Okay – so if you’ve talked with a few endurance athletes in your life, you’ve probably heard at least one of them say “you have to get your nutrition right”. OR… if you were me at 19 training for my first marathon, you might have gone for all of your long runs with no water and no food. True story. Since then, I’ve tried pretty much everything – gels, blocks, candy, frozen grapes, pretzels, Twizzlers, etc. I’ve puked in my share of races (usually because of the heat), and I’ve had a hard time finding endurance food that I wasn’t forcing my nauseous self to eat. Overshare?
A few years ago while riding in the Courage Classic, I discovered this delicious drink at the aid stations and was told it was Skratch, which at the time (I think) was a small company out of Boulder that I’d never heard of before. I ran across their cookbook at a local coffee shop and picked it up, and have been pretty much obsessed with them ever since. It’s the first cookbook I’ve read cover-to-cover instead of skipping all the intro stuff and just looking at the recipes. Part of their philosophy is that you should fuel your activities with real food, instead of package stuff with a bunch of ingredients you can’t pronounce. It was also a time in my life where I was transitioning my normal diet from killing ~1 bag of SPK’s (Sour Patch Kids) every week in my hotel room while traveling for work to trying not to eat packaged foods and spending my per diems on groceries, and this philosophy really resonated with me. I started making GF banana waffles with jelly for my runs and overall have felt a lot better with this fueling strategy. I also made the switch to Skratch drink mix, which is what I used in this “recipe”. But this isn’t an advertisement for Skratch, so go ahead and use whatever you want.
When I started getting into the really long miles this Spring training for my 50K, I would finish my runs EXHAUSTED and then have to drive an hour home from the trail. I started bringing ice water in an insulated vessel and leaving it in the car, and then mixing my Skratch in at the end of the run to drink on the way home. After a really hot run, it’s awesome to have an ice cold drink. Layla is also a diva and it’s hard to get her to hydrate during/after runs unless it’s straight from a stream, but she likes the ice water (I pour it for her before I mix in my Skratch). Yes – Layla is our dog/goldendoodle/muppet. Last week, after it had been over 90 degrees for like 50 straight days, I got the genius idea to turn my post-run iced Skratch into granita! When you are so hot you think you’re going to die, this stuff just might save you. Are you ready for the super complicated recipe?
- Mix water and drink mix according to the instructions on the package, or just throw a bunch in there until it tastes good. I made a bunch so I can use it for the next few weeks.
- Pour into a freezer-safe container.
- Freeze for a few hours. When some of the liquid has started freezing, pull it out and use a fork to scrape the frozen pieces. It will break up the solid before it gets really frozen.
- Repeat #3 every hour or so until there is no more liquid. Probably takes ~3 times total. In the end, you’ll have a texture almost like a snow cone but fluffier.
- Enjoy and try not to get brain freeze!
I tried it after our mountain bike adventure yesterday (more on that later) and it was so delicious. I may or may not have had some for dessert tonight, even though I hadn’t worked out since this morning. YUM!