According to a story by Ed Price, the Yankees beat reporter for the New Jersey Star Ledger, bottled water has been banned from the dugouts of Major League Baseball. Gatorade—not water—is the “official sports drink” of MLB, and cannot bear to share the dugout with any other form of hydration. Price’s article, which has been heavily blogged, says that players can’t be seen drinking anything but Gatorade—not even Aquafina, the “official water” of MLB. According to White Sox clubhouse personnel, if players take bottled water to the bench, all the bottled water will be removed from the clubhouse as punishment.
This seems like an pretty bad move on Gatorade’s part, as encroaching on an athlete’s right to freedom of hydration might create a bit of a backlash. And it turns out Gatorade actually isn’t that recklessly narcissistic—Price’s article is bogus.
Pat Courtney, a spokesman for MLB, corrected Price and his clubhouse informant in a telephone interview. Players are allowed to drink whatever they want—they just have to take the label off if it’s not a sponsoring brand, and that rule only applies to the post-season.
Of course, there are other reasons to avoid bottled water (not that Gatorade solves these issues). Then again, Gatorade supplies not just water for hydration, but also carbohydrates to replenish energy stores, and electrolytes to keep optimal osmoregularity. But these, particularly the latter, are only important if you’re really exerting yourself, like when running a marathon—not running to first base. Oh, and as for those carbs in Gatorade—since 2007, they’ve come in part from high fructose corn syrup.