A Review of Tailwind Nutrition: Mandarin Orange
After one too many gels/chews, your stomach turns sour. Perhaps the porta potty couldn’t be closer. Perhaps you’re hunched over in pain from those pesky cramps from that sugar overload. You’re stomach is rolling because of the gel/chew/sports drink you’ve been using. Unfortunately, many runners have been in this situation before.
What if you could avoid the nasty gut problems? What if you could fuel your runs and not worry about stomach problems? No chews, no gels, no neon colored drinks. What if all it took was a little powder and water?
Enter Tailwind Nutrition. Their motto: All you need, all day. Really.
Created by Jeff Vierling, specifically for his Leadville race – a grueling 100 mile ultra marathon where runners climb and descend more than 15,000 feet – he wanted to address one major problem that he and many other runners (myself included) have experienced during long runs: GI problems. And so after learning more about sports nutrition and some expermentation in the kitchen, Tailwind was born. Jeff and his wife Jenny started the business and shared their secret: Tailwind Nutrition.
Recently, I got a chance to try out their Madarin Orange flavor. But was it all I needed and wanted? I can tell you this: I was very happy. The taste was light and refreshing with no bad aftertaste. It worked well on my long runs and was, as they stated, all I needed for a 2+ hour run.
So what is in Tailwind Nutrition?
Tailwind is a glucose/sucrose blend along with 303 mg of sodium as well as 25 g carbohydrates, 14mg of magnesium, and 88mg of potassium. This unique combination provides hydration, electrolytes and fuel for your long runs. It is gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free and soy-free. It is also 100% natural.
How do I use Tailwind Nutrition?
A serving size of Tailwind is one scoop (which is provided) and 1 scoop is 100 calories. For runs longer than 90+ minutes, science suggests that runners should take in 200-300 calories per hour. Two water bottles, two scoops. It mixes quickly (shockingly quickly) and can be added to not only water bottles but hydration packs as well. No sticky residue or film left behind.
The beauty of Tailwind is being able to adjust more or less calories depending on your needs. Add an extra scoop or add extra water. Tailor it to your specific caloric/fueling needs.
Is it really all you need?
Technically yes. And for most people, yes. It has the sugars, carbs and electrolytes you need to get you through your run. However, personally, I think variety is the spice of life and I was able to have a Honey Stinger Waffle or a gel with it, here and there, and they mixed quite well. No gut problems.
What flavors does it come in?
Tailwind offers a great variety of flavors, in both a caffeine and non-caffeinated variety. The caffeine flavors include Raspberry Buzz, Green Tea Buzz and Tropical buzz. The non-caffeinated flavors include Mandarin Orange, Berry, Lemon and Naked (Yes, Naked. Stop giggling.)
How do you store Tailwind Nutrition?
Unmixed, it’s good for up to two years. Once mixed with water, consume within the day or store in the fridge for up to a week. The website states that there will be an off odor if it has been hanging around for too long. So when in doubt, give it the sniff test.
How much does it cost?
The large bag, which has 50 servings, costs $37-$39 depending if you get the regular or caffeinated version and where you buy it from. With gels and chews going for 2 bucks a pop, Tailwind is definitely worth the value, especially since it’s all you need.
Stick bundles are available that come in one flavor or in a variety pack if you want to test out all the flavors.
Still not sure if you want to try it?
Then try the Tailwind Challenge. Purchase the 4 large bags bundle, which are 10% off the normal price, input your event date, and if Tailwind doesn’t work for your race, they will refund your race entry! (Reimbursed up to $150)
Not sure what flavor? Try the variety pack of stick bundle. Not only does it make it easy to transport on your runs, you get to taste all the flavors – though honestly, I can’t see how any of them would be bad.
What I liked best
- Light, refreshing flavor
- Mixes easily
- Natural ingredients – no weird stuff here!
What I didn’t like
- A little messy to get into my water bottle. Wish I had a funnel.
If you have suffered from “bad belly” and are looking for alternative fuel, I highly suggest giving Tailwind a shot. It comes in a variety of flavors, so you’ll never get bored. But also consider “Naked” for those who really don’t want much flavor at all. Tailwind Nutrition worked well when mixed with other fuels, but also worked great alone.
Added bonus: They take the time to write your name on the bag and give you a little hand written note. True customer appreciation.
All you need, all day. Really.