|Chicago Cubs 3B Kris Bryant is "showered" with Gatorade by teammates after a victory.|
It all goes back to the spring of 1965, to a nephrologist at the University of Florida, Dr. Robert Cade. Cade, who was the director of the renal and electrolyte division at the university, was asked by assistant football coach for the Gators, Dwayne Douglas, why players lost so much weight in practice and games, but urinated so little afterwards. Cade learned that players were losing so much electrolytes when they sweat, specifically sodium and potassium, that it was interrupting the body's normal chemical balance. Thus, the more the players sweat, the more they lost their energy, strength, and endurance. Together with his team of researchers, Dana Shires, Jim Free, and A.M. deQuesada, Cade began studying the issue of dehydration on the football field through experiments with players on the football team. After a couple months of testing, results showed players electrolytes were out of balance, blood sugar was low, and blood volume was low. "Each of these conditions, by itself, would to some extent incapacitate a player," Cade mentioned, "Put them all together and you can have real problems." Soon enough, they had created a drink designed to rehydrate athletes by replenishing carbohydrates (sucrose and glucose sugars) and electrolytes (sodium and potassium salts). The sugar to keep the players' blood sugar going up, but not too much that it upset their stomachs, and the salts to replace the salt they lost in sweat. However, there was one problem: the taste. In fact, the taste was so bad the first time that players had to spit it out. But thanks to the addition of lemon juice, suggested by his wife Mary, Gatorade was born.
|Gator lineman Chip Hinton testing Dr. Cade's creation in 1965.|
|Dr. Robert Cade alongside his most famous creation, Gatorade.|
Today, Gatorade brings in close to $2 billion in worldwide sales annually. It can be found on the sidelines of over 70 Division 1 colleges as the official sports drink of their intercollegiate sports, in addition to being the official sports drink of the NBA, MLB, and MLS. Gatorade continues to further its research and better enhance athletes everywhere, keeping them hydrated on the field and replenished off of it. So next time you're at a sporting event or watching one on TV, be on the lookout for that orange lightning bolt logo, and remember...you win from within.