The University of Florida researcher who invented Gatorade 40 years ago to hydrate his school football team died today at age 80. Dr. Robert Cade's first batch tasted a bit like "toilet bowl cleaner," but a little sugar and lemon juice fixed that. Today, the ubiquitous sports drink is a $5 billion industry unto itself, the Houston Chronicle reports.
"It's probably the second-most relevant brand in all of sports," behind Nike, says CNBC anchor Darren Rovell, who has written a book on the drink. It took its name from Florida's football team, the Gators, whose players had long struggled with dehydration. Cade loved the drink's success, but for less obvious reasons. "He would talk about how Gatorade helped cure diarrhea-related diseases in Third World countries," Rovell said.