Life Aid- Local Spot Light
LifeAid Beverage Co. is a company created in the heart of Santa Cruz. In this article we take a look into how some local boys broke into the beverage industry. Located on the West Side in the old Wrigley Gum factory, LifeAid produces beverages and has created brands such as FitAid, PartyAid, and the very successful GolferAid. Owners DR. Aaron Hinde and Orion Melehan, with backgrounds in sports nutrition and financial planning, have created a tasty all natural beverage that replenishes and revives your bodily system. In this interview with Dr. Aaron Hinde we explore the origins of LifeAid and the ingredients that fuel this company. Also, please see the Santa Cruz Waves facebook page and Santa Cruz Ca Locals facebook page for FitAid social media giveaways. The following is an interview with LifeAid Co-Owner Dr. Aaron Hinde.
SCW: Can you please give us a short overview on how LifeAid was created and who benefits the most from drinking your products?
Aaron: Santa Cruz is the home of many natural and healthy beverage companies including Odwalla and Santa Cruz Organics. As parents of young children, we were frustrated with the lack of healthy options that were appealing (and marketed to) to our kids. We created LifeAID Beverage to fulfill three primary requirements. 1) All our drinks would be healthy and natural 2) They would contain effective doses of targeted vitamins and supplements 3) They would still be cool, sexy and hip (appealing to the younger generation) and taste great.
SCW: Sounds great. What are the key differences between FitAid, GolferAid, and PartyAid?
Aaron: First, let me tell you what brings the line together. All of the drinks are all natural, 45 calories, and sweetened with raw organic blue agave. They contain NO artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. What separates the line is that each drink has a unique supplement profile and flavor. For instance, FitAID is very big in the CrossFit community because it is great for pre and post work out. It has glutamine, BCAAs, Omega 3s, Quercetin, Green Tea Leaf, Vit D, etc. GolferAID has things like glucosamine, natural anti-inflamms, and supplements for stamina and focus. PartyAID has 5-HTP for serotonin/mood and well-being, milk thistle for liver detox and Vit A, B, C, D, E for immunity. Our drinks contain no added caffeine, no sodium, and no HFCS or aspartame.
SCW: We love that you use Organic Blue Agave as a sweetener. Where did the idea come from to use it as a sweetener?
Aaron: We wanted a sweetener that was minimally processed and low on the glycemic index (which makes it diabetic friendly). Even though raw organic blue agave is much more expensive than high fructose corn syrup or the artificial sweeteners, we refused to compromise by using cheaper but bad for you type sweeteners.
SCW: What are the most exciting things about running a beverage company in Santa Cruz?
Aaron: The people in Santa Cruz get healthy lifestyles. We understand that what we put in our bodies reflects in how we perform and interact with the world, so LifeAID products are a perfect fit. FitAID is doing very well in the CrossFit community and, as you know, CrossFit started in Santa Cruz. Also, on our advisory board is Santa Cruz Organics founder John Battendieri. John is a pioneer in the natural and organic food movement and has been a tremendous asset to our team. Our whole team was born and raised here in Santa Cruz and the community, as a whole the community has been extremely supportive of what we are doing. In fact, LifeAID has raised over $1.5MM to date and almost all of that money has come from within the county.
SCW: In April the US Congress began asking leading energy drink companies to be more transparent in their listing of ingredients and amount of caffeine. Where is the future of energy drinks going, and is the market for synergy drinks like yours picking up?
Aaron: We no longer have to educate people on the adverse effects of high sugar, high caffeine, and high salt beverages. The media is doing that for us. LifeAID has coined the term “Synergy Drink”. Energy Drinks are effective but they aren’t healthy. The natural evolution beyond “energy” is “Synergy” targeted vitamins and supplements to get your body and mind working in better synergy.
SCW: What would the benefits be for a surfer be to drink FitAid before or after a surf session?
Aaron: Surfing is a demanding sport, both mentally and physically. If you are striving for peak performance, then filling your body with sports and energy drinks isn’t going to get you there. FitAID is the most comprehensive and cleanest drink on the market. If you want to stay in the zone and have a great session, FitAID is a no-brainer. It’s also great to drink after you get out of the water, because it has expansive muscle recovery supplements in it.
SCW: The future looks bright. What is the next move for the LifeAid Bevco?
Aaron: We have three more supplement beverages coming out within the next 6 months. FocusAID, workplace performance without the high sugar/high caffeine (of the energy drinks), TravelAID, boost your immune system while you travel, and LifeAID a daily supplement drink with Omega 3s, especially for baby boomers that don’t want to drink Ensure or choke down a bunch of horse pills.
SCW: Are there any shout outs you would like to give? Friends, family, employees…
Aaron: Absolutely. First, Orion and I would like to thank our wives, Ramah and Edlina who have been unconditionally supportive as we quit our “day jobs” and embarked on this crazy journey. Our team of Santa Cruzians that make up LifeAID, Eric Gundersen, David Shanahan, Theza Adlan, Justin Mello, Tamara Burnett, John Battendieri, Andy Halliday, Jim Melehan, Sean Tario, Jason Book, and our charity of choice, Grind Out Hunger. And a huge “thank you” to all the local businesses that continue to be supportive of our homegrown company. New Leaf Markets, Scotts Valley Market, Ben Lomond Market, Delux Foods, Shoppers Corner, Summit Market, Dekes, Beauregard Winery, DeLaveaga Golf Course, Boulder Creek Golf, CrossFit Ready, CrossFit Scotts Valley, and the list continues to grow.
SCW: Thank you for taking the time to answer out questions.
Aaron: Your welcome. Thank you too.
You can find FitAid on facebook at: FitAid
And check out the LifeAid site at: LifeAid
Also, enter scwaves as a coupon code for a special $10 off offer.
Photos provided by LifeAid
Article by Jack Neenan