I rarely share other people’s posts on my blog, but I LOVED Erin’s Recap of Osmo Nutrition, and instead of trying to re-create my own, I thought, hey…I’ll first share my personal experience so far with Osmo, and then offer Erin’s summary of what Stacey Sims educated us on about women in training and the women’s line itself.
I first heard about Osmo Nutrition at Interbike in September last year. I loved listening to Stacey Sims talk about what makes women so different when it comes to endurance training, and why all of our nutrition should therefore be different. It was educational and fascinating.
I have been using it in training a lot lately, as I have been doing a lot of high intensity workouts, which means hydrating and nutrients are extremely important. The PreLoad is extremely salty, which is great for prepping for a big sweat fest, but I did ask what would help to break it up a bit, as the salt is a little much for me, so Stacey suggested adding crystal light to it. I have tried this and it works wonders! I know some people love the saltiness, but for me, it was a bit strong. But ever since adding Crystal Light, taste has been amazing, and I feel GREAT during training. The active has a light, mango flavor, and it’s delicious. My favorite so far is the Active Recovery which is a honey+spice flavor. I have been adding it to skim milk, and mixing in a banana with it as well, and the occasional scoop of greek yogurt. YUM!
“A couple weeks ago, Coeur Sports [which I am on the Elite Amateur Team for 2014] announced its partnership with Osmo for our team hydration. A super synergy between two fantastic companies powered by incredible women… heck yes! Honored to be part of both.
To kick off the partnership, Coeur hosted a team call featuring Stacy Sims, the brains behind Osmo. This woman is rad – and, she knows her stuff. A nutrition scientist and exercise physiologist, Sims created Osmo after becoming hypernatremic racing Kona. While training in New Zealand after, she started mixing in the lab and researching how hormones impacted athletic performance. Her teammates tested her mixes during training with good results, and as her PhD evolved, she began studying how women and men respond differently. Hence, #womenarenotsmallmen :)
My post-workout beverage after today’s intense treadmill workout. (this is my photo, not Erin’s :)
So stoked to be sponsored by Osmo for 2014! (my photo, not Erin’s)
Indeed, we aren’t small men, and every month have to deal with our period – and, the hormone changes that come with it. Our estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate, impacting plasma volume, breaking down muscle and reducing our recovery ability. In other words, our mojo suffers a bit.
Osmo’s women’s specific line is formulated to help counteract those hormonal changes. A bit about each mix:
- PreLoad Hydration hyper-hydrates, crosses the blood-brain barrier and “counteracts hormone-induced drop in body water,” i.e. it helps you find that mojo
- Active Hydration has a bit more glucose, sodium and potassium to increase power output and improve endurance
- Acute Recovery has more protein and glucose. Women have a shorter acute recovery window – about 30 minutes – so it’s important to refuel shortly after training
Lucky us, we got to ask Stacy some questions after she explained the science behind Osmo. First up, how does Mirena, an IUD with a localized dose of progesterone that inhibits your monthly period, affect our bodies + hydration? (Thank you, Sonja, for asking my exact question!) Stacy’s recommendation: Use the women’s line throughout the month, and be sure to keep on top of your protein intake before and after training.
Sims also recommends adapting your triathlon training based on your cycle. In the days leading up to it, focus more on technique and train at a lower intensity (pushing through = higher heart rate). If you can, plan training blocks around it – focus on swim technique and not speed, for example. If you have a race in the days leading up to your period, she recommends taking magnesium and having a few more carbs in your pocket. And, if you use caffeine during a race in that higher hormone window, know that it clears the blood faster; follow up the caffeine with a glucose tablet or a salty ball (recipe here… they.are.so.good!).
Sims’ motto: Food in the pocket, hydration in the bottle. In general, you should drink 0.18 to 0.2 ounces per pound of body weight per hour. Calorie-wise, 4 calories/kilo per hour on the bike, and 3-3.5 calories/kilo per hour on the run. For example, I weigh 121 pounds (~55 kg), so should have between ~22 and ~24 ounces of fluid per hour; 220 calories per hour on the bike; and between 165 and 192 calories per hour on the run.
Sims’ other super helpful tips:
- If you don’t like the salty goodness of PreLoad, drinking it icy cold helps it go down. Drink it the night prior to a big workout, race or if it’s hot as well as the morning of.
- Don’t concentrate Osmo, as it’s specifically formulated. Concentrating it results in too much magnesium or potassium and the wrong osmolality (the body’s water-electrolyte balance).
- Relying on something provided on the race course is never a good nutrition strategy because you don’t know how you’ll react.
- What you do the first half of your race directly impacts the second half.
- If the shit hits the fan on race day and you’re doing the porta-potty shuffle: Have some salty potato chips and plain water – easy carbs and a big hit of sodium. Definitely don’t add more sugar to your system! Also, avoid immodium; the best alternative is Pepto.
- Take Tums toward the end of an IM bike. Because our bodies lose a lot of calcium and tightly holds on to magnesium, Tums helps keep them in closer balance, thus helping eliminate big muscle cramps, including the intestinal muscle. Sims recommends 1,000 mg Tums every 45 minutes starting the last hour of the bike and continuing on the run.
- Gels aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. They’re concentrated carbs that go straight to the gut, and your body takes water from your blood to digest them, i.e. they’re an effective dehydrator.
Thank you, Osmo Nutrition, for keeping us Coeur Sports ladies hydrated this season!”
How amazing is Erin’s recap?!?! Please check out Erin’s blog – sweetsweatlife.com and follow along in her journey. She’s a dear friend of mine, and I thank her for letting me share her post with all of you!
FYI – to all the men out there, they also offer a men’s line! :)