When sport scientist Allen Lim discovered the prevalence of gut rot in the pro peloton, he enlisted the help of Stacy Simms, a sports physiologist and nutrition scientist, to help tackle the problem. They created a drink called “X” or Secret Drink Mix and shared it with friends and athletes. Fortunately the response was overwhelmingly positive and the product is now available online and through a storefront in Boulder, CO called Scratch Labs.
Anyone who’s experienced gut rot, essentially bloating and stomach issues, knows it can quickly turn a great ride into a wincing experience. Even if you’re free of stomach pain, you may still find it difficult to swallow the same sugary drink for miles on end. Secret Drink Mix is the mildest sports drink I’ve tasted. It’s clean and refreshing—like adding a hint of fresh squeezed lemon to your water bottle.
The subtle taste comes from dehydrated fruit powder and nothing else. Flavors include raspberry, orange, and lemon/lime. At 80 calories a pop (per 500ml) it doesn’t overwhelm your stomach. The mix also contains three times the salt of other drinks and rounds out the electrolytes with calcium and potassium, making the drink ideal for heavy sweaters.
- Secret Drink Mix is all natural and derived from real fruit
- Mixes and dissolves easily
- The taste. I tried lemon/lime and raspberry and they were both very refreshing.
- The addition of electrolytes helps keep athletes properly hydrated.
- Cost. The mix is available in one pound, two pounds or a single serving. At nearly $20 a pound, this mix is pricey, averaging about $1- $1.50 a serving.
- Shelf life. Because there are no artificial ingredients, the product tends to cake with any moisture and the dehydrated fruit doesn’t have the shelf life of a traditional sports drink mix. If you buy in bulk, it’s good to have a few long rides on tap. To help combat this problem, Scratch Labs sells a flip lock tin ($8.50).