I was given the opportunity to test EnergyBits over the past few weeks. EnergyBits are little algae tabs that are supposed to increase your endurance as an athlete and provide you with protein and other nutrients and vitamins. I have never heard of algae as being a source of food (except for algae eater fish!), but I learned that it’s used worldwide and has been called “the most nutritionally dense food” by The World Bank and The United Nations. Sounds promising, right?
EnergyBits caught my eye on Twitter about a month ago because of their engagement with athletic and fitness communities. Their social team is always present in Twitter chats like #fitblog, #runchat, #ultrachat, #fitstudio, and #wellnesschat but not in an obnoxious in your face buy-my-product way. They listen to what people say, ask questions and offer encouragement, and pay attention to their nutritional habits. They also post engaging content on Facebook that differs from their Twitter content, which isn’t always the case with brands that don’t fully grasp social media. I respect a brand that puts itself out there and actively looks to engage current and potential consumers. Hell, when I first saw their tweets I had no idea what EnergyBits were or that algae is edible, but through interaction and developing a relationship with the brand/community manager, they earned my respect and willingness to help promote the brand.
The instructions say to swallow or chew 30 Bits before, during, or after every workout—I have been taking 5-6 Bits before and midway through each run. They are about the size of an Advil pill, so they’re easy to swallow with water. The first time I tried one I decided to chew it, and the algae flavor was…strong. Very strong. It’s definitely not a deterrent, but it caught me by surprise. I also read that they turn your teeth green temporarily if you chew, but it was 4 a.m. and I was driving and didn’t notice if I had turned into the Jolly Green Giant. Moral of the story—swallow EnergyBits.
Performance-wise, I have noticed a difference in my runs the past week—20 mile long run, 10 mile trail run, 6 mile tempo run, 10 mile run, and another 20 miler yesterday. During all of the runs I felt strong and noticed I didn’t tire as fast, which surprised me because I have been running on tired legs almost every day. I have also had zero soreness, but I’m not sure if that’s because of the protein in EnergyBits or just from getting stronger.
My tempo run on Wednesday particularly surprised me because I thought I’d be tired, but I averaged an 8:30 pace (including a mile long hill) without consciously putting in much effort.
I still took a GU every hour for my 20 miler last weekend, but yesterday as a test I ate 6 Bits before my run and 6 more after an hour, and I didn’t bonk or get hungry. That is a big deal to me, because it was the first time I had never had my regular fuel on a long run. +1 for being #PoweredByBits!
Overall I have to say that I am impressed with EnergyBits and the effect I think they have on my running. I’m a skeptic though, so in the back of my mind I always wonder if I’m feeling good because of the EnergyBits or because I’m just having a good run. On the one hand, I may be becoming a stronger runner just on my own. On the other, to have a 50+ mile week—a lot for me— and not feel tired/sore is impressive. I guess if I stop eating EnergyBits and my runs start to suck, I’ll have my answer!
- Pros Branding, engagement, effectiveness of the Bits
- Cons Price ($115 for a bag!), taste when chewed
*Disclaimer – I received EnergyBits to review, but these thoughts are my own.