Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Going Green... Bits of Energy to Spare!

This post has been a long time in coming... a very  l  - o  - n -  g   time.

Several weeks ago, there was a buzz going around the Twitter feeds I follow, about a new algae product called Energy Bits.  Now I had a heard a bit about algae supplements so I decided to try a sample... and lo and behold, about a week later they arrived in my mail box.

Well, that was the beginning of August. And they have been sitting in a basket on the top of my microwave oven ever since.

Since they arrived I have read a couple of positive reviews about them, and several comments from other bloggers I have come to know and respect who thought they were quite disgusting.  I heard reports of their smelling bad, tasting bad, and not doing anything worthwhile.

Today I decided I should really find out for myself.

I read through all of the promotional material to see if there was anything that would give me an excuse not to try the sample... let me see... nothing about gluten, nothing about sugar, excessive calories, fat, no warnings of any kind.  They contain only algae.

I was getting ready to head out for a 5 km run with The Captain, so I looked to see if I could find out how far ahead of my workout they should be taken.. nothing there to be concerned about either.

So, I opened the little plastic package and poured the 'bits' onto a plate.  The writing on the package said that it contained one serving, and that they could be swallowed whole or chewed.  I didn't count them but I would guess there were about 30.

Well, I couldn't imagine swallowing them and having them sit in my stomach, dissolving, while I went out for my run, so I started popping them into my mouth by the handful, chewing them, and sorta washing them down with water. 

The texture of them reminded me of something else I have eaten but I cannot recall what it is...  I have been wracking my brain trying to remember what else feels like this in my mouth..  and, as I type this, aha, I do!  They are like chewing dry roasted edamame... the kind I used to buy at Trader Joe's.... Great! That has been driving me crazy all afternoon.

So the texture was not unpleasant, and the taste?  Kind of green, if that makes any sense.  Like a wheatgrass I would say. Not strong, and certainly not bad at all. And I honestly didn't notice an odor either.

Okay, so I got the sample chewed and swallowed with a glass of water... and could still feel all kinds of debris stuck in my teeth.  I swished some more water around, but these dried bits were not budging so I went into the bathroom, and started brushing my teeth with a wet toothbrush, and swallowing the debris as it came loose from my teeth.  I didn't want to waste it after all!  That took a few minutes and did leave more of a noticeable green taste in my mouth.. and a bit of green coloring on my teeth, too, I must tell you.

In hindsight, I should have spent more time eating them, and chewing each tablet individually instead of trying to get them down so quickly... I know that would have prevented the buildup in my teeth.

Finally I was ready to head out for our 5 km run.  The Captain always chews gum when he runs to keep his mouth moist and today I asked for a piece, too.  I thought it would take the green taste from my mouth and it did the trick.

We walked for a couple of minutes and began our 5 km... we normally do a 10/1 run/walk and I thought we should stick with that today.  The distance we covered for the first 10 minutes was about the usual amount but I really kicked it up during the second 10 minute stretch and we went a couple of blocks farther than we normally do, and then repeated that performance during the third leg. 

Overall we completed the 5 km distance in just under 33 minutes.  That is amazing.. my best time so far on this route has been 33:50 and it is normally anywhere from 35 to 36 minutes.  I felt like I was flying, really.  I was running harder than normal, and breathing harder, but it didn't feel harder. 

When I ran the route the other day in 33:50, I felt like throwing up afterward cause I had been working so hard.  Today I felt like I had been working hard but I didn't feel bad because of it.

So, did the Energy Bits give me that power boost or was it the placebo effect?  I am not positive, of course, but I do know that even an hour after finishing stretching and drinking some more water, without an after run recovery snack, I still was not hungry for lunch. 

I defitely am intrigued enough to want to try them again.

I was given this product to sample but was not asked to write a review and have not been compensated in any way.


  1. Interesting review! It sounds like an interesting product and I would be intrigued to try it too.

  2. Glad the bits helped with energy:) You are so brave to chew them. I was gagging as I tried to swallow them 5 at a time. I think I am going to try chewing them next time. I have about 20 or more left. Great job on your run!

  3. Wow you are brave to chew them! I do notice more energy after runs. That's a plus!

  4. Stellar run! I really wish I liked them more, or they were more affordable... that really is the kicker for me. TOO PRICEY! and I couldn't stand to chew them either. Glad they gave you great energy!

  5. I too have heard good and bad about those. I do love SPirulina though and I think it's similar. The Caveman swears it gives him a boost when taken pre-workout. I have yet to try them then.

  6. Nice review and I just had to hear your two cents. I tried just a few once and wasn't brave enough to chew them. What can I say? And even though my run seemed "easier" it seems I had a rare sensitivity to the high amount of vitamin B in the algae and had a very scary feeling about 20 minutes in and stopped running. I actually contacted Energy Bits and even though I opted to not write the review, as I wasn't 100% it was the bits or just a coincidence, they were awesome in providing me information and scientific papers explaining what most likely happened...essentially a harmless but quite unnerving case of niacin rush. Go figure! Gotta love a company though that goes straight up to the president to investigate a quirky/scary sensation I had. :)

  7. What a way to weave an interesting narrative about your experience. I appreciated the honesty and minute by minute accounting. I'd be curious to hear about your next trial -- whether it was the bits or placebo effect.

  8. I'm with the crowd that just isn't sure what to do with the Energy Bits. I feel like the sample wasn't enough to really evaluate if they did anything. The science behind them is very interesting. They're so expensive that I can't really see investing in them.

    You were brave to chew them. The gum sounds like it was a great idea.

  9. OK, I just wrote something and my computer ate it... let's just say it was witty and appropriate. :-)

    I think I said that I was among the crowd that just wasn't sure if they had any affect. I felt like the sample wasn't enough. And, that they are so expensive, I'm not sure if I'd ever have enough to be able to tell.

    I'm impressed you chewed them. The gum was a good idea.

  10. I saw the word 'green' and had to keep reading! The Energy Bits sound really interesting. I wonder if it will catch on.

  11. I really enjoyed this review, Elle! I was also intrigued by them, but I did not get to use them while exercising so I was glad to read your thoughts on that. Thanks for sharing!


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