Normally I’m not a huge proponent of energy supplements. No judgment; I just prefer to go about things the old fashioned way to try to keep my energy levels steady throughout the day — e.g. healthy eating, ample sleep and regular exercise.
I’m not so rigid that I’m opposed to an afternoon pick-me-up (usually in the form of caffeine) on those rare days where I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open around 3 pm. I’m also not opposed to the occasional treat, which is usually in the form of chocolate.
So when I caught wind of Energems, which combines dark chocolate with Vitamins B and D, plus a “clean” energy boost from caffeine, my ears perked up. I’ve used caffeine-enhanced gels and chews with success during races, so why not see if something similar can help me handle a sweet craving and manage the dreaded afternoon slump?
But first things first: I draw the line at putting random chemicals in my body, so I was interested to see if the nutritional information stacked up against the product’s claims. And in case you’re wondering (like I was), L-Theanine is a chemical derived from tea leaves and mushrooms; it’s meant to promote a relaxing effect, which keeps any caffeine-related jitters at bay.
Note: There’s not much information regarding its safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation, plus I’m trying to limit my caffeine and sugar intake right now, so I only tested one Energem at a time. Luckily, Ben was happy to help play guinea pig for the full dose!
The amount of caffeine in one serving is equivalent to a large cup of coffee. But I like that you can customize the amount with one, two or three Energems to get only the boost you want, nothing more.
Why the vitamins, though? Well, B vitamins help support physical energy, and vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” because it’s supposed to help support a healthy mental state. That’s especially helpful during the dreary winters here in the Pacific Northwest!
As far as taste goes, while Energems aren’t candy, they reminded me a bit of your typical coated chocolate treats. And the flavors are great — Dark Chocolate is for purists, Mint Dark Chocolate is refreshing without overpowering, and Berry-Flavored Dark Chocolate tasted nice and natural.
Since I only took one of each flavor at a time, I didn’t experience as much of an energy boost, although I did enjoy the fact that I could get a sweet treat with the addition of some helpful antioxidants and vitamins. Ben, on the other hand, took a full dose each time and reported good results — he wasn’t bouncing off the walls by any means, but liked the flavors and the feeling of alertness.
I don’t intend to use Energems regularly because I usually get my daily dose of caffeine with my morning coffee and I happen to think that the best way to combat fatigue in the long-run is to move more, eat well and rest properly. But I’ll be putting a bottle in my purse for when I’m on-the-go and want a quick pick-me-up that’s both convenient and will hopefully prevent me from making poor choices out of fatigue (like swinging through the drive-through for a milkshake!).
It’s also something I may try later at full dose post-pregnancy for shorter events, like 5ks and 10ks, when I want a smooth burst of energy without a crash. I’m not sure how practical they are for during the event (stuffing a baggie of them down my sports bra is a likely a no-no due to the melt factor), but they’re a lot more convenient than a cup of coffee at the start line!
How do you handle those occasional afternoon energy slumps? Would you try a healthier alternative to energy drinks for a mid-day pick-me-up?
Disclaimer: I received complementary product to try. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Kinetic Fix!