Last week, I received a small sample of ENERGYbits and was asked by the company to try them out and review them. I was really excited for these because they promised to give me everything I needed for a workout: energy, endurance and focus. As someone who’s weaned herself off caffeine and refuses to touch sports drinks or funky supplements, I was immediately interested.
My sample included a metal tin with about 50-60 bits, some informational reading, a press release, the founder’s bio, and some postcards complete with man candy. All factual information about ENERGYbits, scans and photos in this review are taken directly from the media kit, and all opinions are completely my own. Besides the sample, I was not compensated in any way.
What are ENERGYbits?
ENERGYbits are little pill-sized tabs made of 100% spirulina algae. They aim to boost mental and physical energy and endurance, and they contain no sugar, chemicals, caffeine, gluten, soy or additives of any kind.
Just 100% raw, 100% green, 100% nutrition from 100% spirulina algae.
The cool thing about algae is that it’s a food, not a supplement. It’s grown in water like hydroponic vegetables, then harvested, dried and packaged. Apparently it’s been sold in American for fifty years, but not marketed very well until now. It’s been popular in Asia for years, however, since its nutrient profile fortifies your diet with protein, Omega 3 and antioxidants. Let’s take a look at the nutritional info that came in my packet.
It’s a little hard to read, so here are the main things you need to know:
- 1 calorie per tab
- 12 tabs = 1 serving
- Minimum 20-30 tabs/ day
- Recommended 30-40 tabs/ day
- 64% protein
- 40 vitamins, antioxidants, and nitric oxide
With just one calorie per tab, ENERGYbits claim to stop hunger cravings and give you consistent energy throughout your day or workout. Spirulina algae also boasts many health benefits:
- Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
- Helps reduce the risk of heart disease
- Balances blood sugar
- Helps reduce anemia
- Curbs hunger
- Helps correct brain related disorders and depression
All of this sounds almost too good to be true, but after a little personal research, I found plenty of evidence from reputable sources that supports these claims. If you’re wondering why no one has learned about this sooner, it’s because holistic wellness isn’t pushed on the market as much as it should be and these are the types of thing you have to seek out for yourself.
Maybe we should change the old adage to “An algae a day keeps the doctor away.” (See what I did there?)
How Do You Use Them?
The packet included some tips on how to use ENERGYbits, which I found very helpful.
The first day I tried them, I chewed one up, and let’s just say I took their advice and swallowed the rest. I will warn you that they have a funny smell. Troy said they smell like fish food, but they’re grown in water, so that makes sense. It wasn’t anything I couldn’t ignore, and I got used to it after eating the first couple of tabs.
The quantity you take makes a big difference, too. The minimum dosage to benefit from their effects is around 20 tabs, taken about 30 minutes to 1 hour before your activity or workout. However, if you take a few throughout the day, you’ll benefit from a calmer, more consistent energy and focus.
My Experience with ENERGYbits
I mentioned trying ENERGYbits for the first time last Saturday, but I ended up having such a disastrous run that it wouldn’t be fair for me to use that as a basis in my review. Basically, I ate right before I ran and didn’t pace myself, causing multiple cramps, and decided to run on a road where the hot Florida sun was shining directly on me. That run was a fail, and if the ENERGYbits had any effect at all, I didn’t notice it.
My second experience with ENERGYbits on Tuesday was much better. I ate 20 bits when that 3pm crash hit me at work, and by 4pm, I was alert and focused, and actually excited for my afternoon run. I was starting week 5 of Couch to 5K, which is 5 minutes of running alternating with 3 minutes of walking for 3 sets. At 5pm, I ate 10 more bits, waited for an hour to digest (I’m learning!), and went for my interval run.
I could immediately tell that I was having an easier time than normal, and breezed through the first two 5-minute sets without even thinking of stopping. I made better time, and most importantly, I didn’t get a single cramp! This is where I think the ENERGYbits came in, because the nitric oxide opens up your blood vessels, allowing more oxygen to flow through.
By the third set, I was slowing down, but the thought of walking never even crossed my mind. My legs wanted to keep going, and my heart wasn’t as achy as it normally is towards the end of a run. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was building endurance, or if the ENERGYbits had something to do with it.
On Thursday, I ate the last batch of ENERGYbits. I had 20 at 3:30, and those gave me plenty of focus to get through the rest of my afternoon. Around 5:30, I ate the last 10 bits and laced up for my evening run. I started up my Couch to 5K app and ran as instructed. After running for what seemed like longer than usual, I realized the workout for the day was 8 minutes running, 5 minutes walking, and 8 minutes running. And oddly enough, I wasn’t tired at all!
I finished out the second 8-minute without walking or getting cramps, and for someone who gets winded as easily as I do, that’s a big deal! So once again, I had to ask, is it ENERGYbits, or am I getting better? I guess I’ll find out next time I run since I’m all out of bits.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with ENERGYbits. They don’t give you that sudden boost of energy that coffee does, so you can’t gauge their effects in that way. However, I did notice that I was more focused and had more motivation to get things done. I felt clear-headed, and every task, be it getting through my work day or completing my longest run, seemed more doable.
With ENERGYbits, I could definitely see myself getting more accomplished, and I’d definitely like to try them again at different times of the day during different activities.
My biggest qualm about ENERGYbits is the price point. At $115 a bag for 1000 tabs, it seems unaffordable on an entry-level budget. 11.5 cents a tab isn’t bad, but the Web site recommends taking 30 tabs or more, so a serving ends up costing upwards of $3.45. Since I’d like to be able to try these out longer without committing a nice chunk of paycheck, I’d prefer to buy them in small packets. Something along the lines of 200 tabs for $20 seems more reasonable to me, and they’re a lot more marketable at $0.10 a piece.
Another suggestion is selling an ENERGYbits powder. I’d be more inclined to buy a powder, since I’m all about hiding my vitamins in smoothies. Also, marketing it in a powder would decrease the manufacturing and packaging costs, eliminate the need for pricey tins, and pass the savings onto the consumer. (Can you tell I went to school for marketing and advertising?)
Based on my experiences, I concluded that ENERGYbits deliver on their claims and offer benefits I haven’t been able to find in a food thus far. I can see myself becoming a regular customer in the future, but I’m holding out until smaller quantities are offered or the price comes down a bit.
Have you ever tried ENERGYbits or other algae products? If yes, what have you tried? If no, what are your go-to foods that really fuel your day?