Today one of our lovely members, Monique gives us this comprehensive review on Tailwind Nutrition. As runners, especially long distance runners, we must take care in ensuring that our energy needs are met during distance training as well as ensuring we are replacing the electrolytes that we loose along the way. Thanks to Monique for sharing this awesome review for us.
All you need, all day. Really!
Now, if you don’t know a lot about me….let me give you a little intro (facts relevant to this review of course, I won’t keep you too long).
I have anxiety. I (used to) have toileting issues when running. The ONLY thing that scared me about running my first marathon in October 2013 was WHERE ARE THE FREAKIN TOILETS?! What if I…GOD FORBID…had an ‘incident’ OMG?! I struggled on my long training runs leading up to my marathon and although I finished my marathon incident free, I couldn’t ingest any of my planned fuel due to race nerves and an upset stomach. Needless to say my marathon didn’t go quite as planned in terms of fueling and energy levels.
I used to run EVERY SINGLE RUN taking Imodium tablets before and sometimes during my training runs and races. I do not condone this and I have since overcome these issues but needless to say that for me, priority numero uno for fueling is ZERO GASTROINTESTINAL ISSUES.
I am pleased to say that for me, Tailwind hit the spot in this area and that for me is #winning !!!!
But Tailwind is anything but a one trick pony.
Here are the top facts from the Tailwind website which caught my eye:
- Potent energy and electrolytes—no need to juggle gels, pills, or chews
- Easy on your gut, so you can push the pace and feel great –
- Tastes great hour after hour so you can drink and fuel from start to finish
- Hydration pack friendly! Dissolves easily and rinses clean
- Natural Gluten-Free ingredients and organic flavors
- Simply mix>pour>shake>go
- Pre-mix to prevent raceday stress and save time
- Easily carried and stored (crew will love you)
- Simplify your nutrition plan
- Concentrate on your event and form
BOOM! Thank you, Tailwind.
Tailwind is easy to use, tastes great, does what it says it will do to do and has no nasties!
Being generally health conscious and watching what goes into my body, the ingredient list of Tailwind really impressed me. No numbers and no words I couldn’t pronounce:
All Natural Ingredients: Dextrose (Glucose), Sucrose, Sodium Citrate, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Organic Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Citrate
For this review I was sent a $20 (AU) mixed starter pack. It contained 4 X Small 4 Serve Packs which equates to 16 Serves or 8hrs Fuel (at the suggested rate of 200Cal/hour). The flavors I tried were Naked, Lemon, Mandarin, Orange and Berry. Notes on the flavors are with my testing notes below.
You can purchase Tailwind in a few sizes, including the $20 sample pack which is a great way to start and see which flavors you like best.
The large pack is $50 (AUD) or $39.50 (USD) and contains 50 serves or 25hours fuel ( = $1/serve) which is HIGHLY economical when you compare with other methods of fueling. This is based on a generous 200cal/hour too so you may even get more out of the pack depending on your needs – because as we know, everyone’s needs are different. Now who doesn’t want to save a few bucks to pay for more gear, race entries and the like? I know I DO!
How do you use it?
I followed the guide which came with the packs for calculating how much to use. The guide suggested 100-200 calories per hour. It would have been handy to have a serving sized scoop and this does come with the medium and large size packs but in the absence of this I used my kitchen scales.
You simply mix the powder with your water and store in either your hydration pack or a drink bottle. I prefer a pack and it was actually the first product I trusted in my pack, previously I have only ever used water. But Tailwind claimed to be ‘hydration pack friendly’ and that you just rinse clean with some water. So I gave it a go and was happy with the results. No residue at all was left in my pack after use and a light clean of my pack bladder.
Tailwind claims to be EVERYTHING you need. Everything. No need to additional electrolytes, no need for gels, chews or other sports drinks. This is it! How simple and easy is that?
You can also mix up to 3 days in advance so for planners like me, this is a real added benefit.
I think the key to Tailwind working successfully is getting the ratio of carbs in comparison to your hydration right. As we all know there are many schools of thought on how to safely and effectively hydrate during endurance events and as I am (disclaimer) certainly no expert on the subject, I encourage you to seek advice if you’re unsure or at least try what does and does not work for you.
If combining your carbs with your fluids is not for you, you can still make a gel flask up of Tailwind and keep your water separate. I did experiment with this and it was easier to keep track of my intake.
1.5 serves mandarin orange in 750ml water
Notes: I mixed to the recommended mid-range of calories. It was the first time I was using Tailwind and the first time I was running a 15km route to work. I was concerned at how my gut would react to Tailwind but I decided to trust it. The taste was great, I could have handled it stronger and my first sips actually tasted a bit like I didn’t rinse my pack out properly…. But once I got a little more used to the mild flavor, I actually wanted more. I didn’t finish anywhere near the contents of my pack so I hardly ingested any of the calories from my mix. Experience for next time. I have never really tracked my water consumption either so it was a learning experience in that sense too.
Although the mandarin orange flavor was palatable, it was not my favorite.
800ml 4 serves
I initially made up 1.2L with 6 serves (4 naked, 2 lemon) but didn’t drink it all.
Energy levels were great, all I had to remember to do was sip at my Tailwind mix and get through the run! Everything on the nutrition and hydration side of things went well, I just didn’t pace myself as well as I should of.
One other thing to note was that there was no need to stop for any toileting reasons despite me being concerned that the liquid only method of fueling would make me want to pee.
The lemon/naked combo was great. I could do either flavor on their own I think.
30km mountain trail, 4 hours
2L with 4 serves berry and 2.5 serves lemon/mandarin orange as a gel
I umm-ed and ahh-ed about using Tailwind for my longest trail run to date. 30km with over 850m elevation gain which I estimated would take around 4 hours. I only had 4 serves of berry left and half of the mandarin orange and lemon flavors. I didn’t want to mix the berry with anything as I hadn’t tried it yet so I put all 4 serves into 2L of water, which is a little more diluted compared to the suggested servings however I found this to be a great dilution for me. It wasn’t too strong and for 4 hours duration I wanted a nice mild flavor to keep sipping at.
I made the remainder of the mandarin orange and lemon into a gel like consistency for my gel flask. It worked well in there and I sipped at it occasionally.
I can’t say the gel is my favorite way to have it but I still would do it again for those instances where I really want to keep an eye on my intake. I made the mix a bit strong and so I know that for next time. If you do this, be sure taste it as you make it up in your gel flask.
I finished my run with plenty left in my pack and in the proverbial tank. My energy levels were consistent during my run, I had no toileting issues and I loved the simplicity of just sipping from my pack or my gel flask for all my nutrition needs.
Berry was definitely a flavor I enjoyed.
Here’s me loving it sick out on the trails……
I was really impressed with Tailwind and my initial concerns of a liquid only (with the powder obviously) fueling method were alleviated when I experienced the ease and effectiveness of this product. The fact that you need to take in your calories by drinking also serves a dual purpose – reminding you to hydrate which is something I am not always good at! As always, please remember that everyone’s needs are different, there is not a one size fits all with any product, Tailwind included.
I enjoyed it so much that I have decided to stock up and use it to fuel my next marathon and possibly my first ultra and I will update this review with the results!
If you want something simple to use, cost effective and a product that does the job, then Tailwind fits the bill. I’m not sure I’ll use it exclusively but definitely for long runs of over 2 hours, Tailwind is my pick at the moment.
Where to find Tailwind
Tailwind Nutrition Australia
A big thank you to the Tailwind Australia team for offering a sample pack for me to review. Aside from this offering I am not paid, endorsed, sponsored or in any other way compensated by Tailwind for my review and all opinions contained within are entirely my own.
Thanks Monique for providing such a comprehensive review for us to consider when choosing how to fuel us on our running journeys!