Osmo Hydration: products I actually believe in

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You may have heard me ranting and raving about Osmo last year. Here’s why:

A) It works.

B) See A.

Like many of you, I’ve used pretty much everything out there in terms of hydration mixes. Some of it tastes ridiculously sweet, some of it messes your stomach up, and some of it actually makes you perform better. Osmo falls into that last category, which is why I’m endorsing it. Instead of injecting a plethora of nasty, artificial fluorescent food coloring to attract hummingbirds (hummingbirds are color blind by the way), or shoveling in a bunch of sugar, Osmo actually made a product that works. It’s a salty solution with just a touch of sugar and natural flavor. They made it with easy-on-the-stomach, high-quality trisodium citrate, as opposed to cheap sodium chloride (regular old table salt that messes up your stomach).

The result is a very mild-tasting, yet highly potent drink that I can actually feel making me perform better and last longer. No, I’m not talking about Viagra.

I’ll be using all three of their Men’s products next year (I swear I’m not talking about Viagra), including my favorite, PreLoad. I used it from March through September last year for every race I did, plus a lot of training days as well. As a plasma expander (the natural and legal kind), it vastly increases your body’s water supply for hot days, while improving oxygen transport at the same time. Doubly whammy.

The Active Hydration and Acute Recovery are amazing as well. Get edumucated and entertained with these videos that describe how each product works.

PreLoad:

Active Hydration:

Acute Recovery:

Osmo formulated each of these for their Women’s line of products as well, making them the first and only company to make the distinction between men and women when it comes to hydration:

Women’s Overview:

I contacted Osmo founder Stacy Sims last year before Philly and got her to shed some light on her heat training protocol, which I’ve talked about here on this blog before but I think it’s so awesome I’ll talk about it again. If you’re going to be competing in any hot races this year (especially if you’re coming from someplace cooler) or you just want an overall boost in fitness for any event, I recommend it. It’s not easy but it worked for me multiple times last year.

13 days before your event, begin the dry sauna training, which sounds easy but is pretty miserable after riding for five hours or however long your workout was. You sit in the sauna for 20-30 minutes right after each ride for 7 days in a row. Go as soon as you can after your ride. I just park my bike at the rec center, grab a towel on the way in, shower off, and I’m in the sauna within five minutes of finishing my workout. Don’t rehydrate before going in though. Counterintuitive? Yes. Only consume enough liquid to get your recovery drink down.

Sit high up in the sauna (which should be between 170-180 degrees) for as long as you can, only coming down to the lower benches if and when you have to. When you get out, don’t take a cold shower. Take a warm one. More importantly, don’t consume huge amounts of water at once when you get out. Don’t chug. Slowly rehydrate for the next 3-4 hours so the heat stress you just put yourself through doesn’t go to waste. You want your body to suffer and adapt to the suffering, just like in training. This is crucial and a bit miserable. Remember, you only have to make it through a week of this. Using all three Osmo products during this phase, especially the PreLoad, helped keep me feeling strong enough to make it through the next day of this miserable heat acclimation.

Stop five days before your event to let your hydration levels bounce back and your body super-compensate with extra plasma stores, more red blood cells, and increased capillary density. I recommend doing a practice run of this protocol during training a few months before your target race, just to make sure your body can handle it, similar to how you shouldn’t use new equipment for the first time on race day. If any of you try this, let me know how it goes and how your event went in the comments section since I’m interested to know if it works for everyone.

PS hummingbirds are not colorblind, you big dumb idiot.

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