Workout Hydration: What You Need and When You Need It, by Matt Wilpers

Workout Hydration: What You Need and When You Need It

As an endurance coach and athlete, I have seen, felt, and read about the positive and negative effects that hydration can have on athletic performance. The human body is composed of 40-70% water, most of which is found in muscle tissue. It is no surprise, then, that hydration levels can have such an impact. Hydration issues typically arise when we either have too little or too much water in our bodies. Water helps our bodies perform many vital functions some of which include:

  • Thermoregulation
  • Maintaining the body’s acid-base ratio
  • Transporting nutrients
  • Maintaining electrolyte balance
  • Diffusing gases
  • Removing waste
  • Lubricating and cushioning joints and organs

In terms of how much water the average person should consume, the National Academy of Sports Medicine as well as The National Academy of Medicine recommend the following:


There is more to hydration than water, however. For example, the effects of dehydration can be compounded by a loss of electrolytes. Furthermore, Oral Rehydration Solution science has taught us that hydration can be significantly improved when water is combined with the right balance of ingredients.

Nuun takes advantage of this science and brings it to the next level in their new Podium Series. The Podium Series is a 3-part hydration system designed for high effort and high-performance exercise. The 3-part system addresses specific hydration needs before, during, and after exercise.

Before Exercise

As an endurance athlete, I have learned (usually the hard way unfortunately) that hydrating your body takes time, therefore it is important to start this process before you exercise. To help prepare your body for exercise, Nuun has created “Nuun Prime” which consists of 7 key ingredients:

  • Electrolytes – for hyperhydration
  • BCAAs – for mental acuity, and muscle energy/preparation
  • Prebiotic Fiber (Inulin) – for GI stress reduction
  • Adaptogens (Panax Ginseng) – for stress reduction, focus & cognitive support during exercise
  • Caffeine or Caffeine Free – for extra boost/energy
  • Cane Sugar (vegan) – Carbohydrate that works with Dextrose and Sodium to aid in fluid delivery
  • Dextrose – Carbohydrate that works with sodium to aid in fluid transport

During Exercise

During exercise, you are not only burning calories, but you are also losing fluids as well as electrolytes. To help keep you hydrated and replace lost electrolytes, Nuun has created “Nuun Endurance” which contains 9 key ingredients:

  • Dextrose – Carbohydrate that works with sodium to aid in fluid transport
  • Cane Sugar (vegan) – Carbohydrate that works with Dextrose and Sodium to aid in fluid delivery
  • Organic Flavors – Pure, clean flavoring sourced from organic ingredients
  • Citric Acid – Helps stabilize flavoring and provides a crisp taste
  • Sodium Citrate – An electrolyte that helps retain fluids
  • Potassium Citrate – An electrolyte that helps with fluid balance
  • Potassium Chloride – An electrolyte source that aids in fluid balance and replenishment
  • Magnesium Citrate – An electrolyte that aids in muscle function
  • Calcium Citrate – An electrolyte that aids in muscle and bone function

After Exercise

Once you are finished exercising, you not only want to make sure you replace any lost fluids and electrolytes, but you also want to start the process of recovery, including muscle repair. To help, Nuun has created “Nuun Recover” which is designed to accelerate your exercise recovery with 5 key ingredients including:

  • Electrolytes – for rapid rehydration
  • BCAAs – for fast-acting muscle repair
  • L-Glutamine – for immune system support
  • Dextrose – carbohydrate that works with sodium to aid in fluid transport
  • Cane Sugar (vegan) – carbohydrate that works with Dextrose and Sodium to aid in fluid delivery


As an avid user of Nuun products for most of my training and racing career, I am excited to include all three products in my routine. Aside from the great taste and the fact that they are soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan-friendly, and non-GMO verified, I know that I can always count on Nuun to create a clean product.


Other Sources:
- “NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training” Fifth Edition. Pgs 157-162
- “Physiology of Sport and Exercise” Fifth Edition by W. Larry Kenny, Jack H Wilmore and David L. Costill. Pgs 380-385
- “Exercise Physiology” Eighth Edition by William D. McArdle, Frank I. Katch and Victor L. Katch. Pgs 72-76.

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