What Is Pedialyte?

Hydration is super important, but easy to forget about. I often find that when I’m feeling unaccountably anxious or cranky, downing a large glass of water will help calm me down. But when we’re going about our day, we can often neglect our water needs. Enter brands such as Pedialyte, which promise to help keep you hydrated even when you’re at your thirstiest. But what is Pedialyte, exactly? What does it do? What’s in it? Let’s pour out some answers.

What is Pedialyte?

Manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, Pedialyte is an “oral electrolyte solution” primarily intended for sick children. Hence the name: “pedia” as in “children” and “lyte” as in “electrolyte.” So, it’s a brand of electrolyte-heavy drink designed for kids. It’s similar to Gatorade, another thirst quencher and electrolyte replenisher, though Pedialyte has less sugar. Recognizing the similarities between the two brands, Gatorade released a competing product called Gatorlyte made with less sugar and more nutrients. 

What does Pedialyte do?

Pedialyte helps hydrate you quickly and replenish your electrolytes. That makes it ideal for children who are sick and need to retain their fluid levels. However, there are other groups of people who also need rapid electrolyte replenishment. One such group is athletes, who sweat so much from physical exertion that they need to keep their electrolyte count up. Those wandering the desert and other steamy climates could also benefit from Pedialyte since they’re also sweating off electrolytes. And finally, hungover adults also make up a sizable percentage of Pedialyte consumers. It turns out you can get super dehydrated without doing anything as exciting as running a marathon or traveling to the Mojave; you just have to get drunk! And if you’ve ever popped open a Pedialyte in this state, you know that it works great for replenishing electrolytes.

By the way, if you’re curious about what electrolytes are exactly, the Pedialyte website has a good description: “Electrolytes are minerals essential to your health. They help carry electrical signals that power your nerves and muscles, maintain your blood’s proper pH, and balance fluids in your body. You get electrolytes from what you eat and drink, and lose some amounts of them any time you lose fluids (like when you sweat or go to the bathroom).”

What is in Pedialyte?

According to the Pedialyte website, “Pedialyte has 3 key electrolytes for hydration: sodium, chloride, and potassium.” That’s all well and good, but let’s get a little more technical, shall we? According to the back of the bottle, unflavored Pedialyte contains, “Water, dextrose, less than 2% of: potassium citrate, salt, sodium citrate, citric acid, and zinc gluconate.” It’s high on electrolytes and low on sugar, which makes it ideal for replenishing. 

Does Pedialyte expire? 

Yes, Pedialyte does expire. Though electrolytes seem like the type of thing that wouldn’t go bad, every reasonable source I can find online says that you shouldn’t use Pedialyte far past its expiration date. When opened, Pedialyte lasts about 48 hours in the fridge.

About the Author

Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. He likes maple-flavored snacks, loves every kind of cheese, and is slowly learning to accept mushrooms.

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