A few months ago, I was browsing LivingSocial like I often to in the morning when I came came across a deal for a fitness monthly subscription service called Bulu Box for $15 for a 3 month subscription instead of the usual $10/month.
These subscription boxes have been popping up everywhere lately. You pay a flat monthly fee, then at the beginning of the month, a selection of curated products are sent for you to try. The products are usually sample size, though sometimes are full-size, and usually come with some sort of an online component where you can review products to earn points towards purchasing the actual product.
I’ve been a huge fan of Birchbox (a make-up subscription box) for over a year now and have seen other boxes ranging from food to beer to dog toys. Now, I’m usually not a huge fan of “fitness” food/drinks–they’re usually a bit processed and for my sensitive stomach, a bit hard to gauge how they’ll react. But with marathon training on the horizon, I decided to give it a shot.
Here’s a breakdown of my 3 boxes that I received over the last 3 months:
1. CocoaVia Dark Chocolate Variety Pack: This supplement is designed to “designed to help support cardiovascular health by helping support healthy circulation and blood flow.” I love any product that I can add to a smoothie for extra taste + health benefits and this definitely had a great flavor, though I’m not sure it will replace my fav Amazing Grass superfood anytime soon.
2. Barlean’s Omega Swirl Fish Oil: This product is supposed to give you all of the benefits of fish oil without the fishy after taste. I’ve taken fish oil supplements in the past and for the hour or so after taking them, I always end up burping “fish”– disgusting! This came in a key lime flavor and really did mask the fishy smell + taste. I’m definitely thinking about purchasing to add to my morning smoothies.
3. Real Food Barre: Designed by professional dancers, this protein bar is made completely of real ingredients like dates, nuts, and cranberries. It was pretty tasty, but I never like the chalky flavor protein bars leave in my mouth after eating. I’m much rather make a small snack!
4. XyloBurst Gum in Green Tea: This gum contains xylitol, a supplement that supposedly increases oral health. The green tea flavor was refreshing, but didn’t hold it’s flavor well.
5. Neo-Chill: This supplement is supposed to “promote relaxation without sleepiness.” I’m always wary of how things like this will impact my body–I’m much rather try a natural remedy–so I ended up not even trying this.
6. Eboost Natural Energy: This powder is advertised as an energy drink with nutrients and vitamins. I love that it has green tea extract in it and the pink lemonade flavor was great. It also gave me a boost without making me shaky like real energy drinks do. The downside? It’s soooo sticky once it’s added to water!
1. Beauty Bursts: According to the Bulu Box website, “NeoCell Beauty Bursts deliver high absorption beauty nutrients in delectable, gourmet soft chews.” It was hard to tell what exactly these soft chews did with such a small sample. The mint chocolate flavor was fine, but nothing spectacular either.
2. Fitmixer Amino: This is another energy drink substitute that I am considering purchasing more of for my longer training runs, though it does contain sucralose, a sugar supplement that I normally try to avoid.
3. Fit ‘N Crisp: Another energy bar, though made to emulate a rice crispy treat. However, again, the chalky flavor and processed ingredients never seem to sit well.
4. AllerDX: I’m lucky enough to not really have allergies at all, but even if I did, I probably wouldn’t take a non-FDA approved supplement. This one stayed in the box.
5. SuperFoods Nut Butter: This nut butter was one of my favorite samples. I got to try the “Green Algae” sample which looked disgustingly like putting real green algae on bread, but it tasted just like regular almond butter only with so many added nutrients.
1. BluCetin: Developed out of UCLA, this supplement is supposed to be taken before, during, or after drinking in order to eliminate hangovers. Tall order, no? I let Jeff try this one and despite our misgivings, he said it actually seemed to work! Again, the sample was only big enough to try once, but I would be really curious to try this again.
2. Probiotic Antioxidant Blend: I am a huge fan of probiotics for intestinal health, but with such a small sample size, there was really no way to tell if this actually worked.
3. Juno Bar: The juno bar is a mostly organic, non-GMO protein bar which I love, but again, not a huge fan of the protein bar aftertaste or stomach effects.
4. Flap Jacked Protein Pancake Mix: Jeff and I made this for brinner one night and the apple cinnamon flavor was pretty good. Each pancake is packed with protein, but I feel like I could make my own similar batter and avoid a few of the more processed ingredients.
5. Burn Blend: Despite my misgivings about supplements such as these, I ended with giving this sample a try. The burn blend is supposed to “mimic the effects of high metabolism to burn fat more efficiently.” I think I was just so intrigued by the green tea extract that I didn’t stop to read just how much caffeine was in this thing. I spent the rest of the morning with a headache and upset stomach–no thank you!
- Fun products to try that I normally wouldn’t buy
- New smoothie nutrients additions that I normally wouldn’t have tried
- Many all-natural, organic ingredients
- Great website where you can earn points and use the points to purchase actual full-size products
- Many of the samples were too small to really know if they worked or not
- Too many processed ingredients
- Too many questionable supplements
While I enjoyed getting the Bulu Box in the mail every month, I chose not to continue with my subscription when my discounted 3-months were complete. I loved being introduced to new health products, but I was just too turned off by the excess of processed ingredients or strange supplements that I would never use. However, if you’re a health nut looking for new products to circulate into your routines, this box subscription is definitely worth trying out!
Check out the Bulu Box website here.
Note: This is NOT a sponsored post–all opinions are my own!