Tailwind Nutrition hit the jackpot when it comes down to energy/rehydration mixes for endurance activities. I have tried MANY mixes, gels, and bites in the past but have always continued to struggle with cramping on long distance bike races, rucks, or runs. I felt that it was how my body would respond when hitting the 4 or 5 hour mark, and it would always be that way so I would just push through the pain.
After reaching out to a sport nutritionist, I went through the usual battery of tests to include sweat rate and composition. Without going into the weeds, I am a very salty sweater and I sweat A LOT. This left me in need of a solid nutrition and hydration plan for my upcoming races and long training events. I currently train endurance 6 days a week in preparation for an upcoming Half Ironman while also including 4 days of strength and conditioning composed of mainly accessory work and high intensity interval training. This is on top of training in full kit at the range; needless to say dehydration and malnutrition are not an option.
After trying all of the flavors that Tailwind has to offer, by FAR Raspberry Buzz is my favorite (and it includes caffeine as well). The packets are extremely convenient to take with you to mix on the go or to have for an emergency. I head off on rides with one pack mixed into a bottle and another pack in a pocket on my back. I also keep two stick packets in my range bag, just in case Bob (the big orange ball) decides to kick temperatures up a bit.
The packet serving size is 200 calories (there are two servings per stick packet) and you will be receiving 70mg of caffeine per packet. For comparison, that is just under what you receive from a cup of coffee, so I feel confident and comfortable using multiple packets during a race.
The primary carbohydrate used is a Non-GMO Dextrose which is a simple sugar that can be used quickly for fuel. Because it is a mono-saccharide, the body treats it like glucose (blood sugar) and immediately puts it to work giving you fuel. Your brain runs on glucose so the benefits of using dextrose is that it can help fuel the brain to give you the energy needed to maintain focus.
What was the final consensus after testing all of the stick packets of Tailwind Nutrition?
I immediately purchased a 50 serving bag of Raspberry Buzz when I ran out of stick packets. When it arrived I was more than pleased with the customer focused aspects of the business. Your name is written on the bag with a note of encouragement AND you receive a hand written note on the back of your order. Those personal touches are fantastic and really show how Tailwind is focused on providing a great product and a great service to the customer.
The price is a slightly more expensive than energy gels, but I felt better and could stomach Tailwind better than the gels at the end of a long ride in the hot sun. Couple the benefits of Tailwind Nutrition with the customer service aspect and I am more than happy to pay a little extra for the performance benefits and customer support.
If you haven’t tried Tailwind Nutrition and you train for endurance sports or you spend long hours in kit on the range or down range, I HIGHLY recommend checking them out. I am not just saying this for the article as I cleared out my energy gel drawer and decided to switch 100% to Tailwind nutrition in my training up to this competition.
Tailwind also gave me an opportunity to try their recovery stick packets. 245 calories per serving, 443mg of sodium (for replenishing), 43g of carbohydrates (33g from sugar), and 11g of protein (muscle recovery). They come in either chocolate or vanilla, for those of you who love the classics and as mentioned with the endurance mix, these packets are extremely convenient compared to carrying a tub of Syntha6 and a tub of dextrose around.
Both products are gluten-free, non-GMO, and soy & diary free. For those of you who are environmentally conscious.
The added sodium and carbohydrates were felt when I pounded a shake between my drive from the pool to the base of the hill that I had sprint repeats on. Tailwind Rebuild Recovery definitely fought off the empty muscle feeling due to depleted glycogen stores and I did not feel as sore the following day. In all honesty, I did feel better later on where usually the morning workouts leave me droning.
If you’re big into flavor I would recommend the chocolate. I thought it tasted great though it does not make it into my top five for favorite post workout flavors, but it wasn’t a flavor I would ever say “no” to when offered. The vanilla had a strong flat flavor that is synonymous with dextrose that is very effective for refilling glycogen (muscles and liver) and glucose stores (blood and brain), but did not leave me wanting more.
What it all comes down to is that, YES, it was extremely effective but the flavor could still use some work. Did I use ALL of the packets that were provided? I sure did. If I didn’t have two jugs of my usual post workout protein and carbohydrate mix in my cabinet, I would probably be ordering a bag of the Tailwind Rebuild Recovery (Chocolate). They will most likely be receiving an order from me early August for just that.
At the end of the day if performance is your goal you should give Tailwind Nutrition a call. They are a great company, with incredible customer service that individualize each order with a hand written note, they have quality products that work, and I was extremely happy with the results.
If you are not truly interested in performance, well then I am honestly not sure why you are reading this summary. If you are interested in performing optimally reach out to a sport nutritionist to do a sweat rate & composition test. Find out what your individual needs are and then see if Tailwind works for you.
Tailwind works for me on the range, on the mountain, and in competition. I believe in it enough that I threw my other fuels away and switched over completely. Give it a try.
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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