Enough of the silence. Enough of the jokes. It's time to get some real answers about Gatorade A.M. Since the public is only armed with an apparently misleading label on the back of the Gatorade A.M. bottle, we decided to go to Dr. Craig A. Horswill, senior research fellow for the Gatorade Science Institute and ask him why it makes sense for Gatorade to pitch the public a drink that helps them recover from the fluid loss they lose when they are sleeping.
Me: How am I losing fluids when I'm sleeping?
Horswill: Well, when you sleep 7 or 8 hours, you are not putting fluids back in your body and so you lose fluids through various ways including urine, breathing and water loss from skin. It's why when you wake up in the morning, you might notice that you weigh one or two pounds less than you did the night before.
Me: This is being made fun of because it seems to be coming out of nowhere. Why hasn't anyone ever talked about it being important for athletes to replace fluids lost from sleep?
Horswill: To be honest, people really haven't looked at it that much before. The notion here isn't really about weight loss, it's about the fact that people might not be adequately hydrated. Most of all, when you sleep there's a depletion of the glycogen in your liver and those are the kinds of reserves you'd like to have to have a better workout in the morning.
Me: I realize you are not a marketer, but why this product now?
Horswill: People don't drink as much in the morning. Part of this is to encourage drinking and to get the fluids that they need into their bodies.
Me: How much do people really need this product?
Horswill: It's tough to say. We know it's more necessary for a person who does a hard workout in a heat stressed environment than a person who does a workout at a fitness center with air conditioning, but drinking in both situations, we feel, will make the athlete feel better.
Here's my conclusion, though this obviously won't be the last I have to say about this. Gatorade A.M. is actually a good idea. Yesterday, I lost 2.2 pounds during the night. I went to the gym without drinking anything (I usually drink Rain or Propel) and ran 4 miles. I admit I had a tougher time. I probably could have used something. The idea that someone at Gatorade had was, "Let's make lighter flavors for morning workout people." Makes sense. Although it's nice that Gatorade has the science behind this, I think they should have stopped there. Their marketing pitch should have been and the label on the back of the bottle should have been -- morning flavors for morning exercisers. That's it. Now that would sell at the supermarkets. Gatorade could then point consumers to the Gatorade Web site to tell them more about fluid loss during sleep. But the issue is that the main selling point was never meant to be fluid loss during sleep. If that was the case, as I pointed out before, they would be aiming this product to non-athletes.