What began as energy drink mixes and bars made from scratch for the Garmin professional road-cycling team has morphed into a line of healthy nutrition products for everyone, from everyday to elite. In 2012, exercise physiologist and sports scientist Allen Lim launched the aptly named Skratch Labs in Boulder, makers of natural sports nutrition, hydration and recovery foods and drinks.

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“When I worked with the Garmin team, the athletes were often complaining that energy bars made them sick; they were dry and bland. And sports drinks were too sweet and hurt their guts. The products were all too scientific with too many chemicals,” says Lim. “So, I started making them food and drink from scratch.”

He used a rice cooker and made rice cakes flavored with Bragg Liquid Aminos, eggs, bacon and maple syrup. He developed sports drinks with freeze-dried fruit and less sugar. Soon, other athletes were asking for his creations. “I never intended to start this company, I was just trying to meet the demands for some of the hardest races in the world,” he says.

Today, Skratch Labs offers a line of natural sports drinks, energy chews and, the latest addition, plant-based bars, all using simple ingredients. “We are trying to create natural alternatives to the science-driven sports nutrition world without the scientific taste,” says Lim. “Our purpose is to make people better by solving nutrition problems associated with an active lifestyle.”