The slogan the Gatorade Company uses to advertise its product -- "Is it in you?" -- relates to the product's ability to replenish fluids in an active person and increase performance on the playing field. Gatorade has a proven record of helping people hydrate, but the beverage is not so good for plants.
Ingredients in Gatorade
The basic ingredients in Gatorade are water, sugar, carbohydrates and electrolytes -- potassium and sodium. These ingredients work together to rehydrate a person after he has expended a lot of energy, usually after performing some form of athletic activity.
In a lab test conducted by the Western Program at Miami University on the effects of hydration on plant growth using tap water, filtered water and Gatorade, the results showed that Gatorade is not good for plants. The electrolytes and sugar content in Gatorade that are essential for human hydration are not effective in hydrating plants. Moreover, the combination caused a moldy substance to coat the plant's soil, preventing absorption of any nutrients from the soil.
What Do Plants Need?
Plants need a combination of light, water and soil that contains minerals such as nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium and sulfur to grow properly.