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ZYM Electrolyte Tablet Review and Giveaway

Posted Mar 15 2011 12:00am

In the space of the past half-year or so, the market for fizzy electrolyte drinks has grown a lot more crowded.

Nuun more or less led the way in popularizing the idea of tablets that could be dissolved in water for portable electrolyte replenishment; more recently, Nathan developed a similar product that never seemed to gain widespread traction among endurance athletes. Then a couple of months ago I announced that GU Energy, one of the biggest names in sports nutrition, was jumping into the fray as well, with a product I’ll be reviewing and giving away here shortly.

ZYM electrolyte tablets

In the meantime, I’ve also been testing a similar product that’s seemingly flown under the radar - even though they've been around for a full five years - but from a performance standpoint is quite comparable to the big name entries. ZYM Electrolyte Tablets are a creation of Chicago-based BE Innovations, and comes in three different flavors, each of which has a slightly different formulation (as well as price points – more on that in a second). The brand also distinguishes itself by using all natural ingredients rather than the artificial sweeteners that some other companies use. All of their products are gluten-free and vegan-friendly for athletes with those dietary needs.

Like other electrolyte tablets, ZYM is formulated to be used in 16 to 20 oz of water, which is the standard size for most cycling-style bottles. It dissolves with effervescence and builds pressure from the inside of the bottle if it’s not open to air on top, which also means that it will leak from bottles with an irregular seal. Its electrolyte balance is designed to quickly replace what your body sweats out – primarily sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, along with vitamins and herbal supplements to improve endurance performance. The tube cap has an internal desiccant to prevent moisture buildup in storage, and the entire tube is recyclable once you’re finished with the 10 tablets inside.

Rival orange flavor

I’ve been testing the newest tablets, an orange flavor called Rival that is sweetened with stevia, a plant-based sugar substitute which has a negligible effect on blood glucose. There’s a slight aftertaste – the website advertises a “clean finish with no aftertaste”, but I disagree - but it generally tastes like your typical orange-flavored energy drinks. Each tablet has 7 calories, and provides 300mg sodium, 100mg potassium, and 150mg Vitamin C as well as an extract of Rhodiola rosea , an herbal supplement that is believed to reduce fatigue and improve mental alertness.

One confusing aspect of this product is that the three different ZYM tablets are all formulated differently, and have different price points from the company website. There’s a lemon-lime formulation called Endurance , which is billed as a “pure hydration” tablet with slightly lower electrolyte levels, higher B6 levels, and no Rhodiola supplement. A pack of three 10-tablet tubes (30 tablets total) sells for $24. The berry flavor called Catapult features 100mg of caffeine from herbal Guarana as well as a super-dose of Vitamin B12 (500mcg), and retails for $27 for a three-pack. The Rival orange flavor that I tested sells for $30 for a three-pack. There's a page where you can compare the three flavors side by side before purchasing them from the ZYM website store .

At some point it would be interesting to see how the electrolyte tablets from various companies compare to each other nutritionally – and since I’ve already reviewed Nuun tabs and will be reviewing GU tablets later this spring, I suppose I’m the guy to put that kind of post together. Look for that comparison in the next several weeks – but in the meantime, a few of my readers will get to try out ZYM tablets to test for themselves.

The folks at ZYM have agreed to provide one tube of Rival tablets to three winners chosen at random from the comments section below. Leave a comment to enter, and I’ll announce the winners this weekend. Thanks very much to ZYM for sponsoring this contest, and good luck to everybody!





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