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In some of my previous blog posts, I've shared with you that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I don't talk about it a lot but it's really not a secret. It's just not fun to blog about. In the past, I have whined and complained about how hard it is to be a distance runner with insulin resistance thanks to PCOS. Runners like carbs, right? Well not if you are insulin resistant. Carbs actually have the opposite effect. Too many carbs and my blood sugar will spike and then crash and burn! Not fun during a marathon. Not fun at all! 
I've also complained about my struggle with my weight and how marathon training had actually lead to some weight gain. I know I'm not the only one who has struggled with maintaining weight while marathon training thanks to being rungry and all. But still, PCOS makes running more difficult, and here's why:

1: Due to carb sensitivity, we store carbs as fat which makes it VERY difficult to lose weight
2. Carbs spike my insulin levels which make me nauseated (Also not fun at mile 22 of a marathon)
3.  After a spike in my insulin, since I don't regulate my insulin well on my own, I crash and I crash hard!
4. When you are crashing from low blood sugar you crave sugar. So after a long run when you are rungry, you want all the bad things like muffins, cookies, ice cream, and the list goes on and on. Seriously, ask any lady with PCOS if she craves sugar like a crack fiend and she will tell you the answer is, YES!! 
5. The usual energy gels or chomps that most people take are made up of mostly carbs/sugar. Those don't work for me for the reasons listed above. 

BUT! What I haven't shared with you yet is that last fall I finally found my race day nutrition of choice and it works perfect for me! I was first introduced to ENERGYbits via Twitter but didn't give them much thought until they showed up in one of my StrideBox shipments. I received a single serving of these strange little tablets in a small black baggy. I opened them up and chewed one up to see how it tasted. Worst! Idea! Ever! It's perfectly fine to chew them because they are real food, they just taste very green. I highly recommend that you please read the directions. If I had read the directions it says to swallow them with water. Lesson learned. 

What are they and how do you take ENERGYbits?
I take a single serving of bits before all my longs runs. I swallow (DON'T CHEW!!) 30 bits about 15 minutes prior the start of my run. ENERGYbits are made from 100% organically grown, Non GMO spirulina algae and have 40 nutrients. Each tablet is only 1 calorie but has a high protein content (64%) in each tablet. 

Do they work?
For me, yes! Last fall when I finished my juice fast I needed race day nutrition that wasn't loaded with carbs and sugars. I remembered trying my sample of ENERGYbits and wanted to give them another shot. I bought an entire bag (1000 tablets) in August and started using them right away. I was very impressed that even though I was eating a low carb diet, I didn't crash on my long runs like I always did in the past. I just felt like I could keep going and better yet, I could keep going at the pace that I started out instead of slowing down or hitting the wall.

I also noticed that when I was done running I wasn't starving or craving sugar! It was such a nice change for me! Also I didn't get that blood sugar spike and then crash because they are mostly protein which is what I need. 

Since I started taking ENERGYbits I was able to PR in every distance I ran over the last 9 months. I PR'd twice in the Half Marathon, PR'd twice in the 15K, PR'd once in the 5K, and PR'd once in the 10K.

The Hubbo has even taken them before a few races as well and managed to take several minutes off his half marathon PR for his first sub 2 hour half!

Since last fall, I've purchased 2 full bags of 1000 bits. Since I only use them for my long runs, races, or when I haven't been able to eat much before a run, they have lasted me a long time. Some people take them for every run, you can do that too or just the long ones. 

Where do I Buy ENERGYbits?
You can buy them online here. Since you get 1000 tabs and you only take 30 at a time, you are really buying your nutrition in bulk. They will ship them right to your door and then you just pop them in the refrigerator for safe keeping. 
To save 30% on your order you can use my discount code: RGR30

Are they hard on your stomach?
Not for me. Because they are made from a super food, spirulina algae, and not sugar, carbs, gluten, chemicals, or caffeine, I haven't had any tummy issues using them. 

Disclaimer - I was given a sample of ENERGYbits to try out as part of my ambassadorship with BibRave, but I've already been loyal customer since the Fall of 2013. They didn't ask that I write a review nor was I compensated in any way. 

ENERGYbits is sponsoring #Bibchat tonight on Twitter. Join in at 8:00pm CST for a fun chat about race nutrition and some lucky giveaway winners! 

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Photo: energybits.com

Question! What do you use for race day nutrition?

 


Comments

Steve
06/24/2014 6:01pm

Well said, well written, fantastic post! I had to stop reading and catch my breath from laughing (with you, not at you!) when you chewed the first tabs - I would've done the same thing!

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06/24/2014 9:24pm

LOL I have no idea why I even thought that would be a good idea. They are tablets and not soft/chewy at all! My teeth had green stuff in them for a while too!

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Steve
06/24/2014 9:31pm

Should've nstagrammed THAT!

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RunGingerRunBlog - Sarah
06/24/2014 10:21pm

Haha! That would have been funny! Next time I get brave enough, maybe I'll post it on Insta :)

Jeff
06/24/2014 11:47pm

Excellent review. I too love my bits. I PR everyone I use them & never when I don't. I don't mind chewing mine once in a while. :) If you ever want to be a zombie, they are the best costume accessory. Just chew a few bits every 5-10 minutes and you'll have the best zombie teeth ever! Healthy too! I'm a type 1 diabetic, so I know all about insulin induced low BG, sugar cravings, falling apart on long runs, etc but it can be done & @ENERGYbits can help. I've completed all 7 full marathons I've entered, did a 36.5 mile, rugged hill fest ultra trail race, century rides & lost 100 pounds & training for a 100 mile ultra with 2 ski slope assents this fall. With @ENERGYbits I feel I have control &the power to ROCK whatever I try! You Go Too! :)

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RunGingerRunBlog - Sarah
06/25/2014 6:02pm

LOL Love the Zombie idea! We are big fans of Halloween and zombies at the RunGingerRun house!
That's so awesome that you are doing so well with Type 1 Diabetes! I'm trying very hard to avoid developing Type 2.
What's the name of the Ultra you are training for?

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06/25/2014 6:17am

Thanks for the review. I enjoyed reading. I am not sure if my wife has your ovarian cyst issue but I know she gets the a lot. Also she has chronic fatigue. I did read some where that spirulina is known to help regulate blood sugar and reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue. So we bought a green powder with it and other stuff in it to put in morning shakes. Bit thissounds very iinteresting and more potent. Do you think she would need to take 30 tablets if she is not running? Again thanks for the review!

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06/25/2014 6:04pm

Oh no! Sorry to hear about your wife! Has she had any blood work done by a Dr to check her hormone levels? I have a high testosterone level as well as cysts on my ovaries so that's how I was diagnosed. She could also have her thyroid checked too.
I checked with an EnergyBits rep and they suggested that she take all 30 bits even if she isn't running.
Glad you liked the review! Let me know if you have more questions for you or your wife about PCOS!

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06/25/2014 12:04pm

I've been on the fence for a while regarding these. I just hadn't read anything conclusive regarding their use while running. Well, problem solved. I might just have to try these. I use gels and I've had no GI problems using them but I'm not a big fan. They don't really taste good so having a product you swallow sounds like a good idea.

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06/25/2014 6:08pm

I'm not a fan of the gels either. Too much sugar and I hate the texture. Plus during a really long run you may have to take up to 4-5 gels, with these I take them before and then at the mid point and seem to do fine. I think if you use the discount code listed above, this week only, you actually save 25%. Let me know what you think if you try them!

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Shawn
06/27/2014 7:56am

Loved the article. Just really looking in to this stuff. I was on the fence with trying and then if I should try SkinnyBits or EnergyBits. But since I am going up my exercise I think I'll go with EnergyBits. I attempted to use your discount code though and it claims to be invalid on the site. Any ideas why?

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06/27/2014 9:43am

Oops! Not sure what is going on, but if you use the code "Bibchat" it should work. But Bibchat is only good for the rest of the week and will save 25%.
Sorry for the confusion!

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Bethany
06/29/2014 5:09pm

I'm totally scared of energy bits...and intrigued. I may have to give them a try! Thanks for telling us more about them

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RunGingerRunBlog - Sarah
06/30/2014 10:28pm

Glad you enjoyed the review! I don't think you'll regret them, especially if you are being mindful of sugars for fuel.

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07/07/2014 1:56pm

I have always been interested in trying ENERGYbits, but the cost always puts me off...thanks for your review...I may just have to bite the bullet and try some!

I'm sad I didn't find your blog until the week of the 30% discount was over!!

<a href="http://whattheheckwhynot2011.blogspot.com/">WhatTheHeckWhyNot?</a>

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RunGingerRunBlog - Sarah
07/07/2014 2:44pm

Sorry for the confusion! The discount code is still good and will not be expiring anytime soon. Feel free to use RGR30 to save 30% off your order.

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Cathy W
07/10/2014 7:25am

Do you take more during long runs than the initial 30? Typically I need fuel after an hour and then about every 30 to 40 minutes thereafter. I'm training for a full marathon in the fall, so looking to reduce sugar intake, but still have enough energy. Thanks for your review!

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RunGingerRunBlog - Sarah
07/10/2014 8:25am

Yes, you'll need to. I would take a serving (30 tabs) about every 6.5 or 7 miles. That would be just about every hour or so depending on your pace.
Let me know if they work out for you!

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Cathy W
07/10/2014 9:17am

That's a lot of tablets to carry and to swallow! Can you get down several at a time or do you have to swallow one at a time? I'm super slow, so I only get in about 5.5 miles in an hour. I have some samples on order, so I will definitely give them a try!

RunGingerRunBlog - Sarah
07/10/2014 9:30am

When your sample comes in, you'll get them in a plastic baggy so it's easy to store in your running belt. Typically I can 15 at a time and don't have any issue. I try to get them out right before I hit a water stop and then grab a cup of water and take two handfuls and by the time I've walked through the water stop, I'm good to go.

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Cathy W
07/10/2014 10:45am

That's good to hear! I usually carry water or plant water on training runs anyway. Thanks!

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