Gatorade is named after a “gator,” which is the mascot for the University of Florida sports teams.
In early summer of 1965, the coaching staff of University of Florida’s football team – the Florida Gators – asked a team of university researchers if there was a something that could be done to help treat heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses that frequently plagued the football players.
The researchers, led by Dr. Robert Cade, discovered two key factors that were causing the football players to wear down. They discovered that the electrolytes and fluids, lost through sweating, were not being replaced. Significant amounts of carbohydrates the players’ bodies needed for energy were not being replenished.
The researchers formulated a balanced carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage that adequately replaced these key components the football players were losing through their sweating. They called this beverage, ‘Gatorade.’
The drink has changed very little since its invention. It’s still a combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes. The major changes have been mainly related to taste. It has been reported that the initial concoctions were not very appetizing.
Gatorade has since become an integral part of a number of sports. Barrels full of Gatorade being poured on the top of winning coaches’ heads has become a common practice in multiple sports.
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- There used to be a Gatorade and beer concoction called ‘Hop’n Gator.
- Michael Jordan was the first athlete to endorse Gatorade.
- The first batch of Gatorade cost $43 to produce back in 1965, which is approximately $325 when adjusted for inflation in today’s terms.
- Mental Floss – 10 Thirst-Quenching Facts About Gatorade
- Explore (University of Florida) – Gatorade, The Idea That Launched an Industry
- Los Angeles Times – Florida Gators team physician invented drink known worldwide