Skip to content

A LIFEAID for More Than Chiropractors

Palmer alumnus’s company is one of Inc.’s 5,000 fastest-growing businesses

Aaron Hinde, D.C. (West, '03) with LIFEAID can.Aaron Hinde, D.C. (West, ’03), maintained a sports-focused practice in the Santa Cruz mountains for a decade, helping patients achieve their health and wellness goals by providing the right “formula” to succeed.

Then came the day that Dr. Hinde adjusted his focus to not just changing lives but saving them.

“My patients began to ask what I thought about certain products that were being marketed as performance-enhancing beverages,” recalls Dr. Hinde. “When I saw the incredibly dangerous amounts of caffeine, sugar and other artificial ingredients in these products, I told them, ‘If you keep drinking this stuff, in the long run, it’s going to do you more harm than good.’”

In 2011, with no experience in the beverage industry and a minimal amount of start-up capital, Dr. Hinde and his business partner, Orion Melehan, launched LIFEAID with the shared goal of crafting beverages that were more aligned with the goals and values of health-conscious consumers.

“When we pitched our first product, we were told to double the sugar and reduce the supplements by half, or the taste would not appeal to consumers,” says Dr. Hinde. “We said that wasn’t an option and would find someone else to help us produce our product.”

Since the 2011 launch, LIFEAID has grown to a team of approximately 85 full-time employees and has earned a spot on Inc.’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies list.

Dr. Hinde credits part of LIFEAID’s success to a seminar he attended as a Palmer student. “One of the speakers stated that the one consistency he found among all successful people is that they were ‘unreasonable in their expectations.’ What he meant was these individuals set the bar so high from the outset that everyone around them rose to the challenge — and that always stuck with me.”

During the 11 years since Dr. Hinde retired from active practice, he has had to guide LIFEAID through some rather significant challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 Santa Cruz fires that resulted in the loss of his family’s home.

Once again, LIFEAID defied the odds.

“The long-standing business model for beverages relies heavily on providing consumers with off-the-shelf access to your product,” explains Dr. Hinde. “For us, we relied heavily on sales from gyms. However, with all gyms having to close during COVID, we transitioned to web-based marketing and did very well.”

As LIFEAID has evolved, so has Dr. Hinde’s role. While the company enters its next chapter, he looks forward to the next phase of personal and professional growth. “I see myself as more of a shepherd now, helping those around me live their best lives, while personally achieving work-life harmony that wasn’t possible during the early days as the entrepreneur of a start-up,” says the married father of two teenage children.

“One of my mentors, a great entrepreneur, once told me not to forget to enjoy the ride. At first, I fought the premise. Then, one day I woke up and thought, ‘Why would you not enjoy the ride?’ There’s so much wisdom to be learned from the good and the bad. We have one life to live, so enjoy it!”