Dig Baton Rouge

Throwback: The Legend of Bengal Punch

The origin of products you encounter in your day-to-day life may be right under your nose. Take, for example, Bengal Punch.
The legend of Bengal Punch, supposedly the first sports drink created, reigns strong in Baton Rouge, but tales of the juice, seemingly named for LSU’s mascot, are resigned to snippets on websites like Reddit and TigerDroppings.
According to a Tweet by LSU, Bengal Punch was introduced in 1958 — the now famous Gatorade debuted seven years later, reads CoolRunning.com
The brainchild of athletic trainer Martin Broussard, Bengal Punch was created to help his team play better in a world where no sports drinks existed beyond your plain old water. LSU’s athletic training facility is named after Broussard, who would eventually be named to the Louisiana Athletic Trainer’s Hall of Fame.
Eventually renamed “Quick Kick,” the drink worked kind of like a science experiment. It was “used to replace liquids, vitamins and the electrolytes lost through sweating,” according to lsusports.net.
Gatorade, created just a few years after Bengal Punch, was born at The University of Florida in 1965 by a group of researches after an assistant coach asked them to look into players kept having heat-related illnesses, the Gatorade website says.
But more legendary than Bengal Punch is the man who created it. Besides his tenure at LSU, which spanned about 40 years, Broussard was a trainer for the Pan American Games and the U.S. Olympic team, according to lsusports.net. He, with a few others, established the National Athletic Trainers Association and the Southeastern Conference Trainer’s Association.


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