Osmo Nutrition: Quick Review

Osmo Nutrition: Quick Review – by MG
Osmo Nutrition Product Family
Osmo Nutrition offers three distinct formulas, designed to be used before, during and after rides or workouts.

Hydration isn’t an option on gravel rides – it’s a necessity. That’s especially true in the warmer summer months. Over the years, I’ve tried nearly everything to hydrate on the bike. And while I do find I want/need different drinks at times during long rides or events, the staple of my hydration is always water. Typically, I’ll add some type of electrolytes to my water, to replace those I’ve lost through sweat.

Osmo Nutrition is a relative newcomer to the sports nutrition game, but they offer specific drink formulas for the three stages of a ride or workout: pre-ride; on the ride; and post-ride. Offered in unique formulas for men and women, each is designed to have a lower osmolality than your blood. According to Osmo Nutrition this is critical for it to be absorbed by the intestine. For those (like me) who aren’t familiar, osmolality is a measure of how much solid is dissolved in a fluid.

Learn more about the science behind Osmo Nutrition products at Osmonutrition.com/science.

I received a sample of each of Osmo Nutrition’s three hydration products to try. Their arrival coincided with our first summer hot weather, so I was able to get a good feel for their performance in the heat.

Here’s a description of Osmo Nutrition’s products, along with a summary of my experience with each.

Preload Hydration
Osmo Preload Hydration
Designed for use before rides or workouts, Osmo Preload Hydration hyper-hydrates your body to help it perform better in the heat.

From the company:

Osmo Preload Hydration is a pre-workout mix scientifically designed to prepare the body for high-intensity efforts and hot environments by raising plasma levels and boosting blood circulation while counteracting hormone-related drops in body water.

Preload Hydration Optimized for Women contains branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, which help delay central nervous system fatigue and expand total body water, reducing the muscle breakdown effects of progesterone and speeding recovery.

Osmo Preload Hydration mixes with water, and the company recommends drinking one serving the night before exercise, then another serving 30-60 minutes before exercise.

Osmo cautions those with high blood pressure or who have been advised to limit salt intake not to use Preload Hydration.

In Use

My experience with Osmo Preload Hydration suggests it works, especially on hot, long rides. The taste is light and relatively pleasant, but that said I often found myself drinking an entire 20-ounce serving in one or two large drinks.

Once on the bike, despite being well hydrated, I didn’t feel heavy, sluggish or waterlogged early in rides, which I sometimes do when preloading before rides with straight water. I also felt great on the rides prior to which I used Preload Hydration. Of course, I was also using their Active Hydration during those rides (see review below), and it seemed the two products worked synergistically to keep my hydration and electrolytes in check.

Available in one flavor for men (pineapple lemon), and one for women (pineapple margarita) – a 20-serving tub of Osmo Preload Hydration sells for $25.00.

Active Hydration
Osmo Active Hydration
Osmo Active Hydration helps replace water and electrolytes lost during exercise, so you perform at your peak longer, especially in the heat.

From the company:

When you sweat you lose body water. Osmo Active Hydration has a precise ratio of functional ingredients that replenish body water and electrolytes lost during exercise.

With a light delicious taste, Osmo Active Hydration is easy on your stomach and a great way to rehydrate.

In Use

Osmo Active Hydration worked well for me. The light flavor was good – not overly sweet, but not too bland either. I had no problems drinking every drop of my bottles mixed with Active Hydration, which is a compliment. I never experienced bloating or heavy stomach when using it either.

For me, this substantiates Osmo’s claims about osmolality and its importance in hydration for sport. As someone whose occasionally been prone to hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood), I appreciate Osmo’s focus on maintaining electrolyte balance.

One interesting note from my rides with Osmo Active Hydration is that my sweat seemed noticeably saltier than when using water, or most other sports drinks. The one exception there being the sport hydration drink mix from Skratch Labs. That product produces a similar effect with me, but I’ve also had similarly good results on the bike using it, so there may be a correlation there.

Bottom line is Osmo Active Hydration worked well for me. I have no hesitation recommending it as a great on the bike hydration option.

Available in three flavors for men – Orange (reviewed), Blackberry and Lemon Lime – Osmo Active Hydration sells for $20.00 for a 40-serving tub. Active Hydration optimized for women is available in two flavors – Lemon Lime and Mango.

Acute Recovery
Osmo Acute Recovery
Osmo Acute Recovery…

From the Company:

Recover. Replenish. Rebuild

When you exercise, you stress your body. During recovery, you adapt to those stresses, becoming stronger and more efficient. Osmo Acute Recovery works to facilitate muscle repair and adaptation to help you make the most of your workout.

In Use

Recovery drinks, or protein powders, are a product I haven’t used to a great extent in the past. Quite frankly, most of them seemed to give me a lot of gas the next day, but not much else that I could feel.

Fortunately, Osmo Acute Recovery hasn’t been like other products I’ve tried. Using the two Special Recipes on the back of the tub, I was able to make Acute Recovery a regular part of my post-ride routine.

My personal favorite, the “Orange Creamsicle” flavor, substitutes 50% orange juice and 50% vanilla almond milk for the usual water. The result is a delicious, creamy recovery drink that was easy for me to enjoy daily.

Using Osmo Acute Recovery after daily rides seemed to make a positive difference in my recovery. While I can’t quantify that feeling with numbers, I can say that in the time I’ve used it, I’ve been riding strong and feeling great on the bike. That’s worth a lot to me.

Osmo Acute Recovery for men is available in one flavor – vanilla – and retails for $35.00 for a 16-serving tub. Acute Recovery for women is available in one flavor – Honey & Spice – and retails for $35 for a 12-serving tub.

Final Thoughts

Osmo Nutrition products simply work for me. They don’t upset my stomach and I find that my body looks forward to drinking them. As mentioned earlier, the Preload Hydration and Active Hydration products work well together, giving you a 1-2 punch against the heat and resulting dehydration during hard rides or races. After the ride, taking down a bottle of Acute Recovery within 30 minutes is a great way to replenish and repair muscles.

Learn more about Osmo Nutrition and the science behind its hydration and recovery drinks at Osmonutrition.com.


Author: MG

Matt Gersib is the 2014 Gravel World Champion in the Fatbike category. He's also finished some of the most challenging gravel events in the country, including the Dirty Kanza XL, TransIowa and the Dirty Kanza 200, among others. In 2015, Gersib was an inaugural inductee into the DK200 "1,000 mile club" of five-time finishers. In addition to his gravel cycling, Gersib is an accomplished mountain bike racer, with numerous race wins and championships, including the 2012 Nebraska State Marathon MTB Championship.

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