Gatorade's original thirst quencher's main ingredients include water, sugars, citric acid, salt, and gum arabic. Sugars used in Gatorade include inherent sugars (such as those found in fruit) as well as those that are used to sweeten food and beverages.
Gatorade was designed in the summer of 1965 at the University of Florida in response to an assistant coach asking a group of university physicians to determine why so many of his players were being affected by the heat. The researchers found that the fluids and electrolytes lost by the players were not being replaced, and the large amounts of carbohydrates used were not being replenished. The researchers then took those results and formulated a precisely balanced carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage that would replace those components.
Gatorade is now a top choice for athletes because it is designed to replace the electrolytes and carbs lost in sweat. Electrolytes help the brain communicate with muscles and regulate fluid balances. If not replenished, loss of electrolytes can have a negative impact on performance. Carbs and calories give muscles the fuel they need for continued use.
As of 2015, Gatorade has become the official sports drink of the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball, and numerous other professional organizations and teams. The company has also branched out into other products that boost energy and promote recovery.