In early summer of 1965, a University of Florida assistant 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. Gatorade is now also the official sports drink of the NBA, AVP, and PGA, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, 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.
Gatorade and GSSI continue to search for and study new and innovative ways to help athletes improve performance by facilitating proper hydration and nutrition. From the lab testing of athletes, to new flavor and delivery system development, to the publication and distribution of scientific research, the Gatorade Company and the GSSI perpetually strive to advance their collective mission of enabling athletes to always perform at their peak.
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