The latest 30 for 30 documentary short from ESPN Films is about the invention of Gatorade, which turned 50 this year. Like most of the company’s films, “The Sweat Solution” is interesting and entertaining. An accompanying blog post on ESPN’s Grantland website opens with a ranking of the five best Gatorade flavors: Citrus Cooler, Fierce Grape, Lemon-Lime, Glacier Freeze, and Fruit Punch. There’s no sense in directly challenging this one person’s rankings. But it did get me thinking about whether others would disagree with them as much as I did.
Not surprisingly — at least to me — the original flavor, Lemon-Lime, came out on top after I calculated voting using a complex yet mathematically sound scoring system. Orange, the second flavor ever created, got one more first place vote and came in second. Glacier Freeze was a close third, followed by Fruit Punch, the company’s third flavor. No other flavors were ranked by more than two voters.
I’m glad I asked around, because the Grantland article had me questioning my preferences (1. Lemon-Lime 2. Fruit Punch 3. Orange; there is no 4).* I learned that Glacier Freeze is apparently more popular than I realized. It was also fun to see how people refer to the various flavors. Are the votes for “Blue Frost” and “Glacier Freeze” and “Frost Glacier” all intended for the same product? It’s hard to say, and the Gatorade website isn’t much help. Add in the G2 low calorie line and it only makes this exercise more difficult. Some people referred to the flavors solely by color, which I do as well, though I know for sure that “Purple,” which received a vote in my poll, is not a Gatorade flavor. I should also note that my dad is the only person I’ve ever heard refer to Lemon-Lime as “green.”
A friend of mine living in Colombia said he exclusively drinks a Gatorade flavor called Maracuya (Passion Fruit). (By the way, apparently Gatorade is packed in a funny looking bottle over there.)
One voter noted that he prefers different flavors in different circumstances: Glacier Freeze when he’s hung over; Orange while playing sports on a hot day. When I was a country club caddy, I’d get a free Gatorade when I was halfway through the round. If it wasn’t particularly hot, I’d ask for yellow; if it was, I’d go with orange; if i was thirsty and hungry, I’d choose red. I don’t even know if they offered other flavors; I never asked. As one voter told me, “I feel like there is pressure to name some obscure flavor, when in reality we all know that the original three favors are the Holy Trinity.”
*I prefer to mix my Gatorade with water. Gatorade by itself is too sugary and, despite its marketing language, doesn’t quench my thirst. A 60/40 Gatorade/water combo is best for me. I’ve placed this at the bottom so you at least read the whole thing before discrediting me.