Strong Craving For Umami Flavor - What Am I Missing?

I’m on official Soylent 1.0, about day 4 now.

The entire time, I’ve had a strong craving for an umami flavor, meat, cheese, that sort of thing. I’ve tried eating those things, and it goes away after a bite or two (doesn’t take much), but it doesn’t stay gone for long.

Am I missing or deficient in something? Or is my previous diet of fast food and frozen stuff just got me all wrong?

Is it something I can fix with supplementation, or do I just have to stick it out until it goes away?

Also, any ideas for a savoury flavoring for Soylent? (I’ll cross post that question in the flavoring thread.)

Your body may still be kicking and screaming about your diet change if this is your first time trying it. Took me about a week when I tried DIY for the first time before my cravings got under control. Now I can switch back and forth with minimal problems.

It is also possible that your body really is missing something. My theory is that our body learns that certain foods have certain effects subconsciously. When the body wants a certain effect, it might trigger a craving based on your learned memory of what foods cause that effect. Body is low in sodium? Maybe you crave pretzels. Not enough protein? Burger or steak craving. Of course I am not a scientist so take this theory with a grain of salt.

Maybe you need salt or sugar? According to the 100% correct Wikipedia, Umami taste receptors work using glutamate in its salt form. Are you adding the missing salt into your Soylent?

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I believe glutamate in its salt form doesn’t taste of salt - it tastes of MSG, because that’s pretty much what it is. (The annoying distinction between “salt-qua-table-salt” and “salt-qua-result-of-acid-base-reaction”.)

OP could try adding a dash of Worcestershire sauce to the Soylent, perhaps? I’ve never tried this, but it’s one of the most umami things I know.

Good umami flavors have well-understood addictive properties. You are going through umami withdrawals. I have felt the same thing. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with hunger or deficiency of anything important.

You are adding the suggested 1/4 tsp of salt right?

I’m actually adding about 1/2 tsp of regular Morton’s Iodized Salt (it’s what’s in the spice cabinet).

The cravings are better today, so far. We’ll see how the rest of the day goes though. I’ve been previously indulging in a single bag of Lay’s Classic potato chips for the last three days which helped. I’m hoping to not do that today and see what’s up…

The reaction to basic potato chips though makes me think it’s just my body pitching a fit about not eating junky crap.

That’s really interesting actually, and would account for a lot of my previous failures to eat better.


AH HA! I found this:

It’s purported to be “powdered umami in a jar”. There doesn’t seem to be much at all to it, shouldn’t add much of anything to Soylent besides flavor and fiber.

I’m considering trying it with Soylent. Thoughts?

liquid smoke works well as a flavoring agent. Found in the same area as Worcestershire sauce.

Tried the magic mushroom powder added to my pre-blended Soylent. I do NOT recommend this. That stuff is mostly salt, so it was kinda like drinking Soylent-y sea water.

I’ve still got a whole batch of the stuff though, so I may try it as a direct replacement to the added salt itself, and see how that goes.

MSG powder may be of interest as well, as I know I’m not sensitive to it.

I agree that you should try waiting it for a week or so. That’s how long it took me to stabilize.

Are you experiencing any other side effects besides the cravings?

Nope. Nothing negative anyway. The first couple of days I needed a nap when I got home from work, but that’s stabilized I think. Plus it’s way easier to get up in the morning now.

Mostly positive stuff, just that damn craving for meat…

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Try nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese if you want umami, and see if that satisfies you. Wouldn’t recommend mixing it with your actual Soylent though… :wink:

I’ve seen a few recipes using marmite or vegemite maybe?

What I would recommend is, using to see if you can find common threads of nutrients in the foods you’re craving.

Also, just to confirm, when you have those cravings, how does Soylent sound to you? Is it unappealing or just not as appealing as the other food?