Change: Drinking Electrolytes

Skratch Secret Drink Mix

The single best hydration product that I’ve found.

If you’ve ever run with me, you know my feelings about Gatorade. I know that it’s the go-to sports drink on the market, but I can’t stand it. I hate the stickiness. I hate the taste. More importantly, I hate the ingredients.

No, really. Have you ever read a Gatorade label? Try to find a single ingredient that wasn’t cooked up in a lab. And god help you if you ever try to slip me the version with the artificial sweetener. That stuff is so gross that I had to spit it into a bush.

Look, I’m not going to tell you that I have the perfect diet. I don’t. I’ll eat my bear claw at the coffee shop on Sunday. I have pints of Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer. But for the most part, I eat real food.

I’ve spent the last three Team in Training seasons trying to find a palatable source of calories and electrolytes. I’ve been using GU and Honey Stinger packs, but if we’re completely honest, the gel texture is nauseating. Sport beans and chews are more palatable, but they’re a guaranteed way to give myself stomach cramps. Products like Nuun are too carbonated for my liking, and if I’m really honest, I don’t want a calorie-free drink. I need the calories to keep me going. And I’d prefer to drink my calories because I need to stay hydrated and don’t want to eat something separate when I’m out on course.

What’s a girl to do?

Earlier in the season, a friend recommended that I try the Secret Drink Mix from Skratch Labs. I read the website.

Instead of making an “orange” drink, I made a drink with real oranges. Instead of making sweet syrupy bars, I made savory cakes with sushi rice.  And it worked. The athletes stopped complaining about feeling sick, bloated, and nasty from the synthetic gut rot that normally plagued them. Most importantly, with better hydration and better fuel they started feeling and performing better.

Last week, I read an interview with Skratch founder Dr. Allen Lim, who says, “We offer an all-natural sports drink that – for lack of a better term – isn’t a chemical shit show.” I like this guy.

This sounded really appealing. But would it work?

I finally took the plunge and ordered some. I don’t know about you, but I’m always a little reluctant to try new stuff, especially out on a long workout. Maybe I’m unusually gun-shy after a particularly bad outing where I was in an open field in the middle of nowhere with the worst running-related stomach cramps that I’ve ever experienced. I don’t want a repeat of that performance.

My first test of it was during our 9-mile Nike course preview run. I ran for nearly two hours with nothing but Skratch in my hydration belt. No backup GU, no emergency food.

For what may have been the first time ever, I finished a long run without feeling completely depleted. I had no stomach cramps and no horrid aftertaste in my mouth.

The clouds parted. The angels sang.

Ok, maybe not that exactly, but it was a revelation. I’ve never felt so good afterward.

Since then, I’ve tested it out on a few other runs and a long bike ride. Still no adverse effects, and still just as happy as the first day.

And for an additional perspective, I give you the Tiny Kitchen Assistant: “That fizzy stuff tastes like spray cleaner got in my mouth. I don’t like that. But this stuff… maybe I could take some with me to soccer?”

Skratch Labs, you’ve found yourselves a new loyal customer (or two).

* Disclaimer: I bought my own Skratch Labs drink mix (I adore the pineapple!) and was not compensated in any way. I write this review of my own free will because the product kicks ass. You’re welcome.

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