Nuun Effectiveness?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    I am Walt
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    Nuun Effectiveness?

    I do long SS stuff - long marathon-length, 12/24-hour solo, getting into stage racing - and am always monkeying with my hydration strategy(ies). I donít like overly sweet drinks, and my stomach tends to rebel against them after 4-5+ hours. I prefer a light Skratch mix (one scoop in a 20-21 oz bottle), along with just plain water. In fact, when I canít drink the Skratch anymore, I just stick with plain water, sometimes for hours and hours.

    Because I tend to cramp at some point during long efforts, and/or in the heat, I am looking at other options. I have seen Nuun around, and am curious about how well it works as something in between plain water and a mix, like Skratch or CarboRocket.

    Thoughts on Nuun?


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  2. #2
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    What effect are you looking for? Out of a hydration drink I want water, palatability, maybe some calories, and sodium. I used to use Nuun but frankly it wasn't high on the palatability list and didn't offer significant calories. I've tried many other mixes too. What I do now is dilute 100 calories of fruit juice into 24 oz and add 1/8 level tsp (or less) table salt. This covers the bases for me. A lot is made of electrolytes by marketers pushing their products, but only sodium is lost consequentially through sweat so that's all that's needed to be replenished while riding.
    Do the math.

  3. #3
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    I like it.

    Pros: Not sweet (though there is some sugar). Dissolves well, no need to shake or stir, doesn't clump like powder. Less garbage than single-serving packets of powder. Less pack volume per serving than powder packets.

    Cons: Carbonation released as it dissolves makes my bottles spit and whistle. Never tried it in a hydration bladder.

  4. #4
    I am Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    What effect are you looking for? Out of a hydration drink I want water, palatability, maybe some calories, and sodium. I used to use Nuun but frankly it wasn't high on the palatability list and didn't offer significant calories. I've tried many other mixes too. What I do now is dilute 100 calories of fruit juice into 24 oz and add 1/8 level tsp (or less) table salt. This covers the bases for me. A lot is made of electrolytes by marketers pushing their products, but only sodium is lost consequentially through sweat so that's all that's needed to be replenished while riding.
    Good question...to clarify; I am not looking for calories, as I will get those elsewhere, and do NOT want to rely on my hydration for calories. I tried that once with Tailwind and it was a disaster. So I am looking for hydration with enough electrolytes/sodium to keep me from cramping and keep me going.
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  5. #5
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    I use Saltstick caps because I prefer my water to be just that. They have been effective for me thus far.


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  6. #6
    I am Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt_Edger View Post
    I use Saltstick caps because I prefer my water to be just that. They have been effective for me thus far.


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    I also use them...every hour.


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  7. #7
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    IMO, a little bit of sugar and salt in water makes it go down easier, settle in the stomach and absorb faster. That said, on almost all mtb rides I drink plain water. It's only on longer/harder rides that I'll do the juice and salt thing in one bottle and maybe one bottle of plain water. Recommendations for strenuous activities are 600mg Na/hr and 300 cal/hr.

    FWIW: Diluting Gatorade or Powerade 2 parts to 1 part water into 24oz nets about 100 cal and 275 mg Na. If that's what's available at a aid stop that's what I'll do.
    Do the math.

  8. #8
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    I've been using Hammer E-caps or Hammer electrolyte powder resolved in my water fir years. It's always worked very well for me. I rarely cramp much anymore although, my time to ride has gone down significantly since club soccer started. So most of my rides are less than 3 hours now, but when I was riding longer, that's what always worked for me.

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  9. #9
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    Been using NUUN for 8 years. Not doing long stuff like you. Max 3.5-4 hours. No sugar makes the taste acceptable when it heats up. No issue with cramping. J

  10. #10
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    I use NUUN and I think it does what it says in replacing nutrients/minerals without sugar and calories, I will use it on rides if I know it's going to be long and I have snacks etc with me for calories, but for planned, really hard rides, I prefer something with calories etc over the NUUN. I'll take a bottle of the GU drink mix and then another bottle, or hydration pack with water if I'm planning on going on a real hard one with no real plan to make stops.
    What I will tend to do it use the NUUN either the day before (if riding early morning) or on the day (if riding the afternoon) to make sure everything's good before I start to ride.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeakymcgillicuddy View Post
    I like it.


    Pros: Not sweet (though there is some sugar). Dissolves well, no need to shake or stir, doesn't clump like powder. Less garbage than single-serving packets of powder. Less pack volume per serving than powder packets.


    Cons: Carbonation released as it dissolves makes my bottles spit and whistle. Never tried it in a hydration bladder.

    It works fine in hydration packs, probably better than in bottles as you don't get the spurt of gas/liquid after opening the first time.

    BTW: I freeze my hydration pack after washing with soap, just to be safe; I left a cleaned hydration pack on the shelf for a few months and it grew mold in the mouthpiece.
    Last edited by b rock; 05-14-2019 at 04:12 PM.

  12. #12
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    I used Nuun in a completely different way but swear by it. I bike commute in seattle and for 7 months or so wear a rain jacket to commute. This ends up being like wearing a rubber bag and I sweat excessively for my 2 hrs on a bike per day. I actually feel more dehydrated in Seattle than I did bike commuting in Arizona summer. I started using Nuuns to balance out my electrolytes without the calories of a gatorade-type replacement product. Prior to using nuun I would get dizzy when standing sometimes and could definitely feel "off". One tablet after my ride though I feel much better all day, rarely have dizziness or cramping muscles and as long as I am ingesting water all day I stay hydrated and if I don't get enough water during the day I don't get that hungover feeling with nuuns.
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  13. #13
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    I've been working my way up to longer events and have been brought down by leg cramps more times that I care to remember, especially when I try to singlespeed for more than a couple hours.

    I'm a really salty sweater. I found that Nuun didn't to work so well for me on long events, though I like it for shorter rides down here in humid-ass Georgia.

    On my last longer SS event I tried Precision Hydration's stuff (https://www.precisionhydration.com/) and had no cramps. I used the PH1500 mix. Took one the night before, then split another into two 22oz bottles with an additional 1.5 scoops of Tailwind in each.

    Of course, lots of factors go into cramping, and we'll see how I fare in the future, but I'm encouraged by it.
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  14. #14
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    Walt, Look into Nuun Endurance. It mixes really well into water with no release of gas and is designed for what we do and extended workouts over 90 minutes and has a higher volume of Electrolytes than normal Nuun tabs.

    During 24hr races I run Nuun tabs or Endurance in one bottle and Tailwind in a separate bottle with a mix of dried fruits if my body screams for real food.
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  15. #15
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    I haven't used Nuun, but I can strongly recommend this stuff:
    https://www.precisionhydration.com

    I specifically use this (no calories):
    https://www.precisionhydration.com/c...nt=13771382404

    I used to suffer from cramp a lot and this stuff really helps. I also take advice from their blog about hydration strategy. I drink 700ml water in the evening before exercise and another 700ml a few hours before exercise. I find I'm less likely to cramp and I actually consume less water when riding.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJW75 View Post
    I drink 700ml water in the evening before exercise and another 700ml a few hours before exercise. I find I'm less likely to cramp and I actually consume less water when riding.
    "Preloading" is worth its weight in gold...

    The Day before a big race we are all familiar with "Carb Loading" and eat great things like pasta that is high in carbs to top off our tanks. But rarely do we hear about "Hyperhydrating". Three years ago Nuun did a segment about hyperhydrating and I gave it try...worked great and I have always used it to stave off the demons while racing.

    My day before ritual before a long race is to get my preride in early, eat lots of carbs and lots of electrolytes. Usually have to wake up a few times to wiz in the middle of the night and when the sun comes up guzzle a cup of coffee to flush the system so to speak. I then continue to drink electrolytes and munch on liquid nutrition till the hammer drops at noon.

    While racing I run two 20oz bottles, one with Nuun tabs or Nuun Endurance and one with 2 scoops of Tailwind. I try to time my uptake of the tailwind to a quarter bottle every 15mins with the occasional dried fruit or a gel. The nuun I use to deliver needed hydration and boost electrolytes and drink it at leisure.

    Sadly in 24hr races you will find yourself in a caloric deficit weather you like it or not because you burn way over 250 calories a hour and the human body can only process 225-275 calories a hour under perfect circumstances coupled with liquidity and osmolality then the body likes to stick it to you by slowing your digestive system down.

    Makes for a wonderful party till the end of the race!
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  17. #17
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    I like nuun, but not while riding. The effervescence doesn't play nice with bottles because of the whole spurting thing. I only ever put water in bladders. For me, I mostly just use nuun when I'm doing yard work when it's hot, so I can just drop it into a glass of water. In that sort of scenario, I like the effervescence.

    I've been using electrolyte tablets/capsules for years. Currently using Hammer Endurolytes, but I prefer the tablets that I can hold in my mouth for a bit before swallowing to get a little saltiness. I don't generally get muscle cramps, but I absolutely will get migraines. I think magnesium is the critical electrolyte for me, and sodium is lower on the list, so I tend to stick with the lower sodium stuff, since I don't need higher sodium.

    If I'm doing a long ride when it's hot, I might bring a bottle with some drink mix, too. But my focus there is less on electrolytes (since I use tablets/capsules for that) and more on light, easy calories and a little flavor. I don't tend to be picky here and I just use whatever.

  18. #18
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    I have been using Nuun for 7 years now, but recently switched to Vitalyte, Skratch Labs, and Salt stick capsules. There is the spurting bottle thing, and I hate, hate, things like sorbitol, which is in Nuun. When my current supply of 6 more tubes of Nuun is finished, that's the end of Nuun for me. The thing I liked the most about Nuun is the tablets because you can carry extra with you, and refill later. I normally ride with 2-3 bottles, and occasionally, a 3-liter pack. When I ride with bottles, esp. if I know I am going to be near a clean water source, I now measure the Vitalyte or Skratch into old style 35 mm film containers, and in each container, there is enough mix for one 750 ml bottle. I also plan on trying Tailwind, and perhaps even make my own mix.

  19. #19
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    Mmmmmm, residual chemicals from photographic film are delicious.

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  20. #20
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    Reading this thread made me do some thinking about MY ride and proper hydration. When I have a ride planned I do my best to drink as close to 100oz of water before the ride. And on the way to my ride I drink a Zico Coconut water just to be sure. However, as I ride here in this hot humid Georgia heat I sweat more than any human ever should. Im now wondering if I should perhaps drink something else with sodium for example pre-ride and/or during? I never cramp but in case I do I carry a small bottle of pickle juice. lol. Is Nuun good for sodium intake? I have some of these tablets but never tried them.
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  21. #21
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    I do personally have issues with cramping and I do use Nuun, but not for cramps but for vitamin depletion/recovery. I eat a very clean low sodium diet and my body does not retain water due to it. I can blow through 3L of water pretty quickly. What I have found that works well and I do enjoy is the high sodium (3x) Shock blocks. If I eat them as recommended I feel like itís too much, so I have set my garmin/hr monitor to notify me every 500cal, and Iíll eat a full packet of shock blocks (220cal) every time I burn through 500cal. That has been doing VERY well for my self. The nuun is post workout replenishment and I do one rave for every 32oz. Replenish over time so my body has time to absorb it instead of flushing and not having time for my body to absorb it all.


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