Ok, so you probably already know the basics of the Gatorade story, but just to recap: the super-popular sports drink was developed in the summer of 1965 for the University of Florida’s football team at the request of their assistant coach. A team of university physicians set out to determine why the football team kept suffering from the heat, and what could be done to keep them going — short of moving to a cooler climate.
The doctors discovered that there were two important causes for the players’ fatigue: first, the athletes were sweating profusely, and as they sweat, they lost important fluids and electrolytes. Additionally, the athletes were losing carbs as they worked out and burned energy. So they started working to develop a new, perfectly balanced drink that would be replace the carbohydrates and electrolytes of the athletes as they sweated under the Florida sun.
They called their concoction Gatorade after the school’s team name: The Florida Gators. But Gatorade has had some serious developments since 1965 — including the GIDS, or Gatorade In-Car Drinking System. You’d think that driving a car wouldn’t drain your electrolytes nearly as quickly as running on a field for hours at a time, but it turns out that before they could suck down Gatorade at will, professional race car drivers had a serious problem with dehydration.
A system was developed for properly hydrating the drivers: they’ve now got the GIDS, the Gatorade In-Car Drinking System, which was developed in 2001 and is now considered a critical piece of equipment. We’ve uncovered some of the more unusual facts about this super popular beverage — which currently holds 46% of the worldwide sports drink market.
Gatorade announced this month that it will be removing BVO, a food additive that is banned in Europe, from all of its drinks in the near future. While studies are not conclusive, some research has found that brominate — a component of BVO — builds up in breast milk, and it has been linked neurological impairment, changes in thyroid hormones, earlier puberty, and reduced fertility.
2. Super Bowl Bets
Every year, bets are placed on the color of the Gatorade that douses the winning coach in the Super Bowl. This year, according to oddsmakers, the bet was on a likelihood that the liquid is going to be water – clear is the favorite at 7/2, but orange, yellow, green, red, and blue Gatorade were all still contenders: orange ended up being the winner.
3. Gatorade Shower
The first "Gatorade Shower” occurred in 1984, and started after the New York Giants beat the Washington Redskins and coach Bill Parcells took the inaugural dunking.
4. Most Discontinued
26 flavors of Gatorade have been discontinued, including "Iced Tea Cooler," "Frost Alpine Snow," "Fierce Grape," and "ESPN the flavor," making it the brand-name drink that holds the record for most discontinued flavors.
Check out the full list of surprising Gatorade facts.
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