What makes Pedialyte such a good hangover cure?
When you overdo it with adult beverages, it's sometimes a kid's drink that may be able to help the most.
Pedialyte has long been touted as the perfect hangover cure. But is there any science explaining what makes this colorful kid's beverage help you feel better the morning after, or is it just the comfort of something sweet and vibrant that can help ease your hungover woes?
While a bartender told Mic that Pedialyte cocktails were a bad idea (taste-wise, not hangover-wise), we went to a medical doctor to weigh in on the health benefits of adults drinking Pedialyte.
Pedialyte helps you rehydrate
"Alcohol is a diuretic, causing you to produce more urine and take more trips to the bathroom when drinking," Erick Miranda of GoHealth Urgent Care explained. Since you're rushing to the bar bathroom so often, you're at risk for dehydration.
"Pedialyte contains sodium and potassium, a great combo for fostering rehydration," Miranda said. "Sodium intake triggers your kidneys to retain more water, while potassium is a key nutrient lost during frequent urination, making it important to replenish." So if you need to rehydrate and water just isn't doing it, stirring up a glass of Pedialyte may just begin to help you feel better.
Pedialyte is not a magical cure-all
"While Pedialyte can drastically assist in rehydration following a night out, it is not a miracle cure for a hangover," Miranda said. "Drinking heavily affects more than your water intake, including your sleep cycle and digestive tract." And sadly, these symptoms will not be improved from solely drinking Pedialyte, which does not help your stomach or replenish lost Z's.
Compared to other electrolyte drinks and popular hangover cures like Gatorade and coconut water, Pedialyte is still a strong contender for your morning-after beverage. A roughly 34-ounce mixed-fruit-flavored bottle of Pedialyte contains more potassium (180 mg) than a 20-ounce bottle of fruit punch Gatorade (75 mg), with fewer than half the calories (25 vs. 130), Miranda pointed out. Gatorade also has 34 grams of sugar, while Pedialyte has none.
Depending on the brand, coconut water may also have more added sugar than Pedialyte and less sodium and potassium, "making it a less-effective option," Miranda said.
And what about that Pedialyte cocktail?
Don't bother choking down the bartender-disapproved concoction. "Because of its rehydrating qualities, Pedialyte works best following a high loss of fluids," Miranda said. "Its ingredients signal the body to replenish lost nutrients and retain water, not to prepare for a forthcoming loss of these fluids." Pregame away, but save the Pedialyte for when you really need it.