Gatorade's VP Brings Propel Fitness Water And Fun Back To Exercise - Exclusive Interview

As the weather warms up and summer draws near, the time comes when a lot of us start reaching for water a whole lot more often. While this should probably happen all the time, this particular season lends itself to spending more time outside in the sun, and, for many of us, working out more often – both activities which calls for added hydration measures. Whatever your reason, Propel Fitness Water, made by Gatorade, wants to be the bottle of water you're reaching for.

Propel wants to make it fun along the way. Specifically, Propel wants to help you "get your JOWO back this summer" — that is, your "joy of working out." The brand's newest summer campaign, kicking off on National Fitness Day, aims to encourage exercisers everywhere to get back out there, work out together in their communities, find happiness in the movement, and enjoy Propel Fitness Water while they're doing it.

Mashed spoke exclusively with Gatorade's Vice President of Protein and Fitness Brands, Anuj Bhisan, all about the 20-year-old Propel brand and how it has evolved to become a leader among fitness waters. He also shared more details about Propel's "Joy of Working Out" campaign, including all the ways you can get involved, and maybe even win $10,000 while you're at it.

How to find your JOWO with Propel Fitness Water

Tell me more about the idea behind the "Joy of Working Out" campaign, and how Propel plays a part in this?

While we're really excited about the success of [Propel], we know that our consumers really, really love the idea of working out and working out together. There's all these studies that have shown a consistent, positive relationship between physical activity and happiness. As we thought about our campaign this year, not only did we want to drive the business and drive the sales through a great advertising program, and in full marketing activation, but we wanted to also invest in our communities, and in invest in a way where we can help spread the joy of working out back to our consumers as we come out of the COVID environment.

The program is going to be launching on May 7th, which is National Fitness Day. As I mentioned before, our goal is to really spread the joy of working out to our consumers. We're going to do it in three different ways: We are going to be investing in local markets around the United States, in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Houston, and Detroit; We're going to be partnering with local trainers around the country; and we're going to be engaging consumers online in a really fun, digital, social way as well, through TikTok.

As it relates to our local market tour, this is probably what we're most excited about. We are going to be investing deeply in these four cities, in their communities, during our four-month long summer tour. We're going to be impacting over 100,000 exercisers in these communities. We're actually going to be able to [host] free outdoor classes, where consumers can come work out together in high-traffic outdoor spaces for a month in each city. We're really excited about being able to get our exercisers back together, back to having fun, [and] back to working out. Also, what's really cool about this is, in each of those cities, we found four different trainers who are awesome.

These trainers are people that we believe really embody the spirit of "The Joy of Working Out." They're uplifting, they're in their community, they're giving back to their community, and we are going to give back to them. We're investing $25,000 in each of their small businesses to help them grow their enterprises locally in these communities. What's even cooler is these guys are going to come out and teach classes while we're in their city for the tour. Exercisers in their community can get to know them as well.

Join Propel's campaign on TikTok for a chance to win some serious cash

How else can people get involved with this campaign if they don't live in one of the cities on the fitness tour?

Additionally, we're going to be launching a TikTok challenge. Mindy [Kaling] is going to help us get this out there, as well as a number of other key TikTok influencers. We're going to give away a chance to win one of ten $10,000 prizes, which is really cool.

We're looking for exercisers in their communities showing us their joy of working out. We want spirit, excitement that embodies Propel, but embodies our individual athletes and exercises. We're going to be launching that campaign, and we have Mindy, as I mentioned before, helping us out in a myriad of ways. She's going to be sharing a bunch of small videos to launch the campaign through visual storytelling. We've got a digital hub that you can go to, where you can learn more about the TikTok challenge, actually register for our events in your community, and take part in what we're doing.

You can use #showyourJOWO [through the end of May] for a chance to win one of the $10,000 cash prices. We're kicking it off with a bunch of really cool TikTok influencers, some well-known TV stars like Sophia Wiley, Jada Rutin, and a few other people. Mindy's going to be sharing more about it, so that's the best way to enter. What we're really looking for is people that can help demonstrate the joy of their own working out and show us ways movement can be joyful. We're looking for creativity and excitement, and if you want more details, there's more on

Mindy Kaling was the perfect match for Propel's mindful fitness campaign

How did Mindy Kaling get involved with Propel? Why was she the right ambassador to bring this campaign to life?

This year we're thrilled to be partnering with Mindy Kaling, to help exercisers get back out and get back into spreading the joy of working out. She has got an incredible story around fitness, what it means to her. She's got such an inclusive personality and she's going to be an ambassador for us, helping to launch this program in a really meaningful way.

We brought Mindy on to be a storyteller for Propel. She's provided us with key influencer moments. She's provided us with experiences within some of the advertising that we've done. She's done a lot of media around Propel. We were looking for someone that was broadly relatable and had an inspiring fitness journey, and also showed a really positive joy and exciting personality. Mindy was that person. Mindy is such a wonderful asset for us. She's broadly relatable. She's exciting. Our exercisers love her. We were looking for someone that could really spread the message of Propel and bring [together] an inclusive set of exercisers, but also really bring joy and happiness to the brand, too.

As you mentioned, this is all kicking off on National Fitness Day on May 7th, and it definitely falls right around the time so many of us are starting to think about getting into shape for the summer. How does Propel's JOWO campaign take a different approach?

We are all about getting our exercisers back into the joy and happiness of working out together. We honestly want people to experience joy and get a chance to interact with each other, and to do it in a way that's positive and uplifting. That's what our brand really stands by, and we would do this all year if we could. Right now, the weather's warm, we're in a spot where we're past the COVID outbreak, and we can get people back together in a safe environment.

Why you should be reaching for Propel Fitness Water after your next workout

Today, it feels like there's so many different fitness drinks and enhanced waters on the market, but Propel continues to see double-digit, year-over-year growth. What makes Propel continue to stand out and stand up against these other brands today?

We really believe Propel is about empowering exercisers, both in body and in mind. We want the brand to be for anyone who's passionate about exercise. What we're really excited about is that we offer our consumers a product that's specifically formulated for fitness, to help them get the most out of their active lives, and out of their workouts. The brand has been doing great. We're so excited about its success. It's in its seventh year of consecutive double-digit growth. It's nearly doubled over the last five years, and the product is doing really well in total.

Propel was founded from the makers of Gatorade as a fitness water, with Gatorade level of electrolytes to help you replace what you lose in the sweat. We've been extending the brand and innovation to more holistically help exercises, and we've moved into adding an immune support lineup with vitamin C and zinc. We've launched a one-liter [bottle] this year. We are really pushing hard into the on-the-go space with powder, and we see a big opportunity to continue to innovate in functional spaces and on-the-go spaces with our consumers.

Propel is the only fitness water that has a Gatorade level of electrolytes, and that's formulated, specifically, for fitness exercisers to help them get the most out of their workouts. We get to layer in scientifically proven levels of Gatorade electrolytes for our exercisers, give them everything that they need, and nothing that they don't, when they're working out. What we've seen is that Propel is the only product in the category that can truly anchor itself in fitness in this way, leveraging the heritage of the Gatorade master brand, while also delivering an incredibly great tasting product.

I remember when I was a kid, we actually had the old school blue bottles stocked in our refrigerator at all times. How would you say the brand has changed over the last 20 years?

Propel has really evolved from when it launched to become a leader in not just functional fitness solutions, but also in developing broader wellness solutions for exercisers, and in moving to actually [take] exercisers with us to bring more joy, more positivity to exercisers, in total. Propel has definitely evolved into what we believe is a leading functional fitness brand that brings in really positive spirit to our consumers.

You can also reach for Gatorade's newest product to stay hydrated

What are the most popular Propel flavors?

A few of our most popular flavors include Kiwi Strawberry, Grape, and Berry. Our newest flavors include the Immune Support Orange Raspberry & Lemon Blackberry.

Do you think we'll see any new Propel flavors in the future?

Definitely. We will. We're always innovating in flavor. Flavor is a space where consumers are always looking for more. We've got more flavors and we've got more research innovation. We're dealing with more functions coming soon. We're really excited about where we can take the brand to help continue to solve exercisers' problems.

Gatorade's newest innovation, Gatorade Fit, launched earlier this year. Can you share more about the idea behind this new concept and how Gatorade Fit compares to the original Gatorade?

Gatorade Fit is the newest electrolyte beverage from Gatorade and is formulated for the active consumer looking for healthy, real hydration with no added sugar. It's made with no artificial flavors or sweeteners and no added colors. Gatorade Fit delivers 100% of the daily value of antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as electrolytes sourced from watermelon and sea salt. It contains the same level of electrolytes as Gatorade. It contains between 10-15 calories and 3g carbs per serving and is sweetened with Stevia.

Gatorade Fit joins the G Team as the newest addition to Gatorade's expanding hydration portfolio, offering those with active lifestyles a new healthy hydration option based on their needs and ingredient preferences. 

Consumers can find Gatorade Fit on-shelf alongside Gatorade sports drinks and Propel Fitness Water can be found alongside other waters.

Visit to learn more about Propel's campaign, and to find information about how to enter Propel's #ShowYourJOWO TikTok challenge for a chance to win $10,000.