sports drinks. So Allen started making his own. He included just what you need to replace what you sweat, and he left out all of the other junk. The result was mixes mildly flavored with dehydrated fruit that are gentle on your stomach and very effective. Allen was also making foods for the athletes to take the place of sugar-laden energy bars. Realizing that there was a need for these products, Skratch Labs was founded so that athletes could do it on their own. The Hydration mixes and two books, “The Feed Zone” and “Feed Zone Portables” provide you with a great variety of foods and drinks to keep you properly fueled for all of your adventures.
Their mission is simple – “to develop and sell food and drink products based on real world science and practice that taste great, that are made from real ingredients, and that optimize performance for both sport and life.”
Right now Skratch Labs offers four levels of hydration mixes all based on the amount of hydration help you will need. They start with their Daily Electrolyte Mix that is low on the sodium and high on the fruit. It is very tasty so that you can easily stay hydrated everyday. This is available in Lemons + Limes and Raspberries.
The Exercise Hydration Mix replaces fluid and electrolytes. It has the right blend of calories and sodium to fuel active muscles and absorb quickly. There are 6 flavors of the Exercise mix. Lemons + Limes is the most popular, followed by Raspberries, Oranges, Pineapples (the sleeper hit and staff favorite), Matcha Green Tea with Lemons (with caffeine), and the winter favorite of Apples and Cinnamon that is designed to be consumed hot, the perfect solution to hydrating on a cold day. If you are splitboarding or cold weather paddleboarding, a thermos of hot Apples and Cinnamon will warm you from the inside out and provide what you need to stay hydrated.
There is a Rescue Hydration Mix that is created to rehydrate adults and children who are already dehydrated. If you find yourself dehydrated from overexertion, illness, or too many cocktails, this will be an important step in your road to recovery. Hydration is one of the most important factors in getting better, and Rescue mix will help you get there. This formulation is available in Lemons + Limes.
Last but not least is the Hyper Hydration Mix. This is not for everyone. It is for people who are going to put themselves in extremely challenging conditions without the ability to replace all of the fluids being lost in another way. It is loaded with sodium (so proceed with caution if you have any sodium issues) and that encourages your body to increase its sodium and water reserves. If you are going to be spending “serious time and energy in the pain cave” this might be for you. This formula is flavored with mangos.
We started using Skratch Labs while training for the 34-mile Cape Cod Bay Challenge (CCBC) paddle marathon. We tried it early on to test how we would feel and how it would taste. We were pleasantly surprised. It’s not too sweet, the flavors are mild but real and tasty, and it never bothered either of our stomachs. For an endeavor such as the CCBC that means 10 hours of paddling, water alone wasn’t going to cut it. So we drank Skratch mixes early and often. The individual packets are very convenient for when you are on the go. And the larger bag is a great value when you are able to mix ahead of time. As promised, we never experienced any stomach upset or icky, lingering taste after.
The Feed Zone books are also great resources. You can only eat so many candy bars disguised as “energy bars” before they are just sickening. There are over 200 recipes between the two books and they range from savory to sweet. Many are very easy to make and they are a great alternative to the highly processed options on the shelf. There are even gluten free and vegetarian options.
The Skratch Labs line offers many great additions to your exercise regime. No one wants to have to think too much about hydrating themselves….Skratch does that for you. Just pick your favorite flavor and hit the trail.