About a month ago, I decided I wanted to try Energy Bits but was disappointed to see how expensive they were in bulk. I just wanted to test them out before I dropped over $100 — what if I didn’t like them? The beauty of having a blog and Twitter is the kind people at Energy Bits read my dilemma and offered to send me some to test out, with the obvious “catch” of writing about my experience.
Though to me it isn’t a “catch” because if I try something new, I like to tell people about my experiences with it, regardless if it was provided to me at no cost or I purchased it on my own. That being said, sure I agreed to blog about their product, but I get to write about whatever my experiences are. If they sucked, I’ll tell you. If they were awesome, I’ll tell you.
So anyways, I’ve had these bits sitting in my fridge for about 3 weeks just waiting for the perfect time to use them. Today was the day.
I had a double planned (my first ever) to prepare me for the double in the Stage Race in November. Since I already did about 8.5 miles this week (and am still slowly upping miles/returning to healthy) and I wanted to hit 15 miles for the week, I aimed for 4-5 miles in the morning and 2-3 in the evening.
I had some Nutter Butter cookies for breakfast (mainly because I woke up long before J and I was starving but not ready to jet out and run). I popped about 20 bits on the drive to Chestnut Ridge since it’s about 25-30 minutes away.
According to the information I received, you’re supposed to take about 30 bits around 30 minutes before working out, but you can also take them throughout the day. I opted for 20 because supplements/fuel I’ve previously used can really affect me if I take the full amount. I didn’t have any issue with the amount… I swallowed them in 3-4 at a time, which meant I was hydrating (bonus!!), too. They did not have an aftertaste and they are tiny enough where it’s easy to get them down. Just try to not sniff them beforehand (they are algae, and it does smell like fish food).
I didn’t notice any bursts of energy, as though I took Gu or had Bonk Bites, but I did feel focused on what I was set out to do. During the run, I honestly didn’t notice anything different. I’d say I didn’t feel as tired as I normally would, but I did. I actually felt pretty down on myself and exhausted (leftover from things earlier in the week, which is for another post) and was disappointed that I didn’t have the bursts I like to feel with the fuel I typically would use during runs. Around the end of mile 3, something clicked. I ran my last 1.5 miles with determination, through the hills, and felt strong. In fact, when I reached the parking lot near my car I thought about continuing my run and making it 5 or 5.5 miles but I resisted the temptation because I knew I had to run again later.
Huh. Maybe it was me trying to catch the man that remained 200 meters in front of me, who was clearly training for something. Or maybe, just maybe, those little bits finally kicked in and started working? Only one way to tell — what would happen during the 2nd run?
Between runs I drank Nuun and had two slices of peanut butter toast on Rye. I set out for my second run about 5 hours after starting my first and once again, 20 bits about 30 minutes prior. I knew the run would be painful; my calves were like rocks just walking around my apartment. Yikes.
The first 5 minutes of the run sucked, naturally. But then my calves stopped being a worry and I felt amazing. The first half of the run was downhill with the wind at my back, which helped but I’ve run this way in these conditions a million times and felt terrible… not this time. Once again, my head was clear and I felt focused. Everything clicked again. I was running fast. This was huge for me today given how this week hit me (again – the post on why soon). Since starting physical therapy and changing my running form, this run was the best I have felt. It was also the fastest 3 miles I have run since. It was almost as though I didn’t even run 4.5 miles of hard trails earlier.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I felt this way today.
My overall impression of Energy Bits is very positive. According to the website, they also curb hunger. Uhh, they definitely did that. 20 little pieces, a handful of Nutter Butters, and 2 pieces of toast between 11am and 6pm without really wanting anything else to eat, despite running about 50 minutes of trails? Where’s my runger?
Also listed benefits:
- Increasing Energy
- Increasing Endurance
- Increasing Mental Vitality
- High Protein Snack
- Curbing Hunger
- Meal Replacement
- Balancing Blood Sugar
- Lowering Blood Pressure
- Reducing Fatigue
I’m still working up my mileage back to 25+ mile weeks and coming back from injury. I’ve never run a double before today. I definitely had increased endurance, energy, and mental vitality. Typically, I just want to sleep when I come back from any run (I get lazy, doesn’t everyone?) so I’d say reduced fatigue applied, too.
Do I recommend Energy Bits? Yes.
I think they are great to take prior to working out. It’s easy to pop the recommended 30 bits while drinking your 16oz of beverage to stay hydrated. Since they don’t provide the “burst” of energy, I know it won’t mess with my pacing strategy like gels can if I take them before I race. In fact, I bet it would make me more efficient with the focus I gain.
Would I take them during a running event? No.
Unless you can chew them, I just don’t envision it being easy to do. Even at a water stop, I don’t think I’d be able to control my breathing enough to re-fuel with these. Plus, I don’t like to stop during any races. However if you’re in a triathlon, I think you could potentially work them in during your transition. For me though, I like bursts of energy in my races. I think I’ll stick to my Gu for mid-race fueling.
I’m excited that I still have about 25 left for another day. As it gets closer to the winter when I start my marathon training cycle, I’m going to invest in a bag of bits. Actually, the way my schedule is… I might need to invest in these sooner. Those Monday – Wednesday 6am – 830pm days are exhausting! This might be the first product I’d actually stand behind and inquire about becoming an ambassador for. I feel good about eating them and I don’t wonder what any of the ingredients are (100% spirulina!), which is rare these days.