Nuun's Vitamin tablets, here in a Ginger Lemonade flavour, make a refreshing hydration drink with the added boost of extra vitamins and a nice kick of caffeine.
- Pros: Tasty and refreshing, small caffeine dosage, vitamin enhancement, portable tube is handy
- Cons: Price is quite hard to swallow for the amount of vitamins in each serving
Let's face it, as great as water is at keeping you alive, it gets a little dull. A bit 'dry', you could say. You could opt for soft drinks or flavoured waters as an alternative, but of course, these are typically riddled with sugar and/or additives.
Well, Nuun to the rescue. The company behind the popular electrolyte tablets also makes products for the 'everyday', to keep your hydration and vitamin levels topped up. It's all too easy to not drink enough, and it's surprising how quickly you can get dehydrated, particularly if you have a busy day up and about on your feet.
Nuun's vitamin tablets are a gentle electrolyte enhanced with 11 vitamins and minerals. The flavour tested, Ginger Lemonade, also has a small dose of natural caffeine from green tea. To make the drink suitable for general consumption, on maybe a rest day or those boring bits of the day when you're not on the bike, they're not as heavily loaded with salts as sport-focused electrolytes, but are intended to provide the right amount for general consumption.
The vitamin boost is a nice touch, elevating it beyond just an electrolyte drink. The vitamins included are those we supposedly struggle to get from our typical diet, such as vitamins A, C, D and E and B6. It's important to note that the drink isn't going to max out your RDA for these nutrients, but will give you around 10-25% of your recommended intake for each. Given it's being marketed as a 'vitamin drink' you'd perhaps expect a bit more vitamin bang for your buck.
The caffeine content of around 40mg per tablet is enough to give you a nice background pick-me-up without making you wild-eyed and frantic. The 40mg dose is roughly the same as a can of 'full fat' coke (32mg) or a weak coffee (caffeine content in coffee varies widely, with stats ranging from 40-100mg per single drink).
The tabs are extremely low in calories and sugar (10 cal/2g sugar), so you needn't worry about your waistline.
I really like the ginger lemonade flavour, which has that sharp tang of ginger to make it nice and refreshing but without being overpowering. Dissolved in a 500ml bottle, per the recommendation, the flavour is a little strong when you first try it, but you soon get used to it.
One thing I liked about the product was that, being in a small tube, they can be thrown into your bag or pocket so you can pimp your water wherever you are.
Price-wise, a tube of Nuun Vitamins is a slightly unhealthy £8.99, giving you 12 tablets – that's 75p a go. This seems like a lot, although if you go to your local supermarket for a single serve 'healthy' soft drink that's not full of sugar or additives, you're likely to be paying over £1.
There are plenty of other electrolyte tablets out there for hydrating you on the bike, such as Nuun's Active range and Powerbar's 5 Electrolyte tablets, but not many sports brands make day to day hydration products; Science in Sport's Immune tablets are a close comparison.
So, to conclude, the tablets are pleasant in the mouth and are a healthy and refreshing alternative to water, but the price may leave a sour taste.
A refreshing and healthy 'everyday' drink, but the price is hard to swallow
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Nuun Vitamins
Size tested: 12 tablets
Tell us what the product is for
Nuun claims that Nuun Vitamins are to be drunk 'anytime for daily health and hydration. nuun vitamins hydrates better than water alone, so you can achieve your daily personal best'.
And they provide 'the 11 vitamins and minerals most of us don't get enough of, plus the optimal balance of electrolytes for everyday activity'.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
stevia leaf extract
beet juice power
The drink is refreshing and it felt like I got a nice little kick from drinking it. I didn't become dehydrated when I had a few tablets a day as part of my testing. It is hard to assess the impact of the vitamin content: I didn't become ill during the testing phase.
A tube of 12 tablets is £8.99, which makes each serving 75p, which feels like a lot. However, if you compare this to the price of a bottled 'healthy' drink from a supermarket (most of which are over £1), it's possibly justified.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The tablets worked well at keeping me hydrated and (maybe) healthy.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The flavour, and the background kick of caffeine, which isn't overpowering, is good.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price. And, given that they're marketed as 'vitamins', I can't help thinking that a single tablet should deliver more of the RDA for the key vitamins than the 10-25% of those that are provided.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? If they were a few quid cheaper, yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – if they had lots of cash!
Use this box to explain your overall score
I enjoyed most aspects of the product: the flavour and refreshing kick was great, and would have put the tablets on course for a solid 7, but the price point is prohibitive, and I'd like more 'vitamin' in each serving.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR / Cannondale Supersix My best bike is: Giant TCR
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding