Many people use energy drinks or coffee as part of their ‘wake up’ routine, but how about Spirulina (algae) in the form of ENERGYbits instead?
What exactly ARE ENERGYbits?!?! Well I discovered them just a few weeks ago myself! ENERGYbits in a nutshell, are algal tablets that, when taken in concentrated form, are intended to: boost your athletic performance, supercharge your run or crank up your endurance while working out…
A couple weeks ago I contacted ENERGYbits to request a sample of energybits and asked whether they might aid in my recovery process (see Pes Anserine Bursistis). He forwarded my email to one of his co-workers (with a sports medicine background) and got this reply:
You’re doing all the right things! The EnergyBits will surely aide in the recovery from not only your injury but from Graston as well. It’s a fairly new technique, but has proven to be wildly successful when aiming to increase ROM and break up scar tissue. Our Bits will help deliver imperative nutrients to your injury site including Omega 3’s, Antioxidants beta carotene and Vitamin C, as well as 40 other vitamins and minerals. Our Bits nitrogen content also allows natural vasodilation, for increased blood flow to all working muscle, healing tisse, organs and brain for increased functionality. Continue down the road your going and with some added Bits, you’re sure to recover even faster!
Loe and behold, a couple weeks later, I received my energy ENERGYbits sample in the mail! The sample package came with lots of paraphernalia such as inspirational cards (above & below) as well as three printouts describing “Why algae is a food, NOT a supplement” and “Why algae is so important for everyone to take“. After I perused everything, I knew it was time to test them out! First thing I did was count all the ‘bits’ and found my sample contained 73 of the algal energybits. According to the directions it is recommended to take 20-30 tablets per serving, ideally before an activity. So it was time to design a ‘test procedure’ to review the performance and potential healing properties of the bits!! (can you tell I’ve been programmed by my science nerdyness?). P.S. my favorite card is on the bottom 😛
- Take 25 tablets for 2 different exercise sessions (strength training & yoga) and the remaining 23 tablets a bike/swim day . Document my overall performance during each day.
- Come up with a Pros/Cons of the product & analyze potential limitations of my test plan.
Part 1: Test Days
- 11/7/12 Strength Training and Presentation: 1:45pm I ingested 25 tablets. First one I chewed, so it didn’t get eaten per say, just got stuck in my molars. I was a bit sluggish at this time and was hoping the bits would ‘do their magic’ to wake me up to get in a quick workout before my presentation later that evening. Good news, I ‘woke up’!! I got in a great 40min workout (plus 10 min of stretching) and nailed my presentation! No sluggishness whatsoever! Though it did suppress my hunger a little. The best part too was that it didn’t interfere with my ability to sleep that night, like coffee would have had I drank a cup that late in the day. In bed 9:45pm.
- 11/9/12 Flow Yoga Friday: Before class I was a bit tired and sluggish (normally take a nap) and wasn’t sure if I would have a good yoga session because of it. When I counted the bits to ingest before class (around 5:15), my regular yoga buddy just looked at me wide-eyed with disbelief. She said, “You are going to swallow all of those?. Yep. 15 min later class started. Normally if I didn’t have a nap I would be yawning like crazy during the warmup sun salutations, but not that evening! I actually felt focused and ‘awake’. Maybe placebo effect, but I was quite distracted talking about other things before class, so when it started, I had forgotten about the bits. I felt great through the whole class! Again, no issues falling asleep!
- 11/12/12 Bike/Swim/Bike: Ok so this ‘plan’ turned into a 40 min bike ride around the hilly campus and then 30 min of yoga (to Xena soundtrack, awesome 🙂 ) when I got home, since the pool changed their hours and only have early morning swim Tues and Thurs (they don’t post pool hours online…just on a sheet in front of pool entrance). So all was not lost! And did I mention I did this before 8am? So I woke up at 5, walked my dog for 10 min while I 3-way called my mom and grandma (who were also walking at that time) then left at 6. I took the bits at 6:15 when I parked and was getting ready to bike the rest of the way to campus (1 mile away, to avoid paying for parking pass; campus is 15mi away from house). Even though I was sad not to swim, it was nice biking around the empty campus during sunrise. I didn’t feel groggy or sluggish, so either the 38′ weather and biting wind woke me up and/or the bits helped!
Part 2: Pros/Cons & Limitations
Pros: The company has great customer service (lots of back/forth emails, all with quick response), the bits come in an adorable reusable tin (I plan on making a necklace from it so stay tuned!), multiple health benefits (nutrient & protein dense & so much more) and multiple varieties to fit your needs (below), and no aftertaste (if swallowed)!
There are 4 different brands of ENERGYbits:
Cons: As a graduate student with limited income, I can’t afford to take these on a daily basis financially ($115 for pack of 1000). The taste wasn’t bad (pro), just got stuck in my teeth (con). I literally brushed my teeth for 5 minutes vigorously to get the green from 1 bit out. My toothbrush turned green and the toothpaste foam was green. My advice, forego chewing unless you want to look like this guy…
Limitations of Test: Had a 3 day supply, so it would be best to test them with a full month sample, to see how they work long term (for both healing and performance). Can’t say whether or not it helped with injury since over the last couple weeks I’ve just had on/off PAB twinges rather than persistent achiness.
Consensus: Overall I think the company and the product are great (based on the 3 day test) and I’d like to give the bits a longer trial period (full month or two) when I have a bit more money to spare (maybe xmas)!
Are you #PoweredByBits?
Disclaimer: energybits provided me with a free sample to review. All opinions expressed here are completely my own.