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Guide to Hydration Products for Runners
A Review of 10+ Running Hydration Products

If you are a runner looking for a fueling product to use before or during your runs there are a few things to consider. You want to decide what form (or combination of forms) you would like to use during training. Some runners like to take in their fuel in liquid form (sports drinks) while others like solid (sports bars). A gel sits somewhere in the middle. You may like some kind of a combination of the three or it may depend on the training session, distance, duration etc. In this guide, we'll be taking a look at the hydrating side of things - from Nuun to Osmo to Maurten, Skratch, and much more - to help you sort through the various options in the market and find the right product for you.
I. Ingredients
II. Disclaimer
III. Hydration Product Reviews

Recent Updates
10/12/23 - Added Tailwind Review

Ingredients to Know

The major benefit of Sports Drinks are that they contain carbs (quick energy), electrolytes and most importantly fluid! They can enhance hydration by encouraging us to drink more. The sodium sends a signal to our brain to continue to drink and the sweetness makes it enjoyable to drink.

Let's break down the ingredients that you will often see in these products:

Carbohydrate Source: Whether it's a sports beverage, gel or bar, each product will contain carbohydrates. The source of the carbohydrate will vary from product to product. Below are the pros and cons of these different carb sources:

Maltodextrin - Maltodextrin is easily digestible and requires less water to be absorbed. It's beneficial in gel form because of this. It has little flavor so it's likely to be used in a gel or drink with added flavors to make it palatable. 
Glucose - Similarly to Maltodextrin, Glucose is easily digestible. It requires more water than maltodextrin to be absorbed so we need to increase water intake if using glucose. This can be a benefit to hydration status if we drink more OR it can lead to dehydration if we don't.    
Fructose - Fructose can have a longer lasting effect on energy because it absorbs via different pathways. It's very sweet as well which entices us to consume more. The disadvantage of using fructose is that it can cause GI distress. For this reason it's typically only used in small amounts in sports nutrition products. 
Sucrose - Sucrose is the scientific name for table sugar. You will see this ingredient used a lot because it's inexpensive to use. It is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. 

Other Components to Know:  
Fat - Fat is added to some products (mostly bars) to increase the palatability of the product as well as to add a more substantial fuel source for sustainability for longer endurance sessions and events.
Protein - you will also notice Protein added to some products (again mostly bars) in order to improve blood sugar response and spare muscle breakdown.
Caffeine - when used in the right amounts and at the right time, caffeine can increase endurance, speed, power and pain tolerance. If used in high quantities it can cause dehydration, heart palpitations and GI upset. (And…as an FYI ingesting more the 400mg is banned by the NCAA).
Flavorings - Remember that if you choose a product you need to find one that you enjoy! This is to ensure that you take it in. Otherwise you won't eat it and will miss out on the opportunity to fuel your body to run. Everyone has different taste buds. Find what works for you and what tastes good to you and you will be on the right track.

Hydration Products
In the following section are reviews from our team of various nutrition products we have been using all summer. We talk about ingredients and our individual experiences with the products.

Osmo Nutrition Active Hydration
Review by Contributor Andrea Myers
Price: $20 at Osmo Nutrition (20 serving tub)

Purpose/Use: Osmo Active Hydration is designed for use during exercise for hydration. It is somewhat unusual among sport hydration products in that it contains sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium; many products do not contain all four. Osmo says that this product contains the optimal ratio of sucrose, glucose, and electrolytes for hydration during exercise. Dr. Stacy Sims, a leader in the field of sport nutrition and performance who has pioneered research into women’s-specific performance topics, is the founder of Osmo. Those who have read her book, Roar, will find that Osmo products match her nutrition recommendations in the book.
Important Ingredients: Cane sugar, dextrose, trisodium citrate, calcium citrate, potassium citrate, magnesium citrate, fruit powder, B vitamins and vitamin C
Taste: Moderately fruity (depending on the flavor). I found the lemon lime to be the mildest tasting and blueberry pomegranate to have the strongest flavor.
Consistency: Normal water consistency. The powder does not mix well, so I ended up with a lot of crystals at the bottom of my bottle.

While I have used Osmo Pre-Load for years, I had never tried Active Hydration because I had other products I was happy with. Osmo sent a large sampler pack of Active Hydration singles, so I was able to test it on multiple runs and rides. It did not give me any GI issues and it is easy to drink, even during hard running efforts. I did not like that it was so hard to get the powder to dissolve - no matter how much I shook the bottle, I always ended up with a fair amount of crystals at the bottom. The taste is a little stronger than I prefer, but the lemon lime was closer to mild than the other flavors I tested (orange, blueberry pomegranate, and blackberry). While it isn’t my favorite hydration product, it is one that I would use in a pinch if I was out of my usual powder.

Osmo Nutrition Preload Hydration Mix

Review by Andrea Myers
Price: $25 at Osmo Nutrition (20 serving)

Purpose/Use: Osmo Preload is a hyper-hydration mix intended for use prior to hot, prolonged, and intense workouts and races. It contains a high amount of sodium (1430mg per scoop), which may help to raise blood plasma volume prior to exercise in hot conditions, and sodium bicarbonate, which may reduce the risk of muscle cramping. Its intended use is one serving the night before and/or 30 minutes prior to hot, intense exercise. Due to its high sodium content, Osmo states that people with kidney problems or high blood pressure should check with their doctor prior to using Osmo Preload.
Important Ingredients: Trisodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, cane sugar
Taste: One word: salty. Osmo recommends drinking Preload very cold, which does help to mask some of the salty taste. Even so, this is not a drink you would choose for its delicious taste. It does have a slight pineapple taste due to pineapple powder, but salt is the main tasting note in this product.
Consistency: The preparation instructions are based on an athlete’s weight, but the ratio is 1 scoop per 8 ounces of water. The high amount of sodium makes the drink a little slimy, but the consistency is more like water than anything else.   

I have been using Osmo Preload for a few years prior to training or racing in hot temperatures. Even though the taste and consistency is not amazing, it is 100% worth it for the performance benefit that I get. When I use it prior to a hard workout or race in the heat, it feels like it insulates me from the effects of hot and humid conditions. I definitely find that drinking it as cold as possible is helpful, as is drinking it quickly. Osmo recommends using Preload the night before a hard effort and/or 30 minutes prior to a hard effort. For people trying it for the first time, I would recommend using it the night before to make sure you don’t have any GI issues. Osmo also says that you can try it at half strength if the regular preparation method is too strong.

 Skratch Labs Sports Recovery Mix
Review by Guest Author Jennifer Giles, RDN
$33.95 at Running Warehouse (12 servings)

Purpose/Use: Post-Activity Recovery Drink
Important Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Milk, Rice Flour, Salt, Probiotic
Taste: Delicious!
Consistency: Mixes with water (or milk) very well.

Skratch is known for their use of all natural ingredients, options for every athlete and every condition as well as unique flavor combinations. I recently had a personal tour of the Skratch Lab in boulder Colorado and was met by the co-founder, Dr. Allen Lim. Dr. Lim and his staff had just returned from a group ride. They were all still dressed in their cycling gear as they showed us around the test kitchen and the warehouse and we even played pop-a-shot! It is apparent how they all prioritize health and well being along side of optimal performance. It’s likely why the product line is so high end.

This was by far my favorite product to test and review! Horchata? What? Honestly I had nerve heard of horchata before receiving this product. Then…as these things happen I was at a Mexican restaurant and Horchata was on the menu! In case you don't know what horchata is - it’s a sweet Mexican drink made by soaking rice and cinnamon sticks together and then adding vanilla, sugar, and ground cinnamon. I’m not sure where it has been all my life but it’s the perfect combination of sweet and satisfying. But I digress.

The Skratch Recovery mixed really well in water and tasted like dessert. I have also tried the chocolate and coffee (the coffee flavor is caffeinated). All were equally as good and satisfying, and helped me recover in terms of making me feel like I replenished my glycogen stores. I would not suggest taking in caffeine post-activity, however, unless you are an athlete who suffers from post-workout headaches. Caffeine post-workout can contribute to dehydration.

The recovery drink mixes all contain probiotics which is unique to Skratch. They do this to prioritize gut health. I appreciate this post-workout as an athlete who occasionally experiences GI upset after endurance activity. If you are not getting in ample probiotics in your every day diet, this is another reason to choose Skratch recovery drink mix. The Horchata Recovery mix contains 3.5 grams of fat, 34 grams carbs and 8 grans protein. Personally I would like to see more protein in a recovery drink. I actually added my own whey protein isolate powder to increase the total amount of protein in my recover protocol.

Overall, I am impressed with Skratch products as a whole. This recovery mix in particular has simple and natural ingredients and uses a minimal amounts of ingredients (no fillers, preservative, chemicals etc…).

Skratch Labs Sport Hydration Mix
Review by Contributor Andrea Myers
Price: $21.95 at Running Warehouse (20 servings)

Purpose/Use: Skratch Labs Sport Hydration Mix is designed for use during exercise. It is designed to replace the electrolytes that are lost in sweat. Like Osmo Active Hydration, Skratch Sport Hydration is somewhat unique among sport hydration products in that it contains sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium (most products do not contain all four). Skratch Labs is a company founded by Dr. Allen Lim, a sports physiologist who works with professional cyclists. He designed the Sports Hydration Mix to have less sugar and more electrolytes than other products on the market, making it easier to drink during hard workouts and races. 
Important Ingredients: cane sugar, dextrose, sodium citrate, magnesium lactate, calcium citrate, potassium citrate, fruit juice 
Taste: Skratch Labs Sport Hydration Mix has a light and mildly sweet taste. While it contains 380mg of sodium per scoop, it does not taste salty. It is easy to drink while running and has never caused me any GI issues. 
Consistency: Normal water consistency. There are not enough electrolytes to make this product thick or slimy. It mixes easily and there is never any undissolved powder at the bottom of the bottle.   

I have tried many, many sports drink mixes over the years, so I have strong opinions about what I like and do not like. Skratch Sport Hydration Mix has always been one of my favorites because of its mild taste, favorable electrolyte profile, and lack of artificial sweeteners. I really like that it contains all four electrolytes lost in sweat, as I previously had cramping issues prior to realizing the importance of magnesium and calcium supplementation for me. I prefer Lemon Lime because it has the mildest taste out of the flavor options, but the Strawberry Lemonade is also a nice option. It is easy to drink regardless of the temperature of the liquid (because if you’ve been outside with your bottle for 2 hours in the heat, you are going to end up with a warm drink). It also doesn’t turn your bottle into a science experiment if you leave it in your car for a day. I use the Sport Hydration Mix during my workouts and during longer easy runs in hot temperatures.

Review by Content Manager Bach Pham
$7.49 at Running Warehouse (10 tab)

Purpose/Use: Nuun tablets are focused on providing hydration through electrolytes, without the added sugar. Best used for post-run recovery.
Important Ingredients: Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium
Taste: Nuun has a very subtle, mildly salty taste. The flavors do a good job of adding taste without being too overpowering.
Consistency: Upfront, Nuun is highly carbonated initially before settling into a normal, mildly flavored drink.

Nuun has been a personal go-to for many years. It is unique in that it is one of only products we’re looking at that has no added sugar and also basically has no calories. There are two ways Nuun stands out due to these two factors. The lack of sugar makes Nuun great to combine with gels or other items that tend to pack a lot of sweetness. I often struggle with downing two sweet products at once, so Nuun acts as a nice compromise when I just want the hydration aspects of a product. The lack of calories also makes it a great product to use for hydration when you are running post meals. So many products put a ton of calories into your body, but when you just digested a meal, sometimes that added amount is tough to take on.

There are a few things to think about. The carbonation is quite high initially. It does help to plan ahead if you are sensitive to that and let the tablet fully dissolve. I enjoy Nuun best for post-run recovery in the summer when I’m trying to get my body balanced after a long effort and have had no issues there. I have used it on long runs to some success, but there are a few instances where the carbonation has interrupted my run, causing some nausea. Additionally, it's also very easy to find online, at your local run store, and in many markets including Whole Foods at a very reasonable price point.

Maurten Drink Mix 320
Review by Content Manager Bach Pham
$48 at Running Warehouse (14 Servings)

Purpose/Use: The drink mix provides a blend of carbs, sodium, and sugar to help you get the best out of your workout.
Important Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Fructose, Pectin, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Alginate
Taste: Maurten doesn't have a flavor, but has a slightly gel-like quality when mixed with water and a good amount of sweetness. It's not overall sweet, but noticeable. Mixing well is very helpful to making it as palatable as possible.
Consistency: The first time you ever have Maurten, you may be taken a bit back by the pectin which adds a very mild gel-like quality to the water. Once it settles, it mostly just tastes like sweetened water.

Of all the drink mixes I tested, Maurten easily was the most digestible of any hydration I tried and on par with Osmo as being one of the easiest to take on the run for my stomach. It is a great mix for those who either don't have breakfast before their runs or for those who have mild meals as it is packed with a decent amount of calories (320). Maurten is a bit sweeter than others, which is one of the slights I have with it, but as far as effectiveness, it was one of the hydration mixes I felt consistently energized me throughout my runs and felt great for two hour+ efforts. I think it's also a great mix chilled, if you want to mix the night before your run and take out into the summer heat. The pectin in the mix does add a bit of minor thickness, but settles over time which is why mixing ahead tends to be better, but if you are in a rush it still gets the job done.

Due to the high amount of calories in the 360 mix, I often weighed between this and the lighter Osmo active hydration on my long runs and workouts. If I had a higher calorie breakfast, I might swap out for the Osmo, but on days where I just have a light breakfast or none at all, this is an easy go-to. If you are looking for an easy to consume, flavorless mix for race day, this is a real contender. They also have a lower calorie version as well at 160 which may be something to consider depending on how you fuel pre-run.

Base Electrolyte Salt

Review by Guest Author Jennifer Giles, RDN
$29.95 at Base (226 servings - not a typo)

Purpose/Use: Hydration Electrolyte Supplement Product
Important Ingredients: Sodium, Chloride, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium
Taste: Salty!
Consistency: Salt-like consistency

Years ago I raced a 70.3 in Florida. It was my "A" race of the season and I had a goal of standing on the podium after that race. It was a cool morning and admittedly I had under hydrated because I was chilly standing at the edge of the water before the swim start. The temps soared while I was on the bike and by the time to run came along (my strength) it was 90+ degrees, humid and there was not a cloud in the sky nor any tree cover. After 2 miles (and 11.1 to go) I was struggling. At the 2.5 mile mark I saw a support tent and a volunteer holding a sign that said “need salt?” That volunteer ran with me and explained the science behind Base Salt. My head said “nothing new on race day” but my struggling body said “I have nothing to lose”. I took the vial of salt he gave to me and continued on. My first serving of base was at mile 3. I took a few more (approximately every 3 miles or so) and not only did my pace pick up, but I had a pep in my step, I felt amazing and I sat on top of that podium just like I had envisioned.

I have been using base salt ever since. Its easy to carry on the run and easy to take. You flip the top of the vial, turn it over onto your thumb and lick it. Its not glamorous but its so easy and it works fabulously. It tastes just like salt and increases thirst so ensures that you keep drinking water (my personal weakness). Its got an ideal amount of sodium (290 mg), more chloride than most other supplements (442mg) and less potassium than most other brands (2.5mg). It also contains 12mg magnesium and 3mg of calcium.

Overall, I suggest trying this product to see if it works for you. It’s ideal for runners because of the ease of use. (If you like to cycle I suggest adding it to a sports drink.) If you like salt, you will like Base.


Review by Guest Author Jennifer Giles, RDN
Price: $45 at LMNT (30 servings)

Purpose/Use: Hydration Electrolyte Supplement Product
Important Ingredients: Salt (Sodium Chloride),Citric Acid,Magnesium Malate,Potassium Chloride, Natural Flavors,Stevia Leaf Extract
Taste: subtly sweet and salty
Consistency: mixes very well with water

I had the opportunity to try LMNT while in Colorado recently. The combination of flying to Colorado and Training at altitude left me feeling tired and dehydrated. Hydration was my priority but water and my usual hydration protocol wasn't cutting it. A friend had LMNT so I tried it out!! I have to say it made me feel better immediately. It was hot in Colorado and even though it was dry I was still drenched at the end of my runs. I felt replenished, energetic and "back to normal” after taking it.

LMNT has a whopping 1000mg sodium, 200 mg potassium and 60 mg magnesium. This is far more than any other electrolyte supplement I have tried before. I liked the taste, although you could clearly taste the salt. It had a mild sweet flavor. I appreciate subtle flavors as I don’t like overly sweet tasting products so it appealed to my personal preferences.

As a sports RD, I think LMNT has a place in endurance sports! I would not recommend this, however for shorter workout sessions, short aerobic sessions, cooler conditions, or for athletes with low sweat rates. If you are an athlete that suffers in the heat or has a high sweat rate, I think its well worth a try! I would highly recommend having your sweat rate tested so that you know your body can handle this high amount of electrolytes and so that you know your fluid requirement along with it.

Overall, I like the product for endurance athletes with high sweat rates (or when training at elevation!) and I think it will help that population of athletes optimize their hydration and enhance their performance.

UCAN Energy + Protein
Review by Senior Contributor David Salas
Price: $54.95 at UCAN
(12 servings)

Purpose/Use: Recovery and/or Meal Replacement
Important Ingredients: “Superstarch” corn starch, Whey Protein, erythritol
Taste: Chocolate, accurate with pretty good flavor profile in water
Consistency: A little clumpy and hard to stir in, shaking preferred

The UCAN Energy + Protein is a protein mix that is aimed at either recovery or meal replacement. The mix uses their Superstarch mix to keep total sugar down. The mix does use some sugar alcohols throughout the mix. The mix has an aim of having longer lasting effects to help with curbing hunger, preventing spikes or crashes, and maintaining energy as well. The mix seems to work decently well and packs 25g of carbohydrates and 19g of protein in a single serving. It is compact and holds quite a bit for having 170 calories in a single serving. The mix does seem to sit with my stomach pretty well, though those that may be sensitive to erythritol or sugar alcohols or sweeteners may want to sample first. Overall, it seems to serve its intended purpose pretty well as I will use this after long run efforts or workouts before work. Subjectively I do seem to have some sense of satiation when I intake UCAN as well.

Fluid Recovery Protein
Review by Senior Contributor David Salas
Price: $31.99 at Running Warehouse (16 servings)

Purpose/Use: Recovery from hard efforts
Important Ingredients: Non-GMO Pea Protein, Cane Sugar, Amino Acids (Leucine (994mg), Isoleucine (584 mg), Valine (624mg), L-Glutamine (3038 mg), Glutamic Acid (1962 mg). 
Taste: Very smooth and balanced, my flavor is the Cinnamon Vanilla and the flavor is pretty accurate and good even in water.
Consistency: Very fine and blends in water or other liquids really well without chunks (wind will take some of it though if you are in the field!) 

The Fluid Recovery blend is a unique one catered to endurance athletes specifically. This blend uses a mix of carbohydrates as well as protein to give you a much more balanced reservoir for recovery from protein to glycogen. The mix also utilizes a lot of branched chain amino acids and glutamines to also kick start recovery and energy stores. Fluid focuses on a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio to help with both muscle recovery and replenishing glycogen stores that are depleted from long efforts. Overall, Fluid is great and mixes really well while still maintaining natural ingredients. In full honesty, this is my go to powder product for recovery.

Gnarly Nutrition: Vegan Plant Protein

Review by Founder/Chief Editor Matthew Klein
Price: $61.45 for 16 servings

Purpose/Use: Vegan Post-Run Recovery and/or Meal Replacement. 
Important Ingredients:  Pea Protein Isolate, Chia Protein, Cranberry Protein, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Evaporated Cane Sugar, Stevia Extract, Pre/Probiotics.
Taste: Great! The Vanilla tastes fairly normal. The Chocolate tastes like chocolate milk and makes a great addition to soy or almond milk. Both work well in water but do tend to need some extra work to mix.
Consistency: Slightly clumpy and takes some extra work to make sure it mixes. Putting these in a mixer or shaker is helpful as a spoon doesn't always get the job completely done. 

Looking for vegan nutrition is already difficult, let alone trying to find sport/recovery products that meet those standards. Gnarly's Vegan Plant Protein not only provides 20g of protein but a balance of carbohydrates, fiber, fat, and a large dose of 14 vitamins and minerals. At 200 calories, this makes for an excellent addition to soy or almond milk as a high-quality vegan recovery drink. It can also double as a meal replacement due to the balance of macronutrients. The Vegan Plant Protein makes for an excellent muscle-building tool prior to bed or post-lifting, where I have actually been using this most. The fiber does a great job of making me feel pleasantly full and has been an excellent supplement post-workout and throughout the day to get a little extra nutrition. Although I am normally extremely sensitive to products with stevia, I have not had the same brain fog after using this product. There are healthy doses of pre and probiotics (Lithothamnium calcareousBacilius coagulant MTCC5856) which are there to help with digestion. I am not a dietician or gastrointestinal specialist, but this has appeared to offset some of those normal effects. Unlike other vegan proteins I have tried, Gnarly has done an excellent job making this Vegan Plant Protein taste great and be effective at the same time.

Gnarly Nutrition: Hydrate

Review by Founder/Chief Editor Matthew Klein
Price: $27.45 for 40 servings

Purpose/Use: Vegan Hydration Electrolyte Supplement
Important Ingredients:  Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Acacia Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Silicon Dioxide (anti-caking) Sea Salt, Stevia Leaf Extract (among others).
Sodium: 250mg, Folic Acid 400mg, Chloride 135mg, Vit B6 2mg, Magnesium 80mg, Potassium 100mg
Taste: Sweet and light. More orange than pineapple. 
Consistency: Light. Mixes easily in water/fluids

Most electrolyte supplements are usually low or high calorie, but Gnarly has decided to add a little sugar to facilitate digestion. A decent balance of electrolytes, including sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium and potassium, mixed with additional vitamins and minerals (including B) make for a well-rounded product. The 30 calories will work for those attempting to restrict calories, but I have found it to be insufficient for use by itself. For that reason, I have been adding Gnarly Hydrate to other carbohydrate drinks to boost the electrolyte, vitamin and mineral contents. The light taste makes it easy to add to other drinks or use by itself. The only challenge I have had with this product is the Stevia Extract. I typically have difficulty with high-level cognitive tasks after using this (Ph.D. work), so have had to restrict its use to the rare days I am taking a break from my dissertation work. Those not sensitive to Stevia will be fine, both those that are should approach with caution.

Gnarly Nutrition: Whey
Review by Contributor Andrea Myers
Price: $62.45 for 20 servings

Purpose/Use: Post-workout recovery or as a protein supplement
Important Ingredients: grass-fed whey protein, medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil powder, pre-biotic, pro-biotic, digestive enzymes, stevia leaf extract
Taste: I mixed the chocolate flavor with unsweetened almond milk and it tasted like very sweet chocolate milk (due to the stevia leaf extract). It mixed easily with the almond milk and was easy to drink. It has a moderate stevia aftertaste.
Consistency: The powder mixes well and the resulting drink had the same consistency as almond milk.

I received a single serving packet of the chocolate flavor and used it after a long run. One serving contains 25g of protein, which is in line with the 20-25g that I normally look for in a protein supplement. I was pleased with how well it mixed, as whey protein can sometimes be clumpy and hard to mix thoroughly. Gnarly says that they include digestive enzymes in the mix to promote healthy lactose digestion and improve protein absorption. I have never had any GI issues with whey protein, and I did not have any GI issues with the Gnarly Whey Protein. The MCT oil is the source for omega 3 fatty acids, which may help improve recovery and support the immune system. I mostly liked the taste, except the stevia made it too sweet for me. For people who like stevia, this is a great protein supplement option.

Pocari Sweat

Review by Founder/Chief Editor Matthew Klein
Price: $13.89 for 20 servings (Powder Version) on Amazon

Purpose/Use: Hydration Electrolyte Supplement
Important Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Glucose, Citric Acid, Grapefruit Powder, Sodium Citrate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Lactate, Magnesium Carbonate
Sodium: 170mg, Calcium: 10mg, Potassium: 70mg, Magnesium: 2mg, Chloride: 200mg
Taste: Light citrus flavor. Slightly sweet
Consistency: Mixes extremely well and easily in water with no clumping.

I first experienced Pocari Sweat when I was in Japan to visit my Aunt and Uncle back in 2001. Little did I know at that time what an incredible balance of electrolytes it head, allowing me to hike miles through the mountains there in 90-100 degree summer heat. Just recently I discovered that Pocari Sweat is now available in the US, so can began using it again. I have struggled for years in Southern California summers, with 90-110 degree temperatures and the hydration/rehydration required before during and after. Pocari Sweat is now my go to hydration mix thanks to the balance of all the important electrolytes, not just sodium (which most electrolyte drinks focus most on). This has allowed me to train in the heat without the heat exhaustion and brain fog I used to experience, which has been incredibly helpful for getting miles in while also keeping my cognitive abilities up for my PhD Dissertation. If you haven't tried this, it is widely available on Amazon and is the product I continue to use.

Tailwind Endurance Fuel
Review by Contributor Andrea Myers
Price: $28.99 for 30 servings

Purpose/Use: Tailwind Endurance Fuel is a combination hydration and fueling product that utilizes dextrose and sucrose as its carbohydrate sources. It also contains all four electrolytes (sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium) and does not contain fructose, stevia, or artificial sweeteners. The single pouch is two servings, which consists of 50g of carbs and 630g sodium. 
Important Ingredients: Non-GMO Dextrose (Glucose), Non-GMO Cane Sugar, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sea Salt, Potassium Chloride, Flavor (Organic Berry), Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide.
Taste: Moderately fruity and sweet. I tested the mandarin, berry, and lemon flavors. All have a stronger taste as compared to Skratch Sport Hydration or Osmo Active Hydration. The berry flavor tastes very similar to the raspberry version of Skratch Super High Carb Drink Mix and was my favorite of the three.
Consistency: Mixes easily and has a normal water consistency.

I had not tried Tailwind prior to receiving it for testing. I am glad that I got the opportunity, because I have discovered a new top hydration product for me. I really like that it does not contain stevia or artificial sweeteners, because both of those are a no-go for me. I tested it during a couple easier long runs and a 12 mile workout with 10k pace intervals, and I actually liked the sweeter taste during the workout. Research has found that consuming (or even mouth rinsing) something sweet can improve performance during exercise, and I definitely felt that the sweeter taste of Tailwind was a benefit during my workout. I also like that it has all four electrolytes, which is another feature I look for in my hydration products.

Tailwind Recovery Drink
Review by Contributor Andrea Myers
Price: $39.99 for 15 servings

Purpose/Use: Post-workout recovery drink or protein supplement
Important Ingredients: Dextrose (Glucose), Sucrose, Coconut Milk Powder, Essential Amino Acids (L-Leucine, L-Lysine, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine, L-Phenylalanine, L-Threonine, L-Methionine, L-Histidine, L-Tryptophan), Organic Rice Protein Powder, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Sea Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide.
Taste: Moderately sweet vanilla, slight coconut aftertaste due to coconut milk powder.
Consistency: Mixes easily without need for shaker bottle

Tailwind Recovery Drink is a dairy free, gluten free, and vegan recovery drink mix. It utilizes organic rice protein powder as its protein source and also includes supplemental essential amino acids. Like their hydration product, I like that it does not contain stevia or artificial sweeteners. It is plenty sweet as is, thanks to its 43g of sugar per serving. The one negative about this product is that it only contains 10-11g of protein (depending on the flavor) per serving. I prefer to get at least 20g of protein in my recovery drink, and even Tailwind recommends using a second serving after longer or more intense exercise. For me, this product would be best as a protein supplement as compared to a recovery drink due to its lower protein content.

More on Hydration

New to fueling for your runs? Check out Jennifer Giles Beginner's Guide to Nutrition and Hydration here. Additionally, check back in for more products added to this guide as we continue testing into the Fall season!

Have questions? Send us an email at

Thanks for reading!

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Carbon Fiber Plated Shoes Resource Page: Want to go as fast as possible for race day? Visit this page for all of our super shoe reviews
Guide to Walking Shoes: Featuring some science behind walking and the best running shoes for walking based on our everyday testing and clinical experience working with patients.
Getting the Right Fit: Unsure if your shoe fits? Visit this page to help you determine how to find the right shoe for your feet. Comfort is one of the most important things we emphasize at Doctors of Running before you get out the door and on the road. Sometimes the right shoe for you is not what works for many others. That is why it is important to try different shoes when you can to get a better understanding of works best for your needs.
Beginner's Guide to Nutrition/Hydration: Guest writer Jennifer Giles (Registered Dietitan/Nutritionist) helps bring a new guide for fueling to Doctors of Running as part of our summer hydration series.
Best Affordable Running Shoes: We compiled a list of the most affordable options you can find in the market today. Updated monthly.

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