Disintegrating Hydration Tabs

image Back in May I went to the Blue70  headquarters here in Seattle to pick up my new Helix wetsuit. The suit is great. I have yet to race in it this season, but I swim in Lake Washington several times a week and the suit is really comfortable, flexible where it needs to be and warm enough that I am consistently the first person doing long open water swims in Seattle.

Blue Seventy is sister companies with Nuun, and while I was at the B70 office I decided to wonder around and say hello to the Nuun crew as well. I found them and received a warm welcome. They have a loft office with open desk areas and it seems like a cool place to work. More than that, they have a rock solid product. I’ve used Nuun in the past before races to help with hydration, but only a tab or two, just to break up the monotony of pure water. Before racing in Oklahoma City and Austin, however, I decided to listen to my doctors and load up on salt with my fluids. I added Nuun to my Clif Shot, I drank Nuun alone, I drank Nuun enhanced water by the gallon, and it felt great. I actually urinated less than I normally do before a race, I put on some water weight, of course, but it was gone by the time I started running on race day. Bottom line, I hydrated better, and didn’t have trouble competing in the heat.

I tried  a couple other brands of electrolyte tabs too. I mean, why stick with what works if there are a bunch of other brands that claim to be better? Here’s what I found.

Motor Tabs: I liked that they had a bit of sugar in them. It seemed like a cool way to pack an energy drink. The downside, they taste really bad. Like sugary Alkaseltzer.

Zym: Worked fine, but I preferred the taste of Nuun. They’re just different. Certainly better than Motor Tabs. They add some extra vitamins to the mix, and have a caffeinated option too. I haven’t read any studies with regards to vitamin B12 consumption during exercise, but maybe that’s good (or bad). I don’t know.

Advocare Rehydrate: This isn’t a tab, so it’s not an entirely fair comparison, but it’s low on sugar and high in electrolytes, and I used it for the same purpose. It’s equal in potassium and sodium composition, which Advocare claims is better. I’ve mostly heard arguments for lots of sodium, but not as much potassium. Regardless, it tastes really good, and I felt really well hydrated afterwards. I don’t know that I would add it to my bottle during a race (Like I do Nuun now), but it certainly is a good alternative to straight water in the pre-race days.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. I’d just rock the nuun. They have caffinated tabs now too. This year for Ironman I mixed my food bottles with a crap ton of Nuun, some caffeine, Perpetuum and I’m sure some other stuff and the fizzyness of the nuun sure helped make everything drinkable. Not to mention I didn’t cramp up or get dehydrated.

    The other pro on Nuun is that if you have a leaky bottle and it gets on your bike frame during training it won’t make it sticky.

    Hurray NUUN!

  2. I hope that you like the Cola flavor. I have lots. I also hope that you will take me sailing and swimming. Speaking of hopes, maybe Lance will win and Phil Liggett will be peeing himself with joy. Hopefully, I will have health insurance soon. The Pope broke his wrist like Levi. (It isn’t a hope, but a Pope). It has been a long day of driving today.

  3. I love Nuun for training, they are very low cost, all but the Cola taste good to me, and they don’t turn my stomach.

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