Nuun Electrolyte-Enhanced Drink Tabs Review
If you are active at any level, then you are likely well-versed in the benefits of staying properly hydrated. If you are an endurance athlete, then hydration is probably a major preoccupation. Nuun is a recent entrant to the hydration scene, founded by people who were, for their own athletic pursuits, searching for light and crisp replenishment. When they couldn’t find it, they invented it.
Nuun is a flavored, electrolyte replacement tablet that quickly dissolves in 16 oz. (500 ml) of water. Its most widely-appreciated attribute is that it contains no sugar. Zero. No carbohydrates. This is a major differentiator in a market full of highly-sugared sports drinks. Nuun’s hydration philosophy is focused on two things: 1) accelerating the speed of absorption and 2) delivering the right concentrations of critical electrolytes. Nuun produces a hypotonic solution, so your body absorbs Nuun faster than other leading products, or even water alone. This is one of the reasons why they don’t include carbohydrates to the formulation; carbs can delay absorption beyond the stomach. Regarding electrolytes, there is much debate about what the right amount is (this is a highly personal subject) but the generally agreed-upon range is between 500-1000mg of sodium per liter water if you are active for over one hour. Nuun provides 700mg of sodium/liter, right in the sweet spot, to keep you adequately replenished.
I am an endurance athlete (cycling and running), and when I felt my performance had plateaued, I worked hard to drop some weight in order to get faster. It worked. Now it takes a real focus on nutrition, and a great deal of discipline, to stay lean and light. So Nuun is providing me the best of both worlds; proper hydration without unnecessary calories and sugars. I’ve used Nuun on 100 mile rides, 100 mile hikes, and multi-hour runs. I definitely consume carbohydrates to sustain me for these activities, but hydrating with Nuun allows me to better manage my carb intake through food sources, such as bars, chews, and gels. Nuun tastes good – its many distinct-yet-subtle flavors encourage hydration, which is a must on long workouts. When I take Nuun on the bike, I’m so grateful that the no-sugar formulation means no nasty, sticky residue from spills on my beautiful carbon frame.
Another way I use Nuun is as an evening refreshment. I’ll place a tab or ½ tab in water and sip a few ounces every now and then. Since it doesn’t have sugar, I don’t have to worry about the corrosive effect other drinks or treats would have on my teeth or race weight.
Nuun products are gluten-free, and well-suited for vegans/vegetarians. Nuun is also a great hydration option for diabetics. Only two flavors of Nuun (Lemon Tea and Kona Cola) contain caffeine, 40mg per tablet/16 oz. Each Nuun tablet has less than 8 calories.
Nuun is working with Team In Training to help beat cancer. Nuun donates 15% of all sales of grape flavored drink tabs to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Just look for the purple cap.
Each tube contains 12 tabs. MSRP is $24 for a 4-pack box (48 tablets).
[Editor’s Note: Review by Michael B.]