It's one thing to drink have a sports drink and go for a quick paddle around the lake or across the harbor, it's a totally different animal to push your body to the point where hydration, electrolytes and caloric intake are critical, not just to perform at your peak level, but also to keep you out of the hospital in extreme conditions.
Taking Tailwind Nutrition to the extreme is what we decided to do when they sent us a package with two bags of Endurance Fuel. Stand Up Paddle Surfing Magazine editor, Nate Burgoyne, is an ultra distance runner and decided to fuel his latest race, the Peacock 100k (62 mile) trail race with Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel and this is his review. Whether you're doing sprint stand up paddle races, crossing the 32 mile Molokai Channel, running and cross training, this review is for you.
"Aloha gang! I was stoked when the package of Tailwind Nutrition arrived. Why? In needed a new solution to a serious problem. I had recently completed a 30 mile trail race in the steep and humid mountains of Oahu and despite alternating drinking coconut water, a Pedialyte-style electrolyte drink, and water paired with salt supplements, when I crossed the finish, I was dehydrated and cramping hard. With a 62 mile race coming up soon, I definitely had to make a change, and I hoped that Tailwind Nutrition would help.
Hydration and electrolytes were on my mind as I was totally puzzled about why my body had not hydrated properly, especially since I was just weeks away from a race that would be more than twice as long in hotter conditions with more elevation. After doing my homework on Tailwind, I decided that I'd fuel my next race with their Endurance Fuel.
There are three elements that any endurance athelete does his or her best to balance during prolonged physical activity: water, salt, and calories. If any of those goes out of whack, then cramping, fatigue, dehydration, and death can occur.
Tailwind has helped solve the problem of balancing water, salt and calories by combining them into one product. In the past, I would need to take water in my hydration pack for liquid, salt pills in a pocket for electrolytes, and food, bars, etc, in another pocket for calories. As my body called for one or the other, I would fish out what's needed and take it.
There are two challenges with the old school way of fueling the body for both runners and stand up paddlers. First, to fish out salt pills or food, requires the use of one or both hands. A runners needs to slow down, especially if on a trail to avoid tripping, and a stand up paddler needs to stop paddling thus slowing progress. Second, as you fatigue, you may not notice that you're lacking in a critical nutritional need until it's too late, or you may feel so fatigued that you can't be bothered to take the time to get what you need and may decide to simply push through the problem and hope you make it to the end, futher complicating your need.
Tailwind claims their product is 'All you need, all day. Really,' putting everything in your hydration pack so you can leave the gels, bars, etc., at home. I found this to be the case.
I ran for about 19 hours over 62 miles (100k), 17,300 feet of cumulative elevation gain and 17,300 feet of cululative elevation loss, in the heat of the day and into the night, fueled primarily by Tailwind.
For most of the race, I added approximately 1 scoop of Tailwind for every 10 ounces of water in my pack. There were times when I felt I needed more calories, and put a more concentrated solution in a water bottle, and there were times toward the end of the race when I felt that I needed a more diluted ratio.
How did it go? Very well. I experienced zero cramping and felt alert throughout the race. Hydration was not a problem. What I was drinking, my body was using. In the latter hours of the race, I needed to drink more, but I was not concerned about my electrolyte balance because Tailwind was doing the thinking for me. When it was time to refill my hydration pack, the only decision I had to make was how much Tailwind I wanted in my pack until the next aid stop. Very easy.
Did I also eat? Hey after, running for hours on end, I couldn't resist the BLT sandwiches they had at an aid station and every once in a while I had a handful of potato chips to put a little roughage in the system (plus I love potato chips), but I could have done without them.
When the race was over, I was not totally depleted. The following days, I experienced no cramping or soreness of muscles. I'm not sure if I can attribute all of that to Tailwind but I'm sure it helped. Typically after a long race, my body craves massive amounts of food and water over the following days, but I didn't find that to be the case this time. I just went about my normal eating and drinking patterns and felt great.
What about the flavor? I drank primarily lemon, orange and combined the two sometimes. I didn't really experience flavor fatigue although at one refill I mixed lemon with berry and that was really tasty. That may be my magic combo right there. I would have had more of that blend but I only had one sample back of the berry flavor. You really won't go wrong with any of their flavors. They taste clean and wash clean out of a hydration pack.
What's my conclusion? Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel is an excellent product that I will definitely be fueling future races with. The taste is clean, it's easy to use, no sugar spikes or crashes, and has the calories and electrolytes to keep your body balanced. I'm always experimienting with nutrition but this one will definitely be a regular for me personally. I recommend it to anyone looking for a worry-free training and race fuel."
EXCITING NEWS: 10% Off Tailwind Nutrition Challenge: Tailwind has introducted the "Tailwind Challenge" through their website. Order a Tailwind Challenge pack (4 big bags at a 10% discount) to train and race with for a specific race. If the product "doesn't blow you away," they will refund your race entry fee for a refund.
For more information and to order Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel go to www.tailwindnutrition.com .