Today we’re pleased to bring you our conversation with Dr. Allen Lim, a Ph.D Exercise Physiologist from the University of Colorado Boulder (Jackson’s Alma Mater), founder of the exercise hydration company Skratch Labs, lover of bikes, and proponent of eating food made from scratch. As Allen puts it – his parts are from China, made in the Philippines, and programmed in America. Allen grew up in Los Angeles, California and quickly developed a love for the bike, which allowed him to discover a passion for exercise physiology. He eventually did his Master’s and Ph.D in Boulder, researching the stress involved in exercise. He then went on to work on developing the PowerTap, one of the first tools used to measure power output on the bike, and began working for professional cycling teams at big races like the Tour de France. While doing this, he started realizing that athletes were doing much better performance wise when they were fed real food. Armed with his rice cooker and kitchen utensils, he began feeding these athletes simple but nourishing meals, and they responded very positively. He then created a witches’ brew cocktail in paint buckets of the perfect mix of sugar and electrolytes that was much easier on the gut than traditional sports drinks that he shared with his team. Soon, riders from other teams began asking for this drink and putting it in their bottles instead of their team’s sponsored drink products. And thus Secret Drink Mix, and eventually Skratch Labs, was born.
Allen has had a profound impact on the nutrition performance of athletes in cycling and beyond, shifting the culture away from a reliance on Powerbars and Gatorade into one focused on understanding how important making food from scratch can be. In this episode, we talk about the birth of Skratch, what about the mix makes it useful for hydration, general hydration strategies for athletes, and why we should stop talking about diet and just eat real food. We get into business, and how Skratch Labs operates from a happiness first perspective, and how important it is to just start when you develop a passion for something. Allen is funny, engaging, and has a lot of experience with a variety of subjects, so I hope you enjoy the conversation!
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Follow Allen and Skratch Labs:
Allen on Instagram: @allenskratch
Skratch Labs: http://skratchlabs.com
Skratch on Instagram: @skratchlabs
Skratch on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skratchlabs/
Interesting and relevant articles:
Skratch Hydration Science: http://blog.skratchlabs.com/blog/hydration-science-and-practice
Allen + CU Boulder: http://www.colorado.edu/coloradan/2014/03/01/success-skratch
YouTube Channel: Thought For Food TV
Support TFF: www.patreon.com/thoughtforfood
Follow Jackson on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/54401