Frequently Asked Questions
We are here to help you be better.
We create products that solve problems which means every ingredient has a purpose. That purpose is to help people perform better. We focus on real ingredients and promote an equally healthy lifestyle. Our products are made from real food ingredients to help you bust your butt not your gut.
The creation and evolution of our products has always stemmed from evidence based problem solving – on what we, to the best of our knowledge, understand as real. This emphasis on real is core to our identity. In it there is an earnest attempt to always learn, to solve problems, and to communicate with both intellectual humility and humor. Intellectual humility being the ability to change one’s mind when presented with new and compelling evidence. Humor being able to cut to the truth in a way that is delightful rather than intimidating or threatening.
Skratch Labs has its roots in two key ideas that form the pillars for who we are today.
The first idea is that food and drink are better when it's made from scratch.
When Dr. Allen Lim, our founder, was working as a coach and sports scientist on the Pro-Cycling Tour, the single biggest complaint that athletes had was that conventional sports nutrition left a bad taste in their mouths and an even worse feeling in their guts. It's a problem that's not limited to world-class athletes, but an issue that almost anyone who has consumed highly processed sports drinks, bars, chews, or gels, under the guise of performance, has ironically experienced. To remedy this problem, Dr. Lim began literally making the food and drink he gave to riders, in races like the Tour de France, from scratch. He started blending a simple sports drink with less sugar, more sodium, and real fruit to keep athletes better hydrated. At the same time, he prepared delicious recipes like savory rice cakes, parmesan potatoes, and freshly baked cookie bars to fuel his team. While it may not have always been easy or convenient, this return to real food and drink was based on evidence-based problem-solving – on relentless experimentation and critical feedback from some of the best athletes in the world.
The second pillar for us at Skratch Labs is the belief that no matter where you find yourself in life, it's never too late to start from scratch.
When we first started Skratch Labs, we just wanted to help people solve problems. But doing so meant we had to solve a lot of our own problems, both personally and professionally. We literally had to start our lives over from scratch – a new beginning that is very much our own American Dream. Fortunately, the same problem solving skills that we used to create our products, allowed us to learn quickly. We pulled ourselves up from our bootstraps and got to work, adapting through creative innovation. It's this innovation and the basic belief that we can transform for the better that forms the basis of our mission. A mission to provide people, regardless of where they find themselves, with the inspiration, life skills, and products so that they can take better care of themselves and their families through real nutrition created for a lifetime of physical activity.
For more info see the about us page
It imparts two key beliefs when it comes to people taking care of themselves and realizing their potential.
1️. The first belief is that food and drink are better when it’s made from scratch.
2️. The second is that no matter where someone finds themselves in life, it’s never too late to start from scratch.
It's also about the heart and the head.
The Skratch symbolizes the soul of the company, the heart side. The hedonistic side, the emotional side, the passion side.
The Lab side is a reminder that you still have to be rational, that there's still science and there's still evidence-based problem solving when you come to your conclusion, and that the two can live together.
Skratch Labs is here to help athletes who are striving for greater performance in sports like cycling, running, or any sport where exceptional endurance drives success. We believe that it's a combination of training, recovery, and nutrition that will help you improve, whether you're a Pro Tour cyclist or committing to a first try at a new distance. We get it -- pushing your physical limits makes you feel alive -- and we're here to help. Our products are made with real food, starting from scratch so that you actually want to eat or drink them and you feel good when pushing hard.
Skratch Labs products are safe to use for anyone looking for cleaner sports nutrition. We never use artificial sweeteners, isolates, colors, or preservatives that might cause GI distress.
Many athletes and teams use Skratch, to learn more about some of the professional athletes we work closest with head here.
All Skratch products are made from natural ingredients making them a great option for children.
All of our hydration products have less sugar than comparable drinks and are only flavored with real fruit. They have none of the excess ingredients like preservatives, emulsifiers, coloring agents, or flavoring agents.
Sport Hydration Mix, like with adults, is perfect for making sure they stay hydrated for activities like dance class, gymnastics, soccer, skiing, or bike riding - really anytime the little ones are sweating!
Our Wellness Hydration Mix was designed specifically with kids in mind for when they are sick with diarrhea or severely dehydrated. Based on the World Health Organization’s recommendations for oral rehydration salts, used to rapidly rehydrate those who are sick, our Wellness Hydration Mix is an excellent alternative to popular pediatric drinks. Wellness Hydration Mix contains all of the sodium, potassium, and zinc kids (and adults) need when they are feeling under the weather without any of the extraneous flavoring agents, artificial sweeteners, coloring agents, preservatives, or emulsifiers.
Our Anytime Energy Bars also make a great snack for school, sports, or weekend adventures.
For kids working hard and pushing hard at sports, our Recovery Mix can be a great after practice refuel.
We would suggest avoiding our caffeinated flavors.
Yes, Skratch is safe to drink during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
We've received quite a bit of positive feedback from women who've used Skratch during both pregnancy and delivery, and even breastfeeding too. Our local birthing center also stocks it and suggests it for moms-to-be.
We recommend you still follow the standard suggestion of only using Sport hydration mix when you're sweating, and well, exercising. Our matcha green tea and lemons is the only mix that contains naturally occurring caffeine from green tea leaves (16 mg per serving), so if you have any reservations with this one, you might be more inclined to pass on this particular flavor.
Our Daily Hydration recipe is a great option when just looking for a little boost in your water.
If you're not already familiar, we would also recommend checking out our Wellness hydration mix. It's our Oral Rehydration Solution, much like Pedialyte, but without all of the unnecessary additives. This comes in pretty handy in times of serious dehydration following illness, morning sickness, or in full disclosure, a bout of diarrhea.
Additionally our bars and Recovery Mix are great for keeping calories up during breastfeeding.
All Skratch Labs products are manufactured and assembled in the USA. Our headquarters and warehouse are in Boulder, Colorado, where our team can take full advantage of the mountains, trails, rivers, and sunshine.
Come visit us at HQ anytime -- you can make purchases from our retail store or just say "hi" -- 2885 Wilderness Place Unit B in Boulder.
Check out the product pages and product blogs for all the info and product videos!
Sport Hydration Product Page | Sport Hydration Science Blog
Sport Energy Chews Product Page | Sport Energy Chews Blog
Sport Recovery Mix Product Page | Sport Recovery Mix Blog
Anytime Energy Bars Product Page | Anytime Energy Bars Blog
Wellness Hydration Mix Product Page | Wellness Hydration Mix Blog
Hyper Hydration Mix Product Page | Hyper Hydration Mix Blog
All nutrition facts and ingredient lists can be found on the product pages.
Still can’t find what you are looking for? Email us at email@example.com
Yes! We’re a food company (regulated by the FDA guidelines).
Sport Hydration Drink Mix
This is a light tasting sports drink that's clean and refreshing because it's made with less sugar, more sodium and is flavored only with real fruit.
Hydrates faster than water alone.
Designed to minimize GI distress and flavor fatigue (two biggest problems that we solved for pro athletes).
Electrolyte profile that matches actual sweat (800 mg sodium/L, 80 mg potassium/L, 100 mg calcium/L, 80 mg magnesium/L), and only real fruit for flavor.
Wellness Hydration Mix
Designed to rapidly rehydrate those who are dehydrated from either illness, extreme exercise, or extreme "fun."It has a combo of sodium, potassium and zinc (significantly more sodium and potassium that's found in sports drinks)
Based on World Health Organization recommendations for relieving severe dehydration.
Healthy version of over the counter oral rehydration solutions without the extra ingredients like food colorings and artificial sweeteners.
Oral rehydration solutions are electrolyte solutions with 1500 mg of sodium/L, 500 mg of potassium/L, 10 mg of zinc/L, and a small amount of sugar (2 to 3 grams per 100 mL of water)
Hyper Hydration Mix
This drink is a high sodium drink at the same concentration of blood, making it a drinkable saline.
It’s used to load up on extra water and sodium the night before and immediately before really long and hot workouts. It helps to ensure that an athlete’s plasma volume and sodium stores at full capacity.
A solution with a sodium concentration equivalent to saline or blood at 3500 mg of sodium/L. Combined with a small amount of sugar (3 grams per 100 mL) and real fruit for flavor.
Our hydration mixes are verified non-GMO.
Almost all of them are. All our powdered mixes are certified Kosher by The Scroll K - Vaad Hakashrus of Denver. Our Anytime Energy Bars are certified Kosher by the OU, also known as the Orthodox Union.
For the best quality, our products should be consumed by the best by date listed in the wrapper.
There is a chance it is in the bag and got buried. Lay the product down on a flat surface and pat to see if you feel it. If you do not, don’t worry, here is a conversion using everyday kitchen measuring spoons, and if you want a scoop mailed to you just shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org:
Sport Hydration Drink Mix: Add 1.75TBS to 16oz (500mL) of water. If you have a small scale, that will work as well if you remember that a single serving for 500ml equals 24 grams.
Sport Recovery Drink Mix Scoop: No worries, simply use your standard US measuring cups. Add 1/3 cup of dry mix to enough water to make 12fl oz and shake (don't stir).
Because we use actual fruit for flavor instead of chemicals that taste like fruit. Any "floating stuff" you may see in your bottle is small bits of fruit pulp. Sometimes a trace amount of the electrolyte salts in Skratch may hang around the bottom of your bottle too, but just give it a little shake before taking a swig and drink up. They're good for you.
Because Skratch doesn't have any preservatives of any kind, our drink mix needs a little bit of TLC. Dry drink mix should be stored in a cool, dry place either in its zip-top bag or in any other airtight glass or plastic container. Extreme heat and direct sunlight are like Kryptonite for Skratch, so don't keep it in your car or your tent in the middle of the Sahara. Once added to water, a good rule of thumb is to treat it like fruit juice. After mixing, it is ideal to drink it within the day and can be consumed warm without lessening its efficacy. If mixed and then kept in the fridge it will stay good for up to a week. You will know when you have let it hang around in your bottle too long, it will smell a little bit funky and your inner voice will tell you "don't drink that". Listen to your inner voice.
If your drink mix is clumping because you haven't worked out in a while that is because the real freeze-dried fruit contained within really likes water. Humidity loves our Skratch if it isn't getting scooped all the time. If you can see the ocean from your computer right now best practice would be to transfer your drink mix to a mason jar or some Tupperware, or a good ziploc as soon as you open it. Better yet, just shoot us a message (email@example.com) or give us a call (1 800 735 8904) we can get you sorted out.
Yes! You can serve our mixes warm, here are some suggestions to get started.
Caffeine in Skratch Matcha Hydration Mix: 16 mg per serving
Caffeine in Skratch Matcha Chews: 6 mg per packet
Science + Performance
There is a lot of controversy about sugar in our diet. While we don't disagree that excess sugar or excess anything for that matter is bad for us, we do believe that the role that sugar plays in health and performance is about context. In the context of an active lifestyle and more specifically during prolonged or very intense exercise, sugar can be critical to helping to maintain one's blood sugar, to keeping oneself fueled, and along with sodium can significantly improve the transport of water into the body. For more please see Hydration Science and Practice.
The bottom line is that consuming an excess of sugar isn't good for you if you're not active. But, if you're working hard and sweating, a bit of sugar will improve your performance significantly.
So if you're not sweating and working hard, don't use our Sport Hydration Drink Mix. But if you are sweating you need to put back both the water and the electrolytes you're losing and can best do that with a drink that contains a little bit of sugar and plenty of sodium.
Yes, 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 salt or sodium chloride, which makes up about 90% of the electrolytes we lose. Of these electrolytes, it's the loss of sodium that can potentially hurt our performance the most. Thus, if you're just drinking water, you're not putting back everything you're losing.
In fact, if you're just drinking water and relying on your thirst, it's unlikely that you're even putting back all of the water you're losing. Although this may negatively impact performance in the long term, this isn't necessarily a bad thing in the short term because losing water is actually one of a few mechanisms the body has to protect the concentration of sodium in our bloodstream. This is because one signal for thirst is an increase in the sodium concentration of blood – something that happens as we sweat and lose fluid from our body. Since thirst is in part driven by sodium concentration and because some sodium is lost in sweat, in theory, it doesn't take as much water to quench one's thirst as was lost. This under-drinking protects us because if we drink only water beyond thirst, we might run the risk of diluting our blood's sodium concentration – a situation called hyponatremia and that can lead to a number of negative performance and health consequences. So, while drinking plain water may be fine in theory, make sure not to drink beyond thirst, even if that means you're losing water weight that may eventually impair your ability to perform at your best.
Of course, this scenario can be avoided the closer one gets to replacing both the water and sodium lost in one's sweat. In fact, even if you're not exactly matching the sodium lost in your sweat, during prolonged exercise in the heat 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 our Sport Hydration Drink Mix.
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 throw off our thirst mechanism and keep us from replacing all of the water we are losing. More importantly, sodium plays a critical role in almost every cell function, so keeping it in balance along with water is key to our performance. 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. You have to replace everything you're losing, not just the water.
Glad you asked! We made this quick video to help break it down.
That is a tough question to answer because everyone is different. The right amount depends on not only the conditions (think temperature and humidity) and length and intensity (how long, how hard, how far) but also on the individual. One to two 500mL servings per hour is a good starting point and then experiment to see what works best for you. One way to check if you're drinking enough is to weigh yourself before and after a workout. If you're losing more than a 3% loss in total body weight, your performance may be suffering and you probably need to drink more. That said, it's important to listen to your body and to your thirst. Drinking beyond your thirst isn't a good idea as that may lead you to inadvertently dilute out your body's proper sodium concentration. If you feel like you're listening to thirst but still losing a lot of water weight, try adding more sodium to your drink. Beyond our Sport Hydration Drink Mix (800 mg Na per Liter) we also have our Wellness Hydration Mix (1500 mg Na per Liter), and our Hyper Hydration Mix (3500 mg Na per Liter) to help you get some extra sodium in.
Exercise associated cramps occur primarily because of muscle fatigue. More specifically, it's when very small muscle fibers called intrafusal fibers that give our nervous system feedback about the length of our muscles fatigue that errant signals can be sent to the spine causing a reflex response that sparks an uncontrollable cramp.
While people often talk about dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance as the root cause of a cramp, that's not exactly right. In and of itself, dehydration won't cause a cramp. That said, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can contribute to fatigue. So the bigger issue here isn't merely the cramp, it's how to delay fatigue.
Proper training, acclimating to one's environment, staying cool in the heat, proper fuel and staying well hydrated can all help delay fatigue.
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.
Like most things in science, however, there's also evidence that shows that the body can withstand a significant amount of dehydration without an impairment to 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 Dr. Lim's experience, while working on the Pro-Cycling Tour, he found that if he could teach athletes to listen to thirst and not lose more than 3% of their body weight, they were able to maintain a relatively high level of performance. He also found that the closer athletes came to replacing both the sodium and the water that they lost during exercise the easier it was for them to maintain body weight when drinking according to thirst.
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.
We have a lot of information to share for all your fueling and hydration needs in our cookbooks and on our blog, youtube, and social channels.
We also love to work through bottlenecks, help you figure out where to start, and answer questions, so email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
For all the Ask Allen answers head here.
Some helpful blogs to get started:
Timing your Nutrition
5 Tips for Better Fueling
Fueling for an Ultramarathon
5 Tips to Fuel Your Ride
Food + Recipes
The short answer is they are all full of super yummy deliciousness with recipes that are both easy to make and good for you.
The slightly longer answer is that all three are written by Skratch Labs' very own Dr. Allen Lim and Chef Biju Thomas after the athletes they cooked for and helped teach cook started asking them for the recipes they used. They wanted the book to be a reference for them so that they would have one of the essential life skills they needed to take better care of themselves – cooking. But, they also knew that if they could write a simple and practical book for the athletes they worked with – many of whom were very young and living on their own for the very first time – they could help a lot of people who had the same questions and concerns about performance and nutrition. For us, the answers to those questions start in the kitchen, not in a textbook or sterile laboratory, so the Feed Zone Cookbook series was our way of motivating others to get in the kitchen and take action.
The first cookbook in the series is the Feed Zone Cookbook. It takes athletes through a complete day of eating. From breakfast, portable ride food, recovery food, dinner, and even a little bit of dessert.
People were so interested in the "portables" section of the Feed Zone Cookbook, that our second book – Feed Zone Portables – focused on just that. It begins with an in depth introduction on the science and practice of fueling while on the go, making a strong case for solid foods for fuel and less caloric drinks for hydration. Feed Zone Portables is filled with a wide variety of simple, delicious, and effective recipes to give athletes alternatives for dry energy bars.
Finally, Feed Zone Table brings the focus back to dinner with a specific emphasis on family style meals. Despite of or perhaps because of all of the science written about optimal nutrition, it's sometimes hard to remember that optimal nutrition doesn't happen in a bubble. It actually happens when we share food with those who matter to us. Feed Zone Table takes the stand that social fuel is just as important as chemical fuel and was written so athletes remembered to include those they love in their pursuit to be better.
All three books offer many vegetarian or gluten free options as well as many more that can be easily converted.
Here are a few that we have posted on our blog that you can test right now: GF Chicken Pad Thai // Spicy kimchi and soft-tofu soup // Crispy rice omelet // BLT stuffed avocados // GF Hearty cinnamon + almond pancakes // GF banana waffle sandwiches // GF chocolate and sea salt sticky bites // Vegan cookie recipes
Skratch founder, Dr. Allen Lim started making his now famous Bacon and Egg Rice Cakes at training camps and races to give athletes something savory and fresh to eat while on the bike. They became a huge hit because riders were tired of pre-packaged, sweet foods. Sometimes savory hits the spot!
Not only are these rice cakes delicious, they also provide a consistent energy source that doesn’t upset the stomach.
The results: real food is better. Real food tastes better, digests quickly, and helps you perform at your best.
For more on rice cakes check out these blogs:
Cinnamon Apple Rice Cakes
Rice Cake Wrappings Tips and Recipes
Bacon Almond Butter Rice Cakes
Making rice cakes is like baking a good apple pie, it may take you a couple tries to be successful. There are a few essentials: use white sticky sushi or calrose rice as it has a high starch content. (Brown rice will not work for rice cakes, don't even bother trying). Moist rice is the ticket to a good firm rice cake. Use a rice cooker to prepare your rice, it cooks more evenly and keeps rice moister than the stovetop method. If the recipe is for a savory cake and calls for soy sauce or liquid aminos, be very liberal with those ingredients. The protein in the soy/aminos binds with the starch in the rice to form the delicious glue that holds the cake together. Also, don't be afraid to put some muscle into pressing the rice mixture down firmly into your pan. Finally, make sure you mix all of your wet ingredients together and form the rice cakes while the rice is still piping hot, fresh out of the rice cooker. Cool or cold rice won't absorb additional ingredients and won't stick together very well. Of all the tips stated above, it's the hot rice part that we find people mess up the most.
Depending on the additional ingredients used to make your rice cakes, the general rule of thumb we use is about 3 hours in the pocket after wrapped. In pro races, rice cakes are typically wrapped and kept chilled in a cooler, so getting through a 5 to 7-hour event isn't normally a problem because the rice cakes themselves aren't typically in a rider's pocket for more than an hour or two before they're eaten.
To maximize the safety of your rice cakes, here are a couple of tips. First, wrap your rice cakes well in a parchment foil like Skratch paper immediately after you finish making them and keep them in a Ziploc bag to help keep them from drying out. Second, after making and wrapping your rice cakes get them in a refrigerator as soon as you can to cool them down and to keep them cool. Don't just leave them out, especially if it's going to be a while before you use them. Third, if you're concerned about extending longevity use shelf stable ingredients to season and make your rice cakes. Our favorite is our Rice Cake flavored with maple syrup, braggs aminos (gluten free soy alternative), rice vinegar, and a little bit of olive oil with almond butter and crispy bacon (if you like) sandwiched in the middle. All of these ingredients are shelf stable and the salt, acidity, and fat help to keep the rice cake a little more stable than recipes with non-shelf stable ingredients.
Finally, use common sense. Don't try and be a hero here. If you have any perishable food in your pockets for an extended period of time, throw it out and eat something fresh or shelf stable. No need to take any unnecessary risks out there.
For more head here:
Rice Cakes 101
Rice Cake Wrapping Tips
Bacon Almond Butter Rice Cakes
Where to Find Us
We are sold in over 6,000 spots across the nation. You can find your local Skratch dealers here. If you would like to see Skratch carried locally, just have your favorite store contact us at email@example.com. Let’s get them carrying the good stuff!
Yes! Come on down to our office-slash-retail store and see where the magic happens. OK, maybe not magic, but you can see where the Skratch Team spends most of our time every day. We're open M-F 9-5. Feel free to give us a call (1-800-735-8904) and check. Find us here.
Shipping + Returns + Stickers
Yes! On orders over $49 within the United States.
If you can't find your tracking email, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get you taken care of!
We guarantee that our products will help you perform better. If they don’t, we’ll help you find something else or refund your purchase. It’s on us -- no matter where you bought them -- because we’re here to help.
To begin the return process please email us at email@example.com and let us know your name, order number when applicable, and item you are returning, and if you want to exchange or refund.
We do ship to APO/FPO military bases from our U.S. website. If you are active military we encourage you to apply for our military discount.
We can ship individual orders to basically anywhere in the world! Due to customs regulations, we unfortunately cannot ship to Spain.
Shipping costs vary a lot based upon the contents of your cart and the destination country. The price you are quoted is the UPS International rate which is the best rate we can get. We understand the shipping costs aren't cheap but know that it will be easy to track, and it will get there real fast! And, we don't add on any handling fees, the cost you see is what they are charging us. Additionally ordering directly from us, your country of residence will charge duties or tariffs on food products at the discretion of the importing country. Those duties are separate from Skratch Labs shipping charges and are your responsibility to pay! Sorry.
Our products can also be found on iHerb.com - a site that specializes in competitive international shipping rates. If shipping costs are too much on our site, we recommend you compare shipping rates on their site. We understand international shipping rates aren't cheap and want to make sure we can get our products to you in the most affordable manner, even if it's not directly from us.
Those papers are likely import duties or tariffs that can be imposed on food products at the discretion of the importing country. Those duties are separate from Skratch Labs shipping charges and are your responsibility to pay.
Please send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
You know it! Click here or for more info and to get setup, email us at email@example.com
Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a ring: 1.800.735.8904