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Gatorade, NFL And MLS Launch Beat The Heat Campaign To Educate Athletes, Parents And Coaches About Heat-Related Illnesses

CHICAGO, May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- To help keep athletes safe and performing at their best during the hot summer months, The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), has partnered with various U.S. sports leagues, including the NFL and MLS, for the Gatorade Beat the Heat educational campaign. In its ninth year, Gatorade Beat the Heat aims to raise awareness among athletes, parents and coaches on how proper hydration can help reduce heat-related illnesses during athletic activity.

While dehydration is a risk across all types of youth sports during the hot summer months, research conducted by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) found that as many as 70 percent of high school football players showed up for practice inadequately hydrated. Additionally, research also shows that dehydration or poor hydration increases the risk for heat illness.

"Losing even a relatively small amount of body fluid can impact performance and make it more difficult for the body to adapt to activity and warm weather," said Mark Kovacs, GSSI director. "The Beat the Heat program gives us and these great partner organizations a timely opportunity to remind and educate athletes, parents and coaches about the importance of proper hydration during the hot summer months."

As a part of Beat the Heat efforts, Gatorade worked with leading experts in hydration and heat safety to compile the Gatorade Heat Safety Kit, an educational go-to resource for heat safety tips and advice. The Kit provides easy recommendations for athletes, parents and coaches alike to reduce the chances of heat illness this summer. The Gatorade Heat Safety Kit will be available for free download on gatorade.com, nfl.com and mlssoccer.com.

"The Beat the Heat program is important because of its focus on providing educational resources that aid in the prevention, recognition and treatment of heat-related illness during the summer sports season," said Douglas Casa, Ph.D., chief operating officer of the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI), which is housed at the University of Connecticut. "You can't change the weather but you can change how you prepare to practice or compete in hot weather. Athletes, parents and coaches do not know that heat-related illnesses are largely preventable with appropriate strategies related to hydration, acclimatization, fitness, cooling, and practice modifications."

"Athletes and coaches on all levels need to pay close attention to the warning signs of heat-related illnesses because safety should not be risked in the name of competition," said Roberta Anding, sports dietitian for the Houston Texans. "There are a number of important nutrients lost through sweat so drinks that contain electrolytes to help retain and regulate fluids are very important."

About Gatorade

The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), provides sports performance innovations designed to meet the needs of athletes at all competitive levels and across a broad range of sports. Backed by more than a 40 year history of studying the best athletes in the world and grounded in years of hydration and sports nutrition research at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Gatorade provides scientifically formulated products to meet the sports fueling needs of athletes. The company's product portfolio is built around the G Series™, a 1-2-3 approach to athlete nutrition and hydration before, during, and after training or competition. For more information and a full list of products, please visit www.gatorade.com.

PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales.  Our main businesses – Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola – make hundreds of enjoyable foods and beverages that are loved throughout the world.  PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo.  We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment by conserving energy and water and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support and invest in the local communities where we operate.  For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.

About NFL

© 2013 NFL Enterprises LLC. NFL and the NFL shield design are registered trademarks of the National Football League. The team names, logos and uniform designs are registered trademarks of the teams indicated. All other NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League. NFL footage © NFL Productions LLC.

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