Getting a taste of Nuun Hydration

Every runner knows staying hydrated is crucial when you’re tackling long distances, and this year at the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, we’re working to provide runners with the latest and greatest in sports drink technology.

We’ve partnered with Nuun Hydration as the official supplier of electrolyte hydration for the race weekend. That means we’ll have multiple flavours of Nuun at the ready at all hydration stations during the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and Half-Marathon.

But if you’re a runner who’s used to having the same sports drink time and time again, you might have a few questions:  how is it different from a traditional sports drink? What makes it better? How do you pronounce it?

Well, that last one is easy at least: it’s pronounced like noon.

To answer the rest, we spoke with Vishal Patel, Education & Innovation Leader at Nuun.

In a nutshell, Nuun’s products provide a complete profile of electrolytes for aiding muscle function, preventing cramps and maintaining proper fluid balance.

The big difference is that Nuun’s products don’t have the carbohydrates and sugars of traditional sports drinks.

“A lot of runners come to us when they realized that carbohydrate-rich drinks weren’t working for them,” Patel said.

Patel said that drinks with high concentrations of carbohydrates and sugars often cause upset stomachs for runners because they can’t be absorbed quickly. With Nuun’s tablets, which dissolve in water, your body can replace the electrolytes it loses during exercise and process it without leaving leftovers sloshing around.

This has made Nuun the sports drink of choice for athletes in numerous disciplines, from running to cycling to weightlifting.

When Nuun started 11 years ago in Seattle, Washington, it was initially marketed as a specialty sports drink in running, cycling and triathlon stores. But since that time, the company has grown rapidly and is now a fixture at athletic events across North America and around the world.

Because their products differ a lot from traditional sports drinks, Patel said that Nuun does a lot of outreach to athletes before events to explain how they works

“You don’t want athletes to be surprised on race day, so we look to provide a lot of notice, give out samples and talk about the product at pre-race expos,” he said.

And the response so far? Hugely positive.

Patel said that Nuun is part of the trend in of companies that are trying to offer more customizable solutions to athletes.

“If you look at running in general, you really see a lot of personalization, in terms of clothing, shoes and gear.” he said.

Nuun’s range of products includes the high-electrolyte low-calorie Nuun Active, as well as Nuun Energy, containing caffeine and b vitamins, and Plus for Nuun, which adds some additional carbohydrates to the mix. The Nuun mix that will be served at this year’s Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend will be a mix of Nuun Active and Plus for Nuun, which will contain a  200mg Sodium, 65mg Potassium and 6g (25 calories) Carbohydrates per 7 oz serving.

“We don’t think one-size-fits-all is the best approach to hydration,” he said.  “People understand what works best for them and for their bodies, so we want to give them that ability to choose.”

If you’d like to give Nuun a try, you can purchase it when you register for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, on their website or pick some up in Ottawa at Running Room and Bushtukah.