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Nuun Debuts Podium Series For Hydration and Performance

Hydration seems pretty simple. Drink some water and you’re all set, right? Not exactly. Your body has different hydration needs depending on how hard you’re working and for how long. Heat, humidity and elevation also play a considerable role in how much you sweat and what you need to replenish.

Your body’s needs are different before, during and after you exercise. To maximize performance, fight fatigue and avoid dehydration, it’s crucial to hydrate and fuel accordingly.

That’s exactly why Nuun created their Podium Series. The new drink mixes prime your body before running, help you keep going during running and aid your recovery after.

Nuun Prime and Recover utilize plant-based branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are known for their benefits in muscle function and recovery. According to a 2017 study, BCAAs help build muscle and limit metabolic damage post workout.

While BCAAs found in some supplements are made from animal parts, Nuun is dedicated to creating clean, plant-based products. That means that all of their mixes are certified gluten-free, informed-sport, vegan, non-GMO and Kosher.

We tested them for taste and performance, and asked Nuun’s senior research and development scientist, Vishal Patel, about the science behind the Podium Series, and. Here’s what we found.

Nuun Prime

When to take it:

45 to 60 minutes before your workout

Why take it:

Nuun Prime is designed to maximize hydration, increase mental focus and protect your muscles from excessive fatigue. Its secret weapon? BCAAs.

What’s in it:

The Prime formula balances BCAAs with carbohydrates, electrolytes and adaptogens. According to Patel, the BCAAs in the Prime formula are absorbed almost immediately. He says, “They have a high uptake in the brain, which sends signals to muscles to wake up and get energized.”

Flavors: Fresh Berry, Orange (+150mg Caffeine)

What our reviewers said:

“I tried the Orange Prime before my early morning run. I usually start my day with coffee, but I replaced my morning brew with Prime and couldn’t believe how good I felt. I was notably more focused and less fatigued than usual on my morning run. I’m going to be drinking this stuff a lot!”

“Both of the flavors were tasty without being overly sweet. I like the [non-caffeinated] Berry best. It's ideal for me to drink before an afternoon run because it gets me energized and hydrated without using caffeine too late in the day."

Nuun Endurance

When to take it:

During your long run or race. Endurance was formulated specifically for efforts of 90 minutes or more.

Why take it:

Nuun Endurance is designed to keep your body working strong when you’re exercising for over 90 minutes. That’s when your body starts to struggle with water absorption and your glycogen stores are depleting.

What’s in it:

This straight-forward formula is balanced with electrolytes and carbohydrates to burn clean without causing GI distress. The simple carbohydrates like the cane sugar in Nuun Endurance are easy to digest, and aid your body with water absorption. Endurance uses the ideal ratio of carbs to water to help you maintain hydration and muscle function so you beat the bonk.

Flavors: Lemon Lime, Citrus Mango, Strawberry Lemonade (+25 mg caffeine)

What our reviewers said:

“The Lemon Lime flavor was so refreshing on my long run. It kept me feeling energized for a couple of hours in the woods.”

“The Strawberry Lemonade Endurance is delicious. It was just what I needed to make it through my long run, and the caffeine gives a little extra kick without upsetting my stomach.”

Nuun Recover

When to take it:

After your run, ideally within 30 minutes of completion.

Why take it:

Nuun’s Recover mix has a balance of carbohydrates, protein, electrolytes and BCAAs to help muscles recover and aid the body in fluid and electrolyte absorption.

According to Patel’s research, 30 grams of Whey protein contains roughly three grams of L-Leucine, a component of Nuun’s BCAA blend.

“That amount, in our research, helps trigger mechanisms and to allow your body to recover faster,” says Patel, “while giving you additional time to consume a meal and complete the recovery process.”

But rather than beefing up the mix with extra protein, Patel says they stuck with just five grams of BCAAs. “Our athletes say they find it difficult to drink or eat something immediately after a workout with high calories, carbs and protein,” he says. “So, we wanted to create a solution that got the process going, so that they could wait one to two hours before consuming a meal, rather than 30 minutes right after.”

What’s in it:

A serving contains 6g of protein, but Nuun says the BCAA blend delivers the same muscle recovery benefits of 30g of protein, roughly the amount women need to properly recover from exercise.

“When you ‘audit’ 30g of whey protein you find roughly 3 grams of L-Leucine, which is a component of our BCAA blend.

The reason it has 5g of BCAAs and not 30g of protein is that we heard from our athletes that they found it difficult to drink or eat something immediately after a workout with high calories, carbs and protein.”

Flavors: Lemonade, Blackberry Lemon

What our reviewers said:

“The Lemonade flavor is so refreshing right after a hot, sweaty workout. I started to keep a pre-mixed bottle with ice in my car when I come back from the track. I like knowing I’m getting the nutrients I need right after I run without rushing to make a meal when I’m really tired.”

“I tried the Blackberry Lemon and the flavor took some getting used to. But the recovery benefits are well-worth it! I often don’t have time to eat right after my run because I’m rushing to get the rest of my family ready for the day. And this mix saved me.”

By Kate Schwartz. Schwartz has been running competitively for 20 years, and she currently runs with the Asheville Running Collective. She lives in Asheville, NC, with her husband, Alex, and their cat, Clementine.

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