A former nutritionist to Lance Armstrong today launched her own drink-mix company, OsmoNutrition. Stacy Sims, who's also worked with the likes of Garmin-Slipstream and pro triathlete Dan Hugo, says her products will stand out in a crowded marketplace because of their research-based formulation and high-quality, natural ingredients.
To create Osmo's debut products – two hydration mixes and two recovery drinks – Sims relied not only on peer-reviewed research but also her 15 years of practical experience working with top-level athletes. She also worked with cycling physiologist Dr Allen Lim, who has a hydration company called Scratch Labs.
“Everything I’ve been doing as a researcher and as an athlete led me to understand that more and more cycling nutrition products are skewed to liquid calories,” Sims said. “And what you do at the front of an event has a direct relation to what happens at the end.
"I’d see all these riders eating gels and drinking high-calorie drinks at the beginning of a race, then at the end suffering stomach cramps, leg cramps, dehydration, all these kinds of things. So I began working on myself and others, looking at the body before, during and after exercise.”
Designed to be consumed before exercise – or even the night before – Osmo PreLoad ($20 for 10 servings) is a high-sodium “hyper-hydrator”. The second hydration mix, Osmo Active Hydration ($20 for 20 servings), is a during-exercise drink designed to fight off fatigue and cramping.
Osmo Acute Recovery ($30 for 10 servings) has ingredients that Sims says your body needs to stop the breakdown effects of exercise, and Osmo GoodNight Recovery ($30 for 20 servings) was created for consumption after particularly hard days on the bike. In addition to antioxidants, glutamine, zinc, B vitamins and protein, GoodNight also contains melatonin and herbal sedatives.
As of today, Osmo products will be coming to riders via the company website, OsmoNutrition.com, and select US retailers. The website has videos explaining the science behind the product. Sims told BikeRadar that some mainstream sports drinks are actually "effective dehydrators" because the formula is too concentrated.
"You might drink a lot, you pee a lot, but that doesn’t make you hydrated,” she said. "The body is 80 percent water. The more body water you lose, the faster your body temperature goes up and the faster your performance detoriates. If you’re cramming your drinks full of calories, you could be accelerating this process. Osmo is bit of a paradigm switch, to separate hydration from food.”
In addition to making drinks with a strong basis in science, Sims was keen to use healthy, natural ingredients – like something she'd make in her kitchen. “I was always the freaky San Francisco girl making her own low-fat cottage cheese,” she said. “I always go back to the fact that we’re not as smart as nature. Whatever products you can use that work with your body’s system will be much better that what comes out of an engineer’s lab.”
As a result, Osmo import protein powder from Ireland, Holland and New Zealand, as those are the only countries that can guarantee whey isolate that’s GMO-free. “I don’t want to ingest something that I can’t know where it’s coming from,” Sims said.
Check back soon to BikeRadar for reviews of Osmo’s drink mixes.