Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gatorade G2: Cynical Genius

By CL * Other CL Posts

Back in high school, when I had cross-country or track races most weeks, I would usually bring along a bottle or two of Gatorade. It was more or less the only hydration/energy option back then, and it had one serious drawback for me: I found the taste way too sugary, so I would bring one full bottle and one empty bottle and end up with two bottles of 50% watered down Gatorade.

More recently, we've seen a rise in competitor sports drinks as well as an increased scrutiny in the nutritional aspects (specifically, high calorie counts) of soft drinks. This led to a proliferation of low-calorie alternatives to all sorts of drinks, in addition to the traditional light beers and diet sodas.

As a result, every sports-drink manufacturer has brought out some sort of low-calorie alternative. Powerade Zero is the most aggressive of these, offering zero calories (and making me wonder how exactly they fit any nutritional value in there). Vitamin Water 10 also turns in a strong effort with, as the name would imply, 10 calories per serving (though the typical small bottle somehow contains 2.5 servings). Judging from the flavor, these seem to be new creations, either with new flavors or with an alternative sweetener substituting for sugar.

Gatorade, however, seems to have chosen a different tactic. Their low-calorie option is Gatorade G2, which has half the calories of regular gatorade and is identical - in color and flavor - to my 50% water/50% Gatorade concoction from high school. (I haven't tried all the flavors, but I've had the grape on many occasions and the orange at least a few times, and they both fit this pattern).

They really do seem to have taken the regular formula, cut it in half with water, and promoted it as a low-calorie alternative. This is either sheer genius or offensively condescending; either way, I salute Gatorade for not putting much effort into trying to fool us.


  1. I took a beer & wine course in college, some of the profs for which were former brew masters and wine makers. I am nearly certain they told us that Bud lite, Coors light, etc are all just the original with water added.

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