How Gatorade Plans To Reinvent Sports Drinks - Again

Fast Company|February 2016

How Gatorade Plans To Reinvent Sports Drinks - Again

An exclusive look at how the ultimate hangover companion is attempting to become, once again, the future of sports fuel.

Jeff Beer, illustration by Rami Niemi

On a hot, swampy November afternoon at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, the private school’s boys’ lacrosse team is huddling around the bench draining water bottles after a round of drills. It’s a scene like any other on high school fields around the country...except here there’s a small crew of men sitting off to the side with laptops, running diagnostics on the team’s fluid intake, tracking each player individually through smart chip– enabled refillable water bottles.

Each “smart cap” bottle is digitally linked to a specific player. It works with an app to calculate how much he sweats in an average practice, how much he loses in the way of carbs and sodium, and how much he needs to drink to maintain optimal performance. Each bottle is filled with a drink formula that corresponds to an individual player’s sweat type. A microchip and a small turbine in the spout measure how much he takes with every sip. LED lights on the cap help him pace his drinking, showing whether he’s ahead of or behind his target. This is the future of athletic hydration. It’s also the future of Gatorade.

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February 2016