You don't need a degree in sports science or nutrition to know that one key to maximizing your efforts on the bike or in the gym is proper nutrition during and after a workout.
While manufacturers of sports nutrition products might scare athletes into thinking they need to consume an exact mix of carbs, protein, electrolytes and vitamins in a tiny 15-minute window, sports scientist Christie Aschwanden, author of "Good to Go," assures athletes in our Training Tuesday interview with her that real food within hours of a workout should be sufficient for recovery.
Yet we all know it's not always easy to grab a complete meal during or after a cyclocross or gravel race, hot lap session or trainer workout. Hydration drinks, recovery drinks and gels offer convenient and hopefully pleasant-tasting calories during and after workouts, and there are certainly a ton of options out there.
We've recently received a number of athlete-oriented drinks from Asend Nutrition, Tailwind, OSMO, Born and Fast AF for review, and for today's Training Tuesday installment, we offer up our impressions on them below. Note we do not attest to any performance benefits of such products. There's absolutely no way we have the lab equipment and controlled environment to test such products quantitatively.
Instead, we've commented on taste, offered meaningful stats on cost per serving, and give you some insight into the company and ingredients.
See all five brands' new nutrition products in the slider below.
Happy riding and refueling!
Tailwind Recovery Mix
Tailwind Nutrition was inspired by founder Jeff’s experience of gastrointestinal failure at Leadville 100. Following his biomechanical on race day, he launched Tailwind to provide fuel sources that are easy on the gut.
While we’ve never tried Tailwind’s hydration mix, we’ve quickly become Tailwind Rebuild Recovery fans. It’s is a protein recovery mix built around a patent-pending complete protein based on rice—no dairy here. It comes in a 15-serving bag for $38.99, single-serve sleeves for $3.00, and is available in vanilla or chocolate flavor.
One serving is mixed with 16oz of water and provides 10g of protein, 43g of carbohydrate and 240 calories. Tailwind Rebuild is vegan and gluten, soy and dairy-free.
This recovery mix was our taste testers’ favorite. The rice protein and coconut milk was easy on the stomach and had a richer, milkshake consistency that didn’t beg to be mixed with milk.
Per serving, it’s the most pricey mix in this round-up. Per calorie, it’s similar to Asend’s pricing.
Calories: 240 per serving
Total Fat: 3g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Trans Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrate: 43g
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Price per calorie (15 serving bag): $.01
Price per serving: $2.59
More info: tailwindnutrition.com