Can You Survive on Multivitamins and Workout Shakes Alone?

Jaxon Wildwood

Updated Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 9:25 AM CDT

Can You Survive on Multivitamins and Workout Shakes Alone?

The Risks of Extreme Diets

Many people are constantly searching for quick and easy ways to lose weight or improve their health. One extreme approach that has gained some attention is the idea of surviving solely on multivitamins and workout shakes. While it may be technically possible to sustain oneself on these products, it is essential to understand the potential risks and limitations involved.

It is technically possible for a person to survive on just their own body fat, electrolytes, and water, but it is extremely dangerous and not recommended. In the early 1900s, a man named Angus Barbieri went without eating anything for a year, relying only on a multivitamin that provided the daily recommended adult amounts of vitamins and minerals. However, there is no real research on the long-term effects of living on multivitamins and workout shakes, but it is likely to have significant health risks. Not eating food can potentially damage the digestive system and cause other health issues.

Protein shake diets have been studied, but there is no consensus on the long-term effects of a liquid diet lasting more than 1-3 months. Meeting electrolytic needs is crucial to avoid serious health risks. Holocaust survivors who were liberated from labor camps and given simple foods like porridge often died from internal bleeding. Their bodies had not processed carbohydrates or rough foods in years and were unable to handle the stress.

While the concept of sustaining a person's nutritional needs without solid food is not entirely new, it is important to consider the limitations and potential consequences. Total Parenteral Nutrition, a medical procedure that provides 100% of the nutrients the body needs via intravenous (IV) delivery, demonstrates the possibility of sustaining nutritional needs without solid food. Similarly, soldiers can survive for extended periods on military rations, and in the past, people have survived for weeks on pemmican or mostly potatoes.

One example of a product designed to provide all necessary nutrients is Soylent. Soylent is a mix created by a person who checked the basic nutritional needs of a human and made a powder that, when mixed with water and consumed in a specific amount per day, provides all the necessary nutrients. Several companies, such as Soylent, Yfood, Huel, and Jimmy Joy, offer similar products.

However, living solely on multivitamins and workout shakes may have its drawbacks. People who consume products like Huel or Soylent have reported losing definition in their jawline due to the lack of chewing. Major changes in the gut biome can also affect mood and cognitive abilities. It remains unclear whether living on multivitamins and workout shakes would be worse than consuming an ultra-processed food diet.

While it is possible for a person to survive on multivitamins and workout shakes, they would likely not thrive. Nutrition is complex, and a well-rounded diet is necessary for optimal health and well-being. However, there have been cases of elderly individuals living on half a can of Boost/ensure type drinks for years.

While the idea of surviving solely on multivitamins and workout shakes may seem appealing to some, it is crucial to consider the potential risks and limitations involved. While it may be possible to sustain oneself on these products, it is essential to prioritize a well-rounded diet for optimal health and well-being.

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