Monday, May 9, 2016

Having Nuun Of It

Back in the day, I was envious of the other running bloggers who were sponsored by the very companies whose products I used.  I wore Brooks shoes, yet a free pair never showed up on my doorstep.  Same went for the electrolyte-replacement drink Nuun - they sponsored plenty of bloggers, but me?  Nope.  I had to buy my own.  As it turned out, I was glad to not be beholden to a particular brand of running shoes when I was ready for a change; much as I would have loved free shoes, I loved my freedom of choice just a little more.

But this post isn't about running shoes.  It's a reminder that what you read here is my own true opinion, uninfluenced by freebies or sponsorships.  And that's why I'm going to write some negative things about a product that I've used and loved for years - Nuun.  Here's the deal:  Nuun is a low-calorie electrolyte-replacement product that comes in the form of a tablet - you drop it in a bottle of water and it dissolves, fizzing much like an Alka-Seltzer of yore.  It's light and refreshing, and tastes pretty good for a low-calorie drink.  I especially like it on ice, after a hot and humid run.  It's helped me avoid leg cramps as well as replenished a lot of the salt I've sweated out as I ran.


I've been using Nuun for years and couldn't understand why, when I opened up a new tube of Strawberry Lemonade flavor, I suddenly could not stand the taste. I couldn't bring myself to finish my drink.  I brought it with me to the Texadega race and made myself a bottle after I ran.  Again, it tasted terrible.  So bad that even though I knew I should be drinking it to avoid cramping up, I couldn't do it.  I finally looked at the tube and saw the dreaded word STEVIA printed on it. Lightbulb moment.  They changed their formula, and it's now bitter and undrinkable to me...and many other people as well, if you look on their Facebook page.  I also realized that although the new tube was the same size as the old one, there were only 10 tablets inside, instead of 12 - for the same price, naturally (and yes, please read that with some sarcasm).

I messaged Nuun regarding this, and received the canned response that they've been giving everyone who has complained about the change:
hi shelley, we're sorry to hear you don't like our new formula. as part of our ongoing effort to improve, we made the switch to all plant-based ingredients, which are easier for the body to digest and help you hydrate faster. we tried to match the original flavors as closely as we could, but some flavors (such as strawberry lemonade) are a bit different. we appreciate that some individuals are more sensitive to stevia than others, and will make sure our development team hears your feedback. if you wish to stock up on original nuun, it will be available at nuun.com/shop while it lasts.
So basically, they don't care that they've ruined a perfectly good product.  And as I wrote back, I said that while I did place an order for the old formula, they're missing the point, because when it runs out, I won't be back.  And I'm both sad and a bit mad about this - why on earth would they think this was necessary?  

At least, since I was never on Nuun's radar enough for sponsorship, I don't have to pretend that this isn't happening...fair warning to anyone who had been a fan of Nuun in the past, you may not like it when you try the new formula.  Stock up now, if you can (but be sure to read the label to get the old formula).  And soon I'll be looking for a new electrolyte-replacement drink to replace Nuun.  Any suggestions?

34 comments:

  1. Let me know what you find! I threw my new tablets away! Tasted awful! Thankfully I still have some old grape left!

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    1. I returned mine to the grocery store...two unopened tubes plus the opened one. I was dissatisfied with the product so they allowed it. Sounds like you are in the same boat as me, which is unfortunate.

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  2. I drink coconut water to replenish and have something like pretzels for salt.

    I find any artificial sweetener to be extremely bitter, but Stevia is probable the least bitter to me. Splenda is the.worst.

    All the companies now are jumping on the stevia bandwagon because it's "natural" and popular, so they have to cash in.

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    1. I used to drink coconut water until our stores decided no one was buying the brand I liked and they all stopped carrying it. I swear, it feels like I'm the kiss of death to good products!

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  3. Yikes! I hate when companies change a good thing!!!!

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  4. So, so, so STUPID. I'm very upset because, OF COURSE, grape has been sold out. In fact, I couldn't even find it locally and the folks at our local store told me they were changing the formula. I haven't tried the new grape but I'm pretty sure I'll hate it since I hate stevia. Why do they think they need to do this?! I hope enough people complain that like Coke they go back to their old formula!

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    1. I hope they switch back, too...maybe they will once they see sales go down, but by then, there might just be another product that we've all discovered and move on to. I hope you can find some old formula grape, somewhere.

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  5. You know, Quest tried to do something similar. But so many people complained that they changed their recipe. Its not the old one, but its very good. And in the meantime, they lost a LOT of sales, and they gave away a lot of Quest bars to try to get customers back.

    I HATE stevia, LOVE splenda :)

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    1. That's interesting about Quest. Don't mess with a good thing, I say!

      I don't use much in the way of artificial sweeteners, but Stevia is the worst to me.

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  6. Another blogger I read had the same reaction as you, but the sponsored blogger I read didn't... hmmm. Ha!

    This totally sucks. I can't drink those artificial sweeteners (they bug my stomach - the old nuun did too, though, for the record), and I know a lot of people are like that, so it sucks so much that they changed this. STOCK UP, EVERYONE! Or, like you said, find something new. :( And I love how they told you to stock up. They really don't GAF. And of course there are less capsules in there.

    The only sports drink I can handle when running is Vitamin Water XXX full calorie (which DOES have stevia leaf extract listed a bit down on the ingredient list!!! So maybe I can handle it when it's not the main sweetener?!).

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    1. Interesting observation on the sponsored vs. non-sponsored blogger's take on the new formula...and I'd like to read the non-sponsored review, if you'll share. You are absolutely correct in that they do not GAF - it's all about the money, plain and simple.

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    2. Here it is :)

      http://www.laurenruns.com/2016/03/16/new-improved/

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  7. I recently started using Tailwind (I am NOT affiliated with them in any manner) and love it! I am an extremely salty sweater and can't tolerate solids at all while I run, so I have to take in a lot of calories and salt via liquids. It's super expensive, but I have found it to be worth every penny. I buy it from runningwarehouse.com because you can use RunBlogger's discount code (RUNBLOG10) and get 10% off. Again, not associated with any of the parties mentioned here! I just like good stuff and good deals. :) And this situation is exactly why I don't want to be sponsored by big companies - they're always changing their products! Boo!

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    1. Interesting...I was just reading another blogger's write up of Tailwind last week. I will have to try it; I like the idea of not having to use GU because I get to a point during a long run when I just can't stomach the thought of taking one.more.GU. Thanks for the endorsement and the discount code - I loves me a good discount code. :)

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    2. I know who you are talking about here...lol...my love for Tailwind is no secret. I'm also on Team Nuun, because I use Nuun for training as well. I haven't tried the new formula yet. I'll have to order some and see. We're still working our way through my supply of the "old" formula. I'll let you know what I think.

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  8. That is just the pits Shelley! I hate it when some product I love is changed or completely disappears. I've decided that if life is based on the 80/20 rule, than I am solidly in the 20 for most things and that's why they disappear on me. Hope you find a good substitute soon.

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    1. You and me both, Jeannie...and I'm sorry for all of the TV shows that were cancelled because I liked watching them. ;)

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  9. I have never used Nuun but my sister has and Yes, she was even an ambassador. However,there were no perks to being an ambassador, no complimentary products, no support, nothing. So in the end, it was basically just a free way for them to get advertising out of us. So yea, you didn't miss anything by not being an ambassador..lol

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  10. Well that stinks! Hope you find another drink you like soon.

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  11. Wow, that's a huge ingredient change. Stevia AND monk fruit? That would have been a double whammy for me. Not a fan of either at all. Hope you find a good replacement!

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    1. Me too, Erica...you know how sweaty I get when I run - electrolyte replacement is a necessity for me!

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  12. Ugh, that sucks. I don't even use artificial sweeteners and I am diabetic - I figure a little sugar is tolerable since I can take insulin to cover it. It reminds me of when New Coke came out and everyone lost their shit over that - maybe with enough feedback they'll go back to their old ways?

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  13. Coconut water, chicken broth for electrolytes, regular water with pink salt (hot, hot days at work with walking).

    Daily I use a product called Natural Calm (magnesium, fizzy property, and a teeny bit of stevia).

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  14. I am unable to tolerate sorbitol so have always been really restricted with electrolyte replacement drinks. I use skratch which has no artificial sweeteners, colours or flavourings and love it. It is expensive here in the UK but totally worth it :-)

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    1. I've tried Skratch and liked it; I may just have to get more.

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  15. That sucks! Like Biz I never use artificial sweeteners and wouldn't buy this either if it suddenly has Stevia in it.

    At the moment I don't use any energy stuff because I don't run that far. So no tips for something else.

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  16. I loathe artificial sweeteners and have never used Nuun. I did win some Tailwind that I plan to try this summer.

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