I love food of all kinds. I love to make food, eat food and watch people make food on TV. But for some reason (I’m still not sure what it was) I thought I would give Soylent a try. In case you’ve never heard of it, Soylent is a supposedly fully nutritional meal replacement beverage used to help busy consumers who don’t have time to stop and eat. I am always on the go, but I was truly skeptical that a drink could replace all of my daily calories. “What’s the harm in trying?” I thought, and created my Soylent challenge.
I was only allowed to drink Soylent, water and coffee (because I can’t survive without it) for three days. And so the adventure began.
My day started at 9 am with a cup of coffee and my first sip of Soylent. First impressions: the shake (for lack of a better word) smelled and tasted like old milky Cheerios and yeasty bread dough. It felt like I was low-key swallowing glue, and all I could think was, “this is going to be very difficult to do without starving myself.”
I headed to my first class with four bottles of Soylent in my bag. The only way I managed to finish the first drink of the day was to mix it with my coffee and then chase it with water. Not a pleasant experience, but I managed to finish the first bottle at 12:30 PM. I was hangry for sure.
For my second drink of the day, I realized that Soylent is so much better cold than at room temperature, and I mixed it with my iced coffee (practically a latte, right?).
At 2 pm, I headed to bec in Chelsea for a class project, and while my classmates ate some delicious bacon egg and cheese sandwiches, I sucked on my Soylent iced coffee, wondering how in the hell I was going to do this for two more days. Even my classmates felt bad eating in front of me and tried their best to shield their beastly sandwiches from my sight.
The afternoon of Day 1 is a complete blur. I know I had class, I know I pounded back another Soylent iced coffee combo, and I know I walked up to the dining hall to sit with some friends while they ate dinner. Everything else, I don’t even know.
Dinner was another miserable experience. I sat at the table as my friends enjoyed their meals, feeling faint and tired and very very angry. I managed to finish a fourth bottle of Soylent, and at this point, I was sure I couldn’t carry on for another two days with this crazy diet.
So at 10 PM on Day 1, my challenge ended with a very good, very well-deserved cheeseburger. And french fries. And tater tots.
Perhaps it was so difficult because my world revolves around food, and that day I spent so much time around people who were eating. But I imagine this is what it’s like for everyone who chooses to partake in Soylent. I’m sure there are great uses for Soylent, and given the right audience and a few changes, I think it could be successful.
There’s no way I ingested enough calories from the beverage, mainly because it tasted and felt ridiculously disgusting. Unless something tastes like bacon or chocolate or wine, I never want to drink all of my calories.
Maybe, if you have more willpower than me, you should give it a try. But for me a cheeseburger will always be better than Soylent.