Available in more than 80 countries, the Gatorade line of performance drinks adds over 45 years of rehydration and sports nutrition research to the PepsiCo portfolio.
In early summer of 1965, a University of Florida assistant football coach sat down with a team of university physicians and asked them to determine why so many of his players were being affected by heat and heat-related illnesses.
The researchers Dr. Robert Cade, Dr. Dana Shires, Dr. H. James Free and Dr. Alejandro de Quesada soon discovered two key factors that were causing the Gator players to "wilt": the fluids and electrolytes the players lost through sweat were not being replaced, and the large amounts of carbohydrates the players' bodies used for energy were not being replenished.
The researchers then took their findings into the lab, and scientifically formulated a new, precisely balanced carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage that would adequately replace the key components lost by Gator players through sweating and exercise. They called their concoction "Gatorade."
Two decades after Dr. Cade and his team worked diligently to develop the optimum hydration formula that would become Gatorade, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute was founded in Barrington, Illinois, to conduct scientific research in the areas of exercise science, hydration, and sport nutrition. Three years later, the lab would be expanded to provide advanced testing for athletes and new Gatorade products and flavors and develop education materials for sports health professionals around the world.
In 1983, Gatorade became the official sports drink of the NFL — a title it holds to this day. Gatorade also is the official sports drink of the NBA and WNBA, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, more than 70 Division I colleges, and numerous other elite and professional organizations and teams.
After years of careful research by the staff at GSSI into the needs of athletes engaged in high-demand training and competition, Gatorade launched the Gatorade Performance Series, an elite line of sports nutrition products, in 2001. These products include Gatorade Energy Drink, Gatorade Energy Bar, and the Gatorade Nutrition Shake.
Four years later, after studying endurance athletes, GSSI developed the Gatorade Endurance Formula. Featuring a higher concentration of sodium the key electrolyte found in Original Thirst Quencher and four other electrolytes lost in sweat, Gatorade Endurance Formula became a mainstay on racetracks the world over.
In 2010, Gatorade refocused its efforts and began taking a more holistic approach to sports hydration and nutrition. The result was the G Series, developed by GSSI with two new focuses in mind: getting the body ready for exercise and helping the body recover afterward. Each portion of the series is designed to help athletes compete before, during and after athletic events
G Series 01 Prime: Pregame fuel in a 4-ounce pouch, intended to be consumed 15 minutes before activity. It provides carbohydrates and nutrients that muscles need before they start working.
G Series 02 Perform: Includes four products that replace nutrients and electrolytes that athletes burn off or sweat out during peak points of physical exertion.
G Series 03 Recover: A postgame protein and carbohydrate drink that is designed for consumption within an hour after activity. It has a similar consistency to Gatorade Thirst Quencher, so it can rehydrate as it helps muscles recover after exercise.
G Natural: Also released in 2010, G Natural and G2 Natural provide the same benefits as the original Gatorade Thirst Quencher and G2 in the G Series. Taking a cue from their names, both products use natural flavors and ingredients, such as sea salt, fruit flavors and natural sweeteners. G Natural and G2 Natural are sold in Whole Foods stores in select cities and at natural-foods grocers throughout the United States.
Between February 2010 and May 2011, Gatorade released two additional series focused on meeting the needs of two different groups of athletes: ultra-endurance athletes and fitness athletes. Both G Series PRO and G Series FIT incorporated the same three-stage approach, focusing on the before (01 Prime), during (02 Perform) and after (03 Recover) occasions.
G Series PRO: This product hit the shelves of GNC and Dick’s Sporting Goods throughout the United States in spring 2010 and is available in specialty stores nationwide. It is targeted toward ultra-endurance athletes who need high levels of carbohydrates, protein and calories to compete in long-distance, high-intensity events like marathons, triathlons and Ironman competitions.
G Series FIT: The newest Gatorade series was released in April 2011 and is sold at Safeway, Sports Authority, Target and Walgreens throughout the United States. Compared with the other two series, G Series FIT is lower in calories, carbohydrates and protein, but it still provides these and other important nutrients that bodies need during a workout.
Learn more about Gatorade, visit www.gatorade.com.
Propel Zero is a no-calorie beverage product from Gatorade that comes in water or powder form. It goes beyond hydration as it replenishes with antioxidants and vitamins while quenching thirst with great-tasting flavors.
Gatorade uses a proprietary air-rinse technology to clean newly manufactured bottles with air instead of water in all Gatorade and Propel manufacturing plants. This technology is helping save almost 150 million gallons of water per year. The company is also instituting comprehensive “water mapping” at manufacturing facilities and increasing awareness of water conservation with associates.