carbs(as far as I know) are easier for the body to handle than fats.

Being a student, I don’t want to spend extra money if I don’t have to. It appears I’m getting the recommended amount of protein, so I won’t bother adding more.

Good point. Normally I just have Powerade and water for the trip, and then eat loads of food when we return. Would be better to bring along snacks.

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I don’t know how effective just adding protein is going to be for you to put on muscle mass. Generally adding protein to a diet is to make sure there isn’t a deficit when doing heavy body building. And most of the time I have seen it used in conjunction with Creatine. And as was mentioned in the comments above, as a woman, you are going to have a harder time putting on weight in muscle mass. That doesn’t mean it is impossible, just limited. And honestly, you need to determine what your ultimate goal is. Your physical appearance is relative. There are many men that are attracted to very skinny girls. But you probably should make your appearance your secondary goal, however. The health repercussions of being underweight should be your main concern, but you already stated that your doctor isn’t worried and that your vitals are not suffering.

As some others have suggested, you might want to stabilize your diet and try to see what works for you. Soylent, as it stands is pretty balanced (that is the goal, after all!). You could try to go 100% Soylent for a while and increase your intake and reduce as needed until you find a caloric intake that seems to keep you stable. An important thing to remember is that more meals in a day is better than fewer when the same calories are consumed. You might want to start with a normal suggested serving for your weight, gender and activity level and consume it in more meals before you start increasing your daily calories.

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