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the science

nuun is a simple and easy to use solution but addresses a serious issue. we spent a lot of time getting the performance of the product right and ensuring the optimal balance. if you’d like to know more about what nuun is, and why, read this...

formulation and nutrition

nuun’s formulation is based upon research and feedback from some of the world’s top academic and practicing experts in the field of sports medicine (specifically in dehydration and hyponatremia). development focused on the three most important aspects for proper hydration:

speed of absorption

the most important characteristic of what you drink while you are active is the speed at which your body can absorb it. the concentration of dissolved salts and sugars (osmolarity, for those more technically inclined) determines how fast the drink can cross from your gut into your bloodstream where it can re-hydrate and replenish. nuun produces a hypotonic solution so that your body will absorb nuun faster than the leading “sports drinks” or even water alone. your body is therefore, able to restore optimal water and electrolyte balance more quickly.

electrolyte content

the american college of sports medicine recommends that people who are active for more than one hour get 500–700mg of sodium for every litre of water they consume. this is up to three times the sodium that traditional “sports drinks” provide. in fact, some experts in the field believe that sodium concentrations should be closer to the 700–1000mg range. nuun provides 700mg of sodium for every litre of drink - this amount, in addition to the other critical electrolytes contained in every nuun tablet, ensures that you are adequately replenishing your body’s stores to help you perform at your best, and stay healthy.

carbohydrate content

to ensure rapid absorption, nuun contains no carbohydrates. ingesting drinks containing high levels of carbohydrates can have two undesirable effects when it comes to hydration. carbohydrates can slow the rate at which your stomach empties and therefore delays the availability of the water and electrolytes. they also increase the osmolality of what you are drinking; delaying absorption beyond your stomach. please note: if you are participating in intense exercise for more than one hour you should also consume carbohydrates to ensure that you can sustain energy levels for working muscles. carbohydrate loaded sports bars, or gels are effective means of providing you with the energy you require.

nutritional information

the following is the nutritional information for a serving of nuun based on one tablet dissolved in 500ml (~16oz) of water. there are 6 calories per nuun tab.     

active ingredients level (mg)
Sodium (carbonates)360.0
Potassium (bicarbonate)100.0
Calcium (carbonate)12.5
Magnesium (sulfate)25.0
Vitamin C37.5
Vitamin B2500mcg

other ingredients: citric acid, sorbitol, sodium carbonate, natural colours flavours, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, polyethylene glycol, magnesium sulfate, sodium benzoate, calcium carbonate, acesulfame potassium, riboflavin-5-phosphate.

hyponatremia - what is it?

we hear a lot about drinking more water being good for us but the increasing reports of hyponatremia showcase the fact that water is not always enough, especially when being consumed in large quantities over short periods of time. hyponatremia is the long word for low concentration of sodium in the blood and can occur from over hydrating with plain water. doing this, especially during exercise can deplete essential electrolytes from the body, causing disorientation, illness and in rare cases, death. for athletes, effects are generally seen in longer (and hotter) races since that’s when the levels of water intake are likely to be high.

so how does it occur?

there are a number of different drivers for hyponatremia and the answer is not simple, but if you imagine that when sweat (which is salty) is replaced by plain water (which is not salty) the bloodstream becomes diluted so there’s less sodium (and potassium etc). sodium, particularly, is essential for optimal cell function – it helps with the electrical signals that occur in our bodies and through osmosis it helps regulate cellular osmotic pressure (remember that school experiment with the bag-like thing and the salty water?). when hyponatremia occurs the cells throughout the body take on more water than normal and expand. rings and watches will get tight, you’ll look all puffy and, the bad bit, your brain swells. since your brain is in a rather inflexible skull...it gets a bit squished and that’s where the disorientation (and the fatalities) come from.

when does it happen?

we get letters and emails from people who have suffered from some degree of hyponatremia and often the common link is that they were preparing for a tough event in a tough/hot environment, like a ride in death valley or a long run in a canyon, but you can get hyponatremia anywhere that you’re consuming a large quantity of water without electrolytes. a good electrolyte sports drink will do a lot to help prevent hyponatremia and this has been well documented and accepted in medical journals. “maybe we need to make sure there is more sodium in the beverages we're encouraging athletes to drink," says nancy auer, md, vice president of medical affairs at swedish medical center in seattle. as for the "conventional wisdom" behind the handouts of free water at athletic events, "that wisdom may not be the best wisdom."

what can you do to avoid it?

our advice? be sensible. take on electrolytes, either in a sports drink, with nuun (which is obviously a sports drink...but without the sugars that most have) or using salt caps. just be aware of the potential issues of taking on lots of plain water. water’s good, there’s no argument there, but in extremes (and often less than extremes) you need more than water alone.

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