Monday, November 10, 2014

Powered by Bits: Review and Giveaway of Energy Bits!

There are about a billion energy replacement products on the market. From gels, chews and drinks to beans, blocks and bites, you definitely have a variety of products to choose from. In my experience, some are fantastic while some are not so fantastic. For someone like me, with an extremely weird stomach and a major sensitivity to sugars, it can be a full-time job trying all of these different products, often ending with some not so pleasant results. So when the awesome folks over at Energy Bits contacted me to try their products for endurance and recovery, I jumped at the chance.


I have to admit that I had never heard of Energy Bits before they got in touch. But after reading through the information on their website, as well as the information they sent me, I was intrigued and excited to try their product. What is it? Well, they're bits! Little bits of algae. You're probably thinking, "Um, gross?" And I'll admit, I was a little weirded out myself at first. But after reading through the information about fueling workouts with algae, I was ready to give it a try.

Algae is a very nutrient-rich food source, packed with protein and glucose, both of which are necessary for endurance athletes. Algae is pure amino acids, which can be broken down very quickly to glucose. This allows quick energy during your workout. I'm sure you've heard that taking in protein while running can be hard on the body. This is true if you're taking in animal protein. It takes quite some time to digest animal protein sources into usable amino acids while the plant-based protein in algae (already usable amino acids), is digested into glucose in minutes, providing fast fuel when you need it most. In addition, algae is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as B vitamins, nitric oxide and iron, all of which help convert the glucose into energy and reduce muscle and brain fatigue. This little bits pack a bug punch and are definitely worth trying.

Bits do take some practice to eat. In fact, you don't really eat them but swallow them whole. If you have trouble taking pills, this may be an issue for you. The first time I took them, I thought I was going to choke but then I got a system down. First, take a drink of water to wet your mouth and throat. Swallow the Bits. You can either throw them all down at once (30 Bits are a serving) or take them in shifts. I found taking most, if not all, at once was easiest. However you take them, be sure to chase them with plenty of water. You don't really taste anything this way. But if you let the Bits linger, you will taste a salty, seaweed-like taste. I eat a lot of sushi and nori, so it doesn't really bother me. But tasting this at 5:00am before a run is a different experience entirely ;)

I've now used bits on 4 runs of varying distances: a 4-mile, 8-mile and 10-mile run on roads and a 15-mile run on trails. For the 4-mile run, all I had right before the run were the Bits. I took one serving of Bits (30 bits) about 15 mins before the feet hit the ground. These are a really good option if you if you can't wake up in time to eat anything before your run, but know you should because it would help you feel better while running ;) For the 8- and 10-mile runs, I took one serving of Bits right before the run. This was in addition to a pre-run breakfast of toast that I ate about an hour before the Bits. I drank my yummy Skratch Labs sports drink throughout the run. Between the Bits and the Skratch, I did not need any additional fuel. I felt great throughout the entire run and never had any real energy issues. In fact, that 8-mile run was shortly after running the Marine Corps Marathon, and I was afraid I hadn't given myself enough time to recover. But I felt great and I know the Bits had a lot to do with it. I hadn't tried them on enough runs before the marathon, or I would have used them during that race too.

For the 15-mile run on trails, I took one serving of Bits before the run (in addition to a half-PB sandwich and hour before) and another half-way through the run. Because trails require a little more fuel (you burn more calories because of all the varying terrain, lateral movement and more), I did take in more calories (mainly from Skratch and energy chews). It was a hot, humid day on the trails in the Cleveland National Forest. Tons of climbs and lots of sunshine. It was a tough run because of the conditions, but I think the Bits really helped keep my energy up. I felt fairly good most of the time, especially considering the conditions.

I'm pretty much sold on Bits. I think they're a great way to get instant fuel in a healthy, chemical-free way. In fact, I've enjoyed running with Bits so much, I'll be partnering with them in the future to giveaway samples to my running groups and clients, as well as offer a discount code for anyone anywhere to try them. For now, you have the opportunity to win a sample prize pack right here. Simply enter using the Rafflecopter below. Good luck! You have until midnight Friday, November 14 to enter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

16 comments:

  1. I am definitely intrigued. Energy is what I need the most. :)

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  2. I'd use these before early morning workouts. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  3. I would use them to fuel my long runs! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  4. I'd also use them to help fuel my runs!

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  5. I do a lot of running with my dogs (canicross). Energy Bits would be perfect for me to keep a good running speed.
    v_theberge@hotmail.com

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  6. I'll use mine before saturday morning stroller runs with my daughter.

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  7. I'm still testing out different kinds of nutrition, but would love to try these before a run.

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  8. I use these before my long runs for extra energy and fuel

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  9. I will use them as a pre-workout for my 5am sessions!

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  10. before my long runs for a little bit more energy!

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  11. Before long runs (which I do Friday and Saturday mornings) while training for the Dopey Challenge in January and the Phoenix Marathon in February!

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  12. I would use them to fuel long hikes and long training runs.

    Deborah

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  13. I'd use them to fuel my long runs :)

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