"What the hell is FITAID?" - That was the thought that popped into my head when I noticed the shiny new FITAID cooler behind the counter at CrossFit201. I'm sure many of you had similar reactions the first time you saw someone crack open a can after a rough WOD. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, it was pretty easy to figure out that FITAID is a performance and recovery drink produced by LifeAID Beverage Company. Here at Fitness Cult Chronicles we don't just do a google search and call it a day. Ali and I tracked down the president of LifeAID, Dr. Aaron Hinde, to get the inside scoop on FITAID.
Fitness Cult Chronicles: What are your backgrounds (fitness and non-fitness)?
Dr. Aaron Hinde: I was a sports Chiropractor in Scotts Valley (Santa Cruz County) and many of the CF HQ staff used to come see me as well as send visiting athletes in if they needed treatment. My business partner was a Certified Financial Planner in Scotts Valley as well. We met at CrossFit North Santa Cruz.
FC^2: What initially gave you the idea to start LifeAID Beverage Co? Was it hard getting off the ground?
AH: Combination of frustration with current drinks on the market, passion, ignorance, persistence and luck. Starting a new business is always difficult...starting a new beverage business is near impossible.
FC^2: How many gyms/affiliates currently carry FitAID?
AH: Over 3,000 just in the US. We are also sold in 18 countries now fueled by the growth of CF internationally.
FC^2: We know you are also sold in Vitamin Shoppe’s. What other stores/places are you looking to reach?
AH: We are hyper focused on continuing to expand throughout our core CF market while we simultaneously tackling high end grocery (ie. currently in HEB healthy living, Earth Fare, Giant Eagle healthy living, with our sights on Whole Foods). We are also rolling out our TravelAID product into the airports and FocusAID into corporate and college campuses.
FC^2: Most of us have heard about FitAID; please tell us more about PartyAID and GolferAID that people in the fitness community may not have heard about yet.
AH: PartyAID is for a different kind of recovery :-). If you've had a rough weekend, it will bring you back to life. The supplement profile (5-HTP, Milk Thistle, Vit A,B,C,D,E) is designed to help you bounce back after a fun night out. The goal of GolferAID is to get the golfing community off the high sugar, high caffeine, high sodium sodas, sports and energy drinks and on to a product that can help them play to their potential. The GolferAID supplement profile addresses the issues golfer's experience during their round of golf....lack of stamina, focus, joint/muscle fatigue.
FC^2: How do you come up with your drink formulas and their corresponding uses?
AH: We do extensive research to find out what supplement will produce optimal results for the desired avocation. Our guidelines are simple, create the best ready-to-drink, effective and refreshing products on the market without using added caffeine, taurine, sodium, or artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame.
FC^2: Who do you view as competition?
AH: The major sports, energy and soda makers that have been objectively a driving force in the diabetes epidemic in this country.
FC^2: What has been the biggest challenge in developing your business?
AH: I could write pages on the challenges we have experienced to date. Rather than focus on one or multiple of them, our ability to think accurately, move from a reactive to a proactive state, and quickly deal with and move past challenges as they present themselves (on a daily basis) is the key to our current success.
FC^2: If there was anything you could do differently (in relation to LifeAID) what would it be?
AH: Everything happens for a reason. If we didn't have times of suffering, we couldn't enjoy the successes.
FC^2: We first heard about you guys at least a year ago where we signed our box up to receive its own FitAID fridge. Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years?
AH: We are changing the landscape of the beverage business. Educated consumers are becoming more aware that what they put into their bodies directly affects their performance and health. Because of companies like ours, traditional sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks won't be the driving forces in our space that they are today. The landscape is changing and that is why we continue to see the success of companies like LifeAID, cold pressed juices, kombucha, coconut water, etc.
FC^2: What separates you from other products like Kill Cliff?
AH: We are not an energy drink rebranded for the CF space (we use no taurine, added caffeine, sodium) and we don't use artificial sweeteners (sucralose) in our drinks. Our FitAID blend really tackles true recovery w/ BCAAs, glutamine, arginine, Vit D, Vit C, B complex, glucosamine, turmeric, etc.
FC^2: Will we be seeing any new products in the near future? For example, Kill Cliff just came out with java flavored drinks.
AH: Of course. The sky's the limit. Keep an eye out for FocusAID (workplace performance without the high sugar and high caffeine of the energy drinks) and TravelAID (boost your immune system while you travel) in the very near future.
FC^2: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
AH: Think accurately, fail quickly, burn your ships at the shore, be in the moment, and don't forget to have fun.
Hope everyone has a better idea of what FITAID is and how hard it was to get it off the ground and into your box! We would like to give a big thanks to Dr. Aaron Hinde for taking the time to answer all of our questions. It's always fun to pick the brain of a hard working entrepreneur.
Want to learn more about FITAID? You can check them out here:
A big thanks to Jackie Demiro (IG: @jaclyn_demiro and Kenny Santucci (IG: @kennysantucci) for letting us use their awesome pictures! Looking for more of these two? Drop in at Kenny's gym CrossFit GSP the next time you are in Jersey and check out Jackie's amateur GRID team The Harlem Horsemen @harlemhorsemen later this Fall!
OTHER TOP FITNESS CULT CHRONICLES POSTS