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“U” Natural Hydration Tablets

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u natural hydration tablets

Effervescent sports drink tablets seem to be popping up everywhere.  We just did a full review of Motor Tabs, and CamelBak and SportAktive have them, too.

“U” Natural Hydration, brought to you by Nuun, is a conveniently portable hydration tablet that you can mix in any water bottle (preferably a reusable one that’s good for the planet, like this).

They come in three flavors, Goji Berry Green Tea, Lemon Chai and Tangerine Ginger.  They’re sweetened with Stevia and, compared to Nuun, has less sodium and potassium, no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, but more vitamins and minerals.  

The intent of “U” is for general hydration between sporting activities, and for this, it looks like a pretty solid ingredient list.  For pricing and full nutritional info, and to see how we cleverly went from covering this product to laughing at drug abusing monkeys, read “more“…


  • Calories 7
  • Fat 0 g
  • Carbohydrates 1.2 g
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 0g
  • Vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate) 1375 IU( 28%DV)
  • Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 40 mg (66%DV)
  • Thiamine (as thiamine mononitrate) 330 mcg (22%DV)
  • Riboflavin 460 mcg (27%DV)
  • Niacin (as niacinamide) 5.5 mg (27%DV)
  • Vitamin B-6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride) 550 mcg (27%DV)
  • Folate 110 mcg (27%DV)
  • Vitamin B-12 (as cyanocobalamin) 1mcg (21%DV)
  • Biotin 66 mcg (22%DV)
  • Pantothenic Acid (as calcium d-pantothenate) 2 mg (22%DV)
  • Magnesium (as magnesium sulfate) 20 mg (5%DV)
  • Zinc (as zinc sulfate) 2 mg (13%DV)
  • Sodium (as sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate) 180 mg (7%DV)
  • Potassium (as potassium bicarbonate) 77 mg (2%DV)
  • Choline (as choline bitartrate) 110 mg*
  • Stevia Leaf Extract 41mg*
  • Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
  • * Daily Values not established.


OTHER INGREDIENTS: Dextrose, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Sesame Oil, Vegetable Juice Color

The dextrose (aka glucose) must be trivial because they’re claiming zero sugar.  MSRP is $7.95 for a pack of 16, or 50¢ per serving.  Certainly less than a Propel or Powerade Zero, and without the artificial sweeteners or calories.

The only thing I don’t like to see in these products is synthetic Vitamin A (retinyl acetate or palmitate), since it’s in basically every “enhanced” product anyway.  Why is this bad?  The synthetic retinyl “A” is a fat soluble vitamin, which means that it can build up in fatty tissue, potentially to toxic levels.  We all know that it’s hard to get rid of extra fat, which means that it’s hard to get rid of extra fat soluble vitamins.  The most likely ill affect is osteoporosis and hip fractures…and as cyclists, we’re not always getting enough impact training to develop stronger bones anyway, so these are legitimate concerns.

The solution?  Use Beta-Carotene. It’s the natural form (any carotenoids are good) and won’t build up in the body.  The only side effect from overconsumption is that you might turn a little orange in color…like a bad fake bake:

Seriously, though, take a look at all the sports drinks, shakes, gels and other supplements you’re taking.  I’m not a doctor (licensed, anyway), but if you’re under 200% of the RDA (10,000 IU) from synthetic Retinyl versions, you’re probably OK.

NOTE: The picture is from Grandma’s Boy, a hilarious coming of age movie about a middle-aged video game programmer that dreams of making his own feature title some day…and with classic one liners like “Don’t judge me monkey!” and many, many more.  And, yes, the “drug abusing monkey’s bit was our clever ploy to get you to read the rest of this article…Now you know all about Vitamin A, and you can laugh about monkeys using Vitamin M.

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