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IRENA OSSOLA UPDATE – ROLE OF SUPPLEMENTS IN PROFESSIONAL CYCLING

Irena Ossola pro cyclist nutritional supplementsHPDI’s sponsored athlete Irena Ossola has been a bike tour leader in Italy this summer and fall. During that time, she scaled back her nutritional supplement regimen. This is partly because the summer and fall period is one of rest from high-intensity competitive bike training—and because her training for the new racing season has not yet begun. However, she recorded her observations regarding nutritional supplements. She concludes they are important whether or not she is actively training for races. – editor

Irena Ossola

I have been working like a maniac and nonstop since I arrived in Italy for my bike touring job at the end of August. However, I am feeling good and recovering well and happy to move forward for next year in training. I am starting to really look forward to getting in some hard solid winter training now and especially being in Tucson will be amazing!! I can’t wait to get back into my regular training regime. On another note, I’ve recorded some observations during my time in Italy about my nutrition and vitamins.

Beginning August:

“As I am now at the beginning of my touring/working season, I like to use this time as my sort of “off time” for supplements. Regarding vitamins and other nutritional supplements, I have found in the past that I have trouble staying on schedule and taking them while working. I feel that my nutrition is still adequate as I eat vegetables and meat and other necessary things for the amount of effort and activity I am putting my body through. Yet, I also know I will feel the difference without a constant flow of vitamins and supplements from Health Products Distributors, Inc.”

Beginning September:

“Now that I am in my moment of break and I’ve been working constantly for about a month, I must stay that I have also not been taking vitamins for a couple weeks and I can definitely feel the difference. Especially in my diet when I am not eating as healthy (as I do when training) or being as consistent with consuming vegetables.

I notice a lack of energy when I am working and lack of intensity on the bike when I’m riding. This is fine for now, and a good test for me as during this time I do not need a high-intensity effort while riding and it is a good test of my energy levels to see the contrast while I’m working compared to training.

I will begin taking some supplements again regularly which I think will help and will also demonstrate the necessity to have a regular schedule of nutritional supplements even when my work and travel schedule is so busy.”

Beginning October:

“Boy do I feel the difference! Since I have been regularly taking supplements again I can feel my energy going up and my willingness to push more and have more intensity on the bike. I feel the difference in my regular diet as well as I feel more motivated to eat healthy. This is a big contrast and difference I can see from the period when I was taking supplements to when I stopped and now again to taking them. This shows how big the influence of nutritional supplementation is for my body.

I will continue taking my vitamins and being active while working and also eating a healthy diet to maintain my energy levels and physical ability. I am so busy while working that supplements are often hard to take while changing hotels or setting things up for the day. But if I have my vitamin bag and make sure to keep it somewhere easily accessible, then I am more willing to take them and can easily.

It is great to be working so closely with an amazing company like Health Products Distributors, Inc. where I can do this sort of test to see the differences. It shows a huge difference in their products compared to just food and how they affect my body. I have been taking Mighty Multi-Vite!, Ultimate Protector, Essential Fats Plus E, and Myo-Mag.

The supplements are amazing and I LOVE them and again I cannot wait to return to my competitive training this winter in Tucson.” ~

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Editor’s notes: Irena primarily takes HPDI Foundational Supplements which are the base or core of a nutritional supplement program. Foundational supplements include a high-potency multivitamin (Hank & Brian’s Mighty Multi-Vite!™), vitamin C/antioxidant formulas (Ultimate Protector Nrf2 activator formula), essential fats (Essential Fats Plus E), and Rejuvenate! high-RNA superfoods (Rejuvenate! Original Greens, Rejuvenate! PLUS, and Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs). She also takes other HPDI formulas like Myo-Mag (magnesium formula), pH Adjust alkalinizing formula, Warrior Mist (topical pain reliever), and other formulas depending on her needs.

RACING AND RECOVERY WITH pH ADJUST ALKALINIZING FORMULA

Irena Ossola bike racing recovery pH Adjust alkalinizing formulaEditor’s note: HPDI’s sponsored pro cyclist Irena Ossola is a frequent contributor to our blog. Today she writes about her experience with adjusting and monitoring her pH levels using pH Adjust and pH test strips. ~

I have used HPDI’s pH Adjust alkalinizing formula for about two months, and my experience has been quite interesting. I can see how my body reacts on a chemical level to different stresses—such as racing, travel, training, rest, and different foods I eat. I consistently use pH paper to test my pH first thing when I wake up in order to have a more controlled test.

My primary finding is that after a race my body is quite acidic (pH of 6.3). While in contrast after a day of rest and/or dinner consisting of lots of vegetables and spinach my body is quite alkaline (pH of 7.5 to 8).

TESTING MY pH LEVELS FOR ALKALINITY

While in France and racing very hard, I noticed that taking pH Adjust every morning helped my body feel more balanced and avoid spikes of energy or tiredness. I could rest and sleep more deeply, and train with both greater quality and frequency.

Irena Ossola ph test pH Adjust

Wearing my HPDI gear. Products like pH Adjust and Rejuvenate! superfoods keep in me in top condition.

After a month in France of hard racing and training, I began experiencing leg cramping due to the fatigue and travel. I remained consistent in my testing and taking pH Adjust through this difficult period. Initially, my tests were very acidic when the cramps began. Then as my diet consisted of just soup and salad (to hydrate and ease the burden on my digestion/kidneys) the pH test strips showed my pH to be more alkaline.

Also, I read that bicarbonate could help with cramping as it acts as a buffer in the body. So I continued to take the pH Adjust consistently and even increased my doses by adding an evening dose as well, if my afternoon/evening pH test showed my body was acidic (below pH 7).

DIET AND pH ADJUST KEEP ME ALKALINE

During the period of cramping I know pH Adjust helped to reestablish an alkaline environment in my body. This is important in order to heal from the cramping which creates a lot of lactic acid and fatigue in my muscles. I noticed the symptoms were reduced. During the cramping stage, I usually have cramping even when walking, but this time it was limited primarily to the bike. I recovered faster and felt better sooner, which I think is a result of the pH Adjust and the correct diet.

test pH paper

Testing pH levels with litmus paper guides my diet and use of pH Adjust.

Even after travel and during my return to harder training I will continue to take pH Adjust as part of my normal routine. There is nothing else available or on the market that acts so specifically to balance the pH within the body. This is so important as we introduce and put many stresses on our body that take it out of balance. Whether it is environmental or nutritional, these stresses can lead to further problems. So simply taking pH Adjust every morning can help protect against these variables. I feel the difference when I am consistent in taking it, and my body is under constant stresses due to my work as a professional cyclist.

pH Adjust

pH Adjust helps me maintain optimal pH levels—there’s nothing else like it.

JUICE CLEANSE AND RECOVERY

Last month I returned from Europe where I was suffering from some leg cramping, so I decided to do a body cleanup. I was still taking pH Adjust in the morning and my normal supplements, but I also wanted to do a 3–5 day juice cleanse. This helped the recovery as it cleans out my kidneys and gives my digestion a rest. Whenever I return from travel or racing I try to do a juice cleanse to reboot my system.

Irena Ossola ph test ph adjust

Me and my bike!

The three day juice cleanse ended up being a great flush, and my legs were recovering very well after all the travel, racing, cramping, and stress.

I did notice some feelings of fogginess in my head during the cleanse. But I was told that this is not uncommon to feel as it could be either from the reduced amount of protein entering the body, or because the toxins are being cleaned out of the system, so the mind is also readjusting to this as well.

I have noticed that the more juice cleanses I do, the faster and easier my body adjusts to the fluid diet. I don’t feel hunger, but just craving for the juice and energy. As long as I have enough juice made and on hand, I don’t feel worried about my ability to nourish my body. Without intense training I really enjoy the cleanse and don’t feel the need or cravings for sugar or certain foods. It simplifies life, and allows me to focus on important things like training and my work as a pro cyclist.

Pro Tip: When going through lots of stress on the body like exercise, illness, surgery, polluted environments, etc., increase the amount of Rejuvenate! superfoods in your diet and eat sardines. Both of these nutritional components will help speed up recovery time, and battle any incoming hazards and risk factors to your body.

irena ossola rejuvenate superfoods

Pro Tip: Rejuvenate! superfoods support recovery after training and racing.

SOURCES & RESOURCES

OssolaSport.com
(Official website)

Irena Ossola page
(HPDI Reseller site)

BLOG ARTICLES

Power Juice & Super Smoothie of Pro Cyclist Irena Ossola

Racing on Rejuvenate! Superfoods

Juice Journey of Cyclist Irena Ossola

All About the Balance – Mind, Body, and Nutrition

Resolving 2014 – Cyclist Irena Ossola on Training

Pro Cyclist Irena Ossola’s Rejuvenate! Smoothie

Get Results with Rejuvenate! Superfoods

Introducing Professional Racing Cyclist, Irena Ossola

PRODUCTS

pH Adjust Alkalining Formula

pH paper
(litmus test paper)

Rejuvenate! superfoods
(comparison chart)

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Power Juice & Super Smoothie of Pro Cyclist Irena Ossola

Irena Ossola pro cyclist juice cleanseJust the words “juice cleanse” can bring thoughts of hunger, struggle, and lack of energy. Yet, in my experience I have found juice cleansing simplifies life and gives a boost to my days.

I make enough juice each day and drink as much as I want or need. I notice some tired moments where the lack of protein affects my energy, but I also attribute that to my training.

As a professional athlete, I’ve learned a juice cleanse is all about timing. Outside of high-volume training, the juice cleanse is more just a mater of sticking to it. But during the season I recently learned my body fatigues more easily and lacks long-term energy for endurance during training.

Irena Ossola juice cleansing superfoods

Juice cleansing is not easy, but nicely supports my training, racing, and recovery.

This past week I have gone through a pretty tough round of cleansing. I did five days total in which three days were juice only.

I have done cleanses before and even for long amounts of time, but this was by far the most difficult I have ever done. Not because of juice quantity, or hunger, but because of training and energy.

The last time I did a cleanse was before my wrist surgery last fall. I was still training, but not as heavily or intense as right now since the racing season is underway. So when I recently had two hard days of four-hour rides/workouts, my body felt the effects of having no solid substance.

I admit I did “cheat” a little and eat grapefruits alongside the juice. It helped fill my stomach and give me a little more fiber and sugars for my workouts.

Other than raw grapefruit, I followed my cleanse routine: lemonade first thing in the morning, followed by herbal tea, and then fresh juice during the day. As usual, I added Rejuvenate! superfoods to my juices to help with energy, recovery, and needed vitamins.

Irena Ossola juice cleansing superfoods

Juice with superfoods is a nutritious combination.

From my past experience it takes about three days for my body to adjust to the diet. Considering my current training and focus on preparing for races, I don’t think it would be beneficial for me to do more than three days cleansing, especially on juice alone.

The purpose of this cleanse was to replenish my body with hydration and nutrients, whereas solid food is not as efficient. So despite some reduced energy and power, my body feels replenished and recharged. This makes it worthwhile!

As a professional athlete, it is important to tune into how my body feels and what it needs. I was not able to commit to a long cleanse, but as with so many things, every bit helps.

If you are thinking about doing a cleanse, this short 3–5 day cleanse could be a good stepping stone to see how your body reacts. One key component that I include with my juice is Rejuvenate! superfoods. This gives me the vitamins my body needs to recover after hard workouts, so that I can get back out and train hard again the next day.

CLEANSING “POWER JUICE” RECIPE

I use one-quart glass bottles that I reuse from store bought juice (lemon from my cleanse). I fill it about halfway with juice to leave room for supplements and shaking.

Juice:
Carrots
Beets
Celery
Cucumber
Apples
Watermelon
Lime
Ginger
Garlic (optional)

Supplements:
Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs (pink) – 1 scoop
Rejuvenate! (green) – 1 scoop
Rejuvenate! original greens (blue label) – ½ scoop
Chia Seeds – 1 scoop (2 tbsp)
Glutamine – 1 scoop (5 gm)

SUPER REJUVENATE! SMOOTHIE RECIPE

This is the recipe for the smoothie I drink after my workouts and even just during the day when I am not training. It helps fuel me and gives me energy to last the whole day. It’s packed with vitamins and healthy ingredients. The taste is a bit interesting. I love the mix of lime, ginger, and chocolate that is like no other smoothie I’ve ever tasted.

Fruits
Spinach – about 2 cups
Frozen Berries – about ½ cup
Lime – 1 peeled
Ginger – about 1–2 cm piece
Shredded Coconut – 1 scoop
Banana or Orange – optional

Supplements
Rejuvenate! Berries and Herbs (pink) – 1 scoop
Rejuvenate! (green) – 1 scoop
Rejuvenate! Original (blue label) – ½ scoop
Chia Seeds – 1 scoop (2 tbsp)
Glutamine – 1 scoop
BCAA – 1 scoop (most protein powder contains some BCAAs, but this gives me added recovery)
Chocolate protein powder – about 1–2 scoops (I use egg white protein powder or Vega Protein)
Bee pollen – 1 tbsp
Flaxseeds – 1 scoop
Hemp Hearts – 1 scoop

Irena Ossola juice cleansing superfoods recipes

My power smoothie is tasty after workouts or anytime.

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RACING ON REJUVENATE! SUPERFOODS

Irena Ossola professional bicycle racing

HPDI’s sponsored pro cyclist Irena Ossola is training and racing in Canada under coach Miroslaw Mazur. In June, she finished 1st in the Tour of Waterloo 133 km race (14th including men) and 3rd place in the Kitchener Twilight Crit. We post an update from her on the role nutritional supplements and superfoods play in her training regimen.

RACING ON REJUVENATE! SUPERFOODS

The past few weeks I have been going through the hardest training of my life, but I have also been recovering and feel the best I ever have. Multiple times a day I am on my bike, whether it is an easy spin, a hard workout, or racing in the area.

I am currently in Ontario, Canada, to train and race in an area where many Olympic level cyclists have developed. The first week here I was adjusting and felt the fatigue, and my body was continuously tired.

Irena Ossola racing in Canada

Here I am racing (and winning) in The Tour of Waterloo 133 km, Ontario, Canada

But I made sure to stay on top of my vitamin supplements and taking Rejuvenate! superfood after every exercise session, and because of this I have surprised my coach and myself.

Sometimes in everyday life we are unable to judge or know how something like food, activity, or stress affects our body. But, as a professional athlete, being on a strict, clean diet and controlled lifestyle of exercise and rest I am able to see how very small and specific changes affect me. I am able to recover quickly and feel renewed energy every day to get back out and work hard to get stronger.

This controlled lifestyle has helped me see how the products of Health Products Distributors have helped me develop and succeed in cycling.

By drinking a shake after my workout that includes Rejuvenate! (PLUS, Berries & Herbs, and/or Original), almond milk, chia seeds, ground flax seed, and protein powder, I feel my body recover much quicker then it normally would.

When traveling it can be difficult to schedule or remember to take supplements. But getting into a routine of timing early in the day or before bed can be a key to get or keep your body on point.

As an example, when I first wake up I take 2 Myo-Mag (magnesium), then another 2 before I workout. In the evening before bed, I take 2 Ultimate Protector (Nrf2 activator), 2 Omega Plus (EFA, includes fish oil and borage oil), 4 Mighty Multi-Vite! (multivitamin), and another 2 Myo-Mag.

I am excited for the rest of this racing season about how I am able to perform after such hard training that has gone well – thanks especially to Rejuvenate! superfoods.

Rejuvenate superfood shake bike racing

Rejuvenate! shakes are an integral part of my post-workout regimen.

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Learn more about Irena Ossola: www.OssolaSport.com

Compare Rejuvenate! Superfoods: http://www.integratedhealth.com/rejuvenate-comparison.html

Irena Ossola on IntegratedHealth.com: http://www.integratedhealth.com/irena-ossola-products.html

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ALL ABOUT THE BALANCE – MIND, BODY, AND NUTRITION

Irena Ossola

This month we highlight a recent article from the blog of pro women’s cyclist Irena Ossola, HPDI’s sponsored athlete. Irena works hard during the off-season to maintain balance in her life and regimen whether cross-training, working on her core, optimizing nutrition, or balancing (literally!) on double-stacked bozu balls.

ALL ABOUT THE BALANCE

Balance for strength. Balance for training. Balance for life.

Particularly in the off season it’s so important to work on balancing exercises for core, isolated muscle work, and for technique. Because so much of cycling and racing involves balancing on the bike, practicing and working on basic balance exercises is important. From being able to hold a track stand, to standing on the pedals as you climb a hill involves core strength and balancing on the bike. But even for non cyclists, balance exercises are great for strengthening and fitness.

Using a large yoga ball, bozu ball, or with foam pads you can do various drills and keep it fun too. A great trainer in Santa Fe, Michael Canning, has worked with me on various exercises and cyclist specific strengthening. Like in the pictures, pushing my boundaries of balance with these double stacked bozu balls.

Irena ossola balance bozu yoga ball

In training I have learned first hand over the past year that strictly riding can lead to problems. It’s important to give yourself the flexibility in training to change things up and also include cross training or other activities that help keep your body and mind in balance for the focus of training. Incorporating swimming, yoga, gym exercise, hiking, and other fun activities keep your body moving and gaining fitness while also giving it a break from pedaling or working 100% of the time. After suffering from a pinched nerve last year and back problems I make sure to include swimming, stretching and core into my training routine.

Balance in nutrition is also key to being able to feel good and train hard. Thanks to the Rejuvenate! superfoods and supplement products from Integrated Health I’ve been able to recover quicker and feel stronger after every workout. Even days of rest or lower activity I’ve seen the effects of eating clean and maintaining the fundamental basics of magnesium (which I’ve learned is soooo important for muscle function), a multivitaminomega’s, and a Nrf2 protector formula. Protein, fruits, and vegetables, and a balanced diet are the essentials for training consistently.

Leading your life simply focused on one destination or goal will always keep you in the future and not living the journey. The present moment is the best you’ll ever have and you never know what tomorrow will bring. Planning and goals are important, but also knowing that those goals will never be achieved without living now.

Since I spent a week in Tucson over Christmas, I’ve been back in Santa Fe working and training. The weather has been a bit back and forth between warm and cold. So when it’s cold, I’m inside on rollers/trainer, in the pool swimming, or in the gym. When it’s warmer out, I’ve been riding either my cross bike on trails or on the road, and hiking also. I’ve gone on a couple great all day hikes with Michael and my friend Hannah up to Baldie (a peak just behind the SF ski area). Such a great workout and something to mix things up in training. Here are some of the pics we got. :)

Irena hike balance

My friend Hannah and I on our hike adventure.

irena ossola headstand balance mount baldie

Headstand on top of the mountain.

Baldie Santa Fe balance hike

From the top of Baldie overlooking Santa Fe

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Irena originally posted this article on her blog (http://www.ossolasport.com/blog/) January 25, 2015. Read the article on her blog: http://www.ossolasport.com/blogirena/all-about-the-balance/