What Flavor Is Blue Gatorade Supposed To Be?

If you're a Gatorade drinker — casual or avid — chances are pretty high that you refer to your favorite flavor by its color, not its actual title. Insider shorthand is "Get me a yellow one," not "I would like a lemon-lime Gatorade, please." Nobody talks like that. And what is "blue" supposed to taste like, anyway? (Spoiler alert: It's kind of a big question.)

Gatorade is the lifeblood elixir for hangovers, working outside, marching endless drills during band camp, and rehydrating post-workout — not just for athletes. There are 22 flavors of classic Gatorade "Thirst Quenchers," and several are blue in color. The two most ambiguous and perhaps most well-known "blue Gatorades" are Frost Glacier Freeze and Cool Blue. According to The Takeout, the company's internal sales data reported that, in America, "Cool Blue" was the most popular Gatorade flavor in 2020. However, the nutrition label for Cool Blue doesn't give its flavor away. Ingredients include water, sugar, dextrose, citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, modified food starch, glycerol ester of rosin, and Blue 1.

This is an identical ingredient list to Frost Glacier Freeze, with one singular exception: Where Cool Blue has "natural and artificial flavor," Frost Glacier Freeze only has "natural flavor." The official Gatorade website doesn't describe or elaborate on what those flavors are, either. Fans have to accept "blue" as a flavor — so far, it doesn't seem like anybody has a problem with that.

Blue Gatorade is a berry, mint, and citrus fusion of confusion

Various sources have speculated about what the unknown flavor notes might be. Sports Drinks USA theorized that Frost Glacier Freeze has a generic berry flavor. So, maybe "blue" is meant to be a flavor-aroma one-two-punch: a taste bud and olfactory changeup to keep the senses on their toes. Although, even "berry" is a super vague, ambiguous descriptor. Are fans supposed to be tasting blueberry? Faux blue raspberry? The flavor also offers distinct citrusy notes, although not quite as pronounced as the Lemon-Lime flavor.

The physical sensation is invigorating to the point of slight minty-ness (or, at least, reminiscent of the minty mouthfeel famously invoked in the York peppermint patty commercials). Maybe mint is the "Frost" part of the flavor's name. So, where does that leave Cool Blue? (Answer: in a world of nuance and mystery.) Celebrity Youtuber duo Good Mythical Morning said Cool Blue tastes "like a melted icicle." Sports Drinks USA also detected honey-like sweetness and fruit notes reminiscent of açai. 

Whatever it's supposed to taste like, blue Gatorade has inspired a cult following. It's the name of a song by psych-rock band Dark Dazey that was performed on NPR's Tiny Desk series, and it also inspired a hit by lo-fi hip-hop artist Jazz Ingram. When foodies need to replenish their minerals, carbohydrates, and electrolytes, nothing gets the job done like a blue Gatorade — even if no one's sure what it is.