Osmo athlete and pro cyclocross racer, Emily Kachorek, shares her thoughts on the 2014-2015 cyclocross season. Emily is no stranger to the pro ranks, having raced on the road for many seasons with Vanderkitten and then branching out and starting her new company, Squid Bikes. She’s quite the creative genius, helping to design the bikes and the wild graphics that go along with it!

Now that I have had a few weeks to decompress after Cyclocross Nationals I am able to look
back on the whirlwind that is cyclocross season. Especially for me this year, September to
January felt like a speeding roller coaster. But now that the coaster has pulled into the station, I can’t wait to do it again… after I hit up the concession stands and chill out in line for a bit! The headliner for me this season was launching Squid Bikes, our small upstart bike company and brand selling graphic heavy, colorful California handmade aluminium cyclocross bikes. Having a creative outlet to pour myself into has been amazing!

It was a busy summer and along with starting Squid, I helped organize and promote the inaugural West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix. With the biggest women’s prize purse in California, live music, a huge beer garden and perfect downtown venue, the race was a huge success! I was stoked with my ride and having my local community cheering me on was amazing! It was a great way to kick off the season.

10460526_1461027520825226_7645476430342591122_nWe had an all-star line-up for the Pro Women’s race. Photo: Jeff Namba
photo 1 (6)My fellow Squid athlete Anthony Clark took home the win in the Pro Men’s race and I took home 2nd. Photo: Edwin Kubota

 

After officially launching Squid Bikes the day following the WSCSGP at our favorite local brewery, we piled into the Sprinter and headed to Vegas for arguably the biggest Cross Race in the US. The season had definitely started with a bang!

Squid Bikes Debut 1Squid Bikes Launch party at Bike Dog Brewing. Photo: Edwin Kubota

 

Cross Vegas is always a blast and this year was no different! Huge crowds, party atmosphere, the highest quality field in North America – multiple Olympians, World mountain bike and cyclocross Champions, and National Champions.

15265474456_bbf7710878_o (1)You won’t see many people cross racing with a bottle but I’m all about it when I think it will help my performance. I am loving that Cross Vegas heat, especially with my Preload and Active Hydration.
Photo: Jeff Namba

 

Since I can only handle a few days of Vegas we piled back into the Sprinter and took off to Colorado for a full weekend of UCI racing.

photo 3 (4)Taking break for a sunset gravel road spin on our way to Colorado.

 

I won’t bore you with the details of each race weekend, so I’ll just recap by telling you that my season put me on the start line of UCI races in ten different States and was filled with ups and down, just like in any race season. Highlights included my first UCI podium (even though it was 5th place) at CXLA. This was especially memorable since my parents were both there.

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10750135_824297604260138_6789198366320327480_oOne of my favorite race and the only UCI cross race in California, CXLA was a blast. Photos: Jeff Namba

Another highlight of the season was winning the NCNCA State Championship. The race was in Sacramento this year and I am convinced that having my local cyclocross community there cheering my on was what ultimately landed the Bear Jersey on my shoulders.

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 The mud was thick and soul sucking but was no match for the cheers and support I got from the sidelines! Photos: Jeff Namba

 

While my successes on the bike were rewarding, but I would have to say that what I am most proud of is running my own program. While it is no doubt a lot of work, proposals, scheduling and administrative tasks that can take time away from training, there is something very special about building relationships with companies you truly believe in. I feel very luck to get to travel the US (and hopefully overseas this year!) doing what I love. My successes are not mine alone. My community, family, friends and partners provide me with everything I need to be competitive at the top level. And for that I am so grateful.

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Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin rides for the DNA Cycling p/b K4 women’s cycling team and is the current Canadian U23 National Road Champion. Winning the Young Rider’s White Jersey in Stage 3 was her first UCI podium. She did this with an epic 12k solo between the breakaway and peloton. Gaby is definitely going places. In this blog post, she talks about her “highs and lows” of racing amongst some of the best professional female cyclists in the world. 

“Every time I go to the first race of the season I always ask myself, why do I keep putting myself in these situations? “
Then, when my flight lands, I get the answer: Those mountains, that blue ocean, these country roads, those sheep in the middle of the road, the people, the sport, the love, the passion… This time, I must say I was really excited to compete in New Zealand, since it is one of the many places to visit on my bucket list! The Tour was promising with 13 teams at the start. 600km over 5 days of racing some great climbs and perfect weather. The 5 stages included a Team Time Trial, a 130 km flattish road race, a 125 km circuit race with a good punchy climb in the middle, a hill top finish stage of 106 km standing as the Queen Stage of the Tour and a final 120 km rolling road race finishing in the center of the town of Masterton (Wairarapa, NZ), the city hosting the 2015 Women’s Tour of New Zealand.

The DNA p/b K4 racing squad composed of Lauren DeCresenzo, Breanne Nalder, Anne Perry, guest rider Jeannie Kuhajek from ISCorp Cycling Team and I arrived in New Zealand a week earlier for a team training camp. The early arrival happened to be really useful since a couple of us experienced some bad luck. One of us (Lauren) missed her connection between LAX and Brisbane. Her bike was lost in transit and took 3 days before it was delivered to us on the same day my lost bike was! Following that, almost all of us got the flu with the majority recovering from it in the first couple days of the tour. Nevertheless, it was great to get to ride the courses and also meet the local cycling community that ended up being our biggest fans on the side of the road during the Tour! THANK YOU SO MUCH Y’ALL!

Stage 1 – Team Time Trial
The stage was mainly in downtown Masterton. The course was quite technical with about 6 corners over 14.6km. We ended up finishing 8th, with team USA winning the race with 18 seconds over Team Australia and :42 on Team Tibco-SVB. We were slightly disappointed with our finishing time (1:38 sec behind team USA) but we did our best despite our health challenges & the team’s lack of experience in racing in a Team Time Trial.

Stage 2 – Masterton-Masterton
The first road race was a 135 km road race through the rural country that included 3 laps of a 6.4km circuit at the 50 km mark. The race ended up being 142 km after a mistaken extra lap of the short circuit. Team USA controlled the entire race. It is one of the longest races I have ever done, We rode so slowly! It almost seemed like a Sunday recovery group ride! Without any real pure pack sprinter in our team for the race, we all focused on finishing with the same time as the peloton so as not to have a disadvantage for the following stage the next day.

Stage 3 – Circuit Race in Carrington
Day 3 was going to be the first really hard stage of the Tour. 9 laps of 12 km circuit including a 1.5 km climb halfway. Many groups attempted to get away that day, especially on the top of the climb and in the kilometers following it. The circuit was really twisty and the strong wind that day made it favorable for a break away. At 3 laps to go, a group of nine finally got separated for good from the peloton. Unfortunately we missed the move and was forced to think tactically to get at least one of us to catch the leading group and as the race was almost over, bridging solo was the only option. Lauren, Jeannie and I tried. Finally, I got away at 2 laps to go.

2015 Women's Tour of New ZealandPhoto credit @Cotton Sox Photography

The lead group had 2 minutes on me. A huge task was at hand knowing that there were 9 in the break and I was solo – they were not waiting around but racing to the finish line of the125 km race. I did not make it all the way to the group but I still bridged to finish with only 30 seconds off the break away and put 2 minutes on the peloton earning the Fagan Motor Under 23 Jersey (U23 leader). I was so happy and very proud of the 12km time trial I’d just accomplished. It was also the first ever time I stepped on a UCI podium. Up there I was next to Megan Guarnier wearing the yellow (Trust House Leader Jersey) and Evelyn Stevens wearing the polka dots (Trust House King of the Mountain Jersey).

2015 Women's Tour of New ZealandLooking good in the “white” jersey! (Photo credit @Cotton Sox Photography)

One thing is for sure, when I was riding the only thing I was thinking of were all the tips I had gotten from all the great coaches that had helped me for the past few years: steady, drink a lot of Osmo, eat a lot, and most importantly, don’t give up and keep pushing. That night we had a goal. To keep the white jersey and 10th GC. We were all so pumped!

Stage 4 – Queen stage, Memorial Hill Top Finish
It was a great morning, cooler than previous days. We had all talked about the course the night before and we knew what was going to happen (at least we thought that we knew.) It was really windy at the start and the first stretch was relatively covered by some trees and houses but at about 40 km into the race, a long and rough cross wind section was waiting for us. The race started right there. We approached the last corner before the cross wind at the front of the peloton. After the corner I found myself behind the wrong wheel and got gapped from the front of the peloton, requiring me to chase. Having spent lots of energy the day before I was exhausted. If it wasn’t for my team mate, Lauren, I would have had a lot of trouble getting back to the pack. However, a group of 9 girls got away and before we had time to regroup as a team and rotate at the front to drill it in the hopes of getting them back, the break away gained 2 minutes and as a team, we had a lot of ground to make up.

2015 Women's Tour of New ZealandThe team working hard to bring back the break. Photo credit @Cotton Sox Photography

The breakaway had all the major teams represented including another young rider and I wasn’t in it. I knew at the time that if the breakaway and/or the young rider took over 40 seconds on me I would lose the jersey. Unable of bringing them back nor closing the gap, we all finished the stage burnt out from the work and heartbroken that we missed the move which cost us the jersey.

2015 Women's Tour of New ZealandPhoto Credit @Cotton Sox Photography

Stage 5 – Masterton Circuit
The last stage was 122.5km of rolling terrain with a technical finish at the town center. We started the stage with the thought that we had nothing to lose. I was almost 2 minutes behind the white jersey at 16th position and none of the others had a particular position in the general classification to fight for. We all tried our hand at getting in the winning move, and in the end it was Lauren’s day to shine. She had an amazing race, impressing pretty much everyone who was following the race that day! The race was really aggressive, from km 0, girls kept attacking over and over until Lauren took off on her own riding away from the peloton, putting over 2 min on us whilst nabbing the KOMs. She got caught by the pack but kept working really hard all the way until the end finishing lucky 13th in the bunch sprint.

06gabby_AS7F3763Lauren attacking on the final stage. Photo credit @Cotton Sox Photography

Overall
We had our ups and downs throughout the race but I think we all came back with more epic moments than bad ones. Things I personally learned: Put sunscreen on in New Zealand: The sun is really strong and if you don’t you WILL burn and you might get cancer (no ozone you guys!). Also, stay hydrated…all day, everyday. Each of us would go through at least 4 or 5 bottles of Osmo Active Hydration during the race – we always knew when we didn’t hydrate enough because of headaches and yellow pee.

2015 Women's Tour of New ZealandPhoto Credit @Cotton Sox Photography

The post-race ritual was OSMO’s Acute Recovery For Women (with almond milk for yumminess). Another thing I learned is that anything can happen. I already knew this. But it was the first time I had tried a bold move in a race and got rewarded for it. If you don’t try you won’t get anything. I also feel very lucky and proud of being a part of our team, DNA Cycling p/b K4 in the Tour. It was a great experience and a fantastic opportunity to race and learn more about my new teamies/homies.

“And so every time I come back from the first race of the season, I don’t question myself anymore as to why I do it, I just feel really excited to race again later!”


Eccles in Kona: The Inside Scoop

Wednesday February 4th, 2015

Osmo athlete, Emma-Kate Lidbury, is currently in Kona training for the upcoming 2015 season. Eccles will be doing regular blog posts throughout the season and here’s her first installment. Not a bad place to train for work, eh?

Training in Kona is a hot and sweaty business. Today while busting a$$ on the Queen K, I watched the temperature on my bike computer climb steadily to a stinking 95F. When working hard – day in, day out – in this kind of heat and humidity only a fool would neglect their hydration. As an athlete, this is something I have learned to get right and I monitor it daily – sometimes several times a day – with the help of Urinanalysis pee sticks. Oh, and this magical stuff called Osmo.

Outside of training, I aim to drink ~4L of fluid a day here. I often “front load” this by drinking plenty first thing in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I like my java too – but I know that I need to sink a good 16oz of salted water or weak Osmo Active Hydration for Women once I’m up. During training, my general rule of thumb is ~24oz/hour of Osmo Active Hydration. Sometimes, such as this morning while TT-ing on the Queen K, that amount barely lasted 40 minutes.

Eccles Photo bike

Soon after finishing our workouts I’ll hit the Osmo Acute Recovery for Women, which delivers an instant 15-20g protein hit and helps kickstart the refueling process. I’ll often mix this with water, almond milk and coffee and serve with ice. The colder the better here! It is also pretty mean with coffee coconut water. Seeing a theme here?

emmarecipe

Throughout the rest of the day I’ll keep the fluids going down and monitor my specific gravity scores to check my hydration status is still on track. In the afternoon, I’ll knock back 24oz of diluted PreLoad for Women, which really helps me stay hydrated and also helps keep my body alkaline.

If I’m feeling a little dehydrated at bedtime, I might have some more PreLoad, but typically I head to bed with a shot of Acute Recovery mixed with almond milk and water. A bedtime protein hit helps your body repair and recover overnight and also helps me sleep better. There’s every chance I’ll only hit the snooze button a couple of times the following morning if I’ve clocked some good zzz’s!


Neely’s Ultimate Recovery Bars

Tuesday January 27th, 2015

Neely Gracey is a professional runner with the Hanson’s Brooks Original Distance Project. An 8-time NCAA Div. II national champion, Neely was the top US female, finishing in 13th, at the 2013 World Cross Country Championships. She’s passionate about her Osmo. Even more so, she LOVES creating new recipes with Acute Recovery. Check out her amazing recovery bars recipe below and why she believes “real food” is her go-to recovery source!

Ever stand in the aisle at the grocery store looking up and down at the bazillion different protein bar options? Reading the back of each one to make sure the one you purchase is not full of high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors/flavors. All the while trying to ignore all the unrecognizable and unpronounceable words on the lengthy ingredients list. Then of course, you see the price of the one you finally choose… two to three dollars for something you will inhale in seconds? Ugh. The battle is real.

I search for coupons, have narrowed down the kind I like, and on occasion, while traveling, will pick up some bars from the store. But these days, I have been in the habit of creating my own concoctions, and loving every minute of it! I am so excited about my discoveries, and especially since Osmo offered to share it with all of you.

Recipe basics
– 4 scoops Osmo Acute Recovery
– 2 T spoons nut butter/seed butter/nutella/honey (or a combo of these)
– ¼ cup quick oats (not necessary but helps make the bars more transportable)
– ¼ cup mix-ins (choc chips, nuts, dried fruit, seeds etc)
– water

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Place the Osmo in a small mixing bowl, add in all ingredients except water. Using a fork, smoosh things around. Add in 1 T of water at a time and keep smashing with the fork until the mixture becomes crumbly but is no longer powdery or dry. At this point, portion into 4 and form the bars on wax paper using your fingers to get the right size and shape. Pop in the fridge for an hour, then plastic wrap individually to take on your next adventure! I keep mine in the fridge but they rarely last long.

Approximate Nutrition per bar
15-17grams protein
150 calories

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So far, these are my favorite flavors:
-Dark Stinger: Cashew butter with crystalized ginger and dark choc
-Bees Knees: Honey, peanut butter, choc chips
-Nutty Buddy: Nutella, crushed peanuts, choc chips

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So what are you waiting for? Mostly all the ingredients are in your kitchens already so get creative and share your favorite combos with us!

Want to share your favorite recipe? We’ll post it on our blog, along with your favorite pics. Send us an email at sales@osmonutrition.com


Osmo or BUST!

Tuesday January 13th, 2015

We love it when athletes send us emails about their experiences with Osmo. And we think this one’s “blog-worthly,” so have a read….

I am an athlete. I am not perfect. I have gastrointestinal sensitivities. I envy anyone reading this who has a so-called “iron stomach”. Lucky you!

But let us think about this for a second:

Just because your stomach can handle anything, does this mean you should put anything in it?
You are on a long, hot training ride. You are all out of fluids, so you decide to stop at a gas station and guzzle down a fruit punch Gatorade and a Coke, then top off your water bottles with water, or maybe you buy another Gatorade to top them off. You have quenched your thirst for the time being, but have you provided your body with the best possible fluids for optimal performance the remainder of the ride, the next day’s ride, the day after that, and so on? Likely not.

I had to learn the hard way. When I was a triathlete (now I’m a “roadie”), I tried everything. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. It became pretty tiring, actually; almost like a full time job. I would order something, take it on a few bike rides, get a bloated stomach every time without fail, feel like crap afterwards, even the day after, and then start the search all over again. Until I moved, I did not realize all of the containers of powdered nutrition I had accumulated. A huge waste of money, and extremely stressful and defeating.

I had nearly given up. I thought all of these side effects were going to be a normal part of my training, forever. This was until I was introduced to Osmo in 2013. All of the Osmo products have a subtle, gentle flavor, but their effectiveness is not so subtle. My first ride with the Active Recovery, I was pleasantly surprised. My thirst was quenched and I was not in any kind of gastrointestinal distress during or after. A huge success!

Now I utilize their entire line of products: PreLoad Hydration, Active Hydration, and Acute Recovery. I have a happy stomach, a positive mindset and a whole lot less tubs of powdered nutrition in my cabinets!

Care to share your experiences? Send us an email at sales@osmonutrition.com

No Comments » | Posted in Training by Lisa H

Why a Kid’s Formula?

Friday October 24th, 2014

Try to Google search for “what to give my active 6 year old to drink” and the results will likely confuse you and leave you with more unanswered questions. Results will range from, Gatorade, sports drinks, coconut water, and diluted juice from the mommy bloggers. Some even claim that vitamin waters will “top off your child’s nutritional gaps”. The government’s nutrition organization, eatright.org recommendation of “lots of water” will likely pop up too. Other recommendations from doctors and other medical professionals include Pedialyte or a diluted ORS (oral rehydration solution). So what do we give our active kids?

It’s well documented in the scientific literature that hypohydration (low body water) in adults increases skin and core temperatures, leading to increased stress on the cardiovascular system, especially in the heat. In physical activity, this increased cardiovascular strain contributes to decreased physical performance (primarily in endurance exercise), increased fatigue and perception of effort, decreased motivation; coupled with increased propensity for injury, both musculoskeletal and total heat illness. But how does this translate to the younger active population?

In prepubescent kids, there is still a question of how much hypohydration creates these similar stresses in that, as compared to adults, prepubescent children experience a greater increase in core and skin temperatures as they become dehydrated. So why is this? A lower sweat rate but higher metabolic cost of locomotion is a contributing factor. In other words, kids produce more heat with less offload. Additionally, kid’s bodies have not had as much time to adapt to heat acclimatization in their short lives. So when they are active on hot summer days they are more predisposed to heat illness

And while it seems logical to just “drink lots of water” the possibility of hyponatremia in active kids becomes a concern. Hyponatremia is when you put too much water in your system causing the sodium in your body to become diluted. When this happens, your body’s water levels rise, and your cells begin to swell which can potentially cause many health problems.

Basically, there is no real defined statement of what and how much a pre-pubescent active child should drink. And while there are peer-reviewed recommendations from clinical pediatrics and the World Health Organization on rehydration/hydration for illness induced dehydration, there are actually none for the exercise induced body water losses that many of our active kids experience. That’s where we come in – the Osmo for Kids product was formulated based upon physiological data on exercising/active prepubescent kids, as well as recommendations from the clinical trials of rehydration. What we have formulated is a drink designed to hydrate our kids, based on their physiology and needs for fluid absorption.

Why formulate a different Osmo Active specifically for kids? Why not just use diluted adults’ active?

Bottom line: Kids need a different concentration of carbohydrates and electrolytes due to differences in sweat sodium concentrations, sweat rates, heat dissipation, and predisposition to hypohydration and subsequent heat illness.

Kids’ bodies are different than adults with regards to thermoregulation (getting rid of heat and sweating). The other key thing to remember is that an oral rehydration solution (ORS, Pedialyte) is for severe dehydration (e.g. from vomiting, illness, diarrhea) which is a clinical condition; different from daily dehydration from activity and/or mild illness. With these facts, the Osmo for Kids formula has been specifically designed to address the active kid’s needs.

Sodium: Kids need to ingest less sodium due to less sweat sodium losses.

The sodium content in Osmo products serve to 1) enhance fluid absorption at the level of the small intestines, 2) stimulate thirst to encourage voluntary drinking (a normal physiological protective mechanism), and 3) to help counteract sweat sodium losses. In the kids formula there is 100mg/serving as compared to the 320mg/serving of the men’s active. In the adult literature, sweat sodium losses in endurance athletes are on the upwards of 1.7-2 grams per litre; but under similar exercise conditions, the prepubescent child loses 0.75 -0.8g per litre of sweat. Thus, children need to ingest less sodium due to less sweat sodium losses. The physiological need for sodium for fluid uptake is individual- dependent on existing sodium availability within the body (this is from stores, ingested fluids/foods, blood-sodium concentrations, fluid balance hormone interaction; RDA of sodium for children 4-12 is 1.2g/day, teenage+adults is 1.5-1.8g/day).

Potassium: Kids need less potassium for fluid balance.

Potassium is needed with sodium for fluid balance, skeletal and cardiac muscle function. Unlike sodium, potassium is not readily lost in sweat but is unavoidably lost in urine, thus it too is critical for fluid balance. Again, the requirements in prepubescent children are less than adults; 30mg potassium per serving in the kids formula vs. 100mg potassium in the adults.

Carbohydrate and osmolality: Kids need a combination of a great tasting product with the optimal ratio of carbohydrates for it to be effective.

The World Health Organization oral rehydration solution recognizes the effectiveness of a low osmolality solution for promoting plasma volume expansion; with the total osmolality range of 200-245mOsm/l. The osmotic contributors in a solution are the electrolytes and the carbohydrates. To maintain an effective osmolality of ~200mOsm/L as well as to promote fluid uptake at the level of the intestines, the kids formula has been designed at a 1% carbohydrate solution comprised of glucose and sucrose. NOTE: palatability of the drink is critical for fluid uptake. If it doesn’t taste good, it won’t be consumed. Sugar and salt are key factors to palatability and physiological encouragement of drinking. The Kids’ formula has added monk fruit (a small, sweet melon that is naturally calorie-free and does not impact blood sugar like traditional sugars; it is not processed like stevia or sugar alcohols; basically it is dried powdered fruit) to increase the sweetness of the drink (preferred by kids).

Taste: Staying with the morals and ideals of Osmo, the Kids formula uses organic freeze-dried fruit , touched up by organic tangerine oil to “punch up” the flavor for kids palates. There are still no fillers or flow agents, or other ingredients that may cause hyperactivity.

So how does Osmo for Kids line up with some of the other options on the market? Take a look:

PRODUCT COMPARISON

**Both the Health Protection Branch of Canada and the Food and Drug Administration note that sodium benzoate is safe to consume in small doses, but it should not be combined with ascorbic acid, commonly known as citric acid or vitamin C, as this will develop a carcinogen know as benzene. This carcinogen is believed to cause cell death, damage to the mitochondria in cells, DNA damage, ***Polyethyelne glycol is the basis of most prescription laxatives.

Have any questions about new Kid’s line? Want to share what your kids think? We want to hear from you so drop us a line at team@osmonutrition.com

No Comments » | Posted in Training by Osmo Nutrition

Around the World in 20 Days

Thursday September 25th, 2014

OSMO checked in with Pro Triathlete Emma-Kate Lidbury  and got her to share some of what happened during her recent 20 days of world travel, racing and adventures……

It has been a fun and frantic time on Planet Eccles in the past few weeks, with two races in the space of a week plus some serious globetrotting. Us pro triathletes are almost as good at totting up airmiles as we are swim, bike, run miles!

I kicked off September with the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. What a terrific venue for a race! This was always going to be a barnburner of a race and it did not disappoint.

As I’ve previously mentioned on the Osmo blog, this season has been a challenging one for me with injuries and illness sidelining me for longer than anyone would have liked, so in many ways I was simply proud to be on the start line at the Worlds. I prepared as best I could and was proud of my effort on the day. Finishing 17th was obviously not the result I am truly capable of or working towards, but if I’ve learned anything this year it’s that sometimes it’s the journey that counts, not the end result.

Less than 48 hours after racing in Quebec I was jetting to China for IMG’s Beijing International Triathlon. This was the third year the race had been held and each year IMG invites a dozen pros – six men, six women – to take part alongside the age group race.

Having spent plenty of time travelling in South East Asia in my twenties, I thought I had a fair idea of what to expect from China. This would be my first visit and I went with eyes wide open ready for a new adventure. Of course, the first part of the adventure was the epic journey in itself: a 90-minute drive from Mont Tremblant to Montreal, a 90-minute flight from Montreal to Toronto and then a 13-hour flight from Toronto to Beijing in which I would fast forward 12 hours due to time zone changes.

On arrival in Beijing I was a true space cadet and it must have said something about my level of fatigue that I was able to nod off during the hour-long taxi ride from the airport to our hotel. Perhaps the fact it was dark helped disguise the crazy driving that goes on here! Imagine Scaletrix at warp speed and you begin to get a grasp of the death-defying madness. It would only be in daylight in the ensuing days that I would begin to get a real taste for the anarchy on the roads. Red traffic light? That’s but a mere suggestion, no need to actually stop!

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The longer we spent in Beijing the more I realized it is a place of     controlled chaos – everything works, everything eventually unfolds as it should, but it all happens with a crazy, fierce and boisterous intensity. The gulf between rich and poor is vast, greater than in any other country I’ve visited and Westerners still intrigue and amaze the Chinese. I’ve never been in so many selfies or been gawped at quite so intensely while running or riding. I guess a 5ft 10 suntanned Westerner in run kit stands out a little!

The race itself was a fun affair – especially as I was the only long distance race surrounded by ITU specialists. My fast twitch muscle fibres have been AWOL for many years now, so it was definitely a two-hour pain management exercise! The bike and run courses were brutal and much of the bike course had been built specifically for this race. I finished 5th and definitely knew it was time for some R&R after an intense week of racing and travel.

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Our final day saw us venture to the Great Wall of China – a place that has always been on my bucket list. It was a brutally hot day and we were all suffering with race-battered legs, which made all the Great Wall steps that much more intense! I was definitely grateful to be carrying plenty of Osmo Active Hydration sachets with me, because as the mercury climbed and there was nowhere to hide from the heat I could feel my body beginning to wither. Hydration is most definitely power!

I was very glad I consulted with Osmo boffin Dr Stacy Sims before flying back to LA as I was keen to mitigate the effects of jetlag on my return trip. I’m always very diligent about staying hydrated while flying, but she also had me eating almost only protein throughout the flight and drinking plenty of Osmo Acute Recovery (which is a 15g protein hit per scoop).

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For the first 48 hours back home, I also kept my sunnies off and spent as long as possible in the sunshine to try to trick my body back into LA time. Given that I flew for 17 hours from Beijing back to LA and technically landed only one hour after taking off (!), I have to say the tips worked wonders. I hit the ground running on my return and am now gearing up for my final race of the season, Challenge Rancho Cordova in northern California on October 5.

I’ll be back with news from that race in a couple of weeks!

Cheers,
Eccles

No Comments » | Posted in Cool Stuff, On the road, OSMO Athletes, Training by Osmo Nutrition

#InstaAwesome

Friday September 5th, 2014

That hashtag lingo is about to become very prevalent as we launch our Awesome Orange kids product. Its you moms who will quickly get the concept that instantly you can change the nutritional and performance path of your child by introducing Awesome Orange in to their lives, Quite simply, you are an #InstaAwesome Mom buy providing a hydration solution for your kids and in turn your kids who use Awesome Orange will discover what it means to be #InstaAwesome themselves once they start making the products a regular part of their life.

Dr. Stacy Sims checked in with us to share details about this incredible new opportunity, how it came to be, and to share some of the since behind this really impressive product. Here is what she had to say:

Why a kids formula??

When you put in a general google search for “what to give my active 6 year old to drink” the results range from mom-blogs stating “Gatorade or other sports drink, coconut water, or diluted juice”, “vitamin waters (to top up your child’s nutritional gaps), to the government’s eatright.org recommending “lots of water”. Other recommendations often heard from doctors or other medical professionals include pedialyte or a diluted ORS (oral rehydration solution). Basically, there are no real conclusive statements of what and how much a pre-pubscent active child should drink; the basis for our kids formula. (**there are peer-reviewed recommendations from clinical pediatrics and the W.H.O. on rehydration/hydration for illness induced dehydration [body water losses of >4%] but none for the exercise induced body water losses of <3%).

It is well documented in the scientific literature that hypohydration in adults increases skin and core temperatures, leading to increased stress on the cardiovascular system, especially in the heat. In physical activity, this increased cardiovascular strain contributes to decreased physical performance (primarily in endurance exercise), increases fatigue and perception of effort, decreases motivation; coupled with increased propensity for injury, both musculoskeletal and total heat illness. In prepubescent kids, there is still a question of how much hypohydration creates these similar stresses in that , as compared to adults, prepubescent children experience a greater increase in core and skin temperatures as they become dehydrated. Factors which contribute to this include a lower sweat rate but higher metabolic cost of locomotion (eg more heat produced with less offload) as well as a higher surface area to body mass. Heat acclimatization (adjusting to hot conditions due to repeated exposure, eg hot summers days with activity) is slower to occur in children; predisposing them to heat illness. Another concern, in view of the “drink lots of water” recommendation, is the possibility of hyponatremia in active kids. (Clinically, hyponatremia is defined as a serum sodium level of <135mEq L-1, as well as referred to as a rapid lowering of blood sodium- note that blood sodium usually rests ~140-145mEq L-1, and with the rapid ingestion of plain water, blood sodium dilution is a distinct occurrence).

Why formulate a different Osmo Active specifically for kids? Why not just use diluted adults’ active? Sodium: The sodium content in Osmo products is to 1) enhance fluid absorption at the level of the small intestines, 2) stimulate thirst to encourage voluntary drinking (a normal physiological protective mechanism) , and 3) to help counteract sweat sodium losses. In the kids formula there is 100mg/serving as compared to the 320mg/serving of the men’s active. In the adult literature, sweat sodium losses in endurance athletes are on the upwards of 1.7-2 grams per litre; but under similar exercise conditions, the prepubescent child loses 0.75 -0.8g per litre of sweat. Thus, children need to ingest less sodium due to less sweat sodium losses. The physiological need for sodium for fluid uptake is individual- dependent on existing sodium availability within the body (this is from stores, ingested fluids/foods, blood-sodium concentrations, fluid balance hormone interaction; RDA of sodium for children 4-12 is 1.2g/day, teenage+adults is 1.5-1.8g/day). Potassium: Potassium is needed with sodium for fluid balance, skeletal and cardiac muscle function. Unlike sodium, potassium is not readily lost in sweat but is unavoidably lost in urine, thus it too is critical for fluid balance. Again, the requirements in prepubescent children are less than adults; 30mg potassium per serving in the kids formula vs 100mg potassium in the adults; Still keeping at a 3:1 ratio of sodium:potassium for fluid balance.

Carbohydrates/sugars and osmolality. The World Health Organization oral rehydration solution recognizes the effectiveness of a low osmolality solution for promoting plasma volume expansion; with the total osmolality range of 200-245mOsm/l. The osmotic contributors in a solution are the electrolytes and the carbohydrates. To maintain an effective osmolality of ~200mOsm/L as well as to promote fluid uptake at the level of the intestines, the kids formula has been designed at a 1% carbohydrate solution comprised of glucose and sucrose. NOTE: palatability of the drink is critical for fluid uptake. If it doesn’t taste good, it won’t be consumed. Sugar and salt are key factors to palatability and physiological encouragement of drinking. The kids formula has added monk fruit (a small, sweet melon that is naturally calorie-free and does not impact blood sugar like traditional sugars; it is not processed like stevia or sugar alcohols; basically it is dried powdered fruit) to increase the sweetness of the drink (what kids want!).

Flavoring: Staying with the morals and ideals of Osmo, the kids formula uses organic freeze-dried fruit for color and flavor, touched up by organic tangerine oil/essence to “punch up” the flavor for kids palates. There are still no fillers or flow agents, or other ingredients that may cause hyperactivity (From this mom’s point of view, CRITICAL!).

Bottom line: Kids need a different concentration of carbohydrates and electrolytes due to differences in sweat sodium concentrations, sweat rates, heat dissipation, and predisposition to hypohydration and subsequent heat illness.

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Refuel, rest, recover, repeat…

Wednesday August 27th, 2014

by Emma-Kate Lidbury

For many triathletes, learning to rest and recover is actually harder than working out. Triathlon tends to attract “Type A” personalities who typically want to do it all, do it perfectly and do it yesterday – but that’s not always the best route forward for the human body to get fitter, faster and stronger. It has taken me many years of doing this sport to truly learn the value in resting, recovering, sleeping and adapting – and boy what a valuable lesson that is to learn!

I say this because I’m currently typing this from the comfort of my bed in the middle of the afternoon as I enjoy some well earned recovery days following a training camp in Lake Tahoe, northern California. The camp was run by my coach Matt Dixon, of purplepatch, alongside Tower 26 swim coach Gerry Rodrigues and purplepatch bike coach and guru Paul Buick. With 10 age groupers and four pros in attendance it was a fun group who all really maximized the opportunity to swim, bike and run in a seriously beautiful part of the world. Some of the riding up there is extraordinary and swimming in the crystal clear waters of Donner Lake was stunning.

When in a training camp environment and putting together several big days of work it’s hugely important to nail your hydration, nutrition and fueling. Fortunately I have Osmo’s Dr Stacy Sims on my side so I felt well prepared. Each day I was typically drinking 24oz of Osmo Active Hydration during swim workouts and following this up immediately post-workout with Osmo Acute Recovery to ensure prompt refueling and optimal recovery. I have found the sooner I get this down, the better I feel and the faster I recover ready for the next session. I’ve also become addicted to Acute Recovery with a little caffeine added: try one scoop Acute Recovery mixed with 6-8oz almond milk and a shot of espresso and you will be rocking! In a bid to rehydrate well, I often also take on about 12-16oz of Osmo Pre Load between sessions. I find this helps not just my hydration levels but also help keep my body alkaline through the day (now that’s probably another blog post in itself).

On the bike I typically aim to drink approximately 24oz of Osmo Active Hydration per hour and, as with post-swim sessions, I’ll follow it up with Acute Recovery, but if it’s later in the day I’ll skip the caffeine hit. When running, if it’s a longer/heavier session we’ll often have Matt and Paul riding alongside us carrying drinks and so I’ll have an icy cold bottle of Active Hydration to sip along the way. With the mercury rising well into the 80s while we were in Tahoe it was sometimes hard to drink enough, but I know what a huge difference it makes to my training and recovery if I stay on top of it.

Right before bedtime, I swig one final scoop of Acute Recovery mixed with almond milk to assist with overnight restoration and muscle synthesis – and to help me get the best night’s sleep possible ready for the next day of fun on camp. With the hard work done, it’s now time to let it all soak in before the final two weeks of work leading in to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships on September 7. See you there!

- Eccles

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Osmo Joins Tinkoff-Saxo Training Camp

Friday August 22nd, 2014

A few clouds and some rain gracing the Colorado skies didn’t stop team Tinkoff-Saxo from a successful training camp leading up to this week’s US Pro Challenge. It was a wet Thursday morning when Osmo’s Lisa Hunt met up with the team after one of their rides. Pulling up to greet the riders roadside, Lisa was joined by Jason Lambert from ProBar to spend some time with the team.

A team lunch at their hotel in Snowmass provided the perfect venue to spend some time getting to know the riders and getting the valuable feedback in person that helps Osmo continue to improve and create the best performance hydration products on the market.

During lunch Lisa spent time with the team staff including Bruno Cenghialta, the Italian former powerhouse pro rider, who is one of the Sports Directors at Tinkoff-Saxo as well as the other Sports Director, Lars Michaelsen. The room was packed with riders and staff from all over the world and while languages from multiple countries were being spoken, when it came time to deliver the post ride brief, English was the language of choice.

The team took over the hotel restaurant and lunch included grilled salmon and grilled veggies. After lunch, impromptu chats with riders allowed Osmo to hear what the riders really think about Osmo. What was truly exciting was to hear directly from riders just how enthusiastic they are about the products.

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“I especially love the Acute Recovery. I can drink it and immediately I feel better. And I don’t need to eat a full meal, because it satisfies me. Sometimes I make a shake; but usually I just drink it with water” said team rider Michael Morkov. Overall Acute Recovery was the favorite amongst most.

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And rider after rider shared that Active was so easy to drink and didn’t upset their stomach. Rafal Majka was quick to tell us “Osmo is fantastic. So easy to drink. In the Tour of Poland, it’s all I drank.”

Lisa left Colorado just before the US Pro Challenge started, wishing the team well and knowing they were set up to race well this week. To follow how the team is doing, be sure to check out their website for updates here.

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