The popular effervescent tablet maker Nuun has a solution for restless nights and winding down between workouts: Nuun Rest. Launched at the natural-foods show Expo West earlier this month, Rest (at first glance) follows the formula of the other Nuun products—effervescent tablets, eco-friendly packaging, clean ingredient list that includes electrolytes for hydration.
However, the difference is that Rest leads the way in a new category in the sports nutrition world of sleep and recovery aids. While there are plenty of natural sleep aids in the natural foods and supplements space (and there’s a growing trend of finding ways to improve sleep in our fast-paced, digitally focused lives), this is the first supplement designed specifically for athletes. The idea is that your body has to be relaxed and calm in order to fully absorb the work of your training. Featuring magnesium and tart cherries—in addition to key electrolytes—these tablets promise to reduce inflammation and stress, improve muscle recovery and help you chill. Here’s a breakdown of the two key ingredients:
Magnesium is an electrolyte responsible for more than 400 biochemical responses in the body, including keeping muscles and nerves functioning properly. Research suggests that it can also help the body manage both life and exercise stress. Because the body uses the electrolyte in exercise, athletes tend to have the lowest magnesium levels, so Rest provides 300 milligrams of fast-absorbing magnesium per serving.
Tart cherries are rich in melatonin, a phytochemical that can improve sleep and can naturally trigger more melatonin production in your body. There has also been a growing body of research in recent years showing how tart cherries, specifically the anthocyanins (dark red pigment of the fruit), can improve exercise recovery by reducing inflammation. In each serving are 200 milligrams of whole tart cherry extract powder.
Rest also includes key electrolytes sodium and potassium to help keep you hydrated. Try dissolving one of the non-GMO tablets in just 4–6 oz. of water (no more—you don’t want to have get up to pee during the night!), and drink it before bedtime (we’ve found it especially helpful when traveling for fighting jet lag!). Rest debuts in two flavors: lemon chamomile and blackberry vanilla. We especially loved the lemon chamomile flavor—when dissolved in hot water, it tastes like a calming lemon tea, with a clean finish and refreshing flavor. Buy it for $6.99 for a 10-tablet tube at nuunlife.com.
Our other favorite products to help you sleep.
SleepPhones Wireless Headphones ($100, amazon.com)
Use Bluetooth connectivity and the flat headphones to comfortably listen to meditation tracks and block out noise.
Nokia/Withings Sleep Tracker ($100, amazon.com)
This under-the-mattress tracker helps you monitor sleep cycles, analyze heart rate and detect snoring, all without you having to wear anything.
Felix Gray Nash Sleep Glasses (starting at $95, shopfelixgray.com)
These blue light–blocking glasses aren’t necessary during the day, but they are helpful when using digital devices (TV, tablets, computers, phones) at night to keep the blue light from disrupting your sleep cycles.