Friday, May 27, 2016

New Nuun Formula Side-by-Side Taste Comparison with Old Formula

So, when Nuun came out with their new Nuun formula, I was really interested in how the various flavors would taste in the new formula and whether they were able to replicate or better the good tastes of Nuun that I had grown used to.

Instead of just buying a new formula flavor over the course of a year or so, I decided to place an order and buy every flavor of the new formula that was offered.  My stockpile at home already included some of all of the old flavors.  I would then perform a side-by-side taste test of old vs. new formula flavors and publish my results when I completed all 9 flavors.  During my side-by-side tests, I would post results on Twitter (@JPC_Marathoner) but I wanted to gather all of my thoughts and results in one place and so this is that place.  The below are the results for each side-by-side as well as an overall assessment of the new Nuun formula tablets.  For the most part, the below is a stream of consciousness on my thoughts.

I hope you find the info useful and I encourage you to perform your own taste tests and let me know what your taste buds think.  Give some flavors a new try.  Expand you flavor stockpiles and spread the #NuunLove.

Overall New Formula Nuun Notes (non-flavor notes)

  • New tablets are bigger, thicker and seem to be slightly wider.
  • New tablets are much more “powdery”.  Be careful when fishing out a new Nuun tablet when wearing dark slacks :-/  You will need to brush them off and make sure fingers are cleansed :-)
  • Given the slightly bigger size and maybe due to them being more powdery, they seem to come out of the tube harder.  I have to work hard sometimes, to get a tablet out of the tube, especially when I get down to the last 3 or so in the tube.  It is as if the tube doesn’t want to relinquish the wonderfulness that it is holding
  • New tablets are less dense (which may go with the powdery part), thus, they don’t sink fast and get stuck easier if you have tossed them in water with ice in it.
  • Did I mention them being more powdery?  Have breathed in my share of Nuun powder when opening tubes.
  • The new formula Nuuns seem to take a little longer to dissolve completely than the old.  Not a significant amount of time difference to worry about it though.

Strawberry Lemonade

  • Like old better.
  • Old was one of my favs (top 3 with Watermelon and Tri Berry)
  • New is 7/10 (which is still okay) but not as flavorful to me as old.  Seems “weaker” in taste which is not my experience with the other new Active Nuun flavors side-by-sides
  • There is a slight aftertaste associated with the new Strawberry Lemonade formula.  Sometimes it borders on more than slight.
  • Not going to lie here.  I am disappointed that one of my top flavors, to me, is not as tasty.  I will still drink it but likely not as often as I used to.

Tri Berry

  • As I said above, Tri Berry is one of my top 3 in the old formula.  Before doing the side-by-side, I was worried this would go the way of Strawberry Lemonade.  
  • I like new formula flavor better!  Tri Berry has been one of my tops so excited that I like it better.
  • Flavor seems stronger to me.  No aftertaste.


  • This was my favorite flavor in the old formula, so I was hoping that the new formula taste was at least as good as the old.
  • I definitely like the new formula flavor better.  Taste is stronger and tastes more like watermelon than old.  Glad that I like it better since it is my fav.


  • Never a big fan of this flavor, so I am interested to see if the new formula changes this in any way.
  • New formula wins again.  New flavor is more lemony
  • After trying new again, it is lemony but sometimes I get more limey too! Great! 2 flavors in 1.
  • Still won’t be one of my top flavors


  • I became a fan of Tropical late in the life of “old” flavor Nuun.  Wonder how it will be with new formula
  • New flavor wins! - surprise, right? - Seeing a trend here (except for Strawberry Lemonade)
  • Like some other flavors, I got a stronger taste with the new formula.  While drinking, I get a melon taste.  Aftertaste moved to a pineapple taste.  Cool.


  • Occasionally get Orange, but not often.  Interested to see if it rises on my fav’o’meter
  • Had to take two taste tests to decide and describe why. Winner is: New!
  • New flavor (stronger) tastes more like Orange, not like OJ or an orange drink, but more like eating an actual orange.
  • Starts out tasting like a cutie (clementine); ends with a hint of mandarin.


  • Rarely bought citrus in old flavor.  Will see with new formula.
  • Winner is *tie*.  I truly cannot decide.  New formula flavor is slightly stronger tasting and what it tastes the most like to me is a tangerine, which is good, but I would rather have Orange, I think.

Fruit Punch

  • I have never been a fan of Fruit Punch anything. Ever since a kid, I have not liked Fruit Punch Kool-Aid.  Was not a Nuun fan of this flavor either.  Will new formula change this?
  • Winner here is *new* formula Nuun flavor, surprise, surprise, surprise.  However, I will caveat that even though I like the new formula taste better, Fruit Punch is not rising into my top 5 flavors.  I will buy some of it in the future just because I like to change up flavors now and then.


  • “Old” grape was in my top 6 probably.  I didn’t buy a whole bunch, but I usually bought some with every order.  Will I like the new formula better given that the past taste tests are mainly stronger tasting and I think I would like that in grape.
  • Yes!  The new formula seems to have a stronger grape taste to me and that is what I was hoping for.  Mark grape down as a winner between the old and new formula flavors.

Concluding Notes

  • Very surprising to me (and others that were following my tweets) how the new formula flavors dominated.  After the first flavor test, Strawberry Lemonade, where I liked the old formula taste better (old was a “10” to me and now is a “7”, but still…), I expected more wins by the old flavors.
  • I may have had a bias coming into the taste test against new formula flavors because I got to sample some “in the works” flavors a couple years ago when running the Hood to Coast with Nuun HQ employees.  They had a couple bags of tablets that they were working on flavors, I assume for the new formula at the time.  Some of the tablets I randomly picked were, well, how can I put this nicely, not very good!  They were still in the works remind you, so some things were still being ironed out, but this left me with a bad taste in my mouth for some of the flavors and how I thought the new formula would taste.  But never fear, the Nuun HQ geniuses nailed it.  When the new formula goes 7-1-1 in head to head taste tests with the old Nuun tablets, I am impressed… and happy given I drink a whole bunch of Nuun!