Race Recovery Nutrition with Dr. Art Zemach and Tailwind Nutrition

Have you ever experienced gut issues during training or racing from a product that was supposed to help you feel better? We know that proper fueling during and after endurance performance and training is crucial, but what exactly do our bodies need, when do they need it and why do they need it?

Enter Dr. Art Zemach and Tailwind Nutrition. Dr. Zemach is a pediatrician, kayaker, and endurance athlete who has competed in Ironman Switzerland, Leadville Trail and other endurance competitions.

Art Zemach Tailwind
Photo by Tennille VanVleet, VanVleet Studios Paonia, Colorado

Gut-bomb incident was impetus to start Tailwind Nutrition

Tailwind Nutrition was founded by Jennifer and Jeff Vierling after a ‘gut-bomb’ incident in Jeff’s first Leadville 100 led to him inventing an endurance drink that he could tolerate. Until just recently, this was Tailwind’s only product: Endurance Fuel.

Dr. Zemach has helped develop Tailwind’s new product, Rebuild, a 100% natural, vegan, easily tolerated performance drink. Oh, and it actually tastes good, too! Rebuild is also the first product to be based on a perfectly complete protein.

Refueling within “Golden Hour” offers crucial recovery potential

In this episode, Dr. Zemach defines what the actual recovery process is and how to nutritionally optimize this critical part of training. He also explains not just what the optimal timing is to take recovery nutrition, but why that window is important from a physiological standpoint. And he shares how this fits in with low carb or ketogenic nutrition strategies.

Brown rice protein base for best tolerance

This episode is full of helpful information and you may want to give this one a couple listens to absorb it all. Dr. Zemach has such a deep understanding of fueling requirements, we may have to have an encore episode in the future to dig in even more.

Questions Dr. Zemach is asked:

1:27 What is your background and what led you to working with Tailwind Nutrition?

3:28 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite race distance or type of race?

4:58 How long have you been trail running?

5:03 Are you one Tailwind’s founders? What is Tailwind and your role with them?

6:38 How did you get involved in the company?

7:23 What in your background helped with developing the recovery product?

9:40 What kind of testing did you do and how long did it take to develop?

11:12 How did you develop the formula and what went into the development?

12:12 How is Tailwind Rebuild different from other recovery products?

16:03 Is it correct that complementary proteins must be consumed at the same time to work together?

17:05 How does Rebuild’s effectiveness and convenience compare to more traditional recovery foods like, say, a turkey sandwich?

18:22 How would you compare the natural-ness of a turkey sandwich to Tailwind Rebuild?

20:32 Where did you get the other amino acids to complete the base protein?

21:47 How does Rebuild compare to chocolate milk?

22:21 Why is it important to do recovery fueling?

23:08 How about water as a recovery drink?

23:57 When is the best time to take recovery fuel?

28:22 Were your recent PR’s achieved on training runs or races?

30:20 What is the Glycemic Index and how do fruits vs. vegetables fit into it?

32:04 What about carbohydrates as a recovery food?

36:01 Are there times when using high Glycemic Index foods can be in our favor as athletes?

37:55 What type of activity, from a duration perspective, would high GI foods be more beneficial?

39:16 How many calories can we actually take in and tolerate with recovery foods?

41:51 What is ketosis and ketogenic eating?

46:14 Could you please give us a quick recap of all of the nutrition things we just discussed?

47:36 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite running book(s)?
  3. Words of Wisdom or Humor?
  4. Who would you like to hear on the Run To The Top podcast?

Quotes by Dr. Zemach:

“We used two principles to design our product: one is to base everything off of real science and not some nutritional fad, but also to do what seems natural and appropriate. It is a food, not a supplement.”

“If you use a good recovery drink, not only will you feel better sooner, but you’ll be more able to do your next worker sooner and do that next workout well. And you’ll put more of the work that you’ve done ‘in the bank’, if you will.”

“I’m a big proponent of natural food and I would define ‘natural food’ as fodd that was not created, manufactured or engineered by man.”

“Very few proteins are 100% complete. If you combine rice and beans together you get a more complete protein. It’s still not ‘perfectly’ complete, but it’s way more complete and therefore useful to your body than either the protein from rice or beans alone.”

“To make a vegan sports drink taste good, we put some time and effort into that.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast:

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

Tailwind Nutrition homepage


Sailing Hawks running trail Animus Mountain parking lot Durango

Book: Born To Run by Christopher McDougall

Kílian Jornet Burgada

Follow Dr. Zemach on:


We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

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Thank you and stay tuned for next week’s new and info packed Run to the Top Episode with Simon Ong. Simon went from a 230 pound couch potato to a 1:18:11 half marathoner. His story will keep you entertained and motivated on your next workout.

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