Gatorade Evolves...Right Over the Friggin' Shark

Jordan only had a couple flavors to choose from, and didn't do too badly for himself.
A guy walks into McSorley's in the East Village, recently dubbed one of Esquire's top 15 bars to walk into before you die (along with Seattle's Zig Zag Cafe). Just so happens that, on this particular sweltering Friday afternoon, this particular guy felt like death, having gotten "New Yorked" off tequila the night prior at a karaoke bar called Sing Sing.

McSorley's didn't allow women through its doors until 1970, and only after city officials forced it to. But it's always allowed beer-- its own brand, exclusively, served in half-pint mugs. The guy who walked in there last Friday knew another guy, who happened to be a bartender. This guy had a son, who bartends on occasion too. Hence, the hungover guy was served approximately 40 mugs of McSorley's beer for a sharply-reduced fee.

On the third day, this guy didn't feel much like trying to drink his hangover away, and the hangover was double-bad, as you might imagine. So this guy headed to the bodega reached for an old standby, a remedy that had rarely failed him: a 32-ounce bottle of lemon-lime Gatorade.

Only this time, the Gatorade failed him, specifically because it was more than merely lemon-lime.

The Gatorade bottle the guy grabbed looked and felt like lemon-lime, but was really lemon-lime-strawberry. Rather than rehydrating the guy, the strawberry created a way-too-sweet, Skittles-like event that only made the guy more nauseous.

This guy's back in Seattle now, and will hereafter read the fine print on every Gatorade bottle he grabs. But holy shit, has Gatorade's so-called "evolution" gone overboard. Remember when there were like three flavors? That wasn't too long ago--like within the past 25 years. But now they've got no fewer than 19 flavors--and that's just within in the "G-Original" series. And by "no fewer," I really mean more; there are 19 Gatorade "series"--including "powders"--that further complicate matters.

You won't find many day-after drunks in Gatorade's commercials. In fact, you won't find any. But by adding enough flavors to resemble the periodic table of elements, the sport-drink company is doing drunks a great disservice, and threatening to lose their business to more consistent beverages, like whiskey and water.

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