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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've used
I am an endurance cyclist and I have tried many powders over the years. This works best. Besides keeping my electrolyte level up, it does not upset my stomach as other formulations do. Its flavoring is low-key and so I don't get OD'ed on sweetness and flavor over a day's ride. I can't emphasize enough how easy Skratch is on the stomach. I suppose it's because of the...
Published on December 9, 2012 by LesB

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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, but way overpriced.There are much cheaper alternatives.
One pound of skratch will make 20 16 oz drinks and costs around 20 bucks. 2 pounds of Cliff shot will cost you under $15.
One scoop of skratch contains 80 cal, 20 gm of carbs, 280 mg of sodium and 50 mg of potassium and that makes 16 ounces.
One scoop of Cliff contains also 80 cal, 19gm of carbs, less sodium at 200 mg and 50 mg of potassium - 80 mg less sodium-...
Published 14 months ago by BaToChan


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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've used, December 9, 2012
I am an endurance cyclist and I have tried many powders over the years. This works best. Besides keeping my electrolyte level up, it does not upset my stomach as other formulations do. Its flavoring is low-key and so I don't get OD'ed on sweetness and flavor over a day's ride. I can't emphasize enough how easy Skratch is on the stomach. I suppose it's because of the all-natural ingredients, especially the sugar.

A word of caution: This formulation hardens with moisture accumulation. Keep in a container that is well-sealed or you will find the powder hardened into a solid next time you go to use it.

I use that quality of the product to my advantage. I fill the compartments of a silicone rubber ice cube tray with the measure amount and let it sit a week or 2. I can hasten the process by adding a drop of water to each section. These harden into dissolvable rocks that are much easier to deal with out on the road than powder. This works a little better actually if I put a half-measure in each tray compartment.

I find this to be a great advantage for convenience and time saving. It's important to use a silicone rubber ice cube tray, because with a plastic tray the formulation will stick to the tray when hardened and be difficult to remove. I got the silicone rubber tray at the Daiso brick 'n mortar store for a buck-fifty. Also available at Amazon at a higher price.

This product is pricey, but worth it considering the importance of hydration and electrolytes and carbs when out on a training ride.
-------------------------------------------------
I'm adding to the review after a few more months usage.

I found an easy way to make the "rocks". I set the ice tray mentioned above into a pan with a quarter inch of water in it, leave it for a day. That creates a humid environment that makes perfect rocks.

On my favorite ride, there is one particular incline 20 miles in, where I usually get cramps. So far that has not happened with Skratch.

Another advantage of this powder compared to others is that it is very convenient to mix. It does not bunch up on the bottom and takes a minimum of shaking the bottle to get it to mix in.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally an electrolyte mix with no GI issues that tastes natural, October 8, 2013
By 
Caroline Hemenway (Virginia , United States) - See all my reviews
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I am preparing for my third Ironman and got sickly tired of Gatorade and the like, so cloying that water chasers didn't take the lingering "fake" taste away. These electrolyte/big-dump-of-calories drinks also made me bloaty and gassy. I needed something I could live with for 120-mile rides and 20+ mile runs. That would metabolize readily. I was looking for a combination of nutrition, hydration, and electrolyte replacement that would "trickle-feed" me so I'd never bonk. Tour de France athletes have this nailed. I weigh 120 lbs and found I'm really sensitive to energy intake. If I don't take all this in religiously, on schedule, I'll find myself on a long false flat or 7% grade with my legs having filled with empty CO2 cartridges somewhere back there and that next grassy knoll ahead inviting me for a nap.

I discovered Skratch Labs in a great little bike shop (Blue Sky Bicycles in Saratoga Springs NY, to be exact) before a 50-mile hilly ride last summer and tried the Raspberry. WHAT a difference!! (PS: I have no dog in this fight. My review is based on my personal experience using this on several very long rides/runs, tried after having read the info on the website and talking with other athletes.)

First, it has a very mild, pleasant, light natural taste. Something like putting a little lemon in water. Even at higher concentrations. It feels more thirst-quenching than anything else I'd imbibed. And it is a far less sticky mess to clean off the bike afterwards. (The below all applies to runs, too.)

Second, it's all I need in the aero water cage throughout the ride and I don't have to switch between it and pure water. It does settle on the bottom some but I have fun channeling my inner child and blowing a few bubbles to swirl it around before drinking. No problem.

Third, it does not have the calories all the other drinks do, so I can manage my calorie intake separately and control it better. I've always been wary of "all-in-one" solutions: Triathletes do NOT practice this in any other area of training. Why should we with what is probably the single most important aspect of training apart from doing the time: Nutrition?

Fourth, and maybe most critically: This drink was tuned for our natural gut osmolality. (See the website for info.)

Fifth, I haven't needed salt tabs since then, if ever I did. (I became skeptical of their value after reading Waterlogged by Timothy Noakes.) Combined with what's in my "food," I have all I need. I sweat to salt-film after long, hot rides anyway. With salt tabs, I had to fight off the wildlife, I was such a salt lick. We know our body simply expels electrolytes it doesn't need, so why take in so much it has to work to do that? Noakes points out that we naturally have an extraordinarily well-tuned chemical system for an enormous range of weather and activities. Why mess with what works?

Sixth, this drink was recommended by many endurance cyclists I know who also swore by Feed Zone recipes to ingest "real" food that had sufficient calories in a way your body can metabolize during events. So I tried "real" food on several long rides and runs along with Skratch Labs, and I felt better than I EVER have. The most recent 130-mile bike ride went with zero GI hitches of any kind and with zero energy dips; a first for me. I kept a high concentration in one bottle and fed it into the other two, adding water along the way as we would at water stations.

Caveats:

You DO have to get your calories another way. (Skratch Labs points this out and has suggestions on why this is better and how to get it done.) I have trouble eating anything dry in races, like bonk breakers or Mojo bars or even vaunted Stinger Waffles. But rice balls (rolled with all kinds of different yummy stuff, a la Feed Zone) and "smashed sandwich cubes" (for me, almond/honey/banana spread on raisin bread and smashed flat for easy transport) go down easy and feel "normal." I also swear by Honey Stinger Gels, which have an outstanding carb-to-calorie ratio and are virtually natural and get chased away with a couple swigs of water.

You also have to store bulk quantities carefully if you don't want it to turn into a rock. I found that a wide-mouth water flask (they usually have a rubber seal) or mason jar works well. I put extra scoops in snack bags for rides. Some say you can put the powder in an ice tray and "freeze" it, then throw a cube in your water bottle.

Regardless of your other nutrition/hydro program, this is worth trying. Go to the website and check out the ingredients and science. And forums for reviews. If you don't like it, there surely are hungry athletes waiting for freebies in your circle of friends!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but grainy, July 24, 2013
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I've been using this mix for about two years and really like it. I find it especially good for bike rides of over 40 miles when I'm the most susceptible to cramping. Allen Lim designed this mix to be easy on the stomach and combat cramping, so in that respect it's certainly been effective. One of the key ingredients in reducing cramping, though, is calcium. This means that the mix doesn't dissolve as easily as others because the calcium dissolves more slowly. After pouring in the water, you will most likely see suspended calcium particles. If you use cold water, these particles will survive long into your ride. By the time you get down to the bottom of the bottle, the mix starts to taste rather gritty.

I've tried to figure out a way to eliminate this gritty texture. The most successful strategy has been to mix the powder with a little bit of lukewarm water and then let it sit overnight. The day of your ride/run/exercise, you can add cold water and/or ice cubes. I only buy the mix in individual packets because it's very susceptible to moisture and will, as other reviewers have mentioned, turn solid. In my experience, even keeping it in an airtight container isn't enough.

I've tried the lemon/lime flavor, which is nice and light. This isn't a mix that will taste sugary, although it does tend to leave your mouth feeling a little puckered after a couple hours of drinking it. The flavors are also natural, so you won't get that artificial flavor you might be used to with other sports drinks. This can take a little getting used to. For instance, the orange flavor tastes a little like tomatoes to me. Not that I'm complaining! This is good stuff.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, but way overpriced.There are much cheaper alternatives., November 5, 2013
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One pound of skratch will make 20 16 oz drinks and costs around 20 bucks. 2 pounds of Cliff shot will cost you under $15.
One scoop of skratch contains 80 cal, 20 gm of carbs, 280 mg of sodium and 50 mg of potassium and that makes 16 ounces.
One scoop of Cliff contains also 80 cal, 19gm of carbs, less sodium at 200 mg and 50 mg of potassium - 80 mg less sodium- not enough??? - add few specks of salt.
Skratch has 20 scoops and and Cliff has 45 scoops (skratch scoop is 22gm and cliff is 20gm).
If you follow Skratch dilution directions of one scoop per 16 ounces - skratch will give 20 drinks and CLiff - 45 ! for less money.
and Cliff uses 91% organic products - if you care about this stuff.
UNFORTUNATELY for Cliff they have bad dilution directions - their directions ask to put 2.5 of their scoops in 16 oz - which give you 500 mg of salt. That is way too concentrated, Skratch just makes their drinks more dilute - BUT IT'S PRETTY MUCH THE SAME.
The ranges of consumption during heavy exercise are: approx. 16-32oz of water and 200-400 mg of sodium PER HOUR.

Of course if you want to do even a better sport drink on your own - get saltstick capsules 100 for $20, open them up and dump it in to the bottle, add sugar and lemon juice for taste - that will give 100 16 oz servings for under $30.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Skratch good product, January 21, 2013
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Really liked the flavor, and consistency after mixing (no residual solution mix). Product should be stored in a dry, moisture free container as the locking top did not work well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars king of cheap triathlete, November 7, 2013
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SkratchLabs orange is an alright product. As an active triathlete, I am always looking for an economical way to fulfill my hydration needs. That quest has lead me to try many different products.

my personal all time favorite being the Melon flavored HEED by hammer Nutrition. Heed however, costs about $1.37 per water bottle, which holds two servings. As I mentioned, I am very active, so $1.37 a bottle adds up quite quickly. So, I tried Powerbar Perform, which came out to 70 cents a bottle. However, you get what you pay for. You can read my not so great review of the PB Perform. So, my quest for a good hydration drink at a good price has lead me to Skratchlabs. The pineapple tasted like... well, lets just say sports drinks never taste good, regardless of the marketing hype. So, after my disappointment with the pineapple taste I was reluctant to try the Orange flavor. I only bought another bag of this because it's coming out to a dollar a bottle.

The orange is actually ok, not good, because as I said these drinks never taste "good." So, Orange is "ok", it tastes like watered down orange juice. The kind of orange juice that is served at school cafeterias and are labeled "no real juice" on the carton. Ah, childhood flashbacks.

As far as the drink goes. it's not super sugary and doesn't give me sugar phlegm like a jolly rancher (or the power bar perform). So far I haven't cramped up during training or racing. The caloric value is real low so don't count on this drink for calories. You'll definitely need to supplement with gels or solids.

For now Skratchlabs mediocre flavoring and $1 a bottle price point have my attention. We'll see what the latest fad drink will be. If it's cheap i'll probably be giving it a try. Until then it looks like I have found a new staple in my triathlon hydration.

UPDATE: i just tried the lemon lime flavor. So, far it's the best one I've had from Skratch Labs. Raspberry was terrible! I only finished the bag of Raspberry because i'm a cheap triathlete and just couldn't throw away unused drink mix.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, January 10, 2014
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Skratch Labs Exercise hydration mix is absolutely fantastic! A few months ago i started riding my bike to school, over 10 miles each way. Just drinking water wasn't cutting it for me. So after a few weeks of researching for a hydration mix to use for riding to and from school i found Skratch.
I am a 6'2" guy with a very fast metabolism. I already need to stay on top of my electrolytes so that i stay hydrated, and not get so easily light headed, throughout the day. Now with my added daily biking, i really need a good electrolyte supplement.
I am kind of a "health nazi" to begin with, so when i saw the all natural of this product it instantly grabbed my attention. The all natural Skratch hydration mix not only support my health conscience, but also does NOT stain my camel back bladder with artificial flavors/coloring. (I like that :D)
Some concerns with this mix is that it doesn't fully dissolve, which is due to the natural calcium (certainly needed). This really had my attention because i was afraid that it would clog my bladder. Well i took the chance and after months of using it i have not had a problem with clogging!
Like i said i have been using it for months now, and it has been absolutely wonderful! kKeep me completely hydrated! I dont get that sticky-choking spit from lots of sugar. I feel better. And my bladder stays stain free!
Oh and i would like to add that since ive started using Skratch, I got my mom and girlfriend hooked on it!!

Great product! Cheers to Skratch Labs!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great taste, April 14, 2013
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Really good, 1st time trying this out, feeling better with hard workouts. I use to pretty much feel like I was done, better hydrated now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Tasty, not sticky like gatorade, December 2, 2012
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I decided to give the skratch labs "Secret Drink Mix" a try after I ran out of my previous drink mix (http://www.amazon.com/Powerbar-Ironman-Performance-Beverage-System/dp/B005JASX2I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1354515789&sr=8-2&keywords=ironman+drink+mix). The price is hardly competitive considering most drink mixes are about $15 for 2 pounds, not $20 including shipping for 1 pound. But it's pretty damn good. Doesn't taste overly sugary or sticky like most mixes do. It has a distinct "floral" fruity taste, as a result of the use of actual fruit ingredients. It's kind of weird at first, but extremely refreshing late into a ride when you typically get sick of the sticky sugary taste of other mixes. The other weird thing about this mix is that it doesn't seem to dissolve 100%, meaning that the last dregs of your bottle will have some fruity sediment at the bottom that will seem a bit gritty. By no means is this gross or uncomfortable to drink, it's just somewhat unusual. I'm on the fence about buying more because of the price premium but if given my choice of free drink mix for a season, I'd definitely choose this stuff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good sports drink, November 17, 2012
By 
J. Sprague (Eugene, OR United States) - See all my reviews
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At first I wasn't so sure about the sweetness of the mix, but the more I use it the more I like it. I appreciate that it's a "natural" product and has no soy in it.
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Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix - One Pound
$19.25 - $33.32
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