Hydration & Nuun: A Product Review Disguised as a PSA

NunnAnd now, an important message on hydration, brought to you by Commute by Bike.

Research indicates that ten out of ten Americans need to consume adequate amounts of water to survive. Most people have heard the sage advice, “drink before you’re thirsty;” by the time that you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. With dehydration comes many unpleasant manifestations, including muscle cramps, fatigue and faintness.

Physical activity, heat and humidity all increase the rate at which your body loses fluids. With the absurd temperatures that have been felt across the United States for most of the summer (the good people of Dallas saw forty days of triple digit temperatures in a row), staying hydrated while commuting by bike should be a primary concern. Feeling dizzy while riding is neither fun nor safe, and bonking at your desk after your morning commute is not a positive step towards that corner office with a view.

Drinking water before, during and after your ride is an obvious solution to the problem of dehydration. However, we’re not all as diligent as we should be when it comes to staying hydrated. There is also no shortage of products on the market that claim to assist with hydration and energy during athletic activities. Many of these beverages or mixes have excessive amounts of sugar or additives, which is not ideal if you are relying on these products to stay hydrated.

Nuun Tri Berry Tube Tabs

Nuun, however, is an electrolyte enhanced drink tablet that contains no sugar. Nuun is not an energy drink (each tablet contains less than eight calories), and the carefully calculated electrolyte balance in each tablet allows your body to absorb more of the water that you are pouring into your mouth into your blood stream, helping you to hydrate more efficiently and more effectively. And, water with Nuun is more delicious than water without Nuun because it comes in flavors like Tri-Berry, Strawberry Lemonade and Citrus Fruit. The flavor is much more subtle than most sports drinks (mostly due to the lack of hundreds of excess sugary calories), which makes hydrating with Nuun easy on the taste buds and on the stomach.

Dissolve in Water

In each easy-to-pack container, there are twelve tablets that are meant to be dissolved in 16 ounces of water. Each pack retails for between $6 or $7, so your 16 ounces of Nuun hydration are more cost-efficient than the average sports drink. The only other supplies that you need to get started with Nuun are a water bottle and a water source.

I am a fan of Nuun. I have tried dozens and dozens of sports drinks (not to be confused with energy drinks, which I avoid at all costs). Nuun is the most effective hydrating tablet that I have used, and it does not force me to consume calories in my water or leave a disagreeable sugary taste in my mouth.

Calories, often in the form of simple sugars, are necessary during sustained physical activity, but I prefer to pack energy supplements (also sometimes referred to as food) separately on longer rides.

My only complaint, Nuun, is that you don’t really seem to believe in the concept of capitalization. I can live with the lowercase “N” that is part of your logo. It’s hip- I get it. But when you’re describing the deliciousness of your Lemon Tea or Tropical flavor on your website, let’s get some capital letters involved. Other than that, keep doing what you’re doing.

Nuun: Because some of us need to drink water everyday.

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8 thoughts on “Hydration & Nuun: A Product Review Disguised as a PSA”

  1. PrestaPost says:

    It seems that it is all or nothing for nuun. They capitalize ALL the letters on flavors! 😛

  2. BluesCat says:

    Great article, Stacy.

    One of the big problems with the dry heat in Phoenix is that as the heat sucks the moisture out of your system it takes the electrolytes with it.

    If you are drinking just plain water — in the copious amounts required to keep from drying out like an Egyptian mummy — you definitely run low on the electrolytes and run into problems.

    Every sports drink I’ve tried seems to leave me with a “sickie sour” stomach. Since it looks like the nuun products are available at the Fry’s stores which on my regular, bicycling errand destinations you can bet I’m going to try them!

  3. Stacey Moses says:

    PrestaPost, I noticed this all-in capitalization (or lack thereof) style as well. At least they use proper punctuation. And make a great product.

    BluesCat, I’m glad that you’ll give it a shot. Your stomach will thank you.

  4. Ted Johnson says:

    I’m so glad to hear about a product like this. I avoid buying any drink that comes in a plastic bottle–especially water.

    (Once a week I break down and buy a Dr. Pepper. Mmmm…)

    But I invented my own home-brew rehydration recipe precisely because I wanted something to drop into a reusable water bottle that would be better for me than a “sports drink” and less expensive. But it certainly wasn’t as convenient to carry around as a little tablet dispenser.

  5. Ted Johnson says:

    My wife read this out loud to me, like this:

    …by the time that you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated–like you!

    With dehydration comes many unpleasant manifestations, including muscle cramps, fatigue and faintness and irritability, like you! She forgot to mention that.

  6. Matt P says:

    I started using nuun about 2 weeks ago (TRI-BERRY) and I like it. It does have a slightly alka seltzery effervescence. It’s not bad, just not what I usually get from my water bottle.

  7. BluesCat says:

    Hey, Stacey.

    I stopped into the Fry’s Food & Drugs yesterday evening on an errand/recreational/exercise run to pick up some stuff.

    I asked one of the folks there about nuun, and we searched a bit but couldn’t find it. Then, as I was walking to the checkout, he came back with two nuun tubes — a TRI-BERRY and a LEMON+LIME — and said he found them over by the Ensure dietary supplements.

    I bought them and popped one of the TRI-BERRYs into my water bottle as I left. About a mile later I took a taste, and then to really test it I slammed down about a third of the bottle. It tastes a bit like the old Fizzies drink tablets I remember from my childhood (although I think nuun tastes a little better than Fizzies). I experienced absolutely NO sickie sweet sour stomach and on that basis alone nuun gets the BluesCat Seal of Approval.

  8. It’s definitely important to stay hydrated and consume enough electrolytes, primarily salt, on rides. Like Ted I just make my own, though, since salt, potassium, baking soda, and a squirt of fresh citrus are not ingredients that I feel the need to pay someone to compress into a tablet and brand for me.

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