It isn’t often that I review a nutrition product, though I suppose I should. In this case, I was approached by Energybits and asked to try out their stuff. I was provided a small tin of Energybits free of charge as a review sample.
Energybits are far removed from the standard fare you might find on the shelves of your local running store (for now, anyway). As time has gone on, I’ve found myself feeling that nearly all of the various gel products were just simply too sweet. There’s definitely more “real food” options out there, but in general, most of the “energy”, “recovery” or “nutrition” items seem to be trying to mimic other items. Sometimes that’s a candy bar, other times they try to give you the tasty of a fruit jam, or a gummi or even a jelly bean.
Energybits throws that concept out the window. First thing to understand, there’s one ingredient: spirulina. Spirulina is an algae. This isn’t something new, the idea that spirulina has health benefits is well known. However, until now, it was an “add-in” that people put into other products like shakes & bars, or swallowed in large pills as supplements.
Energybits took that last concept and ran with it, creating tiny cold pressed tabs that you swallow to provide you with energy as you do your workout, run or just go about your business day to day.
Why would you do that? Well, spirulina isn’t something new, but it is pretty special. So far as I can tell, there’s no other edible substance with the level of nutritive density of spirulina. It is, basically, ridiculously good for you. NASA has known this, as have a bunch of Olympic athletes. Ounce for ounce, spirulina kicks a steak to the curb then drops a cement truck on it. On fire. From orbit.
Neat right? Well, yes. However, not all is gold in the land of the green, at least for me. The first issue was the smell. Algae smells like… algae. A bit fishy. It reminded me of the fish food I used to give to my little finned friends. However, for the sake of science I manned up and swallowed a few.
Did I feel better? Tough to tell. I didn’t feel worse. And most importantly, I didn’t burp up algae-taste (which was a fear I had). So definitely a bonus there. What I definitely didn’t feel was hungry, so points to House Spirulina there.
Keep in mind, there’s nearly no calories in those tabs. While that’s good as a means to stave off snacking, your body needs calories to live. Use it as a snack, sure. Use it as a exercise aid. But this is not a food replacement by itself.
One thing you’ll note is the cost. Part of that is Energybits’ commitment to purity and quality. These are cold pressed, organic & non-gmo. There’s no contaminants in there, which is good as some of the “cheap stuff” out there can contain some fairly nasty stuff.
The other thing to consider is that Energybits is not only looking to fuel athletes doing their first 10k or their 20th 100 milers. They are also hoping to grow big enough to help bring algae to 3rd world countries in order to help eliminate starvation. That’s a pretty big goal, and a worthwhile one to support. They are already incredibly supportive of a number of athletes & groups.
Bottom line here is that fueling with Energybits is something you should try out. Definitely swallow the suckers, or throw them in a shake. They’re not my thing, but a ton of people really like them and they might just be the thing to use if you’re having trouble keeping sugary gels or chews down on longer, hot runs.
Cost: $115 (250,000mg bag & small tin)
Score: 8/10 RAWRS (A clean, nutritionally dense portable energy fuel)
High: Easy to swallow, Organic/NON-GMO, huge nutrients in a small package, mission to support all levels of athlete & 3rd world countries
Low: An acquired taste/smell, pricey, doesn’t actually give you HULK SMASH powers