On the whole my diet is pretty healthy, I slip off the bandwagon from time to time but usually right the ship fairly easily. For racing and training I use a pretty vanilla mix of chews, gels and electrolyte solutions usually supplemented with real food although 9/10 I don’t start take fuel on unless the session is 90 minutes or longer. Hawaiian PB&J and Portables are usual real food go-tos. So when I was contacted by EnergyBits to see if I wanted to try their product a I was game. From their website “ENERGYbits® have just ONE ingredient - organically grown NON GMO spirulina algae – a super food endorsed by the United Nations and NASA as the most nutritionally dense food in the world..”
Cutting a long story short Energy Bit are tabletized Spirulena. Spiru what the what, essentially it is a fresh water blue green algae. It’s been around for a long time and was used by Aztecs and Meso (Central) America until the 1500s, until the Europeans arrived with a flag and messed it all up!
I have actually used it in the past as a supplement for Green Smoothies using a 2010 recipe from Brett over at Zen and the Art of Triathlon. I even mentioned it here! What a trendsetter I am! As you can tell I wasn’t that impressed then…the question is would I be now?
Well put simply I wasn’t. I took them before a brick workout. 3 hours or so of swim/bike. The first thing was I had to take 30 tablets. I have no problem taking tablets, none of this bend this way or stand on one foot or hold your nose so nom nom nom washed down and they were gone. Smelly? Yes a bit, but no big deal.
Here is where I ran into problems;
- According to their packaging an Athlete should take 30-100 tablets. 30 is a few a 100 is a lot more!
- I couldn’t find how often you were supposed to take them, every hour, once a workout, once a day?
- Also what defines Athlete, my 3 hour brick, is that a lot or normal?
- 30 calories is really not a lot, even 100 Bits is only 93 calories for 3 hours of working out?
So that being said I jumped into the pool and swam, I had a bottle of High 5 on deck, it’s a UK version of Nuun, just less gassy. I drink it, when I remember, as sometimes I cramp in the pool. After this I jumped on my bike and rode for a couple of hours. Not wanting to bonk, trust me I have; it sucks, I had a Gu gel, some PowerBar chews which I took through ride. I took these not because I was hungry but really just to drip feed the tank, you know like your supposed to.
According to EnergyBits website by taking the Bits I should have more energy, more mental vitality, boosted (my) athletic performance, supercharged (my) run or cranked up (my) endurance while working or working out. Sorry not happening! I felt the same. There was no boost or crank, just good old fashioned hard-work ride.
I did a bit more research on Spirulena and accordingly to National Library of Medicine “blue-green algae is no better than meat or milk as a protein source and costs about 30 times as much per gram.”
So there’s that. Here’s the other thing it’s sold in bags of 1000 bits, assuming 100 bits per workout (for the Athlete) that’s enough for a 10 workouts or 12 days (assuming 2 rest days) it costs $115 a bag. Let’s compare it to milk;
- Cost of milk per gram 3785 grams per gallon of milk is 3.75/3785 is $0.001 per gram
- Cost of Bits per Gram (4 bits = 1 gram) 115/1000 $0.115 per.25gram ($0.460 per gram) put another way that’s about 1.1% of a gram of gold (currently as of 6/26/14) selling today at $42 per gram
So its not quiet 30 times the price it’s 460 times! I actually found this staggering and used two lives to get it checked I phoned a friend and then posted in on FaceBook for someone to check and I was correct!
It’s a real shame that they didn’t work or at least they didn’t work for me…maybe they did for you? If you google “Energy Bits review” there is a lot of people who have reviewed them, I clicked on a few and most people seemed to like them although there is a fair bit of “meh, nothing happened” too! I haven’t seen anyone do the math like this post though.
So what’s the lesson here, well they didn’t do what they said they would and they are really expensive.
I have another post in mind on blogging and product reviews and using social media to promote your product in the pipeline.
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