A tailwind is a wind that blows in the direction of travel of an object (Wikipedia).
I’m not sure if that was the reason Tailwind Nutrition was named as such, but Tailwind has been making heads turn in the trail & ultra running community for being an easy to stomach, reliable and effective training and race fuel for the trail & ultra runner.
I’m not exactly sure when I started using Tailwind. I remembered hearing it from Ian (Compressport/Nuke Optics) and reading some online reviews at the start of the year. After much discussions, a group of us were quite interested to give it a try. But because there were no distributors in Asia then, we decided to ship in a few packs of the Stick Pack Bundles from the main store in the US. The stick pack (aka sachet) consisted of 5 different flavours of Tailwind (including one un-flavoured) for us to try to see if it worked for us.
Before trying out Tailwind, I never had a consistent source of nutrition, constantly mix & matching different types gels, bars and electrolytes, even after 5 years of running.
So what’s in Tailwind anyway? Let’s take quick look at the ingredients.
Each stick pack contained about 200 calories and was recommended to be mixed in 500 ml of water. While I’m not surprised by the calorie offering, having used a similar product in the past , I was surprised that such a simple mix of ingredients could yield so much calories at a reasonable price.
But does it work in practice? In my case, yes. After finishing the first batch of stick packs, I was convinced that this was the fuel source for me. It solved three major issues; electrolytes, calories and hydration.
Firstly, I could train longer without having to carry a mix of either (1) an electrolyte drink & chewies or (2) an electrolyte drink & gels/other food. That meant carrying and worrying less about what to eat and when to eat; a fluid based nutrition simplifies all the above.
Secondly, I haven’t had a stomach upset at all during my runs with Tailwind. But I will say that the caffeine flavour does make my stomach rumble a bit, tho not a cause of concern yet.
The stick packs allowed me to adjust the intensity of the taste to my liking while still keeping the rest of the stick pack as a top up for later in the run. This was thanks to the simple line on the stick pack which indicated 100 calories, a useful feature as my Simple Hydration bottle had a smaller capacity as compared to other handheld bottles.
I eventually purchased the 30 and 50 servings pack, as it was cheaper for training, keeping the stick packs only for races. Overall, I think the serving packs are a great value, complimenting the stick pack.
Despite the positives, there are a few hiccups that one may encounter when using Tailwind. For example, should you order the 30/50 serving pack and wish to carry on extras in your hydration pack, you may have to fill them up in zip lock bags, which may look suspicious if you don’t label it properly (please don’t take this seriously, I’m joking!). And being a fluid based nutrition system, you will need a steady source of water or at the very least, take into account where you are able to top up your water supply during training or racing.
My first major test with Tailwind came during my first 100k race at Translantau earlier this year. The nutrition worked well, though I physically and mentally broke down …
Tailwind is finally available for athletes in Singapore and in Asia. Thanks to the hard work of Jeri Chua and the folks over at GoneRunning (shouts to John Ellis and company!) for making it possible. As mentioned in an earlier post, Tailwind had made its debut at the MSIG Singapore 50 to a positive reception.
Overall, I’m very pleased with how Tailwind has worked out for me. I’m sure it can work for you as well, but every athlete adapts and reacts differently to each training method and nutritional offering out there. That being said, Tailwind is slowly, but steadily gaining a following from not just the trail & ultra running community, but from the road runners and even the cyclists as well.
It is after all, all you need all day, really. Hope you found this post useful!