I recently had the pleasure of speaking with founders of Tailwind Nutrition, Jeff and Jenny Vierling. The company is a grassroots venture that is morally invested in their product and committed to serving the athletic community an optimal nutrition solution. I was excited to plow right to the core of why Tailwind is a superior alternative to other sports nutrition systems.
The idea of Tailwind was conceived by Jeff, a software engineer/techy and endurance athlete himself, who had been suffering GI disturbances during the long hours on his bike. He’d competed in the Leadville 100 and found the fuel management cumbersome, inefficient, and difficult to physiologically process. Frustrated by what was available, he sought a better system that would be easier on his stomach by researching existing data and playing around in his own kitchen. Jeff reduced the concept to three essential elements: digestion, regimen complexity, and taste.
Tailwind combines carbohydrate from dextrose (glucose) and sucrose with 303mg of sodium from citrate and sea salt, plus potassium (88mg), calcium (26mg) and magnesium (14mg) for an all-in-one calorie and hydration solution. Unlike other fuel/hydration drinks, Tailwind has an increased sodium profile and milder taste; optimizing gastric emptying and fluid absorption while making ingestion more palatable as the workout endures.
Tailwind works with the body’s own fluid intake and assists in thermoregulation. As body temperature rises during exercise, blood moves to the skin for evaporative cooling (sweating). This system is effective as long as there is continual restoration of body water necessary for blood plasma volume and circulation. Science has proven that for adequate assimilation of fluid, the body needs a combination of specific sugars, specific sodium, and water; if this balance is off, the result is cramping, GI distress, and fatigue. The amount of sodium in Tailwind balances the total electrolyte profile to stimulate aerobic metabolism and increase endurance. When a drink contains too many calories and sugars, the product reaches too far outside the optimal osmolality (electrolyte-water balance) range which decreases the hydration potential, which then creates the bloating and sloshing in the stomach.
What attracts me, as a consumer, to Tailwind is that it is real food. It is made from all natural and organic ingredients with pronounceable and recognizable names. You don’t have to question whether the ingredients are doing more harm than good. A calorie isn’t just a calorie; it should replenish your cells and fuel your body. Artificial ingredients may have a suitable caloric weight, but they end up damaging your cells and negatively influencing performance and behavior.
Instead of being burdened by carrying sticky foods separate from your water bottles/packs, Tailwind combines fuel and hydration to make transportation and consumption a much easier task. You don’t have to worry about what foods to choose at aid stations, if you have enough pockets, or stopping to open anything. It has adequate calories available for quick absorption right from the start line. Put simply: it saves time and energy. There is no need for other foods unless you’d like to mix things up or are craving the act of chewing for satisfaction.
Most other sports drinks are packed with sugar that start out tasting great but quickly become saccharine and unpalatable as the hours tick away. Our sensors for salt and sugars become heightened as we sweat, and it is easier to consume when the flavor is mild and as close to water as we can get it without compromising caloric intake and assimilation. Tailwind comes in three organic flavors (Organic Lemon, Berry, or Mandarin Orange) that are refreshing and almost savory. The mix dissolves quickly and rinses clean with ease.
Overall, this product blows every other brand out of the water (pun intended). The carbohydrate-electrolyte profile is balanced and sufficient for even the heaviest sweaters. It delays fatigue, boosts endurance, maximizes cardio-respiratory efficiency, and reduces cramping and GI distress. It is extremely convenient and palatable; it doesn’t cake to bottles or packs; it is all natural and won’t gunk up your system with preservatives and other additives. Other brands tell us what we need to be drinking–Tailwind delivers it to our bodies without false claims. This is a fantastic product that is beneficial for all athletes, and it’s also gluten free!
Tailwind is available in bulk packages – 50 or 25 serving sizes
Single use pouches are sold in 3- or 12-packs in your choice of flavors and makes 2 large (24 oz) water bottles or 4 small (12 oz) bottles.
Take the Tailwind challenge: Jeff and Jenny stand by their product so much that they’ve vowed to pay your race fee if you aren’t satisfied! The Challenge pack is 4 large bags (50 servings each) in your choice of flavors.
Writer and trail runner