Man Replaced 90 Percent of his Meals with Drink Mixture

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Man Replaced 90 Percent of his Meals with Drink Mixture
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Man Replaced 90 Percent of his Meals with Drink Mixture

What is really in Soylent?

Calcium

A mineral found in dairy and green vegetables, calcium strengthens bones, helps muscles move and allows nerves to convey messages to the brain.

Potassium

A mineral found in many types of produce (including leafy greens, root vegetables , bananas and citrus fruits), potassium helps nerves and muscles communicate, as well as offsetting the negative effects of sodium.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Zinc

This mineral supports growth and development and is required for tasting and smelling. It also plays an important role in the immune system. Oysters, red meat and poultry provide most of the zinc in the American diet.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps with immune functions, vision, reproduction and communications between cells. Most people get Vitamin A from both produce and animal sources.

Vitamin B

B-complex vitamins include vitamins like folic acid, biotin and riboflavin. They assist with muscle tone, skin, hair, eyes and liver development, as well as breaking down carbs, fats and proteins. They are found in most animal-derived foods.

Vitamin C

A water-soluble vitamin, Vitamin C is an antioxidant and used for the growth and repair of body tissues. It's also known to prevent colds. Fruits and vegetables such as cantaloupe, kiwi, orange, grapefruit, broccoli, green and red peppers, and spinach are excellent sources of Vitamin C.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D assists the body in processing calcium, and a lack of Vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis. The body actually produces Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. However, Vitamin D can be also be consumed by eating produce, fatty fish and oysters.

Vitamin E

An antioxidant that protects the body from viruses and bacteria, Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and leafy greens.

Vitamin K

This vitamin allows blood to clot normally and protects bones. Sources of Vitamin K include leafy greens, tomatoes and blueberries.

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Rob Rhinehart wanted to change the way he ate.

The 24-year-old, who has difficulty finding time to shop and cook as a software engineer in Atlanta, researched what nutrients his body actually needed to get from food. He then created Soylent, which, according to Fox News, is a "drink mixture of vitamins and minerals which includes calcium, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K."

Rhinehart began swapping his daily meals for his Soylent formula. We caught up with Rhinehart to talk about his new diet.

Rhinehart admitted that he was surprised at the results. "I did not expect to get so much healthier. I was just trying to survive. It was kind of weird to suddenly be able to run for miles without getting tired, sleep better and feel mentally sharper."

He was also saving time and money. "I save about two hours a day and $350 per month, not to mention avoiding the stress involved with shopping, cooking and cleaning dishes."

Rhinehart now consumes Soylent for 90 percent of his meals, and he thinks the formula could be the ideal replacement for unhealthy fast food. If it seems odd that someone could exist for months without actually eating, consider Rhinehart's explanation in an interview with Vice that "we need carbs, not bread. Amino acids, not milk. It's still fine to eat these whenever you want, but not everyone can afford them or has the desire to eat them."

Rhinehart wrote on his blog that he assumed he would get tired of the taste, but hasn't yet. Not only does he continue to like the taste of Soylent, but he no longer craves the foods he once did. "I kind of lost a taste for the pizza and cheeseburgers I craved before. My favorite food now is sushi."

We wanted to know what Rhinehart's friends and family think of his new diet. He admitted that "initially, they thought it was weird." However after watching him become healthier, "they're now on it as well."

Soylent could have exciting implications for the world's hunger problem. The formula would be cheap to buy (about $100 a month if produced at scale) and Rhinehart wants it to be as easy to get as a cup of coffee.

"I want everyone to have the means for a healthy diet," Rhinehart explains. "I don't want anyone to have to worry about food or nutrition, and still enjoy the fun, social aspects of food when desired. I am also optimistic about food security and aid prospects."

Sonali Ruder, D.O., sees a formula like Soylent being useful as a source of nutrition for people who are pressed for time, and admits, "it's a much better alternative to many other quick meal options such as fast food."

However, Dr. Ruder believes that this type of diet is unrealistic for most people and would not be filling. "There is evidence that the act of chewing sets off a reaction in our bodies that induces the feeling of satiety," she explains. "After we eat or drink, stretch receptors in the stomach send signals to our brain that make us feel full. However, liquids are emptied out of the stomach faster than solids, so we tend to get hungry again faster after drinking rather than eating."

Check out the slideshow above for more on what is really in Soylent.

Wondering if drinking your meals is actually healthy? Read this report on the downfall of drinking your calories.

Images courtesy of Soylent.

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