A Healthy Alternative To Soylent (The Controversial, Space-Age Meal Replacement Powder).

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Nutrition, Podcast

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Ever heard of Soylent?

Three years ago, it popped up on a blog post entitled “Why I Stopped Eating Food“, and in it, author Rob Rinehart introduced a special meal replacement powder he had formulated that he claimed, among other things, would allow you to be in peak mental and physical condition for less than $2/day, would not spoil for months, does not require refrigeration, and would allow a full spectrum of nutrients to get mainlined into your bloodstream without you even needing to poop.

Needless to say, my eyebrow was raised when I first heard about the stuff.

And sure enough, the crazy, space-age formulation was later revealed to have some serious issues, including huge amounts of maltodextrin sugar, oxidized vegetable oils, huge amounts of soy lecithin, sucralose artificial sweetener, rancid fish oil and much more.

Bummer.

But at the same time, as a global traveler and busy man, I'm still intrigued with the concept of having something that delivers all your nutrients in one shot, is easy to transport, costs less than five bucks a serving and is environmentally friendly. And that was why, when I reported on what I used to fuel my body during the recent, brutal Spartan Agoge crucible, I mentioned that I was experimenting with a fast, drinkable (or eatable) meal replacement called “Ambronite“.

Here are the ingredients in Ambronite:

-organic oats
-organic coconut
-organic lucuma
-organic chlorella
-wild bilberry
-wild sea-buckthorn
-organic brown rice protein
-organic stinging nettle
-organic rice bran
-nutritional yeast
-organic spinach
-organic spirulina
-organic almond
-organic flaxseed
-organic apple
-mineral salt
-organic brazil nut
-organic blackcurrant

Simo Suoheimo, is the co-founder of Ambronite, my guest on today's podcast, and a guy I had plenty of time to hang out with when I was in Finland last year for the Biohackers Summit. He is an entrepreneur, foodie, crowdfunding jedi (Ambronite set a new crowdfunding world record for a food product IndieGoGo), and self-described “serial optimist”. He is an avid hiker, forager, speaker and avid global adventurer on a quest to unlimit life and help people exceed themselves.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Simo's weekly practice of “ice swimming” and why he does it…

-Why you can pick edible, wild foods just about anywhere in Finland…

-The one berry that has dozens of times the nutrient density of a blueberry…

-How to turn a food into a powder without oxidizing it or exposing it to harsh heat…

-How to make a meal replacement powder that can sit on a shelf, without compromising nutritional integrity…

-The reason that the flavor of a meal replacement powder might change from batch to batch…

-A berry that, unlike most fruits, contains high amounts of vitamin K…

-How to use Ambronite for ketosis…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

The Ambronite website (use this link and code BEN15 for 15% discount)

-The Biohacker’s Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.

Chlorophyll research from Sayer Ji

My article on exogenous ketones and things you can mix with Ambronite to make it ketosis-friendly

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Simu or I about Ambronite or anything else we discuss in this episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply! Finally below are the Ambronite ingredient details…

Oats

Oats (Avena sativa) are a great source of complex carbohydrates which help to maintain normal blood sugar and sustained-release energy. They are rich in minerals such as manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus and magnesium as well as several B-group vitamins. Unlike many other plants oats contain soluble fibres called β-glucans that slow down energy release during digestion. Oats also contain essential polyunsaturated omega fatty acids. We use oats that have been flattened, pre-cooked, dried and milled into a fine powder to ensure cold-water solubility and the bioavailability of nutrients. Our oats are grown in Finland.

Almonds

Almonds (Prunus amygdalus) are a good source of vitamin E and have a good fatty acid profile of mono- and polyunsaturated essential fats. They also contain over 20g of protein per 100g as well as significant amounts of micronutrients like magnesium, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium and biotin. Besides almonds contain several non-vital but useful substances including polyphenols and phytosterols. Almonds are blanched before milling. The variety of almonds is Valencias and they come from organic producers in Spain.

Brown rice

Whole grain brown rice (Oryza sativa) is used as a source of protein. The protein is extracted from the bio-fermented and sprouted whole grain rice in low-temperatures using plant-based enzymes to sustain all natural micronutrients. Rice is grown on pure soil in Vietnam or Cambodia and the protein manufactured in modern facilities in China. Production is done using 100% natural processes without any nasty additives or pesticides. This brown rice protein has an excellent amino acid profile and up to 89% of protein. It contains eight out of nine essential amino acids and nine nonessential amino acids as well as a good amount of essential minerals such as iron.

Coconut

Coconut (Cocos nucifera) is rich in minerals containing magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and calcium. It also has trace amounts of several B vitamins. Because of the fibre-richness and low glycemic index coconut provides stable energy without sugar-crash. Besides nutrition coconut brings natural sweetness and creaminess to the recipe. The coconut flour we use comes from organic farmers in Philippines which is the largest coconut producer in the world after Indonesia and India.

Flax seed

Flaxseed is a functional food, and a rich source of fiber-related compounds called lignans. Lignans are unique polyphenols that possess hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and powerful antioxidant properties. Flaxseeds are the number one source of omega-3 fatty acid, which is known to be important for human brain function. On average, 100 grams of flaxseed amount to 28 grams of fiber, 41 grams of fats and 20 grams of protein.

Lucuma

Lucuma (Pouteria lucuma) has significant amounts of B vitamins as well as iron, calcium and phosphorus. It also contains β-Carotene which is a pre-form of vitamin A. The low glycemic index makes lucuma a good source of stable energy from carbohydrates. Besides nutrition the fruit adds nice flavor the recipe. The fruit origins from the Peruvian andes and that also where we source our lucuma.

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a particularly great source of calcium as well as many other micronutrients such as vitamins A, C and K. This rare herb is almost five times richer in calcium than regular milk. It also contains significant amount of chlorophyll which is a non-essential but beneficial phytonutrient also known as the green pigment found in plants. Nettle grows wild and takes very little to cultivate making it sustainable source of nutrition. It also adds mild herbal flavour to the recipe. We use nettle grown in Finland or Hungary depending on the availability.

Apple

Apple (Malus domestica) contains vitamin C and has high fiber content. Its peel is high in antioxidants, polyphenols and phytochemicals. We use an apple powder made from complete organic apples with peel, from US or Europe, depending on availability and quality. Being a minor compound in the recipe, its main role is taste, blending well to the oats with lucuma, adding a few grams of fructose to the carbohydrate profile.

Rice Bran

Rice bran solubles or tocotrienols are the nutritional powerhouse of the rice (Oryza sativa) grain containing significant amounts of vitamin E. Tocotrienols are also rich in protein, B-group vitamins, and selenium as well as many non-essential but beneficial substances like coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid, flavonoids and glutathione peroxidase. The powder is produced by the fermentation of whole grain rice grain located between the shell and the bran, which contains nearly all the nutrients in rice. Besides nutrition rice bran solubles bring natural creaminess to the recipe. Our rice bran powder is produced in the USA.

Chlorella

Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) is a single-celled freshwater algae that is full of essential nutrients. The plant contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, and K. In addition chlorella contains vitamin D and B12. It also contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, iodine and other minerals as well as essential amino and fatty acids. Chlorella is richer in chlorophyll than any other plant and has been considered as a complete food by some nutritionists. We use special chlorella which cell walls have been cracked using a high-pressure jet spray to improve digestibility and nutrient bioavailability. Our chlorella is cultivated in the Inner-Mongolia border of China outside large cities. The area is known for its good water quality, sufficient sunlight, non-polluted air, and abundant natural alkaline resources. Chlorella is grown inside greenhouses in pools filled with pure water from the depths of 500 meter streaming from the surrounding mountains. These conditions enable cultivation of our high-quality chlorella containing only very low-amounts of heavy-metals and other toxins. To preserve precious micronutrients for your body, our chlorella is raw and dried in controlled temperatures to avoid exposure to heat above 45 °C (113 °F). It is certified organic by accredited Ecocert certification body.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is a great source of B-complex vitamins containing naturally seven out of eight essential B vitamins. It is also rich in essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron. Nutritional yeast is made out the the same species of yeast used for brewing but it is carefully deactivated and dried to keep the nutritional richness and make it easily digestible for the body. Besides essential vitamins and minerals nutritional yeast contain glutamic acid which is a non-essential amino acid important for learning and memory. Nutritional yeast also adds gentle creamy-cheesy flavour to the recipe. Our nutritional yeast is produced in Finland or USA.

Mineral Salt

Mineral salt is a good source of potassium and iodine. It also contains healthy amount of sodium to maintain good mineral balance in the body. Potassium and sodium are electrolytes that maintain the fluid balance in the body and are important for the heart, muscles and brain to function properly. Besides the contribution of essential micronutrients salt underlines the natural flavour of other ingredients.

Brazil Nut

Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa) are exceptionally rich in selenium and contains good amount of other nutrients like niacin (B3), vitamin E and magnesium as well as amino acids and multiple essential fatty acids. Besides essential nutrients they contain carotenoids, phytosterols and phytic acid which are known to be beneficial for health. Brazil nuts are native to South-American rainforest. Our Brazil nuts come from Bolivia which produces approximately half of the worlds harvest.

Bilberry

Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) are exceptionally nutritious super berries that grow wild in Northern Europe. They are rich in vitamins A and C and contain traces of several B-complex vitamins as well as multiple essential minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. In addition to essential nutrients bilberries are very rich in flavonoids and have two times the amount of antioxidants than blueberries and three times that of an apple measured ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) index. The antioxidants in wild berries have shown to be bioavailable for the human body. The bilberries we use have grown wild above Polar Circle in the northern Finland, hand-picked and carefully dried and powdered in low temperatures to preserve nutrients.

Spinach

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) contains high amounts of vitamins such as vitamin A, K and folate. It is also high in iron and calcium, but also non-essential substances such as antioxidants. Our spinach powder is made by drying and milling it in low temperatures. It is organic and raw and comes from organic farms in Germany.

Blackcurrant

Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) is an extremely good source of vitamin C containing up to four times more of it than oranges. It also contains traces of several B-group vitamins as well as minerals magnesium, manganese, iron and calcium. Like many berries blackcurrant also hold non-essential phytonutrient polyphenols and phytosterols. It is native to northern Europe and the berries grow in a shrub. Our blackcurrant berry powder is carefully manufactured in low temperatures in Finland.

Sea-buckthorn

Sea-buckthorns (Hippophae rhamnoides) are one of the richest plant based sources of vitamin C and can contains even five times more of it than oranges. These small orange superberries are also dense in potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus as well as vitamin K. Besides they contain non-essential but beneficial omega-7 fatty acids (palmitoleic acid) and carotenoids. Our sea-buckthorns come from Finland or Estonia.

Spirulina

Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) is a nutritional powerhouse full of essential nutrients. It contains up to 71g of protein per 100g including all nine essential amino acids as well as nine non-essential. Besides it is dense in micronutrients being a rich source of six B-complex vitamins, choline, and vitamins C, E and K as well as a number of essential trace minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. It is also loaded with non-essential substances like chlorophyll and antioxidants. We have carefully selected the most qualified organic producer in China. The spirulina in Ambronite is cultivated in the Inner-Mongolia border of China outside large cities. The area is known for its good water quality, sufficient sunlight, non-polluted air, and abundant natural alkaline resources. Spirulina is grown inside greenhouses in pools filled with pure water from the depths of 500 meter streaming from the surrounding mountains. These conditions enable cultivation of our high-quality spirulina containing only very low-amounts of heavy-metals and other toxins. To preserve precious micronutrients for your body, our spirulina is raw and dried in controlled temperatures to avoid exposure to heat above 45 °C (113 °F). It is certified organic by accredited Ecocert certification body.


Also published on Medium.

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12 thoughts on “A Healthy Alternative To Soylent (The Controversial, Space-Age Meal Replacement Powder).

  1. J.Nellie says:

    Ben, would you ever recommend to use this in water bottle during an Ironman Race? Maybe mixed with MCT Oil and Ketone Source. Just couriers.

    1. You could try it… But I haven't yet… Theoretically it would work…

  2. Paul W says:

    I have been trying hard to find a low-carb version of Ambronite for us diabetics using low-carb ketosis to manage bloodsugar. Are there any alternatives?

    1. Probably the closest thing would be to make yourself a big kale smoothie and add mct's, almonds, chia, coconut flakes, coconut milk, etc., like this: http://generationiron.com/green-smoothie-article/

  3. Greg Woulfe says:

    Hey Ben. You spoke of ketosis and products to kick you into ketosis/fat burning.

    I’m in Australia and a local company has just released a new product and I’d be interested to get your thoughts on it. I’m not from this company but just a curious listener and learner.

    http://atpscience.com/shop/australia/amp-v/

    1. I looked into it and ingredients are:

      AMP-V Ingredients

      Carthamus tinctorius (CLA): Derived from the (safflower) oil this ingredient is a high quality conjugated linoeic acid and one the most popular natural fat burning ingredients. CLA will work by releasing fat burning enzymes in the body to help break down stubborn fat on the midsection and thighs. CLA will also help to protect lean muscle tissue from being broken down and used as an energy source and is perfect for those wanting to maintain muscle tone whilst losing fat to achieve a fit and defined look.

      Punica granatum (Pomegranate) seed oil: This ingredient is a rich antioxidant added to AMP-V to help combat free radicals which can cause damage to healthy cells in the body.

      THESE ARE NOT KETONES AND I CAN'T SAY ANY RESEARCH SHOWS THIS WILL HELP KETOSIS AT ALL.

  4. Eric S says:

    and I forgot to mention, but I plan on ordering some Ambronite for a trip my wife and I are taking to Iceland in mid May. Really looking forward to trying it out!

  5. Nark Hammer says:

    could not find discount code when ordering.

  6. Eric S says:

    Ben, kudos on another great podcast. Thanks for sharing another cutting edge nutritional product aimed at helping us all perform and be a better version of ourselves. And most importantly, for sharing the people and passion behind Ambronite. Simo and his teams story and culture are equally interesting and inspiring. Keep em coming!

  7. Frasier Linde says:

    Have you checked out Mealsquares? A tempting scone-like alternative at ≤$3/serving shipped (compared to Ambronite’s $8.42/serving after the 15% subscription discount, plus shipping). They have pretty good nutrition philosophy, too: http://www.mealsquares.com/nutrition-facts.html

    1. Yes but none of their stuff is organic or "superfood" compared to ambronite…

  8. Cheryl L Peterson says:

    Nice formulation, however you are stating that your brown rice is grown in “pure soil” in Vietnam or Cambodia and manufactured in China. I don’t trust any product that is using China in any way. Have you tested just how much arsenic is in this brown rice? You are also including rice bran in this formulation. Although you say it is from the USA, arsenic is still a problem. I personally do not ingest any type of rice as all kinds are notorious for uptaking arsenic from the ground. I would have ordered this product if it were not for these points. Possibly quinoa would have been a better protein source.

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