The Lemon-Lime Gatorade Debate That's Taking Over The Internet

When you think "sports beverage," the name "Gatorade" likely springs to mind. It is, after all, the first product to be marketed specifically as a drink designed to keep athletes hydrated (via How Stuff Works). Gatorade is to sports drinks what Kleenex is to facial tissues and Q-Tips are to cotton swabs. Most people, however, know very little about this King of Thirst Quenchers. 

Few may know, for instance, that Gatorade was a creation of the University of Florida, designed in the hopes of reducing the number of football players who suffered physical ailments due to the state's extreme heat (via History). Apparently, this original version was an affront to tastebuds — The New York Times even reported that its flavor bore a resemblance to "bodily waste." Armed with several greatly improved flavors, Gatorade has evolved into a sports drink powerhouse, with Beverage Daily stating that the brand captured 67.7% of the share of sports drink sales in 2020. With this much clout, the beverage has boasted some impressive ambassadors and spokespeople including athletic icons like Dwyane Wade, Usain Bolt, and Peyton Manning (per Forbes). The brand's star affiliations are still going strong; ET Canada shares that in a recent Gatorade commercial, Beyoncé voiced a heart-touching tribute to Serena Williams. 

Now, Gatorade finds itself in the spotlight once again, but for a very different (and somewhat strange) reason. 

A colorful debate

When the Tennessee Volunteers football team made a video on TikTok asking if lemon-lime Gatorade (one of the most popular Gatorade flavors) is yellow or green, a heated debate ensued — one that has moved beyond the social media platform. Yes, this discussion has captivated the internet, especially as there seems to be no wrong or right answer. Clearly, the football players can't reach a consensus with one boldly declaring, "It's yellow. You're psychotic," and another saying, "If you think this is yellow, I need you to re-evaluate your eyesight." When held up against a John Deere, it clearly looks yellow, but when it is compared to a green grape, it suddenly appears green. It's all very confusing. 

While one commenter attempted to clear up the schmozzle by pointing out that "Yellow 5" is the only dye in the ingredients, the folks at Today decided to play it safe and step away from the argument. Even the Gatorade brand itself piped in with a not-so-helpful TikTok reply, "dannng why you have to toss me like that," making the issue as clear as mud. Perhaps one way to settle this argument is to say Gatorade lemon-lime is chartreuse — a perfect blend of yellow and green — creating the ideal win/win solution. This is, of course, is open for debate as well.