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Women Are Not Small Men

Throughout the history of sports medicine research (and even primary medical research), study participants have primarily been 18–22 year old men. Most of the scientific community believed that the findings from this research were applicable for women. They are not.

Women have been excluded from this human performance research in the past because hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle impact performance. In short, women were considered “too difficult” to include as participants in the studies. The same fluctuations of hormones that alter physiological responses to exercise, metabolism, recovery, and training that present challenges for researchers create challenges for female athletes.

We saw these challenges as opportunities to better serve female athletes.

There is now solid research that is specific to women and their physiological differences. By knowing the differences between female and male athletes, every athlete can achieve their true potential by applying sex-specific methods and recommendations, including nutrition.

During the menstrual cycle, women have two hormone phases: high and low. During the high hormone phase, estrogen reduces the availability of carbohydrate and increases the amount of fat used for fuel; thus women have problems hitting high intensities. Elevated progesterone increases our core temperature by ~0.5’C, increases total body sodium losses, and increases muscle breakdown (and at the same time, reduces the body’s ability to rebuild muscle). If this wasn’t enough, the combination of elevated estrogen and progesterone drops available plasma volume by ~8%, which reduces heart-stroke volume, thereby reducing oxygen available for aerobic metabolism.

Based on peer-reviewed science, including research done by Dr Stacy Sims, who developed all of the Osmo products, we have developed three products to help female athletes feel and perform their best by addressing these physiological realities.

Osmo Active Hydration for Women helps female athletes increase power output, improve endurance, and avoid premenstrual performance decline.

Osmo Preload Hydration for Women counteracts hormone-induced drop in body water, increases performance during hot & intense efforts, maximizes sustained power, and improves recovery.

Osmo Acute Recovery for Women promotes muscle synthesis, reduces hormonal influences on recovery, and optimises training adaptations.