Royal Jelly is a very nutritious substance. It differentiates Queen Bees from worker bees, and allows them to grow bigger, live longer, and make more babies. It also exhibits these effects in other organisms and increases lifespan by mediating the glucose/insulin aging process. (Please click through to the link to understand the context I’m using to make that last statement).
Today, I’m going to review and compare three products from a company that specializes in Royal Jelly products……BeeAlive.
I’ve used their products in the past and enjoyed them, so I was pleasantly surprised when they contacted me to use some of their products and write some reviews.
But with that said, let me start with a disclaimer:
I’m not getting paid for this review. (Nor have I ever). It’s true that I’ve already used the products before so am probably a little biased, but nobody’s in cahoots around here. I’ll do my best to point out all the relevant details of each product, including when they will and won’t be best for certain customers.
So let’s get the ball rolling……
About the Company
As far as I know BeeAlive is the oldest, most established company that deals exclusively with bee products. They’ve been doing it since 1984, sell directly to customers, and have a specialty in royal jelly. As far as I know they’re also independently owned.
For royal jelly this is particularly important because it’s a very fragile substance and its most nutritious ingredients are very sensitive to environmental degradation. For example,`a study published in the International Bee Research Association found that 6 of 11 randomly sampled royal jelly supplements were degraded. In many cases its most remarkable nutrient 10-HDA is missing entirely.
So there’s potentially a high value-added proposition from a company that exerts a tight control over the supply chain and has carefully controlled business processes that take special care not to rough the stuff up.
What’s better is that BeeAlive only uses fresh royal jelly. It’s not powdered, watered down, or freeze dried. For many companies this would be a recipe for disaster because careless business practices would render it useless. But for a company with experience in handling it from beehive to jar it’s a unique opportunity to digest it as nature intended.
The BeeAlive Product Line
So with that rhapsodic out of the way, here’s what I was actually given to review:
- Energy Serj: An energy shot that uses royal jelly, eleuthero, and schizandra berry. This was my personal favorite.
- Sweet Energy Formula: Royal jelly mixed with raw honey.
- Feel Good Formula: Royal jelly capsules.
Let’s take a closer look at each product, shall we?
As I noted before, I liked this product the best. It’s a unique and high quality supplement in an area (energy drinks) that mostly consists of overpriced cola.
The product comes in individual vials that can be swigged on their own or mixed with water. It has no caffeine, and its ingredient list is simple and to the point:
Eleuthero Root: 750mg
Royal Jelly: 500mg
Schisandra Extract: 200mg
Very nice. It has orange flavoring added to it, and the taste is very distinct. Simultaneously sweet and bitter. It’s quite strong, and I’d recommend mixing a shot with 4-6 ounces of water for someone who can’t handle the taste on its own.
Here’s the list of its best and worst parts:
- Very high quality ingredients
- No caffeine or other stimulants which might upset the stomach
- Convenient and very unique
- Only consists of high quality, biologically active herbal ingredients
- Energy increase is gentle and gradual
- Due to its lack of caffeine, it’ll probably have a wider range of effects on people, so some might not notice a difference
- I believe its effects are best felt when taken consistently over periods of time, so people who only take it occasionally won’t reap its full benefits
Feel Good Formula
The Feel Good formula is probably BeeAlive’s flagship product. It’s a vile of royal jelly capsules that each contain 150mg of active ingredients.
It didn’t have the novelty of the other two products I was given, but is the best choice for someone looking to consume a high quality royal jelly supplement that’s convenient and affordable.
- Capsule form is very easy to take and store
- Least expensive on a per-serving basis
- Very easy to swallow
- Encapsulating process designed to minimize nutrient degradation
- 150mg of Royal Jelly is the smallest amount of the three products
- Capsules begin to stick to the jar when you get to the bottom, so getting the last 8 or so out can become a chore
Sweet Energy Formula
The sweet energy formula is a 225g jar of raw honey with copious amounts of royal jelly mixed in.
In general most honey is overrated as a health food because it’s nothing more than fructose and glucose molecules floating around in solution. It’s hydrolyzed table sugar. Nothing particularly healthy about that. However, certain types of honey are quite unique in their health properties. A good example would be Manuka Honey, which is made from a particular tree in New Zealand and has a variety of medicinal properties.
So high quality honey can actually enhance the benefits of royal jelly instead of diluting them.
What makes this product unique is that it’s made to be a royal jelly supplement that’s made with honey instead of the other way around. A teaspoon has over 1g, which is a lot for this type of product.
- Lots of royal jelly! 1,066mg in each serving….by far the most of the three products I tried
- Tastes like honey! Not as sweet as traditional brands and lighter in color, but has a mild, refreshingly sweet taste that mixes well with other foods
- Easy to use due to its taste and texture, so it can easily be mixed with other foods. Very good as a breakfast addition
- More royal jelly per serving than similar supplements
- More expensive the feel good formula on a per-serving basis. People on a budget might find more suitable options for them
- The raw royal jelly might be a better choice for people who don’t care for the honey aspect of the supplement
Recipes and Uses
One benefit of bee products is their natural sweetness makes them easy to use in day-to-day life. Ever taste raw eleuthero powder? Nasty! It’ll make you gag. But pollen, royal jelly, propolis and honey all have a natural sugar content which makes them easy to take on their own and add to other foods.
I think they all taste fine on their own, but here’s a useful smoothie recipe for someone looking for creative inspiration. It’s borrowed from this excellent suggestion by Grant Us The Luxury.
The Superfood Royal Jelly Smoothie
1 1/2 C almond milk
1 tbsp nut butter of your choice
1 tsp of cinnamon and vanilla each
1 C spinach leaves
1 C frozen mango chunks
1/2 c ice cubes
Blend and enjoy!
Cost and Value
BeeAlive is more expensive than many traditional royal jelly supplements. If you want you can buy something from NowFoods or PuritansPride with the same amount of active ingredients for less money. For many people this is a good option since we all have different health priorities and budgets.
However, when talking dollars and cents it’s best to make sure you’re making an apples to apples comparison. A freeze-dried powder is much less expensive to make than importing fresh royal jelly, and the various steps you have to take throughout the supply chain to protect against degradation are expensive.
So if you limit your comparison to companies that specialize in the same type of royal jelly the sticker price begins to look more reasonable. And in my opinion it’s difficult to find a company that simultaneously specializes in fresh royal jelly and avoids looking a little bit skeezy.
So if you’re searching for royal jelly supplements and decide this particular route is the way you want to go, then I’d definitely give BeeAlive my “Thumbs Up.”
A Comparison Table
Here’s a comparison chart to see the details of each product side by side:
[table id=9 /]
In general I’m a fan of royal jelly and BeeAlive as a trusted supplier of said nutrient. No product is for everybody, but if you’re serious about getting non-degraded RJ from a trusted source and willing to pay for quality then they’re the best way to go IMO.