OK, I decided to try something new in my quest for the perfect hydration replacement supplement while on the bike.
Plain water wasn't doing it. Water mixed with brand A wasn't doing it. Water mixed with brand B wasn't doing it.
After reading Feedzone Cookbook and Feedzone Portables by Bijou Thomas and Allen Lim I decided to try some of their Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix.
Having spent a couple of long rides earlier in the summer coming up short on imperial centuries, (100 miles or more) due to hydration issues I new I needed to make a change. I'd get to a point around mile 70 or so when the stomach and digestive system would just start shutting down. I'd still be drinking and eating but nothing was moving out of the stomach. Once this started happening, cramping was sure to follow and my ride would be over.
Unfortunately, due to poor prior planning I'd not got any of the Skratch labs till late July, and since I was wanting to use it for Hotter than Hell I figured I didn't have enough time to test how my body was going to react to it. A week before Hotter than Hell, I decided what the heck, it can't get any worse if I try it, so I started acclimating my body to it. I used one water bottle a morning after my morning ride to see how I did. Fortunately I had no issues with it and it seemed to be pretty tolerable and relatively tasty.
The big day arrived and I started with two bottles of partially frozen Orange hydration mix. During the ride, I hydrated mainly just out of the bottles of Skratch Labs with a cup of ice water or two at five different sag stops. I wanted to just use Skratch and water to give it the acid test of the Hotter than Hell 100.
Skratch Exercise Hydration Mix worked phenomenally! I was more than impressed! I didn't tire of the taste during the whole ride, it was mild enough to not be overwhelming, it kept the water moving through the gut barrier, (and eventually through the kidneys on it's way to the Johnny on the Spots at Sag 2,4,6 8, & 9). I never ran into that bloating feeling of the stomach filling up and nothing processing.
Given my results on the ride, 101 miles at a 20.0 mph average, (a speed and distance I've not managed to do in over 20 years), I'd have to guess that by the Skratch moving through the gut, it was also taking the nutrition I was eating along for the ride. I never had a bonking issue during the ride, (although some of that might have been attributed to Sag 4 being stocked with PILES of HOMEMADE cookies!).
Overall, Skratch gets a big thumbs up and is already in use here at the house.