JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Dr. J. Robert Cade, who invented the sports drink Gatorade died Tuesday of kidney failure. He was 80.
Cade created Gatorade in 1965 to help the school's football players replace carbohydrates and electrolytes lost through sweat while playing in swamp-like heat.
Gatorade was born thanks to a question from former Gators 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 a football player could lose as much as 18 pounds — 90 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."