Tag Archives: hydration

Gatorade for Drum Corps – Partial Powder Packets

Elaborate: Only use whole packets. Dealing with open partially used powder packets is just asking for trouble.

Open powder packets are a huge hassle. Maybe you don’t mind hunting down a ziplock bag or a bag clip to hopefully keep the powder contained. This powder has had a taste of freedom and will stop at nothing to get as all over the place as possible at its soonest opportunity. Powder might get all over the container you keep your Gatorade supply leading to moisture finding its way onto all of the unopened packets creating a sugary goo which could attract hummingbirds who will inevitably peck their way into the other packets to get to the sweet sports nectar which will cause them to pass out or die due to a severe electrolyte imbalance and everyone will be depressed upon seeing the pile of hummingbird corpses that has formed next to the drink station. So if you insist on dealing with partial powder packets I suggest you invest in a small shovel. Don’t use a spatula from the kitchen, that’s terrible.

It’s easier just to use a whole packet and be done with it. No muss, no fuss, no dead hummingbirds.

There are basically two situations when you’ll need to make more Gatorade: the cooler is empty or there’s still some Gatorade left in the cooler. In either case, you should only make as much Gatorade as whole packets can make. Variables to keep in mind are how much Gatorade is left and how many coolers do you have.

I’ll start simple. One 10-gallon cooler, empty. Make seven gallons (or more depending on the flavor) and you’re done. “But then you’ll have to make the next batch sooner!” Even sooner than you think. Four gallons are consumed leaving three gallons in your cooler. Throw in another packet and make another seven gallons. Now you’re topped off at 10 gallons and can turn your attention elsewhere for a while. Best of all, you didn’t have to deal with a partial powder packet.

Add more coolers and the math is the same. Every pair of 10-gallon coolers you can use three whole packets. Odd cooler out you treat like the lone cooler in the above example. Use a whole packet to fill up whenever one of the coolers gets down to two or three gallons. Rinse and repeat. Literally rinse out the coolers whenever they’re empty, if not full on wash them.

At this point you might be wondering, “how am I supposed to get the flavors right if I use three packets to fill two coolers?” I’ll address that and more next time when I talk about color mixing.


Gatorade for Drum Corps – Mixing Sequence

Elaborate: Ice -> Powder -> Water -> Stir. Any other order and you’re asking for trouble.

For best results don’t deviate from this order of events.

First toss in a couple gallons of ice. Putting the ice in first means that it will cool down the water as you fill. “But that will make the ice melt!” and therefore make the drink cold. That’s the point. If all the ice melts before you finish making the batch, just add some more ice before you fill it to the top and take note for next time. Why do you want to avoid adding ice last? First, it reduces splashing especially if you have bigger clumps of ice. Second, as I already said it cools the water down as it fills so the drink is more uniformly cold from the first cup spouted out. Third…

Putting the ice in first creates a barrier that helps avoid powder accumulation on the bottom of your cooler. I’ll get more in-depth about the importance of this in a future post. Why not put the powder in after the water? You’ll end up getting a cloud of powder all over everything. Unless you can somehow keep everything dry, this means droplets of water becoming droplets of sticky Gatorade all over the area. The deeper in the cooler the pouring of powder takes place, the less product you waste. Yes there will still be a powder cloud, but just pop the lid back on for a few seconds as it settles. Also, if you add the powder first and someone desperately needs their electrolytes they can fill up from the mix-in-progress and then add the appropriate amount of water to finish their drink.

Now you’re ready to let the water flow. The stirring should actually take place during the filling, not after, to avoid the sludge situation and break up the ice. If you wait to do all of your stirring when the cooler is topped off you risk more spillage than if you do the harder stirring sometime during the 20-90% full range. Once the cooler is full you should only need a few gentle stirs. I go with 15 16.

Note that your water source may vary. Most of the time you will use a hose. I prefer to use one without any attachments such as a spray gun or other nozzle type. This is because most drinking water hoses I’ve used are relatively weak and will burst with enough built up water pressure. This is very likely to happen if you use the nozzle at the end of the hose as your “on-off switch” instead of turning it on and off at the spigot. I have had very few hoses go bad since I stopped using spray guns/nozzles. Also, using a high pressure spray gives the illusion of the water doing a lot of the mixing. It doesn’t really do much mixing after the first gallon, and in the case of orange juice from concentrate it will just produce a lot of wasteful frothing.

Over time I have learned and mastered the art of using backup coolers full of water to make a quick mix. This is especially useful in the midst of a meal when corps members are thirsty and starting to tilt the jugs to get it to flow faster. I usually use whatever water is left over from rehearsal, otherwise I take some time when Gatorade supply is good just to fill up the backups. I don’t recommend filling a cooler to ten gallons using this method due to the risk of spillage. It is possible to pull off with practice, though. I’ll talk about this more in a future post about flavor mixing.

To do your stirring get a hold of a 36″ wooden stirring paddle (stainless steel transfers heat too well and will waste a bit of your ice’s cooling potential, as well as make your hands cold). Drill a hole in the end and get some string or a zip tie so you can hang it up when not in use, another reason to go with wood. Wash it and rinse it off often. Use it to fend off wild animals if necessary. Do not use it to scratch your sweaty back. Gross.

So follow these steps you will have the best time possible! Tune in next time when I’ll go into detail about partial powder packets.


Drinking Water

In a recent episode of improv4humans, “Airport Pat Downs” (listen to it here) Matt Besser, Eugene Cordero, Brett Gelman and Will McLaughlin talked about drinking water. Here’s an excerpt from the scene that followed (warning, contains profanity):

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I loved this section of the show because I was the exact same way as a kid, I would drink soda or juice at every chance when I really should have been drinking water. Luckily drum corps intervened and taught me the importance of hydration over deliciousness. Eventually, some nice cool water became the most delicious thing of all.

Some people replace soda and juice with beer and hard liquor. Back in my restaurant days I’ve seen them act the same way when a bartender recognizes they’ve had too much and tries to help out.

“Gimme ‘nother.”

“Here, have this glass of water. I’ll call you a cab.”

“F$%# YOU! GIMMENOTHER! ANd Icandrive. Imokaytadriv. Snort.”

In the winter months I let hydration get away from me a little bit. As I type this I’m sipping away at a Cherry 7-Up. I have two cases left, so after that, I’m done! Gotta get back on the water slide*.

(instead of the wagon, let’s call getting off of sugary drinks or alcohol in favor of water getting on the water slide. It sounds sooo much more fun, unless the wagon is the kind you had as a kid that you could ride down hills while having philosophical conversations with your stuffed tiger)