by "Mad Dog" Earle for webBikeWorld.com
Introducing our readers to unique, obscure and interesting new products is always a thrill.
Double that if you learn about a product that you never knew existed.
And triple if you then find the product to be useful.
This Sqwincher Drink Mix product is a classic example!
You may think that Sqwincher is a wild 'n' crazy item that's only peripherally related to motorcycling, but bear with me.
I was cruising through a local county fair a couple of weeks ago, and while I was walking through a building that housed a sort of farmer's household items and safety products display, there was an empty table covered with free samples of Sqwincher.
I knew nothing about the stuff, but free is free, so I grabbed a couple and shoved 'em in my pocket.
I also grabbed a handful of free disposable ear plugs that turned out to be not very good.
And as long as they were giving away freebies, I also stuffed as many pairs of farmer's vinyl gloves (who knew that even farmers wear these things nowadays?) as I could fit in my pockets.
Aand a sample bottle of that disinfectant hand wipe goo that leaves your hands dirty but supposedly sterile...
I absent-mindedly threw the packs of Sqwincher in the toolbox when I got home, then re-discovered them again a few days later.
I honestly had no idea what Sqwincher was or what it was supposed to do; but the packets were colorful and interesting and free.
So I studied the label and spent some time on the Sqwincher website, where I realized that this product has potential for motorcycle riders.
Sqwincher is an electrolyte replacement drink -- sort of like Gatorade, but better, according to the company (see chart below).
The cool part though is the packaging.
The Sqwincher "FastPack" is an 18 ml (0.6 fl. oz.) sealed packet of Sqwincher concentrate, and the packet acts as a cup.
Tear it open, pour in water up to the dotted line, and you have a 180 ml (6.0 fl. oz.) electrolyte replacement drink that, believe it or not, actually tastes pretty good!
The Sqwincher FastPack packet weighs just 25 grams (0.875 oz.), so you can easily fit about a half-dozen or more in a tank bag pocket, or under the seat, in your jacket pocket or wherever.
The concentrate can also be poured into a liter bottle of water, although that dilutes it way beyond the company's suggested mixture amount. I guess you'd still get the benefits of the electrolyte replacement, but you'd have to drink the entire bottle.
Sqwincher tastes best when mixed as directed, using the packet as the cup, and that's what makes it so handy for motorcycle use.
When it's mixed this way, the 180 ml is easy to drink, and it tastes just like Kool-Aid.
Sqwincher comes in a variety of flavors: grape, fruit punch, lemon-lime, cherry, tropical fruit, orange, citrus, strawberry and probably more.
It also comes in big containers of concentrate that can mix up a few liters, and it's available in fully mixed drink bottles, cans and more, but the FastPack package is perfect for motorcycle use, especially when riding in this super-hot weather we're having here lately.
Now I have mixed feelings on whether or not the human body really needs electrolyte replacements as often as the Gatorade or Sqwincher folks say you do.
And I, for one, certainly don't need the extra carbohydrates that come with another sweet drink.
But I do know this -- I came this close to full-on heatstroke once, and I don't want it to happen again.
Somewhat ironically, it happened while I was working on a farm...
I thought I was having a heart attack, and I became very sick -- and very scared.
So if a few gulps of electrolyte drink mix can prevent that from happening, and it tastes good as a bonus, well, I'm all for it.
Speaking of taste, Sqwincher tastes much better than Gatorade, in my opinion.
The popularity of Gatorade has always been puzzling to me. I think the stuff has an unpleasant metallic taste, but then I've never been able to drink diet soda either. Yuck!!
I don't think most motorcycle riders know how quickly dehydration can set in while riding.
I often develop a powerful thirst, even in cool weather. Dehydration is accelerated by the breeze blowing the moisture off your body when you're riding.
Usually, once you get thirsty, it's too late, and that's what happened to me on the farm (along with dumb youth, no hat and spending all day out in the field on a tractor with not a drop of water in sight).
So you may think it's wimpy to be gulping electrolytes all day, but heck, we know better today than we did a couple of decades ago about the importance of keeping hydrated, right?
Besides, I guess there is a bit of a boost from the carbohydrates in the Sqwincher drink mix.
Sqwincher has no caffeine (too bad), low sodium, it's not carbonated and it doesn't contain fruit juice.
Each mixed drink (there's a "Lite" version also) has only 50 calories, 0 fat, 40 mg of sodium (2% of daily requirements), 35 mg of potassium (1%), 13 grams of carbs (4%) and 0 protein.
Comparing Sqwincher with Gatorade and other drinks, Sqwincher has more potassium and it's the only electrolyte drink that contains some magnesium. It's also relatively low in calories:
Not convinced? Here's another chart (below), from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is the U.S. Government's weather and environmental agency.
It illustrates the importance of keeping cool (relatively speaking).
Note that it doesn't have to be all that hot to cause a potentially dangerous effect.
With outdoor temperature as low as, say, 31 degrees C (88 F) and 75% relatively humidity, which can be very typical in the southern half of the U.S. and elsewhere during summer, you're already getting into the danger zone for sunstroke, heat exhaustion or possible heatstroke.
Now I'm not sure how much a 180 ml packet of Sqwincher mix will help, but the point is that it's important to stay hydrated and cool in hot weather and to realize what heat can do to a body.
And if the drink tastes better, people will be more likely to consume it.
Even vented motorcycle clothing can get very warm -- we're working on a review of the new Rev'it Air jacket and Mistral mesh pants, but even with this complete mesh outfit, in 95-degree weather, when also wearing boots, gloves, a helmet and Bohn armored undies, it gets unbearably hot very quickly.
Remember that some of the symptoms of heatstroke can include difficulty breathing, hallucinations, confusion and disorientation -- the kinds of things you don't want to have while riding a motorcycle.
But it starts with a headache, which is also a warning sign of dehydration. Don't let it get that far.
Make sure you stay hydrated in hot weather, even if it does mean more rest stops for both intake and outflow.
Since Sqwincher is sold as an industrial drink, it can be hard to find.
We had to buy a couple of cases of the stuff just to get a few packets. You'd think they'd offer a "teaser" package with assortment of flavors to try, but I guess not.
A 50-pack box was $12.97, so we bought two, one grape and one fruit punch. It cost $10.55 in freight. So that gave us 100 Sqwincher packets for $36.49, or $0.365 each, which isn't that bad actually.
I gave some to the kids to take to summer camp and I stuffed a bunch in my various pieces of motorcycle luggage. I have no idea how long the stuff will last in storage, but I bet it's a long time.
A possibly frivolous motorcycle accessory, but interesting nonetheless.
The Sqwincher FastPack is very easy to carry and use because the package becomes the cup. Just add water!
Replaces the electrolytes that I didn't know needed replacing, and adds some extra calories and carbs to the diet, but it's pretty tasty and probably better for you than soda. Check it out if you get the chance!