Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
I like caffeine.
Most people enjoy coffee every morning (or afternoon…or evening) but I cannot stand the stuff. I know, it’s not normal in our society to not enjoy a double-mocha-french-dark-roast-latte or whatever those things are called. Add in the fact that I also highly dislike peanut butter, and frankly, it’s a wonder I have any friends. But I do really enjoy the effects of caffeine (I’M AWAKE!), and thus, find my alternatives to coffee wherever I can. Sometimes they are healthy options, like a nice up of green tea. And other times they are not…like every time I’m busted with a RedBull and subsequently lectured about how as a fitness professional, I should know better.
Needless to say, I was thrilled to hear that nuun hydration, a hydration supplement super popular among the endurance athlete crowd, had released an ENERGY version of their product, because a) as we’ve already established, I like caffeine, and b) I particularly love it before a good workout or a race.
If you aren’t familiar with nuun, they are these awesome little effervescent tablets that you drop into your water bottle for instant added flavor and electrolytes. They have zero added sugars, and come in a really convenient little tube that carries well if you are out for a long run or ride.
And now they have caffeine. But before I scare you off with all of my talk of redbull and pre-workout (did I mention pre-workout yet?), know that nuun energy has MODERATE caffeine levels of 40 mg per serving.
A quick little science lesson on why caffeine may benefit athletic performance, from nuun Energy’s press release:
Caffeine is a natural energy booster, and it has been linked to an increase of athletic performance. Studies have shown that a moderate intake of caffeine about one hour before activity can increase endurance performances. In addition, research has shown that caffeine intake during exercise increases both oxygen consumption and anaerobic power, while at the same time, decreasing heart rate. Recent research in the medical community has confirmed that moderate caffeine levels do not cause any form of dehydration. The optimal blend of electrolytes also ensure the body is adequately absorbing the water consumed. Nuun Energy also includes five essential B Vitamins that helps convert food (carbohydrates & fats) into fuel (glucose). Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin, Pyradoxine (Vitamin B6), Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) and Pantothenic Acid are all found in Nuun Energy and added because they work on many levels in the body. On the main level, the B Vitamins work with stored carbohydrates and lipids in the body for energy use. In addition, the B Vitamins break down Glycogen (stored fuel) and aid in Red Blood Cell production, which helps deliver oxygen to exercising muscles.
Flavors available: Wild Berry, Lemon Lime and Cherry Limeade
Zero added sugars
Under 12 calories
40 mg caffeine per serving
Each tube of Nuun Energy contains 10 tablets
Each tablet makes 16 oz of Nuun Energy.
I was sent two tubes of the lemon lime flavor to try. The taste was very similar to the regular lemon lime nuun, which I’ve used on and off for years (previous review available here). It’s not the most amazing thing you’ve ever had to drink, but it certainly isn’t bad by any means. More of a light weight, non offensive flavor, which as any endurance athlete can tell you, totally matters when you are a few hours into an event. Even your favorite foods can be off putting at that point.
Pro -tip: leave the cover off of your water bottle OR the spout open for a few minutes after you drop the tablet in the bottle, to prevent an effervescent explosion. It’s not quite a mentos-in-diet-coke explosion, but a mess none the less.
So the big question: did I notice an energy pick-me-up? Yes. Was it that of something highly caffeinated (energy drink, pre workout, etc)? No. No crash and burn either. I would recommend this product for someone who is looking for the athletic or mental benefits of a *little* added caffeine, without going overboard as so many other sports supplements do.
Wanna give some a try? Nuun kindly offered to giveaway some product for one of my lucky readers. Two ways to enter:
1) Leave a comment. Options include: a joke, a story about caffeine, or why you want to win this givewaway.
2) Share this post. Twitter, facebook, carrier pigeon, whatever floats your boat!
And be sure to use the rafflecopter so it can randomly choose a winner for me. Contest ends May 1st at midnight. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
disclaimer: two tubes of nuun energy were provided to me at no cost, however, all opinions stated in this review are my own.
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.