Review Time: RunnerBox

I was connected to the wonderful humans at RunnerBox through a good friend (and Boston Marathon runner herself) Jody Stoops. Aside from creating a very cool product, they also proved to be super nice (and passionate) people!

Off the bat, one thing I think is smart (and interesting) about RunnerBox is that they have different varieties of boxes for runners, triathletes, and cyclists. Each one is customized to the needs of that type of athlete.

I also like that RunnerBox comes every other month, which means more products in each box! My RunnerBox had a great assortment of types of products as well.

1. 4id Power Spurz: full disclosure, I haven't tried these out yet. But they look super cool - and are incredibly smart. They are a light up heel spur that you place on your running shoe to give yourself visibility at night. Anything that improves safety gets a thumbs up from me.

2. Natural Force Organic Recovery Nectar: on paper, this looks too good to be true. Coconut water, hemp protein, tapioca, chia seeds, spirulina, maca root, goji berry, sour cherry, devil's claw, maitake mushroom. So many great recovery foods, one small packet that you mix with water. Unfortunately, it was too good to be true - as far as taste goes at least. I couldn't get it down.

3. PowerICE: think electrolyte replacement + Otter Pop. And in my favorite of all flavors - grape! Seriously, I'm one of those people who loves the purple everything. I loved this product and thought it was perfect for the hot days we've been having in Southern California.

4. Ultima Replenisher: I've had Ultima before. While I don't mind the taste in general, it isn't my favorite hydration product. Compared to many other products, it does rank near the top and is one I don't mind seeing on race courses.

5. Earnest Eats: an apple ginger bar made with whole oats, almond butter, raisins, walnuts, and sunflower seeds? YES! I immediately wanted to eat another one. Seriously, it was that good.

6. REfocus: this plastic shot sized container of concentrated "super fruits" and ginseng, biotin, and green tea is touted to promote concentration and sustained energy. The taste was palatable but I couldn't get over feeling like I was taking a 5 Hour Energy. Pass.

7. Orgain Protein Powder: I've seen these guys at many race expos, but have never actually tried the product before this. The vanilla bean plant based protein powder (pea, rice, chia, and hemp) blended well into my daily smoothie - and tasted great!

8. Ultonic: this looks like a Gu or other gel pack, but contains turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, black seed, bee propolis, and honey. Wait, what? Yup. Read those ingredients again. It tasted exactly how you'd expect it to. I couldn't do it (the garlic and turmeric got to me) but my boyfriend enjoyed it's weird flavor. So, to each their own?

9. Hyperbiotics PRO15: I take a probiotic every day, but typically buy mine at our local health foods store. I am not the most educated, but what I've heard is that the probiotics that have to be kept refrigerated are more potent. These (obviously) don't. They're currently sitting in my fridge waiting for their turn. The jury is still out.

10. Goddess Garden: I'm just starting to jump on the "mainstream sunscreen may not be good for you" train, so any chemical free, non hormone impacting varieties are welcome! And this one held up well, although I wore it while walking around on a hot day not while running, so I'm not sure how well it would have done with sweat.

11. RXBARs: 3 egg whites, 6 almonds, 4 cashews, 2 dates, 0 BS. Plus cacao, sea salt, and "natural chocolate flavor". That's it. It was quite good. Interesting, chewy texture and solid chocolate sea salt flavor. My only complaint? Why put the "natural chocolate flavor" in there? You did so well with the other ingredients that the ambiguity of that one really stands out. 

12. PBthins 100 Calorie Pack: I dislike the gimmicky feel of all 100 calorie packs but after getting over the marketing, I enjoyed the product. These cracker/cookies were simple, light, peanut buttery, and delicious. And I wanted far more than 100 calories worth. 

13. ORAL IV: I have quite a few friends in the OCR (obstacle course racing) world that use ORAL IV so I was excited to try it out. Think of it as a pre-hydrator. The small packaging and easy to consume format was nice. Note: it's flavorless (tastes a little salty) so I recommend mixing it with something other than water!

Overall Impression:

I thought that RunnerBox did an excellent job curating a variety of products, ranging from hydration to safety to body care. The packaging is clean and looks very nice. The ability to choose your athletic discipline is a bonus as well.

Compared to StrideBox, it comes less frequently and is more expensive, but also contains more products. Quite honestly, what makes RunnerBox stand out for me is the customer interaction that I've had with them.

Give em a go. And if you do, let me know what you think!