Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How Does Gatorade Affect the Growth of a Bean Plant?

sporting drink image by Ivonne Wierink from

Gatorade was produced in the mid-1960s as a beverage to boost the performance of athletes, specifically the University of Florida Gators. The original concoction contained nothing more than sucrose, citric acid, fish oil, salt, monopotassium phosphate and food coloring. Gatorade has evolved to include 13 different flavors and a low-calorie option. It is the world’s leading sports drink.


Gatorade has been around since late 1965. The original Gatorade formula was designed to replenish the fluids, carbohydrates and electrolytes athletes lost during strenuous exercise. It contained precise amounts of carbs and electrolytes mixed in water. The Gatorade recipe has changed over the years and now contains water, sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, salt, sodium citrate and monopotassium phosphate.


An 8-oz. serving of Gatorade contains 200 mg of salt. When a bean plant is exposed to high levels of salt within the soil, its ability to absorb water from the soil is inhibited. The plant must exert more energy to pull the water from the soil, thus stressing it. A bean plant watered with Gatorade will not grow as vigorously as it will when water is used.


Through the process of photosynthesis, plants make sugar naturally. A small amount of added sugar won’t harm the plant; however, excessive amounts of sugar can cause a buildup of mold on the soil. It can also prevent the plant’s roots from absorbing water, eventually causing the plant to die.


The most necessary element to a bean plant, or any other plant, is water. Gatorade’s main component is water. The moisture provided by Gatorade is useful to a bean plant. However, the other ingredients may outweigh the benefit.


An electrolyte is any substance that contains free ions. All living things have electrolytes. Fruits and vegetables have a higher concentration of electrolytes than other foods. Beans produce electrolytes as they grow and are a good source for replenishing lost electrolytes. The electrolytes in Gatorade don’t have any direct effect on bean plants.

Citric Acid

Beans grow best in a more acidic soil. The citric acid in Gatorade, however, does not constitute a high enough acidic content to make a difference to a bean plant’s growth.

Garden Guides