Unsweetened Soylent... Am I the only one who would find this useful?


#1

So I love soylent… I do it exclusively on weekdays (1,500 calories per day), and eat regular food on the weekends.

I am relatively certain Sucralose is the reason I am getting terrible terrible headaches every Monday night once I go back on Soylent. I make sure my sodium intake is sufficient, and I drink more water than I do soylent on those days, but still no luck. Excedrin and Acetaminophen don’t make a difference.

I think is would be extremely useful to have a soylent product unsweetened. That way we can decide what to sweeten our soylent with (stevia, more natural ingredients etc).

Thoughts?


#2

This is a topic that has been discussed quite a bit with opinions and valid reasoning on both sides of the issue. I am of the opinion that at the extremely small quantities that are present in Soylent, it is highly unlikely to cause problems for the vast majority of the population.
(Note: This isn’t to say that you are not one of the very few people that might be affected at this low level. To be safe, you should consult your doctor and have an allergy test done.)

From the business side of things, it would likely not be very profitable at this point in the life-cycle of the company to do a separate production run of a completely different SKU that not many people will purchase.


#3

The mistake you’re making here is in thinking that Soylent is sweetened. It isn’t.

They do use a tiny bit of sucralose, but that’s used as a masking agent, not as a sweetener. The quantity of it is far, far too small to have a meaningful sweetening effect. The slight sweetness you taste is from other ingredients, like the maltodextrin and oat flour (neither of which is particularly sweet.)

Also, I make my DIY with stevia, instead of sucralose… and I still get the typical headache when going back on soylent after a break on which I eat a lot of more “typical” food. I’m all but certain it’s from the boost in potassium. Drinking extra water wont overcome the potassium effect, because it’s not a dehydration problem; potassium/sodium balance affects the ratio of pressures inside the cell versus outside the cell. Drinking extra water won’t change the ratio. (You do need to remember to drink water when eating Soylent to stay hydrated - drinking your food may lead you to think you’ve been drinking more than you have - but that doesn’t play into the “immediate headache” effect when you’re just starting to drink Soylent.)

Extra salt when starting soylent may reduce the change in ratio, but it still happens.

Sometime, when I’m on a break and eating “typically,” I need to remember to start supplementing with extra potassium for a day or two before going back on soylent, to see if that helps.


#4

Thanks for the reply MentalNomad,

Might I ask how much potassium you take in during soylent off days, and how much sodium you might add to soylent?


#5

This is an experiment I havn’t tried yet, so I can’t say… but I’d ballpark about 3 g of potassium citrate three times a day. About 9.7 g of potassium citrate per 2000 kcal provides 100% of the RDA for me, but my maintenance is actually well above 2000 kcal.

About 4 g of salt will roughly double the sodium intake on a 2000 kcal diet from 100% RDA to 200% RDA. I’m not sure whether this will make the flavor super-salty; it might be better to test with 1 g added to a single glass of Soylent to see if it’s unpalatable before hitting a whole pitcherful… if you do the experiment, do tell us whether it helps you on the headache front.

Good luck!


#6

Or, putting it differently, the potassium target would be to bone up with 3.5 g of potassium per day - 3500 mg - the RDA. If taking potassium capsules or tablets, that may be a LOT of capsules. That’s why I use potassium citrate powder.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to try this experiment, myself - currently, I’m only taking breaks to “typical” food for one or two meals, at most. When I’m off soylent, I’m usually eating a highly vegetarian diet very heavy in greens, so that’s going to be potassium-rich and sodium-poor.

I was reminded of this experiment recently, because I ate wildly over Thanksgiving weekend for four days in a row, and going onto Soylent 1.4 on Monday morning gave me a lovely headache. But it was too late to try ramping up the potassium…


#7

You might want to try what I was advised when I first came inquiring about the sucralose/headache issue around here: buy a tiny amount of sucralose on ebay (it’s very cheap) and give it a test try to see if you get a headache. I was getting headaches initially with Soylent, too, but they went away after a few days (and with the addition of salt, which may or may not have been the fix). When I eventually tried sampling the sucralose from ebay – in a much greater concentration than is found in Soylent – I had no headache. So I think for me at least it was a sodium/potassium issue, or if it wasn’t, I acclimated to whatever caused the problem.

That said, your experience sounds a little different from mine. I sometimes go days at a time with very little or no Soylent and I never get a headache when I pick it back up. But it seems like maybe trying some sucralose independently of Soylent could be informative for you. Good luck!


#8

1500 calories is also very low, are you sure you’re getting enough food? Headaches can be a symptom of low blood sugar.