This Summer has been filled with training, races and occasional fun. I’ve gone through loads and loads of gels, bars and electrolyte tablets. Just as I was heading into RAGNAR Wasatch Back, I was contacted by the co-founder of Tailwind Nutrition, Jenny Vierling. She was very excited to get my opinion on their endurance fuel product. The samples arrived and the testing began.

Tailwind Endurance Fuel Provides:

  • Hassle-free: Tailwind’s complete energy and electrolytes are all you need to go all day. No fussing with gels, pills, or chews. Just pour > shake > go!
  • Easy on your gut: Won’t upset your stomach so you can push the pace and feel great hour after hour!
  • Tasty all day: Mild flavor actually tastes better the longer you go. If you’ve ever ditched a sports drink because you just couldn’t stand one more sip, you know how important this is!
  • Hydration Pack Friendly: Finally, a drink you can use in a hydration pack! Tailwind dissolves thoroughly and rinses easily without leaving a residue or goo.
  • Sizes: Single-use (4 servings – $10.50), 1.5 lb (25 servings – $19.99) or 3 lb (50 servings – $34.99)
  • Flavors: Mandarin Orange, Organic Lemon, Organic Berry

Tailwind Endurance Fuel Review

Heading into this test, I was a little skeptical that a drink mix alone could sustain and keep me energized all day long. I’ve grown accustomed to a concoction of gels, bars and electrolyte tablets and have found a pretty good mix that I think tastes good and helps me perform at my best.

To properly use Tailwind, I needed to trust them and use Jenny’s guidance on calories/energy intake:

Each scoop (27g) delivers 100 calories. Under 2 hour rides/activities mix with water at a rate of 1-2 scoops per 24 oz bottle or in a hydration pack. For 2+ hours, you can use as a sole fuel by mixing to 2.5 scoops per 24 ounces, aiming for 250 calories per hour as a starting point. Adjust up or down to personal calorie needs and taste preference.

Knowing that all my long rides would be fully-supported, I opted to test Tailwind on rides of up to two hours in length. I tried using it alone and I also tried using it in combination with my favorite Clif Shot’s and Bloks or Honey Stinger gels and chews.

The taste of Tailwind is very good. I’ve been using both the Organic Lemon and Mandarin Orange flavors. I’d give the nod to the Mandarin Orange as the better of the two. The taste isn’t heavy or thick, but you can feel both the substance and the sodium as you drink it down. The aftertaste isn’t bad either.

Mixing it up is a breeze and the powder seems to instantly dissolve and liquefy with minimal shaking. It’s nice how quickly it does dissolve as I’m oftentimes frustrated at how long it takes for the many varieties of electrolyte tablets to dissolve. This is pretty much dump, shake a couple of times and go.

As far as performance while using Tailwind, I always felt energized and on my game. Taking regular swigs of Tailwind kept me feeling good for the most part. For some reason, the Organic Lemon gave me a dull stomach ache during some of my rides. I didn’t have that issue with Mandarin Orange, so I’m not sure what caused that, but as I mentioned, I preferred orange anyway.

I may not get out on any more substantial efforts until ski season, so I’ll post an update after a few ski tours this Winter. If you’re skeptical, you can take the Tailwind Challenge. They’ll send you four large bags for $125 with the guarantee that if you use it on race-day and aren’t completely blown away, they will pay for your entry fee. Pretty cool.

Good Tailwind

  • Tastes great at the start and throughout use
  • Provides essential minerals and calories all by itself
  • Dissolves quickly in water — no wait time
  • Made of all natural and organic ingredients
  • So confident, they offer the Tailwind Challenge to prove it

Bad Tailwind

  • Can get pretty sticky
  • Flavor never washed out of my Polar Bottles
  • I experienced a dull stomach ache with Organic Lemon… not sure why

Bottom Line: Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel

I haven’t been as brave as I truly need to be to put this to the test. Reading other reviews of 8+ hour stints only using Tailwind does give me confidence, but I have yet to test it on any rides much longer than two hours. I’ll get there, but so far, Tailwind appears to provide all I’ve needed to maintain energy and strength during my training rides.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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