Impact of nuun electrolyte tablets on fluid balance in active men and women


Background: Maintaining adequate hydration is important for overall health and has major implications for athletes involved in physically demanding tasks. While water is viewed as an effective means to rehydrate, and is inexpensive and readily available, electrolyte beverages appear to be more beneficial, in particular for athletes who routinely lose electrolytes through sweating. Nuun tablets contain a mix of electrolytes and are quickly dissolved in water to create an electrolyte-rich beverage. We determined the impact of Nuun tablets on the fluid balance of healthy, exercise-trained men and women at rest. Methods: Eight men (25.9 ± 4.5 yrs) and 10 women (28.2 ± 9.4 yrs) ingested either water only or water with Nuun electrolyte tablets, at both a single and double strength concentration, in random order, on three separate occasions separated by approximately one week, in a fasted and euhydrated state. A total of 1 liter of fluid was ingested at each visit over a 30 minute period. Urine was collected from each subject at 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 hours post-ingestion. Urine mass values were used to calculate fluid balance and the beverage hydration index (BHI; i.e., the volume of urine produced after drinking the Nuun beverages, relative to that of water only— control condition). Heart rate and blood pressure were measured throughout the four-hour period, while body weight was measured at the start and end of the experiment. Results: Neither heart rate nor blood pressure were impacted by beverage consumption. Nuun tablets resulted in a lower urine output compared to water, with fluid balances for both concentrations more favorable compared to water (p < 0.05), beginning at 2 h post-ingestion and continuing at the 3 h and 4 h times. Body weight loss was less with Nuun at the single dose (0.38 kg; p = 0.02) and double dose (0.43 kg; p = 0.08), compared to water (0.57 kg). The BHI was higher for Nuun (single dose in particular) compared to water at both 2 h (p = 0.05) and 4 h (p = 0.02). Conclusion: The addition of Nuun electrolyte tablets to water improves the fluid balance and BHI in healthy men and women. Results were similar for both concentrations, suggesting that additional electrolytes are not necessary when in a rested state. Future studies should determine the impact of various concentrations of the Nuun beverage during physical exercise—in particular, exercise in the heat, when sweat loss may be highest.

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