Article Thumbnail

Put Some Gatorade in Your Beer, Unless You Hate Fun

It’s shandy for athletes! Y’know, probably.

The booze industry keeps coming out with new products for health-conscious consumers who want to get their buzz on and still, like, watch their vitamin C intake. I hate that someone might be buying some $20 six-pack of beer with electrolytes when the solution has been in front of us for 55 freaking years: Just put some Gatorade in your beer. 

In college (yes, it was in Florida), I was involved in an annual event called an Easter Keg Hunt. Basically, it just involved drinking from kegs hidden around campus in order to commemorate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We’d start early — 9 a.m. or so — and continue until our bodies failed us. One key to survival, in terms of both stamina and palate, was to add just a splash of Gatorade to our cups of whatever keg was cheapest, usually Busch. Lemon-lime Gatorade was preferred. Whether this Gatorade replenished me on a molecular level, I’m doubtful. But it had to have helped fill some of the hydration gaps I was creating by chugging beer, right? 

Perhaps that effect was merely psychological, but an actual good reason to put Gatorade in your beer is just because it tastes good. Like putting hot sauce in your shitty PBR, a splash of Gatorade animates an otherwise basic beer. A dash of lemon-y Gatorade (honestly, any flavor would probably work) in a Bud Light (as would any cheap, boring beer) tastes almost exactly like a Bud Light Lime, my genuine favorite beer. People who dismiss Bud Light Lime are pretentious — it’s an easy, refreshing beer with the slightest hint of sour sweetness at an affordable price. But as hard seltzer and other fruity beers increasingly take up shelf space, Bud Light Lime’s ubiquity has waned. Of course, it was never easily available in keg form in college, either. So, a splash of Gatorade is a way to improvise. 

Adding a dash of a sugary beverage into beer certainly isn’t a new concept. I’m known to dabble in a Mountain Dew and white wine mixture myself, but a shandy — beer mixed with an equal amount of Sprite or 7Up — is a perfectly normal thing to order in a British bar (if that’s too much Sprite, you can also ask for a “top,” which is just a small splash of soda in your pint, exactly as I’m suggesting you do with Gatorade). In Germany, a similar combo to shandy is called a radler. (An American version of a shandy typically contains lemonade and beer instead of lemon soda.) 

That’s all well and good, and I’m glad to have these more established beverages to back up my argument here. But Gatorade is for athletes, meaning my beer and Gatorade combination is for athletes, too. I’m giving my body the sodium replenishment it needs to rehydrate me of the nutrients and water the beer has depleted. Maybe that sounds stupid, but so does proboitic alcohol, adaptogenic alcohol, vitamin-enriched alcohol or whatever other weird health fad is being dragged to its final death in booze form. At least Gatorade stands the test of time.