Gatorade Promotes Heat Safety & Education With Beat the Heat Program


To help keep athletes safe and performing at their best during the hot summer months, The Gatorade Company has partnered with several top professional athletes for the Gatorade Beat the Heat educational campaign. Now in its 12th year, Gatorade Beat the Heat has again teamed up with league partners, including the NFL and NBA, in an effort to raise awareness among athletes, parents and coaches on how proper hydration can help reduce heat-related illnesses during athletic activity.

Many factors contribute to heat-related illnesses, which can occur when an athlete is subjected to extreme temperatures and humidity, is unable to cool down or is dehydrated. At the onset of heat illness, it can be more difficult for an athlete’s body to properly cool itself and function, often taking a toll on his or her performance.

“Athletes don’t always fully comprehend how dehydration can negatively impact performance, nor what an appropriate hydration strategy looks like,” said Dr. James Carter, Director of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI). “Through the Beat the Heat program and the help of our partners, we are able to educate athletes, parents and coaches about the importance of proper hydration and what safety measures to consider while active in the heat.”

Throughout the summer, professional athletes including Eli Manning, DeMarco Murray and Emmanuel Sanders will visit youth sports camps to spread their heat safety message. In addition, star athletes J.J. Watt, Karl-Anthony Towns, and others will share their hot environment and hydration tips through unique videos on Gatorade’s YouTube page.

“When you sweat, you lose more than just water,” said J.J. Watt, Houston Texans defensive end. “So we need to replace that, we need to get you ready to go for the next day and we need to get you ready to continue your workout so you can be at your best.”

Research shows that dehydration or poor hydration can impair performance and increase the risk for heat illness.i  To minimize the risk for fluid imbalances, athletes should follow individual hydration strategies based on their sweat rate, as sweat rates vary considerably between athletes. For example, sweat rates of ~500 athletes tested at GSSI over the past 15 years have ranged from ~0.5 to over 2.5 L per hour across various sports and environments.ii

“It’s the responsibility of athletes, coaches, parents and trainers to closely monitor the warning signs of dehydration and heat-related illness,” said Bryan Snyder, Denver Broncos Director of Team Nutrition. “Beyond simple hydration, drinks that contain electrolytes to help retain and regulate fluids are very important. Additionally, the consumption of carbohydrates found in sports drinks can help an athlete’s performance.”