There are many schools of thoughts in the athletic world about what you should or shouldn’t eat. Many of my friends have gone with the Paleo eating habits, personally I try to look at the ingredients, make an educated “Yes or No” thought in my head and then try it on training rides. These days it takes a scientist to breakdown and to be able to explain what all the moving parts are doing in many “sports food”. For ease of use I’ve always been a fan of the “systems” that have a during and an after just so I don’t have to think too heavy.

These musings are due to a press release from Osmo Nutrition that Cannondale Pro team picked Osmo for their Pre, Active and Recovery hydration.

After the brutally hot first two stages of ATOC, Cannondale Pro Cycling turned to Osmo’s leading science and proven performance, with Sagan and the team used Osmo PreLoad Hydration before stages, Osmo Active Hydration during the racing, and Osmo Acute Recovery after stages. The results have been immediate, with Sagan winning stage 3 and the final stage of the week-long race, bring his total stage count to ten.

At the end of a spectacular stage that began in San Francisco, crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, and headed north along the legendary California coast, Cannondale Pro Cycling wound up their Pro-Tour leadout train, delivery Sagan to a sprint finish. “The team got me in position and I went from 300 meters,” said Sagan immediately following his win in Santa Rosa. “I felt very strong. I hit 1,750 watts, more than I’m used to seeing. Osmo helped for sure.”

“Having Peter and Cannondale Pro Cycling win the final stage in Santa Rosa is truly special for Osmo,” said co-founder and chief scientist Stacy Sims. “Just one year ago we launched Osmo at the Amgen Tour
of California and today we gave the rider with the most stage wins in ATOC history the hydration and recovery edge he needed to take his 10th career victory at the race. This just speaks to the rapid
acceptance of Osmo’s products, all developed with peer-reviewed science.

While I realize a decent amount of this is media hype, it reminds me of the times I have used those gels at the perfect time for a last kick or how when I forget my recovery drink I wake up feeling hung over.

Nutrition is a very personal thing, depending on the level of your sports you would probably benefit working with a nutritionist to learn what you burn, what your body responds to and proper timing of it all.

Last night’s ride for ice cream and two quarts of strawberries reminded me that we can all be strict about eating, especially when we have a pair of jeans to fit in or upcoming race. We also need to enjoy the living and experience the joy that a simple (hilly) bike ride for an ice cream cone can give you!

I also have to mention one of my friends that has completed (strongly) many Ironman distance races is known for going to McDonald’s the night before for a large order of chicken nuggets. And good ole chocolate milk has always been my goto recovery drink.

What do you use and what have you learned over the years?


  1. I’m not sure about the nuggets, but the chocolate milk helps me when on a long distance ride. I learned this from a seasoned and older long distance touring rider.

  2. Great discussion starter! I have learned over the years that many things work for recovery. I have found it more about timing than what you take. Also, if you ride 3 times a week for 1 to 2 hours, in most cases, you don’t need recovery. Your body will easily replace during the 2 days between rides. Also, if you are trying to lose weight, don’t use recovery most of the time. Make your body work to recover by using fat reserves. It will learn, especially if you have ample fat reserves like me. If you are on an intense training plan and you don’t use recovery and eat well, that is a formula for sickness. I have experienced this and it usually happens about 4 to 6 weeks into a training plan if I don’t take a recovery week and/or I am not eating well.

    We all continue to learn what works for us. I have found Skratch to be the best option for me. I need high sodium, but other high sodium drinks were too high in calories so my stomach would stop processing anything. I also love chocolate milk for recovery although I use Ovaltine.

  3. Hi Arleigh
    I have only just come across your blog and it looks great. I felt I had to comment on this as it seems to be one of the most asked things I get from my athletes across a lot of sports. As a sports scientist but not a nutritionist I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of all compositions of foods and how it affects us, but the advice that we give surround training works perfectly when applied to nutrition.

    1. Variation – our body adjusts to routine
    2. Periodisation – are there good times in the year to be high carb?!
    3. Tailored to you – what are the demands of your event
    4. Test it out – If you aren’t sure then test it scientifically…no guesswork allowed! Think you can do without carbs or gels, get in a controlled environment, use robust and valid tests and find out. It can even be part of training!


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