What you put in your bottle and how attentive you are to drinking it is directly related to how well the training session turns out and how good you feel at the end of it (believe me; I have first-hand experience of this). Not attending to your nutrition while training and racing can cause issues like much-dreaded cramping and bonking, making cycling not so much fun.
Skratch Labs exercise hydration mix (brought in by PureMotion Sports) is a product developed in the USA and they claim that for years “top athletes have been secretly replacing their sponsors’ products with drink mix made from Skratch.”
I have tested the drink during a variety of training sessions (although I haven’t yet raced on it) and the bottom line is that I think it is a fantastic product!
The long and the short of it:
A 500ml bottle of Skratch Labs exercise hydration mix provides you with:
0g total fat
I like the idea behind the product which is that it hydrates one – replacing the fluids and electrolytes lost when you sweat – while having just enough calories in it to keep your muscles working. It is flavoured with real fruit and contains no artificial colours or preservatives.
I have been taught to have breakfast before training and this is something I pretty much always adhere to. So often I won’t start a session depleted and I don’t feel as though I need all the calories and carbs in a full-on sports drink. So I like that Skratch Labs isn’t overloaded in calories and I can use the drink on an easy recovery spin, an intense interval session or a long ride.
That being said, the idea is that you drink your drink and eat your calories. So for a long ride you would ideally have Skratch Labs in your bottle and a bar or banana in your pocket. [Stay tuned for a review on Pro Bar which Pure Motion Sports will be bringing in later this year]
I am not a fan of drinking water on the bike so I like the fact that it is lightly flavoured by real fruit and the flavour is nice enough that I am encouraged to drink it. It also doesn’t taste like electrolytes (that distinctive electrolyte fizz flavour that many low-cal electrolyte drinks have).
I don’t generally have a problem with cramping (I was once told that I don’t sweat much for a big girl [!!?!!]), but if you are prone to cramping then this could be the exercise drink for you.
Ingredients in the pineapple version which I tried:
Cane sugar, dextrose, sodium citrate, citric acid, pineapples, magnesium lactate, calcium citrate, potassium citrate, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).
Take-away facts: optimal hydration, no artificial colours or preservatives, enough calories to keep muscles working, low sweetness, natural flavour
Price: R270 for a resealable bag of 20 x 500ml servings
It can be ordered off the PureMotion website: www.puremotionsports.co.za