Skratch Labs Hydration Mix is a natural drink powder that you simply mix into water. It comes in a variety of flavours and offers a less chemical taste than others on the market. The emphasis on the brand is that it uses all natural ingredients and real fruit.
The ingredients include cane sugar, dextrose, sodium citrate, citric acid, matcha green tea (in this particular flavour), magnesium lactate, calcium citrate, potassium citrate, malic acid, lemon oil, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and lemon juice. Skratch say that sugar is good in small amounts, mixed with sodium, as it helps with rehydration, which is the whole point of this mix.
I tried a variety of flavours that Skratch offer and they were pleasant for the most part. They come in raspberry, pineapple, orange, matcha and lemon, lemon and lime and cinnamon with apple (this can be made hot). The first thing you notice with this mix is that it tastes better than other drinks. You don't feel like you have to dilute it down as they have the flavour levels spot on. It isn't too strong and it doesn't taste unnatural. Not all flavours are for everyone, I didn't rate the raspberry, but that's personal taste.
When making the drink, you either mix a sachet that is pre weighed for you, or if you have one of the bigger bags, it's a scoop into 500ml of water. The scoop is included in the packet. Shake it up and off you go. It's worth noting that it doesn't always completely dissolve and this is down to the use of real fruit in the drink and it isn't a problem.
Each flavour has its own colour, so raspberry is red etc. The matcha and lime is a quite unattractive green colour that resembles sludge. I was slightly apprehensive about drinking it at first. However the natural caffeine in the matcha (green tea) seemed like a good idea for a small energy boost. It has a slightly herbal taste to it, but that's just the green tea element, and I'm a fan of green tea.
All the drinks had a slightly sweet taste to them, but ultimately were very refreshing and a nice change.
Taste aside, its how energy drinks perform that ultimately counts. Nutritionally speaking a 500ml bottle contains 80 calories, no fat and 20g of carbs. This is around half the carb content of some hydration drinks. High5, for example, have 44g of carbohydrate in their Energy Source drink, which is part of their Hydrate range.
Skratch are all about keeping hydrated and say 'You sweat, we hydrate'. It works by replacing electrolytes and enough calories to keep you going. You obviously need to eat as you ride too, this isn't an energy drink or gel.
As far as hydration goes, it works well in practice. I never felt dehydrated on moderate rides where I would take two bottles with me. Alongside coffee breaks, it proved refreshing, tasty and I really feel it delivered. Also I noticed that unlike other drinks I have had, it really didn't upset my digestive system. I've been left bloated after other brands, but not with this one, which is a bonus.
Drink mixes are really down to personal taste and what works for you. I prefer the lower carb content of Skratch and am happy to eat my carbs as a top up and leave my drink to hydrate me and be gentler on my digestive system. You also don't feel you need to water this down and the measurements on the pack are the measurements I felt worked best.
A 454g pack makes around twenty 500ml bottles (according to the UK distributor) at a cost of £13.95 a pack. That works out at about 69p a drink, which isn't too bad at all, and better value than the sachets at £1.50 each.
Tasty alternative to water, it hydrates very well and keeps you going.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix 454g
Size tested: Lemon and Lime, Matcha and Lemons
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The drink is aimed at people who sweat, whatever activity this is. Skratch say "This is an all natural sports drink. It replaces both the fluid and electrolytes you lose in your sweat while providing just enough calories to help fuel your working muscles". As far as a hydration mix goes, it works well. I never felt that I was dehydrated and felt it quenched my thirst too.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Skratch website says "Flavored with only real fruit and containing no artificial colors or preservatives, our drink mix won't upset your stomach, leave a bad taste in your mouth, or challenge your IQ with tongue twisting chem-lab ingredients. It just works better. Maybe that's why, for years, top athletes have been secretly replacing their sponsors' products with drink mix made from Skratch. You Sweat. We Hydrate."
As far as keeping hydrated on longer rides, Skratch have made a natural drink that does the job.
I thought the price was reasonable, especially as the bigger packets work out much more economical than the individual sachets.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The product is designed to hydrate and keep you hydrated and not upset your stomach. I enjoyed drinking this and will continue to do so because it works well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I liked the fact that it never upset my digestive track and didn't leave me feeling bloated. It tasted natural.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not all flavours were pleasant, but this is personal preference.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 34 Height: 158cms Weight: 61kg
I usually ride: Giant defy My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,