Sunday, January 12, 2014

Things I Love: Skratch Labs

This is a new thing I'm trying out here at Team Baby Dino Tri ... things/products I (we?) love. These are things I/we use in training because we like them. We have paid for everything here (unless otherwise mentioned; see samples in this post) and are not affiliated with the companies mentioned ... though if any of them would like to change that, we are all over that. *wink wink*

The first honor goes to Skratch Labs. They're a local Colorado company (out of Boulder) and they make the best exercise hydration mix I've ever tried. They believe in real food and real ingredients and their sports drink, while delicious, tastes even better once you're sweating.

They're also hilarious (watch their videos; especially their April Fool's one from a few years back) and have a fantastic social media team (particularly with Twitter).

They currently have a sale on their cycling clothes and since I'm in the market for some jerseys, I hopped on that. While I was on the site, I decided to look for their Colorado Skratch t-shirt that I'd been meaning to get since the summer - it didn't seem to exist. I tweeted at them and, lo and behold, they had a few extra women's sizes! A few tweets and e-mails, and lookie what I got in the mail:

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New jersey!

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Colorado Skratch T!

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Swag.

That bottom picture shows all the stuff they sent in the two packages:

- stickers (may stick one on my bike ...)
- tons of single-use hydration packs in ALL their flavors
- an aLOKSAK bag to keep my phone/cash dry when I ride - SUPER awesome because I usually just use Ziploc bags ...

And why did they send me all this stuff? They explained it on a card enclosed with everything else:

Skratch Labs is available in a lot of different places nowadays. Yet, you ordered directly through our site. We frickin' love that and that's why you get freebies! Thank you for being part of our family.

I should mention at this point the flavors they carry:
Lemon-lime: Nectar of the gods. Some lemon-limes are sugary grossness - this? SO GOOD.
Pineapple: Subtle. Fairly tasty. I can't do a whole bottle of it, but Brandon prefers this over the lemon-lime, even.
Raspberry: Tried once. I usually don't like berry sports drinks (fruit punch-y stuff? sure. straight berry? not so much) and this was still a bit odd - however, I drink my stuff a bit more diluted than normal, so I need to give this another go.
Orange: Haven't tried yet, but since I have a few sticks of it ...
Apple-Cinnamon: Only one meant to drink hot. Tried it once last winter and liked it, but haven't had it since. Brandon adored it so I am very happy to have a few more sticks of this stuff.

Also awesome about Skratch - the owners/founders are also the brains behind the Feed Zone Cookbook - Biju Thomas and Allen Lim. I haven't had everything out of the cookbook yet, but we already have a few staples that we cook all the time:

Granola: (p. 31) I have never really liked granola. This? I make it about once a week in the summer because we eat so much of it. This on plain Greek yogurt (this gets me to eat yogurt, too!) with strawberries and honey? Delicious.

Buttermilk Pancakes: (p. 70) I grew up on Bisquick. I love the Bisquick. I will never eat Bisquick again because these are that. damn. good.

Grilled Chicken: (p. 230) Recipe also includes summer orzo; we haven't made that yet. But this chicken? So simple and so delicious. We use chicken thighs instead of breasts and typically have it with grilled bell peppers and mushrooms and mashed potatoes or couscous. It is easy to make and everyone we've served it to LOVES it.

We've also had a few of the salads and made the flourless chocolate cake and hope to make a lot more things out of it this year. I'd also like to fiddle a bit more with the portables, as the few times we've tried those, we've failed horribly.

***

I did consider becoming part of Team Skratch - they have team and individual sponsorship applications - but I got stuck on one part of the application - You have $50 and a full tank of gas - what do you do? I couldn't come up with a good thing to say. Is it winter? Is it summer? Does it have to be athletic related? So many options ...
- Drive up to Blackhawk/Central City, save $5 for food and toss the rest on red and pray?
- Load up the bikes and go up to Boulder and ride for the day?
- In winter, head up to Rocky Mountain National Park and snowshoe around, using the $50 to buy a yearly pass so I can do it again with the rest of the tank of gas?
- Drive to the airport and fly to Boston so I can blow that $50 on fabulous food? (Brandon's a pilot, so I could fly without using that $50.)

In any case, I love Skratch. My bottles of lemon-lime Skratch were my hydration mix on the bike at Ironman Arizona and I prefer training with that over anything else. I will wear my new jersey with pride on the trails and roads this summer and am actually currently wearing my Colorado Skratch T.

So, if you're looking for a change in your hydration, why not try Skratch? Tasty, awesome, and you'll be supporting a Colorado company.

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