Athletes, and the researchers who study them, have come to a seemingly obvious you wildly implicative conclusion: sleep is really important. And now gear makers are doing everything they can to create products that promote the type of rest that benefits recovery; the latest iPhone update includes sleep-measuring software, a company called Bedgear positions its entire line of mattresses and pillows on performance, Under Armour worked with Tom Brady to make a collection of recovery pajamas. And now, Nuun, which is best known for its hydration tablets, is introducing a new product to promote productive sleep called Rest.
Rest includes all the hallmarks of Nuun’s other products — all ingredients are plant-based and non-GMO, it’s low-sugar and includes electrolytes for hydration — but it stands apart in that it’s designed to be taken not before or during physical activity but at bedtime.
The two primary ingredients that Rest uses to promote recovery are magnesium and tart cherry extract powder. Magnesium works in many of the body’s processes, and Nuun’s research cites studies that suggest that it helps the body manage stress during exercise and that athletes, in particular, excrete much of it during strenuous activity.
Other recent scientific studies have shown that consuming tart cherry — specifically Montmorency tart cherry — has a direct benefit for recovery. Researchers found that markers of post-workout deficiencies like soreness and decreases in strength improved in athletes that consumed tart cherry, and that it boosted immunity and acted as an anti-inflammatory. Nuun’s research also notes that it helps the body produce melatonin, a hormone that’s often taken as a sleep aid for its ability to put the body into a resting state.
Each Rest tablet includes 300 milligrams of fast-absorbing magnesium, roughly 200 milligrams of whole tart cherry powder extract and also 100 milligrams of potassium, which is known to help diminish muscle cramps.
Science and research aside, the question is: does it work? Our Outdoors and Fitness team has been testing samples of Rest for the past few weeks and can attest that it does seem to help in both sleep and recovery. It’s not like over the counter drugs that knock you out and leave you groggy in the morning though — don’t expect it to solve any rampant sleep issues you may have (or get you through the ruckus of disruptive neighbors). We can’t say whether our very subjective experiences are the result of the placebo effect or not, but we can say that both of Nuun’s initial flavor offerings, blackberry vanilla and lemon chamomile, taste fantastic.