Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Algae Really? ENERGYBits Review

On Saturday I mentioned that I tried something new before I ran my long run. I tried something that would give me more energy for the run. That something new that I tried was something called ENERGYbits. With starting this blog, I had been reading other running blogs and even on twitter, I kept seeing the word ENERGYbits on someone's tweet, blog post, or giveaway. Hearing so many positive things I figured it would be something worth trying. Interestingly enough, by chance, I was contacted by their brand manager as I left a comment on someone's blog about hoping to try it someday. All I've been using for long runs is GU which I'm perfectly fine with, but I figure trying new things is always good. 

When I got the package in the mail, I really liked this sticker on the envelope:

I liked how I was given lots of information about the product.
The product (from their literature):

What is ENERGYbits?
ENERGYbits have one ingredient - 100% organically grown spirulina algae - they are "bits" of food, harvested like other vegetables and dried into small tabs. They are not produced in a lab like supplements are. Remarkably, they contain 40 vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids like Omega 3, 64% protein (three times the protein in steak), all of the B vitamins, irons, antioxidants, electrolytes, and more. This powerful nutritional combination is what boosts physical and mental energy without any caffeine, chemicals, sugar, or gluten.

How is Algae a food, not a supplement?
Algae is crop that is grown - like all other foods found in nature. It is a crop that is grown and harvested like any other crop. It is grown in water. Supplements are made in labs. Algae is not.

How do you take it?
They recommend that you swallow the ENERGYbits. Take at least 30 tabs 10-15 minutes before your next run or workout to experience a steady flow of energy (no burst but also no crash) and to improve mental alertness or stop hunger. 

I was pretty surprised that you needed to take at least 30 tabs to get that steady flow of energy. Seemed like a lot to take, it's no wonder they sell their products in large quantities (we'll get to that below). To get a better picture, this the amount you need to take:
The smell of them reminded me of when I used to have goldfish as pets, it smelled a lot like fish food. ;) Despite, the funny smell, I took them anyway with some water. I didn't swallow all 30 at once but in smaller batches as 30 seemed to many for one swallow (at least for me). There was no aftertaste that I recall, so I was good to go for my run after waiting 15 minutes.

So did I actually feel more energized?
To tell the truth, yes, I did feel more energized. I ran a little over 9 miles and if I were to compare this with last week's run, there is a significant difference. Unlike last week when I ran 8+ miles and was ready to quit after mile 2, I felt stronger and had no desire to stop. It was great! However, we did have a lot better weather this weekend as it was pretty perfect out and no humidity, so that might be a factor too. Even so with the ENERGYbits, I do feel they give you more steady energy. I did not get the tired feeling which was awesome. 

Overall, I think the ENGERGYbits do help. The only downside of the product to me is price. ENERGYbits are sold in a resealable foil bag of 1,000 tabs for $115 and includes a matching, refillable tin. For me, that is a bit pricey. However they do have brand ambassadors that give discounts if interested and sell smaller portions. 

Personally, I will probably use the bits for really long runs and for race days for my half marathons, as I'm all in for getting that extra bit of energy that'll help me get through a run. :)

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