Updated at: 12-08-2023 - By: John Lau

It’s hard not to wonder “Did Gatorade change their formula?” after decades of enjoying this popular sports drink.

In fact, in 2013 PepsiCo, Gatorade’s parent company, did replace a controversial ingredient known as brominated vegetable oil (BVO) with sucrose acetate isobutyrate.

This article will delve into why the change happened, how it affected sales and consumer perception, and what this means for the future of Gatorade. Let’s dive right in!

Gatorade’s Formula Controversy

What Flavor Is Cool Blue Gatorade (1)

Original formula

The original Gatorade formula was concocted with a specific purpose in mind: to replenish athletes quickly and efficiently.

It had its roots in oral rehydration therapy, a treatment used by doctors for patients who lose fluids through illness.

This formula contained straightforward ingredients like salt, sugar, and water. To make it more palatable, citrus flavoring and food coloring were added into the mix.

Sucrose and dextrose made up the carbohydrate content of Gatorade—the combination ensured that energy was readily available for hard-working cells throughout an athlete’s body.

Ingredient controversy

Gatorade faced a controversy over its ingredients when it replaced an ingredient called BVO (brominated vegetable oil) with sucrose acetate isobutyrate in 2013.

This decision by PepsiCo, the parent company of Gatorade, was made following consumer complaints about the use of BVO.

The ingredient change sparked discussions regarding the formulation and potential health effects of Gatorade.

However, since then, there have been no significant taste changes reported for Gatorade as it continues to be one of the most researched sports drinks on the market today.

Sucrose acetate isobutyrate is now used in Gatorade as a stabilizer, helping to keep the ingredients mixed together and preventing separation.

This replacement was made in an effort to address consumer preferences and ensure the continued quality of Gatorade as a sports drink option for athletes.

Impact on Gatorade Sales and Reputation


Gatorade’s decision to change their formula certainly had an impact on sales and their reputation. Although the exact figures are unknown, it’s safe to say that their decision generated a lot of buzz.

While some customers appreciated the brand’s commitment to health and wellness, others were skeptical about this change.

Sale Impacts Reputation Impacts
The change in formula could have affected Gatorade’s sales, however, specific figures are not available. The brand’s move to eliminate BVO not only showed their commitment to listen to their customers, but also to their health.
There may have been some sales impacts from customers who were suspicious of the new ingredient, sucrose acetate isobutyrate. There were also skeptics who questioned the move, potentially impacting the brand’s reputation.
Despite the change, the taste of Gatorade reportedly remained the same, minimizing the risk of losing customers due to taste differences. Keeping the taste consistent despite the formula change demonstrated the brand’s capacity to innovate while staying true to their product.

Gatorade’s Response and Rebranding

Did Gatorade Change Their Formula

Gatorade responded to the formula controversy by conducting extensive research and development, as well as launching a robust advertising and publicity campaign.

Find out how their efforts paid off in restoring their reputation and sales in the sports drink market.

Research and development

Gatorade has always been at the forefront of research and development when it comes to sports drinks.

The company continuously invests in scientific studies to ensure that their formula meets the needs of athletes, providing optimal hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during physical activity.

Through extensive research, Gatorade has been able to create a product that not only tastes great but also effectively enhances performance and aids in recovery.

By staying on top of the latest advancements in nutrition and sports science, Gatorade remains a trusted choice for athletes around the world.

Advertising and publicity

PepsiCo, the parent company of Gatorade, has invested heavily in advertising and publicity to promote their sports drink.

Through various marketing campaigns and endorsements by famous athletes, Gatorade has successfully positioned itself as a trusted and reliable hydration solution for athletes.

They have highlighted the benefits of consuming electrolytes during physical activity to replenish fluids and enhance performance.

The brand’s advertisements often emphasize the scientific research behind Gatorade’s formulation, showcasing its effectiveness in aiding hydration and recovery.

With continuous efforts to stay relevant in the market, Gatorade continues to utilize advertising and publicity strategies to maintain its reputation as a leading sports drink brand.


In 2013, Gatorade made a change to their formula by replacing an ingredient called BVO with sucrose acetate isobutyrate.

This decision was prompted by concerns raised by consumers and marked a significant change for the popular sports drink.

The taste of Gatorade has remained relatively unchanged since then, providing athletes with the same refreshing hydration they have come to rely on.