Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel
Product: Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel
Cost/Sizes: Single Use 3-pack: MSRP $10.50/1.5 lb. bag: $19.99/3 lb. bag: MSRP $34.99*
Use: On the bike nutrition
Rider: Jason Mahokey, xxcmag.com
One thing I have learned over the years is that there is no “magic bullet” for performance (well, no LEGAL magic bullet!). Max performance is of course brought from hard work and dedication to training (thus my career filled with sub-par race results). I have also learned that when talking (or in this case writing) about on the bike nutrition, everyone’s opinion is different and personal preferences, results and tastes will always win out over any review or whatever a company’s marketing department says. Having said all that, here is my take on Tailwind Nutrition’s Endurance Fuel…
I was contacted by Tailwind Nutrition and asked to try out their ride/race beverage mix called Endurance Fuel. This was perfect timing as my regular race and ride beverage of choice was on back order. So I said “Sure! Send it on over, I’ll give it a go!” (or at least something like that)
A few days later I received 3 packs of Endurance Fuel on the doorstep of XXC Mag HQ. Just in time for some hot rides.
I was intrigued with Tailwind’s Endurance Fuel for the same reason I dig products like Carbo Rocket’s 333 Half Evil; It would allow me to hydrate and fuel at the same time. I am not one to want to take in gel after gel in a race or on a ride in attempts to keep up on my calories in, I like to kill two birds with one stone (or at least horribly maim them) and keep things simple.
Before I get too far into the review let’s look at some of the stats per scoop:
- Calories: 100
- Sodium: 88 mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 25 g
- Sugars: 25 mg
- Calcium: 26 mg
- Magnesium: 14 mg
- Sea Salt: 55 mg
And what Tailwind says is inside (Mandarin Orange)”
All natural & organic ingredients: Dextrose, Sucrose, Sodium Citrate, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Organic Mandarin Orange Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Citrate.
Tailwind recommends that for rides under 2 hours you use 1 to 2 scoops per 24 oz. bottle. For rides over 2 hours 2-2.5 scoops per 24 oz. in attempt to keep up with your caloric needs. Of course you need to adjust for your tastes and needs.
“The first thing I noticed was the taste. The berry tasted yummy (for lack of a better word). It wasn’t too strong and it TASTED like berry, Not like berry flavored baby vomit or fruity bile.”
I received 2 small single use packs (4 servings each) of Berry and Lemon and a 1.5 pound bag of Mandarin Orange. I was digging the resealable bag on the 1.5 lb., it makes for very easy storage appose to big bulky plastic containers that take up too much cupboard and counter space in my kitchen. That also keeps my boss lady happy.
The first test ride was a HOT ride on singletrack. I took a bottle of Berry mixed on the light side and a super small hydration pack of ice water for 2 hour ride max.
The first thing I noticed was the taste. The Berry tasted yummy (for lack of a better word). It wasn’t too strong and it TASTED like Berry, not like berry flavored baby vomit or fruity bile. Of course I was unsure of how it would taste at the end of 2 hours in 94 degree heat.
Well, as it turns out I would not have chance to find out since it was so freaking hot I was sucking it down like mad and I was out of water and Endurance Fuel by the end of about 1:45 of tight Luton Park singletrack.
Ride One Summary: Tasted great, should have taken extra bottles, no cramping, no gut issues, no sticky gloves, etc. Aces.
The next ride was 2+ hours on my local trails at the MMCC (Mid Michigan Community College). For this one I mixed a couple bottles of Lemon, slightly stronger so as to maximize both the hydration AND the fueling.
Expecting the same great taste of the Berry, I was sort of shocked that the taste was sort of like Lemon Pledge flavored water. Not horrible, but definitely not as good as the Berry. Still, there was singletrack to slay and it was as hot as monkey’s bum, so I still found myself going through 2 bottles of it.
Ride Two Summary: While I hated the flavor, it still did the job of keeping my hydrated, free of cramps and only slightly wanting more in my belly at the end. I should have mixed at least one bottle a bit stronger to get the needed calories.
My third ride experience with Endurance Fuel was to be a 6 hour race in Ithaca, MI. I had several bottles of the Mandarin Orange mixed and ready to go for my morning departure. Upon waking up, my mind was filled with endless 5.5 mile laps on flat singletrack in the heat. I bailed on the race and opted for a long ride on hot as hell, exposed to the blazing sun, gravel farm roads (like that was going to somehow be better).
Anyway for this one I went with 2 bottles of Mandarin Orange with 3 scoops each to take care of both nutrition and hydration + one bottle of plain old H2O in my jersey pocket. I figured this would get me through 3+ hours and I could always try to make it to a mini-mart for more water, right?
The ride was going awesome and the Endurance Fuel was going down great. Even once my ice had melted it was still pretty palatable, Or at least as palatable as a hydration drink that has been baking in your bottle cages for 2+ hours can be.
The problem I was having on this ride had nothing to do with the Endurance Fuel, my legs, or my bike. It had to do with the heat. The sun was cooking me up “honey baked ham” style and I was running out of fluids fast. Damn!
I thought about diverting my loop in search of a mini-mart to spend those sweat soaked dollar bills tucked in my jersey pockets on more water, but for some reason I thought I could make it. I didn’t, ha!
A couple wrong turns and a couple unexpected deep gravel climbs were taking their toll on my bottles, I was sweating like fool, and was down to few ounces when I stopped to check my iPhone’s map and realized that I had just under 10 miles to go if I take some pavement back. Oh boy. Maybe I’ll see a house along the way with a friendly looking person to ask for water? Nope.
I plugged along some paved roads for about 7 miles on nothing but one remaining sip of Endurance Fuel. With the heat and sun beating off the pavement and the sheer amount of sweat I tend to pump out my hack cyclist pores, I couldn’t help but think that any moment I would start flirting with cramps or just seize up into a salty ball of sweaty pain. But it never happened! That’s pretty cool. I had taken some gels with me that day just in case I started feeling a bonk coming on, but again it never happened. While I would be lying if I said I wasn’t fantasizing about real food like pizza or beverages like a tall glass of ice water, that had nothing really to do with the Endurance Fuel and more to do with the ride outlasting my nutrition and the heat outlasting my ride.
Ride Three Summary: Mandarin Orange is my 2nd favorite flavor behind the Berry. Once again Endurance Fuel did everything it was supposed to do; Kept me hydrated and bonk free, I just needed more of it for thee ride.
“If you are looking for a complete, all in one hydration/nutrition solution Tailwind Endurance Fuel is a great option to get you through races 45 minutes to 3+ hours long or from aid station to aid station during longer races.”
Overall summary: While I never rode more than 3.5 hours with Tailwind’s Endurance Fuel, I remain impressed with it. All the rides done were in 90+ degree heat. 2 of the flavors were tasty and even once they became warm as a “trucker bomb” they were still pretty palatable. During the above mentioned rides they, along with plain water, were my sole energy source. I used no gels or solid foods. If you are looking for a complete, all in one hydration/nutrition solution Tailwind Endurance Fuel is a great option to get you through races 45 minutes to 3+ hours long or from aid station to aid station during longer races. Sooner or later the gut (or at least my gut) craves SOMETHING solid to satisfy it. For me that usually happens after I pass the 3 hour mark on the bike. Products like Endurance Fuel fit the bill to keep me from having to take a ton of gels or bars on most training rides and most of the races I tend to do. During my use I experienced not one cramp during or after the rides. I also experienced no stomach upset and that is always a bonus for me.
But like I said at the beginning, EVERYONE is different and really you have to try stuff out to know if you like it. I reccomend getting the $10.50 3-pack and doing your own test. Their web page has all the science type information on Endurance Fuel and ordering information. You can even take their Tailwind Challenge! Visit tailwindnutrition.com.
*Note: These products were provided to xxcmag.com at no charge for review. xxcmag.com received no cash, bribes, or physical threats from Tailwind Nutrition for the review.