Are we Loving Nuun?
Loving the Bike will periodically be doing cycling related product reviews. Continue to check back with us for future reviews, and contact us if there is a specific product that you’d like our opinion on. Most reviews will be on supplements and nutrition products because they interest us and we feel we can provide some helpful advice in this area.
Nuun Active Hydration
I have to start off by saying that although I’ve only used Nuun a handful of times, I am a huge fan of their product, company, and corporate culture. With that said, I promise this review will be completely un-biased and provide you with a real world look at their product. My review is from the perspective of a cyclist who loves the bike and is totally motivated to improve himself or herself and get the most out of their rides. A cyclist who is ready to challenge themselves to their personal max, and not necessarily a competitive rider.
Let me first tell you the concept behind Nuun. It is an electrolyte product “designed, formulated and tested to keep you optimally hydrated, wherever you are”. It is not a carbohydrate product, but can be used along with a carbohydrate drink should you need something for that purpose as well.
I’m going to tell you a little bit more about the company and why I love their culture so much, but let me get right into my actual review.
What Loving the Bike has to say
Like I said, I’ve only used Nuun a few times; about 7 times on the road, and once on the indoor trainer. But, each and every time, I have had an incredible ride. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would say that when I use Nuun, it honestly feels as if oxygen is being pumped into my bloodstream. I’m serious. I have visions of the O2 cells pumping through my veins. And of course, more oxygen in the blood means higher performance from the body. This is the experience I’ve had using Nuun on outdoor road rides. I’ve only used it once indoors and although it helped me through a great trainer session, I didn’t experience that same feeling of the oxygen in my blood. Maybe it is the heat and elements that provided that feeling outdoors, I’m not sure. But on the indoor ride, I did have the sensation of it seeping into my tongue and going into my body.
There is not the sudden energy boost like you’d find in something like a caffeine based drink. The benefits I find by using Nuun are more in the way of a feeling that my body is working efficiently and humming along like a Lamborghini. So if you’re looking for a product to give you a quick fix and motivate you to get out there and ride when you just don’t feel like it, this one likely won’t do it.
One of the greatest benefits is that it won’t upset your stomach or cramp your muscles….at least it never has for me. I’ve used a few products in the past that have done this, so I’ve always been leery of trying new ones. That’s actually the reason it took me until just a few months ago to try it out. I was worried that it was going to upset my stomach and disrupt my ride.
Okay, so how do you use it?
First of all, I would definitely not recommend you use Nuun every time you ride. I feel that if you did that, it would lose it’s edge and some of the benefits and performance it gives you would be lost. “But how can having your body work more efficiently every single time be a bad thing”, you say? Like with everything else, your body becomes accustomed to whatever it considers normal. I guess if you plan on using Nuun for pretty much every future ride you take, then it might be okay. I know Nuun would love that. But my recommendation is this:
Days when you need uplifting – Use it on the days when you need that psychological boost to get you out there. Yeah, I know I said it wouldn’t give you that sudden boost. It will help your body work a little more efficiently, which will make you feel more energized, and in turn your psychological state of mind will be better as well.
Long ride or big days – Use it on the days when you are going to challenge yourself by going on a longer than normal ride. Use it on the days when you plan on hitting some hills that you generally do not dare to climb. Use it on the days that you know you’ll be challenging yourself more than usual.
Race days and Charity Rides – Use it on important days. If you’re a competitive rider, use it on race days. If you are a cyclist challenging yourself to take part in a charity ride like the LiveSTRONG Challenge or Copper Triangle….Use it for the big day.
Timing and Proceedure
On the days when you’re using Nuun as a psychological boost, drink the whole thing down in a bottle approximately 30 minutes before taking off on your ride.
On the long ride or big days, throw the tab into your water bottle….not your first bottle, but the second one you are taking along. Let it sit there in your cage and once you’ve used up your first bottle of water, dig into the second Nuun filled bottle and it will kick in just when you need it.
For the race and charity rides, chug down one Nuun filled bottle about 30 to 45 minutes before the start, but also carry one along for the ride. Depending on your riding style, I would use the second Nuun filled bottle when you need it. If you generally lack kick at the beginning, use it first. If you find that you need that something extra later on in your ride, use it second….or third.
How many tabs?
When I first bought Nuun, the person helping me at the store advised me that I should drop two tabs into my bottle, even though Nuun recommends one. I didn’t follow her advice and I still haven’t to this day. I might experiment with it sometime, but I don’t believe two tabs per bottle is necessary. I’m sure Nuun spent a lot of time developing and testing the product, and created it so that one tab is all you need at a time. I’ve been happy with the results of using one tab per bottle and feel that it’s best.
Nuun claims that its strengths are portability, balance, refreshment, and simplicity. I must agree. Everything from the packaging right down to the performance is clean and simple. Definitely simple. This company only makes one product and doesn’t even go crazy with an overload of flavor choices. Simple is good.
Nuun states that their product is good for usage in any physical activity. I’ve personally only used it for cycling, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t be great for any type of fitness. It’s a product to improve the mechanics of your body while exercising so I’m sure it will enhance your performance no matter what your doing.
And how about that corporate culture?
The correspondence I’ve had with their staff and the image portrayed on their website has shown me that they are one cool company. They seem so laid back and genuine, and I love it. I think it is the simplicity that makes them that way. Nuun provides better hydration to our body and better hydration to the planet. By selling their product as tabs in small tubes, they are significantly limiting the amount of waste from its use. There are twelve less plastic bottles being sold every time you buy it. In fact, the company is partnered with an organization called the New American Dream which is all about breaking the plastic bottle habit.
In conclusion, I would like to thank my riding buddies from Austin, Texas (Team AC2) for turning me onto Nuun. It’s a great product and very cool company.