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e-Fuel Endurance Blend
vs.
Skratch Exercise Hydration

The comparison between Skratch and e-Fuel is dramatic. Skratch is 95% simple sugars and virtually no complex carbohydrates. e-Fuel provides twice the energy, more electrolytes and anti-oxidants, and it cost about 40% less!

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e-Fuel

Skratch Exercise Hydration
   
 Carbohydrates

  Calories (8 oz serving) 80 40
  Complex Carbs 14 g 0.5 g
  Sugars Grams 5.8 g 10 g
  Sugars (% of total carbs) 29% 95% sugar
  Carb Sources Maltodextrin
Fructose
Cane Sugar
Dextrose
 

Carbohydrate usage by endurance athletes has been studied for decades by independent researchers such as the American College of Sports Medicine, and the results have consistently shown the significant benefits that are achieved when using primarily complex carbohydrates instead of simple sugars. To understand why you have to go back to your 10th grade biology class when you learned about osmosis.

The beauty of a good sports drink is that it is rapidly absorbed in your small intestine by osmosis with no digestive requirements. Another way of looking at this is that the water in your sports drink becomes the transport vehicle for the other good stuff in your drink (energy and electrolytes). However, in order to be absorbed, the fluid in your intestine has to be an equal or lower concentration than your body fluids. The measure of fluid concentration is called osmolality. The osmolality of Skratch is approximately equal to your body fluids (isotonic), thus allowing it to be rapidly absorbed - that's a good thing. The beauty of complex carbohydrates is that because of their larger molecular structure you can get much, much more energy in an isotonic solution compared to a drink made with simple sugars. Case in point, e-Fuel is also isotonic but it contains twice the energy of Skratch - that's an even better thing!!

Both drinks will be rapidly absorbed, both will keep you hydrated, both will replenish your electrolytes ... but e-Fuel will provide twice the energy. Bottom line, if you're an endurance athlete there isn't enough energy in Skratch to keep you going, you need to get more energy from somewhere.

Skratch Recommends That You Drink Your Hydration and Eat Your Calories
The logic is that you want to absorb the drink fast to stay hydrated so you shouldn't load it with calories. Instead they recommend drinking Skratch and eating other foods to get your calories. Unfortunately this logic just doesn't make sense for three reasons:

Problem # 1 - It all ends up in the same place
Unlike cows that have four stomachs we humans only have one. Once you start eating and drinking it all ends up in your stomach .... the Skratch, the banana, the PowerBar and what ever else you decide to eat. Guess what, the osmolality of the fluid in your stomach just went up and the absorption rate slowed or even came to a halt. Not a good thing.

Problem #2 - Digestion
Most foods that you eat contain proteins, fats and/or fibers. Once one or more of these are introduced to your stomach they have to go through a digestive process. When you are doing aerobic activity the blood supply to your stomach gets shut down in order to maximize blood flow (and oxygen) to the working muscles for the oxidation process. More oxygen = increased performance (just ask Lance). Digestion of those foods you just ate requires blood flow back to the stomach and away from the working muscles ... and that sound you just heard was your performance dropping.

Problem #3 - Delayed Energy
We all know that bananas are one of the most common foods consumed by endurance athletes, but do you know how long it takes a banana to leave your stomach? Try 4 hours and 15 minutes! Eating solid foods during typical workouts or competitions might taste good and satisfy your craving for food, but it does little if anything for your performance.

Note About Ultra Endurance Athletes
If your an ultra athlete competing for 20+ hours the normal rules don't apply to you. You are going at a slower pace so you can afford some blood to go back to the stomach to work on digestion. And if it takes 4+ hours for the banana to kick in that's okay!


   

e-Fuel

Skratch Exercise Hydration
   
 Electrolytes    
  Sodium 150 mg 180 mg
  Potassium 60 mg 20 mg
  e-Fuel is designed to provide complete and balanced electrolyte replacement that is critical for proper hydration and to avoid muscle cramping and injuries. The sodium and potassium levels in e-Fuel are designed to meet the American College of Sports Medicine's recommendation for electrolyte replacement during intense athletic activity. Skratch roughly the same level of sodium as e-Fuel but about one third the potassium.

 Citrates    
  Sodium Citrate
  Potassium Citrate
  Citric Acid
  The Citrates in e-Fuel assist in the carbohydrate to energy conversion process as well as reduce and slow the build-up of lactic acid in your muscles.

 Antioxidants    
  Vitamin E 60% 0%
  Vitamin C 60% 18%
  e-Fuel is one of the few sports drinks on the market that contains antioxidant vitamins C and E to help protect against tissue damage, reduce soreness and aid in the recovery process.

Protein 0 g 0 g
  Neither Skratch or e-Fuel contain protein but there is a lot of mis-information that has been published regarding the benefits of protein in your sports drink. Protein has to go through a digestive process which draws blood away from working muscles to the stomach and intestines. When you are competing in an aerobic activity you want as much blood as possible supplied to your muscles carrying fresh oxygen for the energy conversion process. Consequently, independent studies have found no benefit of protein in a sports drink. Save the protein for your recovery drink. See the following article from the American College of Sports Medicine for a more complete discussion:

American College of Sports Medicine
Failure of Protein to Improve Performance when Added to a Sports Drink

Science Daily
Protein-added Sports Drinks Don't Boost Performance

Cost MSRP $26.95
1.96 lb Canister
$13.75/lb
 Sale Price $24.29

$12.39/lb
 
MSRP $19.95
1.0 lb Bag

$19.95/lb
 
 
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The nutritional information shown above for Skratch Hydration as published on the Skratch Labs web site April, 2016 for 8 oz of Lemons + Limes. Please refer to the manufacturer's web site or product packaging for the most recent information.

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