Since the advent of Gatorade, Powerade and the like, athletes have been in search of the “perfect” mix of hydration drinks. Growing up, Gatorade was the only sports drink on the market, so we accepted its sugary blend with open arms, but always found it a little heavy for long-term hydration. Good for that post-ride sugar rush, but bad for sustained hydration.

Now that science has caught up, many hydration, energy and vitamin drinks abound, but most of them still suffer from over-sugarization that results in quick, unsustainable energy with a heavy aftertaste. Yes, there are low carb and low sugar options, but I’ve found something entirely different that has changed my hydration habits: Nuun. These little tablets offer hydration in a bottle, but what’s all the fuss about?

About Nuun Hydration Tablets

Born from the minds of the Dartmouth Business School, Nuun tablets are hydration in a portable tablet. With the myriad of powders and liquids on the market, Nuun founders wanted something that was even more portable, tasted great and wasn’t packed with sugary carbohydrates. Long-lasting hydration was the goal and as we all know, sugar isn’t known to provide long-lasting energy.

Available in 5 flavors and two tablet sizes, Nuun offers just the right mix of vitamins and minerals to maintain the proper hydration balance for sustained hydration… not just a quick sugar rush. All that with true portability–try that with powders or gallons of liquid. With Nuun, you can have great-tasting and perfectly-tuned hydration with just plain tap water–kiss those wasteful water or sports drink bottles goodbye!

Nuun Ingredients (per 8 oz. serving – 1/2 standard tablet):

  • Calories: < 3
  • Sodium: 180 mg
  • Potassium: 50 mg
  • Carbohydrates: < 1g
  • Sugar, Protein, Fat: 0 g
  • Vitamin C: 18.75 mg
  • Riboflavin: 250 mcg
  • Calcium: 6.25 mg
  • Magnesium: 12.5 mg

Nuun Hydration Tablets Review

I first met Tim Moxey (Nuun CEO and co-founder) at Interbike Outdoor Demo 2007. A highly animated Brit and true Nuun believer (of course), Tim is instantly likable. He shared a bit of his story at Dartmouth Business School and a bit about the products. It was then that I first tasted Nuun.

Flash-forward to Summer 2008 when I get back in touch with Tim, who was stoked to get me some Nuun for testing. With a variety of tablets at my disposal in several flavors (Citris Fruit, Tri-Berry, Orange Ginger and Lemon-Lime), I set out to determine just how effective these little plop, plop fizzies are.

With a strict 3-day mountain bike riding schedule all summer long, I was consistently riding in 90-degree temperatures. Prior to Nuun, I would just fill my hydration bladder with cold water. While refreshing, water doesn’t replace some of the key minerals and nutrients lost during heavy exercise.

There are other alternatives to water that will keep you hydrated, but most of them are filled with sugar, which starts to taste heavy and thick and is sure to make you bonk if you’re not careful. Instead of being filled with syrupy-tasting Gatorade, Powerade, Accelerade and the like, Nuun offers light-tasting all-day refreshment without any sugar and minimal calories.

As far as flavors go, I prefer the Orange Ginger the most. Of the four flavors tested, I’d say the Tri-Berry is my least favorite. All flavors are surprisingly good tasting without going down heavy. On long rides, Nuun seemed to keep my body pumping and hydrated without getting old.

On consecutive days of the exact same mountain bike ride, I compared how I felt with plain water one day and Nuun-enhanced water the next. I felt a noticeable difference in muscle endurance and overall feel. No, it didn’t turn me into Superman, but I did notice a marked difference.

Good Nuun

  • Easy-to-use and portable
  • Tablets are superior to powders and liquids
  • Great-tasting flavors
  • No carbs or sugar
  • Orange Ginger is my personal favorite

Bad Nuun

  • 1 small tablet makes 16 oz… so a 100 oz bladder will clear you out quickly
  • Don’t leave remnants in your bladder for too long… a couple of weeks will result in a science experiment gone bad

The Bottom Line on Nuun Hydration Tablets

Nuun tablets are portable and great tasting, plus you can transform ordinary tap water into perfectly-balanced hydration on-th-fly. Not only will your body thank you, but Mother Earth will to as you eliminate all the plastic water bottles from those sugary sports drinks. I noticed a marked difference in performance and endurance while using Nuun tablets and appreciated the taste mile-after-mile.

Buy Now: Find them at REI

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Good Afternoon,

    Happy Friday to you – just wanted to reach out to see what the process is for introducing a new product for you to carry on your site.

    We are an all-natural effervescent drink tab called Zenergize – 0 Sugar, 2 Calories – I know you carry Nuun – we are different in that we offer product for 5 different need states – we definitely have the Hydrate, but we also have Energy, Fat Burning, Immunity and Super Fruit Multi-Vitamin. Please visit us at

    We are in Whole Foods nationally as well as about 1500 other grocery doors. We are trying to get into the bike/run/outdoor/fitness channel. We would love to partner with someone like you to introduce us.


    Dave Ricci
    VP Sales

  2. I just found these on the clearance shelf at HEB for $1.12 for each tube. They aren’t even expired?!! Anyway … bought what they had.. love these things!!!

  3. As of today, the orange ginger or tangerine ginger flavor isn’t available in the Active version of Nuun’s products, only the ‘Natural’ line of tablets. Sad for me, as I was looking forward to trying the ginger flavored Active tabs!

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