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Monday, September 20, 2010

Drink This Book!!!

Many products boast of unique stories about their respective “Genesis moment” when they came into existence, but few can rival the storied history behind Gatorade®, which was created more than 40 years ago in the labs of Florida State University.

First in Thirst: How Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat Into a Cultural Phenomenon
As unlikely as it seems, an FSU assistant football coach went to college researchers and physicians to try and understand why some of his Florida Gators players suffered from heat exhaustion and fatigue.

The university research team identified extreme loss of electrolytes and dehydration as the primary cause, and they subsequently formulated a drink to meet those needs that they then dubbed “Gator-ade” after the school's reptilian mascot. 

You don't have to like this particular beverage to enjoy the roiling waters of its stormy start that's poured out on the pages of the book First in Thirst written by business journalist Darren Rovell, which ultimately leaves you thirsty for more details.Author Rovell writes a rollicking insider’s saga of lawsuits, negotiations, product strategies and failures that have somehow worked together to continue to keep Gatorade number one in the sports drink arena for more than four decades.

This book offers a compelling story of discovery, personalities and the added texture that Rovell weaves into the mix about Gatorade being an iconic part of the American culture and its enduring success.  If you’re thirsty for an entertaining look at the sports drink industry – this book will certainly quench your curiosity.


  1. Ha! That sounds interesting! I had no idea the origins of this drink. Well, truth be told, I don't know the orgins of many drinks. But, interesting how Gator-ade came to be. Thanks for sharing this book review and little tidbits of information!

  2. @Laura, this was a really entertaining and enlightening book - a great read!

  3. I only knew the origin because of a commercial they ran a few years ago that was staged as a mini documentary. The most memorable moment of the commercial was the reveal that this mystery beverage that helped the FSU team perform in the heat; an old man who was a researcher standing on the feil who simply said, "naturally we called our stuff 'Gator-aide'..."

    It is a very neat story!

  4. @AR, indeed - and this book went into a lot of the ups and downs that were associated with getting it off the campus and onto store shelves!