Chia Seed Experiment

Will Gatorade or water make the chia plant grow more?

Why run this experiment?

We chose this question because of the specific nutrition facts in Gatorade. In one bottle of orange Gatorade, there are a lot of electrolytes, which we knew replace an athlete with energy for higher performance. With this information, we thought that this element would give the plant a little growth boost. We looked up the amount of sugar per bottle and found that there are 35 grams! Even with the electrolytes, we thought that this might kill the plant. After this research, we formed our hypothesis.

Hypothesis and Variables

Hypothesis: If we use Gatorade to hydrate the chia seeds instead of water then it will grow less than a chia plant grown with water because even though Gatorade has extra electrolytes, it has lots of sugar and artificial flavoring.


independent- type of liquid

dependent- growth of plant in centimeters

control- oxygen received

extraneous- if seeds are defected to begin with


To set up our lab, we took two Dixie cups and filled them with the same amount of regular potting soil. We then inserted 20 chia seeds about a centimeter deep in each cup. Using a gradulated cylinder, we measured 10 mL of each liquid, Gatorade and water, and hydrated the soil with them in each of their respective cups. We did the watering process daily and used a centimeter ruler to collect data.

Pictures of Results


Our Data & Conclusion

In the first 3 days of our experiment neither plant grew. But on the fourth day, the water plant was at 2.5cm and the Gatorade plant was at 0cm. On day five, the difference in height between the 2 plants was 2.9cm. The water plant was at 2.9cm and the Gatorade plant was still at 0cm. Also, at this point, the Gatorade plant had begun to smell very bad.

Based on these results we can conclude that the type of liquid you hydrate a plant with does make a difference. We can also say that even thought Gatorade has special ingredients like electrolytes and added sugar, it isn't very healthy for a plant. In this case, we have proved that out of 2 different liquids, water is the best liquid to hydrate a plant with.

Future Labs

If we had a chance to do another lab based on the data we have received we could go in many directions.

1. We could run a lab with different plants using Gatorade to hydrate them to see if Gatorade just affected Chia seeds or if it really is bad for plants.

2. We could once again plant Chia seed and use different liquids to hydrate them to eventually find which kind of liquid is best for plants.