Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Nuun (Kona Cola)

One thing about me is that I like to immerse myself in whatever I'm obsessing about at any given moment. As such, I follow a number of running blogs (see my Blogroll). Recently, those bloggers ran Hood-to-Coast as a team, sponsored by Nuun. It's pronounced "noon," by the way. I didn't know that until recently.

I'm a particularly sweaty individual; if I'm not careful, I could end up in a world of hurt after a tough workout. In fact, that's happened to me before. I'm always on the lookout for ways to hydrate smartly. Gatorade G2 is great, but a little bit sweet/salty after a long run. So after seeing all these great ladies talk about/run for Nuun, I decided to give it a try.

I love & miss Coca Cola greatly, so I figured the first flavor I'd try should be Kona Cola. And this is what it looks like:
Old packaging, same product
The tube has a lot of information on it, like this:

Nutritional Factoids
When you open the tube, the safety seal is popped. This made me feel a bit better about consuming something that had come shipped in an envelope (via, not Nuun):
Popped seal, for your safety!
At this point, I decided to smell inside the tube. Just to see if/what the tabs smell like. Answer? Gummi Coke Bottles... which I also love, but smelled a bit too sweet for something I was about to drink. The most important thing, though, was the tabs didn't smell gross.

Now, how to drink it? I'd read that Kona Cola Nuun + fizzy water = kinda like Coke. As a fizzy water addict, it made sense to me! I grabbed a 0.5L bottle from the fridge & went to work. Just one problem, though:

Tablet is too big for the bottle!
For other people, this might be too big a challenge to overcome. Not for me! Since there's a split right down the center, I pulled out a knife & cut the tab in two. It made a powdery mess of my countertop, but not so much that I wouldn't do it again.

The real reason I wouldn't take this course of action is this:
Kona Cola + Fizzy Water = TOTAL MESS!!
When I dropped the half-pieces into the bottle, it was a complete disaster! It fizzed over... waaaaay over, kind of like at the end of a Diet Coke/Mentos video. It doesn't sound like much, but I was super annoyed at my own stupidity. If I'd thought about it, I'd have seen that one coming.

Once it was done overflowing, I was able to finally taste Kona Cola Nuun for the first time. And you know what? It tasted like a gummi Coke bottle! Which is to say, it tasted exactly like how it smells. Mr. X tried it & freaked out; clearly not a flavor for him. I thought it was okay, but after the fizz-over, there was no carbonation left. So all I had was flat, previously-fizzy water that tasted like gummi Coke bottles. Is that bad? No, not at all. But it wasn't quite what I expected. In truth, the Kona Cola is a bit sweet for me... which is saying a lot because I love sweets.

I've got more Nuun on the way, so I'll have the opportunity to try out different flavors... with less fizz-over. I'm particularly looking forward to trying Strawberry Lemonade. I've got a 16-miler on Sunday, which'll be my real test: me vs. Nuun for (re)hydration. I'll keep you posted!


  1. Thanks for the review! I'm a soda enthusiast (addict) and have been trying to switch to tea and flavor drink mixes to lose a few pounds, but I keep going back to my drug of choice. Defiantly will check this out. Probably still not as good as switching to just tea, but probably the lesser of two evils. Thanks again!

    1. Gotta tell you a not-so-secret secret: I haven't had this since this experiment. It was just too much for me. But I hope it helps you "kick the habit." It was rough for me, but I think my issue was bubbles. I've had all my success with sparkling water. It helps to have the carbonation when I eat... mixes great with food. You just have to find the flavor you like because some sparkling waters are incredibly bitter.

      I hope it works out for you... what's your favorite soda? Mine was Coca Cola. Caffeine & bubbles. Awesome. Was so tough to kick it...Good luck!