There is more to being an endurance athlete than just physically training for and competing in events. Sure, it is important to use the right gear, wear the right shoes, and choose the best races, but nutrition is equally as important as all of these things. If you don’t fuel your body, hydrate well, and eat for recovery, then you may end up not meeting your athletic goals or, worse, getting an injury.
Hydration is a key part of nutrition. If not already doing so, endurance athletes need to add electrolytes to their hydration and recovery efforts. This is especially true for those training for multi-hour events such as the Quad Rock 50 or the Leadville 100.
One of the best ways to get electrolytes into your body quickly is through an electrolyte hydration powder. Read on to learn more about electrolyte powders, how they work, how to use different types of electrolyte powders, and where to find the best electrolytes for your next race.
What To Drink To Replenish Electrolytes
Have you ever wondered what’s in your sweat? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t. Either way, endurance athletes need to know at least a few facts about their sweat as they need to restore what they lose.
Your sweat is mostly made up of water, but it also includes the electrolyte of sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It is important to replenish water and this electrolyte combo during long workouts or endurance events to prevent dehydration, muscle cramps, headaches, and even heat-related illnesses like heat stroke. Electrolytes play a key role in preventing these symptoms, as well as in other bodily functions like controlling your nervous system, keeping your pH levels in balance, and muscle contraction, which is obviously important for athletes.
Enter electrolyte powder packets. Good electrolyte powders should contain the minerals you are losing, which are sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and other essential minerals. Tailwind Endurance Fuel and Recovery powders contain sea salt (also known as sodium chloride), potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, and magnesium oxide to help you quickly replenish and hydrate, and all in a way that is gentle on your stomach.
The powder should mix quickly and easily with water so you can focus on your event or your recovery. Because Tailwind was created by endurance athletes like you, it has been designed to mix with cool water in just a few shakes and then pass right through your stomach after drinking for quicker absorption in your body. This means you can get the best electrolyte benefits without having to stop your race.
Do Electrolyte Powders Work?
Because you cannot see electrolytes, it may be difficult to picture how these other nutrients, vitamins and minerals work through your body when ingested, especially in powder form. The evidence of whether or not electrolyte powders work definitely points to “yes.”
When completing training or an event that lasts one hour or longer, it is recommended that you consume between 600 and 1200 milliliters per hour of a solution that at least contains carbs and sodium to prevent dehydration or performance impairment (that is 20-40 ounces for those of not using the metric system). Hydration should also occur before and after this type of activity, and these recommendations are backed up by the American College of Sports Medicine.
Electrolytes are highly water-soluble, meaning they mix well with water and are well-absorbed once in your body. Once absorbed, they are distributed to where they are low or depleted to prevent an electrolyte imbalance. An imbalance of them can cause unwanted symptoms like nausea, muscle cramps, upset stomach, and dehydration during an endurance workout, all of which can slow you down dramatically during an important race.
As an endurance athlete, you probably already know from personal experience that electrolyte powders and other forms of electrolyte drinks work. And when you add these to a powder that also contains carbohydrates for energy or amino acids for recovery, then you are giving your body exactly what it needs to keep it strong and healthy for your endurance event. This is the best electrolyte powder for the job because it can hydrate you quickly but effectively, too. This is what makes it a unique electrolyte drink.
How To Use Electrolyte Powder
Electrolyte replacement powders can be used in more than one way. You could choose to add your powder to the water you plan to take with you while training, or you could take single-serve packets of electrolyte powder to mix with water while out on the road or trail. Depending on how you are feeling and what your workout is for the day, you may need to use a powder electrolyte mix before you train as well as after.
It is recommended to replenish electrolytes when completing endurance exercises that last at least one hour, when working out in hot temperatures, or if you are a heavy sweater. While some may recommend the use of electrolytes only for events lasting much longer than one hour, the risk of dehydration is not worth it. You should keep your electrolytes in balance in your body with an electrolyte drink to prevent ever getting close to dehydration.
Fortunately, Tailwind Endurance Fuel has been created to dissolve quickly in water and leave no residue or film behind in your bottle. The fact that there are no dyes or preservatives in our powders also means a cleaner water bottle as well as a cleaner taste. Just mix 2-3 scoops with 20-24 ounces of water, and be on your way!
While our Endurance Fuel is tailored for use during your training or endurance event, our Recovery sports drink mix is meant to be used within 30 minutes of completing your exercise. Both products contain natural ingredients and a variety of flavors, all of which are non-GMO, plus the proper amounts of electrolytes you need for rapid hydration. You don’t have to guess how to fuel or replenish your body anymore.
Are Electrolyte Powders Good For You?
Not all electrolyte powders are the same.
There are numerous electrolytes in powder form on the market, with some containing non-GMO ingredients and others not so much. Some even contain artificial or unnecessary flavors, dyes, and ingredients that may cause some people to get an upset stomach as these types of electrolyte replacement powders are not as gentle on the stomach of an endurance athlete as they should be.
With all of that in mind, let’s look at the health of electrolyte powders.
Endurance athletes should know exactly what they are putting into their bodies, both during training and when eating any other meals. This is because the act of engaging in endurance events can easily cause gastrointestinal distress, muscle cramps, headaches, and other unpleasant symptoms. And this is especially true for endurance athletes with sensitive stomachs or who have not properly fueled.
Clean electrolytes from the best electrolyte powder, like Tailwind, are gentler on your system and will be better received by your stomach than those electrolyte powders containing extra, unneeded ingredients.
With just seven natural ingredients and flavors, your body will be happy to absorb Tailwind Endurance Fuel during your next event. There are 100 calories per serving, which is perfect for an energy boost intake during an event as you will be replenishing what you are losing in real-time.
The best electrolyte powders will omit unnecessary sweeteners and additives, like too much sugar, that are commonly found in popular sports drinks you see on the shelves of your grocery store to make them taste better. But you know from experience that water, or something that tastes close to it, is what you want most during a hard endurance workout.
As you have hopefully learned by now, Tailwind is different from another electrolyte powder in that it only contains key nutrients and ingredients that your body needs during your event or your recovery. This is why our Endurance Fuel does not contain protein because protein is difficult for your digestive system to break down and absorb and is a common culprit of that sick-to-your-stomach feeling 20 miles into your event. This is also why our Recovery drink only contains the basics; carbohydrates, healthy fats, and complete protein.
Speaking of basics, let’s hammer the overall message of a clean electrolyte powder mix home. We did our research (through both actual experimentation and learning the nutrition science) to understand exactly what key nutrients are lost during endurance exercise and how to replenish them effectively and quickly without causing those notorious gut issues many endurance athletes have. This research pointed us to our Endurance Fuel and Recovery mixes, leading us to add only the electrolytes you lose plus the energy and nutrients your muscles crave to work or recover.
What is in Tailwind Nutrition?
Tailwind has two product lines that are not just an electrolyte replacement powder. Endurance fuel is also an all-natural, clean alternative to energy gels, chews, and pills, as well as a recovery drink containing a patent-pending complete protein. Both of which have been designed to be quickly absorbed and gentle on your stomach.
These powders were created by endurance athletes out of Durango, CO, after experiencing one of the worst things that can happen during an hours-long event. We all know that dreadful feeling of defeat when improper fueling or overheating gets the best of us.
We’ve all experienced the fear of needing a porta-potty or trash can mid-event, and fast! Maybe it happened because you ate something that did not sit well. Or maybe you were on the verge of dehydration which can lead to numerous emergency trips to the bathroom.
With the power of personal experience, we created Tailwind Nutrition. We have a mix for during endurance workouts and a mix for afterward, both containing the electrolytes you need with minerals, like sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Here is a look at each:
Tailwind Endurance Fuel
- Our Endurance Fuel comes in both caffeinated and non-caffeinated options.
- Made to be used during long endurance events or training.
- Can be used as an all-in-one fuel during your workout as it contains calories, hydration, and electrolytes. This means you do not need to eat other foods, gels, or gummies to meet energy needs during your event unless you want to.
- Mixes quickly with water, so you can make your drink on the go or before your workout, depending on preference.
- Comes in a variety of light flavors with no aftertaste.
- Calories come from non-GMO dextrose (glucose), the best form of energy to take in during an endurance event.
- Gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, and dairy-free.
- Our Recovery drink also comes in caffeinated and non-caffeinated options.
- Made to be used within 30 minutes of completing your training or endurance event.
- Contains the same electrolytes and sugar source as Endurance Fuel, but also contains healthy fats from coconut milk and essential amino acids plus organic rice protein to help rebuild muscles.
- Our unique combination of essential amino acids and rice protein powder forms a complete protein that is patent-pending.
- Comes in desirable flavors that sound good after a tough workout, like chocolate and vanilla.
- Designed to quickly and efficiently restore sugar and glycogen that were depleted during your endurance event, an important step to rest and recovery.
If you are looking for the best rehydration products, Tailwind has you covered. You can get the important electrolytes you need to hydrate and recover around your endurance workout in our two signature products.
Are Electrolyte Supplements Worth It?
There is a lot to keep track of as an endurance athlete, especially if you compete in races and train regularly. You may feel like adding one more thing to your regimen (and your bank account) may not be worth it. But if you are on the fence about whether or not you need electrolyte powder and if buying some is worth the investment, you should definitely take the leap!
Unfortunately, things cost money. Fortunately, electrolyte replacement mixes will not break the bank. You can get enough Endurance Fuel that contains all the calories and electrolytes you would need to last for a 10-hour race for under 20 bucks. That means a race that lasts about five hours would set you back less than ten dollars, which is nothing compared to the race entry fee you put down just to be there.
Apart from the cost, you have, hopefully, learned by now how beneficial and important it is to replenish electrolytes during endurance training or a long event. There have been several studies that have found that dehydration can impair performance. You do not want all of your months of hard work and training to come crashing down just because you did not have the right fuel and hydration during your race.
Perhaps you have not been using a powder electrolyte mix yet but have been feeling sluggish and on the verge of dehydration while training. Adding electrolytes plus energy to the water you are already carrying may be just the thing you need to boost your training and make it across the finish line strong and on your feet on race day, making this electrolyte powder ideal.
Besides noticing no stomach issues, reviewers of Tailwind have noted increased endurance as well as faster hydration from using our Endurance Fuel mix that contains calories and electrolytes from natural ingredients during training or races. Recovery has also been hailed for helping with a quicker recovery, which can be attributed to both the complete protein component and the electrolytes.
So, to go back to the original question of “are electrolyte supplements worth it?” The answer is a resounding yes.
How and Where To Buy Electrolyte Powder
If you have made it this far, it is probably because you are ready to buy the best electrolyte supplement powder. With that in mind, let’s look at how to choose the right Tailwind Nutrition products for you based on your goals and needs.
If you need clean electrolytes plus energy to drink while running, cycling, swimming, or whatever your endurance event is…
Endurance Fuel is for you. The caffeine free version comes in mandarin orange, berry, lemon, or naked (unflavored). Caffeinated Endurance Fuel can be bought in matcha, raspberry, tropical, or Colorado Cola flavors. Both products have vitamins and minerals, like sodium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, and calcium for all of your hydration and electrolyte needs.
If you are looking for a recovery mix that also contains electrolytes for after your workouts…
Then Recovery is your best bet. Our original Rebuild comes in chocolate or vanilla, or you can opt for the all-new salted caramel variety. If you want a little caffeine boost, then the coffee-flavored Recovery will give you what you need. All Recovery products contain the same electrolytes as Endurance Fuel, so you can continue to rehydrate even after you are done working out.
If you are not sure which Endurance Fuel flavor you want to invest in…
The Endurance Fuel Bundle will help you try all of the caffeinated and non-caffeinated flavors so you can find the ones you like the best. The bundle is also a great choice as it comes in single-serve packets, so you can take Tailwind with you on the go.
If you are also not sure which Rebuild Recovery flavor to try…
Try the Recovery Drinks Bundle to try the caffeinated coffee flavor plus non-caffeinated chocolate and vanilla. This bundle also comes in single-serving packets so you can try just one sport drink at a time or take Rebuild on the go with you.
If you are ready to try both Endurance Fuel and Recovery…
Our Fuel and Recovery Drinks Starter Kit will fulfill your desires. Again, coming in single-serving packets for your fueling and recovery needs while on the go. Plus, you will get to try all eight Endurance Fuel flavors as well as three Recovery flavors (salted caramel flavor not included).
If you want to try single servings of all of our best sellers…
We have made a Best Seller Bundle specifically for that purpose. This bundle includes favorite flavors from both the Endurance Fuel drink and the Recovery drink.
Finally, if you like to have a little fun…
Take the Tailwind Challenge and try four flavors of our Endurance Fuel while you train for your next event. If you don’t love Tailwind and do not notice an improvement in your training, then we will pay for your race entry fee (It should be noted that you must start the event you are training for). The challenge is a great way to try new flavors, provide feedback, and possibly (probably) find a new product that boosts your performance in our Endurance Fuel.
Final Notes on Electrolyte Powders
A lot of ground was covered in this post, so let’s do a quick recap before you are on your way:
- You need to replenish electrolytes continuously while completing endurance training or an endurance event that lasts more than one hour.
- Electrolyte replacement powder packets should include vitamins and minerals, like sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
- The best and healthiest electrolyte drink powders will not contain unnecessary ingredients like dyes, and should mix quickly and easily with cool water.
- There is solid evidence supporting the use of electrolyte replacement beverages for endurance athletes.
- Tailwind Endurance Fuel contains not only the electrolytes you need during a workout but also contains calories from natural carbohydrates, which means you won’t need any other food or drinks with you during a race.
- Tailwind Recovery is a unique mix that also contains electrolytes and natural carbohydrates plus healthy fats and a patent-pending complete protein for all of your rest and recovery needs.
- Investing in quality electrolyte powders like Tailwind is totally worth it as you can have all the energy and hydration you need for a 10-hour race for less than twenty dollars.
Good luck and happy training!