Wednesday, November 28, 2007

a sad day in Gator-ade-land

The inventor of Gatorade, Dr. Robert Cade, passed away yesterday at the age of 80.
It's perhaps ironic that he died of kidney failure.

From Ron Word with the AP...

Dr. J. Robert Cade, who invented the sports drink Gatorade and launched a multibillion-dollar industry that the beverage continues to dominate, died Tuesday of kidney failure. He was 80.

His death was announced by the University of Florida, where he and other researchers created Gatorade in 1965 to help the school's football players replace carbohydrates and electrolytes lost through sweat while playing in swamp-like heat.

Now sold in 80 countries in dozens of flavors, Gatorade was born thanks to a question from former Gator Coach Dwayne Douglas, Cade said in a 2005 interview with The Associated Press.

He asked, "Doctor, why don't football players wee-wee after a game?"

"That question changed our lives," Cade said.

Cade's researchers determined that a football player could lose up to 18 pounds - 90 percent to 95 percent of it water - during the three hours it takes to play a game. Players sweated away sodium and chloride and lost plasma volume and blood volume.

Using their research, and about $43 in supplies, they concocted a brew for players to drink while playing football. The first batch was not exactly a hit.

"It sort of tasted like toilet bowl cleaner," said Dana Shires, one of the researchers.

"I guzzled it and I vomited," Cade said.

The researchers added some sugar and some lemon juice to improve the taste. It was first tested on freshmen because Coach Ray Graves didn't want to hurt the varsity team. Eventually, however, the use of the sports beverage spread to the Gators, who enjoyed a winning record and were known as a "second-half team" by outlasting opponents.

After the Gators beat Georgia Tech 27-12 in the Orange Bowl in 1967, Tech coach Bobby Dodd told reporters his team lost because, "We didn't have Gatorade ... that made the difference."

Stokely-Van Camp obtained the licensing rights for Gatorade and began marketing it as the "beverage of champions." Cade said Stokely-Van Camp hated the name "Gatorade," believing it was too parochial, but stuck with it after tests showed consumers liked the name.

PepsiCo Inc. now owns the brand, which has brought the university more than $150 million in royalties since 1973.

Gatorade held 81 percent of the $7.5 billion-a-year U.S. sports drink market in 2006, according to John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest.

Since its introduction, Cade said the formula changed very little. An artificial sweetener has replaced sugar.

Born James Robert Cade in San Antonio on Sept. 26, 1927, Cade, a Navy veteran, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

Cade was appointed an assistant professor in internal medicine at UF in 1961. He worked until he was 76, retiring in November 2004 from the university, where he taught medicine, saw patients and conducted research.

In 1991, Cade was awarded the Lutheran Church's highest honor, the Wittenburg Award, for his service to the church and community.

Cade and his wife, Mary, had six children.

In 1991, Cade was awarded the Lutheran Church's highest honor, the Wittenburg Award, for his service to the church and community.

Cade and his wife, Mary, had six children.


At November 28, 2007 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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