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IMG Academy, Gatorade Sports Science Institute featured in Wired

Dwyane Wade training at the Gatorade Sport Science Institute at IMG Academy

In today's increasingly competitive athletic landscape, the same type of training done 20 years ago is not enough to keep up with the world's top athletes.

With the Gatorade Sports Science Institute at IMG Academy -- only the second of its kind in the world after the flagship GSSI lab in Illinois -- athletes can undergo a series of advanced tests to determine your current level of performance and how you can improve.

WIRED magazine recently profiled the GSSI lab:

Gatorade is helping build better athletes at an elite boarding school in south-central Florida, and using the lessons it learns there to make you perform better.

The sports beverage giant — born at the University of Florida in 1965 — has a sports science institute at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The campus expands upon the Gatorade Sports Science Institute that opened in Barrington, Illinois, in 1985.

TheGatorade Sports Science Institute, like its sister lab in Illinois, tests athletes for a variety of characteristics, such as body composition, muscle strength, metabolic heart rate and motor skills. Researchers study the correlation of exercise, environment, hydration and nutrition on performance. The idea is to help athletes at every level of competition, from the schoolyard to the stadium, perform better and recover faster.

The campus in Bradenton, not far from Tampa, will allow researchers to work with the 800 or so athletes at IMG, a 400-acre athletic boarding school where students master everything from tennis to lacrosse to baseball.Dr. JohnEric Smith, the associate principal scientist at GSSI, says the focus is on athlete testing as well as Gatorade product testing.

“It's more of a learning ground,” Smith says. “There will be testing of products as they come out, but I believe this is an opportunity for us to learn about the athlete and then work with our lab in Illinois, which is set up more as an intervention-type research facility, to develop those products and bring them back here to see how they're being utilized on the field of play.”

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