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Silence. That's all Dr. Allen Lim heard when he knew he had arrived at a solution. No longer were his Garmin riders complaining of the headaches and bloated stomachs that had plagued them for so long. Lim had spent countless hours mixing formulas in buckets to create not a product, but a solution that was informally dubbed Secret Drink Mix, or SDM. Why a secret? Because word had spread through the peloton that Lim had perfected a hydration solution that was effective and delicious, and it led to many pros pouring out the electrolyte-heavy, overly sweetened beverages provided by their sponsors and replacing it with Lim's contraband. Fortunately for us, the secret is out, and Lim is offering this pro-developed and battle-tested solution to the world. It's now called the Exercise Hydration Mix, from Lim's Boulder, Colorado-based Skratch Labs.

Unlike many sports drinks, which are formulated around electrolyte or caloric replenishment during physical exertion, the Exercise Mix focuses on keeping your body's sodium levels carefully regulated. Lim discovered that the rampant headaches plaguing his pro riders were not induced by a lack of fluids, but rather, 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 Exercise 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 Exercise 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, glucose, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, calcium citrate, magnesium citrate, freeze dried fruit, citric acid (a natural preservation agent 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 Exercise 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 Exercise Mix uses real lemons, limes, oranges, and raspberries, 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 halfway into your race. It means you're not just getting a 'flavor' of lemon or orange, you're getting actual lemons and oranges 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 Exercise Hydration Mix has a slightly higher salt content, making it Skratch Labs' on-bike mix, best used for periods when your heart rate is up and you're sweating. Because this mix has a supremely high absorption rate and is not a natural diuretic, it's excellent as a preventative measure against dehydration while you ride, when you stop at an aid station, or immediately after your workout or race, because you can drink a larger volume of it at a time without painful bloating. This is due in part to the drink's exceptionally low levels of acidity, and lack of chemically-enhanced flavors.

The Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix is available in Lemon Lime, Orange, or Raspberry. Each one-pound package should provide approximately twenty (23 grams dry), 500ml servings.

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Here's what others have to say...

3 5

Not too sweet

Flavor seems to make or break the popularity of a sports drink. Nice light flavor, not too sweet. Ziploc closure is a nice feature but the opening is too small to get to the bottom of the bag. Pour it into a tupperware and pitch the bag.

5 5

The only hydration for me...

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Long days in the saddle call for an hydration supplement that be consumed for hours without giving you gut rot. This is the only one that works for me. I like all the flavors, but Pineapple is my favorite. Use Skratch Labs Hydration Mix for exercise only...not like a juice or soda...too sweet.

5 5

Just believe everything you read...

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Excellent taste. No gut rot. Superb hydration/rehydration. Better than anything out there that you have tried!!! If you haven't, you owe it to yourself to try it.

5 5

Improved performance, love the taste!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This product has made a world of difference for me in long distance events - both training and racing. I had repeat issues with hyponatremia (low sodium) using water and salt pills, and finally ended up in the hospital. I switch to Skratch labs exercise mix, and not only did it resolve those issues, it resolved my "gut rot" stomach issues and improved my performance tremendously!!! Plus I love the taste, especially the pineapple. I race Ironman triathlons, and this has been a lifesaver.

5 5

fantastic hydration mix!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

simply the best hydration product on the market. I'm a competitive climber, and I never go to the gym or the crag without Skratch. it tastes great, it's flavored with real fruit, and it's got the right balance of electrolytes and just enough sugar to give you what you need and nothing that you don't.

I used to struggle with major stomach issues from sports drinks that were just way too sugary. Skratch solved that, and I feel great during and after training sessions, competitions, or projecting days in the heat.

whether you're a runner or cyclist or climber or surfer, whatever your activity of choice is, Skratch will keep you hydrated, happy, and kickin'!

4 5

Yum! Yum!

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This drink tastes great. Really seems to hydrate me better than water or other drinks I've used in the past. Strawberry tastes good. I just purchased Pineapple, and also Lemon Lime.

5 5

Wouldn't Use Anything Else!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I always avoided hydration products because I hate the artificial colors, ingredients and additives that most of them have and the slimy coating they leave in your mouth because of the high carbohydrate %, but Skratch doesn't have any un-necessary ingredients nor does it leave your mouth coated in sugar. It's lower Carb % is perfect for me and every flavor is the best thing ever on a long ride. I love mixing 1/2 & 1/2 raspberry and lemon/lime.

5 5

best training mix around!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

having tried most hydration mixes on the market, i have had the most success with skratch labs. be it swimming, hiking, running, cycling, etc. this product gets the job done and tastes the best!

5 5

Makes high-altitude training easier!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have tried just about every hydration product out there and Skratch is the only one that has truly worked. As a high-altitude endurance athlete who sweats a lot and has a sensitive stomach, Skratch does not use any artificial preservatives or colors. Its all-natural flavors are very easy to digest, leaving me without any cramps for the first time. It has a prime ratio of electrolytes and enough calories to help optimize my performance during long 12+ hour days out climbing high mountains. I also instantly noticed my times improving by at least 5-8 minutes while out on long bike rides as well. I will not go back to anything else!

5 5

Skratch Rules!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I was introduced to Skratch about a year and a half ago and I've been hooked ever since. I used to get dry mouth when rock climbing, especially during hot weather. With Skratch, I no longer have dry mouth probably because I'm actually absorbing the water! The stuff tastes great and is made from real ingredients. You won't get those sugar headaches like you do with other sports drinks. I feel as if I perform better and longer with Skratch. My favorites are Lemons and Limes Exercise mix, Daily Lemons and Limes, and the Hot Apples and Cinnamon.

5 5

Simple the best

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The best sport drink on the market. Tastes amazing, hydrated, and is packed with all the good stuff like really fruit.

5 5

(Review in French) :)

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Tr�s digeste, une liste ingr�dient parfaite et un go�t absolument d�licieux !!!
La boisson avec de l'ananas est celle qui a le go�t le plus "sucr�" c'est vraiment super super bon !!!!

J'utilise les livres FEEDZONE COOKBOOK et les produits Skratch depuis un an... Finis les maux de ventre apr�s les courses et les entra�nement � causes des barres, des gels et des boissons trop sucr�s !
Honn�tement c'est la meilleure chose que j'ai mis en place pour mon entra�nement!

"GET REAL" !!

5 5

Savior on long training events/rides

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I use this product religiously for all my long training rides and races. I put some scoops in my hydration pack or bottle and sip on it as I go. The flavor is pleasant and not overly strong. Plus its all natural! This product has got me through some tough races including the Leadville 100, Dirty Kanza 200 and Ironman! I am a true believer. The individual packets are also handy for taking with you on long rides.

5 5

The Best

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Skratch mix is the best hydration solution, period. Time and time again, Skratch has fueled a ride, and it's never let me down. I've downed an entire bottle post ride and never felt bloated or uncomfortably full. At Ironman 70.3 Kansas, I didn't drink any water at all and instead relied on raspberry Skratch to power through the heat and humidity. I like to take a 20oz bottle and put in 1 scoop of raspberry and 1/3 a scoop of lemon/lime for the perfect raspberry lemonade in the summer.

5 5

Skratch is Awesome!!

Skratch Drink Mix is the BEST!!!

5 5

Skratch is the Bomb!

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Love this stuff. Also use the daily hydration mix for off the bike drinking. This stuff works and is not full of crap like many store brands. Apples & Cinnamon flavor rocks warm with a little bourbon (on or off the bike) especially during cold winter rides - keeps mixture from freezing and quite a few times I was the only one with liquid instead of ice by the end of ride!

5 5

Easy on the Tummy

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have a sensitive stomach when it comes to using sports drinks during intense workouts or races. Skratch Labs has been the most gentle on my stomach compared to other drink mixes. I like the Lemon-Lime flavor especially. It is not too sweet, does not leave a lingering aftertaste (e.g. it has a clean taste), and provides much needed electrolyte supplementation when running in the hot summers of Utah. What I like most about Skratch is that it is made from natural ingredients (no "Natural Flavors" or chemicals), which is probably why I my stomach tolerates it so well.

Good for Riding and Parties

Good for Riding and Parties

Posted on

Skratch Drink Mix is not an average electrolyte sports drink, it is actually more about the sodium levels and intake and the fact that they use real fruits for flavoring. It has 4 times the amount of sodium and less sugars allowing it to actually fully hydrate you while riding. Its my personal go to for any biking and skiing. One other reason its my favorite is that it does not have tons of fake sugary substitutes so it doesn't leave a filmy taste in your mouth. ALSO, its great for apres and can be enjoyed with all your friends!
Skratch-a-rita Recipe:
1 Gallon Lemonade
1 Gallon Limeade
5 scoops of Skratch
Tequila (you choose how much)
Fresh Limes

Enjoy~

Responded on

Cheers Carly !!!

I selected this image to feature on the homepage in our Activity Feed!

3 5

expensive for average performance

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I purchased the Lemon lime flavor and enjoy the light not too sugary taste. I have to echo however, an opinion from another review, for me I have not noticed any huge difference in hydration, or improved endurance. Plain water and electrolyte capsules will have the same effect, for less $$$. Lastly, the opening is so small, I can barely get my hand into the bag. Petite women may not have this problem.

5 5

The best

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've only tried the raspberry but it's not overly sweet and syrupy like some "sports drinks" which is a nice change. I also like the short and natural ingredient list. The bits of raspberry in the mix add some texture to the drink which I don't mind. Works well at keeping me
hydrated during long rides. Would deffinately recommend

Just got the pineapple and it's delicious, lighter than the raspberry perfect for these hotter months.

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