Rob Rhinehart, a 24-year-old software engineer from Atlanta, has been living on a liquid diet for the past three months and says he has never felt better. He has combined all the nutrients he needs in a shake-like drink named Soylent which allegedly contains just a third of the calories and no toxins or cancer-causing substances.
You might be tempted to believe that Rob switched from solid foods to Soylent to lose weight, but that’s only one of his reasons. After realizing he was spending around 2 hours every day cooking food, the young software engineer decided something had to be done to make eating and all the work it involves less time-consuming. Conventional food was also affecting his finances and physical strength, so he started looking for a better alternative to common food.
Reading biology books made him think that the cells of the human body didn’t really know the difference between nutrients from a carrot and those from a powder, so he started scouring the Internet for every essential nutrient in powdered form. Soon, his kitchen looked more like a chemistry lab in which he experimented with various quantities of powders until he found the mix that worked for him. For the past three months he has lived on Soylent alone, and says he has noticed a massive boost to focus, stamina, physique, and free time.
But was is that beige drink that turned Rob’s life around? “Everything the body needs—that we know of, anyway—vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients like essential amino acids, carbohydrates, and fat. For the fat, I just use olive oil and add fish oil. The carbs are an oligosaccharide, which is like sugar, but the molecules are longer, meaning it takes longer to metabolize and gives you a steady flow of energy for a longer period of time rather than a sugar rush from something like fructose or table sugar. I also add some nonessentials like antioxidants and probiotics and lately have been experimenting with nootropics,” Rhinehart told VICE.com. Speaking about the taste of his Soylent, the food drinker said it’s rather delicious, and sweeter than most of the foods he had tried in the past. So far he hasn’t gotten tired of its taste.
Regarding the benefits of his Soylent diet, Rob says not having to worry about eating is simply fantastic – “Eating to me is a leisure activity, like going to the movies, but I don’t want to go to the movies three times a day”. Not having to decide what to eat every day, not having to buy groceries and wash dirty dishes has really taken a huge load off his daily routine. He has also been saving a lot of money, as he only spends $154 a month on Soylent and power and water bills are much lower. The biggest improvement has been sleep, with which he had always struggled in the past, but improved skin, memory and teeth are also on his list. In addition, the 24-year-old has discovered that losing and gaining precise amounts of weight is as easy as adding or taking out varying proportions of ingredients in his drink.