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Thursday 12 March 2020

Sundose Supplements: Sunshine in a glass or placebo?

Sundose contacted me to see whether I wanted to try their supplements. As a rule I try to avoid supplements as I want to get everything I need through my food, plus as I race so often I don’t want to have to worry about anything nasty ending up in a test should I be tested (in the slim chance that all the really fast ladies fall off their bikes and I somehow end up at the front and eligible for a test!). 

However, I also eat plant-based only foods which means that I do need to be aware of what I could potentially be missing out on. I believe that I should be able to get virtually everything I need from my food … but do I actually get it? I’m sometimes lazy … like most people I juggle, family work and training and sometimes it’s easier to eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinners as it’s one less thing to have to think about in a busy lifestyle.

I take an off-the-shelf multivitamin I picked up off the shelf at my local supermarket but does this really contain everything I need? You know what? I’m not sure it does.

Sundose is quite pricey compared to an off-the-shelf multi-vitamin but the reason for this was that my daily supplement is tailored to me, my lifestyle and my desired result. I had to answer a health survey which asked me basic biological details, whether I excluded any food from my diet, fluid and caffeine intake, diet including sugar intake, how man meals I eat and whether I make these, general immune system, lifestyle including sports and intensity, alcohol consumption, stress and whether I suffer from ‘odorous gases and plenty of other questions and finally my health goal. I chose I wanted to have more energy. The questionnaire is in-depth and it took me around 5 – 10 minutes to complete. 

… and then I just had to sit back and wait for my order which was scheduled to arrive within the week.

When the parcel arrived, it was well packaged and the supplements were in a box with a flip up lid which made them easy to store as I wasn’t dealing with 30 days worth of individual packets. The supplements came in a daily sachet, one half was powder which I mixed into water (I’d chosen the orange flavoured option) and took as a drink and the other half of the sachet contained 4 pills. There was also a list on the bottom of the box specifying what was in the powder and what was in each capsule.

The powder which was white in the packet turned grey when I first mixed into the water but after stirring, it went bright orange and looked like fresh orange juice. I was a bit dubious but it tasted how I’d expect fresh orange juice to taste if it was made from a powder. There was a slight aftertaste but it wasn’t bad and it was smooth - there was no unpleasant texture. It did however take a second stir to mix the powder that had settled to the bottom of the glass. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to drink. 

I had 4 daily pills in my supplement packet and I don’t have any problems taking pills but they were a decent size, around the size of a large capsule.

So How Did I Get On?

Same as you, I have a busy life trying to juggle family, full-time job and commute and training and trying to remember something in addition can be difficult even if it’s something small like remembering to take a supplement! The first few days I set a reminder on my phone and then I fell into the habit of having the supplement when I had my breakfast so one reminded me of the other which was handy. Doing it this way meant I had an additional drink as well as my coffee (which is good as I know I don’t drink enough!) and also meant I didn’t have to remember to take different pills from my cupboard. I also took a handful of the supplement packets with me to work for the days I had a silly early start at work, so I could have one with my breakfast there. I found I had to try and make new habits to remember.

Week 1
I remembered to take the supplements every day. I did notice that my training was going really well and it was nice not to have to even think about the multivitamins in the cupboard as I knew I was getting what I needed from these supplements. Not sure I can say that the good training relates directly to the supplements at this early stage but if the placebo effect works then I’m happy to take it! 

Week 2
I’ve have taken a handful of sachets to work as they’re easy to stick in my bag. I work shifts so it can be difficult to take the supplements the same time every day. Training still going well. Feeling pretty good about it all. Missed a day by mistake but didn’t take a double dose the next day – just skipped that day. 

Week 3
I’ve caught a cold – or at least I have that stuffy blocked up feeling. I’m blaming a day of being out on the bike in a hailstone storm. I’d hoped that being so good with my supplements would stave off the inevitable British winter-time cold but maybe not to be! Took a few training sessions off the schedule and gave my body a bit of a rest. At least I know I’m getting the vitamins I need … as well as all the coffee I’m drinking! Actually quite look forward to the orange drink in the morning now. Guess I must usually have been a bit dehydrated without realising it. 

Week 4
The cold disappeared a lot quicker than I’d expected and I’m back training normally. Not sure I can thank the supplements for such a quick recovery but they seem to have helped. I’ve been pretty good at taking them every day (although I missed a couple of days when I had to dash to work early) which probably also helped. Coming to the end of my 30 days trial and very tempted to carry on, particularly as a vegan and with all the training I do it’s been nice not to have to think about what supplements I need and when I need them.

In Summary

I liked not having to think about what supplements I needed to take and work out what days I needed what vitamins and which minerals – that was all worked out for me and taken out of my hands. The drink tasted decent and although the pills are a fair size, I didn’t have any problems with either of them. I did find that my training was going really well and my cold cleared up really quickly although this could of course have been a placebo effect or me looking out to see whether I could see any effects of the supplements. However, whether placebo or not – it was a definite benefit! A downside of the supplements is that they are quite pricey but if your health and training are important to you then it’s a serious decision to consider!

Sundose have given me a code to share which gives £20 off your first order: ‘sarahb’
You can visit the Sundose website here

Note: Sundose didn’t pay me for this blog, they just offered to send me a 30-day trial and asked me to write impartially about my experience. I was curious so accepted! :)

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