Let’s start out with a basic fact – the AeroGeeks team is already a huge fan of Nuun. Two of our three editors use nothing but Nuun for hydration during their workouts. It has all the electrolytes you need and the taste you want without the calories you can get elsewhere. So when we heard that Nuun was launching a Nuun Energy line, we were obviously stoked to try it. Oftentimes we looked for that little kick mid-workout—without resorting to a gel—and were left wanting. Here we could get it in our hydration.
We reached out to Nuun to get some samples of their energy line up to see how they compared to the originals. As part of this, Nuun asked us what our current favorites are. We are huge fans of the Lemon Tea and Kona Kola varieties, so we were happy to share that with them. Well, it turns out we were in for a bit of a surprise.
You see, there are not many “rules” when it comes to being an endurance athlete. Just make sure you properly fuel, always stretch, and take care of your equipment. But there is one rule any athlete who competes should always follow , always know exactly what you put in your body. USADA does not take kindly to pleading ignorance when it turns out that your delicious dinner winds up containing a few banned substances. Well, it turns out the AeroGeeks may be a bit guilty of not following that last rule to the letter, because as it turns out, both Lemon Tea and Kona Cola have 40 mg of caffeine, which we had been completely unaware of. Whoops!
We dived our time with Nuun three ways—Nuun Active, Nuun Active with Caffeine, and Nuun Energy. Luckily Nuun helped us out by providing us a Nuun 4 pack (Tri Berry, Lemon-Lime, Citrus Fruit and Orange) – none of which contain caffeine. We also received all three flavors of Energy – Wild Berry, Lemon Lime, and Cherry Limeade.
For those unfamiliar, Nuun are drop-in tabs for hydration. Each Nuun tube contains 12 tabs, which are each good for 16oz of water (though we routinely drop them into 20oz and 24oz bottles). Nuun Active contains 360 mg Sodium, 100 mg Potassium, 25 mg Magnesium and 13 mg Calcium. Both Lemon Tea and Kona Cola also throw in 40mg of caffeine. With Nuun Energy, you also get B Vitamins (B2 – .5mg, B6 – 2mg and B12 – 6 mcg).
From a taste perspective, we really enjoyed the new Nuun Energy line. The Lemon Lime was a team favorite (we’d describe the flavor very similar to Sprite). One of our editors did find that the Cherry Limeade did give her a bit of reflux, but others came away just fine. From a performance perspective, it was easy to tell the difference between the standard hydration versus the caffeinated varieties and/or the energy line—especially during those end-of-the day workouts when your energy levels are lagging. However, we did find that the effects of energy vs. caffeinated hydration were not significant enough to notice.
Whatever flavor you choose, if you are looking to pump-up your hydration while not impacting your calorie strategy, we suspect you are going to be a fan of Nuun. And if you want that extra pick-me-up, be sure to take a look at their Energy lineup!