Jim’s Tech Talk
By Jim Langley
Ingredients: Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (Cluster Dextrin), Fructose, Sodium Citrate plus Caffeine if you get that one
Size: 23.9 ounce bag (680g) About 16 servings per container (2 rounded scoops per serving / 42g)
How obtained: sample provided by the company
RBR advertiser: No
Potentially Game-Changing Drinkable Carbohydrate Mix
Having been knocked out of more rides than I care to remember by stomach distress, I’m really happy to tell you about Osmo’s newest product Power Fuel, which seems custom made for this issue. Actually, I told you a little about Power Fuel after I saw it at the Sea Otter Classic bike expo in April. Now that I’ve had time to thoroughly test it on multiple long, challenging rides, I can tell you more.
An Awful Sensation That Can End Your Ride
First, in case you haven’t been introduced to the misery of stomach distress, allow me to describe it. It only happens on rides over 90 minutes and for me only when the pace or effort is strenuous enough to burn up whatever I had for breakfast. At that point, the best way I can put it is that it feels like the stomach is empty and starting to eat itself. It’s an awful sensation and impossible to ignore because it only worsens as you keep pedaling.
And if you do continue riding without taking in any calories (maybe you forgot to bring any or thought the ride would be shorter) it can be impossible to recover because you may become unable to digest whatever you find and try to eat to feel better. I’ve had to wait hours before I can metabolize food. Once I couldn’t even swallow. That was after a double century, so pretty extreme, but it shows the importance of paying attention to the early warning signs.
Osmo’s Power Fuel is specifically designed as an easy to use and digest carbohydrate drink mix for glycogen replenishment (one of the causes of stomach distress). Since it’s a drink there are no wrappers to open and pack away and no chewing is required either. These things mean it’s more likely you’ll get the needed fueling to avoid problems.
Each scoop of Power Fuel provides 80 calories and 20 grams of carbs. I’ve been mixing 2 to 4 scoops of the Power Fuel Caffeine in a 24-ounce bottle of water. It tends to blob up, not dissolve in the water immediately. Stirring takes too long so I’ve been shaking the bottle and that does the trick. I’ve also tried their pre-exercise fueling recommendation, which is 1 to 4 scoops 30 to 120 minutes before riding.
Osmo calls the flavor neutral. To me it tastes like a vanilla flavor but not too sweet. I like it. It goes down easily and I don’t notice an aftertaste.
One of the features of Power Fuel is that it’s made to be mixed with Osmo’s Active Hydration drink mixes so that if you enjoy a specific flavor (Active Hydration comes in Blackberry, Lemon Lime, Blueberry Pomegranate and Orange), you can have it simply by mixing (I haven’t tried this because I enjoy the flavor as it is). Power Fuel can also be mixed with Osmo’s Rapid Recovery for a post-ride recovery drink.
I’m very impressed with Power Fuel and plan to keep using it on rides over an hour long. I like the taste a lot and love how easy it is to drink. I don’t mean the act of drinking, I mean how well it goes down and sits in the stomach. It feels to me like it’s what it’s called a Power Fuel and each drink gives me a noticeable energy boost. The caffeine helps (50mg for 2 scoops).
Even better, by keeping sipping I haven’t had any issue with stomach distress on the longer rides I’ve done. I’ve been carrying a small bottle with water and a larger bottle (24 ounce) with the Power Fuel. It tastes so good I might try a second bottle of Power Fuel and leave the water-only bottle at home.
For even longer rides, you can bring along Osmo’s small packages (2.25 ounces/65g) for refilling your bottle. Cost is $3.25.
Overall I think Osmo has a great product here and that if you ever suffer stomach distress you should give it a try. I bet it prevents any issues and that as a result you’ll have more energy and more fun every ride.
Jim Langley is RBR’s Technical Editor. A pro mechanic & cycling writer for more than 40 years, he’s the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Tune in to Jim’s popular YouTube channel for wheel building & bike repair how-to’s. Jim’s also known for his cycling streak that ended in February 2022 with a total of 10,269 consecutive daily rides (28 years, 1 month and 11 days of never missing a ride). Click to read Jim’s full bio.