My Soylent experience

You may have heard of Soylent by now: the meal hack for geeks. If you haven’t, it’s basically a meal replacement drink designed to give you the nutrition your body needs while making it easy to prepare and consume. Beyond that, the vision of Soylent is in some ways like the film the product is named after. It’s a solution to the resource-intensive process of how we gather and produce our food. It may not seem like a problem now, but before we know it, it’ll turn out that Charlton Heston was right and the world is ruled by damn, dirty apes.

Let’s look at the practical use case. I have a hard time getting up in the mornings. It’s not because I’m not eager to start the day. It’s because I’m apparently hesitant to end the previous one and end up going to bed around midnight. And I wake up around 8 am because I need a full eight hours to function. As I get ready for the day, it’s turns into 9:30–10am by the time I get to work. I start by going through email which can be a time suck. When I finally get to doing actual work, it’s past 11am. An hour and a half later when it feels like I’m in the flow of productive work, I have to drop everything to have lunch.

This is the primary reason why Soylent works for me. Because it helps deal with the interference of the day that lunch can be sometimes. Since starting on Soylent at the beginning of the year, I no longer feel like I have to schedule things around a lunch hour. I just go on with my day and start drinking Soylent around noon, on and off for about 2–3 hours. (I’m finishing up today’s meal as I write this.)

Many people eat their lunch in a hurry, it’s one of the main reasons why fast food exists. As Soylent can replace the bad food choices we make when we’re in a rush, it can be a healthier option. I would go even further and say that Soylent is even better than a meal considered on the healthier side. When you think about it, getting the right combination of a balanced meal is a complicated process that requires having a good understanding of nutrition and properly preparing the combination of components needed. Soylent packages it all together for you in a calculated way that covers the spectrum of what your body needs. It’s essentially how astronauts eat!

It’s also a cost-effective alternative. For me, I’ve found that it replaces roughly $80–90 worth of groceries. The cost of my Soylent plan is $70 per month. Not huge savings right now but as the formula evolves, the cost goes down. A couple of weeks ago, the product went from version 1.3 to 1.4 and eliminated the need for having to add canola oil to the mix. Because of this, I I was charged $10 less for this month’s supply. And besides hard costs, there is a bunch of time saved from getting those groceries and preparing meals.

The most common reaction I get when I talk about Soylent is why would I want to stop eating food. Well, I’m not completely replacing food. I usually drink Soylent for lunch and still enjoy a nice dinner. Or, if I decide to go out to lunch with someone, I save Soylent for dinner. I’ve noticed that doing this actually makes me appreciate food more when I do eat, including the social aspect of it. Which is how I think Soylent works best. Not as a complete replacement for food, but as a source of energy for when your body needs food, while still allowing for times when you can enjoy food.