Maybe you didn’t even know they were gone, but Osmo Nutrition is back. Known for their ground breaking work in the nutrition space focused around the osmolality of hydration drink mixes, Osmo gained quite a few fans the last time around.
Most notably? That would probably be Peter Sagan. As the story goes, Peter first found Osmo after meeting Ben Capron, one of Osmo’s three co-founders, at the Westlake Village Inn during a Cannondale training camp. After cramping badly on the brutally hot stage two of the Tour of California in Palm Springs, Sagan and his team requested Osmo and ended up winning stage three the next day. He’s been on the product ever since – even if that meant having people buy it for him here in the states and hand carrying it over to Europe.
During an interview at the Sagan VIP ride, Peter said, “During my career, I understood also a lot of things in cycling, what is good for you. You have to explore what is good, what kind of training you have to do, what kind of product you have to use. Because you are meeting everyday a lot of people, right? And especially the sponsors, like everybody comes to you and says ‘this is the best, this is the best.'” Naturally, with that comes a bit of skepticism. But after trying the product and seeing the results in his racing, Peter was hooked…
That brings us to the rebirth of Osmo Nutrition which is back in the hands of co-founder Ben Capron who initially left in 2013. When asked why, Ben said it was due to differences in vision on how to grow the company. Osmo’s investors saw the success of the product and wanted to rapidly scale it up and expand into markets other than cycling. Ben thought that the path should be through finding athletes who specifically needed the benefits of Osmo and to work with them to obtain the best the results. Ultimately, that didn’t mesh with the investor’s growth plans, and Ben left the company to return to Specialized.
Eventually, it seems that the plans for rapid expansion into other markets backfired, and Osmo quietly ceased operations early this year.
That’s when the story really gets interesting.
According to Capron, Peter Sagan actually came up with the idea to buy the company. After all, he claims to truly need it to perform his best, so he couldn’t just let it disappear. After discussing the potential sale with Capron, it seems that Sagan realized that he couldn’t just buy Osmo and have it run by itself.
“And the relationship, they changed the team and it was stopped, no? Then I tried another product. And I was like, the Osmo was the best, right? Then I was finding a way to turn back and I was speaking with Osmo like if it’s possible, I’m gonna buy , but I never buy – just a story. But, they were like if you want we can send [it to] you, but after they were buying from all the shops in America to send me the Osmo, and it was good. It’s a good story, but it’s true.
But the cyclist, when it comes to the physical effort it is not about money or something like that, it’s about the best for you. And for me it’s very good. And then we decide to get together, and now we’re working together.” – Peter Sagan.
That led Capron and Lee Hutchinson (above, right) to buy everything back – a move which Capron said has him all in. “I’m betting my kids’ college funds on the success of a product I really believe in,” Capron joked as he pulled away effortlessly on a climb during the Sagan VIP ride on Saturday. All joking aside, Capron and his partners are truly vested in the rebirth of the business. It has to succeed. For them, and Peter.
“Yeah, I was training and we did all the tests. I was drinking Osmo, and I was peeing on a paper to see how much I am hydrated, right? And after that, Osmo was our sponsor on Cannondale, and it went really well. Because I did not have any more problems with my stomach, or cramps, or anything.” – Peter Sagan
Fortunately for them, it really does seem to work. Though not just anecdotally through Peter, but through many people who try it for themselves. During the Sagan VIP ride, all of the participants were able to try it at every rest station along the way. We were also given product to try while we rode the course for ourselves. For me, it was the third day in a row of riding and which would give me over 12k feet of climbing. Considering my climbing form currently is a bit weak, I was hurting a bit and expected to perform terribly. It was also fairly warm in the sun which had me sweating more than I’m used to this late in the year. Yet, I felt surprisingly good given the circumstances. Following the Osmo mantra, I ate my calories and drank my hydration, which seemed to keep me well fueled and happily pedaling. For me, one ride is hardly a definitive test, but I’m looking forward to trying it on a longer basis.
The good news is that for others who want to try it out, Osmo nutrition product will back in production by January. Featuring distinct formulas for both men and women, Osmo is available in the Preload Hydration, Active Hydration, and Acute recovery products. According to Capron, the formulas of the Osmo products have not changed at all, it’s simply new ownership and new strategy. To get the ball rolling, Osmo is offering a presale deal in the form of gift certificates with 20% off a $100 gift certificate (so $80, for $100 worth of product) or 25% off a $250 gift certificate ($200). Both will be redeemable at Osmonutrition.com only, as soon as the product is available in January 2017.