by Kevin Rouse
I’ve been known to receive some strange things in the mail here at the office. Still, I couldn’t help but be surprised when I received a box containing a two-page press release, a canister of ‘Whiz Wands’ and instructions for a good ‘ol fashioned experiment.
For those as befuddled as I was, a quick bit of sleuthing revealed that these ‘Whiz Wands’ were, in fact, urinalysis strips, meant for monitoring, among other things, the specific gravity (a key indicator of your hydration level) of, you guessed it, my very own urine.
Intriguing eh? Maybe a little weird? Well, it was definitely a bit of both. Normally accustomed to a receiving a press release and a product sample, I have to say it was definitely out of the ordinary being tasked with an experiment that involved peeing on wands all throughout the day, pre, during and post-workout to gauge and monitor my hydration levels. But, being up for just about anything off to the bathroom I trudged.
Fast forward a week later, and in addition to quantifying just how dehydrating a rowdy night at the pub can be, I found that I was quite a bit less hydrated at the end of my rides than at the start—despite drinking plenty of water on the ride.
Enter Osmo Nutrition.
Designed around peer-reviewed scientific research, Osmo Nutrition is the brain child of Nutrition Scientist and Exercise Physiologist, Stacy Sims. Focusing on the body’s specific needs throughout specific stages of the exercise and recovery cycles, Osmo is comprised of an entire line of products—each tailored to a specific cycle.
Sure, nutrition can be boring, and as much I wish beer enabled me to ride for hours on end at peak performance, unfortunately that just isn’t the case. But, considering myself firmly entrenched in the Weekend Warrior category, for the longest time I felt that spending my hard-earned money on ‘nutrition products’ was simply a waste—and better spent on beer.
As it turns out though, proper hydration and recovery have their place in just about any riding routine, and definitely have their benefits. Though I had my trusty Whiz Wands to back me up, it was readily apparent after just a few rides that the Osmo products definitely work as advertised. While some (namely the Acute Recovery) could definitely use some work in the taste department, I felt a noticeable performance increase, and my all too frequent cramping episodes simply vanished. And, come Monday, I wasn’t resorting to using my desk chair to get to the vending machines. In fact, after using both of the Osmo recovery products, it was amazing just how hardly sore I was after a big day in the saddle. But then again, for the price, it had better work—just think of how much beer you could buy…
($25 for 10 servings)
Designed as a hyper-hydrator and buffer designed to be consumed prior to exercise and was specifically developed for use prior to hot events, time trials, and high intensity efforts. It increases total body water available during exercise and employs two different buffering compounds so you can perform longer and stronger in hot conditions and at high intensities.
($25 for 20 servings)
A during-exercise hydration drink and is optimized to work with your bodyʼs fluid intake system to help delay fatigue, boost endurance, and maximize cardiovascular efficiency while reducing cramping.
($40 for 10 servings)
Designed as a post-exercise recovery product. It maximizes exercise recovery by giving your body the nutrients it needs to stop the breakdown effects of exercise and facilitate the immediate recovery process. It maximizes adaption and performance gains.
($40 for 8 servings)
A pre-sleep recovery drink designed to be consumed just before bedtime during consecutive days of hard exercise or an extreme single-day effort. The antioxidants, glutamine, zinc, B-vitamins, protein, herbs and fruits help you rebuild muscles and combat the side effects of hard exercise and get into the restful sleep.