Faculty Research Goal: New Gatorade Drink Formula
Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning all drink Gatorade. So does Alma’s Maurie Luetkemeier.
An avid runner, Luetkemeier consumes the popular sports drink for hydration. This fall, he is taking his interest in Gatorade a step further by conducting research that may ultimately result in a new pre-competition drink formula for athletes.
Luetkemeier, professor of exercise and health science at Alma College on sabbatical this fall, is a visiting faculty member at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in Barrington, Ill. Established in 1988, GSSI seeks to expand knowledge in sports nutrition and exercise science in ways that enhance the well-being and performance of athletes.
From left: John Stofan, principle researcher at GSSI, and Maurie Luetkemeier
“I’m working on a pre-hydration drink formula that can be used by athletes before they start a contest to give them more fluid before they compete,” says Luetkemeier, who has been paired with a senior research at GSSI for the study. “It is hoped that this extra amount of fluid will give competitors more fluid to sweat and maintain cardiac output.
“We hope to test our drink formula on cyclists this fall and finalize our research by December,” he says. “We’re pretty close.”
Luetkemeier is the first faculty researcher in the nation to conduct research at GSSI as part of the institute’s new visiting faculty program. He first became acquainted with GSSI as a doctoral student when one of his professors was collaborating with Gatorade on research projects.
“Over the years I have met some of the people at GSSI, and for some time I have bugged them about doing a research sabbatical there,” he says.
Gatorade was developed in the 1960s by researchers at the University of Florida to help the Gators football team prevent dehydration.
“Basically, Gatorade contains water, salt and some sugar,” says Luetkemeier. “It’s designed to replace fluids and provide energy to working muscles. It contains a blend of carbohydrates and key electrolytes, like sodium and potassium. It is product tested, and it has stood the test of time.”
His ultimate goal is to create opportunities for Alma College students to conduct research and serve internships at GSSI.
Posted: Fri, October 5th, 2007 at 8:21AM