As a runner in Florida, especially in the summertime, I have a serious need for electrolyte replacement to avoid the whole muscle cramping, headache-y, ears pounding feeling. While I do love an original lemon-lime Gatorade or one of the other traditional sports drinks, there are now so many other electrolyte drink options on the market!
I’ve been making an effort to try out different electrolyte replacement brands, including Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier and Nuun Sport tablets, to see what works best for me. I do like both, but there are some major differences between the two!
(Note: I am not a nutritionist, exercise scientist, doctor, or any other kind of a professional in the medical, health, or wellness field. These are my ramblings based on my personal experience.)
Liquid I.V. vs. Nuun: Mixability
I know this may seem like a weird place to start the comparison between Liquid IV and Nuun, but for me, there’s nothing worse then drinking a clump of unmixed powder. The good news is, I found that BOTH Liquid IV and Nuun mix well into water.
Liquid IV comes in a powder form that seems to dissolve almost instantly in water with no mixing. I was seriously impressed!
As for Nuun, it comes in dissolvable tablets that you drop into water, leading to some fizzing. It’s not as instant as Liquid IV, but it is still a very fast process and it leaves behind no gross clumps with no mixing either!
Mixability winner: Tie
Liquid I.V. vs Nuun: Price
As I’ve talked about before, I tried out a Nuun Sport variety pack from Amazon. It came with 6 different flavors (10 tablets per flavor) for $35.99. So, per tablet, it comes out to about $0.60 a serving. Not bad at all!
Liquid IV on the other hand is a bit more pricey and it’s part of the reason I waited so long to try it out. For a 16 pack of the Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier, you’ll pay $24.99. So, per serving, it’s about $1.56.
I personally used a discount code for 15% off from a fitness influencer, which did help bring the price down. It seems like Liquid IV offers discount codes fairly frequently, so I’d keep an eye out for a code before ordering!
Price winner: Nuun
Liquid I.V. vs Nuun: Taste
You know how flavored sparkling water tastes like the flavor, but it’s usually not super strong? That’s sort of what Nuun Sport is like. It’s got a good flavor, but it doesn’t go overboard with it. If you’re someone that doesn’t particularly like sweetness, Nuun Sport is probably your better bet. It’s a little more subdued. This is likely because it’s low sugar with just 1 gram of sugar per serving. (If you’re doing more strenuous exercise, Nuun recommends trying out Nuun endurance, which does contain more sugar.)
I’m not going to downplay it, I LOVE the taste of Liquid IV. It’s sweet and flavorful- but of course, that’s probably because it does contain 11 grams of sugar per serving. (The Liquid I.V website claims the glucose/dextrose/sugar is an important part of their ‘Cellular Transport Technology.’ I’m not a food scientist or anything and I don’t have a degree in nutrition, so I’ll let you read what they have to say about it on their blog.)
I find myself wanting to make a glass of Liquid IV even on days that I don’t do strenuous exercise- like after a long day at the beach when I’m probably experiencing some level of moderate dehydration.
Taste winner: Liquid IV
Rating Note: There is definitely a level of personal preference involved here. I’m a big fan of sweet, fruit-flavored candy, so I love the extra sweet Liquid IV. But I know from other reviews online, some people find it to be too sweet and add extra water to try to tone it down.
Something else that could change the taste is using coconut water products instead of plain water. I’ve yet to try that myself, but some people seem to love it.
It may also be more fair to compare Liquid I.V.’s Hydration Multiplier to the Nuun Endurance since they would have closer amounts of sugar: 11 grams to 15 grams.
Liquid I.V. vs Nuun: Flavor Options
Both Nuun and Liquid I.V. have a variety of flavors for sale on their websites with a fair amount of overlap.
As of writing, Nuun has 9 Nuun Sport flavors without caffeine: Strawberry Lemonade, Citrus Fruit, Fruit Punch, Grape, Lemon Lime, Orange, Tri-Berry, Tropical, and Watermelon. Nuun also offers 4 Sport caffeinated options: Cherry Limeade, Fresh Lime, Mango Orange, and Wild Berry.
For Nuun Sport, I really enjoyed their lemon lime flavor, but Tri-Berry was a close second. I ranked several Nuun flavors I’ve tried here. Nuun also offers a Nuun Immunity, which comes in a blueberry tangerine flavor.
Meanwhile, Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier comes in (as of writing) 12 flavors: Strawberry Lemonade, Sea Berry, Tropical Punch, Piña Colada, Concord Grape, Golden Cherry, Acai Berry, Guava, Lemon Lime, Passion Fruit, Strawberry, and Watermelon.
If you’re looking for an extra energy boost with caffeine, Liquid IV does offer an energy multiplier, though I’ve yet to try that out. They also offer a Hydration Multiplier+ Probiotic Kombucha and a Hydration Multiplier+ Immune Support with Vitamin C, Zinc, and more. I haven’t tried either of these either, but I am very intrigued! I love kombucha, so I find that one to be especially exciting.
For Liquid IV’s Hydration Multiplier, I’ve tried Sea Berry and Piña Colada and found both to be delicious flavors!
Flavor options winner: Tie
*Patiently waiting for the day a blue raspberry option hits the shelves*
Liquid I.V. vs Nuun: Final Thoughts
So, where does this leave us?
I would say both Liquid IV and Nuun are convenient options if you’re looking to hydrate! After drinking either product, I personally notice an extra boost in my energy levels and I like the idea that I’m getting a dose of electrolytes after a good workout.
Would I order Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier again? Yes!
Would I order Nuun Sport again?: Also, yes!
I truly could see myself ordering both products again and maybe switching it up based on my needs for the day. If it’s extra hot outside and I’m doing a longer run, I may grab the Liquid I.V., but for less intense work, I may lean toward the Nuun Sport.