Two Months of Soylent

matrix_food

Though Soylent is experimental, the results are reproducible. I am very optimistic about the future of this idea. After the 30 days experiment, I decided I got some good data and I was going to eat whatever I wanted. This past month 92% of my meals were soylent. I haven't given up food entirely, and I don't want to. I found if I wake up early I sometimes crave a nice breakfast, I've gone to lunch meetings, and on the weekends of course I love eating out with friends. Eating conventional food is a fun leisure activity, but come Monday I usually have a strong craving for a tall glass of Soylent. In fact, with the money I save, I have the freedom to eat well when I do go out. I didn't give up food, I just got rid of the bad food. Innovation to me is as much about removing that which is unnecessary as it is about adding new things that are useful. This idea has done both for me.

Soylent doesn't force you give up food any more than email forces you to give up talking. The point is having another option. Perhaps this does not constitute the ideal diet, but I am quite confident that it is healthier than any easy diet, and easier than any healthy diet. I'm touched so many people are concerned about my intake of possible unknown essential nutrients. No one seemed to worry about me when I lived on burritos and ramen and actually was deficient of many known essential nutrients. The body is pretty robust. If you can survive on what most Americans or Somalians eat, you can surely survive on Soylent. I'm no longer just surviving, though. I'm thriving.

Trials Update

The first trials are underway. I apologize if you were not chosen. A handful of locals of diverse builds have been testing it, but the feedback so far has been segregated. I think I have a good model of the male proportions. For the males, besides the obvious fat loss and muscle gain, quantified-mind.com scores have increased, testers report better sleep and increased focus, and some even improved emotional health. There are many second-order benefits to being healthy and well fed. The women are not as happy, reporting they still feel hungry. Clearly this still needs some tweaking.

I'm trying to find the amount of discipline this takes. I personally found I did not have enough discipline to be a vegetarian, but feel Soylent takes much less. Eliminating something entirely from a diet is difficult, and probably unnecessary unless one does so for moral reasons. Eating unhealthy foods only for enjoyment just a few times per week satisfies my psychological cravings, and drinking Soylent the rest of time makes me very healthy. Sustainability is about reduction, not elimination. I would like to test on someone that tends to make poor dietary choices, but most people I know in San Francisco are frustratingly disciplined and healthy.

Personal Data

As for myself, I came across some problems. My original mixture gave me 1550 kcal/day. I hypothesized that "caloric restriction" had health benefits and that the human body could survive on fewer "higher quality" calories. I now consider that a failed hypothesis. After 30 days I exhausted my reserves of fat and started to feel hungry, lose weight and muscle mass, and my gym performance regressed. I ran some numbers and decided to increase my intake to 2629 kcal/day. I quickly put the weight back on, my chest and arms filled out, and I felt much healthier. My mixture now has 409g of carbohydrates, 65g of fat, and 102g of protein. I also stopped running 7 miles, which is really unnecessary and potentially harmful to the heart and joints. I just do 3.14 mi, which is quite easy, and weights, making sure I maintain the ability to easily benchpress my weight. That's good enough. I'm an engineer, not an athlete, but I like having the option to bulk up if I wanted to.

Since the FDA recommends a lot of potassium I tried experimenting with the amount out of curiosity. At about 9g/day I induced an overdose and my blood pressure and heart rate rose, along with experiencing muscle weakness and fatigue. Not that bad. Much easier than Magnesium poisoning. Low potassium affected my circulatory system and focus, but was not nearly as noticeable. I finally settled on 4.5g/day, which is a lot to try to get "naturally". I changed some of the chemicals, swapping chelated iron for ferrous gluconate and magnesium citrate for magnesium gluconate. It seems the gluconic acids have the best balance of bioavailability and cost. Choline is now part of the daily mix, as is Lithium, iron is down to 9mg, I dropped calcium a bit based on my blood work (which is otherwise excellent)1 and I add an emulsifier to aid the mixing of the oils. I now take a probiotic too, just in case. Believe it or not the optimal amount of fiber I found is only 1.2g. I know the FDA recommends much more, but that's probably assuming a more conventional diet. Also my room doesn't have a window, so I throw in some extra Vitamin D.

If you didn't see the update to the original post, I've been keeping better books and found my original cost calculation was wrong. At the old macronutrient proportions it actually cost around $100/month. The raw materials to provide me with 2629 kcal / day purchased at personal scale costs $154.82 per month, plus shipping. The cost of protein is by far the biggest issue at the moment. I'm confident I can bring this down, but it's already cheaper than living on groceries or fast food. By comparison, a 150lb female would consume about $102 worth / month. Based on the quotes I've gotten from suppliers, I am assured production at scale is entirely possible and would lower the cost dramatically.

Some people tell me going "ketogenic", or reducing carbs is healthy. I am now skeptical of this claim as lowering carbs makes me feel hungry and tired, and the drink taste less sweet. Perhaps it would be possible after an unpleasant transition period, but I don't see the ultimate gain and I have not found sufficient evidence for the benefit of this diet outside the treatment of epilepsy. To be fair, there isn't a whole lot of evidence Soylent is healthy either, but I feel completely satisfied with my health and do not feel the need to improve it.

I've also experimented with adding nootropics, specifically combining Choline with Pramiracetam and L-Theanine. I think it worked. My quatified-mind.com scores jumped 30%. Subjectively, when coding it seemed like the lines would write themselves. Everything was 'smoother', reaction times lower, everyday phenomena more interesting. However, it was a little stressful that I wasn't able to turn it off. I definitely wouldn't want to feel this wired on the weekend, but it's great for knocking out a lot of work. Though the euphoria of the first couple of weeks has faded, I have reached a happy, healthy, productive steady state that I really enjoy.

Finally, since many have asked, yes I do drink alcohol. In fact I probably drink more than I should. Soylent is great for hangovers! And it mixes pretty well with vodka, though I wouldn't call it my favorite drink. Also this may harm the probiotics.

When Can I Get Some / Kickstarter

Several individuals experienced in chemistry have already figured out how to make it on their own. I'd like to keep it this way for now, as I trust them to measure the ingredients properly. I don't have nearly enough capacity to support the interest expressed so far, so I have decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign. If accepted and successful, this will fund a larger controlled study of the effects, allow me to scale up production, improve control, and, my ultimate goal, use technology to alleviate global hunger, malnutrition, and improve the total health of the human race, especially the poor. If you can help me make a video please contact me.

New Hypothesis

I appreciate the skepticism offered so far. Some was useful, such as encouraging me to add a probiotic or that my protein intake was too low. I definitely didn't get this right on the first try. Though I don't think caloric restriction was valid, perhaps the longevity benefits came not from restricting calories, but the food that contains them. Scars that I'd had for years are barely visible now. People who haven't seen me in months say I look younger. Am I going to live longer? I'm certainly living better, and it's all thanks to chemistry.

For updates join the email list at soylent.me and/or follow me on twitter: @robrhinehart

update: discussion board up here: discourse.soylent.me

Blood Work (pdf)

  • Léon

    I'm really interested in your progres on this project. As you've mentioned, feeling hungry might be a problem in maintaining a liquid-only diet. Could you shed some light on how you split your intake over the day? 

    • rob

      I just "eat" when I start to get hungry. I really crave it after a workout, and I have to make sure not to consume just before I work out or else I get cramps when I run.

      • Kevin

        I'm an idiot, so I can't find out how to make a new response to the article. Is your formula Vegetarian? Do you see it as being a good supplementary drink for vegetarians? For me, as a 215 lb 6 foot tall teenage vegetarian, I feel hungry. A lot. Do you think this would be a good diet to go on to lose some weight and feel more full? 

        • http://www.hpmorpodcast.com/ Eneasz

          The original post mentioned that the protein was derived from whey. I'm not sure about the fine distrinctions between Vegetarian and Vegan, but whey comes from milk so it's not completely animal-product-free. You could substitute vegetable sources of protein if you're making up your own though.

          • Ben

            There are vegetarian amino complexes available… I'm doing this for a month just for the heck of it, am vegetarian, and although the brand name escapes me, I got a complete protein in powder form derived from various sprouts.

            Pro tip: don't get maltodextrin aimed at molecular gastronomy!  It's incredibly fluffy.  200g is 5 cups!  I recommend the sort aimed at body builders.

      • Robert

        As per the "go ketogenic" suggestion you feel hungry when you drop carbs because you did not increase the amount of fat to compensate.

        There is a Swedish doctor that advocates LCHF diet and explains his findings (for free).

        Just Google for "the diet doctor". 

        • dwdude

          atkins did that in the 70's and every one scoffed, not anymore.

    • dyan

      I've gone on all sorts of liquid-only diets. You don't feel hungry based on the consistency of the "food." When you do get hungry, just fill up with the substance again, and you'll feel as full as if you've had a meal.

    • Tyler

      Does a liquid only diet have long term effects on your intestinal track?

      • Chuck Burress

        The academics who work in parenteral nutrition (the form of feeding a liquid diet through a tube into the body) don't address this issue directly, but the one or two who've commented on Rob's general plan say that as long as you consume the liquid diet through the mouth, your digestive system won't suffer deleterious effects.

        Of course, simply eating a few regular meals a week, while consuming soylent for all of your other meals, makes this whole issue goes away.

      • Cat

        In fact, liquid-only diet can improve your intestinal track. I contacted Rob as I have Crohn's disease and treatment to reduce the inflammation in the intestinal tract often consists of an "elemental" diet, which is like milkshake containing all the nutrition you apparently need – I was only on the product full-time for 12 weeks but some kids have to be on it for over a year – no solid food at all. Nestle sell the product for around £22 per tin (and if you're on the full liquid-only diet, you use a tin per day – significantly more expensive and more caloric, I believe, than Soylent). It's like going back to be being a baby, so solid foods can be reintroduced group by group to understand which groups trigger "flare-ups". However, here in the UK, the NHS aren't keen to keep sufferers on this treatment, due to cost. I use it partially, which my dietician wasn't happy with, as there's no studies to prove benefits. My common sense says if you're giving your tract a break with a milkshake containing an anti-inflammatory agent, it's not going to do any harm. Also, having worked out that five smaller meals, rather than three bigger ones help keep me well, I feel like I'm constantly eating and get mentally exhausted with the responsibility of trying to create non-wheat, low fat, no dairy meals that often in one day. 

          

  • mightymax84041

    I had a theory concerning the hunger levels of the women and went back to check to make sure. For women, catering to the reproductive needs is especially important (folic acid, higher doses of iron, etc) and it may not hurt to double check to see what's needed for mens' reproductive needs. As it is right now, I don't actually remember if they *do* have reproductive needs, which may be why the men have better results than women.

    • Shawna N

      I think this is a great point. Every time I go to the doc I hear I need to get more iron, and I've been taking a mulitvitamin just for it. Perhaps even checking out the ingredients and amounts on a women's multivitamin vs. a men's may show some differences in what we need.

      Also, can't wait for the Kickstarter!

    • Nick

      Good point!

      It is very likely that you will need to come up with two different formulas, one for men, and one for women. There is likely going to be a need to have different ratios of carb, fat, protien, vitamins, minerals, etc. between the two sexes, and maybe even a 3rd formula for children.

      • steph

        I don't think putting kids on this would be a good idea. They change dramatically over the years, a 2 year old and a 10 year old are rather different.

        But having 4 formulas would certainly mean more marketing opportunities. Younger/older male, younger/older female. Older women (after menopause) need more calcium, less iron (not getting rid of it monthly anymore) and a couple other things. Older men need less iron too, and most multi-vits for over 50 don't have any iron at all.

        Also, maybe try indegogo instead of kickstarter, since you'll get the money even if you don't make your goal (though with all this interest, I'm sure hundreds are willing to kick in a few bucks), and can use it toward research and formula tweaking.

        • LucifeL

          "I don't think putting kids on this would be a good idea." 

          LOLZZZZzzz tell that to the Ethiopians and the Somalians…

          • Bee

            People tend to forget here that clean, healthy water is not always available in suffering nations.

    • dyan

      I agree. Today, I definitely needed more chocolate!

    • mightymax84041

      I had another thought, rather than creating separate formulas for specific categories of people, why shouldn't they supplement with multi-vitamins? For example, women in this case would supplement with prenatals. Would that work? 

      • shaunty

        Some of us, especially those with digestive issues, can't swallow pills, so unless the multi was in powder form that could be added this would cause me to lose interest. 

  • http://validatorian.com Jon Hughes

    Thanks for the update, Rob. I'm not local, so I don't expect to get into the trial group, but I'll certainly be backing your Kickstarter when it's up!

  • Stijn

    Love the philosophy behind this and would like to contribute to the kickstarter! Great work!

  • Stefan Krastanov

    I really hope the kickstarter campaign works out. While I am still quite sceptical (your sample is still small enough to be called anecdotal), I really want to test this.

    Good luck!

  • http://www.peterchayward.com Peter C. Hayward

    When this was discussed over at Reddit, the common consensus was that internal organs need the daily exercise of pushing solid foods through, else they atrophy and run the risk of collapsing. Have you looked into that at all? And if so, how many "regular meals" per day do you believe are necessary to ensure that this (quite catastrophic) series of events doesn't occur?

    • rob

      Valid hypothesis, though has this been tested? I still handle normal food just fine, maybe a weekly exercise is enough. Also factor in viscosity. It's much thicker than water. Furthermore, Dr. Andrew T. Chan, a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital claims:

      "There’s no evidence that the consistency of food, be it liquid or diet, affects health or nutrition."

      • TW Andrews

        Don't some folks regularly do fairly long-term liquid fasts?  Seems like that would shed some light on the necessity (or lack thereofe) actually pushing food through your digestive system.

        • Mike

          Patients who receive long-term intravenous nutrition might also shed light on potential risks here

        • Ravi

          Check this out, Joe Cross is living on juices, quit long time…

          http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/

        • http://cogitoergoedo.com Pablo Klopper

          It depends on what your definition of "long-term" is.  If you are satisfied that a period of a couple of weeks would be representative of what one might experience after months of ingesting only liquids, then there should be plenty of annecdotal evidence out there.

          I think fears of "organ collapse" are particularly alarmist.  There will necessarily be a response to the general context, so you can definitely expect atrophy of unused tissues ( say the muscles involved in peristalsis, as well as the chewing muscles ).  

          The body, however, being  highly adaptable, is capable of accommodating a reintroduction of solid foods following atrophy of the digestive tract, it would just require one to do so gradually.  So, rather than down a 40 oz. porterhouse steak as one's reintroduction to solid food,  one would be better served to start with purees, say.

          In general, though, I think subsisting on liquids alone is a particularly bad idea.

          -PK

      • Bryce

        I believe Dr. Chan is correct. For a case study, here's a scientific case study of a man who fasted for 382 (!) days straight, with nothing consumed but non-caloric liquids and a daily multivitamin. It describes a few additional supplementations based on blood work, but most of those were quite short.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2495396/pdf/postmedj00315-0056.pdf

        An obviously extreme case, but it shows the validity of a liquid-only diet.

      • Timm

        Consider that many gastric weight loss surgeries require the recipient to subsist on a mostly liquid diet post-surgery.  My wife had LAP band surgery nearly 5 years ago and the surgeon and dietician both stated that if you take your thumb and forefinger, curl the finger so that the first knuckle of the finger sits along side the first knucle of the thumb and the hole created is slightly larger than the opening that will be left in the stomach.  Solids can plug this opening quite easily and as a result, a mostly fortified liquid diet.

        She is also quite interested in testing this as well. She mostly uses OTC protein poweders (50-52g per serving) mixed with fruits, yogurt, and other additions, mainly depending on what her body is craving.

      • the nurse

        People live on tube feedings for years and years. Example: stroke patients who have lost the ability to swallow. Liquid feedings are a form of "life support" in the hospital.

    • ari

      I would also be concerned with that the internal organs aren't getting enough exercise, but then again, people have woken up after very long comas (even years) and I believe their only form of nutrition is intravenous.

    • Rico

      My girlfriend is a nurse on an intensive care unit. She told me that people who were fed by a stomach tube for a longer period of time have to be prepared for solid food very, very slowly, sometimes over weeks. The reason is that intestinal villi degenerate over time (sometimes non recoverable) when they are not used.

      It sounds like you eat regular food a few times a week, this should keep you on the safe side, but I'd be very careful about only consuming liquids for a  long period of time (the quoted study is from the 70's about one person, people are fed by stomach tubes on ICUs every day).

      • Garrett

        Thanks for replying to this, Rico. This was one of my concerns. Along with eatting rich foods after long periods of more bland foods. If fillet mignon would cause serious stomach upset and if more mundane foods will become more stimulating. If its true that your organs/intestines do need regular exercise, bananas would be very available and a good source of carbs/potassium and could provide exercise to these systems if needed.

  • Lorenzo

    Is there a reason you decided to mix the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) into Soylent, instead of just buying over-the-counter supplements? 

    • Jake

      An earlier post mentioned not liking to spend the time to shop for, prepare, and eat food.  Alleviating the need for a multivitamin is just a second bird hit by the stone?

    • Ariane

      Multivitamins have verying, non-controllable amounts of nutrients. Besides, many of them are not really appropriate. They have too much of some things and lack others. Lastly, those are made to supplement a diet's nutrients, not replace them.

      • Lorenzo

        But there is still the need to source the micronutrients in raw form. They are not present in the macronutrient materials, except for a limited extent in the olive oil, and as Rob was saying, it's easy to make mistakes on their quantities. As far as "supplementing vs replacing", until Rob adds them, there aren't any. Whether they come premixed in pill or powder, or he measures them out ingredient by ingredient, they still need to be added.

        My question is more around whether it wouldn't be easier to purchase premixed supplements than measure them all out individually. 

        • Andrew T

          That would only work if multivitamins existed that had micronutrients in the correct proportion for this purpose, which seems unlikely given that the amounts in multivitamins that exist today are chosen with someone that is getting micronutrients from other sources in mind.

          • Joseph Lilly

            While I definately get your point about the proportions of micronutrients, if you look at a simple 1 a day vitamin, most of them are right around the levels that he is adding, A few of them are more and some of them are a little less, but still relatively close. What I would be more concerned about in a multivitamin is obtaining the nutrients in an optimal bioavailable form as this would be your only source.

  • J. Sarfin

    This is absolutely brilliant. I applied to volunteer and I would love to, but if I cannot, I would definitely support a kickstarter campaign. 

  • Dudley

    I'll definitely chip in to that kickstarter! Thanks for the update, exciting stuff.

  • Shane S.

    Awesome update. I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on this stuff. Your comments on it helping you code especially grabbed my attention being a programmer myself! Get that Kickstarter up and let us all know when you do. I'll definitely be backing that one!

    • http://svanschooten.nl S. van Schooten

      Same here! And examns are coming, so I'd love to try some soylent! Any idea when the kickstarter might be up? A good addition to ym growing backed list :)

  • http://lorinhalpert.com Lorin

    Sad to see that you picked mostly locals in the trial – it would be interesting if you added more people that have different external circumstances of living (climate, higher/lower living elevation, city polution etc).

    Of course I might just be saying this because I'm bitter about not getting into the trial – really gung-ho about the entire concept.

    • Emily

      Agreed! I will happily pay shipping costs. If you have several volunteers in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, we can even organize a bulk shipment and split the costs between us. Please let me know if you'd consider this and we will make it happen. 

      • Whitney

        I'm in Philadelphia and would definitely get on board with this! Let us know when the Kickstarter is up, or if you'd be willing to test this out on participants on the other side of the country!

    • Art

      Props to you for self-awareness. :-)  Little circles become big circles, right?

      • Manuel Gonzalez

        Would love the opportunity to participate in this research. Alas, I live in new york and dont think ill get the chance. Im confident i  can develop it though and record my own personal data. Either way its extremely important to contribute to this kickstarter. Ill give what i can.

  • R.E. g.

    Very good stuff. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with the kick starter, may are excited to participate!

  • Sam

    How do we get the product for ourselves, where can we buy the ingredients to make it at home?

    • http://chrisolin.com Chris

      The reason no one has responded to you is because these questions have already been answered.

      In short, if you want Soylent, you will have to read through what information has been provided and attempt to make it yourself. Unless you have a major in chemistry, it's going to be difficult, especially because making it requires the use of measuring equipment that isn't cheap.

      • A Viescas

        If you're willing to go the multi-vitamin route, it only requires a food scale.

        If not but you make it in bulk, a letter scale. Rather than a major in chemistry, just make sure you didn't fail freshman chem. =P

    • A Viescas

      Check an earlier post (albeit updated here) for proportions, but the primary ingredients are raw maltodextrin, whey protein powder, and olive oil.

  • Adam Stachowiak

    is the trial completely cut off? I'd like to be a subject for this if any openings are available, but I have a few questions and concerns I'd like to have answered before I do.

  • Whitney

    I think the issue with women reporting differently than men is that women's body chemistry is different. You'll find that (although unrelated) in studies of pain, women report it far more often and are less likely to be treated for it.  Most medicines are also tested on males instead of females—our hormones supposedly interfere with being a proper test group.

    So perhaps some research into that may make it easier for you to determine a formula more suitable for women. The 4 main vitamin deficiencies found in women are iron, vitamin D, riboflavin/B2, and Omega-3's. Fun fact: Most women become anemic around the time of their menses (myself included) due to lack of iron. Perhaps it would work to reduce the amount of carbs in Soylent and increase those vitamins for the women testers.

  • JT

    o/

  • Barbara Ann

    What does this taste like?  I have thought about being a test subject, 

    but need to know what it tastes like first.

     I am one of those that probably makes poor choices with food

    • http://tiredAcademic.tumblr.com TA*

      "It tastes great! Very sweet, like thin cake batter. I usually add a bit of Vanilla just to give it a familiar taste, but have also made a tasteless version that has roughly the consistency of melted ice cream."

      -Rob (in a reply to a comment on the 1-month update)

      He mentioned in another comment that he sometimes added vanilla to vary the flavor and in this update that reducing carbs makes it less sweet. 

  • Scott

    Hello, I was just wondering if you have any suggestions for people who don't know much about this for tweaking your mixture. This seems like it would need to be so individualised that you would need to talk to an expert on a bi-weekly or monthly basis (or even more often) because of all of the tweaks that need made person to person. For example, you adding a bit of vitamin D, or the nootropics, and tweaking the potassium or caloric intakes. Just wondering how you plan for this to pan out in the future

  • http://www.soulbottles.com georg tarne

    awesome, rob, truly awesome! looking forward to the kickstarter campaign! I'd have a person to help you with video, a pro who helped us make a really decent crowdfunding video – but we're all based in Berlin here… sorry. ;)

    looking forward to future updates!

    best, georg

  • Justin

    Thank you so much for the update! You have yourself one excited fan, here. I've never liked food, so I can't wait for an opportunity to try your concoction! I'm in high school living with my parents, who don't make the best decisions when it comes to food. Too much fast food and junk. If Soylent was available for me to consume, Im sure I would, every day. I feel weak and unfocused all the time and I know it's due to my diet. Your concoction gives people like me a chance for a complete diet. KEEP IT UP! :D

  • http://kareneeart.com Karen

    This is fascinating. I will definitely be interested in trying this once it's more readily available, since I tend to lose myself in a creative fog and forget to eat when I'm working. In the meantime, I've found a quality vitamin compound to supplement my usual diet … a small step in hopes of some improvement to my health, since I think I'm probably deficient for quite a few of them. Keep up the inspiring work!

  • Mark Brankin

    All seems to be going well! Still really interested. Have you thought about what you'd give to people who commit to the kickstarter?

  • http://davidfawcett.com.au David Fawcett

    Good work there Rob. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the kickstarter campign.

  • Ariane

    You speak of mass production, but given how Soylent is pretty much homogenous once dissolved, wouldn't that make it a little bit too standard? Men need different proportions than women do, and people intending to lose muscle mass (yes, they, uhm, we, exist!) probably have very different needs in terms of, say, protein and iron. And people who are sickly despite eating probably won't want the same amount of fat than those who'd like to lose weight.

    In an eventual making of Soylent more public (definitely looking forward to it), how do you see these concerns? How can Soylent remain "customizable" yet safe?

    • rob

      I think it is possible to produce personalized products at scale. With first class equipment, automation, and logistics we could produce something different for every person, but at first it would probably be similar to making jeans, where a finite number of permutations cover the vast majority of the population.

      • Jonathan

        would it be possible to make a base mixture that covers generic needs, then have additions that we could ask for then add in ourselves?

      • Valeria

        Hello, Rob! I've tried to take part in the first trial, and still extremely eager to join the second or any other, so I hope, you'll run an international trial sooner or later.

         

        You are saying it might help reduce poverty, but how expensive it might become when produced in a large scale, using first class equipment, automation and logistics? Won't it become as expensive as already existing nutritive supplements?

        • rob

          I don't think so as those are generally one-time expenditures with minimal operating expenses, or could be effectively "rented" by working with a contract manufacturer. Scale would actually make this much, much cheaper as the cost of the raw materials drops 10x or more when buying in very large quantities.

  • http://www.jazzpirate.com Dennis

    Is there going to be a second trial round or something? I can't wait to try this stuff – it really sounds like the perfect solution to my eating problems and I'm way to ignorant and lazy to try to mix this myself ^^

    I'll definitely pay for your kickstarter. Can you give a very rough estimate, when (should the kickstarter be succesful) you could imagine going commercial?

  • Aaron

    Certainly fascinating, but I wonder how you will address the larger public if this becomes more and more popular. It takes time and effort to get all the bloodwork involved done and of course the majority of people aren't really capable of using the information derived from that bloodwork to formulate their own ingredient amounts (i.e. someone who thrives off of 200g of carbs as opposed to another who thrives off of 250g).Figuring out how to make that whole process easy and efficient seems to be one of the bigger issues you will likely have to face at some point. I for one can't wait until this relatively new nutritional practice becomes mainstream (and I truly hope it does). Good Luck.

    • Vladislav

      Just make an app for that, what are we, in the middle ages? Take a photo of your bloodwork, receive an "add more of the yellow cartridge" message.

  • Terra

    Good to hear man.

    I'm currently going through the stage of measuring the ingredients myself, and like yourself protein seems to be the biggest worry (though 900g for €23 is pretty good for most people). Other than that, finding the raw chemical ingredients is next to impossible in my small town, so some improvisation will be nessecary.

    Never fear though, I still plan to eat real food should I miss a thing or two in the mixture (though with my current diet I'm amazed I am standing at all) 
     

    Thanks again, and keep on trucking ;)

  • Colin

    Hey Rob, I'm glad to see this is still going. I had feared it had stalled. I am hoping to try Soylent out sooner rather than later, am in the bay area, and can make myself available. I've been struggling lately with kicking sugary drinks and caffeine.

    I'd be interested in seeing how Soylent compares to the boost of energy drinks (Mostly Monster,which I drink far too many of to keep my energy up. My poor energy levels are probably due to living off burritos and canned soup.) Have you or any of the current testers made this comparison? If not, I would like to offer myself as a test candidate.

  • Richard

    Great update!

     

    I'm putting together my own version, which is ketogenic. Maltodextrin is absorbed very quickly, and my understanding of the literature is replacing high glycemic index foods with healthy fats is protective against heart disease.

     

    Good to hear about the nootropics, that's an excellent idea. I'd add noopept.

     

    Will you post a link to the kickstarter upon approval?

  • http://ifailedtheturingtest.herokuapp.com adam

    Could not be more excited! Since I have no formal chemistry training, I'm stuck making my versions of soylent from actual food. Looking forward to trying the real thing!

  • Justin Lebrun

    Inspiring as always, very much looking forward to your future updates and kickstarter project. What exactly is the kickstarter going to be about? I don't believe you yet feel that Soylent is ready to be shipped out to thousands of backers, and if so, what would you offer as perks?

  • http://damien.io Damien

    Thanks for updating. Glad you will be doing a Kickstarter because I definitely want to try this out.

    I'm wondering: will there will be issues selling non-FDA approved food/supplement online though?

    • rob

      Supplements do not require FDA approval. Weird, I know. All my suppliers are USP certified and inspected and I definitely plan to get the FDA to certify its safety.

  • Brent

    I'd like to see an alternative system with a mixture that didn't contain minerals and rare elements, which would be suitable to combine with a daily multi-vitamin. Something easier and cheaper to make, with lower risk of overdose.

    • Bob

      This is basically what I'm doing right now.  Researched a multivitamin that hit most of the correct levels, using that with a base mixture.  Much easier, probably less exact.  But I'm replacing roughly 5/6 of my normal meals.  I actually "eat" once every two or three days.  I'll post something after I've completed a month or two.

      • Jaime

        Bob, in case you get to read this… do you mix the pill with the mixture in some way or just swallow one when you wake up? Raw mats are kinda expensive in my town… thanks :)

  • Patty Ann Lloyd

    Thank you for this update.  Can I sign up for the next Soylent test group? I'm a female and have a dreadful diet. How did you come up with the name Soylent?

    • http://tiredAcademic.tumblr.com TA*

      Regarding testing, it doesn't seem like he'll be expanding before he gets the Kickstarter up and running due to the huge demand. 

      Soylent is from the book Make Room! Make Room!, in which soylent is a mixture of SOYbeans and LENTils. You may have heard of the movie based on the book in which Soylent Green is made of humans. This is not so in the book, nor in Rob's concoction. Rob doesn't make his from lentil or soy either, as far as I can tell. 

  • Jason

    I wonder if anyone has kept track of how much water or other fluids they drink beside Soylent. For purposes of exercise, does Soylent count as fluid/water consumed or just food?

    • Kara

      I've been wondering this myself! Maybe the new forum is a better place to ask?

  • Tarek

    Can't wait for this to get on kickstarter.

    Been waiting for something like this my whole life.

    • Scott

      Everyone in the world has, they just didn't know it.

  • Chris

    Isn't there the issue with bowel cancer due to not using your guts to properly process and break down foods?

    Has this been addressed anywhere with this diet?

    • Jackie

      I agree – this should be addressed. Has it?

    • Art

      It's mostly tied to constipation (I cited an article on the last post).  Add more bulk fiber, such as psyllium husks, and you can keep on poopin'.

  • JS

    This is really interesting.  Do you have a graph of your weight / fat loss over course of the lower-calorie time period?  Also, do you have a sense of what your total daily energy expenditure is?  

    • http://tiredAcademic.tumblr.com TA*

      Rob's original post included his weight weekly, no quantitative data on his change in BMI/amount of fat. His new adjusted caloric intake should be close to his daily energy expenditure, assuming he's not gaining or losing weight anymore. 

  • H. kreipke

    Awesome! will definetly support on kickstarter

    I've been thinking bout making my own sort of soylent.

    Though much of the raw ingreadients are hard to come by you dont have to add "everything" right?  but then again I will probably eat alot of real food aswell.

     I thought that I could buy the products I can get hold of, and then on the side take regular vitamin and other pills like omega-3, zink, iron, ginko etc. and probably reduce the fat alot, I will need to give this more thought.

    Keep up for good work

  • http://www.roadtoelcap.com Abram Herman

    I've been waiting for something like this for years! So glad to see it could become a reality in the near future. Keep up the great work!

  • Elijah Ford

    After reading your ultimate goal, I can't wait to donate to your kickstarter. When I first read your blog, that idea immediately popped into my mind. Don't let BIG FOOD crush you… Haha just kidding.

    • Kara

      Good thing there's such an active interest in this and people making their own, so if something mysteriously happens to him, hopefully the project can continue… >->;

  • Simon Bernier

    I'm looking forward to helping you with your kickstarter (if you accept help from Canadians) ^-^.

    Thank you!

  • Michael Roberts

    Seems to me that if you eat occasionally, you'll notice any strange cravings that mean you're not getting something.  And yeah, Soylent has *got* to be better than HotPocket bachelor chow.

    I'm sold.  I'll watch this space for further details.

  • Rui Pacheco

    Can you replace whey with hemp protein? A significant part of the world population is lactose intolerant and whey protein is a big no-no.

    • rob

      Whey isolate does not contain lactose, whey concentrate does. It is also possible to include lactase with the whey so it can be broken down without the body.

      • Nobody

        Don't forget allergies.. Protein allergies varry, but do exist. Milk, Soy, Almond, etc and yes hemp, though I am unsure of the extent.. Perhaps a better approach would be to develop variations where those ingredients that are allergenic are subsituted, so that people could pick the right one themselves based on known existing allergies. Given the way things are mixed, that should be easy to maintain, add the protein to the mix last, allowing you to main the nutrient mix seperate for scale. Though oil might be an issue as well for the same reason.. 

        • Chris

          For that hemp allergy..I'm one of the people that has it. It sucks.

      • MV

        Note that milk protein intolerance is not the same as lactose intolerance: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_allergy#

      • Jesse

        I've read once that the process of removing whey isolate from milks involves a chemical process that can leave traces of caustic substances in the isolate — probably not an issue at small consumption levels (except for the paranoid), but possibly a concern with constant consumption.  Seeing if I can track down the original article.

  • http://ridingtheclutch.com Rob Cameron

    Hey Rob,

    Loving this experiment and I'm ready to back a Kickstarter any time, just let us know where to go.

    Have you looked into Jevity?

    http://www.amazon.com/Jevity-High-Protein-Nutrition-8-Ounce/dp/B000ARPK9Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1363651296&sr=1-1&keywords=jevity

    It's apparently what those who have to eat via feeding tube consume. And since you're on a feeding tube I assume you can't eat anything else, so they literally live off of just this one liquid. People can live for the rest of their natural lives off a feeding tube (assuming they don't pass due to the condition that necessitated their needing a feeding tube in the first place) so I don't see why you couldn't do the same with Soylent.

    That particular formulation (1.5) gives you ~350 calories per can so you'd need 6 to get about the FDA recommended calorie intake you're getting right now (2100). At $1.85/can that's about $330 a month. Which might be worth it to some for the convience of not having to mix it themselves. Although I have no idea what this stuff tastes like. It's intended to go right to the stomach so taste probably wasn't the first consideration when it was created.

    Anyway, just some evidence that something like this is definitely possible, and even approved by the FDA in the case of Jevity.

    • Tom Anderson

      Ensure can also be used as a sole source of nutrition. http://www.amazon.com/Ensure-Nutrition-Powder-Vanilla-Flavor/dp/B0007XXPLQ

      However, the whole concept behind products like Ensure or Jevity is for use with non-active patients. They aim for 100% RDA and 1500 calories per day.

      An active lifestyle would require a bit different formulation.

    • Brian

      The issue I could see with this is that, Soylent is geared towards a more active person, while soemthing through a feeding tube is probably not

    • Scott

      I’m on my second case of Jevity 1.5 Cal. I like what Rob is doing and Jevity seemed like a way to get started immediately.

      What does Jevity taste like? Unflavored wheaties in soy milk mixed with vitamin. Unpleasant and hard to stomach. I do not recommend this product for sole-source long term nutrition with supplementing chocolate syrup or something else to flavor it.

  • Joe

    I understand why you're not revealing the details of how you source all of the ingredients, but you could probably answer my question: are all of the ingredients from plant/mineral sources?

    • Robert

      I spoke with Rob after the first posts about making Soylent vegan (it was not at the time, and I assume that it hasn't changed in this regard). The protein source is whey based, and the vitamin D3 source is likely lanolin based. 

      We didn't get into further details after that; was hoping to continue the conversation after the first trial run with the original recipe. I'm very much interested in a vegan version.

      • http://tiredAcademic.tumblr.com TA*

        As the components are important only because of what they contain, it should be possible to make a vegan version of Soylent, provided you can find all necessary nutrients. Of course, this may be more difficult/expensive. 

        • Joe

          If Robert is right and it's just protein and D3, then at least it's close already! Most vegetables have a hell of a lot of protein, so that would be no problem, but D3 could be an issue. The only vegan D3 I've found is a vegan society product that was released in 2011, other than that it's slim pickings.

          Including a branded supplement instead of the raw ingredient could raise the price a little I guess.

  • Brent Wagner

    Oh man, if you need someone that makes "poor dietary choices", then I'm your man haha.  

    Can't wait to see the Kickstarter go up!!  I'm not in SF, otherwise I'd love to help with the video.

    • http://tiredAcademic.tumblr.com TA*

      I think he's looking for more technical experience for the video, work that can be collaborated on over the Internet. If you have relevant video production experience, I'd contact him. 

  • Mike Graf

    You mentioned that a Calorie Restricted diet may/may not be "healthier". The work that I've seen about calorie restricted diets assumes you're ok with being small, weak, low libido in exchange for increased longevity. It may not have been that you had a "failed hypothesis", just that it didnt produce the metrics you were going for (eg, muscles, feeling "good" etc) . 

    Maybe you can make 3 lines.. CR line , Weight maintenance line and weight (muscle hopefully) gain line ?

     

  • Avery

    Wow this is an amazing experiment you are doing. I have always said that for me, food is not a luxury, but a nuisance. I do not gain the same level of  satisfaction from eating a great meal as others do.

    I'd love to be involved in your Soylent project in some way. I am currently a Freshman in college, and totally down to give up food! 

    Keep this shit coming!

  • Eric

    Glad it's goin well.

    I have another thought/question.  Have you taken a look at immune system health?  I see some white blood cell counts etc in the blood work (thanks for providing) but I don't know what they mean, and I wonder if there are other tests they could do as well to look at immune system health.  

    When do you plan on getting more blook work done?

    Thanks for the cool experiment!

    • Eric

      I think the internet will be your best friend.  Look into a multivitamin that covers a lot of the ug nutrients.

    • rob

      Hey Eric, I'll get my blood tested again at the end of month 3, and share. I'm not worried about my WBC as it's in the normal range and I think it stays on the lower end when the body is not sick.

  • http://terrycooperart.blogspot.com Terry Cooper

    This is so exciting to read up on. I'd really like to try this, despite my knowledge of nutrition being negligible. It's a revolutionary idea that I once asked my biology teacher (20 something years ago!) why people haven't invented <something like Soylent>, and the teacher just said it'd be impossible. Goes to show yo uhave to try and keep trying. For now, I'd be happy just to try a full week with Soylent and see how my health, weight and energy are affected.

  • Aupathletic

    If you're still alive in a couple of months I will give Soylent a try ;P

    Now seriously, thank you so much for doing and sharing this.

    I really appreciate the scientific approach you're taking. I am also an engineer, and I am really proud of you being also one!  Finally, I know you're already doing it, but I think it may be harder in the future: Please keep being as objective as possible!!

  • noname

    Hi There,

    Couple of notes: high blood calcium does not mean that you eat too much calcium. Also, check your ferritin before supplementing iron, as you might be poisoning yourself. Good luck.

  • Craig

    I'm loving this idea and I'm keen to give it a try. I was thinking about how we could measure doses as different people will need different things.  Can you get automated machines to measure your blood and then work out what ingredients you need to increase etc? ie, if you're slightly anaemic you would add more iron. Or if you're body building you might want more protein etc. I think diabetic people have machines they can use to measure blood sugar so something similar to that? 

     

    In future, we could maybe make it high tech, have a sub-dermal implant that you can use NFC or Bluetooth to send the blood info to your phone so you can chart everything against the soylent intake? 

     

    Anyway, keep up the studies and if you want a UK based tester, get in touch. :-) 

  • Sapan Bhuta

    Caloric restriction from what I have read, is meant to decrease cell damage (i.e.aging) by reducing the amount of free radicals due to less catabolic reactions. But the idea of staying hungry seems counter-intuitive

  • adva

    what about long-term consequences for your theets ?

    • http://tiredAcademic.tumblr.com TA*

      Teeth? His replies suggest that he believes the occasional meals he is eating (2-3/week) are plenty to keep his digestive system working, and I'd assume he feels the same about his teeth.  Indeed, eating mosty Soylent could be good for your teeth because you're eating less of sugary foods that stay in your mouth causing cavities and you are getting all the nutrients your teeth need to be healthy. 

      • darius sohei

        that's not how cavities are formed, that's how modern superstition thinks cavities are formed. prepare to have your beliefs destroyed if you actually enter the world of nutrition and research.

        • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

          Cavities are usually formed when bacteria ferment food particles that get stuck on teeth and produce acid, which eats away at the teeth. Sticky, sugary foods are ideal for getting stuck on the teeth and feeding those bacteria while a liquid diet like Soylent would be unlikely to stick around in the mouth long enough to do the same. 

          .find_in_page{background-color:#ffff00 !important;padding:0px;margin:0px;overflow:visible !important;}.findysel{background-color:#ff9632 !important;padding:0px;margin:0px;overflow:visible !important;}

          • LK

            I think a relevant question would be about gum health (and this question is fresh on my mind after having a recent gum graft, ouch!). One line of thought on receding gum lines is that you can keep your gums strong and thick through chewing and, I guess, keeping the blood flowing in your gum tissue. I think there's a whole slew of things involved there, particuarly genetics, but if it's true that chewing is good/necessary for gum health, then maybe Soylent should be distributed with gum alongside it? :)

        • Art

          Your word and vague references are insufficient and lack rigor.  Please destroy our beliefs with citations about how sugars, and more precisely, the increased acidity due to fermentation of carbohydrates by oral bacteria, is a primary cause of dental caries.

  • John

    How are the micrograms weighed out precisely? Could you give information as to which ingredients pose risks for fatal overdoses? Are you finding you need to diversify your sources of carbs and fats? Lastly, what ingredients cannot simply be used straight from a powder, such as potassium needing to be potassium gluconate and the iron needing to be dissolved first? I am very willing to purchase this product, or even purchase detailed instructions and sign something saying I could not release the info.

    • Daniel Knoll

      Signed up for trial, was also "snubbed" – would DEFINITELY pay for detailed instructions with NDA on production process. I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE.

  • http://fit.ealfonso.com Eugene

    Good work so far. I was wondering if you had your testosterone/estrogen levels checked as part of your blood work and if you would be willing to publish that part of your blood work.

    Thanks and can't wait for the kickstarter!

    • http://tiredAcademic.tumblr.com TA*

      The blood tests he took (metabolic panel, complete blood count, and lipid panel) do not include testosterone or estrogen. 

  • Michael

    Awesome stuff Rob,

    I'm not sure if you have any military veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom/ Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn as part of your study, but even if you do I'd be more than willing to cover the cost of materials and shipping for atleast a month long trial (I'm quite certain several of my friends I was deployed with will be interested in a trial of Soylent as well). I think a healthy diet is a key factor in the road to recovery for the many vets that have some form of warzone/stress/extreme envionment induced ailment. Soylent sounds incredible. I have several other suggestions for it's usage as well. Please feel free to PM me when ever you have a moment to spare.

  • Travis

    Sad to hear I didn't make the cut for the first experimental group (even being local). 

    I've read a lot of the comments from your original post and find it interesting that nothing is ever (unless I missed it) mentioned about human babies who get 100% of their nutrients from formula until they can consume solid foods. 

    Why do we ever move away from that?

  • Susan

    Still fascinated to hear about your progress and looking forward to trying Soylent myself one day. Thanks for sharing!

  • Erica

    This is really great. I'm glad you updated so quickly. I wish I had the chemistry knowledge to do this for myself. I guess I'll have to wait for now. 
    I think your carbs are much too high. There are a lot of amazing people doing amazing things with lower carbs. Like Dave Aspry.. who btw you may want to look up.. he's in SF and is a biohacker and may be able to help you out. He's done massive amounts of reserch biohacking himself. bulletproofexec.com Or Mark Sisson or Dr. Jack Kruse. 
    The problem with hunger when you lower the carbs is you need to up the fat. I don't know what kind of fat you're using, but MCT oil, Coconut oil, sat. animal fat, olive, and O3 of course are all excellent fats. You're kinda low in fat. I'd lower the carbs and up the fat. It may take a couple days to move over to being a fat burner, but it's worth it.
    Also, look into vitamin K2… I see that's lacking.
    Also, part of the issue for the women may be the low amount of fat.
    Can't wait until I can try this out too. :)

    • rob

      Thank you Erica, I use olive oil. The big problem is without carbs the drink does not taste as good and I would probably lose motivation to continue consuming it. Perhaps I'll experiment with this at some point but carbs are a pretty cheap source of energy.

      Women do store more fat than men, but the FDA recommends lower calorie consumption with the same percentage as fat for women.

      • darius sohei

        i think if you want to succeed with this idea and have it actually be ethical, you'll need to look outside the FDA's recomendations. thos rec's were designed to sustain an infantryman, a foot soldier, to keep killing and following orders on a depressing battlefield. there are huge social ramifications for basing everyone's on a very specialized kind of standard, which may not even be ethical.

        • Art

          Define "ethics".

        • El

          If you have any actual pragmatic or scientific objections, please raise them. I believe your story about the military is false anyway. 2000 calories is not nearly enough for an active infantryman, for one.

        • Monk

          Darius, I don't know where you're getting your information from but it is completely false. You need to do some homework before you voice your opinion.

      • Matt

        When I first read about your project last week I immediately thought of Dave Aspry (bulletproofexec.com) as well. I second what Erica is saying about lowering the carbs and upping the fat.

        For the last 6 months I've been eating much less grains and a lot more fat, and I feel more consistent energy levels, my mind is clearer, and I'm generally more satisfied from my meals.

        If lowering the carbs makes it not as sweet, perhaps you could try adding stevia. It tastes kind of funky on it's own, but mixed with the sweetener you already have it could work… plus it's 0 calories and totally natural.

        • Mumfi.

          Natural does not equal good or safe.

          • Art

            Mmmm…fugu liver!  Polar bear liver!  (Wait, I'm on a theme here)  Nightshade liver!

        • John Stotler

          After using stevia for years, we've recently switched to monkfruit. It's got the same benefits as stevia (natural, non-caloric, etc.), but with far less of the bitter aftertaste.

          There are some things that genuinely benefit from the flavor of stevia (like chocolates, coffee, things where bitterness can be good), so it's definitely worth trying in Soylent, but if not I'd give monkfruit a shot.

      • Emily

        I am confused as to what you are using for carbohydrates.

    • donjoe

      "Dave Aspry […]'s done massive amounts of reserch biohacking himself."

      Or so he claims, but none of his claims can be verified until you shell out the money for his seminars and maybe also buy some of his dubious little electric gadgets.

      If you ask me, this Aspry character is mostly just a scammer trying to make money off people's appetite for self-enhancement, and succeeding in proportion to how many people he can find who aren't skeptical enough to ask for proof first and make the payments later. For all we know, given what little information Aspry gives out for free, he could just be paywalling information we could very well find in free sources elsewhere, and then he adds some original crackpot theories and products that probably have none of the effects he claims (like his "special coffee" nonsense: http://cooking.stackexchange.com/a/19931).

  • Mariusz

    What about nickel food alergic? Soya has alot of nickel as i know. 

    I cant eat almost anything and it could be cure for me. My skin is very bad cuz of nickiel alergic.

  • Quinn

    I don't have a lot of background in chemistry or anything like that but I am very interested in what you are doing here. A way to change the world is something not everyone has the motivation to push for.

  • http://tibbon.com David Fisher

    So on the calorie restriction- you're both right and wrong. 

    Calorie restriction can be fairly strongly linked with longevity, or in the very least, improved health overall. You can read about it more on PubMed or the Wikipedia

    From what I understand, burning calories overall (and using oxygen) is pretty much what causes aging (free radicals, cancer, all sorts of stuff). The less oxygen you burn, and the fewer calories burn – the slower this happens. Antioxidants in foods are helpful for this reason, but still can't fix everything (or at least as far as we know). 

    Curiously enough, this goes a bit against the standard thought that a large amount of exercise is good for you. Working out and consuming food and oxygen at a Michael Phelps rate on average probably isn't so great for you in this context. 

    But, as you saw, if you're relatively active (walking around SF, hitting the gym frequently) then you can't cut calories past a certain point (and certainly not protien intake) and still have good results, especially if you're already fairly lean. 

    But also as you saw, with the concotion you've made up, you can vary your intake levels appropriately to get this on a good target for losing/gaining mass as needed. 

    Good luck, be safe, and keep us posted. 

     

    • alison

      Hey ya'll, here's a link to a study about caloric restriction (aka undernutrition without malnutrition) from a life history theory perspective (i.e., the way energy is allocated to different processes within the body)– http://www.biomedcentral.com/1752-0509/5/78

      Also, if you're interested in thinking about sensecence (aging) from an evolutionary persepective, check out the antagonistic pleiotropy (Williams) and disposable soma (Kirkwood) hypotheses. They address the questions around why aging happens at all, and fit in nicely with the evolutionary persepctive on caloric restriction

      • http://www.eet.nu Gerard

        Caloric restriction was only tested on monkeys as far as I know. It turns out it only worked in previous experiments because they were getting less of the bad lab food they usually get. When fed a healthy (monkey) diet there was no longevity improvement on a caloric restricted diet.

        • Rui Pacheco

          +1

  • Courtney

    I find this incredibly interesting and will be eager to read your next update on the trials. You have a great thing going!

  • Lincoln

    Keep up the good work, as a fellow engineer this has me very interested. Efficiency is key etc.

    For the kickstarter it would be nice to see a version that includes everything except the fat, protein, and carbohydrate sources. That way it will be possible for people to mix their own versions for their own dietary needs/choices (ketogenic, traditional, 10/10/80, whatever.) I know that I would definitely be interested in picking up such a thing – although I have the knowledge and ability to spend the time picking up all of the various vitamins etc and mixing my own batch, I would much prefer the time savings of having a single mix that I can dump into whatever my daily shake/whatnot is.

    Just a thought.

  • Joe

    I haven't seen any evidence that "ketogenic" is a good way to be. My understanding is that sure, your body can burn fat for fuel, but it burns dirty.

  • Jonathan

    How much potassium do you consume in one serving? I've read that it's bad to consume to much at once and that you should spread it out throughout the day. Have you had problems with consuming too much at once?

    • rob

      Only when I intentionally overdosed. When I mix it with water the K dissolves pretty evenly, spreading out my intake over the day.

      • Iola J

        you mix the potassium with water ? … isnt that a exothermic reaction that …ignites ? I wish I had the guts to have designed something like this, often wondered why such a thing hasnt been created yet. I was recently considering doing some proper research into FDA requirements, then supplementing a large amount of my diet to the raw constituents…as my diet is currently very restricted. 

        Will deffinetly be following this, Im not sure id have the courrage to drink any of the chemicals I mix in the lab (student). 

         

         

        • http://mathandcode.com neurofuzzy

          From another post: 

          Raw Potassium is extremely reactive, so I use potassium gluconate

          http://robrhinehart.com/?p=424

  • drtao

    I would really like to try this. Please contact me.

    • http://tiredAcademic.tumblr.com TA*

      Don't hold your breath – I doubt he'll be expanding his trials until the Kickstarter, so you'll be waiting until then unless you make your own. 

  • Asher

    This is fantastic. I love this project, and hope to get a chance to either participate in it or try to replicate it myself.

     

    rob, low carb and ketogenic are related but different things. If you want a well researched and referenced book about carbohydrates I would highly recommend Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

  • http://aarlo.com Aarlo

    Thanks Rob. Really awesome stuff.

    Would love if there was a way for the user to tweak the carbs/fats/protein that they ate per day, for their own diet goals.  Maybe you could sell a few different versions.

  • Maaarc

    You should go the extra distance and do 3.14159 miles.

    • rob

      I wish treadmills had better precision.

      • Steve

        Just make yourself a circular track of diameter 1 mile…

        • Art

          I like your brand of humor, friend.

          • Beardrunner

            Mmmm

            and I like pi

            loving your work, Rob btw!

  • http://marcperrot.com Marc Perrot

    I think this is fantastic. I'm happy to hear it's going well for you, and I look forward to seeing your Kickstarter. You have a supporter and future buyer in me. Best of luck and keep us updated.

     

    I do have one quick question. Is Soylent vegetarian, vegan, or neither? Are there dairy products in it?

    • Fadeway

      Since the selling point is that you can change the ingredients, I'd assume you could make a vegan version if the current one already isn't. 

    • rob

      Vegetarian, not vegan. Whey protein, fish oil.

      • Morgan

        Fish oil isn't vegetarian.

        • steph

          It is if your Indian. 

          • http://www.cash4bones.com Sam

            Being Indian doesn't change facts.

  • http://twitter.com/adora Lisa Brewster

    If you're not reading it already, you'll probably enjoy the research of Stephan Guyenet.  He studies why our brains allow us to get fat, specifically how very rewarding food (chips, cookies, etc) changes the body fat setpoint.  And the way to reset that setpoint is to consume simple, bland foods, the blandest (and most effective) being a liquid diet similar to Soylent.

    Here are some of the most relevant articles I could find:

    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/05/food-reward-dominant-factor-in-obesity.html

    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/08/food-palatability-and-body-fatness.html

    And for anyone who wants to skip right to the end for specific steps to reduce the fat setpoint:

    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/06/food-reward-dominant-factor-in-obesity_28.html

    • ChuckO

      Thanks for the links! Those are terrific.

    • Federikus

      OMG you're beautiful!

      And thanks for the links!

  • Mark

    Glad to see the update.  I'm sad I wasn't chosen for the test group and was wondering if you could post more detailed steps for creating Soylent.  

    I feel like if I bought everything separately  and put it all in a blender, I would probably end up doing more harm than good but I am very very interested in the idea of Soylent.

    -Cheers
    Mark
     

  • Robert J

    You may be able to lower your protein costs with Kirkland Real Egg Product from Costco. You get around 300 grams of protein for $10.45. It is pasteurized so you can use it without cooking. It has an amino acid score of 145 compared to whey at 102. It is mildly anti-inflammatory while whey is highly inflammatory. It has no fat, no cholesterol, and less than 10 grams of carbohydrate. They also add some vitamins and minerals.

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/112/2
    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/103/2
    http://www2.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11334186&whse=BD_823&Ne=5000001%204000000&eCat=BD_823|9897|10050&N=4031230%204294966372&Mo=0&No=0&Nr=P_CatalogName:BD_823&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&topnav=bd

    I cooked some this morning with tomatoes, parsley, basil, oregano, Serrano, and garlic in coconut oil. It was delicious!

     

    • rob

      This might be very useful, but the amount and coverage of the essential amino acids is very important, something I'm sure that whey does. Also does this require refridgeration?

      • Art

        They definitely require refrigeration after the container is opened and exposed to everything that loves to eat nutrient-rich substances.  Because pasteurization processes differ, the un-refrigerated shelf life advisory of a sealed container is generally about 7-14 days.

        In higher temperature environments, such as much of the developing world, I'm not sure how long you'd have.  However, people store whole, raw eggs for some time at room temperature.  The inside of a live hen isn't exactly below 40ºF.

  • Adam

    Being a soldier, this seriously interests me. As of late soldiers are having to pay for MRE's (meals ready to eat) while out in the field and with it being so expensive and actually not very healthy for you, your experiment seems to be a perfect solution. Could it withstand such insane activity and still be able to give my soldiers and I the proper protein and nutrients we need for a high level of manual labor? Very interesting.

    • rob

      I looked in to MRE's before trying this but they didn't seem very nutritious at all for the dollar. A plastic jar of powder is pretty robust, and the weight and volume would be much lower than an MRE. I think it could support very high levels of manual labor, just crank up the protein and carbs. 

      • Art

        MREs are not a long term meal replacement.  They are field rations and not to be consumed as a primary nutrition source for more than 2-3 weeks.

  • http://about.me/ben_tremblay Ben Tremblay

    Hey Rob – Just heard your item on CBC "As It Happens".

    Nothing to add at the moment, except to say that I've been using my vegetable juicer more and more often. (What's best use of the pulp … running a surplus!)

    cheers

    –ben

  • Chuck

    Thanks for the update!

    I especially like the nootropics addition.

    I hope you let your email list know when you launch your Kickstarter campaign.

     

  • http://about.me/ben_tremblay Ben Tremblay

    p.s. typo … s / quatified-mind.com / quantified-mind.com

    p.s.2 I'm a lazy sort of dog. I exercise with a Verso rowing machine in front of my TV :-)

  • Mike

    Sounds great Rob.  I'm really excited about your experiment and where I think it's going to mean to the world.  If you want to expand your research to Dallas I'd be happy to assist.  I look forward to your next update.

    Mike

    • Mike

      *what I think it's going to mean to the world.

       

      Hate typos

      • typo

        *what I think it could mean to the world.

        • Beardrunner

          Haha.. Mike hates you :)

  • Kyle

    I would suggest looking at making a solid form of Soylent – there is research indicating that the mechanical action of solid food moving through your bowels is important for your health, especially for keeping your risk of colon cancer low.

    • John Stotler

      This does have potential, I think. It would seem that the main goal here is to work out the perfect balance of nutiritional needs, then find the best sources of it at a doable cost/benefit ratio.

      Once that's worked out, consistency should be pretty easy.

  • http://www.domesticdork.com Holly

    Your experiment is fascinating, and I look forward to following your progress. The most exciting factor is that your Soylent drink is actually cheaper than groceries (as most nutritional supplements cost far more than fresh or prepared foods).

    I'm skeptical about the long-term results, but glad to see you're taking such an evidence-based approach and trying to secure the funding necessary to truly test this out. Will you, assuming the Kickstarter goes well, be looking into the various differences in needs for not just women vs. men, but various age groups and health-condition needs (suchs as pregnant/nursing women, diabetics, etc.)?

    • rob

      Yes that's what I'm mostly working on now. Besides sex differences, there seems to be quite a range of metabolism, and diabetics have varying levels of sensitivity. I am confident this is all found in the genome, and that getting sequenced will become more popular. Based on that data I think it could be very personalized, but I'm still struggling to get it right for women.

      • Art

        You mentioned getting your genome sequenced.  If you used 23andme, you can download your raw data and use Promethease (http://snpedia.com/index.php/Promethease) to pull more SNP info from SNPedia.  You have to do some interpretation, but you're up for it. :-)

  • http://socialfresh.com/ Jason Keath

    Love the progress and your willingness to, as a successful startup should, iterate and pivot. 

    If Kickstarter says no, just go to IndieGoGo. Almost as popular and way more accepting of new ideas and concepts for funding projects. 

    I'm in. 

  • Greg

    I am somewhat exited about this new stuff you are making.  I hope it turns out well.  

  • Greg

    On another note, when people talk about ketosis, they are switching from carbs to fat.  If you do not boost up your fat intake, this may have contributed to the weakness you felt.  When you decreased your carb intake. In case you didn't already try that.

  • Dave

    It's annoying you haven't just posted ingredients already. Not being a chemist hasn't stopped me from getting started, it just means I'm more likely to make an error and waste time. 

    • triffid-pruner

      I think he's being very careful to avoid any possible liability. If he posts a recipe and someone follows it and gets sick (for any reason at all) they could lawyer-up and sue. Bogus yes, but a real danger.

      • Daniel Knoll

        That's why you post warnings.

        • http://tiredAcademic.tumblr.com TA*

          Warnings don't protect against stupidity, whether or not they prevent liability.

          Along with not wanting to get sued, Rob doesn't want people to get hurt by trying and failing to make their own, and it's not as simple as following a recipe. Chemical/biologic knowledge is needed at this point to adjust the proportions for the individual, so if you can't figure that out for your specific case and assume the risks, you shouldn't be trying this. The consequences of failure may be malnutrition and overdoses of various sorts, so don't try this at home if you think you'll screw it up – just wait for the Kickstarter. 

    • http://www.yahoo.com/ Chuck Burress

      He did post ingredients, well over a month ago.

      • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

        One doesn't just buy and add "magnesium" to the mix; he means the specific items like a brand of magnesium supplements, which Rob is reluctant to post because people with too little knowledge to make their own personalized batch could do harm to themselves and because not all his suppliers could sustain the increased volume that comes with many people copying Rob's exact ingredients list. 

        • EarlW

          It's an interesting experiment, but I am suspicious of the "because not all his suppliers could sustain the increased volume".  Increased interest would temporarily increase the prices, but the demand would also attract more suppliers.  I'm calling bulls*it on this claim.

          If Rob wants to cash in on his work, then I have no problem with that, but he should say so up front.  Having a bunch of free test subjects is going to save a pile of money.

          PS: FDA testing is incredibly expensive.

          The more I read about these claims, especially in the first posting, the more suspicious I get.  

  • Tom A.

    Perhaps you've heard the saying, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts"?

    • Simon

      Yes, in deed.

      And I have been brought up to question things.

  • Linda

    Love your updates especially the picture above ;)

    I think the using more fat would help the women too.

    Are you adjusting Soylent to each individual's bloodwork? 
    Or more for each body type? Age? Activity Factor?

     

  • Evan

    I eat 1 chicken breast, 1 salmon fillet and a bunch of random fruits and veggies and almond butter on toast throughout the day. Would I possibly be able to drink one glass of soylent a day whilst maintaining my diet? Or maybe skipping out on some things?

    • Evan

      Also a few vitamin and mineral pills. And a multi.

      • http://tiredAcademic.tumblr.com TA*

        You want to add Soylent to your diet without cutting anything out? Unless you think you're undernourished, that's like moving from 3 to 4 meals a day without decreasing proportion size per meal. You'd gain weight and perhaps overdose on some nutrient. Soylent is made to replace meals, not supplement them. 

  • Alexander

    A few questions:

    How much lithium are you consuming? Are you comfortable with your macronutrient ratios, or are you still experimenting? Have you experimented with any other nootropics? (Vinpocetine is my favorite, followed by Aniracetam and Piracetam)

  • Fletcher

    In light of a more recent study it seems the case for calorie restiction is pretty weak. If your diet is unhealthy, calorie restriction promotes longevity because you are getting less of the unhealthy things in your diet. Specifically it would seem restricting sugar intake provides the same benefit as restricting calorie intake.

  • http://nelsnelson.org/ Nels

    This is really exciting.  I'm very pleased to hear that you'll be creating a kickstarter project, and I hope it gets accepted and posted as soon as possible.  Damn it I wish I didn't hate learning chemistry so much when I was younger.  I had incredibly shitty chem teachers.  I would love to attempt to process and synthesize the ingredients for your Soylent recipe from a home garden or something in order to have a sustainable recipe for DIY food.  I've been looking up bio-chem papers on gluconic acid synthesis, histidine synthesis, efficient glucose isolation, and so on.  It's been fun reading, but I would probably never have the free time to gather all the equipment and resources and cultivate all the vegetation required for such things.

  • Sarah McPherson

    Im extremely interested in this because I live a very busy life style and always seem to have troubles with my food and how it reacts with my body (reflux, weight gain, upset tummy, headaches etc) and am starting to collect the ingredients from a reputable retailer online  to try soylent :) Im curious, I get pretty tired of the same ol same ol sort of tastes- do you ever switch things up? Maybe use different tasting protein? Or add matcha, cocoa, greens or something like that?

    Also, I was wondering  do you mix soylent in a blender for maximum mixing? What do you use as an emulsifier?

     

    Thanks :)

    • rob

      I don’t get tired of the taste. In fact at this point I normally down it pretty quickly. It’s entirely possible to add extra flavoring but I would be wary of triggering an allergy so would leave it up to the individual. I use Lecithin as an emulsifier.

  • Paul C.

    I just looked at your blood work… 91mg/dL is not a healthy fasting blood glucose level.

     

    See the following article for more rationale:

    http://chriskresser.com/when-your-%E2%80%9Cnormal%E2%80%9D-blood-sugar-isn%E2%80%99t-normal-part-2

    • rob

      Then why is the reference range 65-99mg/dL? The American Diabetes Association recommends 79.2-110mg/dL. I don’t know why the reference rage differs as much as it does but I am safely within both.

      • Paul C.

        Those reference ranges are based on "normal" Americans (ie. overweight + eating a diet high in refined grains and sugars), so they are overly permissive. They are not based on what is required for optimal health.

      • Paul C.

        "While most doctors will tell you that anything under 100 mg/dL is normal, it may not be. In this study, people with FBG levels above 95 had more than 3x the risk of developing future diabetes than people with FBG levels below 90. This study showed progressively increasing risk of heart disease in men with FBG levels above 85 mg/dL, as compared to those with FBG levels of 81 mg/dL or lower."

        http://chriskresser.com/when-your-%E2%80%9Cnormal%E2%80%9D-blood-sugar-isn%E2%80%99t-normal-part-2

    • Art

      Not to be dismissive (OK, it is) but you're linking to an acupuncturist's site.  That's not where I often go for rationale.  It's one tiny step up from a chiropractor.

  • Fadeway

    It's great that you're already doing trials; those of us who are eager to try this are probably gonna benefit from the larger initial amount of information. Most people have a negative reaction to this when I tell them about it, but I've already experienced that with other productivity hacks that seem crazy, so I'm not expecting their opinion to change before Soylent becomes socially acceptable/widespread.                                           Can't wait to try this!

  • Loren

    Great idea. Am looking forward to getting some, though I would have to go easy on it due to the iron content.

  • Brent Wagner

    Can't wait to read more updates and see the Kickstarter thing go!

  • Josh

    Your description of nootropics caught my attention.

    In college, I'm noticing that if I eat certain foods, I can gain that "wired" feeling. But it's impossible to turn off, and it lasts for a very long time. Maybe with Soylent you could figure the right amount of chemicals to induce the effect for a certain period of time.

  • triffid-pruner

    I thought the most interesting thing borught up in the HN thread was the comparison to TPN (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_parenteral_nutrition). It and Soylent have the identical goal of supplying 100% nutrition. They differ in mode of delivery (TPN is intravenous not oral) and target users (bedridden people vs. healthy ones). But have you compared the recipes to see what TPN contains?

    • laurens

      What makes soylent so different from already existing "tube nutrion" which sick or bed ridden people get throught tubes dirrectly into their stomach ?

      They seem to live for 100 % on this too ?

  • Greg

    First off I love it all. I think it's awesome. Second, you HAVE to find a way to eliminate the plecebo effect (maybe compare to people drinking ensure). The problem is the placebo effect could be far greater in you (and to a lesser extent your volonteers), given that you WANT to experient to work. Clearly significantly better blood test numbers and market improvement in athleticism are great indicators if you are rigourus, but to say you 'feel great' could very eaily be placebo (or partially placebo).

  • Mark Baker

    Since the ultimate goal is fielding this to the world could you talk about shelf life and simplification of the product. Maybe making it more universal or setting up categories for it such as age or sex. That way famine areas can have something better than rice in a giant bag to help them out.

  • MJOforIAM

    Oh my, I didn't think Limitless was possible, but you are on the way!! lol! I will be trying this at some point. Kudos to you! 

  • ACV

    Hey mate, just saw an article on Vice.com about you and your experiment. Great work! I've wondered about this but never had the patience or wherewithall to go ahead and give it a shot.

    One thing you mention in your interview is that you have to mix up a new batch every day as it doesn't last. Which is understandable, given the nutrient-rich mixture just about any microorganism would LOVE to colonise that stuff! Sorry if this has been asked before, but have you tried freezing it in meal-sized portions? I figure since you're using simple compounds and it's all more or less a fluid solution/suspension, freezing should be a viable storage solution for sweet, sweet convenience!

  • Kevin

    You seriously should consider another name as you'll have relentless amounts of "SOYLENT IS MADE OF PEOPLE!" and unless you plan on using that as part of a marketing strategy it's probably going to be a big turn-off for a lot of the anti-cannibal crowd.  Also it's really depressing and dystopian.  I mean seriously it' by very definition is off-putting.  If you want to catch an audience you really should reconsider the name, I think. Especially since even in it's first mention it's portrayed in a negative light. This is but one man's opinion though.

    soylent 

    An undesirablelackluster, and artificial foodstuff, as a substitute for real meatAn undesirablelackluster, and artificial foodstuff, as a substitute for real meat.  [quotations ▲]

    1966Harry HarrisonMake Room! Make Room![1]ISBN 9780425023907OL 7500531M, published 1973, page 26:

    The soylent steaks were sitting like lead in his stomach and twice he had to go back to the dark and miserable toilet in the rear of the building.

    • Mister Rez

      But what if we call it Super Soylent?

    • Tom Anderson

      Not to mention that if Soylent ever took off as a business proposition, the estate of Harry Harrison would have a field day.

    • Fadeway

      I, for one, think it's a great naming choice.

    • Greg

      Anti-cannibal crowd? Seriously? Is that a thing? I think the name is funny, and has name recognition. Nobody with a brain will think this is made of people.

      • Art

        If you got rid of the prions and bioaccumulated toxins, I might not mind human ingredients.

  • Kevin

    I mean really, do you want people to start off with the worst possible mindset so that they can only be pleasantly surprised by it or something?

  • Mal

    Please stay safe. The last thing anyone needs now is to have you get yourself dead or seriously ill and scare everybody off this idea for two generations.

  • Jessy Lo

    I think it's awesome what you are doing!!! Hope to try this soon!!

  • Karanime

    I will absolutely support your Kickstarter project. I'm so excited I can't even describe it.

    • ACV

      +1

  • Maggie

    Hoping I make another trial should you offer one.

    Kickstarter sounds like a great idea, best of luck to you!!

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  • Jason

    Looking forward to your Kickstarter project. Make sure to remind everyone here to share it on Facebook/Google+/Twitter/etc. and it'll probably skyrocket. :-)

  • nschiffer

    Soylent = soya + lentils.

    By that this, shouldn’t your concoction actually be called “wheymalt”?

  • nschiffer

    Soylent = soya + lentils.

    By that logic, shouldn’t your concoction actually be called “wheymalt”?

  • S-252

    You need to remember that "going ketogenic" is not just about reducing carbs, it's also about adding fat. The fact you started feeling tired and hungry kind of hinted that maybe you forgot to replace the lost carb calories with fat calories.

    Virgin coconut oil would be your absolutely best option, though it tends to get stiff in lower temperatures, making Soylent less drinkable. Coconut cream perhaps?

    • donjoe

      Yeah, from what I understand ketogenesis requires you to drop your simple carbs very low so that you don't secrete much insulin, and make fat your primary source of calories. You even have to watch your protein intake because too much protein will again be converted to glucose via gluconeogenesis. See http://www.carbsmart.com/my-5-low-carb-mistakes-and-how-nutritional-ketosis-rescued-me.html

      Also, you need to find the right balance for long-term sustainability and avoid developing ketoacidosis by measuring your levels of beta-aminobutyric acid at least daily during your adoption and tuning of this type of diet. (BABA is measured best with a blood test, unlike the other 2 ketones that are typically measured with urine tests.)

    • donjoe

      Sorry, make that beta hydroxybutyric acid (or beta hydroxybutyrate). :D

  • Pcerda

    Thanks for the update! I’m really digging your story. I personally live off of protein shakes, fast food and beer so the idea of avoiding real food is not far fetch for me. But out of amazement and the love for the name I’ve been telling everyone i run into and they all answer with either “that’s crazy” or “he’s going to get cancer”. And though i am not a scientists, we all hear that diet soda can cause cancer and make you fat, how do you respond to that? Plus keep it up i find it fascinating.

  • MP

    Give it a go on kickstarter! I will definetely backing this, looking forward to see it available in Europe.

    Keep your good work up!

    Regards, Manuel

  • Lior

    Several issues concern me:

    1) What about the muscles of the jaw , stomach and intestines? aren't you worried they'll become degenerate? 

    2)Bacterias living in your gut need to be fed as well. A lot of the fibers we eat feeds our bacterias and not us directly. These bacterias in turn remove toxins and improve the functioning of the immune system

  • http://soundcloud.com/leax Leax

    Just a quick comment to say I find this fascinating.

    I'd love to be a tester, can't wait for the Kickstarter campaign, and everything that will follow !

  • Nicolas

    Nice update. I was sure your calorie restriction wouldn't last long. No more fat to burn, no more energy to burn and 1500kcal/day for you wasn't enough. Stopping running 7 miles is a good thing too. And like you say, living longer and better isn't due to calorie restriction but the food you eat. I'm avoiding some foods and my macro and micro nutrients are on par with yours and I feel really good. I would suggest you read raypeat.com, andrewkimblog.com and dannyroddy.com posts. Danny is talking about supplements and which ones can be bad for you so I think it can be a good read.

  • http://www.jimdidriksen.no Jim

    How about you start a Video blog, (don't make it public if you don't want to ((yet))) but the subtilties of how your looks and how your demener changes can be hard for you to document but can't help but be apparent in a video. (If I try this I would vlog from the day before I start)

  • Gemma

    Just a couple of things. At 65g of fats, you're not, imo, getting enough fat, and eating way too many carbs to compensate. This is probably why you feel the need to eat 2600+KCal/dy. Of course a 1550 KCal diet was never going to work for you if you are at all active, which you seem to be. That's subsistence level for a couch potato. 400+g/dy of carbohydrates is going to put you on the fast track to insulin resistance, heart disease, and diabetes.

    Take a serious look at going 30% protein, 30% fat, 40% carb, at about 2000-2400 KCal/dy, and also take a very close look at your omega-6/omega-3 EFA balance.

    I note that you said in an earlier article that humans cannot synthesize omega-3 EFA's. This is not, strictly speaking, true. The important thing is that long-chain omega-3 EFA's are essential for brain health and cardiovascular health, among other things, and these long-chain omega-3's do not exist in plant-based foods.

    Short-chain omega-3 alpha linolenic acid can be found in plant-based foods, but most plant oils, including the olive oil you are eating, do not contain a healthy-for-humans balance of omega-6 to omega-3, and the enzyme needed for synthesising the long-chain omega-3's from the short-chain ones is also used by omega-6 EFA metabolism, which is why eating the wrong balance of these is such a bad thing. It is best to get long chain omega-3's from the diet, and seafood oils are a particularly rich source.

    Fats from animals actually provide the correct balance for human consumption, but only if those animals are fed their evolutionarily correct diets. In other words, stay as far away from factory-farmed animal products as possible.

    You are taking a great risk with your health. I think that the bowel motility issue may come back to bite you, and that in only accounting for a small number of known micronutrients, you are ignoring a vast range of micronutrients that we barely understand, but at least know are useful to human health.

    You are essentially saying that your limited knowledge is superior to millions of years of evolution, and that no one has recognised this before you. I have a very hard time believing that organisations such as NASA, have not done this reserach, when they are involved in ounce-trimming exercises at the risk of mission failure and billions of lost dollars.

    Good luck, and remember that any negative consequences of your choices may not be apparent for many years.

    • Simon

      Just as a comment on your last paragraph:

      While similar things have been done for Astronauts and in the medical sector, this may well the first attempt to provide a full featured meal replacement at real-life cost-efficiency. (For NASA it might have been just feasible to stuff pasteurized carrots in plastic bags, no need for any basic research to the last nitty-gritty micronutrient)

      Rob may not (yet) yield the scientific edge of a full blown medical research group (nor would i expect him to claim he would), but the miracle of our time (with easy and symmetric exchange of information) is, that he can focus a distributed yet high interest in something like soylent. If we, the crowd, provide enough money and willing test subjects that might well generate enough moral/economic pressure to collect all the knowledge available, fund more if required.

      Crowdresearch, if you will. To start such a movement we certainly are among the first having the opportunity.

      Hell, it may be risky. But with the promised gain in life quality (from my excetric perspective, that is) I'd be willing to join in the first line of guinea pigs, if thats speeds up developments in that direction. Kickstarter will tell the truth, how urging the need really is. Personally, I can't wait to see the support skyrocket. :D

      • Jason

        No upvote button, so I'll just leave this here:

        +1

        • Sarah Mertz

          Agree with the  upvote!

    • Rui Pacheco

      Is there an upvote button?

    • Scott Hill

      Geez, Gemma, take a deep breath and relax.  "taking a great risk with his health" is a rather extreme characterization for what he's describing. I would say that the typical American diet is a much greater risk than what he's doing here.

  • Ihadsimiliaridea

    I wanted to create something like this too, but in the way you do it's probably give you cancer in 2 years of eating this. The better way is drink just juice of wheat which contains all elements, add to it some oil and it's just needed calories to keep body energy level in good way. Anyway good luck with experiment, for me and my research it will be not long stand because it's probably in longer use will give some diseases for sure. 

  • Alex Heeton

    I'd like to start a London "Soylent Group", for interested parties to discuss and make their own. We'd need some input from you obviously, is that something you can help with? 

    If anyone is interested in taking part, drop me a line – Alex at Heeton dot me

    • Ben

      I'd like to be kept in this loop please

  • Gencer

    I do support the idea and the philosophy behind it. I will definitely try to test it myself in a few weeks.

    I suggest you to keep the ingredients in your previous post updated with the new adjustments. Better keep them in a seperate spreadsheet so everyone can always refer to the latest version of it.

    Keep up the good work and yes, Kickstart it!

  • soylent green

    Is your soylent also made from people?

  • http://www.deeshan.com deeshan

    Yes this project is fantastic. I have had this idea for a long time, to be able to take a pill or a drink that would contain all what I need as food for today. With our technological and medical knowledge it should be very easy. And it does not need to replace regular food every day.. but it should be a choice you have, to eat a regular meal or to take a pill or a drink. Thank you Rob for doing what you do, there is definitely great future for this idea.

  • Mister Rez

    When the Kickstarter comes around I think it'll be the one I most fund and share with people.

     

    The fact you're still alive after 2 months and what this seems to allow has me incredibly excited. I wish I could help but I don't understand the impact of the choices as much as you do, I don't do videos and I live in another continent altogether.

     

    So at least I'll help out revealing the Kickstarter once it kicks in.

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  • bananpermobil

    I'm impressed with this work of yours. Did this become a Kickstarter-campaign I know I would chip in, and probably some of my friends to! Cheers and Good Luck from Sweden!

  • http://www.prepaymania.co.uk Olivia Slater

    Best of luck for your Kickstarter campaign, Follow your dreams, work hard, practice and persevere. Make sure you eat a variety of foods, get plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. when you try to work hard you should to complete your ultimate dream goals.

    i don't know about video editing, but i suggest you to use lightwork video editing tool, oscar winning filmmakers also reffers this video editing tool for their films like  The King's Speech, Martin Scorsese's Hugo and The Departed, Mission Impossible, Pulp Fiction, Braveheart and Batman.

  • Anna

    Hey Rob,

    I'm just another one here saying I'm really, really excited about this stuff. Have been waiting for Soylent since the day I had to make food myself :)

    Concerning the video: I'm not sure how exactly you want this to look like, but you could try asking on hitrecord.com. These guys collaborate on making art, videos included, so if you can get them to help you, you'll get the most amazing results! However, the stuff they make is more artsy and less scientific, so if you want it to look like an educational video of some sorts, they're probably the wrong people to ask.

    Anyway, keep up the good work! I hope it won't be long till you can ship Soylent to testers around the world, I'm sitting in Germany and can't wait for updates!

  • Jeff

    We have entered the age of Human Hyrdoponics.

    • Jeff

      Excuse me…  Hydroponics

  • Alex Heeton

    BTW – I've started a google group for Londoners (or UK) who are interested in Soylent. 

    https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/london-soylent-user-group

  • JH

    Wow, this is awesome! Really looking forward to the Kickstarter campaign!

  • Nick

    This is the first thing I've seen in a long time that got me really excited! I hope your experiments will lead to a product that can solve many of the worlds problems. 

    Keep up the good work!

  • billy

    do you have a mailing list?

    i'd love to join the kickstarter when it's ready and hopefully try the diet myself. i keep coming across your posts via hacker news but am afraid i'll miss an update if it doens't get posted.

    • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

      As he mentioned in "What's In Soylent", you can subscribe to his mailing list at http://soylent.me/

  • Juan

    Hello Rob,

    When I first read your blog I felt amazed that something that "simple" and yet "complex" didn't see the light before. I'm looking forward to see your project in kickstarter since even if you can't ship to Europe (Spain) I will definetly contribute and hope, one day, it will become available for the whole world.

    Keep going sir, your idea could bring a healthier life to the whole world!

  • Val

    I'm also disapointed the trails were primarily locals. :( Though I can understand it makes sense for financial reasons and the ease of it. I would be very interested in contibuting more to the female trial members. I already have a very strict diet that I follow (vegetarian) and have practiced juice fast in the past when cleasning  and would be intrerested to see what my results would be and if I'd be able to manage it better than those you've mentioned that found themselves still hungry. Heres hoping you can get another one started on a wider scale and reach out to the East Coast. :)  I will be backing your kickstarter for sure! 

  • Jose

    This is amazing man. I just found out about this experiment and would totally support you on kickstarter. I would even test it myself. 
    I really hope the kickstarter campaign gets started and accepted soon, you have my full support. It is very exciting! Keep it up!

  • charles

    I find this very fascinating and would love to know how or where i could get some of this from and would be very happy to be a test subject

  • Floor Beckeringh

    Will your kickstarter campaign be available in europe as well? I'm really interested. I live in the Netherlands, and here we don't have the overweight health problem as much as in the USA. I'm very healthy myself, but what triggers me is that with soylent you only eat what your body needs. No poison! Keep up the good work!

  • Dan

    Hi Rob

    Love your experiment! Always wanted to do away with unnecessary meals. Question about your nootropics selection, specifically Pramiracetam. Other than being more potent than its cousin Piracetam, why did you go with it? And why L-Theanine and not hydergine, or Alpha-GPC or any other. And are you taking Choline Citrate, or Choline Bitartrate? Thats it. Cant wait for kickstarter!

  • Michiel

    I have a couple of questions?

    What is the probiotic you use?

    How much Choline, Lithium & Calcium is now in your Soylent?

     

  • Sean

    How does this experiment compare to feed that would be given to a comatose patient?

  • Greg

    I'm really excited about your project, and would be very interested in trying Soylent as a food replacement product. I find it exhausting making three meals a day and I am looking for a good way to lose weight, so Soylent sounds perfect for me. I will keep an eye out for a Kickstarter announcement from you and will back your efforts there. I hope to see a way to order poweder mix of Soylent in the future!

  • laurens

    What makes soylent so different from already existing "tube nutrion" which sick or bed ridden people get throught tubes dirrectly into their stomach ?

    They seem to live for 100 % on this too ?

    • http://www.yahoo.com/ Chuck Burress

      From what I've read on various threads around the Web since Rob's story hit the headlines last week, the "tube nutrition" option (formally called parenteral nutrition) is perfectly fine, healthy, and nutritious for people to live on for months or even years at a time.

      The qualified medical-grade liquid food products that they feed you at the hospital supply all of a person's nutritional needs, with no real side effects.

      In a Washington Post story from last week, Wonkblog author Dylan Matthews talked to Jay Mirtallo, a pharmacy professor at Ohio State, and past president of the American Society for Parenteral Nutrition.

      Dylan asked Mirtallo if a person could live a healthy life just drinking properly formulated liquid food for the rest of his adult life, and Mirtallo replied "you can completely."

  • Richard Scott

    Great info! I've been on a low calorie diet to lose weight (medically supervised due to Type 2 Diabetes). To manage costs, the 1200 calorie diet is 4-5 shake drinks plus vitamin supplements. Occasionally toss in a salad or other light calorie meal.  Kirkland's (Costco) Daily vitamin and 5 shakes of Muscle Milk (powder, 5lb keg bought at Costco) plus a couple of other supplements keeps me at or above your nutritional numbers for $80-$100/month.  To boost the calorie count, I'd recommend 2 buck Chuck red wine…..  Richard in Dallas, Texas

    • Richard Scott

      Do your blood work ups include an A1C value?

      • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

        Rob's bloodwork does not include an A1C (glycated hemogloben) value, and you can check his bloodwork yourself as it's linked at the end of Rob's post.

  • Kelly T.

    Oh man… if only I lived in San Francisco instead of bloody Michigan… and that I had some sembelenace of a healthcare system in place for myself for the before/after stats… to qualify for unhealthy-candidate testing.

    • http://www.yahoo.com/ Chuck Burress

      Don't let the lack of a fully-insured healthcare option scare you off, if you can afford the basic prices for the tests that Rob is using for his experiments, which can be purchased online for about $100-$150 dollars from places like Walk-In-Lab (I'm not making an endorsement for them, I just googled them).

      I do sympathize if you can't afford them at all without the aid of insurance.

  • Mike

    Are you using Whey protein, or just essential aminos? For carbs, are you only using corn based maltodextrin?

  • Chuck

    Rob,

     

    are/will your components be sourced as pharmaceutical grade, or if from natural source will they be Organic and or non-GMO?

     

    Thanks

  • Riley

    Please keep me updated on the kickstarter. This sounds like something I want to try.

  • Nick

    Very interesting! I would love to be a test subject, but I would have a doctor follow my bloodwork very closely. I'll definitly support this kick started. 

    One concern though, why hasn't this been done yet? And if attempted, why did it fail?

  • Andrew

    Really hope this gets accepted on Kickstarter, I know you'll get the funding for sure.  And as you've said… as long as you're still eating other meals I seriously doubt that a correctly balanced Soylent (watch that Potassium and Iron!) could harm you more than the average American diet.

  • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

    I'm starting a wiki to share knowledge about making Soylent and all the factors involved in this undertaking. If you're interested in making your own and are confident you have the scientific knowledge to do it safely, I invite you to join us. We're discussing the creation of the wiki on this Reddit post and the wiki itself will likely be created later this week. If you don't have a Reddit account, it takes about 10 seconds to make one and start commenting.

    • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

      The wiki is at soylent.wikia.com

  • Patrick

    I am very excited to read about your efforts, and I am happy to see that you have had early success.  I am one of those SF Bay Area people who makes inconsistent food choices – let me know if you are still looking – I would be up for participating.

  • https://plus.google.com/ adam

    Very interesting I would love the opportunity to support your work. Please use Indiegogo so you can get international participation.

  • Frank

    Hey Rob – nice post.

    What's your lean body mass (weight)?  I believe the reason you were loosing muscle is that 50 grams of protein really wasn't emough.  For an active person as yourself, you should be intaking 1 gram of protein per lb of lean mass.  You may also want to reduce your carbs.  400gm is a lot – replace it with better fat and uo your protein.

  • Josh

    Bah, I wish I lived in SanFran, I'm a Chicagoan here. I'm rather interested in making this.

  • Ethan

    Damn, wish I was back home now as I'd love to try this, living in China is a bit far probably. I have done juice fasts while balancing nutrition and such but it's hard get everything you need without adding supplements and such which are hard to find here. But even though I know the protein probably wasn't enough, along with a couple other areas, I felt absolutely amazing compared to normal, my exercise ability sky rocketed and I felt way more awake and energetic in everythign I did. I even started sleeping better and earlier. I am horrible at eating well and sleeping on time so it was a huge shock how much better it all made me feel. This sounds like that but 100% balanced for health. If you do a kickstart I will definitely be supporting it! Great job and keep up the balancing act, the future of humanity will thank you!

  • http://www.yahoo.com/ Chuck Burress

    Rob, a commenter over at the Hacker News thread on soylent from a week ago made the observation that your formulation is very similar to the commercial products from Abbott Nutrition and NestleHealthScience.

    Abbott's Jevity products can currently be purchased from Amazon for US $1.54 per 8 oz. can (which contains 355 kcal), so your 2,629 per day caloric intake can be maintained with a 7.5-can per day schedule which costs roughly $11.55, or $346 per month.

    While this figure is at least twice as much as your current figure, and far higher than what you eventually hope to achieve with bulk manufacturing, I wonder if this already widely-available commercial liquid food option is something to consider for those who do not have the skill or desire to make their own liquid food?

    Of course, the Abbott formulation is different in terms of its nutrient profile (Jevity's macronutrient mix is 17% protein, 53% carb, and 30% fat, with 5.3 grams of dietary fiber), and it can't be experimented with as you've done to soylent in this second month of yours, but I wonder if it's an option for others?

  • Joey

    I love so many things about this experiment, but most of all I want to try some! I would pay an unreasonable amount for a bottle in the mail.

  • Amanda

    Rob,

    Are you using a yeast as a source of b vitamins and other vitamins? Which kind have you found to have the best taste?

     

    Thanks a lot.

  • will

    Would you reccomend this for a dorm life? It would be incredibly helpful to just drink a glass of soylent and be good until the next meal. I mean, how portable is this stuff? Can it all remain mixed together in a big bag and you scoop it out? Is it separated into wet and dry? Or do you have to mix everything individually?

  • Manuel

    Do you plan to make it vegan one day?

    Not only because you maximize the possible consumers or because of moral reasons, but also for environmental and political reasons.

    • rob

      I would love to but in the meantime I think reduction is an important step towards elimination, and using a handful of animal products is the only way to make it inexpensive for now.

  • Emily

    Really interesting! Have you considered contacting a government agency or a health company with this? I can think of a lot of people who would be interested in this type of investment. Soylent could revolutionize space travel or even lower the cost of feeding people in prisons. However, I can understand if you don't want to do that as it might limit your ability to do what you wish with Soylent. Have you made sure to get a patent?

    • rob

      I do not intend to patent Soylent.

  • Gary

    Hey Rob,

    I’m quite excited about Soylent and am looking forward to more scientific data to evaluate long term risks and gains.

    What’s your caffeine intake like (if any)? Has it varied much over the two months in contrast to your old food intake?

    You mentioned on the vice.com article that you read a book on physiological chemistry. What book was that, and can you recommend any other texts that have helped you along the way?

    Note, I’m a scientist, not someone willing to rush into something uninformed and unprepared. I’d like to give this a try but not until I have a firm understanding of the chemistry and biology that’s involved.

    • Gary

      Oh and another question, what are your sleeping patterns like?

    • rob

      I noticed I am a little more sensitive to caffeine so I usually drink decaf. I read Harper’s “Review of Physiological Chemistry” but it’s pretty dated. “Molecular Biology of the Cell” is obviously is a favorite, but honestly I think the most useful information came from Wikipedia, and the referenced papers. I desparately need a better understanding of Biochemistry but as far as making it an undergrad level of general chemistry is plenty.

      • Gary

        Gotcha. My field of study is in pure mathematics so this is all pretty new to me (although I’ve been learning chemistry and biology on the side for a while now).

        Once I’m more educated on the topic I’ll probably conduct a study on myself and track results in a similar fashion. Would you be interested in sharing data? The properties of the drink itself I can probably figure out from some research and your other posts but I suspect that the ways in which you’ve monitored your health (i.e. tests, charts, etc) would be valuable information. I’ll probably email you closer to the time that I conduct the study to ask questions, but any notes on such practices in the mean time would be greatly appreciated.

  • chepe

    I signed up and would love to try this.  I wonder how it would work with hemp oil and hemp protein since 

  • Andy Casper

    I am so fascinated by your progress! Can't wait to try this out. 

  • Sten

    Very excited about the Kickstart since I was too late to be included in the trial.  I'm thinking this will help eliminate my allergic reactions to so many foods by simply replacing them with the essential elements; what I've been telling my husband for so long " I just want to not have to eat food." Looking forward to getting to try this 95% of the time~ Thank you Rob & keep up the great work!

  • Alex

    Rob, you say you are using omega-3 from fish oil and some people need a omega-3 vegetarian source and they gets it from flax seed oil. 

    It's no my case I'm no vegetarian but I think that it's fine for these ones.

    I'm waiting for Kickstarter campaign, I wish invest great quantity of money. Greetings from Canary Islands, Spain.

    Thanks for the biggest idea of our age!

    • rob

      That’s how the vegan version will be but I prefer fish oil for those willing to consume it as it has the EPA and DHA fatty acids that flaxseed oil lacks. Flaxseed oil does have ALA but it has not been shown to have the same benefits.

  • http://www.zrtlab.com Mathew

    I'm not sure if you've taken hormone level testing into account at all, but ZRT Laboratory has some great affordable tests you can take at home just by pricking your finger and spitting into a few tubes.

    It'll test how your thyroid hormones are reacting to this diet as well as adrenal function, cortisol (stress hormone), vitamin D (what's actually getting to the body, not just what's in the bloodstream) and a whole host of other things.

    A full profile will run you $345-380 but they have one of the most detailed and informative reports I've ever seen. They do a great job of explaining what the result means (without providing a diagnosis, only a Dr. can do that.)

    This will also help you evaluate how your metabolism is reacting to this diet and help you make any changes. 

  • MrTK

    Soylent is great! I think we should remove all human languages too, and talk in binary code, this should eliminate many communication problems… And I also recommend not having sex, artificial insemination is safer and more efficient.

     

    Well, let's be serious, Soylent is nothing new, there is a kind of serum for intravenous feeding patients who can not digest food, but I can't really understand how anyone in a healthy condition could ever think about eliminating meals; perhaps culture and gastronomic tradition in which one is born has something to do with the idea of ​​removing the food… I think very few Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Mexicans or any other people with a rich gastronomic tradition would ever think about it, because for us to eat is not a formality to continue living, it's a pleasure, an art form, a celebration of the existence itself.

    • DevilWorld

      Im from Spain, the spanish gastronomic (mediterranean) requires a high amount of time on the kitchen. Most of us only eat good with family and local restaurants (expensive arround 10-15€). The rest of the time we usually just eat "fast to do" food, better than UK kitchen but worst than perfect.

    • Kara

      Ohh look at this smarty pants over here! There's not already a ton of interested people from just these couple of posts about the experiment… And once it gets to be more widely known, there won't be even more interest in it! Oh no, nobody would ever want to use something like this at all.

      Honestly. He's already given plenty of reasons one would wish to use this. And his whole point is to use it to free you from fast food, or time consuming healthy food, so that when you actually do go to eat food (what? not eliminate it entirely???), you can have the time, energy, and money to properly enjoy it. As someone who is bored and grossed out by her rushing-between-sleep-work-school-and-sleep expensive, unhealthy, bland, fast food diet, I cannot wait to have soylent to replace it. And then when I actually do have a minute to eat, I can make it something that actually tastes good and is good for me.

      And how about people who are even poorer than me, have extreme dietary restrictions, what have you? 

      NOPE. Nobody except the stereotypical tv family exists. Why would anybody want something that can make their lives a bit more convenient and healthy??

  • dotZak

    Could you please post an updated list with the changes from last month? I'd be interested to see what the current composition is, and how it has changed (is changing) side by side.

    • dotZak

      Also, it would be nice to see how you changed it and why at given intervals. Could be valuable data, but it would also give a visual narrative that could be informative.

      Are you keeping a food journal for non-Soylent foods you're eating?

  • dotZak

    Will you be making the trial data open to the public? I'd be interested  to know about the individuals (obviously not private data) involved and seeing their progress, including blood tests like yours. I ask because it's my personal opinion that any relevant data should be publicly available before you start a campaign asking for public support; initial trials seems to be pretty relevant to possible supporters, including myself.

    It might make an interesting blog to see each trial patient interviewed and tested regularly to check their progress. Good public service plus good marketing (as long as you're not revealing personal data about them).

    • mrAshley

      +1

  • http://damianvila.com Damian

    I've read some critiques to the formula, and the only meaningful part was that you need different types of fibre, as they are quite different and will give different benefits.

    In the coment by Chuck Burress (http://robrhinehart.com/?p=474#comment-2067) he links to an Abbot product. That product has a lot more fibre, specially different types of it.

    Maybe you'd like to review that part.

    Love the idea! Regards.

  • potty

    How does this affect your toilet habits? Do you poo less because the body can use almost all of soylent, did the consistence change or do you just pee more?

    • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

      I almost forgot to mention, when everything going in to your body is diffused in to the bloodstream, you don't poop. I only have to remove a few grams of fiber from my system per week.

      -Rob, in his first post How I Stopped Eating Food

      I don't recall him posting about peeing, though he may have done so somewhere. 

  • Bucky

    As a strength and conditioning coach and nutrition consultant, I'm curious about the amount of nutrients that one needs. The FDA is not known for being the expert on nutrition and I wonder how close their numbers for the daily requirement are to actual needs. For example the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin C is 90mg, but studies have been done showing benefits from 500mg-2g daily. Thoughts?

  • nikolassantamaria

    YES! i take stimulants everyday that make it near impossible to eat so this would be a godsend.

  • Peter Derouen

    Unfortunately, I was one of the few that didn't make it into the testing group.

    Will you be having more testing, Rob? I couldn't help but notice the sign-up form was called "Trail 1." If you are having more testing when do you think you'll be doing another phase?

  • 2aven

    Hello!

    First and foremost i commend your courage doing the experiment with your own body. I want to apologize for my english level if i'm not expressing clearly, please sorry (i'm from spain).

    I think your idea is awesome, but i warned about a possible damage, and i wanted to ask you about it.

    The point is that if someone don't eat food, in a long therm, the body could become "lazy" on digestive functions, just like when someone stops to drink milk for a long time and the body don't accept it anymore, because the enzime working on it gets lost, and its not possible to recover that information.

    This is actualy my only fear to decide follow an "Soylent diet", even if you keep eating a low ratio of "normal food". Could this prosses cause an irreversible damage on digestive functions? Maybe provoking your body to forget how to process some kind of meals? I just hope to be wrong, because I really like the project and the philosofy around it.

    Ah! You added this picture of "the matrix" i just thought about last week! Hahaha!

  • david

    How can it not be fucking obvious to everyone that this is a scam? The piece of trash is just trying to sell his concoction. Otherwise he would have listed the exact ingredients and preparation instructions. His copout "it might not work for you" was so incredibly weak that it only reinforced the notion that this is a scam.

    "but this day I ran 3.14 miles non-stop. This is an irrational improvement." – LOL. Troll much? Yes pi is an irrational number. You're so smart. No you're not. You're a fucking idiot.

    If you had something to share, you'd share it. You wouldn't hold it back in an attempt to make bank off people desperate to be rid of the nuisance of food preparation.

    I limited my calories to a set #, ate whatever I wanted, and lost 100 pounds in less than 7 months. No loose skin. No problems. And I'm running 7-10 milers on Sundays and 4 milers during the week.

    This guy is a charlatane and incredibly disprespectful to people who are serious about this stuff.

    • Chuck Burress

      I'll forgive your general intemperateness since you may be suffering from the ill effects of poor nutrition, but to anyone who's read Rob's three posts on this site, or even just the Vice interview that brought this experiment to the Web's attention, it's clear that whatever the end goal of Rob's experimentation, it's not to scam anyone.

      If you've read his second post in which he shares what you need to begin the process of sourcing the ingredients and making the mixture for yourself, you'll know there's nothing at all to your charge that he's holding something back.

      • EarlW

        "to begin the process of sourcing the ingredients" is incredibly weak. Very few readers here have the medical, nutritional or chemical backgrounds to "begin the process".

        If Rob was really interested in spreading the idea and getting more people interested, he would publish his recipe.  It's not more dangerous than any other recipe posted on thousands of food sites.  It's just a combination of existing non-harmful substances.  It's also beyond the resources of most people to research and formulate. 

        If I read a recipe that called for a cup of salt, or three cups of sugar and followed it, the worst that would happen would be an unhealthy waste of money.

        Rob: Publish your recipe.  Post a warning.  You can do this tomorrow.  

        Starting a Kickstarter program to fund what?  Your development and FDA approval of 'Soylent'?

  • http://toe-fur.com Topher

    Hey Rob, super interested in this, I am actually a video guy by trade, and I sent you an email about some video ideas, I hope you have some time to check it out.  Super interested in this, and I am really excited to see a Kickstarter get off the ground with this. 

  • Twaddle

    The fact that you actually said ‘hacking the body is high risk and I read a book about it’ … makes me want to punch you in the face.

    NOT that I’m against what you’re doing, but jesus, manage your quotes & public thoughts better.

    I’m a single male whos looking for a fully balanced, easy to make, easy to store meal that doesn’t require me to dick around in the kitchen for 2 hours a day. Make that, Make it tasty, and i’ll support you.

    Never, *EVER* again say in public that you are ‘hacking the body’…

    That and I really want to see you have some sort of dietician/biology degree. Not that this is not obtainable without one, but it’d make it a whole *lot* easier to believe you if you actually had the education behind you.

    • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

      "Body hacking" is a common phrase related to ideas from experimenting with nutrition to functional implants like sub-dermal magnets; I'm surprised you haven't heard it before. 

      Ironically, Rob's lack of a related degree has aided credence to his story in my opinion. It makes more sense that an outsider would go against conventional nutritional ideas in the search of efficiency. He is certainly going about it scientifically, or as well as can be hoped for nutrition. 

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  • Scott

    I'd have liked to have tried out the initial testing and did sign up, but hadn't realised you had already passed this stage for the meantime. It does sound very interesting though and I'm gonna keep myself updated. Interested to see how this Kickstarter comes together.

  • Gary

    This* research paper (which was found here**) looks promising. For a condensed summary of the results look here***. The paper(s) provide a comprehensive list of estimated average requirements and recommended dietary intakes for many required nutrients. It breaks information down into ages and gender and also bases the data on typical BMI's.

    * http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n35.pdf

    **http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/your-health/nutrition/nutrition-guidelines-and-publications

    *** http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n36.pdf

  • Kleve Smith

    keep up your work, I'd be and am very interested in seeing more of you findings, and someday giving it a try…

  • Jasper van Baars

    Awesome!!! keep it up!

  • GetSomeSense

    This is dangerous. Put a goddamn disclaimer about this as an untested experiment. You're misleading people into thinking they can survive on soylent when have no idea what underlying conditions other people have.

    You have no idea of the long-term consequences. Forty years down the line (if you stick to it that long), you may find out your concoction was slowly killing you. Then you'll be responsible for the people you've misled. By the time you and everyone find out, it's too late

    I honestly don't care about what one person does in your own home. You can slowly kill yourself, if you like. But don't fucking start offering it to people. Don't put up a fucking kickstarter. Don't start promoting this shit. These are people's lives you're messing with.

    So put a goddamned sticker somewhere that this is an extremely high-risk experiment you're doing to satisfy your curiousity.

    • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

      Rob has given warnings, though perhaps not as blantantly as you'd like

      If you want to make Soylent for yourself, be very careful. We're not making pie here. It's a lot easier to overdose or underdose with the raw elemental form than it is with food. (from What's In Soylent)

      Concerning the long-term consequences, that's true. True for any diet, but certainly here in particular. This is why it's important to research all the nutrients involved in nutrition and make sure they're all there and being absorbed.

      The kickstarter should have money put towards research to address these issues. We shouldn't shy away from something just because it is potentially dangerous, as it is also potentially very helpful to many people.

      • GetSomeSense

        Thank god kickstarter doesn't allow nutritional supplements. 

         

    • Rui Pacheco

      40 years down the line and life will have killed him.

      • yghrety

        He can look forward to living 60 years of life, then.

  • Kui

    You do realize that by giving your soylent to people and starting a kickstarter, you’re liable for anything that happens to these people.

    You do realize that you’re telling people to make radical changes to their lives. You have no idea what their underlying health conditions are. For all you know, you could be slowly killing yourself and taking down hundreds of people with you.

    You can do whatever you want to yourself in your own home at your own time. You can even tell people what you did and let them decide on their own. But what I DO NOT condone is misinforming the public . You didn’t even putting up a fucking disclaimer saying you have no idea what the long-term health effects. It’s very possible that relying on soylent for a yeac will kill you. You don’t know ANYTHING about this and you think it’s a good idea to start a kickstarter? Are you crazy?

    There is a reason why medical professionals use clinical trials. There is a reason why medicine and nutrition use controlled settings and standardize patients. What you’re proposing is a clinical trial without any of the safety precautions or medical care. Do you REALLY think this is a good idea?

    One day, someone is going to get hurt and you’re going to be responsible.

    • Andrew

      Look, he's not telling us to do anything.  He's conducting trials on his own body and informing us about the results.  Others, seeing this, ASKED to be a part of further trials.  He has REPEATEDLY told people about the risks, and has not posted his exact formula for the very reasons you state: he doesn't want uninformed people trying to do the same thing and harming themselves.

      What he has posted is the amounts of various nutritional components in his formula.  This comes from research he has done, the sources for which DO come from medical professionals.  Repeating this information is not irresponsible.  If anything, it's laudable because he's spreading information about good nutrition.

      And as you've likely seen others post if you've been reading any of the comments, the fact that he's carefully following these nutritional requirements means his diet is probably better than the vast majority of the American public.  Unless these medical professionals you're lauding on are wrong, in which case you can't really blame him.  Either way, the human body is a pretty resilient thing.  If people can fast for months on end or survive for years on nothing but Chicken McNuggets, I doubt a well-rounded diet–even it does turn out to be missing something–is going to do any serious harm to anyone who gets regular check-ups.

      In conclusion, please stop flipping out and borderline threatening him.  Some of us, believing in personal responsibility, are interested in seeing where this goes and willing to fund him to find out.  Don't keep us from that.

      • Kui

        Like I said, I have no problem with him doing it to himself, or even posting the information and letting others try it for themselves. But by starting a kickstarter, he's essentially heading a clinical trial by himself without the safety precautions or medical knowledge to do so safely. Not every single person is the same, has the same conditions, or even requires the same nutritional needs.

        I've read the same articles by this guy as you have. I see him lauding his drink as if it's  a solution. I see him telling people, "I'm experiencing all these positive things! Soylent is great!" What I don't see is him taking a cautious approach when it comes to other people's safety. People with diabetes, eating disorders, or whatever will buy into this and starting a kickstarter is exceptionally irresponsible. 

        He's not sufficiently warning people that there are long-term consequences and he doesn't know what they are. He needs a giant disclaimer saying "There is the potential for digestive failure, malnutrition and years down the line". It's completely misleading to say that he's really optimistic about longevity, health, blah blah blah.

        I draw the line with the idea for a kickstarter. At first, it was just a stupid idea with a bunch of silly people on the internet, but after it's released on kickstarter, it's a full-blown health-product with the liability and risks as any other food product out there. 

        You and him know nothing about the health and the complex factors relating to nutrition. All you want is a quick and easy answer that will solve your problems without the hassle of making an effort to change your habits. Yeah, it's hard to eat healthy but *gasp* it's better to make that effort than risking your life down the line. Science is not supposed to be rushed. Thinking that you can do better than the medical professionals who have the training, the experience and the empathy is absolutely, downright arrogant. 

        • Art

          Do you feel better now that you've repeated your bad-faith speculation on how he is going to behave in the future?

          • mrAshley

            Do you feel better now that you've repeated your bad-faith speculation

            I'm so using that.

          • Kui

            Reading these comments is like watching people bang sticks together and call it a computer. 

            Does it feel good not to have the half a brain necessary to question what's in front of you? Ignorance must be bliss. 

          • Andrew

            I absolutely question, and I'm looking forward to seeing how things turn out.  Questioning != expecting the worst and shouting about it.

          • Kui

            Ooo look at that. Art thinks he's going to school me on how to act properly on the internet.

            Look forward to whatever you want. Say whatever you want. I'm going to feel better knowing that I put up a warning for people who don't know what they're getting into. 

    • Sarah
  • Morgan

    Just a note about the calorie restriction – longevity connection. There were actually studies which found restricting certain amino acids but not reducing calories had the same longevity benefits. Though the majority of these studies performed on mammals haven't shown the same results.

    • Gary

      Citations?

  • Ren Howell

    inspired by your post, I've been trying my own faux-soylent the past week.  Overall, its working great; I'm deffinetly interested in joining your kickstarter when it comes out.

     

    One thing that was a problem for me, though, especially by the end of the week, was sodium control.  As a marthon runner, I'm pretty good at feeling and identifying this.  I drink lots of water and workout a lot; about halfway through the week I started to feel wonky and I realized it was due to a lack of sodium.  With normal food this was never an issue (most things are over-salted), but with a controlled liquid diet it deffinetly was.

    I'm almost wondering if it might be good to make a "workout mix" which people drink based on how much activity they perform.  No workout, no workout batch.  It would have extra electrolytes and protein.  That, or perhaps simply include a little extra sodium in the standard batch.

    Anyway, that wsa just my experience.  Hope it helps.

  • Rui Pacheco

    Hi guys,

    There's quite a few attempts at recreating the original Soylet recipe but these are scattered. wikia, google groups, Google Drive, etc.

    Why don't we put the recipe in github and follow it there?

    • Rui Pacheco

      Adding this story to give an example of what I mean:

      Yes, he could have shared the document on, say, Google Docs and invited others to edit it there. But that’s not quite the same. From where Noller is sitting, Docs isn’t as well suited to collaboration. What’s more, he says, GitHub is specifically designed to rapidly disseminate material across a broad community. It is set up a lot like a social network.

      http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/03/pycon-github/

    • Gary

      For the same reason that Rob hasn't put it up here. Unless you know what you're doing it's likely to cause more damage then good. The moment you put a recipe up saying "follow this and you *should* get desired results" is the moment people start getting sick.

      I'll repeat what's been said a few times now. There is no exact recipe for a typical person. The recipe changes according to each persons individual physiological make up and daily routine, so you can give a rough outline of what needs to go in but the rest has to be done with controlled testing by the person themselves. Sure, you can stick it up on a website for everyone to use and abuse, but then their potential sickness is on you.

      Do you really trust everyone with little or no understanding of biology and chemistry to be as disciplined as they need to be? I certainly don't. Furthermore, if this restricts someone that does have that understanding then I contend that they should have the knowhow to figure it out themselves from the information already available.

      • Alex Heeton

        It's my belief that people should be free to do stupid things if they want to. 

        I'd rather have a community of experienced users who can warn or advise newbies/idiots, instead of people trying this stuff blindly on their own. It's similar to something like bodybuilding / diet / drug / extreme sports forums. People can and do try dumb things, having community support provides harm reduction.

        There are plenty of rational, careful, curious people out there that should be able to do things like this in the company of others. 

    • Alex Heeton
    • takshakus

      The reddit sub is pretty active too – http://www.reddit.com/r/soylent/

  • TheRolf

    You say proteins are the most expensive thing. This might be a useful site for you, even though it's in Swedish…

    http://proteinperkrona.se/

  • Jesse

    I have chronic health issues that make it very difficult to eat like I should and it often doesn't stay down when I do. I have tried the supplements out but they are horrible tasting. When you feel like you are on the verge throwing up it makes it pretty hard to swallow anything that tastes bad. I think something like this that tastes good would make a big difference for me.

  • Jesse

    love the name also, although I hope it isn't made the same way as in the Movie

  • Vroman

    Great experiment, impressive data collection.
    My concern: You seem to be blindly trusting the FDA. They are surely on the margin working in favor of lobbyists for Big Agriculture. Perhaps not wildly inflating numbers, but if there is a range of plausible values, and recommending a higher or lower number within that range, will reflect well on certain industries, you'd be naive to think that deal has not already been struck.

    • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

      Except he's not blindly trusting the FDA. Rob has been using their numbers as a basis for his concoction, but he's been tweaking some of the different proportions, as he mentioned calcium and potassium. For those of us who use Soylent as our main food source, it will be possible to tweak our recipe to find our individual optimum range for each nutrient, and by collecting data between us to find ranges that match certain traits like height, weight, and gender. 

  • Paul Silver

    Does anyone have an informed opinion about which currently available meal replacement products best approximate the ingredients of Soylent? I am looking at "Raw Meal" and Met-Rx.

    Perhaps some of us could start with a basic commercial product and make adjustments?

     

  • Todd Gault

    How do you measure these ingredients? Microgram (UG) scales cust well over $20,000 dollars. You'd have to make 100 servings at a time using a milligram scale. Also, how long do the powders last? How do you store them to keep them fresh? I'm impatient to fix my health and want to do this on my own until you get the kickstarter going. Please advise. I'm seriously not doing too well.

    • DevilWorld

      When you buy the supplement (usually pill form) it says something like "100 mcg per pill" He just need to make the pill in to dust and shake with the rest.

    • Albertt

      Also, you could measure a larger quantity and dissolve it into water/oil. If you mix it sufficiently, you then have a fairly homogenous mixture that you know the concentration of.

  • Robert

    FDA are responsible for the obesity epidemic that hit the US since the decision of banning fat.

    Besides 2000 kcal a day and all the RDA% is a "one size fits all" approach: feed average Joe that amount of calories and watch him fatten month after month.

    • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

      Sources?

  • Nicole

    Curious as how this relates to the male department. Wish you had done an analysis count. I'm interested in my husband to try this. Wondering if it affects the count at all. 

    • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

      Well, that sort of thing is definitely affected by nutrition so making sure you're getting everything you need should have a beneficial effect in that department. 

  • Paul Silver

    What would NASA think?  I have a friend of a friend who was a food specialist at NASA that considered a similar issue: what is the minimum food/nutrition necessary to maintain good health in space. He made these comments on Soylent. All this may mean is that the Soylent idea may need to contain different kinds of components.

    "Most of the ingredients in his concoction are not absorbable in that form. In fact if the food is not chewed to stimulate the digestive enzymes, most will not be absorbed. He doesn’t say what he is using for fiber. He is missing a bunch of antioxidants and a host of other nutrients.

    He is not doing the proper tests to see how he is performing and whether he is absorbing the nutrients.

    He is reading the wrong nutrition articles if he thinks they are not scientific and statistically significant. He probably would not understand them, because he lacks background.

    You are right; he would not be feeding the gut flora and could produce a change that would be devastating.

    Marcus Karel at MIT did some research in this area years ago while working on NASA advanced life support. He was considering making food starting with the basic carbon. Most of his work was formulas and calculations since he is a chemical engineer."

    • Art

      Excellent feedback.  What did your former-NASA friend say was added to the diet of orally compromised (feeding tube, whatever) individuals so that they could "stimulate the digestive enzymes" (which is a meaningless phrase).

  • Emily

    I was so excited to read this post after reading the first one a few weeks ago. I am so incredibly intrigued by this and would absolutely love to try it to lose weight and improve health.  However, I am just a 15 year old year old and live nowhere close to San Francisco and if I told my parents i wanted to do this they would probably send me to a psychologist! Nonetheless I can't wait for the Kickstarter and am so excited about the future of Soylent.

    Now, a lot of people seem to be talking about the affect of a long term liquid diet on the intestines. I have celiac disease, which means my intestines are pretty much as damaged as they can be and get damaged every time I accidently eat even a trace of gluten. I think that this could really imprve the health of my intestines and allow them to fully heal, increasing my longetivity and overall health.

    Thanks for pursuing this and I wish you the best luck with it!!  

  • Robert

    FDA and obesity. Dr Lustig. Very long video. In the description there is a link to a much more easy to follow series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • http://etiene.net Etiene Dalcol

    Greetings from Brazil! This sounds awesome!  It looks like a great fix. Too bad I missed the trial for the exact ratios. I was willing to pay for shippings and stuff. But given that although I work as a programmer I'm a pharmacy lab technician, I'll certainly give it a shot and try it at home. I have thought about stuff like this before but the idea went away rapidly because I always thought it would be impossible to give up real food. But you got me thinking… What's "real" food anyway? Well, I don't care if it's not perfect. Anything is better than what I currently eat daily. Soylent has got to be better than frozen lasagna, hot pocket, cup noodles etc. I'll try it for a while and email you my bloodworks if it pleases you =) Good luck with your project, I'll be checking the kickstarter as soon as it's out!

  • Dr Doooug jk not doctor

    I think 2 months is WAY to little to determine if there are any side effects.  Also there are so many body types and needs that this isn't going to be a one size fits all.  

     

    I think many computer users and those who find themselves locked to one area of the house for many hours of the day have thought of this solution.   Would perfer it as pill form though ;)  or intervienous.

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  • Rayna

    I am very excited about this and think it's a great idea.

    But one question… does the protein have to come from whey??  Milk is a common food allergy, and I imagine those people would not be able to drink Soylent.

    • http://tiredacademic.tumblr.com TA*

      Not all whey protein has lactose (what people are allergic to in milk) and no, the protein could come from other sources. Whey just happens to be cheap and relatively complete. 

  • Hasson

    This will likely be the fastest funded kickstarter ever. I will certainly back it!

  • http://neublek.tumblr.com Neublek

    I would love to see a system based upon Soylent that works like this. There is a smartphone app paired with hardware to test blood, urine, and stuff like heart rate. This app then communicates with a nutrient/raw-materials storing/mixing machine that dispersed the correct amount of each ingredient for your specific health.

    The soylent mixture would always give you the right amounts of everything you need.

  • Frank Caruso

    Nice work Rob. 

  • Brad

    Curious to see if overtime your body adapts to the liquid diet such that when you do eventually eat solid foods your system struggles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jayteestarrmua Jaytee Starr

    If you Kickstart it, my money is yours.

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  • Michal

    Have you considered that downing large amounts of maltodextrin may not be so good for you?  Maltodextrin has a high glycemic index and could increase your risk of diabeties.

    On the other hand Fructose has a low GI, but it seems there are some concerns with it: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16820733

    I'm trying to find an optimal source of carbs, but I'm not convinced that MD is such a great idea…

  • Jaq

    Hi Rob

    The idea that you could produce a cheap liquid source of food to feed the starving millions of the world isn't anything that others have not thought of before.

    If you added a glass of a meal replacement shake to the normal bowl of rice a day that is all many people in third world African countries get, that alone would improve the average person's health at once, throw in some multivit tablets and they'd be well on the way to becoming damn near healthy.

    But…then you've got millions of healthy third world folk…who still live a hand to mouth existance or, a hand out for food in a refugee camp everyday, situation.

    They still don't have birth control, are still uneducated, still don't have jobs, still don't have money, their countries in the main are still war/bandit zones, they don't have hospitals and they don't have anything more sophisticated than a bicycle for transport.

    Feeding them a healthy diet could be fixed with meal replacement drinks by any western country that chooses to do so, right now, without your super drink…yet no western country is doing so…why not?

    Because the west doesn't care, mate, that's all there is to it, plain and simple.

     

    • art

      Cool.  What are you doing to change that?

  • Elizabeth

    I am wondering why people are so up in arms over this … and why Rob feels this is such a big deal. There are already children, and many adults, who live in liquid diets, and thrive perfectly fine. Parents with children who have Eosinophilic esophagitis, deal this every day. In fact, any parent who has a child with extreme food allergies (not intolerance, there is a difference) deal with this from the time their child is born. Many children with extreme food allergies, such as Eosinophilic esophagitis, often are on liquid diets for many years. They survive perfectly fine and can live in very good health. The problem, of course, is the social implications. We all know food is such a strong facet of our culture, and a child not being able to partake of a pizza party at school, or cupcakes a parents makes to share with a classroom, can be socially devestating. I think it is nice what Rob is doing. The only thing I can think of is maybe, possibly, by encouraging a diet like this, that some American attitudes might change. We are lucky many American attitudes are changing (backlash against fast food, cutting out sugar, salt and fat from our children's diets, and so on). Maybe if there were Americans who willingly opted for a predominantly liquid diet, then the social stigma for children and adults who have to survive on a liquid-only diet, might change into something more positive. I just do not want to see Rob be disappointed when medical doctors, especially those working with children or adults with severe allergies, are not excited. Subsiting on a liquid-only diet is nothing new. However, I feel they would be more excited that people would embrace the idea, as it would help improve the mindset of some Americans, and allow children and adults forced to live on liquid-only diets, feel more socially, and honestly culturally, included. Good luck in your work Rob! 

  • Nos

    Curious, can this mixture be poured on a skillet to produce something along the lines of a "soylent pancake"?

    • nikolassantamaria

      I'd imagine you would need to add flour and maybe some eggs/baking powder

  • Gui

    Hello,
    your soylent is a really great idea !
    However, as it is liquid, if you "eat" only that, you may have quickly atrophy of the stomach and complications in your intestines. Cells of your intestines will almost most sought and tend to die.

     

  • Mark

    I'm not skeptical, but I am curious to see how long a human can live on such a diet.  Good for you though for trying…the world needs more innovators, and if you're successful after a year you will have sold me for sure.

  • nikolassantamaria

    Hey, if you're looking for an even cheaper source of protein and a lot of the vitamins you could look into growing spirulina. 

  • Jauntre

    This is a very good idea and I hope it makes it through all the legal work to be sold commercially. You already have enough volunteers, but I'd love to help out as well. 

  • Axel

    Can't wait for kickstarter!! Hopefully you can send to Australia!!

  • Teseracto

    I'm somewhat concerned about the type of carbohydrates that you are using. Some other posters have noted that the Glycemic Index of maltodextrin is very high. It seems to be true, some sites says that its almost equal to the one of glucose, some others says that its around 130-140 (probably for being rated relative to white bread instead of  glucose).

    The Glycemic Load seem to be a better way to determine if its a good choice. But even asuming a generous 10 servings/day, your last value of 409g of carbohydrates/day results in a GL of 40.9, still pretty high.

    You said in your first post that you have used a glucose meter, but don't make any mention to it afterward. Can we assume that's because everything was just ok? Can you corroborate this?
    And excuse me if i'm too bothersome but, have you tested this with your current 409g/day dosage? Maybe the results can differ from the ones for your initial 200g/day dosage.

    Also, can you please elaborate more on how you determined that optimal (1.2g) amount of fiber?

    Very exited about the outcome of this project! I wish you the best of luck.

  • http://bounceyzone.com/ Charlie

    As a daily runner and weight lifter you probably NEED carbs. Going ketogenic while doing a lot of exercise could burn through your body's sugar supply and cause the symptoms you noted. A relatively sedentary 35+ year old like myself probably needs far less. At least that seems to be the direction Robb Wolf's advice has been going lately. Low carb (50-100g/day) for unhealthy non-athletes to keep the blood sugar / insulin cycle under control; add starches as needed for athletic performance. Please keep that difference in mind while doing trials.

    I've been considering trying something like this with the adults in my household. (I'm such a nutrition nerd, I have multiple digital scales and sometimes fill my own herbal capsules.) Possibly liquid for breakfast & lunch and a high quality solid protein / vegetable combo for supper. I absolutely love cooking and eating, but utterly loathe washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Maybe you've shown me a path towards a good balance.

    I've also given some thought to batch cooking a standardized reheatable lunch patty with soy nuggets, lentils, eggs, brown rice, and powdered greens. Soylent green – now guaranteed human-free! Have you tried anything like that yet?

  • pupsikaso

    Rob,

    When you are going to start producing Soylent en-masse, will it come with the nootropics that you mention increase your cognitive abilities? Or will that be something separate?

  • DanielD

    So after a month of kicking the idea around, I did my research and got the ingredients together. I started on my soylent journey today. So far so good, it's the end of my day and I feel pretty normal. I'm not hungry, I'm a little full actually. I didn't get a blood test done before the start. I'm fairly sure I'm a tad malnourished, and I know I'm anemic. I do plan to get a lipid blood test done after a month of this to make sure I'm not slowly dying. We'll see how it goes.

  • ZACH

    Oh Geez! I really am going to want some of this! I HATE eating!

  • Mark

    Could someone elaborate a bit on storage please? Rob, how do you store your mixture both long term and during a single day. Do you make a single batch and take it in liquid form to work? That sounds a little impractical.

    Well done on your progress so far, it sounds encouraging.

    • Mark

      Anyone know how a daily dose is stored? Is it made in a single batch in the morning and the liquid form stored in a container of sorts that you carry around with you?

  • Nathan Lane

    What are you using to measure micrograms? 

  • Tyler

    One thing that I'm curious about is how you think this would work on a larger scale. I for one am a 230 lb, 6 ft 4 in male with some man boobage. I feel like the formula would have to be adjusted if you were larger or smaller, perhaps I just missed it, but is this something that you would leave up to the Soylent user to fix? I am very interested in this and am excited to see how far you can go with it.

  • http://www.elenahaskins.com Elena Haskins

    Your experiment is very interesting. I especially appreciate you doing the experiment with your self–which is uber-ethical compared to the Big Pharma/Medical Industry behaviors.

    There are times when I am too busy to shop/cook/clean and I would love to have easy default nutritious meals.

    The suggestions in the comments have often been very interesting.

    Thank you for sharing your progress.

  • Tygh

    What do you think of Potassium Citrate instead of or combined with Potassium Gluconate as a possible source of K? Seems like you might need less, but I don't know what either tastes like. Anyway, the mix of Na (2.4g) + P (1g) + K (4g)  + Cl (3.4g) could be:
    Monosodium Phosphate: 4g
    Potassium Chloride: 2.2g
    Potassium Citrate: 11g
    Table Salt: 4g

  • Eric Johnson

    Please use your product with good intent and not greed and don't include people in the recipe once the oceans and the land are dead.

  • James

    I've made "bachelor chow" an efficient stew made from groceries for around the same cost. I'm interested to hear how experiments using whole-food smoothies went. My prejudice is that dependence on food extracts is simply a continuation of the practices of the past which miss unknown factors in dietary health where as whole food inovations cover the unknowns and are more evidence based. Did anyone try whole-blended foods? Was it gross, passable? Did it fail for some other reason such as shelf life or portability?

    For the stew alone it cost about $70 a month while living in Kansas and about $90 now that I live in Portland Oregon. Additional foods bring my grocery costs to about $120. My diet is loosely calculated to be about 2K.

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  • Bill Hoffman

    Hey Rob, I am 15 and wondering if it would be a good or bad thing if someone of my age was to drink the Soylent and or make it a regular thing like a 2-3 times a day kind of thing?

    • http://bounceyzone.com/ Charlie

      I'd suggest being very careful with limited diets while you're still growing. Not a good time to develop deficiencies. But if you want to drink some once in a while, hey, I'm sure it's a huge improvement over Dr Pepper and Doritos. I mention that combination because it was my standard lunch during my first year of college…

  • Ethan Younger Banks

    Wow. This is actually amazing! I'd happily live off soylent (althought it does sound creepy) but also, a low carb diet is very beneficial for type 2 diabetes and there's evidence to show that it is healthier than a "normal" diet, so long as you replace the carbs with fat. Which releases energy slower.

  • John

    I think it's amazing that you're doing this, and I wish you the best of luck. I'll be keeping an eye on this monthly to see progress. Wish there was a way I could help.

    Two questions I had about it.
    Does it taste bad?
    Any downsides so far?

  • BLichner

    Please tell me which of the super magical ingredients in your snake oil manages to supernaturally cure scars and whiten teeth? Go to kickstarter and I will work hard to expose your fraud instead of simply posting a snide comment.

    • Amber Moore

      Perhaps there is a specific vitamin or something in his Soylent that causes the skin cells to regenerate better/faster hence the deminishing appearance of scars. Also Rob noted that since he started ingesting Soylent, his energy level had increased dramatically which means he most likely consumed much less coffee hence the appearance of whiter teeth.

    • Sean Brockest

      Interesting reaction, given that he never said his scars were “cured”. He said they were less visible. Given his age and gender, I would imagine it was likely he wasn’t eating properly before. Now that he’s getting a balanced diet, it’s likely he’s growing better, cleaner skin, which is why his scars are showing less. Scepticism and Cynicism are not the same thing.

    • Shiggity Shwa

      lol wow dude, you’re a huge retard

      • SAM253

        smallllllllllllllll penis

        • the master of disaster

          thanks for letting us know bruh

  • JohnB

    All sorts of random comments. One thing that I haven't seen mentioned, there are at least two kinds of non-solid diets people can be on, iv and tube feeding. Tube feeding uses something like Ensure, delivered into the stomach by a tube, if for example the person had difficulty swallowing.

    IV feeding, on the other hand, is used if the person doesn't have a working gut, and can't absorb nutrients. Instead, everything is slowly released into a vein. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parenteral_nutrition&nbsp;

    Your ingredient list for Soylent looks a lot like the list for TPN, which worries me because such patients don't do well long term, in general. On the other hand, you've got a healthy baseline, you're drinking it, and you're occasionally eating solid food.

    But, it's something to keep in mind, and you don't have to reinvent the wheel- you might check the literature for TPN, see if there are any known micronutrients you're missing.

  • Dave

    I like eating. It tastes better. But for prepping for the zombie apocolypse or the NORK nuc attack, I'd like to know more about your ingredients and procedures. Great job for your endurance and results. 

  • http://happycrow.wordpress.com/ Russ in Texas

    Fascinating.  I like to eat when it's a celebration or something special, but 90% of the time I'm just fueling the body.   My wife and I make kefir on much the same principle – though that's clearly "food" –  and this is an exciting alternative for a guy like me with significant allergy issues.

  • Craig

    Has anybody pointed out that this product was invented years ago, and is commercially sold by Abbot?

    http://www.ask.com/wiki/Ensure

     

  • Ben

    Kids, it's a fun experiment.  I've been doing it a few days now — I eat one meal a day and drink the rest.  

     

    I see people convincing themselves there's a conspiracy to keep the magic recipe from them: uh, guys?  He provided that.  It's in the blog.  Get yourselves a gram scale and go to town.  

     

    If you can't find the individual minerals and so forth, buy a powdered supplement with a vitamin complex in it.  It's not that complicated.  Maltodextrin is widely available, as is amino powder.

     

    Yes, there are meal replacement products available on the market.  Ensure, for example.  Check the ingredients: laden with corn syrup and sugar.  Also relatively expensive — you're paying a lot of money for water, pound for pound.  

     

    But that's not all there is to it.  The whole premise here is a certain Spartan delight in the bland, slightly grim process of concocting and drinking your nutrition.  I think it's a hoot.

     

    Relax.  Do it or don't do it.  You won't die either way.  Your body is resilient.  If you don't enjoy it, stop with the Soylent.  Nobody will get mad.  There isn't a conspiracy and this gentleman is not trying to get rich.

     

    I recommend adding one 'food' meal a day to your regimen, to ensure your GI tract has something to do — you'll find you eat a lot less than you used to, even after a couple of days.  Other than that, you can vary the flavoring of Soylent (I use unflavored powders to start with) from sweet to savory by seasoning it as you would anything else.

     

  • http://www.danny.vc/+ Danny

    Rob, just discovered your blog. If you can get me a bottle of this, I will pay you for it.

  • Lori

    Any chance this would help my 10 year old nephew who is fed through a g-tube? Would like to provide more details on his condition and get some feedback from you. Can you email me under separate cover to discuss? Thank you!

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  • jay

    I recently saw on the TV that Soylent is really made from people.  is it?  

    • Tyler

      There is an old book called Soylent Green where the twist ends up being that the soylent is made out of people but not this stuff lol

      • Rui Pacheco

        In the book Soylent is made of Soy and Lentils. In the film they changed it to people.

  • Seymur

    One more vote from Azerbaijan. Had practiced vegans style for 9 months (2 years ago) then somehow gave up in spite of several side effects. Anyhow, thanks for new motivation. Will definitely try your receipt. By the way, let me know if I could use your receipt for commercial needs.  BR & KW , Seymur. 

  • Ryan Shaver

    Please post your Kickstarter ASAP.  Not only because I want to give you my money, but I'm a little concerned about food Corporations who may want to shut you down due to the potential affects it can have on the food consumer market.  Please post the Kickstarter soon so we can all show our support.  I've volunteer to market or whatever you need, because I really have a lot of faith that this will be one of those defining paradigm shifts in the human lifestyle.  Thank you again for all your work you've been doing.

  • Crystal

    Amazing concept, I hope you continue to improve your formula that it is able to fulfill everything you hope it will. There are so many people in this world that can benefit from a product like this.

  • Adam

     I'm skeptical. I'm not even considering trying this out myself. I'm too careful about my health to do something radical and unconventional with it. That being said, I am so glad that there are people like Rob willing to do the unconventional and go against what current science tells us.

     I see way too many people here acting like they're on the side of science, and trying to discourage Rob. Yes, this stuff might not fit with your current understanding of biology. Maybe you're understanding is wrong. That's the idea that fuels scientific innovation, right?

     Being a skeptic does not mean being a pessimist. It certainly doesn't mean acting destructively toward others. Or discouraging hypotheses that go against science. Skepticism is not synonymous with disbelief. It means being careful about what you believe.

     Keep at it, Rob!

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  • Sam

    rob you cray~~~

    -sam and marika

  • Nelson

    I would like to make some myself and try it.
    Where do I buy the ingredients? What are the measurements u used for the ingredients? That way I can have a base for my mix. Thx

  • http://Www.darkwestern.info Dark Western

    I for one would love this to be a real thing. I've only just started reading about this "Soylent" and honestly I would give up meals entirely for this idea. For some reason this feels like a scam, like at some point further or deeper into my studies I will see an infomercial with fake testimonies. So far nothing. I work over 40 hours a week with very odd hours and my only food options are crappy breakfast menus and late night fast food. I'm very healthy as it is, but for convenience sake and apathy towards each coming meal would kill for the chance to get my hands on this formula. 

  • Ben

    The formula is right there in Rob's blog.  Get a metric scale and go to town.  You can also make a quickie version of the stuff with basic body-building maltodextrin and any complete protein powder (whey or other) plus a powdered full-spectrum vitamin supplement.  Look for the proportions on the website.  You'll also need some olive oil, salt, and fiber.  Easily gotten.  I lived on this lazy version of the stuff for three weeks and never felt better.

  • Deb Pendergraft

    I would like to get my hands (stomach) on some of this!  Deb

  • Deb Pendergraft

    How can I get some?

  • DLT

    Would love to try Soylent if it's available for purchase.  Please advise when it might be available.  I have weight to lose, so if you're interested in doing a trial for that purpose, please let me know.  Thanks…

  • Rainheat

    Be extremely careful with potassium, it can cause serious heart rythme issues that can lead to sudden death. If your blood potassium level goes over 5mmol/L you are at risk of heart conduction changes, the limit for the harmful changes to happen is different for every people but 5 is the limit not to cross to be normal on biological exams.

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    You run Pi miles.

  • Boblewisfuqua

    Why would any man want to eat anything with soy in it, due to the estrogen present ? If you leave the soy out, it would be a great product !

    • Clarissa

      All men and women produce and require both estrogen and testosterone.

      • CRyan

        But men should not add psuedo-estrogens present in soy, to their diet. Men should aim to maximize their ratio of free testosterone to estrogen. This can be done naturally through weight training and avoiding foods containing soy.

        • Clarissa

          While it can have an impact on fetal development, studies regarding soy’s impact on testosterone in adult males are inconclusive. http://authoritynutrition.com/is-soy-bad-for-you-or-good/

          • CRyan

            Oh, it’s “inconclusive?” Well then let me run right out and get some soy! :P No way honey. I’d rather keep my 10% bodyfat, my rock hard erections and benching 2X my bodyweight, but thank you very much anyway.

  • justin

    Sorry for my ignorance, but many comments and information that ive come across about this product have heavily suggested ther is no waste. Does this imply that there are little to no bowel movements? This interests me greatly….

    • Sean Brockest

      It appears to depend on the person. Everybody reports less quantity after a few days, but as far as consistency, color, smell, those all appear to be different from person to person. With exception to some adjustment to differing fibers (which can cause some gas until your body gets used to it), nobody seems to have very much bad to say about the bowel side of things.

  • http://blog.chrisolin.com Chris

    Your understanding of soy is quite ignorant.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19524224

    In short, the estrogen concentration in soy doesn't do anything to men. You can safely consume soy without worrying about growing brests or any other unfounded concerns.

    • yark

      How can you rely on gov data? That is all manipulated crap, Green Soy is one of the most harmful substances to man, it only must be consumed when properly fermented, if it´s consumed green it will make most of your body minerals come out in your urine!

      • insomnicat

        I agree! Why rely on government data when you can rely on people pulling facts outta their butts and posting it online. Obviously if you read it online from an unreliable source with no peer studies done then that’s the truth. Srsly these antigovernment extremists who put their faith in internet bloggers crack me up.

        • CRyan

          Consider this: The primary goal of all government is control. Testosterone promotes strength and aggression. Who is easier to control: A docile group or a strong, aggressive group? Promoting soy (psuedo-estrogen) in foods, as well as banning testosterone promoting supplements, makes sense for any government. The government takes care of itself, not you.

          • TehSlayer

            Holy shit. Do you ACTUALLY think that the government is going to bother lying about soy that has an extraordinarily low chance of affecting anyone on an online article that 0.000001% of internet users know about?
            You think that because men think soy won’t give them boobs, that suddenly, they’re going to start devouring it like cows? How many men do you actually think know about the estrogen in soy? How many men do you think even know what estrogen is?
            A little common sense never hurts.

          • CRyan

            A little common sense never hurts. That’s right. The FDA lies all the time. The whole population devours soy in almost the same amounts they do corn syrup! It’s ubiquitous. Avoid the soy, brother.

          • TehSlayer

            So are you saying that everyone is more feminine? Even though there’s estrogen, there’s not enough to make people feminine. I like how you’re actually giving me advice, rather than raging, haha :P

          • CRyan

            There is no need to rage. Why would I? Yes, generally the population IS more feminine than 4 or 5 decades ago. The feminization is purposeful. You don’t have to take my advice. Go your own way brother (or sister).

          • TehSlayer

            Nah, I like a nice argument here and there. I’m a guy by the way.
            It is true that most people are more feminine now than they were 4 to 5 decades ago, but I don’t think it’s because of the food. The food might be a small part, but I think it’s generally because now people only depend on the government for anything and everything.

          • CRyan

            Dude! SMH… Of course they are more dependent on government! Hello! That’s the goal. Filling your food with hormones and lying about its’ effects is just one more way to stem recalcetrance among the masses! Government cares for itself, not the governed. Thank you for agreeing.

          • TehSlayer

            See, the soy might have a very small effect (I still use it), but in general, I would listen to what the government says, because the government controls the governed. I don’t think the soy is affecting me, but maybe it does other people.

          • CRyan

            “… I would listen to what the government says, because the government controls the governed…” That’s the difference between you and me, I don’t need to be controlled or listen to the government because I do my own research, think for myself and police myself. That’s what being an American is (should be) all about. If you don’t think the soy is affecting you, ok then, that’s your choice and God bless you that you still have a choice, as do I.

          • TehSlayer

            I never explained why, though.
            I’m going to use an example. You do your own research, right? Then you probably know that marijuana isn’t unhealthy. Now, say you wanted to smoke it. Are you going to stop the police from arresting you? You can’t.
            What I’m trying to say is, I think for myself, and see all the faults in things, but it’s not like we can do anything about it, because, after all, there will be an opposing faction which will completely ruin the idea.
            That, by the way, is the reason communism doesn’t work, but that’s a topic for a different day.

          • CRyan

            Slight correction: THC isn’t unhealthy in the same way Nicotine is no more harmful than Caffeine. It’s the SMOKE that’s unhealthy.

          • TehSlayer

            Yes, I know, but that wasn’t the point I was trying to convey. I was just giving an example.

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  • http://www.LimitlessMindset.com/ Jonathan Roseland

    In the documentary on Soylent, they keep talking about how bad it tastes… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8NCigh54jg

    But I’m still interested in trying it… Soylent+Pramiracetam is an interesting mix… but you probably need to supplement choline http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_FTC5X22JE

    • insomnicat

      This is OLD documentary in the lifespan on Soylent. The formula has changed a lot and taste is much different.

      • http://www.LimitlessMindset.com/ Jonathan Roseland

        Oh really… Sounds like another documentary is needed!

  • Charles

    Just heard of this on Yahoo News.

  • Dean Bouler

    Have been drinking my one week supply. This order was just to see if I could tolerate it. I’m going to have jaw surgery in a few months and will be on a liquid diet for six or more weeks. After that only soft foods for a few months. Jaws take a lot of time to get back to being able to chew steak after they’ve been cut apart and moved to a different location. So I’m looking for a meal substitute that will take care of my basic food needs.

    I mixed my first glass with chocolate soy milk using a blender. Tasted fine. Has what some people would call a gritty texture but that didn’t bother me. Otherwise it tasted fine in the soy milk. It actually improved the taste of the chocolate soy milk. Made it closer to chocolate whole milk in taste. I don’t plan on drinking it without the chocolate soy milk.

    As to re-ordering, I plan on doing so. But it won’t be replacing all my meals. I have yogurt in the morning with juice sometime. On weekends breakfast is eggs and potatoes or grits with butter. Lunch is usually grilled chicken and vegetables or something similar. Had stop making dinner a few months ago so decided I would drink Soylent in place of the lost meal.

    Do I feel better? Even on the limited amount of Soylent I’m drinking I have felt, for lack of a better word, “lighter.” I hit the gym most every day to do three or four exercises. I have low body fat. Have a good amount of muscle but I’m not going to make any cover of a muscle magazine but people do notice. My blood results my whole life have been normal or better than normal. Have no idea why, it’s not like I’m trying to cut my cholesterol to 107. My doctor even said “You know, you can have more cholesterol in your diet.” So I’m not really expecting to see much of a difference in health test results.

    Other than when I’m on the liquid diet, when my meals will be Soylent all the time, I expect I will continue to use it as I’ve done so far. A substitute for a meal not a replacement for all my food intake. Seems fine for that.