Monday, September 24, 2012

Nuun vs. Hammer Fizz

I live in Florida, which means that training in the summer is a hot and sweaty prospect, especially with the humidity. Typically, you become drenched in sweat about five seconds after you step outside. As a result, some sort of salt tab or electrolyte replacement is necessary.

I've tried doing Hammer Endurolyte pills, and I'm just not a fan. I can't remember to take them, and I dislike fussing around with them. As a result, I switched over to Hammer Endurolyte Fizz, as they included a few samples in a Heed order, and I liked the idea of just throwing a tab into my water.

I've wanted to try NUUN as well, but hadn't seen it for sale in any of our local run/bike shops. I'd thought about ordering, but never got around to it. Recently though, I found out Jacksonville Running Company carries several flavors, so I picked up the Lemon Tea to try out on my next ride. Having used both the Nuun and the Fizz a few times now, here's how they stacked up.

Hammer Fizz 

Comes in 6 flavors: Mango, peach, grapefruit, grape, lemon-lime and unflavored.

I tried Mango and Grapefruit,  but Grapefruit only once.

Hammer's website encourages Fizz use to decrease the risk of cramping, keep up your body's necessary supply of electrolytes and "plus, in many instances, you require greater volumes of electrolytes than any sports drink or gel can provide."

Here's the nutrition breakdown from the Hammer website for Mango.

I tried the Fizz on both long runs and longer bike rides. Overall, it was a little disappointing.

Flavor: There is a baking-soda like aftertaste that was a turn off, despite the Mango flavoring. It didn't really encourage me to want to drink more water, which I struggle with to begin with.
Effectiveness: It seemed to work well. I felt better at the end of multi-hour runs or rides than I generally do otherwise, and felt less dehydrated for the rest of the day. My skin was still pretty salty though.
Effectiveness when Mixed with Other Nutrition: I didn't experience any GI issues, despite mixing this with Hammer Perpetuem on bike rides and Powerbar Gels on runs.
Cost: $4.95/13 tablets

Overall: Meh. The flavor was really the biggest turnoff. Additionally, it didn't look like it really dissolved all the way. It looked like there were little bits of "floaters" in my bottle.

Nuun Active Hydration

Nuun comes in 11 flavors: Banana, Orange, Lemon Lime, Strawberry Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Kona Cola, Lemon Tea, Tri-Berry, Grape, Tropical, and Citrus Fruit.

I tried the Lemon Tea flavor, which also features light caffeine.

Nuun's website claims that "the electrolytes found in Nuun will help alleviate cramps, help muscles function, communicate and burn energy efficiently."
So application-wise, Nuun and Fizz stack up pretty closely.

The nutrition breakdown for Nuun is as follows:

I have used Nuun for several long runs and long rides now, and have been very pleased with it. 

Flavor: It really tastes like lemon tea, which is one of my favorite flavors. It made me way more excited about drinking, which is great. I tend to not drink enough during hard efforts. 
Effectiveness: I felt great. The little spike of caffeine offered by the lemon tea flavor was just enough, and my skin wasn't nearly as salty at the end of my workouts.
Effectiveness when Mixed with Other Nutrition: I didn't experience any GI issues, despite mixing this with Hammer Perpetuem on bike rides and Powerbar Gels on runs.
Cost: $6.50/12 tablets

Overall: New favorite sports drink. Flavor, experience and quality were all awesome. And a well-designed package doesn't hurt either. 

Winner: Clearly, Nuun. At least for me. It's slightly pricier than the Fizz, but the overall experience of the product, especially the flavor, more than makes up for it.


  1. Oooh I've been fascinated with this stuff, but haven't tried it yet. I'm definitely going to pickup some Nuun next time I see it to try it out!

  2. I've look at both ingredients. The artificial sweetener in Nunn (Acesulfame Potassium) made me decide to go with Fizz.