UNITED NATIONS–In the largest humanitarian electrolyte-replenishment effort in decades, Gatorade will donate $240 million in thirst aid to citizens of 27 U.N.-designated underquenched Third World nations, spokespersons for the company announced Monday.
"Gatorade is thirst aid," Gatorade president Tony Highsmith said, "for our global community's deep-down body thirst."
According to Highsmith, the thirst-aid package gives the people of such drought-ravaged nations as Bangladesh, Kenya, and the Sudan "a fighting chance," enabling them to give everything they've got–both on the field and off.
"Toiling in a sweatshop, stooping in rice paddies, or marching at gunpoint for days on end can really make you work up a sweat," Highsmith said. "Gatorade is scientifically formulated to replenish the fluids and minerals active peasants need."
The massive rehydrative effort is hoped to quench as many as 59 million in "hot, tired populations" by early 2001.
"Gatorade has taken the important 'thirst' step toward creating a world in which each person's basic human right to energy-boosting carbs are met," a headband-wearing President Clinton told reporters following several hours of tennis at the White House. "What's more, underquenched nations can now look forward to two delicious new flavors, Fierce Grape and Fierce Berry."
Added Clinton: "Gatorade: Is it in you?"
The move by Gatorade comes at a crucial time for Third World nations.
"Many of my countrymen are unable to maintain their peak output because of the mineral loss–mineral loss that keeps them from being their best," said Tanzanian war refugee Mwene Tshikanga. "We desperately need electrolytes for our sick and injured. And we know we cannot get them from ordinary soft drinks or juices."
"The world's malnourished, undereducated, underdeveloped nations face a crisis similar to the one faced by Georgia Tech during its legendary 1967 Orange Bowl game against the Florida Gators. Georgia Tech played well at first, but its players lost their edge as the game went on, with slowed reflexes and poor concentration causing them to give up big plays," Highsmith said. "Tech wasn't drinking Gatorade, and the Gators, of course, took control of the game in the second half. Why? Because they were replenishing their fluids and minerals with a special formula that has gone on to help the underquenched to this very day."
"What Gatorade did for the Florida Gators, it can do for the Eritrean lentil farmers," Highsmith added.
In addition to billions of gallons of Gatorade, nations earmarked for thirst-aid relief will receive Gatorade-logoed mesh workout T-shirts, caps, and visors. They will also be sent educational materials to teach citizens how to maximize the effectiveness of Gatorade-brand products.
"Subsistence-level peasant populations need to drink at least 16 ounces of fluid prior to, 8 ounces during, and 24 ounces immediately after engaging in heavy menial labor," a multilingual wall chart included in the thirst-aid package read in part. "Why? Because the more you slave away for your cruel overlords, the more vital minerals and fluids your body loses. These have to be replaced quickly, with a rehydrating agent that contains glucose and sodium, so you can keep your edge–and keep from being beaten."
Leaders of underquenched nations expressed gratitude for the historic humanitarian effort.
"My Gatorade brothers," Burkina Faso prime minister Kadre Desire Ouedraogo said, "words cannot express how much this means to our country. Truly, we will never again fall victim to the myth that water is as effective as Gatorade in rejuvenating tired muscles fast. Thanks to you, we have begun the long road to quenching."