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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Gatorade

You have surly drank it before, but did you know how cool a company Gatorade is? Let’s check it out!

10. Gatorade was invented by a University

In 1965 Dwayne Douglas was coaching the football team at the University of Florida. Imagine this: He is a good coach. He pushes his team to do their best and strives to win. His players practice hard, drink lots of water, and have an excellent team mentality. But, something is wrong. The coach can see it. He can sense it. It’s kind of like he has a super power of some kind and is picking up on a problem that he decided he needs to fix. The problem was that his players were losing weight; some even lost up to eighteen pounds, which is 8.1 kilograms. On top of that, they were not urinating. Now, you might think it doesn’t take a superhero to notice that kind of issue. Eighteen pounds on a football player does not go unnoticed. Well, it does take some superhero qualities to recognize the issue and then fix it. Coach Dwayne Douglas brought the matter to a college of his at the University named Dr. Robert Cade. Dr. Cade was a kidney disease specialist and he was able to help is finding a solution. As you have already guessed that solution was in the form of a beverage. It was packed with carbohydrates, which have tons of sugar, some salt, and some electrolytes. So far so good… This all makes sense… They had a drink on their hands that had the potential to solve their problems and save their players. But, another issue occurred. It tasted pretty darn gross. Dr. Cade lamented this issue. What could they do to make it better and still keep all of the beneficial properties of the drink? Hmmm… What a dilemma. Then, one fine day, Mrs. Cade suggested they just add some lemon juice. Clever thinking! Suddenly the drink tasted better and the players were actively drinking it! Bam! That’s how Gatorade was invented at a university. Pretty cool huh? Doesn’t it make you want to go there? Nothing like being at a school where the coaches and professors take students so seriously that they invent a new beverage to help them out! Well done University of Florida! You deserve a round of applause! Your dedication is not going unnoticed.

9. Gatorade was Originally Called Gator-Aid

Since this drink was made to be on the field to help players, specifically the players on the football team at the University of Florida, it was considered and “aid.” It did in fact help. It really was, and still is, an “aid.” Now, it was called Gator-Aid because the sports teams at the University of Florida are called the Gators. So, putting those two together, Gator and Aid, brings us to Gator-Aid. When the name is said out loud it sounds exactly the same as the name the drink now has. Why the change? Well, the doctors who invented it realized that having the word “aid” in the name could pose marketing problems should the beverage ever leave the university and become more. Talk about being prepared and thinking in advance. Right? These doctors called it. They knew that their drink had potential. Metaphorically, they hoped that their little baby would leave the nest and fly off into the world to make its own name. And boy did it ever do that! Now, because the drink is called Gatorade and not Gator-Aid it does not need to defend its medical properties. You see, had it had “aid” in the title as it originally did then people would want results. The doctors would have had to have done an actual medical study on a significant amount of people to prove what they were claiming. They would have had to operate under the guidelines of medications, rather than those of everyday products. So, they changed the “aid” to “ade” and that was that!

8. The University of Florida makes Millions from Gatorade

Millions. Let’s hear this again… the University of Florida makes millions from Gatorade. Since the product’s inception in 1965 it has raked in nearly three hundred million for the school. What does this mean? Free tuition for all and never having to pay for your school books because they are just given to you? No… Not exactly. But, the school does reinvest this money. For example, some of the funds have contributed to the schools up to date Genetics Institute. Some has gone to the Whitney Marine Laboratory in St. Augustine to help provide the funds for grants. The school has tried to do right by the money. As well as retain a love for the product on the campus. The school makes so much money because they get twenty percent of the royalties of the product. The rest of the money goes into the Gatorade Trust, which is very private. The information on that money is not made public. So, all in all, the school is rolling in it. Fat stacks of money coming their way because of their amazing invention. Well, not really fat stacks. Surely the Gatorade Trust is not dishing out the twenty percent the University is due in cash. Can you even imagine? Once a year a bunch of folks carrying duffle bags filled with cold hard bills enter the University for a money drop off. Sounds like some Breaking Bad kind of situation. It’s nothing like that. It can’t be. But, the point is the University is making a killing!

7. Gatorade once sold a Gum

From the late 1970s to the early 2000s Gatorade sold a gum that would offer the same benefits as the drink. It was supposed to quench thirst and deliver positive nutritional value. It was called Gatorgum. Though this does seem like a great idea it was not as successful as you would have thought. The reason being that the target audience, athletes, did not want to chew the gum. That is not so surprising. You know, how athletes tend just squirt their drinks into their mouths on the bench. Then they sometimes even spit it out on to the ground. Doesn’t sound so nice when it is put that way but it is a totally normal practice that isn’t weird at all. That couldn’t happen with a gum. Just pop that gum in your mouth, chew, chew, chew, and then spit it out on to the floor. That’s gross. Then there would be a serious problem with gum on the bottom of sneakers… it would ruin the courts or fields. Not to mention how much of a problem rinks and skates would have if hockey players were doing that. Imagine getting gum stuck on your blade? Well, that being said it is probably too cold in rinks for gum to retain its stickiness. In a rink the gum would just form little pebbles and it would be like the players are walking on little rocks. Clearly, this little digression proves why the gum did not work out. Maybe it will come back and may athletes will change their minds about chewing gum… Only time will tell.

6. Gatorade Helps “Underquenched Third World Nations”

Gatorade has been using their helpful beverage in a very helpful way. Though the drink is obviously nowhere near offering the same things as an IV administered by health professionals it still has some very useful properties that can help a body become stronger. For example, back in 1994 in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide Gatorade was shipped to the refugees. Without potable water there was a serious problem in Rwanda. Gatorade was a very easy solution. Not only does Gatorade have carbohydrates, electrolytes and a bunch of other useful stuff in it, it also comes in an easy to transport and pass around bottle. Not the same thing can be said for an IV. In 2000 Gatorade pledged two hundred and forty million dollars to “Thirst Aid.” Their goal was to replenish people who are “underquenched.” Pretty darn good goal! Gatorade was brought to twenty-seven U.N designated “Underquenched Third World nations.” That kind of help deserves a standing ovation!

5. Gatorade was on Forbes Most Powerful Brands List

In 2012 Gatorade was number eighty six on the Forbes most Powerful Brands list. Thought that may seem low, like why aren’t they within the top ten, right? It is not low at all. Take into consideration how many brands there are in the whole world. That is such a crazy figure that there is no way it could ever be calculated. Even the smallest of companies has their own little brand. For Gatorade to get onto this list, they must be doing something very, very right. So, what are they doing? Why did Forbes think they passed the test? Well, at the time the list was published Gatorade retained forty six percent of the sports drink market. Worldwide. That is impressive! It was and still is distributed in over eighty countries and is valued at 4.8 billion. To put that into context we can take a look at what the top of the list would look like. Currently, the most powerful brand is Apple, no surprises there, and they are valued at 205.5 billion. To even be considered for such a list is a mark of achievement. Any company would be thrilled to know that they are successful enough to have reached such a place that they can be on such a list. The list not only values the monetary success of the company, but also the power of the brand. Gatorade has built itself a very recognizable logo and provided a reliable product.

4. Gatorade Cares about the Planet

Gatorade and their parent company PepsiCo really do care about the planet. Apparently, by 2030 the global demand for water is going to get pretty crazy and big companies, like PepsiCo, will have to be very careful about how they use their water. It is sad to say but the planet is getting to a point where we may no longer have unlimited resources. Being careful with water is a new reality. PepsiCo and Gatorade are aware of this and making the changes in their plants right away. They are thinking ahead. Not only does the way they use water help the planet and prepare the company for any future restrictions on water usage it is also saving them tons of cash! For example, the Gatorade facility in Tolleson, Arizona bottles up to six hundred Gatorades per minute. Water can get scarce in Arizona and so that plant was one of the first to make the move to reducing their water usage. They improved by twenty-four percent. That means that they did not use about one hundred million gallons of water that they were previously using. In monetary terms it means that they saved 1.5 million dollars. Nothing doper than saving the planet right? How about saving the planet and saving money. Maybe that is the doppest situation of all!

3. The New York Giants Invented the “Gatorade Shower”

The first ever Gatorade shower is hotly contested. Most people attribute the now iconic post game event to the New York Giants. On October twenty-eighth 1984 the Giants beat the Washington Redskins 37-13. Jim Burt, a player on the New York Giants Football team, dumped the Gatorade on the coach, Bill Parcells. Bill Parcells was known as “The Big Tuna.” Apparently, Burt was upset with his coach and drenched him in Gatorade as a punishment. Talk about bold! Imagine if you could just shower the people you hate? Throwing glasses of water into people’s faces is one thing… Dumping gallons of Gatorade on them is totally another. Though this was a very audacious fist dunk it has now become a tradition. It has also changed from punishment to celebratory in nature. Dan Hampton, from the Chicago Bears, also claimed that he invented the Gatorade Shower. He says it happened when the Bears doused Mike Ditka after clinching the NFC Central, but that took place a month after the dunk that happened on the New York Giants team. Now, sports teams, small and big alike, enact this tradition. It’s fun. It’s impactful. And you know, it is actually a waste of Gatorade. Too bad, it is what it is. We can’t have it all.

2. Gatorade Provides Michael Jordan with Cigars

Okay, you are obviously thinking Gatorade is paying Michael Jordon for the advertisements he does for the company and he uses said money to buy cigars meaning Gatorade is paying for the cigars. But, no, no, no. What happens is Gatorade gives Michael Jordan a box of twenty-five Montecristo No.2 Cuban torpedo cigars for every commercial he shoots. A box is valued at five hundred dollars. Further, the U.S has had a very long and complicated history with Cuba which is not worth getting into now, but it means that Cuban cigars are rarer than other cigars. This is a neat fact because it shows the companies love for their talents and desire to keep them happy. If you think about it hard enough you might also see it is a sneaky little way to keep the talents dedicated to the brand. Loyalty is perhaps more easily attained with nice gifts? Right? Would you want to keep advertising with them if they offered you’re your favorite treat every time you worked with them?

1. Gatorade is used to fuel some Race Car Drivers and is Integrated into their cars

 So, Gatorade helps athletes. Is a NASCAR driver an athlete? That may be a debatable topic… but what is important to note is that race car drivers sweat. They sweat so much. They are confined to a small, hot space, in which they use their whole body to drive the car. They exert so much energy that they often get dehydrated. To improve the driver’s health, and let’s be honest Gatorade is a company and brand that is all about helping and aiding people, they invented an in car drinking system. The drink is fastened to the back of the seat and rigged with a nozzle right by their mouths so they can just sip whenever they need to without compromising their driving position. This is awesome because it is just one more way that Gatorade is quenching thirst and stopping dehydration. The company is true to their mission and they have been very successful in achieving their goals.

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