Hydration Is King - OSMO Nutrition Training/Racing

Earlier in the year I reviewed the potentially revolutionary OSMO Nutrition (Link). OSMO is a sports and recovery drink system with a unique tack, in that it focuses more on effective hydration and leaves the fuelling element to solid foods. The theory is that you get a less troubled digestive system and your body can more easily process what you are feeding it, with the overall objective that it is more efficient during exercise.

The previous OSMO blog created quite a lot of debate on Twitter, and people were sceptical that it really worked. Nutrition is a difficult thing to gauge on effectiveness, and after a month or so of testing before my first blog there were positive results, but I don't think I had really gleaned just how effective OSMO can be.

After a long summer of racing and training, the real epiphany moment came in September during the 14 Hills Killer mountain bike race. 5 hours and 11 minutes of racing in Indian Summer heat, with just 1.5 litres of fluid. I felt like I remained hydrated throughout, without the slightest hint of muscle cramps.

I don't recommend anyone running on that little fluid for that kind of time period, but for various reasons I did. I pushed myself pretty hard in the process and took the win by 40 minutes, but at the finish line my jersey was laced with salt marks, my helmet pads were dripping and my lips were dried to a crisp. I wasn't well hydrated, but I didn't have cramp.

OSMO had done its job incredibly well; a combination of the Pre-Load and the Active Hydration meant that despite a distinct lack of water, my body had managed to retain its salt levels and I had avoided otherwise almost certain cramps.

This stuff really does work, as was demonstrated quite profoundly to me. In fact, I've decided my fuelling strategy for base miles this winter will concentrate on using a combination of Active Hydration mix and High5 4:1 Energy Bars; it should give a good mix of hydration, fuel and recovery, whilst also aiding the standard base mile objective of teaching the body to use energy stores more efficiently and burn fat before instant energy found in normal energy drinks and gels.

OSMO might have turned nutrition on its head, but in certain conditions it seems to have a significantly beneficial effect. It is well worth checking out if you suffer from cramps or you're looking for a new nutrition strategy this winter.    

OSMO Nutrition is available from Wiggle Bike Shop (Link)


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