From the Top: Skratch Lab's Allen Lim - 'Sports Nutrition is About What You Do in Your Kitchen, Not on the Bike'

Jun 11, 2018
by Sarah Moore  
Skratch at Sea Otter 2018.

I was walking back to the Pinkbike booth after a meeting at the Sea Otter Classic, when I came upon the Skratch Labs booth. Not having had lunch yet, and seeing the long line for free samples at their booth, I decided to freeload. As I was "sampling" their brand new Ginger & Miso bar and a couple Matcha Green Tea & Lemon chews, it turns out one guy working the booth was none other than the company's founder Dr. Allen Lim. He's an exercise physiologist and former coach to Tour de France cycling teams who has three cookbooks aimed at endurance athletes in print, two of which I own.

I wasn't planning on doing an interview, but his insights and the thoughtful conversation I had with him made me dig deeper. Allen's philosophy that endurance athletes should eat simple, real food to avoid discomfort and stay strong on the bike all day long goes far beyond the roadie peloton, and should be considered by mountain bikers as well.


Who are you?


Dr. Allen Lim: My name is Doctor Allan Lim, but people just call me Al or whatever. I'm not that kind of doctor, though. I have my PhD in physiology, so if it itches or it burns, I'm not the right guy.


What led you to start Skratch Labs?


Dr. Allen Lim: What led me to start Skratch Labs was I was in a place in my life where nobody else would give me a job. Yeah, long story short, I had previously been a coach and sports scientist for a Pro Cycling Tour team - that's roadies. When I was working on the Pro Cycling Tour, I had realized that there was a big problem with the sports nutrition of the athletes, because they were bitching and moaning about it all the time. It's a pretty easy problem to realize when someone's complaining.

What we realized was that if we made more, or all, of their food from scratch - their energy bars, their sports drinks - that these athletes perform better. So it was a pain in the ass, but I took it upon myself to literally travel with a rice cooker, make little sushi rice cakes for these guys, and blend sports drinks for them that were less sweet, had more electrolytes, and were simply flavored. Towards the end of my career, this guy I was working for got embroiled in this federal investigation, and as you may know, that kind of detonated my career. When I was back home in Boulder, Colorado, all these athletes were asking me for this sports drink that I made. Initially, I was like, you can all go F yourself, I'm like you know, I'm watching Netflix, looking for a job. But then I'd feel guilty about it, so I started making them the sports drink, and it just slowly evolved into what is now today's Skratch Labs.

So, this company started very organically. Initially, there wasn't this desire to you know, start a company. I didn't know anything about business, I'm a physiologist, but I got really inspired by the fact that not just these elite pro roadies were having this problem, but everyday athletes were having issues with gut rot and GI distress and poor sports nutrition. I wanted to start communicating a simpler message. This message that,


Skratch at Sea Otter 2018.


bigquotesSports nutrition is about what you do in your kitchen, not what you eat on the bicycle. It's about what happens in your own home. It's about cooking real food, it's about the life skills associated with having family dinners and connecting around food.

For me, that's how I always saw food, that's always how I saw sports nutrition. So, my friend Biju Thomas and I started writing a series of cookbooks called The Feed Zone cookbook series. We've got three books now, and it's been really fun to talk about sports nutrition, not just in the context of the prepackaged foods we make from our energy bars or chews to drink mix, but to also talk about it in the context of, well here are the recipes and ideas that can help you eat better. And I think with the recipes and ideas, if you end up being time strapped or you end up needing alternatives that are more convenient, well then we do have our energy bars, we do have our sports drinks, we do have our recovery drinks. But bottom line is that you can make most of this stuff at home, on your own, in your own home.

bigquotesWe make for example a chocolate milk recovery mix, but we always tell people that look, you come home, if you don't have that chicken fried rice ready to go, and there's nobody there to hug you, well this is a good alternative but it's not the best alternative, right?

So, yeah. That's effectively how we started. We're six years old now, it's been a big learning experience, we have a phenomenal team based in Boulder, Colorado, and we're just trying to have as much fun as possible. We're privately owned and independently funded. We don't have anyone to answer to so we can be zany and weird and be ourselves and take care of people.


And your distribution online or through bike shops and grocery stores?


Dr. Allen Lim: We distribute in all the ways that people distribute, so primarily it's through independent bike dealers. We have about six thousand IBDs in small running stores, specialty shops across the United States. But we also distribute in Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, South Korea.

Yeah, it's all about the small specialty store but we also have a really good online business, Skratchlabs.com, and other e-commerce sites - Competitive Cyclist, Backcountry. We sell through some natural grocery stores, you know, Whole Foods. People find us in all places. It's been a lot of fun.


Can you talk about how the name Skratch Labs came about?


Dr. Allen Lim: Well, the name really began when my parents first decided to move us all to America. My family's story is all about running away from shit. Whether it's the Japanese invasion of China on my mom's side of the family, whether it was the communist revolution on my dad's side of the family. My parents are Chinese, they eventually met in the Philippines, but when I was born there was a president named Ferdinand Marcos who was a total tyrant. The day he declared Martial Law in the Philippines, my dad got on a plane and flew to America. About seven months later, the rest of the family was in America. My parents literally started from scratch. My dad's first job was bagging groceries for a Chinese supermarket, just outside of East LA. So for me, I've always grown up with this idea that no matter where you find yourself in life, you can always start from scratch. And I found myself in this place in life where I had to reinvent myself. So, this company started because I was, along with two really good friends, Ian McGregor and Aaron Foster, starting our lives over from Skratch.

That being said, what I learned in pro cycling is that food and drink are just better from scratch. So there's kind of dual meaning here.

bigquotesThe reason why we call it Skratch Labs is because it's about heart and head. The Skratch kind of symbolizes the soul of the company, the heart side. The hedonistic side, the emotional side, the passion side. The Lab side is a reminder that you still have to be rational, that there's still science and there's still evidence-based problem solving when you come to your conclusion, and that the two can live together.

You can be a hedonist and live a life, you know, that is about finding pleasure, but that you can also be a rationalist. You can also think about how to solve your problems using real experience, experiments and real science. So, heart and head. Skratch Labs.

Skratch Labs
Photo from the Skratch Labs website


What have you learned in the past six years with this company?


Dr. Allen Lim: I've learned so much it's hard to even begin to describe how much I've learned. I've learned that you can't do anything by yourself. It takes a whole entire team. Everyone that works at Skratch Labs makes up for some tragic flaw in myself, so it's neat when all of a sudden, you have people ... not who you're taking care of, but who are taking care of you. So maybe a major part of that shift I learned about working in this world, surviving in this world, is that it's not necessarily about taking, it's not necessarily about confrontation. It's about giving, and it's about collaboration. Because when you start to see it as people are giving to you, not what you have to provide to other people, that paradigm shift is incredibly powerful. For me, that took away the anxiety. The "What's next?" or "What do I have to do?" It took away the "should," which was such a negative word and filled with complaint and regret, and it put me into the present. "We have to do this", not "We should do this."

The other thing I learned is that you can figure stuff out that you don't know if you're willing to try. A lot of people complain that it's all a drop in the bucket, that there is no use in trying. But as my good friend Shannon Galpin who started the Afghan Women's cycling team said, be the drop. Fill your bucket. That's what it takes to run a business. It takes just these tiny little drops every single day. It's in some ways extraordinary laborious, but in that labor, you find kind of a sense of peace and flow. You have to persist and grit through a lot of stuff that you don't like to do, you know?. For me, it's a reminder of delayed gratification. Mostly, I think that it reaffirmed my own parents' sense of the American dream.

bigquotesThe American Dream is not what you're entitled to, the American Dream is what you're willing to work for, and it's only the possibility of opportunity. It's the possibility of reinventing yourself.


How many people do you work with now?


Dr. Allen Lim:We have about 20 full-time employees in Boulder, Colorado. We have a pretty extensive network across the US and distributors across the world. So the team is getting bigger and bigger, you know?

bigquotesI've had to learn how to find the right people who fit with our culture, who get my zaniness, who are willing to ... put up with my madness. I've also learned that any good team has to have a leadership team with many different opinions and perspectives. If it was just me leading this company, I would be totally hosed, because I'm the dreamer, I'm the big idea guy. We would never get anything done if I didn't have a CEO Ian McGregor who was able to execute, able to put all the pieces together, to look at the balance sheet and say "No, we can't do that", or "Yes, let's go for it".


How are the cookbooks tied to the Skratch Labs products and company?


Dr. Allen Lim:The cookbooks are integrally tied to Skratch Labs, in so much that we're a sports nutrition company, and as a sports nutrition company solving problems for endurance athletes, you have to have recipes and ideas, as well as products, right? Because we don't only eat energy bars. We don't only eat chews, we don't only drink sports drinks, right? We don't only eat by ourselves and when we're on the bicycle. We're human beings. So for me, it's as important as a company to teach life skills associated with taking care of oneself, as it is to sell products that help to do that same. I don't think that we would be really balanced as a company if we didn't invest in these cookbooks, if we didn't have these cookbooks, and if we didn't continue to help educate others on how to take better care of themselves.

Skratch at Sea Otter 2018.


What kind of nutrition would you recommend for an hour-long full out effort versus a full day on the bike?


Dr. Allen Lim: There's a big difference. I think that a lot of people forget that for very short and intense events that it's what you eat before, it's what you eat the night before that matters more than what you actually eat on the bicycle. That on the bicycle for those short, intense events, it's really most important just to stay hydrated. But even for shorter events, your body has plenty of water and sodium stores, we're pretty resilient. And sometimes keeping an empty stomach is the right way to go.

For longer days, like an enduro event, when you're out there all day long, when you have a little more time between the whole technical downhill sections, you can take some time to feed yourself and to have actual real food and think about it as if you were just living your day, where you have a breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or you take time to fill your stomach which acts as a reservoir for food, which that slowly trickles that energy into your body throughout the day.

You know, I don't think there's necessarily anything special about sports nutrition, except that hopefully it's simpler, hopefully it tastes good, hopefully it's got a mixed macronutrients profile. Ultimately, when you're exercising it's about carbohydrates, it's about salt, total calories, and trying to supplement what your body can't carry. The human body can only hold 2,000 to 3,000 calories worth of glycogen, so if you're out there all day long, 5,000 calories burned, you're going to need to replace at least 2,000 calories, or anywhere from 200 to 500 calories an hour. Who knows, it depends on who you are.

bigquotesBut, that all being said, here's an idea. If you're thirsty, drink. If you're not, don't worry about it. If you're hungry, have something to eat, right? I think if people follow that advice, listen to their bodies, get in tune with themselves, they usually don't kill themselves.

But, when they go beyond that, or they try to get too in their heads, like for example if you're not thirsty and you start pounding a bunch of water, you could get hyponatremia, you could dilute your sodium source. So there's a reason why the thirst mechanism exists. But, you're losing salt in your sweat, so why not replace the salt, that makes sense and all of a sudden your thirst mechanism works better because now it's a good barometer for both water balance and sodium balance.

Skratch Labs
Photo from the Skratch Labs website


So you say that like it's an easy thing to be in tune with your body. Do you think it's that easy to know exactly what your body needs?


Dr. Allen Lim: Well, maybe if you read my next book that has not yet been written called You and Your Changing Body, you could provide some of those tips and tricks. It's not easy but I think that that's why it's interesting to be an endurance athlete. Because no matter what side of the sport you're on, you're always pushing yourself and you're always realizing a breaking point. And every one of those breaking points is a lesson that can help you to get more in tune. I think that without the challenge, it would be impossible to know what you need, right?

bigquotesWe have a saying in the office every time we do something well, which is pat yourself on the back, now slap yourself in the face, because it's likely for everything you do right you make a mistake. And we learn fundamentally through our mistakes, the human or bodily mistakes can be sometimes really rough, but over time, the hope is that things will become better.


If you look at the Skratch Labs bar or the chews and the drink mix, what is in those things?


Dr. Allen Lim: Food. One distinction that I think a lot of people miss about our company is that we're not a supplement company. We're first and foremost a food company under the guise of the FDA. So that means that we have very strict guidelines and regulations about how we put stuff together, about our ingredient panel, about what we can and can't say on our packaging. So, every ingredient in all of our products is a real, whole food ingredient, and that's how we like to put together our products. That's how we intentionally designed all of our products. They're just food products, they just happen to be catered towards this community that we know very, very well, right? So our energy bar, you can really eat anytime you're hungry, right? It's a mixed macronutrients profile. It's basically a nutter butter blend that's aired out with quinoa crisps, brown rice crisps, sorghum flakes, because when an energy bar gets too dense you can't bite into it, right? So you need that ability in a bar that actually has a low water content to have texture to bite, to chew. With that nut butter base, we make it slightly sweet with coconut nectar instead of brown rice syrup, because brown rice syrup ends up gunking your palate, so we try to keep things super clean because we don't want that flavor fatigue.

And then from there, chocolate chips, almonds, some diced cranberries, our cherries and pistachios are literally diced sweet cherries with pistachios. And then we know a lot of people get blown out on sweet stuff, so we make our ginger miso which is candied ginger miso, shiitake mushroom, soy, red pepper flake, and it's spiced to wake you up. It's a dangerous flavor. But, it's an exciting flavor because you want something different.

So the way we think about it, is just the way that we know the endurance community thinks about it. And we just try to put together simple foods to address their needs.


What is gut rot, from a scientific perspective?


Dr. Allen Lim: So, gut rot is when the rate of gastric emptying, so the rate at which food comes out of your stomach, is at a faster rate than your small intestine can absorb. So, I think something people don't realize when they think about digestion, is that there are two major steps in the abdominal region. The belly, or the stomach, digests food, mixes food, is a big reservoir for food, and ultimately creates a liquid called chyme. That liquid goes through your pyloric sphincter into a region called your small intestine, or the gut. It's in the small intestine or the gut where that water and those nutrients are absorbed. But, if what's coming out of your stomach comes out at a faster rate than what your gut can absorb, you end up having a big traffic jam and you get bloated, distended, that high concentration of chyme causes water from inside of your body to flow across the small intestine into your gut and then once it's in the intestinal lumen, there's nowhere else for it to go except out your butt hole.

bigquotesAnd so in worst case scenarios, gut rot isn't just the discomfort you feel in your belly when you're blown out on a bunch of sugar and you know, energy bars and stuff. It's also this exercise associated diarrhea that can be really common in endurance athletes. Ultimately the way you reconcile that is you try to smooth out traffic. You try not to create these bottlenecks where you consume too much at one time and cause this traffic jam. And paradoxically the way that you can do that is by eating real food, because now you're using the stomach as a reservoir to digest holed up food and slowly and consistently trickle energy into the small intestine. So, by avoiding liquids that have too much carbohydrate at once, either by metering it by timing or by not using those products and using whole foods, you get less GI distress.

Take for example an energy chew versus a highly concentrated gel. A chew will at least hold up in the stomach a little better and then create a consistent stream of energy into the small intestine, whereas a gel is a fine product if you meter it yourself, but if you take too much at one time you could create a traffic jam and have some of that gut rot.

Skratch at Sea Otter 2018.


What cyclists does Skratch Labs work with now?


Dr. Allen Lim: We don't work with anyone in particular. We have a big ambassador team, but I don't know if just because we sponsor someone that it means that our products are good, it just means that we have money to pay someone. And so, having been in the sponsorship game for a long time, I tend to find it to be a little disingenuous. I guess you can ask your customers or your readers if they use our products. I'd like to think that they do and that you know, our existence, our sales numbers say that there are a lot of different types of cyclists and endurance athletes that use our products. But yeah, I can't point to anyone in particular.


So how do you think Skratch Labs has grown?


Dr. Allen Lim: I think it's a hundred percent word of mouth. Our marketing is fairly unconventional. We don't do any advertising, you know, we do some of the Facebook stuff and some of the Instagram stuff and social media, obviously. But it's not like we're taking out ads or have commercials. It's being at events like Sea Otter where we make the assumption that nobody knows who we are and we try to educate and take care of people. And I think that we've grown because people recognize that when we're at these events we do our best to try to take care of folks. I don't know if there's another way to do it, without being a total... dick.


What is your day to day with the company look like?


Dr. Allen Lim: Emails. Just sending a lot of emails, responding a lot of emails, getting hung up on a bunch of emails because you know you get that email and you're like "I can't fill this request right now", and then you gotta do something with it, but then it makes your inbox look like you haven't answered a hundred emails and you get all stressed out. So yeah, that's what I do. I'm a desk jockey. But, my day to day is also working with my leadership team because they're the ones who are really taking care of business and making sure that I'm informed and that I contribute my perspective. It's being a face to the brand, it's giving a lot of lectures, it's creating educational materials. It's a lot of what I used to do when I was a sports scientist and coach, except for a bigger audience and figuring out how to connect and educate that bigger audience.


How does what you're doing now differ to what you were doing before with pro cycling teams?


Dr. Allen Lim: You know, when I was working with pro cycling teams, it was very, very hands on. It was very... I had just a few relationships that I had to worry about, right? So it was very, very intimate. Now, I think that my life feels a bit more like being in a classroom, where I have many more students. You're still trying to create a great experience and a high level of quality, but it's not like tutoring a handful of kids, right? So, I don't know. Maybe it's like the difference between Montessori and a big ass public high school. But they all have their benefits and you know, we're all just trying to help people become better.


So you feel like your sense of purpose is very clear at Skratch Labs?


Dr. Allen Lim: Yeah, for sure, for sure. We're constantly thinking about our goals, we're constantly reevaluating. So that purpose and that meaning constantly changes. It changes depending on our needs, our goals, and what people are asking for us. So we take a lot of our cues now from our customers. And those customers have different needs from pro athletes.

bigquotesIt's interesting because I think that people fail to recognize that a lot of pro athletes are actually pretty fragile. They're like canaries in a coal mine, and they live on such a razors edge that if there is something wrong, they're the first ones to either shit the bed or complain about it. And so, whenever I've made stuff that works for pro athletes, I tend to find that it tends to work for a wider audience. The difference is context, the difference is quantity, the difference is really in how much you eat.


And if you have one piece of advice you could leave the Pinkbike audience with, what would it be?


Dr. Allen Lim: Stop using the word "should" in your life, and you'll be amazed at how much more you accomplish. When you say "should," you're often in more of a dream state, a possibility state, and the word "should" is part of what is called a subjunctive mood state, which is a state of imagination. While there's a lot of possibility in should, there's also a lot of regret and complaint, and so if you think about that word and how you're using it, you may find that you're not getting stuff done because you rely on that word too much. Try not to use it for a whole entire day, you might get a lot more done.

Learn more about Skratch Labs here.


63 Comments

  • + 39
 The greatest thing that has happened to my water bottle is Skratch Labs lemon lime drink mix. The greatest thing that has happened to my longer rides is giving myself permission to ditch the energy bars for small but tasty burritos, apple pies, and rice bars. The books were worth every dollar spent.
  • + 3
 The lemon lime is fanstatic.
  • + 3
 Super glad to hear your water bottles are happy. Hopefully your body feels the same!
  • + 2
 @BigballmcCall: Glad you like it. Try mixing 1/2 bottle of Lemon Lime and 1/2 Strawberry for Strawberry Lemonade!
  • + 2
 I love making an insulated bottle of warm apple cinnamon for winter fatbike rides.

I also love the matchata (or however it's spelt, I'm drunk forgive me) it tastes kinda like mate.

The lemon lime is also on point. If i don't want caffene i do lemon lime, if i do i do the matchata.

I bought the cookbook and the boiled potatoes rolled in cheese and garlic salt helped me train and power through a couple of 40+ mile races. I threw bacon bits in there too, because bacon and salt.

Skratch is one of the few brands that i absolutely love on all accords.
  • + 28
 This hits a point that Pinkbike has yet to scratch the surface of - food. Not just during the ride, but before and after. Would be great to see this happen
  • + 13
 Agreed. As someone with farming experience it amazes me how much we spend on high tech gadgets yet spend so little time on the most important component of all - our bodies. Use food as medicine and you'll be surprised.
  • + 2
 Love that idea! We've seen that a lot of an athlete's performance happens off the bike and starts with the food and drink that's going in the body.
  • + 1
 @EastCoastDHer: Couldn't agree more. It's hard to avoid the fun gadgets and data to help us get better. But the fuel going in the body can make or break the game!
  • + 3
 @skratchlabs: The proof is in the pudding, no pun intended. I really gained a new appreciation and respect for Rachel Atherton after seeing her with organic eggs. It just makes sense, less cholesterol than store bought eggs and more nutrients. Sure, you pay more but you wouldn't put regular gas in a Ferrari.
  • + 23
 I didn't expect to find philosophical inspiration reading an interview about energy bars while I avoid my workday. Well done.
  • + 7
 Yeah, this bit:
"It took away the "should," which was such a negative word and filled with complaint and regret, and it put me into the present. "We have to do this", not "We should do this." Bruuuuh. This quote found me on the right day, today, the very day I needed it.

I've been quite pleased with Infinit the past 4 years, but if this guy is this cool, I'm gonna try his stuff. Thanks for the interview, Dr. Lim!
  • + 4
 If you can't smile at energy bars then they may not be worth eating! Wink
  • + 2
 @mikealive: It's surprisingly hard to remove that word from the daily vocabulary. You should try it.
Damn, see?!

There are almost as many sports nutrition options as there are athletes in the world. Stick with the ones that work for your body. We're happy to send you some Skratch samples if you haven't tried it before. Just email info@skratchlabs.com and we'll hook you up.
  • + 1
 @skratchlabs: Will do! Thanks guys.
  • + 12
 The recipe books are life changing, and the hydration mixes are just incredible. Since I bought the Feed Zone Portables book, I have not had a single stomach problem over the course of two years while running ultra marathons, basically because it completely changed my approach to fueling before, during and after the races.
  • + 1
 That's fantastic to hear! Nicely done.
  • + 5
 I have never had the chance to sample actual Skratch Labs products but reading about them a few years ago led me to some of their more scientific blog posts on hydration. I was usually drinking plain water at the time and often got head aches on longer rides in warm temperatures. After reading Allen's articles I started adding some salt and sugar to the bottle and as I fine tuned the ratios the problem with the head aches completely vanished. I'm now on a mix of salt, whole cane sugar and matcha. Oh and it also helps me keep up the ability to concentrate towards the end of a long day instead of becoming a sleepy passenger on the bike. Thanks a lot for the education Dr. Allen Lim!
  • + 1
 Nice job finding something that works for you. And that's pretty much watch Skratch is - a simple mix of natural cane sugar, salt, fruit/matcha.

Here's one of the blog posts that covers hydration and why water sometimes isn't enough: blog.skratchlabs.com/blog/why-water-isnt-enough
  • + 7
 That rasberry drink mix is so far above the competition. Best stuff on the market in my experience. Keep up the good work Doc!
  • + 4
 Try the Passion Fruit too... SO good.
  • + 1
 Glad you like that one. We introduced Strawberry and Passion Fruit not long ago. Great additions to the fruit selection. Email us at info@skratchlabs.com if you'd like to try them out. We'll send some your way.
  • + 1
 @stevemokan: SO SO good! Glad you like it.
  • + 4
 So, let me get this straight..."so if it itches or it burns, I'm not the right guy". Then he calls his company Skratch Lab? Sounds like he's dealing with an itch if you ask me!
  • + 2
 Nice one!
  • + 3
 I love scratch's product (drink mix) but I think it is too expensive for what it is. I splurge on tailwind for 6+ hour races but still must supplement with gels, for training clif bars work and seem to be a great value. I'd love to hear what he thinks of tailwind as I think he's a real expert.

Ps : Just went and bought 2 of his books, I'm going to try and wean myself off clif products.
  • + 3
 You can buy 2 packs at 50% off on Excel Sports right now.
  • + 2
 We're big on people sticking with what works for them. Since bodies are different, there isn't going to be one magic hydration brand that works for everyone.

Since the beginning when Allen first started making hydration mixes for the pros at the Tour de France out of his kitchen, the approach has been to make a recipe that replaces what you lose when you sweat with REAL ingredients (fruit, sugar salt). If you're not able to replace your sodium and water then your body may start to panic. So whatever you consume just make sure it's helping your body recover.
  • + 3
 Great products from a great company. I was making my own sports drinks for awhile when I had an ultra-endurance habit because I didn’t like what was on the market, until Skratch. I’ve stopped making my own, which was cheap and effective (I also had an excercise physiology background), because Skratch nailed it. If I want a one bottle does all, I occasionally add a scoop of maltodextrine to the Skratch. But almost all the time I just stick with Skratch and eat real food.
  • + 1
 There's nothing better than food/drinks from scratch (no pun intended). But very glad that the products work for you since it's not always easy to be making all your own stuff.
  • + 4
 Inspirational and a great read. I have to find a way to get the books over here in Australia. I do believe nutrition and the food quality that you use plays a big part on how you feel on the bike.
  • + 2
 I like Skatch and their rescue mix is a life-saver when you're absolutely spent. My only minor grip is that you have to keep it refrigerated after you mix it otherwise it goes bad (and can mold up your bottle) if left out in a bottle at room temperature for an extended period of time (overnight, for example).
  • + 20
 I see that as a positive. Don't trust a 'food' that mold won't eat.
  • + 4
 It is made with real fruit, no preservatives or additives. It actually made me feel better because I know what I am drinking is real and not artificial.
  • + 1
 We hear you on the refrigeration. Since we use real fruit we recommend keeping it cold for up to 48 hours and after that it's probably best not to drink it.
  • + 1
 @joys: High fives!!
  • + 5
 Shame they did not ask Dr. Lim what sort of "real food" was he giving Floyd, that must have been the real, real deal!
  • + 6
 Testosterone. Lemon lime flavor.
  • + 1
 @twozerosix: Sounds zesty!
  • + 4
 Lim helped Floyd win the Tour... ugh. What a history
  • + 1
 During the various times that I've met Dr. Lim, he has never shied away from the fact that he worked with cyclists that were doping, and that a big part of what he was doing with them was trying to help them find at least some of that performance benefit without having to do drugs.

He has said on multiple occasions that when he went to work for Lance Armstrong in 2010, that he did so on the condition that Lance competed clean, and I believe him. Whether or not Armstrong was in fact clean in 2010 (which he insists he was) is another matter.

I used to be an Allen Lim skeptic ... but now I think he was trying to do the right thing during a period of time where all the riders were doing the wrong thing.
  • + 4
 @slcFlahute: appreciate your comments
  • + 1
 @slcFlahute: I am no skeptic. Floyd went from blowing up one day to turning out one of the most impressive one-day performances of all times in endurance sports (rocket fuel aided or not). From what I have read, Dr. Lim is one smart dude who happened to take part in that and it would be super intereting to read what the rocket fuel was (somehow I doubt "just" testosterone would have sufficed).
  • + 1
 @slcFlahute: is a chris carmichael profile next? I'm not a troll but it makes me sick that this guy is still making $ in cycling.
  • + 4
 Allen's such a nice, amazingly intelligent, and fun-loving guy. I highly recommend the FeedZone books. Real food rocks.
  • + 1
 Entertaining for sure!!
  • + 5
 No mention of his dope credentials pre Skratch?
  • + 4
 Ha, he's an intriguing guy with a neat company. I 'should' look into it a bit more...
  • + 4
 Thanks for the samples throughout the Sea otter - they were tasty.
  • + 1
 That was a fun event. [hopefully you got to score a Skratch burrito too!]
  • + 3
 Dr. Fecalmaster is known to make the best homemade pizza west of Napoli.
  • - 1
 That was an interesting read but I must say I am surprised about his advice to react to need rather the be proactive. I don’t mean to stuff tourself up your ears with food an water before the event but I asked good XCers For advice on nutrition some time ago and they all said: this is what you are likely to burn through. Eat light before then during the race be a few chews and a few sips of water ahead of your feeling of hunger or thirst. They told me that and I learned from my own experience: while you can put down the thirst during ride or race, you can’t really do that with food. Once you feel that you are hungry it’s too late. If you take in lots of sugars with your bar/ gel make sure you plan it so your insuline spike will conicide with heavy effort. You don’t want insuline drop just before the heavy effort. By average riding a bike burns 80-100 calories per 10 minutes (bromancing and discussing does not burn calroes though). Check how much calories you will take in through riding food and make sure those numbers go together to some healthy extent.

BTW I do eat nuts but hate fkrs chewing nuts and feeling superior because they don’t eat sugar. Listen, it will take your body over an hour to take nutritients from those nuts and make them usable on the ride so... no, you aren’t really fueling and people who eat sugar actually are.
  • + 5
 They got you covered in the Feed Zone Portables book, you will find all the scientific data to back up their advice, plus the recipes to go with that.
  • + 2
 100%. Right before and during activity, foods with simple sugars are the most easily tapped for energy. Foods that are high on the glycemic index are best.
  • + 3
 @Gruta: you don’t need to be a scientist to understand that digestion takes time and feeling of hunger showing up late during exercise is a sign of nutrient depletion and it happens often when you are about to hit the wall. That means you are almost done of good fuel, that means it will take you a longer time to refill the energy levels. Which brings us to: eat before you get hungry. You can eat as much as you want whatever you want after you hit the wall, it will take you many hours before you feel good to go again.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: believe me I know ! But you would be surprised on how many people don`t have a clue...
  • + 2
 miller lite and beef jerky
  • + 2
 Excellent read, thanks for taking the time to talk with him!
  • + 1
 We got the fuck outta there when Marcos was president too. That guy was crazy.
  • + 2
 I should take his advice on assessing my use of the word should.
  • + 1
 Kimchi and Beef jerky is all anyone needs lol
  • + 2
 Very interesting

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