Review by Giles Penfold
TAILWIND. A WIND OF CHANGE IN THE WORLD OF TRAIL RUNNING.
But what kind of change, you may be asking? Preventing nutrition ‘gut bombs’ from complete and utter sabotage.
The longer answer is a little more nuanced, so I’ve been testing their Endurance Fuel to really understand how it affects my body.
First thing’s first (and please skip to the next paragraph if you’re squeamish). Tailwind was born out of one person’s necessity to quite literally not regurgitate their nutrition during an ultra. Let that sink in for a second. If you’ve ever had stomach issues when running, you know. If you haven’t, do your best to imagine. I’ve been there a number of times, specifically during runs exceeding the three hour mark. I generally avoid gels and powders, and instead religiously stick to less practical options like fruit and muesli bars.
When the team at Tailwind sends me their product, instinctively, my stomach growls, and my psyche is equally suspicious (gut-brain axis anyone?). Long story short, my body not only reacts surprisingly well to their endurance powder, but actually thrives off of it. Let me elaborate.
I test their mandarin flavour on about half a dozen long runs (20km+) and have zero issues with digestibility. Zilch. This purportedly boils down to Tailwind’s main ingredient dextrose being a form of clean glucose that is rapidly assimilated by your system, bypassing the stomach pile up that complex sugars and protein can cause. Happy stomach, happy days.
The training tick of approval is there, and although initially hesitant, I go all in, choosing to fuel my 110km race at Brisbane Ultra Trail with their endurance fuel. My nutrition strategy is simple – eat intuitively at aid stations and consume two scoops of Tailwind per hour, giving me 50g of carbs and 200cal.
My energy is maintained and my stomach remains in operation. Over 13 hours of racing, I never get sick of the drink mix, and for someone that’s used to chowing down on wholefoods, the ease of drinking calories is genuinely brilliant!
Somehow, I cross the finish line in 2nd Place, and can safely attest to the fact that my nutrition strategy plays a crucial role, spearheaded by Tailwind’s Endurance Fuel.
Flavour wise, Tailwind prides itself on being clean and light. I can confidently back this up, and find the mandarin flavour to be quite mild, making it easy to consume over extended bouts of movement. Let’s be honest, there’s nothing worse than sickly sweet drinks on long runs.
As a heavy sweater, I’m also a big fan of Tailwind’s electrolyte profile. At 606mg of sodium per 200cal, this dose considerably outsmarts other drink mixes when it comes to hydration.
Bottom line – go try it yourself!
RRP $65 AUD / 30 Serve Bag