Matthew Pahnke PhD

Senior Principal Scientist


Lead GSSI innovation program

GSSI Teammate Since:


Area of Expertise:

Sports nutrition, fluid and sodium balance, exercise physiology, endurance performance, laboratory and field testing


BA Bradley University (International Business), MA University of Texas at Austin (Kinesiology), PhD University of Texas at Austin (Kinesiology)

Athletic Background:

Currently a triathlete (sprint to IRONMAN distance), runner, and cyclist; formerly (HS) a football and track athlete.


Dr. Matthew Pahnke is an exercise scientist with interests in exercise physiology, sports nutrition, and human performance. His area of research specialization is in fluid and sodium balance in endurance athletes. Blending his scientific, athletic, and business expertise, Matt currently leads the Gatorade Sports Science Institute’s innovation program.  His team helps drive the sports nutrition brands’ long term innovation and commercialization initiatives through research, insights and scientific support on ingredients, products, technologies and services.  The GSSI Innovation Team’s efforts in discovery and development are conducted in partnership with the sports nutrition businesses, PepsiCo R&D, influencers, athletes, and the scientific community.  Prior to joining GSSI, Matt was Director, Nutrition Research – Dairy Proteins at the Dairy Research Institute/Dairy Management Inc. where he led the led the research program related to the benefits of dairy protein in healthy nutrition and exercise. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business with a specialization in marketing from Bradley University. Working in international business for seven years, his roles included international buying, marketing, and customer relations in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Matt obtained his doctoral and master's degrees in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin, where he specialized in sports science and nutrition while working in the Human Performance Lab under the guidance of Edward Coyle, PhD. Matt has led several field and laboratory studies focused on sports nutrition and performance and he has authored or co-authored numerous scientific presentations and publications. Matt is an avid endurance athlete, a USA Triathlon Level II certified coach, and has been competing in triathlons from sprint to Ironman distance since 1997. He was a member of Team USA (age group) and has competed at the ITU Duathlon Long Course World Championship, as well as qualified and competed at IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships.