Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My love for Skratch- Racing an Ironman with Skratch Labs Hydration

I usually always race with Powerbar Perform. It is what is on the course and for the sake of ease, I use it. I don't love it, but I do better with it than I did with Gatorade, so I can't complain too much.
I do love Skratch Labs though. I fell in love with it several years ago when it came to the market originally as "Secret Drink Mix." The history of the drink is interesting. The cyclists in the Tour de France were all getting"gut rot" from their sport drink sponsors. Sports Physiologist, Allen Lim, created an all natural, high electrolyte sports drink with lower carbohydrate percentage for optimal absorption. End result, Gut Rot problem solved.

After Ironman Mont Tremblant, I had a call with Jon from Skratch who had raced with it during an Ironman to discuss the feasibility of doing it. When I calculated my adjusted fluid intake for Kona and realized I would need to be taking in 4 bottles an hour, I decided my gut was going to be much happier with Skratch than with Perform.

Jon sent me the new Skratch Hyper that hasn't hit the market to try out as well. I tried it out while training and loved it.

Race Morning I sipped on a bottle of the Hyper. It is a lot of electrolytes and it was absolutely perfect for a hot weather race like Kona. I have a high sweat rate, so I always have to be cognizant of taking in enough fluid and electrolytes.
 I had a bottle of concentrated Skratch on my bike and in my aero bottle and on the hydration tail, I had regular bottles of Skratch to get me through to the first aid station.
For the concentrated bottle, I had a 24 oz bottle and filled it with enough scoops for 12 bottles. And filled the rest with water. I then took a sharpie and made 2 oz marks up the bottle. At each aid station I would take a bottle of water, fill my aero bottle and squeeze 2 oz of the concentrated Skratch.
As I was riding through the lava fields, I was so happy I had decided to hydrate with Skratch. It went down much easier and I was able to hit my hydration target, which I don't think I would have been able to accomplish without some sort of gut rot.


  1. Curious to know where you got your calories from? That's been the challenge for me in switching to Skratch for Ironman type events. I don't like the way the real food ends up in my pocket. So is Hyper Skratch a way to get the calories?

    1. Hi Susan,
      I am in the camp of drinking your hydration and eating your calories (same philosophy as Allen Lim and Skratch Labs), so I eat bars on the bike and honey stinger chews on the run. I make my own bars in a dehydrator, but I know people with good success with Bonk Breakers (I would avoid the peanut butter flavor due to peanuts being hard to digest) and the Vega Endurance bar.

    2. Sounds like we think alike! I like the Bonk Breakers and Honey Stingers as well. So what is the Hyper Skratch for? I already use their single serving packs. This is the first I've heard of it.

    3. Hyper is for intense need for electrolytes and hydration or for athletes who are competing in events where they can't carry a bottle. I think that the hyper isn't necessary for all races if you are using the exercise hydration. I think it is a good pre-race drink for extremely hot races. I am not too sure when it is going to hit the market, but I am sure the suggested use will be described in more detail when it does.

  2. Though there is no minimum water quantity, intake of water should be sufficient enough to avoid the body from dehydration.

    Nutrition and Hydration week 2014