My team worked hard on creating Stacked, Soylent’s first foray into the energy and nootropic drink space. The energy drink category has been dormant and we wanted to change that. Stacked is a complete energy drink providing the benefits of a snack along with beneficial ingredients such as choline, L-Theanine, L-Tyrosine, isomaltulose, plant protein, and of course our signature vitamin/mineral blend.  Half the fun of being a food scientist is being able to create a product that I would love to use on a daily basis and Stacked has been instrumental for my active lifestyle. Like every other millennial on the planet right now, I have taken a particular interest in bouldering. Weight plays an important role in sports but even more so in bouldering. You essentially pull your weight up to the top of the wall and the last thing you would want is excess baggage. So before every climb, I avoid eating full meals and often opt for something lighter like an energy drink or a bar. As you can imagine neither of those two would keep me full for long. Stacked on the other hand has been super helpful for bouldering as it provides me ummppff energy ingredients while keeping me full during my long climbs.


I drink Soylent stacked between sessions to provide me the little boost I need to send my next wall.

Slow Energy Release

Stacked contains isomaltulose which releases energy slowly and steadily. Although appearing as an added sugar on our label, isomaltulose acts nothing like your everyday table sugar (sucrose). Isomaltulose has a low glycemic index and is metabolized at a much slower rate than other added sugars like sucrose. Isomaltulose hydrolyzes more slowly due to it’s unique alpha-1,6 glycosidic bond which requires more time to be digested[1]. After being hydrolyzed and absorbed by the body, fructose and glucose which are products of hydrolyzed isomaltulose are then metabolized as a usual monosaccharide. The result is blood glucose and insulin levels rise slower and reach a lower max level than sucrose in the body. This means isomaltulose provides the body with a slow and steady stream of energy over time instead of a sugar rush and a sugar crash. When your workout is 2-3 hours long, this is a game-changer.


Protein Packed

Protein, another component not commonly found in energy drinks, provides not only satiety but also provides the essential amino acids needed for muscle recovery. Soy protein is one of the only plant-based proteins to have a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid (PDCAAS) of 1. Soy protein is considered one of the best plant based proteins due to its ability to meet all the essential amino acids required by the body after being digested [2]. Most other plant-based proteins for example pea protein, chickpea protein and rice protein have a PDCAAS of less than 1 [11]. In addition to being formulated using high quality soy protein, Stacked is also higher in protein than your typical chocolate milk, plant based or not [12].

Multivitamin

I am not religious in taking my multivitamins even during flu season. Drinking Soylent does make taking my multivitamins easier as I literally don’t have a hard pill to swallow. This is an added bonus, if you ask me. Also with Stacked, we modified our vitamins & minerals blend to include more Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, and Vitamin B12 as they have been shown to improve overall cognitive function or cell signalling [5, 6].

Brain Power

Stacked has caffeine which provides a rush of energy, boosts focus and stimulates brain activity through the release of dopamine, noradrenaline, and glutamate. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter whose function is to send signals throughout the nervous system. The increased presence of glutamate from caffeine increases the communication between different neural circuits which boosts overall brain processes & focus however it also sometimes induces anxiety [3]. 

L-theanine, a bioactive amino acid present in tea has been studied for its potential as a neuroprotective agent. L-theanine acts as a hypotensive agent in suppressing cortical neuron excitement which may reduce anxiety and controls rising blood pressure in high-stress conditions [4]. This is why we paired caffeine together with L-theanine; the caffeine in combination with L-theanine can provide a better cognitive boost while potentially minimizing anxiety [9].

You could try muscling through this climb but unless you're strong, it might not be the best idea.

Stacked also has been fortified with alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (A-GPC), a source of choline to provide building blocks for our cell membranes and produce acetylcholine which is an important neurotransmitter involved in memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions [10]. Similarly, L-Tyrosine was added to Stacked to support cognitive function, Tyrosine has been shown to increase dopamine levels, and cognitive flexibility [7][8]. All of these ingredients together create a nootropic stack which is a combination of two or more nootropic supplements that when taken together can provide cognitive benefits.

How does this translate to bouldering you may ask? Bouldering is all about problem-solving with your body. You would think of how to shift your body weight or climb up these uncomfortable angles to reach the top. Oftentimes you can’t muscle your way through a problem but instead, you have to strategically climb your way up to the finish. This requires quite some thought and a little brain boost without the jitters will go a long way. So how is this any different than any other energy drink?! Well, when you are balancing off a small hold in a wall hanging on to your dear life 15 feet above the ground, the last thing you’d probably want is to be jittering right? In addition to that, Stacked provides not only the energy for your workout but also the protein needed for recovery and satiety.


Me holding on to my dear life at the bouldering gym.

I truly believe that Stacked is at the forefront of energy drinks. To say the least, it’s pretty Stacked.

P.S. Photo and Video editing is my other side-hobby so please be nice I am not that good yet.

References

1. Christin et al. (2017). Low Glycemic Index Prototype Isomaltulose - Update of Clinical Trials, Nutrients 2017, 9(4): 381, DOI: 10.3390/nu9040381/
2. FAO Expert Consultation (2011), Dietary protein quality evaluation in human nutrition, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome 2013, Chapter 3, ISSN 0254-4725
3. Cappelletti et al. (2015). Caffeine: Cognitive and Physical Performance Enhancer or Psychoactive Drug? Current Neuropharmacoogy.,13(1): 71-88, Jan 2015, doi: 10.2174/1570159X13666141210215655
4. Adhikary, R. & Mandal, V. (2017). L-theanine: A potential multifaceted natural bioactive amide as health supplement, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 7(9): 842-888. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apjtb.2017.08.005
5. Qin et al.. (2017). Intake of niacin, folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 through young adulthood and cognitive function in midlife: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 106(4): 1032–1040, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.117.157834
6. Choudhary C, Weinert BT, Nishida Y, Verdin E, Mann M. (2014). The growing landscape of lysine acetylation links metabolism and cell signalling. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2014, 15(8):536-550.doi: 10.1038/nrm3841.
7. Yano S., Moseley K., and Azen C. (July 2014). Melatonin and dopamine as biomarkers to optimize treatment in phenylketonuria: effects of tryptophan and tyrosine supplementation. J Pediatr. 165(1): 184-189.e.1, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.03.061
8. Steenbergen, L., Sellaro, R., Hommel, B., and Colzato LS. (March 2015). Tyrosine promotes cognitive flexibility: evidence from proactive vs reactive control during task switching performance., Neuropsychologia 2015 Mar, 69:50-5, doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.01.022.
9. Giesbrecht, T., Rycroft, J., Rowson, M. & De Bruin E.. (2010), The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness. Nutritional Neuroscience, 13(6): 283-290, DOI: 10.1179/147683010X12611460764840
10. Office of Dietary Supplements - Choline. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/
11. Berrazaga, I., Micard, V., Gueugneau, M., Walrand, S. (2019), The Role of the Anabolic Properties of Plant versus Animal-Based Protein Sources in Supporting Muscle Mass Maintenance: A Critical Review. Nutrients, 11(8): 1825. doi:10.3390/nu11081825
12. Sethi, S., Tyagi, S. K., & Anurag, R. K. (2016). Plant-based milk alternatives an emerging segment of functional beverages: a review. Journal of food science and technology, 53(9), 3408–3423. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-016-2328-3

     

    My name is Brandon Yong and I am the associate food scientist here at Soylent. What led me to food science was the love for food. My mum always told me not to play with food, well now I play with food all day and get paid doing it. Who's laughing now mum.

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