5 Ways to Upcycle a Nuun Tube for Travel, Training + Food

by | Jul 24, 2023 | Gear, Lifestyle

I’ve talked a lot about nuun electrolyte tables lately because as temps rise, I’m relying on the electrolytes more than ever… and for camping trips where we’ll be hiking and running a ton and filtering water as we go, you know that I’m bringing nuun to help get rid of the iodine taste! Nuun comes in these small little tubes, and while you can just recycle them, I started to think more about how to upcycle them since they’re pretty structurally sound. So, a few ideas:

Travel Sunscreen / Moisturizer Holders

If you cut out the little compressive widget in there (scissors will do, it’s easy!), you now have a really nice sealed vial to hold travel-sized amounts of sunscreen or moisturizer. I started doing this with a stash that stays in my bag for trips so I’m never left without lotion or sunscreen, and I don’t need to buy travel-sized versions or specific travel-sized containers. (Works for shampoo or soap as well.) I’ve never tried to carry this on a plane but it is 2 ounces so under the TSA liquid limit. (I would tape this down if I was tossing it in my carryon, just to be safe.)

Safety Pins (or Office Supplies or Hardware)

For racers, we’re always looking for safety pins to pin on numbers. A little nuun tube is the perfect size to store them in your race bag! (Also good for organizing office supplies or other little crap like bobby pins, tiny barrettes, etc.)

Mini-First Aid Kit

For races now, I actually have a tube packed with a couple of Tylenols and Pepto Bismol tablets, a piece of moleskin, a few inches of wound up medical tape, a needle (for emergency blister situations), an alcohol wipe, and a couple of bandaids. For more backcountry running, I’d also add a couple of waterproof matches.


This is my new favorite use. It’s not just a handy little container for earrings and rings for travel, it also helps keep necklaces from getting tangled! Use that compressive widget to actually hook necklaces around it before putting them into the tube, so when you open it, they come out much less tangled up!

Single-Serve Protein Powder

Again, for life on the road, this is a good storage container for a single post-race serving of protein powder. Sure, you can use a ziplock baggie, but who hasn’t had one of those rip open and spill all over their gear?

Travel spice mix

I like using the tubes to combine some salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc. and make a nutmeg/cinnamon/vanilla combo for our food box—perfect for when we’re on the road and quickly want to flavor a salad dressing, meat, rice, coffee, or oatmeal situation.

Single Serve Snacks

What about using a nuun tube to compartmentalize things like nuts and raisins/trail mix? It’s just right for trail mix for your kiddo or a serving of almonds for you since a tube holds about 2 ounces.

Get nuun here:


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