We Test Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix

A natural sports drink to rejuvenate on the water.

Skratch
Skratch
Skratch exercise hydration mix will keep you refreshed on hot days.Jeff Hemmel

When you spend the day under a blazing sun, whether wakeboarding, riding a PWC — or just chilling at the sandbar — you’re probably going to sweat. For many boaters, replacing all those fluids means reaching for a sports drink, but if you’re anything like me, syrupy sweet drinks get old fast. Turns out, they can also make your stomach feel lousy. According to sports physiologist Dr. Allen Lim, the reason is that many of these “sports” drinks have now become so chock full of sugar, artificial flavors and colors, vitamins and preservatives that they contribute to gastrointestinal distress.

Lim’s alternative is a line of all-natural hydration mixes from his appropriately titled Skratch Labs. Originally developed from working with professional cycling teams, Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix features less sugar than the norm, more sodium (in the form of sodium citrate) to replace all that lost salt, and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Most of the taste, in fact, comes from the actual fruits that inspire the flavors. (The raspberry drink is flavored with real freeze-dried, pulverized raspberries.)

Skratch comes in powder form, meaning you have to mix each serving with water in your own bottle. One scoop combines with 16 ounces of water, making a one-pound bag last about 20 servings. Each pouch contains a scoop for easy measuring. I tried all the flavors — raspberry, lemon-lime, orange, pineapple, and matcha green tea with lemon — and noted a light, clean taste far removed from the syrupy or fizzy feel of other drinks. $19.50 for a one-pound bag, skratchlabs.com.