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June 2, 2022  |  Health & Wellness

What is Pedialyte? Everything you need to know about the electrolyte drink

Why your body needs electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals, such as sodium, potassium, and chloride, which can carry an electric charge. They allow your body to function properly. Electrolytes are found in your blood, urine and sweat. If your body becomes dehydrated, your electrolyte levels drop. When this happens, a whole host of problems can begin, ranging from muscle cramps to irregular heartbeats.

Because it only contains trace amounts of electrolytes, drinking water doesn’t solve the problems created by dehydration. You have to replace your electrolytes as well. To do this, you need a beverage that has a balance of water and electrolytes, such as Pedialyte.

What is in Pedialyte?

Pedialyte is a rehydration drink. Besides water, it contains sodium, potassium and chloride, the essential electrolytes that your body needs when it gets dehydrated. For energy, it contains dextrose. There is also citric acid in Pedialyte, along with natural flavoring and artificial flavoring.

Who and what is Pedialyte for?

Pedialyte has suffered a little from effective marketing and doctors’ recommendations. This has led to a belief that Pedialyte is only for sick children. While helping kids stay hydrated during the stomach flu is one of Pedialyte's primary purposes, it can also be used to help adults stay hydrated when they get sick. It can also be used by athletes of all ages for rehydration after intense workouts. 

Pedialyte vs. Gatorade

Pedialyte and Gatorade are formulated to rehydrate the body. Both beverages contain similar ingredients. Where they differ is the amount of each ingredient.

Pedialyte contains higher amounts of sodium and potassium than Gatorade. It also contains less sugar than Gatorade in all but the sugar-free variety. Additionally, some Pedialyte options contain zinc, which helps support the immune system. 

How to use Pedialyte

As effective as Pedialyte is, it is not recommended as a daily drink. The ingredients that make it a top choice for rehydration can be too much for regular use. In other words, if water is adequate, that should be your first choice for staying hydrated.

For typical use, follow the directions printed on the product’s packaging. If you are under a doctor’s care, however, those directions may supersede the printed instructions.

Since Pedialyte is carefully formulated with balanced ratios of sugars and electrolytes, it should be taken as is. Do not dilute Pedialyte with fruit juices, sodas or water. Adding other fluids will lessen the effectiveness of this product. It is important to realize that adding sweetened fluids could make stomach flu symptoms worse.

Does Pedialyte have any side effects?

Some individuals may experience side effects when taking Pedialyte. The most common is mild nausea and vomiting. Often, these side effects can be decreased by consuming the product slowly. If they do not diminish, contact your doctor.

Some of the more serious, but rare side effects include dizziness, weakness, swelling in the ankles and feet, mood changes and seizures. These must all be reported to your doctor promptly.

Additionally, some people may have a serious allergic reaction to Pedialyte. Seek medical attention immediately if you have any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, such as a rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness or trouble breathing.

There are different types of Pedialyte

There are over a dozen different types of Pedialyte. Each is formulated for different uses. You can get AdvancedCare Plus Pedialyte, which contains 33% more electrolytes, and Pedialyte which has prebiotics added to promote digestive health. Sports Pedialyte, on the other hand, is for athletes who engage in intense physical training. If you prefer organic or zero-sugar Pedialyte, the company offers those options as well. For people on the go, some options come in a plain or effervescent powder. And if you prefer to let your Pedialyte slowly melt in your mouth, you can get Pedialyte Freezer Pops.


Is Pedialyte better than water?

A. Sometimes. Because of the electrolyte content in Pedialyte, it is more effective than water when it comes to rehydrating in extreme situations, such as illness and after or during intense physical activity. However, in everyday situations, water is better.

Does Pedialyte stop vomiting and diarrhea?

A. No. Pedialyte is a rehydrating beverage. It does not prevent vomiting or diarrhea. It does, however, help prevent dehydration that can occur as a result of these symptoms.

Does Pedialyte cure hangovers?

A. No. Pedialyte does not cure hangovers. However, it may help you feel less miserable by replacing the fluids, carbohydrates and electrolytes that are flushed from your body when you drink alcohol.

Can I freeze Pedialyte?

A. No. Regular Pedialyte is not formulated to be frozen. If you want that option, use the Pedialyte Freezer Pops.

Can I give Pedialyte to my dog?

A. No. Pedialyte is formulated for humans, not animals. The high level of sodium can be harmful to dogs. Also, the sugars could cause problems in dogs with underlying conditions. If your dog is sick enough for you to consider medication, then your first course of action should be to call the veterinarian.

Top Pedialyte products

Pedialyte Electrolyte Solution

Pedialyte Electrolyte Solution

This is the classic Pedialyte solution. It is an all-purpose option that can be used to rehydrate, whether due to sickness or physical activity. It is available in unflavored and mixed fruit options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Pedialyte AdvancedCare Plus Electrolyte Drink

Pedialyte AdvancedCare Plus Electrolyte Drink

Pedialyte AdvancedCare Plus has 33% more electrolytes than the classic solution. It also contains prebiotics for digestive health and zinc for immune support. AdvancedCare Plus is available in Berry Frost, Cherry PomegranateIced Grape and Kiwi Berry Mist flavors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Pedialyte Sport Electrolyte Drink

Pedialyte Sport Electrolyte Drink

If you are getting dehydrated due to exercise, this is the option for you. It has five key electrolytes that the body needs for muscle support and faster rehydration. It is available in Fruit Punch and Lemon Lime flavors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Pedialyte Electrolyte Powder

Pedialyte Electrolyte Powder

For people on the go or those who want a more earth-friendly option, this powdered Pedialyte can be added to the water in your reusable water bottle. It contains 24 packets of Grape, Cherry, Strawberry Lemonade and Orange flavors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Pedialyte Freezer Pops

Pedialyte Freezer Pops

Sometimes, the best way to get the hydration you need is with a freeze pop. This pack of 16 pops contains Grape, Blue Raspberry, Cherry and Orange flavors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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