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Trial Store


Naturally flavored, oral hydration products from Skratch Labs. Please ensure you have fully understood how and when each product should be used. Trial Store USA takes no responsibility for the use or misuse of these products.

The following information is taken from the FAQs at Skratch Labs. More info

Why was Skratch Labs first created?

Skratch originally began in 2008 when Dr. Allen Lim got tired of his athletes complaining about their sports drinks, because think about it: Would you wan’t to listen to pro athletes complain all the time? Didn’t think so.

At the time, Lim was working with the Garmin Professional Cycling team as their Director of Sport Science preparing them for the Tour de France. He noticed that many of his riders were watering down their sports drinks to make them more tolerable. Unfortunately, diluting a sports drink also dilutes the electrolytes in it and since the whole point of a sports drink is to replace everything you lose in sweat, the diluted drinks were not working for the riders.

Literally starting from scratch, Lim began making different formulations in his kitchen. After hundreds of recipes, he finally hit on something that all the riders loved. Skratch has everything you need to replace what you lose in sweat and, just as importantly, nothing you don’t. Compared to almost any other sports drink on the market, Skratch has fewer calories, more electrolytes, and nothing but actual fruit for flavor.

Initially, Dr. Lim just made the mix for athletes he was coaching, but demand grew rapidly by word of mouth so much so that in February of 2012 Lim partnered with a group of close friends to officially launch Skratch Labs in Boulder, Colorado.

Can I just drink water?
Yes, of course. Water is fine if the activity is short, the temperature is moderate and sweat rates are low. But remember that sweat isn’t just water, it’s also made up of electrolytes, especially sodium. That means if you’re just drinking water, you’re not putting back everything you’re losing.

In the heat, during prolonged exercise, at moderate to heavy sweat rates there is no situation where drinking water alone is better than a sports drink that contains a little bit of sugar and plenty of sodium like the Exercise Hydration Mix from Skratch Labs.

When we sweat we lose water, sodium and other electrolytes. Sodium is critical to the proper function of every cell in our body. When our body's sodium levels get too low, something called hyponatremia can occur. This leads to a host of problems like headaches, a drop in performance, muscle spasms, nausea, seizures and, in extreme cases, even death. One of the easiest ways to drop our sodium levels (bad) is to drink plain water when we are sweating heavily during exercise. Why? Water dilutes the blood because sodium is already being lost through sweat and performance will drop off significantly.

Ultimately, your sweat contains a lot of sodium, (500-2000mg per liter). Using a drink that doesn't contain sodium while the body is losing sodium can be an extremely dangerous situation. Thus, a drink with a sodium content similar to what you lose in sweat along with a little bit of sugar to help transport water and help maintain blood sugar levels is always better than water alone during strenuous exercise in the heat. Make sense? You have to replace everything you’re losing, not just the water.

Why do I cramp? Can I stop cramping?

Cramps can happen because of muscle fatigue, because of an electrolyte disturbance, and because of dehydration. There are plenty of models showing that all are potentially valid mechanisms for exercise-induced cramping. Sometimes it's just one of these factors. Often times, it's a combination of factors. Training better, drinking more, keeping electrolyte intakes high are all important to prevent cramping. There is also some evidence that tickling the back of one's throat with something like 4 to 6 ounces of pickle juice can induce an oropharyngeal reflex that can override the reflex which causes a cramp. I've never tried it, but it can't hurt.

How much can my performance suffer after just a small losses of fluid?

The prevailing thought is that as little as a 2% loss of body fluids can significantly affect aerobic performance. There are over 28 published studies demonstrating decrements in performance that show dehydration in the range of 2 to 4% of total body weight can impair performance anywhere from 7 to 44% when measured as time to exhaustion, work done, or peak exercise performance. That all said, there's probably more at play here than just dehydration or a loss of body weight. In fact, simply being thirsty, regardless of change in body weight due to dehydration, can also impair performance. Furthermore, in practice, many athletes competing in real world conditions can maintain a high level of performance even with a significant loss of body fluid (up to 10% loss). In my own experience, if I could encourage athletes to drink enough to not lose more than 3% of their body weight, they were able to maintain a relatively high level of performance. For a great reference on this topic take a look at:

Sawka, M. N., & Noakes, T. D. (2007). Does dehydration impair exercise performance? Med Sci Sports Exerc, 39(8), 1209-1217.