Through athletes and runners I follow on twitter, I found a product called Energy Bits. From http://www.energybits.com:

Made from 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients, ENERGYbits® algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab. Endorsed by the United Nations as the most nutritious food on earth, spirulina algae has been a favorite of Olympic gold medalists for decades and is a super food in every sense of the word, delivering instant and enduring energy to your brain and body.

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I decided to give them a try, thinking they could replace the dreaded energy gels.  Energy gels don’t bother my stomach as much as it bothers others, but I just find it gross to ingest. At $115 per bag of 1000 (a serving is 30-40 bits), it seemed pretty expensive, especially once tacking on the shipping to Canada.  I rationalized the purchase by saying they would last forever because I would only use them once a week before long runs.  I also found a coupon code for 30% off!  If you can find an Energy Bits Ambassador on twitter, they’re usually more than happy to supply people with coupon codes.

Opening the bag of bits, I was overtaken by a fish tank smell! I tried chewing them at first, figuring they would work more efficiently that way. I didn’t enjoy the taste so much and it took a while to remove the bits of green from my teeth. I’ve read it just washes out with water, but my molars are pretty deep so I spent a good chunk of time brushing my teeth afterwards. Since then, I’ve gone to swallowing them like pills. I’ve managed to get in about 10 at a time, so 40 isn’t so bad and it helps with my pre-run water intake.

Originally, I had planned to just take them before long runs, but I’ve also taken them before other runs that I knew would be tough (like while on vacation in hot/humid weather) and even before a long day out while on vacation when I knew there would be a lot of walking in not-so-appropriate footwear.

I truly do think they’ve helped my energy levels through my runs.  I also found it helped with balancing my blood sugar throughout the day.  This is one of the benefits listed on their site, and I definitely noticed.  I usually get a bit cranky when I’m hungry… and with the bits, I found that I wasn’t as ravenous through the day and that I wasn’t as cranky when I was hungry.

I believe they’re a great product, but I also feel that the price is a bit much for what I’m willing to pay.

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