Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hydration Review and Give a Way

While training for the Chicago Marathon I was experimenting with different hydration options; trying to find the best one.   Some I bought for myself, and some were samples sent to me to try out.  Instead of having 3 different reviews I thought I would compare them side-by-side. 

Gatorade G2 (purchased myself)      $.19 per serving
Nathan Catalyst Effervescent Tablets (sent to me)   $.17 per serving
Nuun Effervescent Tablets (sent to me)     $.19 per serving


Up until the training of this marathon I always used Gatorade.  Matter of fact, we use Gatorade all the time in our house.   A 51 oz powder container is a staple item in our pantry.   Gatorade comes in a multitude of flavors.  Some I like, and some I don’t (that is a personal preference).  They do sell the individual packets that can be dropped into your sports bottles.   These are in powdered form (shake for maximum results).  Each packet makes two 8oz servings, perfect for a standard 16oz bottle.   In every 16oz bottle (two servings) there is 10g carbs /10 g sugar and 40 calories.   This is great for a day at the beach, or any other active event where you would want supplemented hydration.  This is why Gatorade is a staple in our house.  Our family’s summer of fun, generally revolve around outdoor physical activity.  There are a couple disadvantages to using Gatorade during long running/training events.  The individual serving powder packet is kind of complicated to use while racing.  I have to be very accurate (while all sweaty) to get all the powder into the water bottle without it dumping all over the ground or myself).  The carbs and sugar make supplementing your run with other products tricky.  It couples your fuel and hydration in one product.  If you need more or less hydration you have to adjust your solid supplements on the fly.  Not an ideal situation. 

Nathan Catalyst Effervescent Tablets:

I originally contacted Nathan Sports to try out there sport laundry detergent. Watch for my laundry detergent showdown, in the future.  This company also sent me a bunch of hydration mix samples, with water bottle.   Nathan’s hydration tabs come in 3 different flavors; Orange, pomegranate-blueberry and Lemon Lime.  To my knowledge these are the only flavors available.  In reality, flavor doesn’t matter, but I will always take more options if I can get them.  The drink mix is in tablet form.  It is packaged in a plastic tube with 16 tabs per tube.  This is the best way to package drink mix.  Each tablet makes three 8oz servings.  For maximum results they are to be mixed with 24 oz of water.  For me, this was an issue.  I have no water bottles that are 24 oz, only 16oz (and I have a lot of water bottles).  All you have to do is drop the product into water and it dissolves on its own.  No shaking, no mixing, no mess.   All 3 flavors had a very fizzy taste to them.   This was something that I was not used to, nor did I really enjoy.  This is a personal preference.  If you like fizzy, flavored water this is your drink.  The lemon lime and orange reminded me a lot of the Gatorade flavors, beside the fizzy part.   I really liked the taste of the Pomegranate- Blueberry but it made me thirsty after I drank it.  In my book this is not a good thing when I am trying to hydrate.  I was kind of bummed because the taste was that good.   Nathan tablets have less than 1 gram of carbs and sugar per serving and 0 calories.  The water bottle Nathan sent me was a Quick draw hand held cultch water bottle (22oz).  When this product arrived I was to far into my training to experiment with carrying a water bottle.   When I do a water bottle review in the future I will defiantly include it.  I’m looking forward to trying it out.  I have one question?  Why have a 22oz water bottle for a tablet that mixes with 24oz?  I know it is only 2oz, but why would you make them different?   Their web site said to mix with 22oz.  On the package it said 24oz.  Interesting.   It can’t image it makes a difference, just an observation.   This is a good electrolyte hydration mix.  It can be used with your solid supplements with no effect.  Flavor is good.  I don’t like the fizz, but it may be what you have been looking for.  I would like to see the tablet size reduced to 1 or 2 servings.  Three servings is hassle for me.

Nuun Effervescent Tablets:

This company sent me 6 different flavors. This drink mix is in tablet form, and is packaged in a plastic tube with 12 tablets per tube.  They also included three 16oz water bottles.  I will include them in my future water bottle review.  I will say the quality is above average.  The 7 flavors include:  Kona Cola, Banananunn, Orange Ginger, Tri-Berry, Lemon-Lime and Citrus Fruit.  The serving size per tablet is two 8oz servings, which yields on standard 16oz water bottle.  You can drop the product into the water and it dissolves on its own (I love this).  Just like Nathan, no shaking, no mixing, and no mess.  In contrast Nuun tabs have no fizz.  I really enjoy the variety of the product flavors.  My personal favorite flavor is the Orange Ginger.  My 7-year-old daughter fell in love with Nuun.  She is a water connoisseur.  She drinks A LOT of water.  She asked, “Can I try this product out?”   I said,” absolutely.”  For the last 5 weeks of soccer practice and games, she made sure she had her Nuun.  She tried most of the flavors, but her favorite was Kona Cola.  Unusual, since she doesn’t like cola flavored soda.  I have to say this is our new sport drink.  Today we headed off to 2 soccer games with 3 Nuun bottles; Kona Cola (7yr old daughter), Tir- Berry ( 4 yr old son), Banannnun (myself).    What I love about this product is that there are no carbs or sugars.  Nuun goal is to hydrate only.  It is your personal preference on what to use for energy (gels, bars, candy, etc.).  They are purely hydration, with the perfect balance of electrolytes.   I really like this, as I am having issues finding the perfect energy supplements. 

To summarize:


-         Multitude of flavors
-         Powder mix
-         Tear away pouches
-         40 calories, 10g carb/ 10 g sugar. 
-         Still a great choice for general physical activities. 
-         Still a staple in my house.
-         Hard to use with other supplements.  


-         3 flavors
-         Tablets
-         Water proof container,
-         0 calories, less than 1g carb/ sugar
-         servings per tablet too large
-         Fizzy taste
-         Easy to use with supplements


-         6 flavors
-         Tablets
-         Water proof container, 
-         0 calories, 0 carbs/sugar
-         No fizz, great taste
-         Easy to use with supplements

After reviewing all these products if I had to rank them in order of personal preference
1)      Nuun
2)      Gatorade
3)      Nathan

As always, my reviews are based on my own observations.  My objective is value.   I may not always choose the best product due to price, but I am not looking for the cheapest product either.  I am not being compensated for my reviews and my allegiance is to you the reader not suppliers or manufactures.  If you have questions and/or comments I am always happy to hear from you.

---Give Away---

Nuun was nice enough to offer my readers some of their tablets.  2 people will win 3 tubes of Nuun tablets (that is 36 tablets) in their most popular flavors: Tri-Berry, Lemon Lime, and Citrus Fruit.  In order to enter the contest you must, in separate entries, do one or more of the following.  Each entry will equal one chance of winning.  Up to 5 chances per person.  Qualifying entries must be listed in comment section of this post.  This give away will end Friday Oct 29th at 6pm. 

1)      Become a follower of my page or let me know that you are a follower
2)      Join Christas Fitness Challenge on Facebook   or let me know you are already a member
3)      Like Nuun on Facebook
4)      Announce my give a away on your page /facebook/ twitter
5)      Add me to your blogroll


  1. I am a member of your fitness challenge!

  2. I also announced your giveaway on my facebook page! :)

  3. Joined you challenge on facebook:)

  4. I'm a member of your fitness challenge...

  5. Member of Fitness Challenge (a Marathon? Am I nuts!!??)

  6. I love nuun... and I "Like" it on Facebook too. ;)

  7. added to my contests on my blog!

  8. I posted your giveaway on my blog.

  9. I am a follower on facebook and check out your blog. I need to try to add a blog roll to my blog...maybe one day! I hope your ear is feeling better!! My mom and sister have had that happen and they say it is painful!!! Hope you feel great soon!