Nuun vs. Liquid I.V: What is the Right Option for You?

As a long-time runner, I’m always looking to optimize my training and nutrition. One thing I really like about running is the ability to hammer out a long, solo road run with just water and a salt stick if you’re so inclined. But as races get longer, it’s nice to have that extra electrolyte kick to keep you going through all the hills and heat.

Credits: Andrea Richard

When it comes to electrolyte replacement, there are a lot of different options out there. A lot of people are looking for something that is convenient, affordable and works well to hydrate their bodies when they’re out being active. We often see Nuun and Liquid I.V. being compared to each other. They are both designed with active people in mind. The purpose of this blog post is to compare and contrast these two great products in an unbiased way so you can decide where you should use each product.

Below is a discussion of our comparison between Nuun vs. Liquid I.V.

Why Do You Need Electrolytes in the First Place?

Electrolytes are a combination of sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium, which are key minerals that regulate fluid balance, nerve and muscle function, blood pressure regulation, and more. The human body is constantly working to maintain homeostasis (the perfect balance of all its functions), and electrolytes are key to keeping that balance in check. So if you’re sweating like crazy on a run or working out hard, it’s important to replenish these vital nutrients to prevent dehydration and keep your system running smoothly.

One of the best ways to get you back on your feet and feeling good again is by replacing the lost electrolytes with an oral electrolyte drink.


What is Nuun?

Nuun is a hydration tablet that contains electrolytes, has a light flavor, and is made with clean ingredients.

Nuun’s unique formula was developed by a team of medical professionals and sports nutritionists, who created a product that makes hydration easy for anyone who needs it—no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

The tablet dissolves in water to create a drink that tastes just like your favorite drink but also contains all the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy and hydrated. Nuun tablets come in 12 different flavors so you can choose something you love—and they’re all natural ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about putting anything bad in your body!

What is Liquid I.V.?

Liquid I.V. is a great-tasting hydration drink mix designed to keep you alert and focused. It’s made with a proprietary blend of electrolytes and vitamins that are designed to be absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly than water alone, providing immediate energy and hydration.

Combining the breakthrough science of Cellular Transport Technology with water, the Liquid I.V. hydration multiplier gives your cells a fast and easy way to get the hydration they need, fueling your whole body with the essentials it needs to thrive.


Who Will Enjoy These Products?

I’ve been using both Nuun and Liquid IV for years. They are both great products, but I prefer Nuun for my runs because it hydrates my body more quickly than Liquid IV (and it tastes better).

Nuun’s formula actually leaves you hydrated for longer than Liquid I.V.’s formula does, which means that you don’t have to constantly drink it during your workout or race. This is why I use it during long runs, like marathons or ultra-distances. The only time when I use Liquid IV instead of Nuun is before or after a run when I just want to get some extra electrolytes in me.

When refilling during long runs, I find that it is easier to carry and manage Nuun than Liquid IV because it comes in individual packets that are easy to carry in your pockets or hydration belt.

I like Liquid IV because it’s not fizzy, which is nice during long runs when fizziness can make your stomach hurt. Liquid I.V.’s formula actually hydrates your body faster than Nuun’s does, so if you’re looking for something that will keep you hydrated during a spin class or long run, then go with Liquid I.V.

How do Nuun and Liquid I.V. differ in terms of taste?

I’m a big fan of Liquid IV, but I have to admit that Nuun also has its place.


Liquid IV tastes like a sports drink—it’s thick, and has a little bit of an aftertaste that lingers on your tongue. Nuun flavors are much more subtle, with only hints of flavor left on your lips after drinking them.

I personally prefer the taste of Liquid IV over Nuun. The flavors are bolder, but it does hydrate my body more quickly than Nuun does.

Nuun tablets are tasty, a little salty, and they fizz in water. They have a lot more flavors to choose from than Liquid I.V., so if you want something with a bit more variety, Nuun might be the way to go.

Liquid I.V. is good for people who want something sweet and don’t want the fizziness of Nuun tablets. Also, if you’re looking for something that’s not as salty as Nuun tablets but still has electrolytes in it (like sodium and potassium), then you should try Liquid I.V.

Which One Dissolves More Quickly?

Nuun tablets are big and won’t fit in a standard water bottle, so you’ll need to break them up first. This can be a pain if you’re on the go and want something quick.

Liquid I.V. is easy to use—just pour it into the water at any time and drink up! It dissolves much faster than Nuun tablets, so if you want to get hydrated quickly, this might be the better choice for you.

Nuun tablets don’t dissolve easily, it takes about 5 mins to completely dissolve. This means that if you want to add Nuun tablets to an existing bottle of water, you might have to let them sit for a while before drinking it all down.

Liquid I.V is super convenient because it dissolves instantly, so you don’t have to worry about fiddling around with a big tablet or making sure it’s completely dissolved before you can take a drink of water.

How Much Sugar Do They Contain?

Nuun and Liquid I.V. are both great products, but they’re surprisingly different when it comes to sugar content.

Nuun tablets have a significantly lesser amount of sugar than liquid IV. Nuun’s have only 1g, whereas Liquid I.V has 11g of sugar. That’s more than 10 times as much!

This means that if you’re trying to cut back on the amount of sugar you eat and drink, Nuun might be for you.

Flavors, Cost, and Availability

When it comes to flavor options, Nuun is king. The brand offers a total of 15+ different flavors including Citrus Fruit, Fruit Punch, Grape, Lemon Lime, Orange, Strawberry Lemonade, Tri-Berry, Tropical, Watermelon, Cherry Lemonade, Fresh Lime, Mango Orange, Blueberry Tangerine, Orange Citrus, and Wild Berry.

liquid i.v alternative
Credits: Tasha Mijinke

By contrast, Liquid I.V.’s flavors are much more limited. You’ll only find ten flavors at this time: Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon, Passion Fruit, Lemon Lime, Guava, Lemon Ginger, Apple Pie, Acai Berry, and Golden Cherry.

Nuun is a lot less expensive than Liquid I.V. Liquid I.V.’s price point is just too high to be competitive in the market today, especially when you consider all the other options available to athletes and people who are active outside of work.

For example, you can get 40 tablets of Nuun for the cost of 16 Liquid I.V packs.

Both brands can be purchased on their website as well as through retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

Who Wins?

Ultimately, both Nuun and Liquid I.V. are quality hydration options that can help you meet your daily water goals and avoid dehydration while exercising.

If you’re deciding between Nuun tablets and Liquid I.V. packets, the decision should ultimately come down to personal preference. Some runners prefer tablets over powder mixes, while others prefer the opposite, so experimentation may be necessary to find which one you prefer.

In the end, it all comes down to what you’re looking for in a hydration system. If you’re OK with a sugary drink without a lot of flavors to choose from, Liquid I.V. might be just what you need. But if you’re on a budget, or are looking for something that won’t make your drink quite as sweet, then Nuun may be the better choice for you.


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