The humble beginnings of LIFEAID: How changing your mindset can bring you success, and the scarcity versus abundance mindset

The failure rate for new companies in the beverage industry is 95% in the first year and 99% in the first five years. Now a global company with 100 employees, LIFEAID Beverage Co. is going strong and on the trajectory to earn a revenue of $100 million. Aaron spoke with Iron Sights’ host Scott Howell to discuss the upbringing of LIFEAID and how the company has achieved its success. 





How it all started…

Aaron Hinde and Orion Melehan met at CrossFit box in Santa Cruz, California in 2009 and soon became good family friends. Aaron, a sports chiropractor, and Orion, a Certified Financial Planner, first came up with the idea for LIFEAID from their time in the party and rave scene. 

At these events, they would hand out compounds that can help your body stay resilient and feeling good when partying. This gave them the idea to put the compounds together in a “party pill”, each one containing 5-HTP, milk thistle, B complex, and electrolytes. 

The party pill concept soon turned into a beverage, and Aaron explains that “if supplements in pill form were the way to go, NoDoze would be a billion dollar company and Redbull wouldn’t exist”, meaning that people are more likely to consume the compounds if they were in a drink. This was the start of RaverAid, which soon was renamed PartyAid. 

Aaron and Orion developed their concept of the functional beverage. Instead of flavor variations, they focused on having functional variations. PartyAid would be a hangover remedy, FITAID would be for pre and post workout, FOCUSAID would help busy professionals and students, and GolferAid would appeal to, of course, golfers. 

GolferAid was launched first because there was no drink for golf at the time, and they figured this market would have the most space for their new product. GolferAid was first picked up by Santa Cruz golf course De Laveaga, and slowly more and more courses were ordering the functional beverages. With GolferAid gaining traction, Aaron and Orion knew it was time to go all in and sell their own businesses to focus on LIFEAID. 

Scarcity versus Abundance Mindset

Aaron sold his chiropractic practice to an individual who made payments, but within months, the new owner went bankrupt and Aaron only earned a fraction of what the practice was worth. With two kids, living on an undeveloped property, and everything invested in a start up in a tricky industry, Aaron was feeling the pressure. 

Having dealt with financial difficulties in the past, Aaron knew he needed to consider where he went wrong before in order for this new endeavor to be successful. He says in the interview that “the decisions I was making were yielding a result that I wasn’t happy with”, and he realized through copious amounts of research that he was “in full scarcity mode”. 

The scarcity mindset means that you feel there is a finite amount of success to be had, and any success earned by someone else takes away from the success you could achieve. On the contrary, the abundance mindset believes that there is enough success for everyone, and that there is value in every step of the way to success. 

“It took me being completely broke but in abundance mode to actually start building real wealth, where before I was a high income earner in scarcity mode but always broke.” Aaron explains that he started going on hikes on his property, practiced being present, and started keeping a gratitude journal. 

He explains that any success in life comes from making the right decisions over and over again. Aaron says he asks himself, “if I keep making these decisions over time, where will I be, where will I end up?” And if the result is somewhere he doesn’t want to be then he will refrain from making that choice. “Everything is a choice and the more endurance we have to suffer in the short term the less pain we will have in the long term.”

So what is the key to starting a successful business? Hard work. Aaron says that “There’s no guarantees, you got to keep innovating, you’ve got to keep grinding, and you’ve got to keep doing good work”. 


Natural Caffeine vs Synthetic Caffeine


How natural caffeine compares to synthetic caffeine and how to avoid that dreaded crash. 

Each day, about 90% of Americans consume caffeine in some form. But only some of these people get a steady boost of energy without the hard caffeine crash. Why is this? It all depends on the source of your caffeine (1).

Caffeine comes in all shapes and sizes that can be found in energy drinks, coffee, food, and even some health products. But what’s the best and healthiest way to consume caffeine? And isn’t caffeine…well just that, caffeine? Short answer is no, and how you get your fix does indeed matter.


Caffeine is available from two main sources: natural and synthetic. 


Natural caffeine is extracted from plants, like green tea leaves which come from the Camellia Sinensis plant, or Yerba mate, whose leaves are harvested from native holly trees in the South American rainforest. 

Synthetic caffeine, like the kind in popular “energy drinks”, is made in a laboratory from chloroacetic acid and urea. Chloroacetic acid is actually hazardous before it is turned into synthetic caffeine, and urea, also hazardous, is found in the urine of most animals – Ew. Many companies opt to use synthetic caffeine because it is cheaper to acquire and does not require sourcing from other continents. 


So why is natural caffeine the better choice? 

Natural caffeine is found in the vitamins and methylxanthines within the plant. Methylxanthines are simply a compound produced naturally by plants.  The presence of these vitamins and compounds in naturally sourced caffeine allows for the caffeine to be steadily released into your body throughout the day. 

When we consume synthetic caffeine, the caffeine is all released into our bodies at once and is quickly broken down. Synthetic caffeine metabolizes much faster than natural caffeine. That’s why we feel shaky and have a hard crash soon after consuming these synthetic caffeine products. 

The synthetic caffeine industry is also known to have questionable practices. Nearly all synthetic caffeine comes from massive factories in Shijiazhung, China, where industrial pollution has tainted the air and water. (2)


How do I find out if a product has natural or synthetic caffeine? 

Checking the nutrition facts on your product should give you this information. Products made with natural caffeine will list the source of the caffeine in the nutrition facts.

For example, on the FocusAid can, we can see Green Tea extract and Yerba mate extract are the sources of caffeine. Together, these provide 100mg of natural caffeine per can. In FitAid, the caffeine is sourced from Green Tea extract, and one can offer 45 mg of natural caffeine. 

Caffeine on its own is not bad for you, in fact, it has actually been shown to have some health benefits like preventing Alzhemier’s Disease and bettering our memory. But it is important to consider where your caffeine is coming from.

Not all caffeine is the same, and consuming caffeine from natural sources will prove better for your mood and your health! So stray away from synthetic caffeine, because when it comes to synthetic vs. natural, natural caffeine always takes the cake without the crash. 





HindeSight #68: Are you spending your time awake efficiently?

It’s Not About How Much You Sleep, It’s About What You Do When You’re Awake

You don’t need to sacrifice your sleep, which is extremely important, to be successful, you need to spend the time you are awake as efficiently as you can.

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Adaptive Athletes on the First-Ever Adaptive Season

2021 was a historic year for adaptive athletes, bringing the first-ever Adaptive Divisions to the Open and CrossFit Games. Throughout the season, athletes in these divisions proved that fitness is attainable at all levels, inspiring the community while setting a standard for years to come.

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“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

—Zig Ziglar

10 Benefits of Cycling

Research suggests that in the United States, more people than ever are now cycling, and experts continue to link cycling with improved fitness and lower risks of certain conditions.

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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

In this non-fiction book by Daniel Pink, it’s argued that human motivation is largely intrinsic, and that the aspects of this motivation can be divided into autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

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Big Summer Sale! Coming Soon…


Team FITAID Athlete Laura Horvath Clinches Silver at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games



Team FITAID Athlete Laura Horvath Clinches Silver at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games

Laura Horvath Brings FITAID to the Podium at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games


Santa Cruz, Calif., August 4th, 2021

After four days of competition and 15 events, Team FITAID athlete Laura Horvath earned the silver medal at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

Since 2016, Horvath has consistently been ranked number one in her home country of Hungary. The 24-year-old had seven top five finishes and one event win, forging her path to the podium once again. As a rookie, Horvath also placed 2nd at the 2018 CrossFit Games. 

Horvath made her CrossFit debut in 2016 at the age of 19 at the Meridian Regional and has been a European fan favorite ever since. She joined the Team FITAID European athlete roster earlier this year along with Gabriela Migala (Poland) who placed 6th in the Women’s Individual competition.

“After placing 14th at the 2019 CrossFit Games, a lot of people cast doubt on Laura’s ability to be a contender for the podium. We’re so proud of Laura for striving for greatness, prioritizing her recovery in order to make such astounding progress,  and coming back with a vengeance to prove that she is here to stay,” said Aaron Hinde, President and Co-Founder of LIFEAID 

The Sport of Fitness is all about the unknown and the unknowable and the global pandemic certainly added a layer of adversity for athletes during that time. CrossFit Games hopefuls were forced to get creative with their training as gyms were shuttered and the path to the Games was restructured.



Laura Horvath (EU) – 2nd

Gabi Migala (EU)  – 6th

Ellie Turner (AUS) – 26th


Jeffrey Adler (CA) – 13th

Royce Dunne (AUS) – 16th

Bayden Brown (AUS) – 17th

Jay Crouch (AUS) – 22nd

Adrian Mundwiler – 35th



Emma Lawson (16-17) (CA) – 1st

Anna Quost (45-49) (EU) – 17th

Greg Merkac (50-54) (CA) – 10th



CrossFit Surbiton: Jeremy Reijnders; Nienke van Overveld (EU) – 4th

Plus64 CrossFit: Madeline Shelling; Marnie Sykes (AUS) – 6th 

CrossFit Resurrection: Deanna Posey (CA) – 8th

CrossFit Butcher’s Lab: Klaus Obberhøj (AUS) – 22nd


ADAPTIVE – Upper Extremity:

Josue Maldonado (US) – 2nd 

Logan Aldridge (US) – 3rd


“The past 18+ months we’ve seen a lot of uncertainty, especially in the gym world. This obviously affected our athletes deeply and there is nothing more exciting than seeing Laura and the other 18 Team FITAID athletes put in work at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games! It’s like their energy was pent up all of 2020 and they finally got to show us what they’re made of,” said Hinde.

Despite everything, fans showed up to Madison, WI, filling out the stands to cheer on their favorite athletes. The energy in the Coliseum during the final events was electric as The Fittest on Earth solidified their spots at the podium.

About LIFEAID Beverage Co.

With a focus on great tasting, wellness-enhancing and solutions-driven supplement products, LIFEAID Beverage Co. has become a trusted brand among health and performance consumers. Located in Santa Cruz, California, LIFEAID offers a range of “Vitamins You’ll Actually Enjoy Drinking.” Products include both ready-to-drink cans and powdered mix blends: FITAID, FOCUSAID, IMMUNITYAID, PARTYAID, and others. Visit to learn more.




Your 2021 Summer Bucket List for the Family!

Summer is halfway over, and if you’re anything like me – some days feel like Groundhog’s Day. We’ve done the same thing day after day, and we are ready for a CHANGE UP! We asked the ladies in the Mother’s of Fitness Facebook Group (come join us!) to share some of their favorite summer activities to do as a family. So whether your kids are 6 months or 16 years, here are some universal, fun ideas to do with your kids on these hot summer days!


Water, water, and more water!

Photo courtesy of

Even if you don’t have a pool or lake/beach nearby, there are still so many fun water activities that you can do! Here are some of our favorites:


  1. Kiddie pools! An inflatable kiddie pool is a great way to cool down. Bonus points if you add in a kids basketball hoop or bring a water table into it!
  2. Set up a sprinkler. Any other parents have some incredible memories as a kid running through the sprinklers? Get silly and grab an umbrella or rain boots, and have some fun while running in the water.
  3. For the older kids – a homemade slip n slide! Tarps or plastic drop cloths work great, are super cheap, and incredibly easy to set up.
  4. Find a splash pad in your neighborhood to visit.
  5. Play with water balloons or water guns!



Photo courtesy of

Here are some great activities to spark the creativity in our kiddos:


  1. Set up an art station! For older kids, set up a mini easel and let them paint/draw to their heart’s desire! For younger kids/toddlers, a great option for “painting” is dipping a paint brush in water and painting on cement. This is one of those God-send CLEAN “messy fun”activities that really doesn’t leave any mess at all!
  2. Sidewalk chalk – perfect for all ages.
  3. Art projects! These can vary a ton based on age – but things like making necklaces, paper mache, making a card for a grandparent or family member, making a collage, etc are all ideas to start with.
  4. Depending on the age of your kids, bake or cook together! Kids LOVE being involved and helping to measure/pour when possible (and safe, of course).


Play Outside

Photo courtesy of

One of the obvious favorites, get outside when the weather permits. Here were a ton of favorites listed in the group:


  1. Go for a hike!
  2. Visit a neighborhood pool or park.
  3. Lawn games at home or at the park! Favorites included washers, flying kites, softball and kickball, cornhole, etc.
  4. Visit a local zoo or farm.
  5. Find local orchards where you can pick apples, peaches, etc.
  6. Set up a scavenger hunt around the yard or neighborhood (this can be done indoors too on super hot days!).
  7. Plant a garden together.
  8. Have a picnic dinner during sunset.
  9. Go fishing!


Other Fun Ideas…

Photo courtesy of

  1. Play tourist in your own city! Check out places you have never been before.
  2. Make ice cream, popsicles, or smoothie bowls together.
  3. Take a walk or ride bikes in a different neighborhood
  4. Have a camp out (in the living room or backyard)
  5. Visit a Farmer’s Market and pick out fresh produce together.
  6. Take a trip to a museum or aquarium.
  7. Play hide and go seek.


What are some other favorites you would add to this list?


Molly Tilove


HindeSight #67: Does CrossFit Have a Future?

Road to Madison – Jeffrey Adler

Jeffrey Adler is making his 3rd straight individual appearance at the CrossFit Games. He was one of five men to compete in the in-person portion of the CrossFit Games in 2020 and took 5th overall. Tommy Marquez talks with him and coach Caroline Lambray about the experience of competing at the Games last year, expectations for 2021 and how Jeffrey is excited to get on the floor at the Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center for the first time in his career.

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Does CrossFit Have a Future?

Last week, The New Yorker dropped a piece outlining the last 18 months of CrossFit as a brand and questioned whether or not there is a future for the brand. As you may know, LIFEAID was born in a CrossFit box and has been essential to the growth of our brand. So far with the sale of CrossFit to Eric Roza, we’ve seen many positive changes and are looking forward to the Roza era of CrossFit.

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“When you combine extreme focus and great teams, magic happens”

—Sam Altman

Lifting Weights? Your Fat Cells Would Like to Have a Word

We all know that lifting weights can build up our muscles. But by changing the inner workings of cells, weight training may also shrink fat, according to an enlightening new study of the molecular underpinnings of resistance exercise. The study, which involved mice and people, found that after weight training, muscles create and release little bubbles of genetic material that can flow to fat cells, jump-starting processes related to fat burning.

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Two-Brain Business: Grow Your Gym

Whether you own a garage gym,a CrossFit Box, or a martial-arts studio,Two-Brain Business can help you get running, get organized, and getmembers; keep people happier,and make more time for yourself. Chris Cooper of shows you how!

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HindeSight  |  No. 67


HindeSight #66: Do You Have a Growth Mindset?

Taking on the Giants in the Beverage Industry

Last week, I sat down with the team at Virtual Mgr on the “How Did We Get Here?” podcast.  During the episode, we talk about how Orion and I started and scaled LIFEAID from an RV to global domination, taking on the giants of the industry and winning! There are many similarities in our journey alongside Virtual Mgr’s despite the significant differences in our respective industries.

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Why is Nutrition so Important for the Sport of Fitness

CrossFit as a training methodology has long promoted balanced nutrition. It is part of the L1 curriculum, and a great amount of focus has been placed on a low processed, whole 

foods based diet as the driver to a reversal of chronic disease.

CrossFit the sport has taken a slightly different approach. While food quality is still important, there is a new focus on food amounts both on a calorie and macronutrient level. Macro tracking is the new nutrition approach du jour for athletes, and to no one’s surprise, the community has followed close behind.

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“A business has to be evolving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”

—Richard Branson

Having a Growth Mindset Makes it Easier to Develop New Interests

Steve Jobs’s vision for Apple was rooted in the belief that the arts and sciences do not live in isolation. They complement and enhance each other. John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Pixar, echoed this sentiment stating, “Technology inspires art, and art challenges the technology.” But even though integrating these areas can be necessary for innovation, too many people confine themselves to only one.

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This is Your Brain on Food

When it comes to diet, most people’s concerns involve weight loss, fitness, cardiac health, and longevity. But what we eat affects more than our bodies; it also affects our brains. And recent studies have shown that diet can have a profound impact on mental health conditions ranging from ADHD to depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, OCD, dementia and beyond.

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HindeSight  |  No. 66

HindeSight #65: FITAID Strawberry Lemonade is Here!

Jacob Heppner on the Make Wods Great Again Podcast 

CrossFit Games and Team FITAID athlete Jacob Heppner joined the Make Pods Great Again podcast back in March to discuss his retirement from competitive CrossFit, his new training barn, his work with teen athletes, new business ventures, and some hints to his new sporting pursuits. Spoiler alert: he’s boxing Josh Bridges in September.

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Physical Therapist Advice for Athletes

Taking care of your body means you can tackle your next adventure sooner. Abigail Stanislaw, a physical therapist in Santa Fe who specializes in sports rehabilitation, answered our most burning rehab questions.

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What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” 

—Sheryl Sandberg

FITAID Strawberry Lemonade is Here!

We’ve made athletic recovery simple. Now we’ve made it even more delicious for summer. As our first flavor extension, FITAID Strawberry Lemonade checks off all the boxes for a refreshing finish to a hard workout. Stacked with anti-inflammatory goodness and great taste, this is my new favorite in our roster.

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7 Habits of Highly Successful People

One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for nearly three decades. It has transformed the lives of presidents and CEOs, educators and parents–millions of people of all ages and occupations. Now, this 30th anniversary edition of the timeless classic commemorates the wisdom of the 7 Habits with modern additions from Sean Covey.

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HindeSight  |  No. 65

HindeSight #64: Are You Making a Difference?


Recapping the German Throwdown, Lowlands Throwdown and Brazil CrossFit Championship

After two weeks of in-person competition the CrossFit Games semifinals go virtual.  Sean and Tommy recap the CrossFit German Throwdown, the CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown and the Brazil CrossFit Championship.  Who impressed, who surprised and who emerged as potential podium contenders at the Games?  Plus, WIT signs a multi-year deal to operate an official online CrossFit store, sell CrossFit-branded gear and have a retail presence at the CrossFit Games and other CrossFit events.


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The Benefits of Creatine Supplementation for Women

Last week, Morning Chalk Up published an article by CrossFit Games athlete and Owner of Tactic Nutrition, Meredith Root, outlining the benefits of creatine supplementation in women. Although creatine is one of the most extensively researched supplements, like most, it has traditionally been researched in men, but can offer some overwhelmingly positive results (beyond fitness) for women, too.⁠

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“I may be over the top on this, but I just don’t want to like my competitors. I want my people to believe that whenever he and our other competitors succeed, we will be less able to do all the things we want to do.”

—Phil Knight

How to Harness the Pain-Blocking Effects of Exercise

Pain isn’t like heart rate or lactate levels—things you can measure and meaningfully compare from one session to the next. Every painful experience is different, and the factors that contribute to those differences seem to be endless. A recent study in the Journal of Sports Sciences, from researchers in Iraq, Australia, and Britain, adds a new one to the list: viewing images of athletes in pain right before a cycling test led to higher pain ratings and worse performance than viewing images of athletes enjoying themselves.

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Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller, this business book argues that one of the most valuable skills in the world is quickly becoming rare—the ability to focus without distraction on a demanding task. Author Cal Newport explains that by mastering this skill, you’ll be able to more effectively process complicated information and deliver better results in less time as a result.

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HindeSight  |  No. 64


HindeSight #63: What’s the Minimum Dose of Training to Stay Fit?

 Training and Competing as a New Mom with Kenzie Riley

Team MisFits athlete Kenzie Riley joins Drew and Sherb on the podcast to discuss the lessons she’s learned as a new mom trying to stay fit. 

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“Self-Rule” Choices You Can Make to Increase Your HRV and Immunity

Stress is often defined as an organism’s ability to adapt to environmental and psychological demands which result in biological changes that either support health, or could place you at risk for illness (Salleh, 2008). The relationship between stress and illness is complex and varies from person to person. Events in our lives collide with a host of physiological and psychological factors to either protect us from illness or make us more vulnerable.

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Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.


What’s the Minimum Dose of Training to Stay Fit?

This review addresses three key training variables: frequency (how many days per week), volume (how long is your endurance workout, or how many sets and reps do you lift), and intensity (how hard or how heavy). It only includes studies in which the subjects reduced their training for at least four weeks, to distinguish it from research on tapering before big competitions—although some of the conclusions are similar. And it’s focused on athletic performance, not weight loss or health.

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HWPO: Hard Work Pays Off

For years, every single decision he made was weighed against the question: “Will this help me win?” If the answer was no, he didn’t do it. If it would give him even the slightest edge or advantage, he would–no matter the cost. Fraser became a master of identifying his weaknesses and then seeking out training methods to improve them, and he’s idolized in the fitness community for his relentless pursuit of peak performance. It’s not hard to see why he achieved so much success–but how is a different question.

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HindeSight  |  No. 63