Beverage industry


Andréa Maria Cecil, Assistant Managing Editor and Head Writer of the CrossFit Journal, exposes hydration misinformation with the tale of just one of the many tragedies resulting from industry-controlled science. 


By: Andréa Maria Cecil, for the CrossFit Journal

The words hung in the air: brain dead.

Only days earlier he was a strong, healthy, God-fearing 17-year-old who in little more than a year at his high school had become captain of the football team and boasted a 3.8 GPA. Zyrees Oliver planned to play college football. Then he wanted to go into the NFL—his path plainly divergent from that of his incarcerated father.

Now he lay unresponsive in a bed in the ICU of an Atlanta hospital, his mother struggling to comprehend the neurologist’s words.

Exactly two weeks after a previous hospital visit—on Aug. 5, 2014—Zyrees, having been responsibly following medical advice to hydrate as much as possible, passed out at a late-afternoon football practice, teammates told his family. They took him to the head coach’s office to rest, his aunt said in a written account provided to the CrossFit Journal. At around 9 p.m., the coach called Zyrees’ mother, Monique Oliver. She arrived to find her son lying on the office floor, having consumed 2 gallons of Gatorade and 2 gallons of water, according to the account. When the teenager rose from the floor, he vomited.

“I’ll be all right. I just need to lie down,” family members said he told his mother.

They were the last words he spoke to her.