Thursday, 27 September 2012

energybits Superfood Experiment

 This marks the inaugural product review on Running from the Runs.  To give you some background on how this came to be - energybits  has been all over Twitter for the past few months engaging with health and fitness bloggers, sports enthusiasts, #runchat, #fitblog etc.  I first took notice when they followed me and through various Twitter chats we mutually engaged in.  What really caught my attention was their call-out to bloggers offering samples in exchange for a short post with your thoughts on the product.  And what is the product?  energybits are made from spirulina algae, a super-food full of vitamins, minerals and protein.  The catch?  It is algae, definitely green and does smell like a fish tank.  However, being a non-coffee/tea drinker, I have dreamed of the day I might find something to boost my energy and carry me through the morning, a workout, a run or a rough day.  In addition, I am not what you might call a natural carnivore - I do not love protein, but know I have to find ways to get more into my diet.  So, it was a pleasant surprise when my "bits" arrived in the mail - with no shortage of literature on energybits and their other products.
The very comprehensive sample package I received, complete with literature!
For this post I wanted to give you a general overview of the product based on the literature and share my very early opinion, but I definitely intend on following-up with a second post once I have had the opportunity to thoroughly test them out.

Here are some quick facts:

  • The only ingredient is algae - there are no additives
  • 1 calorie per bit
  • 12 bits is equal to one serving and they recommend 20-30 a day minimum
  • A bag of 1,000 bits costs $115.00 on their website
  • You can either chew or swallow - I recommend swallow (see fish bowl comment above)
  • According to their literature, a serving contains approximately 64% protein as compared to meat which contains approximately 22%
  • Increased energy and endurance
  • Improves digestion (this will be interesting from an IBS perspective!)
  • High in antioxidants
  • Curbs hunger
Paula over at the Big Green Pen has written an informative and well-researched post about them as well.  It would be worthwhile to check out her post as she has some great links relating to algae.

I have had the opportunity to test drive them twice in the past week.  The first time was Sunday after a meeting as I was heading to the gym.  I took them when I arrived at the gym and hoped that would be enough time for them to kick-in. One recommendation, have a tissue nearby after you have taken them as there will be a little forest green residue on your fingers.  Swallowing them was not a big deal at all and for someone as finicky as I am, I would anticipate that most of you can handle it just fine!  In terms of energy level - I did not notice a huge difference at first, but I did make it through the workout and when I got home I certainly felt energized.  I think there is likely a need to determine how soon you should take them before exercise.
The second time I tested them was on Monday morning and, again, I did feel slightly energized.  I do have a confession to make though - I did happen to eat a piece of dark chocolate each time I tested them, so I am a little unsure as to what effect the chocolate may have had (70% dark).  I promise that next time I will keep the chocolate far away to ensure I have an accurate picture of how the energybits are working!
As you can see, they are very small, which makes them easy to swallow!
Stay-tuned for the follow-up to this post to find out how the rest of my energybits experiment has panned out!

Have you tried energybits, spirulina or other algae-related products?  If so, I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations!

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