How Gatorade is using technology to measure sweat content and help athletes stay hydratedThe Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) has been around for more than three decades, but some of the group’s recent work has caught the attention of professional teams across the world that are testing new ways to hydrate their players more efficiently beyond just new flavors.
“Traditionally, Gatorade hasn’t been a tech company,” Dr. James Carter, GSSI director, told GeekWire. “But with the emergence of our Gx platform and the ability to track and monitor hydration phases, the technology is becoming more interesting to us.”
The Gx platform is all about “personalized hydration” and mixing different formulas to replenish an individual athlete’s nutrients during practice or games.
A handful of NBA teams, including the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, and Chicago Bulls, have been working with Gatorade for the past few seasons to measure player sweat content and provide appropriate drink formulas.
Melissa Anderson, principal scientist at GSSI, is in her fourth year working with the Celtics. She explained how Gatorade takes body weight measurements before and after practice to detect how much fluid each player lost; or how it uses sweat pads to analyze electrolyte concentration and sodium loss.
Her team then crunches that data and figures out what formula each player needs in terms of optimal hydration.
“It’s actually working and we’ve definitely seen good buy-in from the players,” she noted. “The head athletic trainer with the Celtics is really interested in seeing the numbers, and the technology makes it helpful for him.”
As a designer, the merge of technology and a drink company is a new and unique concept that only a few could a do effect. With a company like Gatorade that heavily sport created, their expansion to sport related technology is highly innovative and unique to the brand. Their exploration of sweat observation to help athlete hydration level is something that could improved upon and used for the public. They explain that by being able to track individual’s hydration levels, they could easily create formula that would match that and provide maximum electrolytes and replenish them. This technology could be very useful in my research of hydration and keeping college student hydrated through their strenuous daily activities.