Skratch Labs Crispy Rice Cakes Sport Fuel Review
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Scratch Labs Crispy Rice Cakes: A training energy source you can’t wait to eat.
For better than a decade, Scratch Labs strived to create training and racing fuels for the endurance athlete. Since the founder, Allen Lim, began making his own “secret drink mix” in his kitchen, athletes have been intrigued. The recipes contain less sugar, more sodium, and no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors, with a simple and clean taste created by using real fruit. Skratch Labs changed the racing fuel market by providing athletes with a sports fuel that was gentle on the GI system, but provided calories and electrolytes in a clean, palatable drink mix. Since the commercial release of Skratch Labs Hydration Mixes in 2011, the founder and his staff have continued to create many variations of endurance fuel to keep athletes running strong. The most recent release is the Skratch Labs Crispy Rice Cakes Sport Fuel.
I had an opportunity to test some of Skratch Lab’s products while I was training for the Leadville 100 Trail Run. Having listened to a podcast highlighting Dr. Lim and his knowledge of the Leadville 100 and high elevation fueling, I was immediately intrigued. While the primary focus of this review is the Skratch Labs Crispy Rice Cakes, I will also reference the additional fuel sources from Skratch Labs that I used during my training and race.
Something Quite Different
Through my years as an ultrarunner, I have experimented with different sources of food to fuel my miles. In the past, you might have found me with a small bag of corn chips, a cold piece of pizza and some ultra sweet drink mix to get me through the miles. I quickly realized that I wasn’t quite doing things properly. A full gut and sluggish miles had me looking for something lighter, cleaner and easily palatable during a long run. Skratch Labs has created nutrition with the endurance athlete in mind.
With a variety of options for calories and electrolytes, it is so nice to have a choice of options from Skratch. I start with filling my hydration bladder with the Skratch Labs hydration mix (I like the Lemon + Lime). As the days trudge on and I’m getting into my longer training miles, I have historically supplemented my hydration mix with different types of boring bars. When I was offered the Skratch Labs Crispy Rice Cakes, I was excited to try something different.
The Technical Details
The Crispy Rice Cakes are:
- Light & Crispy: Easy to eat, easy to digest, and won’t weigh you down
- Made from Scratch: A blend of crispy brown rice, wild rice, red rice, and quinoa. Only real food and no junk!
- On-the-Go Energy that Lasts: 180 kcals & over 20g of complex carbohydrates fuels most athletes for 1+ hours
- Allergen-Friendly: Gluten Free, Peanut Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free
- No Junk: Non-GMO, Gelatin Free, No Artificial Colors or Flavors
- NEW VARIETY PACK: Each pack includes 3 Salted Maple & Mallow Crispies, 3 Chocolate & Mallow Crispies and 2 Strawberry & Mallow Crispies.
But How Do They Taste?
I ordered a variety pack of the Crispy Rice Cakes. They are made with a Crispy blend (brown rice, red rice, wild rice, red quinoa) held together with marshmallow. The Crispy Rice cakes come in three flavors: Chocolate + Mallow, Strawberry + Mallow, and their newest flavor, Salted Maple + Mallow. All of the variations contain a blend of complex carbs to give you 180-190 calories, enough to extend most athletes’ endurance efforts by an hour. All of the varieties were easy to chew with the rice and quinoa adding a nice, light crunch to the cake. The marshmallow “glue” holding the cake together did get a bit soft after riding in my pack against my ribcage. This made it easy to eat and chew but it did fall apart a bit in my hands. I found that the soft cake was easy to eat in smaller chunks and I enjoyed it over a few miles. The cakes were mildly sweet with a hint of saltiness. Delicious!
Can I eat them on the run?
Another important consideration for me is “how easy does it go down”. If you’ve ever been 25 miles into a hot training run, you have most certainly experienced the “paste” that some bars create in your mouth. The Crispy Rice Cakes were easy to chew and went down smooth. The marshmallow was soft in my mouth and the rice was easily obliterated into tiny bits with just my saliva. It was easy to get the calories in and I didn’t have to drink excessive fluid to wash a paste off the roof of my mouth. This was greatly appreciated, Skratch! 10 out of 10 for flavor and “eat-ability”.
P.S. I ate a few of the Crispy Rice Cakes for a snack because they tasted so good (I wasn’t running).
A Great Combination For Success
As with all nutrition considerations, variety is the key. The Crispy Rice Cakes are an excellent, long lasting source of fuel during my training. I alternated between the Skratch Crispy Rice Cakes, Skratch Energy Bars and Skratch Energy Chews. I found that alternating between fuel sources kept me sustained and satisfied for my long training days. All of the products were easy on my gut and didn’t leave me feeling hungry or sluggish. The Skratch Lemon + Lime Hydration mix is pleasantly mild and was not overly sweet. This left room in my appetite for the delicious Crispy Rice Cakes without my taste buds feeling “over-sugared.”
My Final Thoughts
Skratch Labs continues to create excellent fuel for the endurance athlete. As I moved on to race day at the Leadville 100, I had fine tuned my race nutrition with a combination of Skratch hydration, Skratch Crispy Rice Cakes, and Skratch Energy Bars. The fuel went down smooth and I never once felt the crash I have felt in the past when using sugary gels. The Cakes and Bars are packaged neatly in a light foil package. The foil packaging folds down tiny and left plenty of room in my trash pocket. While racing in the Leadville 100, my hydration and nutrition were spot on thanks to Skratch Labs sport fuels.
The cakes weigh in at 1.59 ounces with 180-190 calories. This exceptional calorie density make the Crispy Rice Cakes an excellent, lightweight source of fuel. The 20g of complex carbs were long lasting and the cakes taste great and the price is reasonable. If you are looking for a sport fuel that tastes great and it easy to eat during your sport, I encourage you to order Skratch Labs Crispy Rice Cakes or any of their other endurance nutrition at www.skratchlabs.com.