nuun : A Hydration Review1
Nutrition is an under used term for the novice cyclist or athlete. For the professional, it is the way of life. They run their engine like NASCAR builds their cars, with precision. For the past few months I’ve put my family in some sort of science experiment with various types of nutrition supplements and varieties.
nuun is a electrolyte replacement, with a little flare. These little tablets come in 8 flavors, and are kept in plastic tube to keep them readily available on long rides. With available flavors like Kona Cola, which tastes exactly like Coca Cola, and Lemon+Lime, tastes like Sprite, or Banananuun. My personal favorites will always be the fruity styles like Citrus Fruit or Tri-Berry.
The flavor isn’t the only unique feature of Nuun.
What’s in nuun?
Active ingredients level (mg)
Sodium (carbonates) 360.0
Potassium (bicarbonate) 100.0
Calcium (carbonate) 12.5
Magnesium (sulfate) 25.0
Vitamin C 37.5
Vitamin B2 500mcg
A Family Product
In my household my entire family, except the dogs, have used Nuun.
My kid’s put Nuun in their water bottles for hot days on the lacrosse field, they got a big kick out of the soda flavored tablets. As a parent we know our children need more than water, but Gatorade often creates a backlog of bathroom problems with the amount of sugar and extras. In the past we have used various supplement electrolyte water enhancers. This is the first one that is easy to deal with, no big tub and scooper, and can be kept in a pocket or purse.
On the Bike Experiences
My first Nuun trial was on a 95 degree day, with very hot water and their lemon lime flavor. It was horrible. I can’t blame the Nuun as drinking hot water was horrible enough, but hot Sprite flavored drink was pretty darn bad.
My second experience I put it in a Camelbak insulated bottle and made sure to shake it up a ton before setting off on the bike. I felt like I was cheating the whole ride as I was drinking a “soda pop” but at the end I had no groggy headache from dehydration, and at night I had no cramping from lack of salt in my buddy.
In my family we all liked it. It was simple to use, the design of the tube was easy to store in bags, purses or hydration backpacks. Some of us liked certain flavors more than others, so make sure to test out different ones.
No carbohydrates. This was a big thing for me, as for some reason my stomach doesn’t like me to “drink” my carbs, yet it doesn’t mind me pounding down tons of bread and such on the bike. No matter, my stomach was happier which made me ride much better on a hard ride.
One tube has 12 tablets inside, and on average these tubes cost about $8. Nuun currently has a buy 3 for $19.50, plus they allow you to mix and match what flavors you like.
After calling every bike shop within 30 miles, most of them didn’t know what Nuun was, and none of them carried it. The closest I found was the Camelbak Elixir, which looks and plays the same drumbeat. Starting a trend isn’t a bad thing, but special ordering your food every order can be a hassle.
Is this Nuun or the distributors problem? This is a separate topic, but it doesn’t matter how good a product is, it needs to be available and bike shops need to know what it is.