The Fit-Box July 2017 – Unboxing and Product Reviews

The Fit-box is a subscription fitness box for £14.99 a month including shipping. It is the last box to review for July before I move onto the August boxes which started arriving already! Annoyingly, it is the last box to arrive out of everything (beauty and fitness boxes) I subscribe to because it is dispatched mid-month which in the subscription box world is a little late. The one I get is the “For her” version there is also a “For him” version too where the difference is basically mostly in the magazine they contain. I will write a general review on this box in 2-3 months after I’ve opened a few and formed a more rounded opinion.

The Fit-box comes in a big cardboard, plain, white box that just has the Fit-box logo at the front. This box is not collectable like the Beauty Boxes, it is just a normal cardboard box that carries the items within. There are no monthly themes or monthly small magazines from the company that explain a little about each item contained. It is pretty much the items contained and you. It is very plain in terms of unboxing experience.

Fit-Box July 2017 1.jpg

But anyhow, the items contained were very good this month and fingers crossed they will always be good. As long as the items are of good quality and value, I’m ok with the poor unboxing experience. Fitness boxes do not have to be as fancy and cared for as Beauty boxes. Or do they?

For now, let’s dive in the box and see what was contained this month. There were 8 products contained of which 6 were consumable, food items. From left to right as seen in the picture: a tea box, a coffee protein drink, a protein shake, a magazine, an energy drink, a skipping rope, a protein gel and a protein bar.

Fit-Box July 2017 2

Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions and health, fitness and taste can be very personal things as we all have different biological builds. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. If you tried any of these products please leave your comments below!

PS. You can click on some of the smaller pictures to seem them bigger and be able to read out ingredients etc.

Organic India Tulsi Original Stress Relieving & Boost Immunity Tea

Organic India Tulsi Original Stress Relieving & Boost Immunity Tea 3

I have noticed that Fitness and Health boxes are making a habit out of including tea a lot. If you are a tea fun this might be exciting but for me, as a coffee person, it is getting slightly boring. In the last 3 health and fitness boxes I received, the all had a full box of tea…I’m really hoping there will be no more tea in August ‘cause I am set on tea for a while…

This tea box has 25 tea bags inside that are individually wrapped so points there. It’s a normal cardboard tea box nothing special about it but the branding is clearly meant to give you a “this is healthy and good for you” felling. The tea box is plagued with “good health”, “happiness”, “relax”, “ reduce stress”, “boost stamina” etc phrases which is a little too much for me as a scientist. Ok we get it, tea is not a bad thing but it’s not as much of a “medicine” as they make it appear on the box. Perhaps this is a cultural thing as this tea is meant to be “sold in India only” as the packaging says.

The tea is caffeine free and each tea bag contains: Krishna Tulsi 0.7g, Vana Tulsi 0.62 and Rama Tulsi 0.42g. Remember what the bag contains is not what your tea will contain as you are most likely not going to dissolve all those grams of Tulsi.

The tea has an intense smell that escapes the box and just going near it is enough to smell it. It’s not a bad smell but neither what I would class as a pleasant smell either. It’s a minty type of smell with something else. A very wintery smelling tea which feels strange to have in summer….Perhaps they should have kept this in mind and included a more fruity type of tea this time of the year.

The tea bag is a standard size and shape with a string attached that you can use to easily remove it or dip it into your cup. Strangely, the tea smells less intense when you make it than when the tea bag is dry. That’s not necessarily bad though, as the dry tea smell was quite strong.

Organic India Tulsi Original Stress Relieving & Boost Immunity Tea 8

The made tea looks dark brown, like any normal tea. It still has the faint smell but considerably less strong. It’s not bitter and you can drink it without sugar or honey even if you have a sweet tooth. It is actually a pleasant tea to have but I do feel that it is more of a wintery type of tea.

I can’t say that I feel that this tea is so much of a must have that we should all go and buy it from India. There are other teas in the market in the UK and Europe that are not far off taste wise at least. You can buy this from Amazon for £5.34. SCORE = 8/10.

 

MyProtein Protein Hot Mocha drink

Myprotein Protein Hot Mocha drink

MyProtein is another big respectable protein brand and I am glad they included one of their products. This was the item I was the most excited for when I opened this month’s Fit-Box as I have never tried a hot protein mocha coffee before and I found the concept very tempting! This is a protein powder flavoured with chocolate mocha that contains instant coffee too. So it is meant to be a protein coffee with a mocha flavour. Yum!

It looks like any chocolate protein powder, light brown and powdery while having a chocolate mocha smell.

The instructions say you can make it with either hot water or milk so I split the satchel in two and tried both. As expected and like with any protein powder, it dissolved much faster and easier in water than in milk but that’s normal. The first thing I noticed though was the smell. Aw my gosh. It smells divine. It reminds me of those ready made mocha coffee satchels that you just put in water…the smell is spot on! I have noticed though that the smell was more intense and nicer in the water one. The milk one still smelled nice but much less intensely.

Myprotein Protein Hot Mocha drink 3.jpg

The consistency is so smooth and creamy. It really does look like a mocha coffee. But the taste…what a disappointment. It initially tastes sweet and then leaves a bitter after taste combined with a synthetic protein taste. You can definitely tell that there is protein powder in this drink. The milk one tasted much better, less bitter and not as synthetic. I couldn’t really tell that there was protein powder in the milk one, the most powerful taste in that one was the coffee which is not bad at all. Yes making it in milk adds more kcals and fat etc but it is at least enjoyable.

The powder alone is very low in kcals, only 79 for the 50g satchel and contains 15g of protein, 0.4g of fat and 4.4g of carbohydrates of which 4g are sugars. From the ingredients listed on the satchel it seems like the sugars are the natural ones found in milk, there doesn’t seem to be any sugar added, only sweeteners.

As I said above, the milk one was the only “drinkable” one for me. The water one was not very enjoyable. But would I be ditching my normal coffee for the 15g of protein contained here? Hell no. I’d rather have a small protein snack instead like a Greek Yogurt.

This small satchel would cost roughly £0.52 but this drink is usually sold in 1kg satchels. I had very high expectations for this a coffee, chocolate and protein lover and it just didn’t taste as nice as it smelled. Such a shame. SCORE = 7/10.

 

USN Diet Fuel Ready To Drink Shape in Strawberry Flavour

USN Diet Fuel Ready To Drink Shape in Strawberry FlavourThe bottle is plastic but quite sturdy. The branding is spot on, this bottle definitely looks like a protein shake.

The liquid inside is pink and it is strawberry flavoured. I actually liked the consistency of the drink because it’s not as thin as water but neither as thick as milk or as thick as a lot of protein shakes get, which makes this easier to drink. It is sweet but not too sickly but of course like any protein shake out there it does taste a little artificial. Not too bad though, the USN proteins in general are definitely one of the least “artificial tasting” although you could obviously still tell.

Personally, I don’t like the “Diet fuel” label at the front. I think it gives people the wrong impression that you drink this when dieting. I drink this when I need protein. It contains 27.4g of protein, 12.5g of carbohydrates of which all are natural milk sugars and 0.3g of fat. This shake would set you back only 165kcal which is a very good deal considering the high protein content you are getting. I had this shake as breakfast when I was in a hurry but due to the lack of carbohydrates it doesn’t make it an excellent breakfast. You do need some fuel to start your day off, even if you are dieting.  In my opinion, this would work best as an after workout shake where the lack of carbs allows you to have carbs with your dinner! Yay!

I enjoyed this shake but I am not sure what would be better, to buy these ready made bottled protein shakes or just buy the USN protein powder and make them yourself? I suspect the latter will be a cheaper option but having the ready bottles around gives you a “quick in a hurry” option. Guess it depends on your lifestyle! This ready to drink protein shake retails for £2.08. SCORE = 8/10.

 

Women’s Health Magazine August Edition

Womens Health AugustThis was unfortunately also a small disappointment for me. When I subscribed to the Fit-Box and had a look at their “promotional box pictures” they always showed a magazine called “Healthy” in their boxes and so I thought that’s what I would get in my box. The only reason why I wanted that is because I never read it, subscribed or bought it whereas I am actually a subscriber to the Women’s Health magazine and so I had this magazine already….and already read it. I hope it is a different magazine next month.

Women’s Health is a good magazine that has a variety of articles on different subject and also contains some meal recipes. I love trying out a new food recipe every week and that is partly one of the reasons I subscribe to it. Other than fitness articles it also contains health and beauty sections too so it gives you a nice mixture of all subjects.

I don’t want to criticise their content as that would make this review incredibly long but I will say this. Health and Fitness magazines are one of the reasons I started this blog. As a scientist, reading all these “science based” articles filled with phrases such as “scientists said”, “scientists found”, “this research study showed” etc fills me with cringe. None of the articles in these type of magazines ever include their source of that information which is why I make a point of linking the actual research studies in my articles. Additionally, the people who write these articles are most often not scientists and interpret a lot of science, results, and scientific comments the wrong way which then pass the wrong conclusions and messages to the public. I’m not saying that everything they write is bad, just cross check the information from other sources too. Or…send me a message (see Contact as the top of the page) and I will check it out for you and maybe write an article about the subject.

I do however enjoy having a coffee, switching my critical brain off and reading this magazine. This magazine retails for £3.99 if you buy it single but is much cheaper if you subscribe to it. SCORE = 9/10.

 

Moose Juice Extreme Energy Mojito Flavour

Moose Juice Extreme Energy Mojito FlavourAnother big reputable brand that makes quite interesting products. In terms of big brands Fit-box has definitely done well.

This is meant to be an energy drink with only 8kcals (AMAZING) and it even manages to have 1.1g of protein. Haha! It has 0 fat and sugar and it contains folic acid, niacin, vitamin B6 and B12. Additionally, it is meant to be rich in BCAAS (Branched Chain Amino AcidS), caffeine and it even contains taurine.  From a fitness perspective this is perfect. I don’t know what else I would want an energy drink to contain in fact this contains much more than I expected. It is also aspartame free which is a big bonus.

The only strange thing is…the flavour. When I think of energy drinks, mojito is not exactly what comes to mind. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just unusual. It didn’t really smell mojito when I opened it but rather more like any soft drink smell, that fizzy carbonate smell. It is a colourless fizzy liquid.

It is super sweet and definitely tastes something close to a mojito but not very strongly. It is actually quite pleasant to drink, especially when chilled. The super sweet taste does not come from sugar so no worries there and I guess it is typical of energy drinks. I am well impressed and surprised I was making cringe faces before I even tried this expecting the mojito flavour to be something strange but it is actually nice. I would buy this again. It is definitely easier to drink and more “nutritious” than the super sweet Red Bull and other typical energy drinks.

The can is a standard metallic can of good quality and the branding is spot on. I love the whole Moose Juice, it kind of makes me laugh and pretend to be as strong as a fit Moose (insert imagination here), and the green colouring definitely makes me think of mojito. This energy drink retails for £1.58 on the Moose website but you have to buy 12 of them. They do last 2 years though so no problemos! SCORE = 10/10.

 

JLL skipping rope in purple colour

JLL skipping rope in purpleWho doesn’t need a skipping rope? Whether you are trying to loose weight, build muscle or just tone skipping is one of those classic exercises that will give you a good cardio session anywhere and anytime while having a little fun. This was a very standard skipping rope but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There isn’t really anything fancy you can do with skipping ropes nowadays, perhaps change the material of the rope a little to make them faster if you are advanced etc but those are just extras. This skipping rope is absolutely fine, of good quality and it does the job.

I love that the rope is actually purple, I personally think intense colours look really nice on sport items. Not much else to say on this one really, it’s a standard skipping rope. This rope retails for £1.99 on Amazon and has a rating of 4.1/5 by people who bought it. SCORE = 8/10.

 

Grow Yogurt based Protein Gel Mixed Berry Flavour

Grow Yogurt based Protein Gel Mixed Berry Flavour.jpgThese type of gels in a tube are usually meant to be “energy gels” primarily used by runners but not only. They are meant to be for anyone who wants some fast release energy. Only recently, these type of gels now started containing protein too making them “protein gels” for anyone who wants a quick protein dose. I have tried a few of these from big reputable brands and always felt that the taste was just not great. They are usually clear, sometimes coloured, gels whereas this one is meant to be yogurt based so there is definitely something interesting here.

However, I’ve never heard of Grow before and so I didn’t have very high expectations. Immediately I must admit I think their branding is a little off. The name “Grow” in big capital letters at the front of the product will only appear to people who want to grow, aka want to build muscle. And that is an incorrect assumption for the use of this product. It is a protein gel so anyone including people who are wanting to loose weight or fat could have it as a protein supplement. Why are they specifically targeting the “muscle building” group of people which is actually the smallest target group possible? They are definitely selling themselves short with their “GROW” branding.

Grow Yogurt based Protein Gel Mixed Berry Flavour 2.jpg

This yogurt based gel contains 102kcal which is amazingly low, 20g of protein, 1.4g of BCCAS, 0.1g of fat and 6.1g of carbohydrates of which all are sugars. Content wise, this is great. The 20g of protein for only 102kcal and 0.1g of fat is almost a miracle here. But does it taste synthetic?

Firstly all you have to do to open this is rip off the top, squeeze the tube and a white gel comes out. Not exactly what I call appetising but hey. The taste is strange because it almost tastes like 3 different things together. There is definitely a berry component, a gel taste and a fizzy type of taste. Imagine those fizzy sweets that bubble on your tongue and taste quite sour? It has a little bit of that taste too. It’s not an immediately bad taste but rather something that might need some getting used to. It is definitely not as synthetic and horrible as I imagined and after a couple of sips you quickly get used to it. Not a bad gel but a strong taste for sure.

Would I buy it? I’m not sure…it’s not a definite no or a definite yes but I do respect the craftmanship here. This retails for £1.33 on Amazon but you do have to buy a box of 12. SCORE = 7/10.

 

Grenade Reload Protein Flapjack Chocolate Browning Flavour

Grenade Reload Protein Flapjack in Chocolate Brownie Flavour.jpgOne more big brand product that you should definitely try. I was super excited to find this in the box as Grenade is a highly respectable brand that has made some good protein products, all of which I’ve tried before but somehow I never tried this one!

This is meant to be a protein based flapjack that contains oats and cocoa to be consumed as a snack. Considering it has 13.8g of fat, 31.5g of carbohydrates and 18.9g of protein all of which combine to make this bar 304kcals, makes this bar a high calorie snack. I actually had this on the go as breakfast although i felt super guilty as it actually tasted more like a brownie than a protein bar.Grenade Reload Protein Flapjack in Chocolate Brownie Flavour 3.jpg

Grenade Reload Protein Flapjack in Chocolate Brownie Flavour 2.jpg

I was really pleasantly surprised about how much like a brownie it tasted. Usually “artificial protein” containing products, especially snack bars like this one, taste synthetic to a certain extend and I could always tell that they contain “artificial powder protein”. If you had served me this in a cafe without telling me it is a protein bar I honestly would not have guessed. It looks nice, smells nice and tastes like a brownie. No disgusting artificial taste or after taste here! I have to say, I am honestly pleasantly surprised, maybe there is still hope for protein snack bar products to actually taste nice!

Grenade Reload Protein Flapjack in Chocolate Brownie Flavour 4.jpg

I will definitely be buying this again and probably having it when i am struggling with a chocolate or brownie craving. It was overall as soft as a brownie and you could break it into pieces with two fingers. It was also pleasantly moist, not super dry but not too moist either. Almost like the perfect brownie.

It retails for about £1 if you buy a box of 11 but I would expect to find it as a single in shops for about £1.59 (Holland & Barrett). It is a very good price considering how nice it is and based on the high protein and kcal intake. However, with that being said, be aware of the high kcal, fat and carbohydrate intake (for a snack) that this bar provides and limit this to an occasional breakfast, treat or snack as opposed to an every day habit.

In a bizarre way, I love the Grenade branding, gives you the impression of strength in strange psychological way and it also stands out from other protein bars on the shelf. It looks like an interesting protein bar and the branding and even the colour scheme (brown with complimentary orange) is spot on.

If I had to criticise this product in any way I would say that the protein content is a little low. I would have expected anywhere between 20-30g for a protein bar whereas this one is only at 18.9g. But this worry is faded as I am still amazed about how nice it tastes…Additionally, the fact that it is marketed as a “flapjack” is a little misleading in my opinion, this was closer to a brownie in consistency as well as taste and that is a good thing! It is not as dense, thin and dry as a flapjack. Why not just market it as a brownie? SCORE = 10/10.

 

So…was it as they claim a £25 value box? Well adding the individual items together totalled to £18.42 so…no. It is still worth more than I payed for but as with other health and fitness boxes, they are not really meant for you to make “value for money”. Unlike the beauty boxes where you pay something like a fifth of the cost of the products contained, the fitness boxes tend to contain almost as much as you payed for. They are meant to get you to try different things rather than save money.

Overall, I liked this month’s box and I specifically loved that they contained big reputable brand items and that not all items were food consumables.

Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 8/10

Overall box score after product testing (a sum of product scores) = 8.4/10

Star product = Grenade Reload Protein Flapjack Chocolate Browning Flavour

 

Did you get this month’s Fit-Box? What did your box contain? What did you think of the products? Have you tried any of the products listed? Let me know your experiences!

I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.

 

 

 

 

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