Not even a year ago, I participated in a Twitter chat using the hashtag #PoweredByBits. I had no idea what that meant, but I knew I wanted to participate more online with running and fitness chats, so when I saw it, I jumped in. Then, I was chosen to win a sample of ENERGYbits. Huzzah! But… what are ENERGYbits?
I send my contact information in and in a few days a package arrived with two tins of these green bits of algae. Skeptical, I tried them out. And then, I became a believer.
These bits are low calorie, high energy producing bits of fantastic-ness. I’ve used them for my overnight shifts on Saturday mornings, I’ve taken some before a race, I’ve even taken them as a way to keep my energy up on a 24 hour work day. Each time, I felt awake and focused, without the side effects that too much caffeine can give you or the crash from a sugar high. Not only did I want more bits, I wanted to learn more about the company.
Bits of Health Inc. is a four year old, nutrition company based in Boston, MA that is making algae easy to understand and easy to take. The company sells four brands of algae bits that are swallowed or chewed by the handful: ENERGYbits, RECOVERYbits, SKINNYbits and VITALITYbits. Each brand provides different health benefits including helps prevent cancer or colds, increases energy, lowers blood pressure, helps with weight loss, stops hunger, boosts the immune system, removes toxins, and provides the green nutrition missing from most American diets.
The best part? Bits of Health was founded by a woman! Founder Catharine Arnston learned her younger sister in Canada had breast cancer and was told by her oncologist to eat an alkaline diet to help her heal, which is a diet full of greens. Algae is highly regarded around the world, but Americans consider it pond scum.. It became clear to Catharine that if America was ever going to embrace algae, she needed to give it a make-over and that’s how Bits of Health was born. Since then, I’ve been using the bits as needed and have made plans for becoming a brand ambassador by the end of the year.
I cornered their community manager Jonathan and he graciously allowed me to interview him for the blog. Check out his answers below the cut!
IRG: Why Algae?
Jonathan: Algae is the most nutritionally dense food in the world – and it helps with endurance energy as well as recovery benefits!
IRG: How did the company start? What made this idea of “bits” seem like something that people would jump all over?
Jonathan: The company was started four years ago when Founder Catharine Arnston learned her younger sister in Canada had breast cancer and was told by her oncologist to eat an alkaline diet to help her heal. What’s an alkaline diet? It’s a diet full of greens. The antioxidants, chlorophyll and phyto- nutrients fight cancer and build the immune system. The scientific community has long known about the healing powers of alkaline, green foods and their research proves it prevents cancer. A quote from The European Journal of Cancer explains: “not only did a high vegetable consumption reduce the risk of breast cancer by 75 percent but micronutrients like beta carotene reduce the risk of breast cancer by 82 per cent”.
If cancer could be prevented simply by eliminating acidic foods and by adding alkaline, green foods, Catharine felt m a i n s t r e a m America needed to know. She gave up her 25 year corporate career, returned to school to study nutrition and proceeded to launch her “greens revolution.” But when she found that most people either didn’t like eating greens or had no time to prepare them, she knew she had to find a faster, easier solution. It turned out to be algae.
IRG: You offer a variety of bits: tell me about them, and what makes them all different from each other.
Jonathan: ENERGYbits are 100% spirulina loaded with protein, omega-3, antioxidants and other nutrients that help promote endurance energy as well as promoting muscle recovery. SKINNYbits are also 100% spirulina (same spirulina) and we call it SKINNYbits because it’s a nutritionally dense snack that can help prevent cravings due to protein and mineral content. RECOVERYbits are 100% chlorella algae which helps to boost your immune system and if you take it after you drink alcohol, it helps prevent a hangover! VITALITYbits are 50% of each type of algae – more of a daily dose for a nutritional boost!
IRG: I use EnergyBits to help me stay awake and alert on my overnight shift, during my day job. I’ve also used them before my races. What other times can they be used?
Jonathan: Anytime! I love my bits no matter where I am or what time it is. They won’t cause issues if you take them before a night run or workout either. I leave a tin of them next to my bed in case I get hungry at night.
IRG: What about your crew? Is everyone there into sports? Any runners in there?
Jonathan: We have quite a few runners in our office, as well as swimmers, spinners and yogis! I’m slowly converting them all to being a part of November Project, a grassroots morning fitness group that meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30am for core work, a stadium run or hill repeats. They’re in 17 cities!
IRG: What is your favorite distance to run? Any races you’ve completed recently?
Jonathan: I loved the challenge of a marathon, but lately I’ve been enjoying training for a fast 5k. My coach says I can hit mid/low 17’s and my current PR is 18:55. With a marathon, you can barely walk for a week afterwards. When you race a 5k hard, you can do whatever you want the next day… Or even an hour later! My most recent race was a 5k right after my 192 mile bike ride, so I took it easy and paced 2 friends to 90 and 120 second PR’s!
IRG: Finally, how can people score some bits to try? I know I love them, and I’m sure others will too!
Jonathan: Check us out at ENERGYbits.com – the code MARATHON will save you 20% and if you’d like to give them a try first, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for info on our sample program.
IRG: Anything I haven’t asked about that you would like to add?
Jonathan: When the training gets tough, just keep moving and trust the process. The hard runs are mental training and that’s what gets you through the later miles in a race.
So there you have it! I swear by Bits and I think you should give them a shot too. Check out their sites and see if Bits are right for you!
Bits Of Health