As a heath-food trend, it’s easy to be confused by blue-green algae (BGA). Not only does it sound gross, but googling it produces news reports of local officials at war with the toxic pond scum it can create.
Yet, many swear by BGA’s energy-boosting properties. In health-food circles, BGA usually refers to spirulina, chlorella, or — the hippest algae — Aphanizomenon Flos-aquae (AFA). Still, some BGAs can be toxic, so nutritionists recommend proceeding with caution.
The strain that appears in E3Live was discovered in the 1970s by Victor Colman, who as legend has it, was looking for a way to feed NASA scientists. In the 1990s, it became a popular racehorse supplement after Tamera Campbell, now CEO of the E3Live company began selling it to trainers for their Kentucky Derby–bound thoroughbreds.
Now E3Live is sold in powder, capsule, or frozen form at health-food stores and on Amazon. According to Campbell, the company uses a mechanical filtration system and meets all standards set by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
“I would say that the majority of all people notice that they have more sustained energy, they feel better overall, they feel more mentally alert, they notice that their digestion and elimination improve,” Campbell said. “They notice an improvement in their hair, skin, and fingernails. And if you work out in a gym they notice their energy is sustained longer.”