nuun Review – from my running club

I’m a big fan of nuun hydration tablets and the company in general. I go through a lot of their hydration tablets over the summer and after my long runs in general. You add one tablet to around 500ml of water and let it fizzle and then drink.

It’s become a bit of a habit for me after my long run to fill a big drinks bottle up with water and throw in a hydration tab and then cart that thing round with me for the rest of the day. I’ve even taken it shopping and to friend’s BBQs – my family and friends are used to it. If the weekend is especially hot I’ll have one the day before a long run and then one after.

I love the flavours and I like that the water I’m guzzling (I guzzle a lot) isn’t just washing me out of my necessary electrolytes.

IMG_7601 Citrus Fruit flavour

The guys at nuun graciously supplied me with a number of single samples of two flavours of nuun to give out to my running club (Hedge End Running Club) for them to try and then feed back their thoughts.


The two flavours were: Strawberry Lemonade and Lemon Lime. The tablets contain no sugar or carbs and have almost zero calories. I cannot stand Lucozade or Powerade or any of the other sugary sports drinks but sometimes it is nice to have some flavour to your water and to get the benefits that some of the sports drink provide, i.e. the electrolytes to keep your body in balance when you sweat, and I find nuun is a great win-win choice.


So I was happy to give out samples to members of my running club to see what their thoughts were. [On a side note, this was a somewhat logistical nightmare. I put out a message on our club’s Facebook page and was inundated by requests to try them. Then became the nightmare of trying to get these bad boys out to the people who wanted them. I don’t go to every training session and not everyone goes to my usual Netley parkrun so it was quite tricky (not to mention not knowing what people looked like if I’d never met them before!). But anyway, I hope everyone who wanted to try them tried them. Though not everyone gave me a review back…*sighs* ;-)]

Here are a collection of some of the responses people gave after trying the tablets. Brought to you from Hedge End Running Club (though I haven’t used their last names for privacy):

Peter: “Personally I found them a bit ‘bland’ compared to the SiS ones I am used to but then some people might prefer that.
They also say to dilute them in 450ml rather than 500ml which is a bit annoying when most water bottles are 500ml or have a 500ml marker. Means you also cant pop them in a bottle with a sports cap on it from a shop as they are mainly 500ml if that sort of thing bothers you 🙂 50ml probably makes little difference but shows the American heritage rather than European I guess.”

Karen: “I also agree – compared to Zero tabs I would say these were too weak. I prefer a bit more flavour. I don’t think the product is something that you would notice making a huge difference brand to brand, so for that reason I would stick with zero for the better flavour.”

Mark M.: “I’ll fill my pockets, Anna. I found them easy to drink. On 4+ hour cycle rides other brands become a bit sickly to drink, I found these ones much easier on the taste buds.”

Kate: “Like the flavours. Like that they have vitamin C and B2 in them. (However…they could be mistaken for condoms packet in the individual packets!!!!).”


Terry: “The one’s I had were quite refreshing but the flavours were a bit weak and needed to be a bit stronger.”

Chris: “Have to agree with Terry, the flavours could definitely have been stronger. I mixed each tablet with a pint of water, whether that was the wrong ratio I can’t say. That said it didn’t particularly make me want to drink more fluids as a rehydration aid and from a few tablets it’s difficult to say whether it helps your body absorb more fluid. Will more than likely get some more to try over a longer period 🙂 Verdict: undecided (& probably not well informed enough about the product yet).”

Carlo responded to Chris’ comment above: “Pint of water way too much, Chris. I got a 500ml bottle, took a sip out of it and added the tablet. Tasted ok to me, but I’ve no idea if any of this stuff works at all for me.”…Later informed me after completing a ridiculously hard Dorset Invader Marathon: “I took 2 half litre bottles with me yesterday and just dropped a tablet in when I fancied it. Not sure if it helped in any way, but tasted alright.” (He did an amazing job at the marathon!)

Julie: “I preferred the strawberry lemonade flavour I think. I actually like the more subtle flavours. They seemed to do the job for me but I’m not one of the top end racing types!” Julie has done over 30 marathons so judge for yourself on whether she’s a top end racer 😉

Mark S.: “I’m not sure about them – I’m taking them during day at work to keep hydrated post cycling in. All that seems to happen is I need the toilet about 20 minutes after drinking.
The one’s I had were quite refreshing but the flavours were a bit weak and needed to be a bit stronger.”

Conclusion: I think people enjoyed them and liked the benefits they gave them, but some found the flavours a bit weak. I must admit I do somewhat agree but sometimes I add a bit of squash and I’m happy as Larry. I agree with Mark M. though that you don’t always want an overwhelming flavour when you’re out racing for a long time (especially if it’s warm) as it can be a bit too much, so subtle flavours help with that respect.

And I agree with Kate – hilariously it did look like I was handing out Durexes to my fellow club members 😉 And my dad, when he saw the box of them on my dining table, said awkwardly  “er, what exactly are these, Anna? And why do you have so many?”. But this is the same with other hydration tablet samples too, not just nuun! 😉

Have you tried nuun before?

Do you enjoy sugar-based sports drinks and find they help? I used gels instead to get my carbs and energy during a marathon.

How do you stay hydrated when it’s warm?

**Full Disclosure: I was sent a free box of samples from nuun to give out to my running club in exchange for their opinions and an honest review. I haven’t altered what they said in their reviews (other than one or two typos – I can’t help myself!) All opinions were included, none were left out that I’m aware.**

33Shake Review

As an endurance runner it’s important to fuel your body well, not only in terms of quantity but in terms of quality. I’m very lucky in that my running stomach is quite hardy. I’ve never had any issues with gels or liquids on runs.

I’ve tried loads of different ones and never had any problems during or after a run (directly linked to gels, my last half marathon stitch and sickness was purely self-inflicted food and alcohol related!). Out of preference I don’t do sports drinks though. They’re far too sugary and I don’t feel refreshed after them. I prefer water or water with hydration tabs in them (either nuun or High5 are my favourite).

There’s a lot out there in terms of fuel to take before, during or after a run. And a lot of it is processed and full of chemicals. I don’t necessarily take issue with this though as long as the ingredients are high quality and the research has been done. I assume the chemicals are there for a reason.

BUT it’s always nice to hear about a fuel that is not riddled with strange unpronounceable ingredients. 33Shake are a company championing this natural sports fuel nutrition. In their words:

“We went on a quest for healthy, high-performing, natural ingredients that delivered sustained performance and health…” with ingredients that are “100% natural. No additives, no preservatives, and nothing manmade: This is real food”. (Source)

They wanted a fuel that was chocker full of nutrients and beneficial to your training. They kindly sent me a selection of nutritional goodies to test out.


I was sent All-In-One Endurance Shakes (Cacoa, Mocha and Original flavours) and Chia Energy Gels.

All-In-One Endurance Shakes

The shakes are designed to boost endurance efficiency, energy and recovery. They suggest it can be had as breakfast, before a run or afterwards to refuel. Further positives:

  • Contain sources of fat, such as flaxseeds
  • Contain antioxidants to fight free radicals
  • Contain natural alkalysers to support your immune system
  • Contain natural proteins, such as hemp seeds
  • Low GI
  • No artificial fillers, sweeteners, colourants, flavourings or preservatives
  • Only gluten in the shakes is organic spelt

I knew straight away that a shake would be perfect for my Ultra12 event, where getting in quality fuel between runs would be tricky. I remember at Endure24 I made the mistake of having stupid amounts of chicken and sweet potato and really struggling to run afterwards as all I could feel was food bouncing around in my tummy, consequently giving me a nasty stitch.

At Ultra12 I mixed an All-In-One Shake with around 200ml of cow’s milk (though you can use any milk) and had it a few hours before I was due to run.33Shake

They recommend you blend with a banana for maximum yumminess and effect, but obviously I couldn’t do this while camping. At first I was it unsure of the consistency. It was very bitty and, well, chewy. I wondered if I’d mixed it enough but when I looked at the ingredients I realised it was because it contained things like dried fruit and oats. Basically it tasted like chocolate milky muesli. Very tasty and went down very easily.

Nutritional Info (All-In-One Cacao)


Chia Energy Gels

Chia Energy Gel

These are basically ‘clean’ gels (I hesitate to use that word as it has such implications, but what I mean is that they’re free of processed nasties and junk). They’re to be taken during a run/endurance event.

  • Contain a blend of carbs, proteins, Omega-3s and antioxidants
  • 90 calories per serving (which is equivalent to other gels on the market)
  • Contain natural anti-inflammatories
  • Low GI
  • Gluten free
  • Contain a natural electrolyte blend including Himalayan Pink salt
  • No artificial fillers, sweeteners, colourants, flavourings or preservatives

In order to consume, you add water, coconut water or fruit juice within the gel packet, mix well, and leave for ten minutes. It has a resalable top as so you can then take it with you for your run or cycle, etc.

Nutritional Info


I really like these and will definitely be saving a few to take with me for my Cheddar Gorge excursion (either half or marathon, I haven’t decided yet…). I love the concept of having more natural energy to fuel you (I’m sure if you’ve read Born to Run you were somewhat intrigued by the fuel used by the Tarahumaras). Because they’re a more natural energy source as well it might be easier for some people’s stomachs to handle on a run as some people really struggle with the chemically-based mainstream gels. I’ve often considered baby food in the past as a good source of fuel mid-run as it’s so natural but was put off by the fact that it didn’t have the ‘added extras’ that the gels had (e.g. electrolytes). So this is a win-win in my eyes!

Edited to add: I used the Chia Gels for my Cheddar Gorge marathon and they were great. I added coconut water to them and had three of them during my race. They didn’t slide down as most gels did but were more bitty and chewy, but they were very tasty and seemed to work well with giving me energy.

In conclusion, 33Shake get a big thumbs up from me. I love the concept, I love the products and I love the company. Also any company that has Chrissie Wellington as a spokesperson is definitely a good one in my eyes 😉

How do you fuel your exercise?

Do you use standard gels or prefer more natural energy sources?

Do you have protein shakes or energy shakes?

**Full Disclosure: I was sent these products for free to review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**