Note: Tailwind Nutrition provided a sample to us at no charge in order to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Mara here. Last summer I summitted my first 14er. And for this flatlander, it was big deal. But even though, I had what normally would be a good breakfast and lots of snacks, I didn’t fuel properly for the trip. Proper endurance food, like Tailwind is always smart to use. Ambassador Kimberly and Chief Adenvture Officer Annie gave it try. Read below to see what they think.
When Tailwind Nutrition came up for review, I was quite interested in the product. I spent the last decade developing and training the Rwandan National Cycling Team and as a former personal trainer and current USA Cycling Level 2 Cycling Coach I am always interested in learning about new products for my athletes. The science of nutrition amongst high-level athletes is essential to the development of the athletes I coach and mentor.
When I received the product, I was in the middle of a US series of racing with Team Rwanda Cycling and was using our sponsored products supplied by Thorne. The first time I went to use the Tailwind product was during a weekend women’s hiking retreat. I was taken aback by the amount of sugar in the product. I had a sample of the individual packets and when I reviewed the nutritional information the 50 grams of sugar in the single serving packet concerned me.
Full disclosure, I do not eat much sugar to being within my diet. I am quite conscious about the amount of sugar intake on a daily basis, and I try to keep my intake below 50 grams per day. This single serving equated to an entire day’s diet. I mixed the product and had to cut it in half to squash the sugary taste. Even then, the sugar proved too much for my system.
The sugars used in the Tailwind Endurance Fuel are simple sugars. There are no complex carbohydrates in the product. The use of dextrose as the primary sugar is a sugar found in corn and is inexpensive and does not produce a high-quality product for elite athletes. Essentially the athlete will experience an initial sugar rush followed by a significant “crash.” I would not use this product for myself or my cyclists due to the primary use of Dextrose. The product is ultra acidic and acid forming so wholly contrary to what an athlete needs. The body depletes the buffers, the electrolytes, to keep the blood pH balanced. Although it might have an initial kick, long-term it is detrimental to the athlete.
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The lack of a science background with the owners of Tailwind most likely contributed to the selection of ingredients. Their marketing and packaging are good and most likely why the product is expanding its reach in the endurance fuel market. For the level of athletes I work with and having worked with a medical research company such as Thorne, I prefer a more scientific approach to development and research.
I would be interested in seeing additional development in the use of more complex ingredients and more research done on elite athletes before I would consider recommending this product.
I was first introduced to Tailwind Nutrition at Summer Outdoor Retailer in Denver last Summer. My initial gut reaction was to think it would be disgusting as most of these types of products tend to taste to me but as I was offered a sample I decided what the heck, not like it was going to kill me, right? Well I was definitely surprised. I first tried Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel in Mandarin Orange and it was nothing like I expected. The flavor was not overly artificial like an astronauts drink or too terribly citrusy, I actually liked the flavor. Next up was Tailwind Nutrition Rebuild Recovery in Chocolate, now I’m what some call a “choco-holic” and take the stance if I am putting that much sugar in my body then it damn well better be chocolate and Tailwind made a sport recovery drink I would love to drink anytime!!
Most mornings I battle nausea and it typically renders me unable to eat before heading out for a long day of hiking or adventures. Yup, you guessed it, that leaves me running low on energy until I can finally stomach something. Now enter Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel, Mandarin Orange is a perfect fit for the morning, I actually feel like I’m having breakfast. I no longer “tank” on the trail, I actually have energy to keep my body moving and my mind focused until my nausea subsides and I’m able to enjoy a trail side snack.
I saved my sample of Tailwind Nutrition Rebuild Recovery for an occasion where food wasn’t readily available after a hike. Normally with my group hikes or even with my family we find somewhere nearby to grab a bite or have a picnic style lunch but sometimes it can be hours before somewhere decent can be found in route back from the trail head or if you simply didn’t bother bringing much to tide you over. Enter Tailwind Nutrition Rebuild Recovery, I love having it handy after a hard hike and yes, even in chocolate. It’s not heavy or thick like chocolate milk since you mix it with water and it contains not just carbs and electrolytes but proteins also to rebuild damaged muscle tissue.
Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel of Rebuild Recovery can be purchased in single serve options from $2.50 or $3.00 each to large serving packages from $35.99 to $38.99. I have to admit I like the convenience of the single servings and they are much easier to pack along the trail!