So I met the Founder (David) of Caffeine Bullet on one of my runs. In Myanmar, as you do. At the time the product was in it’s early stages of funding and development. Some time later though it was ‘launched’.
I went ahead and bought some ‘bullets’ to sample and see what they were all about. Until you try one it is kind of hard to tell what they actually are – they are soft chew ‘sweets’ that are packed full of the flavour of minty goodness and Caffeine.
I’m not going to attempt to explain any of the science behind the sweets and instead suggest you take a look over on the Caffeine Bullet website for an explanation and understanding. But the summary is that each Caffeine Bullet has the same amount of caffeine as a strong cup of coffee (100Mg) and is packed with electrolytes, so a bullet increases your endurance and mental alertness. Something all us runners need a boost with!
My first impressions were good. The packaging looks snazzy and is ideal for packing for a run. As you open the re-sealable packet the minty fresh smell is immediately noticeable and entices you in. Sort of reminded me of the classic smell from a bag of mint humbugs (yeah, minty!). I had to hold back from jumping straight in and having a chew! Each bullet is then individually wrapped for freshness and protection.
I’ve taken these on a few ultras runs now, depends when/what you want to use them for but this is my typical scenario. As with all nutrition, it comes with its recommended use/dose (again refer to the website). Personally I don’t follow this advice. One because I mix it up and eat/drink a variety of different items along a run (I don’t want to get bored of the same tastes/sensations) and, secondly, because following the recommended dosage (of any sports/nutrition product) would mean I’d need to remortgage my house and get a second job!
Anyway, I’ve taken them. What is probably the output of not following the instructions is that it isn’t immediately clear to me if I’m experiencing the benefits or not. However, in this case, it is caffeine. My understanding of the science and my reliance on coffee mean I have a fairly decent understanding of what is happening. I’m probably getting a boost in some way. As I use these on Ultras it is also probably less evident as I won’t experience a sudden spike in performance nor intensity (nothing is a miracle cure for such fatigue!) but I am sure I’m getting the caffeine kick they suggest.
I tend to pop one or two of these towards the back end of such a run. When I have 15-5 miles remaining I’ll start using them and maybe repeat every 5 miles or so. A nice little stimulant to me and keep me plodding to the very end, which is very much needed after hours and hours on my feet.
What I have clearly noticed though is the freshness of the taste. When you run a for hours on end, and you eat shit food (and a shit load of it) along the way, you will have some funky tastes in your mouth and your breathe will also start to smell like shit. Chewing on one of these is like a cool breeze being blasted into your orifice, covering the staleness with minty joy. Bonus! No gunky Gel like aftertastes here!
What I like
- It is quite unique. I don’t know of anything else comparable to a bullet that packs such a caffeine hit.
- The flavour – Minty power-ups at the ready!
- Individually wrapped. No ripping and spilling the products mid-run
- The caffeine hit. Great if, like on many races, you can’t get a cuppa before the start. I’ve been drinking so much coffee for so long that I now notice when I haven’t had the morning brew. This is an ideal replacement!
What I didn’t like
- They are chewy. Very chewy. Be warned, it could take a while to chew one down. If you are looking for a quickly consumed item, this is not it. Not quite jaw-ache level but not far from it!
- The individual wrapping (pros and cons huh?!) – remember when you struggled to get the paper wrapping off a sticky Chewit when you were 9 years old? Yep, that.
- The science. I should put ore effort into understanding the effects of something but, to really test and isolate the impacts and benefits is just way too much effort for me to do.
Like other performance items, they are fairly pricey at greater than a Queen’s pound a sweet. There are plenty of options for bulk purchases to lower this cost though. They are minty and fresh, although a little on the chewy side. A great substitute when you need a caffeine hit!