How Gatorade invented hydration

Decoder Ring With Willa Paskin:

“To say that hydration is an invention is only a slight exaggeration. Back in the 1970’s and ‘80s, no one carried bottled water with them, but by the ‘90s it was a genuine status object. How did bottled water transform itself from a small, European luxury item to the single largest beverage category in America? It took both technological innovation, but even more importantly it took savvy marketing from brands like Gatorade and Perrier to turn the concept of hydration, and dehydration into problem they could solve via their wares. Today, hydration has branched out from athletics to wellness to skincare, but the actual science behind all of it is pretty sketchy.”

Gatorade, Perrier, and Evian invented hydration in the 1970s. Prior to then, athletes were actually advised to not drink water or any other beverage well playing, for fear that the liquid would slosh around and slow them down.

You do not need to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. There is no science to support this. Researchers have not even been able to figure out the origin of this belief.

Water is vital for your health, but hydration has become another thing that we have to do exactly right and beat ourselves up about when we fail to live up to our own imaginary standards. It’s fine to just drink when you’re thirsty.