How Tailwind Works
The easiest way to wrap your head around Tailwind Endurance Fuel is to think of the 3 components of successful fueling: calories + electrolytes + water. Moderate exercise burns 500+ calories/hr and race pace can exceed 1000 calories/hr, but most people can process and absorb only 200-300 calories/hr during exercise. Given the calorie deficit, the goal of fueling is to make your stored energy (stored as glycogen) last as long as possible through efficient calorie uptake supplemented by energy converted from fat stores, while maintaining electrolyte and hydration balance.
Tailwind's dextrose (glucose) and sucrose (glucose + fructose) fuel matches what the body absorbs, so it enters your bloodstream quickly without challenging the digestive system. Active transport mechanisms in the small intestine act as pumps specifically for glucose and fructose molecules, pumping them into the bloodstream. The transport mechanisms require sodium to function, and the pumping action actually moves more water into the bloodstream than if you drink plain water alone. Tailwind's fuel is combined with electrolytes and water in the proper ratios, which maximizes the absorption rate of each to maintain hydration and electrolyte balance. Once absorbed, Tailwind's fuel can be burned immediately, directly offsetting calories that would otherwise be drawn from glycogen stores. Tailwind is designed to be sipped regularly throughout exercise to keep your stomach and digestive tract happy while providing steady energy.
The key to using Tailwind Endurance Fuel as a sole fuel source is figuring out what your caloric intake/hour should be. The easiest way to do this is to experiment during training and use hunger as a guide. For most people, the rate will fall into the 200-300 calories per hour range. Our larger bags contain scoops that equal 100 calories, so it's easy to measure. Runners often start with 200cal/20oz of water per hour. Cyclists can usually carry more fluid, so 250cal/24oz water per hour is a good starting point. If feeling overly satiated, dial it back. If you get hungry or low on energy, try upping the calories/hr a bit. You can also supplement with food or other calorie sources if you wish - just take those calories into account in your overall calories/hour rate and adjust the Tailwind calories accordingly. Keep in mind the body needs adequate water to process calories (not just Tailwind, but any food source)--roughly 10-12oz of water for every 100 calories. While the quantity of water needed will vary person to person, too little water will cause the body to suck water from the bloodstream into the stomach and can lead to dehydration. Used with adequate water, Tailwind's electrolyte content mimics what you're losing in sweat, so there's no need to supplement with additional salt pills.