Tailwind Background Information & Usage
In a nutshell, Tailwind is complete and simple to use, so you can use it as your sole fuel source without having to supplement with gels or electrolyte pills. It provides rapid and sustained energy without upsetting your stomach, replenishes electrolytes in the same proportion as you sweat out, and has a mild, subtle flavor that you can drink all day. It is designed for during your run/bike although some folks have been using it pre- and post run/bike as well.
The advantages of drinking your fuel (vs. taking shots, gels, etc. intermittently) are simplicity, ease of use, and maintaining a steady intake. Sipping regularly provides a steady stream of energy, electrolytes, and hydration, which helps to keep your energy and electrolyte levels consistent and is easy on the digestive tract. By contrast, downing gels or shots all at once stresses the digestive system and creates a cycle of spikes followed by declining energy and electrolyte levels.
Moderate workouts burn more than 500 calories per hour, but humans can only process 250-300 calories per hour. So you're always running a calorie deficit that can only be partially filled by fat metabolism. Tailwind's fuel source is dextrose and sucrose mix. Dextrose is a glucose molecule, called d-glucose, that is readily absorbed and utilized as fuel by muscles. The advantages of dextrose are that it provides rapid energy, absorbs easily, and has low sweetness. Because it's easily absorbed and utilized as fuel, dextrose helps meet the immediate calorie deficit while having nearly zero potential to slow digestion or cause stomach upset. Other sports drinks contain longer-chain sugars that take more time and effort from the digestive track to break down into usable energy. This slows the delivery of energy, and for some people can result in slowed or even stopped digestion (feeling full or like nothing's making it through). Tailwind also has a smaller amount of sucrose to add just enough sweetness for a good flavor. This also takes advantage of the effect of multiple carbohydrate sources improving the energy and fluid uptake rate. A quick note on protein for endurance use: protein is a very complex molecule that's difficult to digest and has a strong correlation with stomach problems amongst endurance athletes. Recent studies also point to no measurable endurance benefit to using protein during exercise. For these reasons, it is not included in Tailwind.
For electrolytes, Tailwind mimics the composition of sweat for a given amount of water. Most of what you sweat out is sodium, followed by smaller amounts of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. After that are trace elements that are synthesized from your diet in extremely small amounts. It's amazing, but if you look at competitive products, many do not have sufficient electrolytes to replenish what's being lost or market additional ingredients that aren't part of sweat. Tailwind's approach is to build electrolytes into the drink so it's easy to manage and replace what you're losing.
Flavour and texture are key for endurance athletes as many drinks and drink+gel combos are difficult to continue drinking over the course of a long day. Tailwind has a very mild flavour that's just sweet enough to keep you coming back for more, but nowhere near as sweet as many competitive products. It's closer to water in taste and consistency than it is to kool aid. We've personally run it for 24+ hours with nothing else, and most people find it quite palatable. The exception has been people who prefer a sweet drink.
That's it. All ingredients are natural, and the flavouring is organic. No artificial ingredients, preservatives, or funky four-syllable magic compounds. The bottom line is it works, allowing you to feel good while performing your best.
Usage instructions: Each scoop (27g) delivers 100 calories. Under 2 hour activities mix with water at a rate of 1-2 scoops per 24 oz bottle (about 710ml) or in a hydration pack. For 2+ hours, you can use as a sole fuel by mixing 2- 2.5 scoops per 24 ounces (710ml), aiming for 250 calories per hour as a starting point. Adjust up or down to personal calorie needs and taste preference.