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The Everyday Hydration Mix from Boulder, Colorado-based Skratch Labs wasn't born out of a desire to fill a product gap in the increasingly crowded sports nutrition market; it was created on hotel countertops and in the kitchens of tour buses as a solution for a growing problem. The year was 2009, and Dr. Allen Lim was working for Garmin-Slipstream. His riders complained constantly of headaches and were plagued with stomach problems stemming from improper hydration. But, the problem didn't stem from not drinking enough, rather that the riders weren't putting the right fluids in their bodies, and the results were painful and immediately apparent.

Unlike many sports drinks, which are formulated around electrolyte or caloric replenishment before or during exercise, the Everyday Mix focuses on a pre-emptive hydration strike to ensure your body's sodium levels are optimized before physical exertion. Lim discovered that the rampant headaches that were plaguing his whining pro riders were not induced by a lack of fluids, but from a lack of sodium -- a very typical symptom of dehydration. Essentially, your kidneys regulate fluid retention based on the body's concentration of sodium. When sodium concentration is high, your body is forced to hold on to that fluid to dilute it. But when your sodium levels get too low (ie: through sweat loss), the opposite happens and your kidneys must expel that fluid. Lim's mix is designed to keep your body's sodium balance carefully regulated, maintaining hydration while also slowing diuresis. With diuresis slowed, you'll be able to pre-hydrate and drink more before a race without needing to make those three inopportune bathroom breaks right before your call-up. If these concepts around a sodium-based formula sound familiar, that's because they are -- Lim's drink mix contains nearly four times the amount of sodium in many convenience-store sports drinks, putting it on par with emergency-grade rehydration salt formulas like Pedialyte, and those used by the World Health Organization to combat severe dehydration.

The athletes that helped Lim develop the Everyday Mix weren't just complaining of headaches. They were also suffering from severe stomach bloating and flavor fatigue. The second half of Lim's solution was to ensure his drink was easy and pleasurable to consume day in and day out. To accomplish this, every ingredient from the Everyday Mix is naturally occurring or naturally sourced from real fruit, which ensures you're not putting anything in your body that's been chemically formulated or enhanced. In short, if it wasn't here on this earth before you were, Dr. Lim and his team refused to use it. The ingredients are: sucrose, sodium citrate, glucose, potassium citrate, magnesium citrate, freeze dried lemons and limes, citric acid (from pure lime juice), and ascorbic acid. Notice the pronounced absence of the 'natural flavors' found in so many other sports drinks. Part of what makes the Everyday Mix so uniquely palatable even during prolonged periods of exercise and constant re-hydration is the lack of a savoring agent. Generally, chemically-derived flavoring agents like those ominous natural flavors tend to remain on your palate, causing flavor fatigue, and in larger doses, wreak havoc on your gut. The Everyday Mix uses real lemons and limes, which are freeze-dried and pounded into powder. This creates a refreshing, super-clean flavor that's easy on your stomach without a lingering aftertaste that wears out its welcome long into your race. This ensures you're not just getting a 'flavor' of lemon and lime, you're getting actual lemons and limes in the mix. This is one of the many fundamental breakthroughs behind the Skratch Labs drink mixes. Whether you're staying hydrated during a 24-hour endurance race, or re-hydrating after a grueling criterium, they simply taste great.

Lim and his team created two drink mixes, optimizing each for different levels of physical exertion. This Everyday Hydration Mix has a slightly lower salt content, making it Skratch Labs' before exertion or off-bike mix, best used for the evening or hours before a race when it's critical to pre-hydrate. It's also slightly lower in calories, but higher in electrolytes to ensure your body is ideally equipped to perform. The drink's high absorption rate and smooth drinkability allow you to ingest large amounts of it without suffering any nasty digestive after-effects. This is also due in part to the drink's exceptionally low levels of acidity, and lack of any chemically-enhanced flavors.

The Everyday Hydration Mix is available in an all-natural Lemon Lime flavor. Each one-pound package should provide approximately twenty (23 grams dry), 500ml servings.

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    I got the raspberry flavor and can't decide if I like the flavor or not. It's a really light flavor so it's different from the other sports drinks I've used.

    It seemed to do the job while riding. I had plenty of energy and I like the higher sodium content. I'd recommend giving it a shot.