I’ve had the chance to try out Tailwind Nutrition’s Endurance Fuel over the past couple of months. This product is designed to replace everything you need during training and racing in terms of hydration and fuel. It is formulated to provide calories and electrolytes so you can use it in place of gels, bars, salt tabs, etc. Tailwind Endurance Fuel is made from natural and gluten free ingredients and uses organic flavours if any of that is important to you.
In my relatively short endurance running “career” I haven’t delved too far out of the traditional carbs and electrolytes regime so I won’t get into the ongoing debate over proteins/fats/carbs as fuel. This product provides energy in the form of carbs, from dextrose. It was quite easy to determine how many calories I would be getting as each scoop of powder contained 100 calories. This made it easy to mix bottles specific to my needs.
Tailwind Endurance Fuel currently comes in three organic flavours: mandarin orange, berry, and lemon. There is also now a “Naked Unflavored” option. This actually appeals to me because I like my hydration to be as lightly flavoured as possible, but I haven’t tried it.
I did try the other three flavours and liked them all. Mandarin orange was my favourite, but I definitely liked having the variety so that I wasn’t getting sick of the same taste all the time. The nice part about powdered mixes was that I had control over how much to add to a bottle, and therefore how strong the flavour would be. At the recommended doses, Tailwind had a fair level of taste – it wasn’t overpowering but I could definitely taste it. I would normally mix it a little weaker, but then the issue is that I am getting less carbs/electrolytes. The mix was easy to dissolve and wasn’t too thick or syrupy.
I found that the mix needed to be on the high end of the recommended range to provide enough energy for longer runs (2 hrs +). The nice thing was that I didn’t experience any bloating or upset stomach that I have had with other electrolyte-containing hydration. Tailwind seemed to have a good balance. I also realized that just because the company promotes this as a replacement to gels and bars, there was nothing stopping me from using these along with it. I found using Tailwind reduced my need for a gel from every 30-40 minutes on a long run to one every 70-80 minutes. This combination is something I will continue to play with.
Fuelling and hydration are among the most individually variable aspects of endurance sport, so I wouldn’t expect anyone to take my positive experience with this stuff and fill their pantry with it. However, if you are looking for a product for training and/or racing, Tailwind Endurance Fuel is definitely worth checking out. Give it a try and see if it works for you. Find it on the web at: www.tailwindnutrition.com