Don’t let the active hydration slogan trick you, the beauty of these electrolyte tablets from nuun is their ease of use.
Each convenient container of nuun contains 12 tablets, with each tablet being adequate for mixing with 16 oz of water. For those of us with 24 oz bottles, the tablets are very easy to break in half thanks to a groove in the center of the tablets.
Nuun is for electrolyte replacement, not energy. There are only 6 calories per tablet and no carbohydrates. Think of nuun as a replacement for your plain water, not as a replacement for your favorite energy drink. More information on the ingredients in nuun and the science behind their electrolyte replacement tabs can be found here on their website. nuun | optimal hydration | the science
Nuun has two major advantages over their powdered competitors. First is nuun’s portability. The tablets aren’t much bigger than a quarter. For comparison, shown above is 1 ½ nuun tablets for a 24 oz serving. The same image also shows how much powder of an unnamed electrolyte drink would be necessary for the same serving size.
Nuun’s second advantage is that each tablet dissolves completely. This not only results in a bottle with no residue, which seems to instantly become a mold farm if you don’t clean your bottle immediately, but it also means you don’t have to shake the bottle before each drink.
For this review, I sampled the Tangerine Ginger and Orange Ginger flavors. In general, the flavor profiles reminded me of some of the flavored waters on the market, in particular, those by Aquafina. Both flavors have Ginger Ale-ish similarities. The Tangerine Ginger, which I preferred, seemed a more subtle flavor than did the Orange Ginger. I did notice during my taste-test that both flavors became more pronounced and less subtle as the drink warmed. Also, as it warmed, an artificial sweetener flavor (think Splenda, Equal, etc.) and aftertaste developed. I know taste/flavor is a personal thing, but neither struck me as particularly appealing.
I’ll admit that I’m a pretty heavy sweater. But…I don’t usually seem to have much of a problem with cramping. So, I guess I’m either not inclined to cramp, or the drinks that I take with me on my rides are doing their job. The nuun was no exception. The weather for my review ride was not particularly warm, but I did have on a base layer that quickly became an overkill for the conditions. That is to say that I was sweating good by the end of the ride. I had one bottle of just water and one of the nuun. I finished both by the end of the ride and had no hints of cramping. The only negative I noticed was the artificial sweetener taste was there and I found myself following up a drink of the nuun water with a splash of plain water. However, if a little off-flavor prevents me from dehydrating and having to relive my Hotter’n Hell medical tent experience, then I say, No problem!
If you’re looking for an easy to carry electrolyte replacement that you can refill at any water source, then I’d say the nuun is for you. At about 5 bucks a tube (which is about $0.42/16 oz serving) the convenience of the nuun active hydration tablets make them worth a shot.