Gatorade Inventor Robert Cade Dies

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Dr. Robert Cade, the man who invented Gatorade, has died. Cade and other researchers created Gatorade at the University of Florida in 1965 as a way to both quench players' thirsts and replace carbohydrates and electrolytes lost through sweating in the intense Florida heat.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

You see it on the sidelines, from Peewee soccer to the NFL. In fact, it's hard to imagine a sporting event without Gatorade. Well, today the man who invented the sports drink and spawned a multi-billion dollar industry died at age 80. Dr. Robert Cade was a professor of medicine at the University of Florida in 1965, when the football coach asked him why his players didn't have to go to the bathroom after a game. Cade said that question changed his life. He and his researchers concocted a drink that would replace not just fluids, but also carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during practice and games in the oppressive Florida heat. Gatorade was named for the university's mascot, the gator. It got noticed by the press the next year.

Writers gave it credit for Florida's strong second half performances. And from there, things took off. Dr. Cade and the university fought over the profits from Gatorade for a while. There was a lawsuit that was settled with an agreement to share them. Through all of it, Cade continued to teach at the school and see patients until he retired in 2004. He died today at the University of Florida Medical Center. He was 80.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

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