When it comes to sports drinks there is no shortage of products from which to choose. I’ve tried a lot of them but generally I found them too sweet, too salty, or just generally unpalatable. After a while I got tired of the playing the “this drink is the best performance drink in the world” game and settled on filling my bottles with plain water for my rides.
About a year or so ago I heard about a new drink product named “Secret Drink Mix”. The thing that caught my attention about this drink was that the guy behind it was Allen Lim, who is a noted sports physiologist. Since I was familiar with Mr. Lim’s work with ProTour riders, I decided to give the drink a try.
My first impression of the drink mix was good: it was not overly sweet like many of the others and it was made with natural ingredients (including real fruit for the fruit flavor). I used “Secret Drink Mix” for a while but it didn’t seem to be doing much for me, so I didn’t re-order (plus I wasn’t able to cycle for many months after being hit by a truck while riding my bike, but that’s another story).
Eventually “Secret Drink Mix” became “Exercise Hydration Mix” and the company became Skratch Labs.
Over time I kept reading positive reviews of the drink mix, so I decided to give it another try. A change I made this time was that when cycling I began to drink more frequently than I had before. Interestingly, this made a difference and I felt that the Skratch drink mix had a beneficial effect.
Because the mix is not overly sweet it’s easy to keep drinking and the constant small boost of carbohydrates and electrolytes probably helps reduce the feeling of fatigue. Also, unlike many sports drinks, the Skratch Labs drink does not seem to cause gastrointestinal issues while drinking it over the course of a longer ride.
While everyone is different, based on my own experience and based on the positive reviews by others, I suggest that you consider giving the drink a try.
If you do place an order, I recommend that you obtain a container to keep the drink mix powder in. The bags that the powder ship in have a “zip-lock” type of sealing system, but I’ve never been able to get it to work very well (it seems like the bags were always open whenever I took them out of the cupboard).
Skratch Labs does sell a storage jar which is mason jar which seals tightly via a clasp and which has the Skratch Labs logo on the front (see photo above). I bought a jar for each flavor of mix that I use and they do work well, but the logo is just a sticker on the front so I don’t know how well it will hold up long term (I guess it will depend upon how you clean the jars). Also, the “Pineapples” and “Lemons & Limes” flavors look the same in the jar, so if you use both you’ll probably want to mark one of the jars somehow (it would have been a nice idea if they included stickers for each of the flavors that you could attach to a jar).
Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Drink Mix now accompanies me on each bike ride and while it probably won’t get me on the Tour de France podium, it does seem to help keep me hydrated on the road.