Runner on the sand


By Kevin Rutherford, 
Chief Electrolyte Officer

... then you are missing the opportunity.

Two and half years ago, we asked ourselves the question: If we started all over again, how would we design Nuun? Would it be the exact same product we designed ten years ago that revolutionized the sports drink market? Surely, with everything we have learned and experienced in the last 10 years, we can find a better way, right? There must be a better way to deliver performance, there must be a better way to make our planet healthier, and there must be a better way to help facilitate clean sport with fair and ethical competition. These are some big questions that we are tackling to bring positive change. The first question we addressed was starting all over on delivering better performance.


When Nuun was founded ten years ago, it was created by a few triathletes that wanted to separate their hydration from their fuel for optimal performance. By separating fuel from your hydration, they learned that this would allow them to control their intake based on their specific physiological needs, in addition to dealing with potential environmental conditions on any given day. At that time, the only solution was traditional sports drinks that combined sugar laden, colored, fluids with sub-optimal levels of electrolytes. And voila, Nuun Hydration was born as the first effervescent tablet delivering a complete electrolyte profile to mitigate muscle and mental fatigue as well as reducing, and in some cases eliminating, muscle cramps. It was a performance solution where you could actually feel the difference. To top it off, Nuun was a sports drink that people loved the taste of. Today, Nuun is growing so fast that it is redefining the way people hydrate and fuel for their active lifestyle and is now the fastest selling product in sports stores around the United States.


Clearly Nuun isn’t broken, but if we believe that there is always a better way, then what is our missed opportunity? If we started over today, how would we design Nuun? Here are five things we decided to do to make what we think is already the best sports drink on the planet, even better:

  1. Stay true to the science of what works.

We knew from our research and testing that we didn’t want to change our complete electrolyte profile of sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. This is the platform of what makes Nuun work so well that you can feel the difference.

  1. Raise the performance bar even higher.

We learned by adding a small amount of a non-GMO dextrose, the electrolytes would be absorbed even faster which makes for a more effective and efficient way to hydrate.

  1. Every ingredient is clean and with purpose.

We challenged every single ingredient and changed them when we identified a cleaner alternative that would benefit the body, like avocado oil. We also eliminated preservatives like sodium benzoate, and we upgraded the ingredient that binds the tablet together with the non-GMO dextrose (which also serves as a performance benefit).

  1. Uncompromised taste.

This was a tough challenge as Nuun is loved so much, however, we believe we broke through with our unique plant-based sweetening system. We shifted to a clean and natural sweetener made from an extract of monk-fruit juice combined with a pinch of stevia that was sourced from a whole-leaf extract. We upgraded our natural flavorings and ingredients to ensure they are animal friendly (vegan) from the seed to the finished tablet.

  1. Reduce our impact on the planet.

The good news is that we don’t believe we should be shipping around water. It’s energy intensive, inefficient and wasteful. That is why we have ten tablets in one little recyclable tube. We have upgraded to make our ingredients cleaner which is better for you and the planet.


With all that being said, our work here is just getting started as there is still more we can improve upon. We are so grateful at Nuun to have each and every fan join us to make our mission a reality. A mission that is simply about inspiring everyone to actively achieve their personal best. In order to do that, we must relentlessly and consistently pursue a better way, until it becomes the way. 


1 comment

  • Thank you for not including Sodium Benzoate in your products. I am severely allergic to Sodium Benzoate. Most sodas and sauces use this preservative. The Nuun products are an important part of my hydration system [Run 50+ miles/week & working to qualify for Boston (Age 50-54, Need 3H25min). I’ve ran 20 marathons]. I love how the tablets are portable and easy to break & drop into a water bottle. Thanks for the great products,

    Robert on

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