By now you’ve probably seen the ads for FRS Healthy Energy products featuring top riders like Lance Armstrong and Travis Brown but you may be wondering, does this stuff actually work? I wondered the same thing myself so I decided to put FRS to the test. At the age of 40 I have been having a few of those days – both on the trail and at home and work – where I could definitely use a little extra gas in the tank.
Over the years I’ve tried various different products on the market, from your typical energy drinks that promise to make you fly to those small bottles that have hours of energy but I found mixed results. Yes, most of them work but how good are they for you? Reading the ingredients makes you wonder a bit: caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone, ginseng… you get the point.
FRS is made with quercetin, a powerful natural antioxidant that’s also know to work as an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory. Most FRS products also include vitamins (C, E, B6, and B12) which help the body absorb quercetin while adding other health benefits. Some studies show antioxidants reduce the risk of cancer which sweetens the deal even more. Also, unlike most energy products we’re familiar with, FRS needs to be taken regularly for the user to see results. In that way it’s more like a supplement than a true quick-energy product.
The Folks down at FRS sent me both the powder and chews for testing. FRS can also be purchased as a ready to drink can or as a concentrate that’s mixed with water. I opted to stick to the powder and chews since for me it’s the lightest, most convenient way to transport and consume. The small packets are about the same size as a crystal light packet and weigh nothing. Toss a couple of those in your hydration pack for when you want something other than water on the trail plus a few chews in a pocket sleeve and you’re good to go for mountain biking!
I tested out the low cal wild berry and the low cal orange powders. With the powders I found that they needed to be shaken pretty vigorously to totally mix in my bottles and hydration bladder. In my opinion the flavor was just okay. Neither was too sweet medicine-like and the orange flavor tasted very much like Tang.
In terms of performance I never got a burst in energy like I’ve experienced with Red Bull or 5 Hour Energy products. Instead, after using FRS for a few weeks I felt more measured effects that seemed to take the edge off when I was feeling tired. Riding on my CycleOps bike trainer I can’t say that I was able to pedal at a higher cadence but I didn’t feel any negative effects either. I did notice that after the workout I didn’t feel as tired or drained as usual.
FRS claims their studies show cycling fatigue reductions on the order of 13% along with 3% VO2 Max improvements (taking the product twice a day for 7 days) but let’s just I didn’t personally experience that sort of lift, even after a few weeks. I did feel a little less tired overall but didn’t see any clearly measurable results.
I also tried the FRS Healthy Energy chews – pineapple mango, orange, and wild berry. Here again I have to say the orange wins in flavor with pineapple mango coming in a close second. One thing that does come to mind however when tasting these chews is that unlike some other brands like Clif shots or the like, these tend to feel a bit chalky in the mouth. One serving is two chews and as advertised you don’t need to take water with them (though I needed a bit of water though to rinse my mouth out while riding).
Since energy and nutrition products work differently for everyone, give FRS a try for yourself to see if it works for you. You can buy FRS Healthy Energy products online or at GNC stores.
I would like to thank FRS Healthy Energy for sending up the products for review.